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Over Max 44 Mag Loads

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by bluetopper, Aug 28, 2011.

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  1. bluetopper

    bluetopper Member

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    Nevermind....this was a foolish question.

    I have a Freedom Arms 44 Magnum revolver and I'm very tempted to try some over max loads in it. Do you guys think it will be OK?

    It's the same gun designed to take 454 Casull loads at 65,000psi much less the 44 Magnum at 36,000psi.....plus more steel around the chambers because of the smaller caliber.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    The problem with over-max loads is, you have no way of knowing how much over-max they are.

    Powder burn rate & safe pressure is dependent on case capacity, the type of powder used, bullet used, crimp, and a lot of other things beyond your control or knowledge.

    You only have control over what has been tested safe by the reloading manual folks.

    I would not do it.

    rc
     
  3. loadedround

    loadedround Member

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    Is your life insurance policy paid up and current? You may need it if you start experimenting. Listen to what RCmodel has to say.
     
  4. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    You simply can't get enough slow burning powder (H110/296) into the .44Mag case to threaten the FA 83's life. Far as I know, FA used to provide overpressure data but as of right now, the only source I know of is Brian Pearce's +P Redhawk data, which runs in the mid 40's. T'was in Handloader magazine last year, I think.
     
  5. bluetopper

    bluetopper Member

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    I was planning to use AA4100 powder (Ramshot Enforcer) which is the finest grained powder I've ever seen and very heavy for the volume. Burn rate is between 2400 & H110. Just a wonderful magnum powder that doesn't need a magnum primer.
     
  6. 56hawk

    56hawk Member

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    You should be fine. I usually go a grain or two over maximum with my S&Ws. Much more than that and the cases start to get hard to extract. Just work up slow and look for signs of pressure.
     
  7. dodo bird

    dodo bird Member

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    Buy a. 454
     
  8. steveno

    steveno Member

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    if standard pressure 44 mag loads ain't enough you should get a bigger gun
     
  9. bluetopper

    bluetopper Member

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    I'll work up......the pistol primers will have holes blown in them way before anything else destructive happens.
     
  10. 56hawk

    56hawk Member

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    Agreed, I've never even had that happen with any of my over max loads. I'll back off once the primers are completely flattened though.
     
  11. steveno

    steveno Member

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    you might contact Freedom Arms and ask them to how much above max you can load your 44 mag revolver rather than guess. I think we all know the answer and I'm pretty sure they have some real good reasons why you shouldn't use above max loads.
     
  12. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    Some of us are born with it hard wired into our DNA, I know I'm one of them. Everthing I load has to push the envelope or I'm just not happy. However, I always use a work up procedure so I don't blow any of my firearms up.
     
  13. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    The safety police is out in full force. If the gun can handle the .454Casull at 65,000psi for its lifetime, then it can handle as much in the .44Mag. Handily. Whether or not doing so is safe should not even be in question. All you have to do is find the data. Call FA and see if they have any.


    Yep, S&W N-frames. :rolleyes:
     
  14. Galil5.56

    Galil5.56 Member

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    April 2010/No.265 Handloader magazine has published +P .44 mag loads used in a 7 1/2" Ruger RH testbed. I won't relay the data here or elsewhere, but to say it's stout is being too kind... 310 grain cast got 1495 fps, 340 grain cast got 1405 fps... I remember first reading in the late 70's of how Casull tried to destroy his then new .454 revolver using as much Bullseye that could be added to a case (almost 100% more over current Lyman max), then seat a 255 grain cast slug. All he reported post firing when the gun was retrieved from the remote barricade was some loose screws. After the test, he stated that pressures were estimated to be 90,000 psi.
     
  15. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    That is so true.

    Known unknowns:

    Whether steel and heat treatment for 44 Mag is the same as 454 Casull.

    Difference in throat profiles, cylinder mouths, how those contribute to pressure increases.

    Heat and pressure effects. Hot 125 grain 357 loads used to crack the barrel ends of K frame revolvers.

    Safety margin built into the firearm.

    Fatigue life.

    Structural strength of the brass.

    Pressure curve of your +P loads

    Unknown Unknowns: Don't know :neener:

    All these firearms are designed to carry loads, you just don't know the limits or the safety factors, because firearm makers know they will be in for a bunch of trouble if they ever release those numbers.

    When you exceed design limits you are in uncharted territory.

    Elmer Keith ran "hot" loads in his pre WW2 Colts and S&W's. Read his old books, he had blow ups. This is the risk you must assume when you experiment, at some point, you will hit the structural limit of your firearm or the case.

    Not saying don't do it, just that the whole risk is on you.
     
  16. sugarmaker

    sugarmaker Member

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    Imagine the consequences of firing one of those loads in a standard .44 mag. A few decades from now it'll be hard to keep track of what you loaded - confusion happens.

    It's not just the gun, but the components also. .44 brass and LPM primers are meant to run at 44 mag pressures. Primer issues can be fixed by using LR primers, but it becomes harder to read pressure as the brass doesn't normally run at rifle (e.g. bolt gun) pressures, so when the LR primer shows pressure you may be WAY over what the brass was designed for. I guess if the primers fell out on the next load, headstamp disappeared, etc. it might work.

    My suggestion is to work within a cartridges design limits. If more power is needed, use a cartridge designed to provide that power.
     
  17. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    And those standing around you. The average hand loader needs to stay within published data. Most of the rest of us too. :)
     
  18. 56hawk

    56hawk Member

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    I think it's funny that a lot of people on this site talk about loading and shooting 45 Colt and 45-70 ammo that would blow up an original SAA or trapdoor Springfield. But mention that you want to load 44 Magnum above maximum, and everyone goes crazy.
     
  19. sugarmaker

    sugarmaker Member

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    True, '56. But if I had a Trapdoor or SAA I wouldn't want any ammo in the house that was loaded hot for a Ruger #1 - just too easy to get something mixed up (like if my kids "examine" some ammo or my son goes out to shoot for an afternoon). I may be incorrectly assuming the OP may at some point own a "standard" .44 mag rifle or pistol.
     
  20. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    Verified that the statement I made that "You simply can't get enough slow burning powder (H110/296) into the .44Mag case to threaten the FA 83's life" is accredited to John Taffin. Paraphrased, of course. So no, you ain't gonna hurt a FA .44Mag.

    I have most of Keith's work and only ever remember hearing of him blowing up one sixgun. It was an early blackpowder Colt SAA he overloaded with a .45/70 bullet cut down to 300gr over a caseful of blackpowder.


    It's silly, almost as if most folks were afraid of their own shadow. Years of lawyers working dilligently to protect us from ourselves has resulted in lots of folks thinking like Chicken Little.


    It's just too easy to avoid as well.
     
  21. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    I do that too, until I get it out of my system then I back off to something more reasonable so I don't wear out my guns prematurely (cuz I'm also cheap)

    If you're going to push the envelope, Freedom Arms is the right platform. I would look for some older published load data -- or gen my own using Quickload. The European standard for .44 Magnum is 40000 psi; the SAAMI limit is 35000 psi (both numbers from memory.) So 40000 psi should be safe in any .44 Magnum handgun, it just has less safety margin. That's what I would work-up to if I had a FA. Probably use 270 to 300 grain bullets for the barn burners. (Once you get to about 300, the bullet is using up too much case capacity that would be better used for gunpowder.)
     
  22. sugarmaker

    sugarmaker Member

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    Hey Craig. I agree larger charge of slower powders can't damage an FA. In fact, they're probably not going to hurt a standard .44 either, and won't be that much more powerful than a regular max handload. In my minds eye I pictured filling the case with unique or something that offered some real potential for power increase at the upper limits of the FA, which would destroy a normal gun like my 44V. Reason for my caution: Over long periods of time, stuff I didn't consider has happened like the glue on the loading stickers dries up and falls off, houses and apartments change, guns come and go, wives appear, kids(!) grow up and want to shoot my guns, and, worst of all, my memory isn't what it used to be.
     
  23. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    Have to disagree there. Extensive penetration testing has shown that there is little to gain over 1200-1300fps in sixguns. The Beartooth 355gr can be safely pushed over 1200fps at standard pressures. Their 330gr can be pushed to 1350fps as well. These are the upper limits of the .44Mag at standard pressures. They have very limited application but there is certainly no performance-related reason to stop at 300gr.

    Brian Pearce's Redhawk/Super Redhawk data, which was in Handloader #265 (April 2010) runs up to 45-48,000psi. Examples of loads include several 300gr jacketed bullets near 1400fps, a 310gr Oregon Trail WFN at nearly 1500fps, a 320gr CPBC WLN at 1427fps and a 340gr Rimrock LWN at 1405fps. As far as safety is concerned, all you have to do is load them long enough to preclude their loading into weaker guns like S&W's.

    In a later issue, he suggested backing off only slightly for the single action Rugers.


    You will always achieve highest velocities with slow burning powders like H110/296 and Lil Gun.


    Beartooth 355gr compared to a generic 240gr SWC.
    [​IMG]
     
  24. Old Shooter
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    Old Shooter Member

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    What would Elmer Keith do?

    Stuff that puppy and close your eyes when you touch it off!!!!

    Just kidding....Elmer belonged to an age gone by....But he gave us the 44 mag.
     
  25. bluetopper

    bluetopper Member

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    It's a wonder this thread has not been closed, but if anyone has Quickload can they post or PM me the predicted specs of a compressed load of 26gr of AA4100 behind a 250gr gas check cast lead SWC bullet in a 44 Mag?
     
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