Quantcast

Beginner 44 mag loads

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Rick Bollinger, Jan 21, 2020.

  1. Rick Bollinger

    Rick Bollinger Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2020
    Messages:
    1
    I am going to acquire a Smith & Wesson Model 69 4.25”. I reload for my 44 mag handi rifle and would like suggestions for loads to begin with the pistol. Wife friendly and beginner friendly. I am getting 205 gr semi wadcutters, will be loading in magnum brass vs 44 special. Suggestions appreciated. God bless, Rick
     
    Olon likes this.
  2. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    63,422
    Location:
    Alabama
    A midrange .44 Mag load with BE-86, Unique, AA #5, or near the top .44 Spl loads, something like that. What powders do you have?

    Welcome to THR
     
    .308 Norma and Olon like this.
  3. adcoch1

    adcoch1 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Messages:
    2,498
    Location:
    Centralia Washington
    In a 29 run mid level loads or hot 44 special loads. I wore out a beautiful model 29 by running a steady diet of full house magnum loads before I knew better. Unique is your friend.
     
  4. Olon

    Olon Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2018
    Messages:
    1,034
    Location:
    Roaming around the Heartland
    I just started reloading for 44 mag and so far I've just used 240 grain cast bullets. My moderate load is 14.0 gr. of Blue Dot which is noticeably hot but not nearly top-end. It's what I would consider a moderate magnum probably.

    These weekend I loaded some up with 6.7 gr. of Trail Boss and I liked those too. Very little felt recoil from my Ruger SBH.
     
    NewHamshooter likes this.
  5. Steve51

    Steve51 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Messages:
    219
    Location:
    West Union, IL
    I will give a thumbs up to Trailboss for low recoil loads. When my grandson was about 14, he very much wanted to shoot my .44 magnum Super Blackhawk with 5.5" barrel. I cannot recall the powder weight I used but it filled the case to within an 1/8" of where the bottom of the bullet seated. I was using 240 grain bullets and it was a perfect load for him to shoot. He enjoyed the experience and shot quite a few rounds.
     
    whughett and Olon like this.
  6. whughett

    whughett Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Messages:
    3,171
    Location:
    Rhode Island/Florida
    A 240 grain lead SWC, Lyman 429244 mold, bullet ahead of 7.2 grains of Unique in Model 29-2 is snappy but fun to shoot round. Moderate roll crimp.

    The bullet is a gas check design but I don’t gas check it for 44 Special velocities.
     
    NewHamshooter likes this.
  7. santacruzdave
    • Contributing Member

    santacruzdave Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2014
    Messages:
    205
    Location:
    Santa Cruz California
    Love my M69. See my avatar. I load 240gr SWC from Acme or Missouri Bullet Co over 7.5 gr of Unique (Skeeter load sorta) in .44 Mag cases for a stout, for me, in between 44 Special +P and lower end 44 Mag. Very accurate.

    A soft shooting load I put together for my son's girlfriend was 5.5gr of Trail Boss and a 200gr Acme RNFP. These were very soft shooting and reasonably accurate.

    Good luck!
     
    Olon and whughett like this.
  8. mdi

    mdi Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Messages:
    3,343
    Location:
    Orygun!
    I have loaded 240 gr. LSWC with 44 Special data in 44 Magnum brass many times. Starting loads of Unique or Blue Dot aren't too heavy but I don't know how light a load she'll need. With a 200 gr cast bullet the same would apply, but with some faster powders...

    Or just use 44 Specials and clean the cylinder after shooting...
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2020
  9. Eddy19

    Eddy19 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2019
    Messages:
    130
    Location:
    California
    With a 200gr RNFP coated lead bullet, I load with Unique 11.0 gr. or 2400 17.0 - 17.2 gr. Not max but lively.
     
  10. frankmako

    frankmako Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    Messages:
    671
    Location:
    Southeast Tennessee
    240 gr bullet either cast or fmj with 9 grs of unique made a nice light rifle load. should not be much in a pistol either.
     
  11. Eddietruett

    Eddietruett Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2018
    Messages:
    1,062
    I like 6.5gr of Universal with a 195gr bullet. That would be a nice load in a 44 Mag. I use this load with a soft HP for carry in my 3" 44 Special. Get around 900fps and is very manageable to shoot.
     
  12. RealGun

    RealGun Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Messages:
    8,505
    Location:
    Upstate SC
    For using my SBH or Marlin rifle as a backup gun in SASS, I use magnum cases, 200 grain lead, and 6.2 grains of Trailboss. Hodgdon's minimum load is 6.1 rated at 890 fps. Saves steel targets and the shooter. Shoots like moderate 45 Colt.
     
  13. Typetwelve

    Typetwelve Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2019
    Messages:
    415
    I've been messing around a ton with 240g lead SWC for nearly a year now. Most of my loads are ones I've gathered here/there. These are my results, load at your own risk:

    Unique:
    Magnum brass -w- 11.7g, 1305 fps. This one could be taken down to 9-10g for a lighter but still magnum load
    Special brass, 5-7g. 5g is what I load for my Bulldog, 637 fps. In my 629: 6g/794fps, 6.7/870fps, 7g 962 fps.

    Tight Group
    I don't have chrono data yet (too miserably cold out there), but in magnum brass, 240g lead over 10g shoots very well. If I had to guess, I'd say these are in the 1200 fps range.
     
  14. RealGun

    RealGun Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Messages:
    8,505
    Location:
    Upstate SC
    "Wife friendly and beginner friendly. ":what:
     
  15. Typetwelve

    Typetwelve Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2019
    Messages:
    415
    Those 6g UNQ 44 spcl loads in a full size 629 are real easy on the hands, my wife has shot them, they're not bad at all. In a full size, the 7.5g "skeeter" 44 spcl isn't bad either. If you want a real spud load, 5g Unique with 240g lead in a full size is like a 22...

