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.44MAG rifle round ball loads with trailboss?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by A strange person, Sep 8, 2011.

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  1. A strange person

    A strange person Member

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    I have a Winchester 1892 carbine in .44MAG. I ended up not getting the Marlin 1894 because it was on back order forever, and I found out they were bought by Remington and quality has slipped badly. I'm not rich, just nuts. An additional 1-2 weeks wage for something that ought to work properly out of it's box 'till I'm in mine and beyond seems reasonable to my strange mind. Anyway...

    One of the loads I want to make is a subsonic load with a light bullet for quiet target, plinking, and close-range small game hunting. I have a nearly full can of trailboss powder from when I was fooling around with squib loads in my .308. It seems like a good powder for the purpose. A round ball would obviously produce the quietest load for a given velocity from having the smallest powder charge (right?).

    I need to be careful doing this because the Winchester is not user-friendly to disassemble, so a stuck bullet could be very problematic.

    Does anyone have any proven load data using .433 round balls and trailboss powder to get 900 fps +/- in a 20" barrel? Right now, I'm thinking of starting at 6.5 grains.

    Also, what would be the best lube for the purpose (if necessary)? Do people use patches for loads like this? How deeply should the ball be seated in the case? Is this a bad idea for some reason that has not occurred to me?

    Thanks.
     
  2. TheCracker

    TheCracker Member

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    I've never heard of loading a round ball in a brass case. Maybe it's done but I would think a standard lrn or semi wad cutter would be far more accurate.

    Also, I would be interested if anyone has had good luck with a light subsonic load.

    Btw, I have a marlin 1894 that was made about a year before they were bought out by Remington. It is a fantastic deer/hog gun out to 100 yards.
     
  3. Jimfern

    Jimfern Member

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    Speer Reloading Manual 10

    I shot Speer .433 round balls (120 grain) out of my Ruger Redhawk using 3.6 grains of Unique in a 44 Mag case. The book has other powders listed, all in the mid-high 500 FPS range out of a 7.5" pistol.

    I was happy with the groups at 15 yards, but didn't keep any targets.

    They have 44 MAG rifle loads, but don't offer up a round ball load, so maybe it's not a good idea in that long a barrel.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2011
  4. A strange person

    A strange person Member

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    I DEFINITELY don't want to try that load in a rifle. However, I don't see any reason why one could not drive them to 900 fps in a rifle like I want. If they are large enough and lubed, they should not produce leading. Trailboss powder will do it, it's just that I don't have a chronograph, so I don't know how far to "work down".
     
  5. A strange person

    A strange person Member

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    Some people have all the luck. However, I'm glad circumstances forced me to get the Winchester; I like it more.
     
  6. T Bran

    T Bran Member

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    I saw some reference to round ball loads in Lee's modern reloading for 30-06 and do not recall any lube for the ball being mentioned. Ill try and find it again and post the page #.
    T
     
  7. A strange person

    A strange person Member

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    A thought has just occurred to me. If I get a stuck bullet, I could probably just open the action and push the little bugger out from the muzzle. A pure lead round ball should be easy to tap out. With the .44, the bore should be large enough to easily avoid scraping against the sides of the muzzle. When I was doing squib loads in my .308, I would take the bolt out and push it out from the breech. Silly me.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2011
  8. A strange person

    A strange person Member

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    I'm going to do it. I'm going to get some .433 round balls and some Lee lube from midway and do it. Worst case scenario: I'll have to tap the thing out with a rod like I described above, or have leading, or have one ricochet and kill me. No biggy.
     
  9. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    Well the round ball weighs 120 grains so a load with whatever propellant you use for 120 grains would work. I would call and ask the factory what a 120 grain bullet in 44 MAG would require and start with the starting load. I use the Trail Boss with starting loads with a 230 grain SWC in my 44 revolvers and they are slow and quiet.
     
  10. TheCracker

    TheCracker Member

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    I really don't know why you felt compelled to make this cute little comment. I wasn't implying your gun was inferior in any way. I've never even seen the Winchester 44 mag lever but I'm sure it is great.

    Good luck with your lead balls. Maybe you could let us know how it works out. It does sound interesting.
     
  11. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    With Trail Boss you can basically load anything between 70% and 100% of the empty case volume left after you seat a bullet. That's the charge range IMR gives in their magic formula for light loads in any cartridge.
     
  12. billyjoe

    billyjoe Member

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    I don't recomend trying round balls in a rifle. You must load them realy lite because they are pure lead and they have no lube. They also do not form a good gas seal because a crimp is not realy possible. I've used them in my .45 revolvers but i wouldn't try one in my rifle. They wouldn't feed well through a tube and I personally don't think they would clear a rifle length barrel either.
     
  13. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    I've loaded them (single and double) with the .45-70 and the .450 Marlin. They actually work really well at short range. TB is a fine powder for the purpose. The bearing surface is very minimal and I haven't had leading issues.

