Getting into 44 Special

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Quoheleth, Feb 23, 2017.

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  1. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Member

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    I've got a trade planned to get into a very gently used GP100 in .44 Spcl. I've been reloading about 10 years for 9mm, .38, .357, .45ACP and .45 Colt, almost exclusively using MBC.

    I know there are dozens of bullet and powder combinations out there for this carteidge. I'm looking for nice, 800-900fps plinking and target loads. I prefer SWC bullets for paper punching but use LRN or RNFP also.

    What are some favorite bullets y'all use? Powders? Specifically, any info or tips on loading for the new GP100?

    Thanks in advance,
    Q
     
  2. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    A Magnus 215 or 240 Gr Lead SWC and 700X shoots great. I imagine anyone's SWC would. W-231 is also good. I have been meaning to try some coated bullets in .44 Spl, but haven't done it yet.
     
  3. zb338

    zb338 Member

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    250 Grain Keith bullets with 7 grains of Unique. Check the load out
    in a loading manual don't take anyone's (including me) word for it.

    Zeke
     
    mdi, the Black Spot and Quoheleth like this.
  4. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Member

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    Right, Zeke. I have a couple manuals in the garage plus data from the powder manufacturers. I'll double check before rolling anything. Just looking for favorite recipes that I can confirm. Appreciate the reminder!
     
  5. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    Lyman 429421, 429215, 429244. Book loads. You'll work hard to improve on the Lyman manuals recommended loads.
    Mine, 44 Special for CA Bulldog, 6 to 6.5 unique. For 624,, NEW Blackhawk, 7 to 7.5 unique, for recall 44 mags,whatever the manual says,but I back off 1.5 grains. You're doing special I also, ignore,I repeat, ignore magnum loads, and whatever Elmer Keith recommended.
     
  6. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    An old target load was 5.0 grains Red Dot with a 240 L. I tried it and the load was accurate. Five grains of Bullseye also produced excellent accuracy. However you cannot push bullets much faster with these powders and that is a limitation. Unique is without a doubt the most versatile powder I have used in the 44 Special. Shoots well with 180’s, 200 L, 240 lead and jacketed.7.5 grains Unique is a very powerful load, only appropriate for N frame revolvers and the Ruger Blackhawk. Much too powerful for a Charter Arms Bulldog.


    Unique gives excellent accuracy from 6 ¼ grains all the way up. When I get tired of recoil I download to 6 ¼ to 6.5 grains. Shoots well.Basically I stopped fooling around with other powders and am using Unique.

    Code:
    4" M624
                                                                                      
    
    240 LSWC   5.0 grs Red Dot thrown,  Mixed Brass CCI300                      
    
    T = 64 °F            3-Mar-07                                                                                  
               
    
    Ave Vel =          714.8                                                                                       
    
    Std Dev =          24.35                                                                                        
    
    ES =                   95.28                                                                                        
    
    Hign                    778.4                                                                                        
    
    Low =                 683.1                                                                                        
    
    N =                      19                                                                                              
    
    Accurate                                                                                    
    
                                                                                                                                    
    
    240 LSWC   5.0 grs Bullseye Lot 6/20/05 Mixed Brass WLP                  
    
    T = 64 °F            3-Mar-07                                                                                  
    
                                                                                                                                  
    
    Ave Vel =          763.9                                                                                       
    
    Std Dev =          16.18                                                                                        
    
    ES =                   60.94                                                                                        
    
    High =                794.7                                                                                        
    
    Low =                 733.7                                                                                        
    
    N =                      28                                                                                              
    
    very accurate, little powder residue                                                                                
    
                                                                                                                                  
    
    240 LSWC   6.25 grs Unique thrown,  lot UN387(6-21-1993) Mixed Brass WLP
    
    T = 62 °F            25-Feb-07                                                                                
    
    Ave Vel =          795.1                                                                                       
    
    Std Dev =          23.13                                                                                        
    
    ES =                   65.05                                                                                        
    
    Low =                 821                                                                                            
    
    High =                756.5                                                                                        
    
    N =                      12                                                                    
    
    Accurate        
    
                                                                                                                                  
    
    240 LSWC    6.6 grs Unique thrown,  lot UN364 3/9/92 Mixed cases, Brass WLP
    
    T = 70 °F            4-Apr-09                                                                                  
    
                                                                                                                                  
    