    1200 fps, to me, is a med magnum load at best. I'm getting 1200'ish FPS from most factory loads.

    I'm loading some 240g 1600+ fps screamers fro my Super Redhawk...now those are hand thumpers. I've also been loading some 1800 fps 180g XTP in magnum...those are some thundercrackers as well.
     
  16. RealGun

    RealGun Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Messages:
    8,505
    Location:
    Upstate SC
    10 gr of Titegroup with 240 gr lead in magnum case is rated by Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook as their max load at 1115 fps. Note that fast powders give sharper recoil than actual magnum powders intended for the purpose. I don't use Titegroup in magnums and stopped using Unique in anything heavy.

    I would review the OP though, because he is asking for pretty moderate loadings to start.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2020
    Eddietruett likes this.
  17. Typetwelve

    Typetwelve Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2019
    Messages:
    415
    There's a back story with that...

    I bought some 240g "keith" Hi-Tek projectiles from Missouri (18 hardness). Their softer #3 Cowboy Hi-Tek (12 harness) shoot perfectly up to 900 fps with no leading, so I figured the harder Keith offerings would be fine as well.

    Wrong-o I was. I worked with all kinds of powders to get these to stop leading. Some were causing leading closer to the forcing cone, some at the end of the barrel, some slightly along the rifling (es, I know what these mean, so I was adjusting accordingly)...I couldn't get anything to work (I used Unique, H110, 2400). No matter what, all were leading at some point or another, and I tried all kinds of charges.

    Finally, I decided on a load with a faster burning powder and went over to Hodgdon to see what they said. With the 10g they listed at max, I figured their load data, even "max" all runs very well, so I started with that, and I didn't want to run that 18 hardness projectile in sube 1K fps figuring it would lead even worse. Surprisingly, over 10g of Tight Group, they didn't lead, I was quite surprised. They shot very well, not a ton of recoil. Once the weather isn't 12F outside, I'm going to mess with lighter loads of the powder to see what they do.

    With all of that said, Unique, 2400, and H110 are currently my go-to for 44 mag, not Tight Group. Once I burn through those Missouri projectiles, I'm not going to move forward with that powder for that round.
     
  18. Targa

    Targa Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2019
    Messages:
    330
    It is funny how that works. I have a 44mag Ruger Super Blackhawk that I run light .44mag rounds through (7 and 9.8 grains of Universal over a 240 grain uncoated keith bullet from Missouri Bullet company 18 brinell) and haven’t had any leading issues.
    I haven't had a chance to take my 629 Smith out yet but I guess ill see what happens.
     
    NewHamshooter likes this.
  19. RealGun

    RealGun Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Messages:
    8,505
    Location:
    Upstate SC
    While wishing to promote staying on track with the OP, I will suggest with your sidebar that you go with softer bullets and in keeping with the level of recoil you find acceptable for the application. My best success with seriously magnum lead bullet loads is with IMR4227.
     
  20. Typetwelve

    Typetwelve Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2019
    Messages:
    415
    Well...that makes some sense though. Universal is quite a bit faster burning than 2400 or H110. Not as fast as HP-38, Trail Boss, Tight Group, or Clays (some of the many powders they list as ok with a 240g lead SWC), but it is faster...perhaps that's why you've had success with it.
     
  21. gonoles_1980

    gonoles_1980 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2013
    Messages:
    1,169
    For my wife I load 4.0gr of Titegroup with a 240gr Speer LSWC in a 44spl case, my gun has a 7" barrel and weighs 54oz. Very light recoil with that load. I have a moderate load that I use 8.5gr Unique with a 240gr LSWC in a 44mag case. My heavier loads (folks here probably think are still light) I use 11gr BE 86 with a 240gr xtreme CPFP in a 44mag case. I use Large Pistol Winchester Primers.
     
  22. 68Dave

    68Dave Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2019
    Messages:
    35
    I found that a 200 grain bullet over 6.5 -7.0 grains of W231 was soft shooting and plenty accurate.
    I’ve since moved onto trying unique and 2400, but those light loads were nice .
    David
     
  23. santacruzdave
    • Contributing Member

    santacruzdave Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2014
    Messages:
    205
    Location:
    Santa Cruz California
    Reminder, the OP is loading for a Smith and Wesson M69. While chambered in 44 Magnum, the M69 is a small (L) frame 5 shot revolver. It weighs in at 37.4 oz, lighter than a GP100 357 Magnum, which weighs 40 oz, so full house 44 Magnum loads are going to be quite a handful. I have one and shooting 240 gr bullets at anything over 1000 fps is not what you want to put in the hands of a beginner.
     
    Typetwelve likes this.
  24. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    Messages:
    8,897
    Location:
    Mount Desert Island Maine
    Welcome to the forum as well.
    Another vote for Trail Boss for light loads. Make sure you do not crush the powder or compress it. They have a section on the website and in their manual on how to find a load if none is listed. For hotter loads I like 2400 and there are many loads listed. Any of the powders listed above will work well in the 44 but going on the light side with that revolver is a good idea. Make sure you crimp the bullets in well for a comete burn. This is more critical with light loads from my experience. Have fun.:thumbup:
     
  25. RealGun

    RealGun Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Messages:
    8,505
    Location:
    Upstate SC
    You make a good point, but I would rather think of the L-frame as "medium", in light of the K-frame .357s and certainly J-frames being more trim. In the S&W spectrum, I think a J-frame is "small".
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice