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HELP.... Understanding case length and velocity. 44 Special vs. 44 Mag

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by FordsOnly302HO, Oct 30, 2019.

  1. FordsOnly302HO

    FordsOnly302HO Member

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    Hi everyone. I'm new to posting in the forum, but have enjoy and learned a lot from it already. I'm also what I'd call pre-new to reloading. Trying to make sure I completely understand the basics to the point where I at least won't hurt myself.

    With that said, here is what I want to be set straight about because I'm pretty sure what theory and imagery in my head is off.
    I know the 44 Special CL is a 1/10th of and inch shorter than the Mag, also that the maximum pressure of the special is 15,500 psi where as the Mag is 30,000 psi max. For this example I'm going to use the Magtech 44 Special FMJ 240grn 15,50 (44F) VS. Magtech 44 Magnum FMJ 240grn 15,50 (44C).
    OK, I do know this is unsafe, and and this is a hypothetical situation. Since it seems by the bullet specs I have that the bullets are the same except the CL is shorter on the Special, if you took a unfired 44 Mag factory round and (remember, hypothetically in theory) took a tubing cutter and trimmed the case to 44 Special length and then re-crimped it, would just trimming that case change the pressure and velocity and all that good stuff where it would actually be rated just like the 44 Special factory round?

    Also, thank you for letting me be a member of this forum.
     
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  2. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    If you trimmed a 44 mag case back to 44 special length, yes, it would be a 44 special. However, the powder charge would have to be significantly reduced.

    44 special has a smaller internal volume, so it generates equivalent pressure to 44mag with LESS powder.
     
  3. JeffG

    JeffG Member

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    One of the main reasons the .44 Mag was longer was to prevent them being chambered in .44 Special guns.(accidentally) Because the 44 Special guns weren't designed for that kind of pressure. You can still load .44 Special to .44 mag pressures.
     
  4. joneb

    joneb Member

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    Welcome abroad, I have trimmed down 50 44 mag R-P cases to 44spl length because I was out 44 spl brass. I reduced my usual load and worked up. This seemed like a good idea, but trimming a tenth of a inch off fifty cases was a PITA.
     
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  5. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    I have started trimming 444 Marlin cases down to 1.8” for a MI legal option for my 444 rifle.

    That is a PITA.
     
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  6. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Absolutely not, you would have a round that would be dangerous to fire in a .44 Special revolver. Why would keeping the same bullet ad powder charge in a now smaller case lower pressures? It wouldn't.

    Y'all be careful out there, and welcome to THR
     
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  7. forrest r

    forrest r Member

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    Trimming the case is 1 way to make "less case volume". Seating the bullet deeper is another way to make "less case volume".

    Hercules powder co (now alliant) used to put this out because of so many kabooms with wc's and bullseye powder.
    uIUZpPE.jpg

    Ramshot put this out in their reloading manuals to aid reloads with the small case capacities of the 9mm & 40s&w high pressured cases/loads
    UlcjxB5.jpg

    The 44spl is 1 of those forgotten cartridges that's overlooked by most shooters/reloaders along with the saami has turned a blind eye on it. The 15,500psi limit of the 44spl cartridge is because auntie M might have a 1905 top-break laying around. Handloader magazine & Brian Pearce have done a little testing with the 44spl. A link to what they came up with in 2005. He did another article in 2018 on the 44spl again using a lot more bullets and different powders.
    http://www.goodrichfamilyassoc.org/44_Special_Articles/Brian Pearce on the 44 Special.pdf

    I swage a lot of different bullets along with casting bullets from long forgotten molds from decades ago. There's no data for these bullets so I look at what reloading data there is available. It comes down to 2 things with the most important/has the most affect of a reloads pressure is "case volume". The 2nd thing is the bullets weight.
     
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  8. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    ^^^This. Same with .38 Special and .357.
     
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  9. reddog81

    reddog81 Member

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    If all you do is remove a bit of the case and recrimp the brass you will still have the exact same 44 Magnum round, but a slightly shorter case. Same pressure, same OAL, same powder charge, same velocity, etc.