    Ave Vel =          859.6                                                                                       
    
    Std Dev =          21.7                                                                                          
    
    ES =                   77.85                                                                                        
    
    High =                878.4                                                                                        
    
    Low=                  800                                                                                            
    
    N =                      10                                                                                              
    
                                                                                                                                  
    
    240 LSWC   7.0 grains Unique,   Midway cases, WLP (brass)                 
    
    T= 45-50 °F       15 Dec 2002                                                                                  
    
                                                                                                                                  
    
    Ave Vel =                                                           902.8                                      
    
    Std Dev =                                                            21.49                                      
    
    ES =                                                                    81.76                                      
    
    Low =                                                                   859.8                                      
    
    High =                                                                  941.6                                      
    
    N  =                                                                      33                                            
    
                                                                                                                                  
    
    240 LSWC    7.5 grs Unique thrown,  lot UN364 3/9/92 Mixed cases, Brass WLP
    
    T = 70 °F            4-Apr-09                                                                                  
    
                                                                                                                                  
    
    Ave Vel =          965.8                                                                                       
    
    Std Dev =          23.15                                                                                        
    
    ES =                   65.28                                                                                        
    
    High =                986.3                                                                                        
    
    Low=                  921                                                                                            
    
    N =                      12                                                                                              
    
                                                                                                                                  
    
                                                                                                                                  
    
    240 JHP  6.5 grs Unique thrown,  Midway Brass WLP                                
    
    T = 64 °F            25-Feb-07                                                                                
    
                                                                                                                                  
    
    Ave Vel =          791.4                                                                                       
    
    Std Dev =          34.78                                                                                        
    
    ES =                   114.5                                                                                        
    
    Low =                 845.6                                                                                        
    
    High =                731.1                                                                                        
    
    N =                      9                                                                                                
    
    Accurate
                                
    
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
    [​IMG]

    Code:
     44 Spl Ruger Blackhawk 5.5"                                          
    
                                                                                                                    
    
    240 LSWC   6.25 grs Unique thrown, lot 6/21/-98/92 Midway cases, Brass WLP
    
    T ≈  60-65 ° F                                    19-Apr-09                                                      
    
                                                                                                                                        
    
    Ave Vel =                                          835.4                                                              
    
    Std Dev =                                          26.83                                                              
    
    ES =                                                   74.52                                                              
    
    High =                                                877.5                                                              
    
    Low=                                                  803                                                                  
    
    N =                                                      24                                                                    
    
                                                                                                                                    
    
    240 LSWC   6.6 grs Unique thrown, lot UN364 3/9/92 Midway cases, Brass WLP
    
    T ≈  60-65 ° F                                    19-Apr-09                                                      
    
                                                                                                                                        
    
    Ave Vel =                                          875.4                                                              
    
    Std Dev =                                          25.94                                                              
    
    ES =                                                   109.6                                                              
    
    High =                                                914.8                                                              
    
    Low=                                                  805.2                                                              
    
    N =                                                      25                                                                    
    
                                                                                                                                        
    
                                                                                           
    
                                                            
    
    240 LSWC    7.5 grs Unique thrown,  lot UN364 3/9/92 Midway cases, Brass WLP
    
    T ≈  60-65 ° F                                    19-Apr-09                                                      
    
                                                                                                                                        
    
    Ave Vel =                                          1001                                                               
    
    Std Dev =                                          17.32                                                              
    
    ES =                                                   64.32                                                              
    
    High =                                                1027                                                              
    
    Low=                                                  963                                                                  
    
    N =                                                      27                                                                    
    
     
    

    [​IMG]

     
  7. Dog Soldier

    Dog Soldier member

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  8. the Black Spot

    the Black Spot Member

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    Unique
     
  9. wankerjake

    wankerjake Member

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    http://sixguns.com/tests/tt44spec.htm

    Just getting into it as well, have tried herco and 240gr SWC with some success, I imagine unique would be as good or better. I like to check out other sources than just the manuals, I think Taffin is usually a good read.
     
  10. joneb

    joneb Member

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    Accurate #5 works very well for .44 spl. if you are looking for a powder that meters well.
    I also use #5 for .38 spl, 380 acp, 9x19 Luger and .45 acp.
     
