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Loading the 44 Special

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Arizonagunrunner, Feb 22, 2011.

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  1. Arizonagunrunner

    Arizonagunrunner member

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    I would like to hear from all you reloaders out there that roll thier own in 44 Special. I have a Taurus 431 and Rossi 720. Both have 3in tubes. For my defense loads I go with the Blazed Gold Dots in 200grn.
    As for target, I load 200 grn flat points behinde 6 to 7 grn Unique.:)
     
  2. Starter52

    Starter52 Member

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    6.2 grains of Red Dot and a 240 grain lead SWC works for me. Not a powderpuff load, but still mild enough for all day shooting.
     
  3. Drail

    Drail Member

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    In the snub revolvers I prefer 200 gr. bullets using 2400, Unique, Red Dot, Green Dot and WSF and WST powders. Green dot is a great medium speed powder for .44 Spl.
     
  4. Dave T

    Dave T Member

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    I duplicate the original 44 Special loading with a cast RN weighing 245g over 4.8g of Red Dot. Surprisingly accurate in a couple old 44s. Average velocity in 4"-5" barrels runs around 750 fps.

    For an everyday, general purpose round I use Berry's 240g FPs over 6.2g of HP-38. I goes about 850 fps in a 5" barrel and 825 fps in a 3.4" I have.

    Dave
     
  5. sig220mw

    sig220mw Member

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    I shoot an Oregon Trail 200 grain laser cast round nose flat point over 14.5 grains of imr 4227 with a cci-350 primer in starline brass.
     
  6. chriske

    chriske Member

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    For an excellent target load from my S&W 4" barreled 624 I load 4.3 gr of VihtaVuori N-320 behind a .429-size, copper-plated, hollow base full wadcutter bullet (loaded a trifle longer than flush with the case mouth, just like ordinary .38 Spl wadcutters)
     
  7. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    My primary .44 Spc. load is 6.9 gr. of Trail Boss under a 200 gr. LRN.

    Gets up over the IDPA ESR power floor at a bit more than 850 fps from my 4" 629.

    TB fills the case perfectly at that load.
     
  8. Saint Dennis

    Saint Dennis Member

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    I been loading 185gr DBBWC. I use my rossi as a trail gun mostly wacking porcipines. That bullet over trailboss works well. Pretty accurate too. I have some Hornady XTP hollowpoints loaded for serious zombie work.
     
  9. James2

    James2 Member

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    I cast my own bullets with the Keith design semi wadcutter mold. They come out about 250 grains. Unique is the powder I use.
     
  10. BullSkater

    BullSkater Member

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    Just chronographed a new box of factory Speer 200gr gold dot at 625fps out of a 2.5 inch gun. They are so slow I load my own. I tried a lot of powders and settled on Power Pistol. It is low flash and velocity is constant.
    7.2 gr of PP moves a 215 lead swchp out of my 2.5" barrel at about 825 fps.
    7.8 gr of PP will push the 200 Gold Dot bullets to around 800 fps in my snub.
     
  11. Nomad

    Nomad Member

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    I have a Lipsy's Blackhawk Flatop Bisley and stoke it with Lyman 429421 250 gr Keith and 15 gr 2400. Shoots clover leaves at 25 yds and velocity is around 1100.
     
  12. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    I got erratic velocities using 2400 in a three incher...get much better results with a faster powder like Unique or Universal Clays.

    I still like the Lyman 429421 hollow point, cast relatively soft over six and a half grains of Unique. Manageable recoil, some traces of leading, and expansion you won't believe.
     
  13. the Black Spot

    the Black Spot Member

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    Anyone tried blue dot?
     
  14. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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    44spl

    I haven't shot them yet, but I just put some 240gr SWCs over 6grs of 231 in Star Line brass with WIN LP.
     
  15. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    700X and most any lead bullet from 180 to 240 Gr.
     
  16. HankB

    HankB Member

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    I found that 2400 is a bad powder for anything less than maximum loads - when I tried 14.5 grains under a cast 429244 I got scads of unburned powder. I had to move up to 18 grains before I got good results, but that's low-end .44 Mag territory - I only load that in Mag brass for my M-29, so it's no help to you.