    Why would crimping not be possible? You roll crimp very gently over the top of them, leaving the top of the ball exposed.

    Capacity is obviously less with the .44 Mag than the ones I use, but I suspect you can get enough powder in. If TB isn't giving enough FPS to safely clear the bore every time, then you can easily amp up a notch with a more compact powder.
     
  14. A strange person

    A strange person Member

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    I didn't mean anything by it. I have this problem where I say stupid things. Sorry. And I will let you know how it works out. I ordered everything last night.
     
  15. A strange person

    A strange person Member

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    I'm going to lube them, and I'm going to crimp them like cosmoline described. I found an article about round ball loads in the 30-30. The guy pushed the balls in with his thumb flush with the case mouth and just dropped some lee alox around the perimeter of the ball.
     
  16. A strange person

    A strange person Member

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    I always hear that the double-ball loads usually hit within and inch or two of each other at 20-25 yards. Sounds like an awesome load for rabbit and grouse. Is it really as simple as just stuffing two balls down the case, or is there something else you have to do? What kind of velocities did you get?
     
  17. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    I don't have my data to hand, but the double ball loads from the .450 Marlin I put together last summer were hitting within two inches at 25 yards. The single ball loads were dead accurate at that range, though the accuracy falls off as you go further due (I suspect) to the fast twist rate. I wasn't trying to go as low as possible with velocity. I used some loads that were in "45 Years With the .45-70" and a few other sources I found. If you use Unique in those big cases or a similar light powder it's important to include a filler that the RB can rest on. I was using grits. TB obviously makes this a moot point, but you do need to be careful not to load too much or it will get crushed and change its burn rate.

    My .450 Marlin Big Bore is set up to shoot shotshells, but I was so pleased with the RB loads I've decided to use them for small game instead. I haven't had a change to try them yet, but will at some point.
     
  18. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    TB is very position sensitive with plated or jacketed. It likes a full, or at least very near full, case. Remember, do not compress TB.
     
  19. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    .22 Hornet 3.6 Grs TB 35 Gr V Max (Use at own risk)

    Ruger 77/22

    Powder back
    2 shots

    725 FPS
    792 FPS

    Powder forward
    2 shots

    1608 FPS
    1631 FPS

    8-11 @ 95+ degrees
     
  20. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Yikes! :eek:

    I did not know that.

    I've always run very near full cases, but got erratic velocities when the powder started to get compressed.

    I use it a LOT in .44 Spc. -- about 5.5 gr. under a 200 gr. LRN., though I've run up to 6.7 or so with good results. More than that...not good results.
     
  21. bluetopper

    bluetopper Member

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    No need at all for round balls when light accurate bullets for the 44 are made by www.mattsbullets.com

    Well worth buying a sample.
     
  22. mdi

    mdi Member

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    I found a round ball mold that drops balls at .432" -.433", and IICC, around 120 gr., with my wheel weight alloy. I cast up a bunch for my Wrist Rocket. When I measured them I decided to try a RB load for my .44s. (haven't shot them yet). Sure I could prolly buy some pre-made bullets, but what fun and what can I learn from that? So, .44 mag brass, 3.5 W231. Rolled balls in liquid alox. Seated ball to just below center (about 1.44" OAL) and put a light roll crimp on them. I have 5, .44 magnums and plan on shooting the RB loads in all of them (3 revolvers, 1 contender, 1 Puma). I've just got one more round of radiation treatments before I can get back in the field and do some shootin'...
     
  23. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I have experienced the same thing with TB, when you get to a point where numbers/accuracy get worse with more of it. It has a happy spot, but can get squirrely if loaded too light or too heavy.

    It loves lead, and tolerates plated, sometimes, in pistol calibers.
     
  24. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    With the very small bearing surface on a round ball, it's not likely you'll stick one in a bore. Likewise with the low velocity loads you want leading shouldn't be a problem. I've shot round balls out of my 375 Winchester with zero problems. Even if you were to stick one, it's no great trick to drive it out woth a 3/8" oak dowel, aluminum or brass rod. I use nothing but 1/4" oak dowels to slug the barrels of my .30 caliber rifles.

    If I were you, I'd post the question here:
    Cast Boolit Site: Leverguns I can assure you if you if it pertains to lead projectiles, someone over there has tried it!

    Good luck,
    35W
     
  25. Lunie

    Lunie Member

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    Just a note on lead round balls in metallic cases...

    I loaded some Hornady swaged LRB's in .45 ACP cases. No lube, Bullseye powder. Fired from a 5" 1911.

    Accuracy was excellent at the 7 yard line. If I had known they would shoot so well, I'd have loaded more, and shot them from a longer distance. :)

    Side note, the light load I was using was enough to cycle the slide. I want to say it was barely enough, but all 10 cycled and fired just fine. But the recoil felt soooo sloooow.... I could see the slide cycle distinctly.

    My experience was good. Your mileage may vary. :p
     
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