  11. cat_IT_guy

    cat_IT_guy Member

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    I use a 200gr LRN from MBC over about 5gr of Bullseye (exact measurement may have been 4.8, cant say for sure without checking notes & logs), good for about 800fps.
     
  12. Taroman

    Taroman Member

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    Some of my favorite 44 Special loads:
    LSWC 240 Power Pistol 7.5 899 921 908 22 6.60
    LSWC 240 VV N320 5.8 737 766 755 29 8.00
    LSWC 215 BULLSEYE 4.5 726 745 736 19 6.50
     
  13. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I've only been dabbling with 44 Special for a few years in a 44 Special Blackhawk and S&W Model 24.

    I've mostly been loading Missouri 240 grain SWC or RF bullets with 700-X or Unique.

    I recently got a SAECO mold #944, 200 grain WC, to try.

    I also like Accurate #5 and may give that a try
     
  14. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Member

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    Any leading with that MBC 240gr SWC? I've always used Brad's bullets but I thought this particular bullet was too hard for Special velocity & pressure.
     
  15. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I did not see any leading but that concern was why I moved to the 240 RF bullet. Also, to save the SWC bullets I have for my 44 Magnum.
     
  16. zb338

    zb338 Member

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  17. Hondo 60
    • Contributing Member

    Hondo 60 Member

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    Never heard of a GP100 in 44 Spl.
    Sounds like a great combination!

    Before I started casting my own, I bought a LOT of bullets from Missouri Bullet Co.
    The owner, Brad, comes on here now & then.

    But a 240 gr SWC over 4.6 gr of Titegroup will give you about 850 fps.
    MBC's .44 Elmer K is a 240 gr SWC
    http://missouribullet.com/details.php?prodId=103&category=5&secondary=12&keywords=
     
  18. Legionnaire
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    Legionnaire Member

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    I'm just starting with .44 Special myself; have loads of MBC bullets to play with, including their 240 grain "Elmer K" SWC. I'm liking the feel of a coated MBC 200 grain #5 Cowboy over 5.0 grains of Titegroup. Have yet to chronograph it, though. Just got some 215 grain button-nosed wadcutters from Matt's Bullets to try. Stocked with Unique and Titegroup, so have some experimenting to do.

    Once I work some of my bullet stock down, I want to play with some of these:
    https://rimrockbullets.com/xcart/-44-200-gr-dewc-fb-per-500-anti-personel-.html?category_id=11
    Reports to be the bullet used by Buffalo Bore for their "Anti-Personnel" round.
     
  19. Drail

    Drail Member

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    Unique and 200 gr. slugs. I've been using that combo for many years in my snub .44 Spls. and haven't found anything better.
     
  20. TfflHndn

    TfflHndn Member

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    I have had great success with Rim Rock 200 grain wadcutters and Clays/Clay Dot powder, for about 850 feet/second. Very accurate and I wouldn't have any reservations about using it as a defense load.
     
  21. 35 Whelen
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    35 Whelen Contributing Member

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    Last count there were five .44 Special revolvers in various places around the house and in my vehicles. In the last 6 or 7 years I've fired, judging from the empty primer cartons, between 3000 and 4000 .44 Special loads ranging from 600 fps CAS loads with Hodgdon Clays to 1200+ fps 260 gr. SWC loads with AL2400.

    For me, bullets in the 245-255 gr. range, whether RN or SWC (I cast my own) always shoot best. I tried lighter bullets but they never gave me the accuracy of the heavier bullets. If you want to be really simple, Unique will do everything you're likely to need. With the above mentioned bullets, 6.0 grs. will net 750-775 fps out of a 4" barrel. Bumping it up to 7.5 grs. will increase velocities into the 950 range. If you want to only shoot 750+/- fps loads, Bullseye or Red Dot would be the way to go. If you want to test your recoIl tolerance and throttle loads in up, 2400 is the ticket.

    35W
     
  22. Hanshi

    Hanshi Member

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    I've used 2400 and Unique mostly in my one .44spl, an S&W M24. My most accurate bullets have been home cast 260 grain SWC with a plain base. The other is the Thompson design GC SWC of about 250 grains. The molds are a nice RCBS and an old Saeco mold. I've never been completely satisfied with any of the commercial hard-cast SWCs; they allow too much "blow-by" which solders lead onto the forcing cone. Never could get real accuracy.
     
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