    SR4756 worked well - just as versatile as Unique (don't interchange data!) but a LOT cleaner burning.

    700-X is good for light loads, but the pressure curve is too steep if you're looking for more power.
     
  17. zeke

    zeke Member

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    From Taurus 445 2 in snubbie.

    factory Blazer 200 grain gdhp = 805 fps
    factory CCI nickel cased 200 gdhp = 745 fps

    Reloads using Speer 200 grain gdhp, Starline 44 special cases, fed 150 primer, strong LFC

    8.8 grains V V -N350 = 870 fps (940 fps from 3 in 696)
    7.7 grains Unique = 840 fps (905 fps from 3 in 696)

    Need to work up loads, they may be max loads listed in Speer's manual.

    To replicate POI, 6.2-6.4 grains hp-38 under 200 lrnfp.
     
  18. hancjamk

    hancjamk Member

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    14.5 2400 240 gr SWC WLP. It's a pretty stout load. No problem with a SW 624 or Ruger Blackhawk.
     
  19. joneb

    joneb Member

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    For target I like W-231, for more power HS-6 worked well in a 2.5" Taurus 431 and a 3" S&W 696. I tried AA #7 but it seemed a bit to slow for me, 700x and Unique are excellent for the 44spl but they don't meter well in my powder throw :( Now I mostly use W-231 and AA#5, I want to try Universal or VV N-340 next
     
  20. Hanshi

    Hanshi Member

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    I reload for a S&W 1950 .44spl with 6" barrel. 7.5 grains of Unique gives me close to 1000fps which is as hot as I like with this round. Good accuracy, too.
     
  21. MovedWest

    MovedWest Member

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    Unique is my powder of choice for 44spl. I've done a lot of research and found that the Hornady 200gr XTP will perform very well at 44spl velocities as far as accuracy and expansion. Around 8-8.5gr of Unique under those bullets makes a fine, accurate load. That's above standard 44spl pressure, but in a 44mag or a modern 44spl you should be fine.

    -MW
     
  22. Paladin7

    Paladin7 Member

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    I have a 696 no dash and have been loading a 200gr LRNFP over 8.0 grains of Unique in Starline cases with a CCI large pistol primer. Good stout general purpose load that is very accurate. I find practising with this load first helps me shoot lighter recoiling pistols better...go figure.

    I've also been experimenting with the 200gr Gold Dot bullet in Starline cases with a CCI large pistol primer using Power Pistol. I just loaded up a batch but haven't tested them yet, but am expecting good results for a defensive load.

    What I need to do now is work up a lighter recoiling general purpose load...so, glad you asked the question, as there are a lot of options listed here already.

    I love the 44 special...
     
  23. Drail

    Drail Member

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    Paladin, I have the same gun and that is a GREAT load for it. I have pretty much settled on only 200 gr. bullets for it and 7.0 to 7.5 Unique is a very nice accurate load. Mine seems to like everything as far as accuracy goes though. I've run Red Dot, WST, Bullseye, 2400 and lately Unique seems to be the best all around powder for .44 Spl. The 200 gr. Gold Dot is the most reliable bullet I have found in my tests. They will expand at 800 fps when fired into water jugs every time.
     
  24. Paladin7

    Paladin7 Member

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    Drail, yes, I have very high hopes for the 200gr Gold Dot in this caliber... Reliable expansion at over 800 fps is what I'm after and its good to hear that you have found this to be the case. I'm also finding that PowerPistol gives some impressive velocity while keeping pressure well within SAAMI spec. PowerPistol also meters extremely accurately which is a big plus.

    I also like the versatility of Unique, and use it for both 44 and 38 special but not too happy with the cleanliness of this powder. I'm going to switch to Penn Bullets Hardcast and W231 to work up some plinking and general purpose loads and see how that goes. I'm thinking of trying their 200 gr and 240 gr bullets for this application.
     
  25. TGReaper

    TGReaper Member

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    I shoot a lot of 44 spl.loads but nothing from bbls as short as you use.
    My favorite for plinking out to 100 yds., with my Redhawk is a 245 gr. Kieth type semi wad cutter ahead of 4.1 gr. of Bullseye. Chrono's at 745 fps.
    TGR
     
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