    The 2 Magtech factory rounds mentioned in the OP probably use completely different powders and completely different amounts of powder. Taking 44 Mag data and using 44 Special brass creates a 44 Mag round that'll fit into a 44 Special gun. This is easy to do but not a good idea. Taking 44 Special data and using a 44 Mag case creates a 44 Special round that'll only chamber in a 44 Mag. This is also easy to do but completely safe, assuming the load is powerful enough to exit the barrel.
     
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  10. mdi

    mdi Member

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    "...if you took a unfired 44 Mag factory round and (remember, hypothetically in theory) took a tubing cutter and trimmed the case to 44 Special length and then re-crimped it, would just trimming that case change the pressure and velocity and all that good stuff where it would actually be rated just like the 44 Special factory round?".
    If the powder charge remained the same, yes the pressure would increase. Shorter case, smaller case volume /"combustion chamber", higher pressure. Not the same "good stuff" as the 44 Special, depending on powder charge it may be just a "hot loaded" 44 Special. I've been reloading 44 Magnum for about 25 years and have used 44 Magnum charges (no near max) in 44 Special brass, but fired in a 44 Magnum gun...
     
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  11. Jack B.

    Jack B. Member

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    I personally would never load 44 magnum charges in 44 special brass. You can never tell who might end up with that ammo and they end up loading it in a 44 special gun because that is what the head stamp says. 44 magnum loads get loaded in 44 magnum brass and 44 special loads get loaded in 44 special brass. Saves confusion down the road and nobody can get hurt by an over powered load. Also nobody will end up with powder puff loads in their 44 magnum gun and be scratching their head wondering , what's wrong?
     
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  12. forrest r

    forrest r Member

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    The 175gr wc in the picture (top center) are an interesting wc for the 44cal's.
    iMopAGs.png

    Use x.xxgr of xyz powder in a 44spl case and seat/crimp it in the top/long crimp groove. Use the same powder/load in a 44mag case and seat/crimp the bullet in the bottom/long crimp groove. The end result is the same load/accuracy/case capacity with the same bullet in both cases. It's a special order/custom mold designed to do just that, take 44spl or 44mag cases and have the same target load with the same wc/powder combo
     
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  13. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    Not to pick nits, but loaded with identical bullets and to SAAMI specifications for cartridge o.a.l., the .44 Special @ 1.615" would have a wee bit more case capacity than the .44 Magnum @ 1.610".

    35W
     
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  14. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Imaginary world and reality are different things. None of us in the real world are silly enough to seat 44mags shorter than 44specials. “Loaded with identical bullets”, roll crimping in the cannelure or crimp groove will leave the 44mag the 120 thousandths longer than 44special, as it was designed.

    Do this in a 44 special case...

    F5095649-140F-45F4-83E3-27ED1B9F460C.jpeg
     
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  15. forrest r

    forrest r Member

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    Made these jacketed 44cal bullets that have 2 different crimp grooves.
    QOZKxm4.png

    I use the top crimp groove when loading them for 44spl & 44mag revolvers. I use the bottom crimp groove when loading them for a tc contender. The contender has a long throat in it and the bullet has to be seated wwwwaaayyyyyy out there to get the shoulder of the bullet into the leade of the contenders chamber.

    Same bullet, vastly different seating depths ='s different powder charges for the same velocity.
     
  16. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    Nothing imaginary.

    I don't think you understood the point I was making.

    35W
     
  17. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    I did. And it was silly.
     
  18. murf

    murf Member

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    the crimp groove wins!

    murf

    p.s. the s&w n-frame revolvers have always had a problem with short cylinders. my model 28 was never fed 180 grain bullets because they were too long for the cylinder and I was not going to either trim the case, or seat deep and crimp over the ogive. fwiw
     
  19. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    Only if it's in the right place.
     
  20. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    I thought it was humorous, and assumed @35 Whelen meant it in a kidding around with you sort of way.
     
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