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Unique and .44 Mag Help please

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by HKGuns, Jul 26, 2012.

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  1. HKGuns

    HKGuns Member

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    Listed below are my components, I'd like some input as I have several different manuals, each with different data. I'm hoping someone with more .44 Mag experience can help me out as this is my first time reloading .44 Mag. (I have reloaded lots of 9mm, 45ACP, .223, 12GA etc....)

    Bullet: 240gr Hornady XTP JHP
    Primer: Remington Large Pistol
    Powder: Unique
    Brass: Once fired
    Pistol: S&W Model 29 Classic 6.5" barrel

    I have load data for unique that shows anywhere from 8 -12 grains. I want a stout loading, but of course I want it to be safe. (One manual says 10gr max, the other says 12 gr max.)

    Is 11 grains of unique safe to shoot with the above components?

    *Note that I want a stout but safe load.
     
  2. Robert101

    Robert101 Member

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    My Richard Lee 2nd Edition indicates 10.3 of Unique is max load for a jacketed bullet. My Hornady 7th Edition indicates 10.7 grain of Unique. I would use the Hornady recommendation as the bullet you suggest is their 240 grain XTP. Now if you want a faster load, then Unique is not the best powder. Staying in the Alliant family, I tend to use Blue Dot for magnum loads.
     
  3. HKGuns

    HKGuns Member

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    I don't have a Hornady manual, guess I'll have to get one. Lyman is the one saying 12g max and Speer says 10.8 max if I am remembering correctly. I have a few other references, not bullet specific that have one loading and it is somewhere just above 10, either 10.2 or 10.3....
     
  4. Hondo 60
    • Contributing Member

    Hondo 60 Member

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    Alliant's data uses a 240 gr Speer Gold Dot Hollow Point.
    They also say 10.3 max.

    You wouldn't think there's THAT much difference between the Gold Dot & the XTP.
    So I would say start low & work up.
    Starting at or near 10.3 seems less than prudent.
     
  5. greenlion

    greenlion Member

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    You also have to take into account the depth at which they are seating the bullets. Deeper bullet + less powder = shallow depth + more powder.
     
  6. codefour

    codefour Member

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    With 240 grain hard lead SWC I have gone as high as 11.0 grains in my Ruger Redhawk. It was stout but no sticky extraction or flattened/cratered primers
     
  7. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    Don't try to make unique a magnum load powder. It's a great mid-range powder when you start pushing it past it's sweet spot pressure goes up a lot and you'll gain very little velocity. If 10.0gr doesn't give you enough power switch to a slower powder.
     
  8. JLDickmon

    JLDickmon Member

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    or 2400
     
  9. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    ^^^this.
     
  10. HKGuns

    HKGuns Member

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    Thanks everyone for your input. I'm going to go with 10 grains of Unique max, probably start out with 9.5 or so......

    The frustrating part of reloading is that, at times, it seems more art than science with all the conflicting data.....I have numerous resources and depending on the source I get different answers. Given the potential hazards it should definitely lean more toward the side of science.

    I'm also going to pick up some slower burning powder and a Hornady manual before proceeding further. It just isn't worth the risk of injury or damage to my pistol.
     
  11. Salmoneye

    Salmoneye Member

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    I was going to give the loads from the Hornady 4th edition for Unique with the 240gr XTP, but as I have not personally used this data, I am leery of it...

    Suffice it to say that the minimum load is over the earlier stated Alliant max for this combination (Post #4)...

    For full on .44 Mag, I would highly suggest H110/W296, IMR4227, or AA#9...
     
  12. 44magmike

    44magmike Member

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    Start at 9.0 or 10 grains and work up your loads in .3 tenths of a grain increments .. Pay attention to how flat your primers are getting with each load. Also pay attention to how hard the brass sticks in the cylinder when you extract the cases..if your whacking the extractor rod with a piece of wood to empty the cylinder then back off the powder measure a few grains cause your at max load or over
     
  13. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    .
    I definatly wouldn't ignore the science side, but paying attention to the art side is important too. There's a lot of safe loads that won't group worth a hoot. I've been reloading 30+ years and am finely figuring out why some of the "old standbys" are old standbys. 8 to 10grs of unique behind a 240-250gr 44mag is one of those. It just works, it'll be accurate and it'll have enough power for most of what you want a 44 for.
     
  14. Josh45

    Josh45 Member

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    Hornady 8th edition shows me that 9.5 gr of Unique is the starting load.
    While 10.7 gr is the MAX load for a 240 gr bullet in .44 mag.
     
  15. Salmoneye

    Salmoneye Member

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    That seems a tad more rational than my aforementioned 4th edition listings...

    :eek:
     
  16. mdi

    mdi Member

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    The load data will vary from manual to manual usually because of different test equipment, different methods, and different personel. Also some loads are bullet specific, as your Hornady 249 XTP loads will prolly differ from a Sierra 240 bullet. I haven't loaded any jacketed bullets for my .44 magnums for mebbe 20 years so I can't help you with a load, but I would rely on my Hornady manual for loading Hornady bullets...
     
  17. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    If you want a hot accurate load, use H-110 or WW 296 with magnum pistol primers. Both will give you top velocity and accuracy. Save your Unique for cast bullets at lower velocities.
     
  18. DC Plumber

    DC Plumber Member

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    I use 9.0g or either Universal or Unique with 240g JHP bullets in my 44mag loads for my 29-2. If I want a magnum load, I use 2400. 9.0g make a nice load that you can shoot all day long.

    If I load 240g LSWC in my 44mag brass, I use 8.0g of either Universal or Unique.

    I don't like magnumizing fast powders either.
     
  19. HKGuns

    HKGuns Member

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    Thanks Josh and everyone else. I received a lot of great advice, and appreciate all of your responses. As it turns out tonight I loaded up 100 and went with 9.5 grains of Unique with the components listed above, which is dead on your post as a starting load Josh! I'm going to try them out at the range tomorrow in a likelihood.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012
  20. HKGuns

    HKGuns Member

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    One additional question. I see above that H110 and W296 require Magnum primers.

    Which of the slower burning powders will work correctly with regular large pistol primers? I have a bunch of LPP and really don't want to fiddle around with magnum primers. Does 2400 work effectively with regular LPP?
     
  21. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    2400 gives the lowest ES and shot-to-shot uniformity using standard primers.

    The use of mag primers is not recommended or necessary with it.

    Mag pistol primers were not invented until the ball powders like W296/H110 became common in the 60's/70's.

    rc
     
  22. greywolf444

    greywolf444 Member

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    i use 9.5gr of unique with a 265gr cast bullet as my all around everyday load. Does whatever I need doing from varmits to deer in both pistol and rifle. Works well enough with jackected also,I just don't need the added expense of them and can make the cast ones for nothing. I get no leading with this load.
     
  23. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    Your 629 would love some alliant 2400, I would bet on it!
     
  24. sniperlongshot

    sniperlongshot Member

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    i'm into .45 longcolt, my hunting load for my old model vaquro is 10 grn of unique, for white tail dear in TX, it's really overkill, but it will work on an elk @100 yards if you have a good shot placement

    anyway, a good friend, who is much older than i am used to hunt solely with a superblack hawk, deer, hogs, bear etc.,

    his favorit/ and his friend liked to use a 44 spc case, with 10.5 grn of unique and a 240 grn 3/4jkt flat point will take the shoulder of a 300lb bore

    magnum primer, don't get to into it......if your going to buy 1000's of primers, us a fed 215 mag rifle primer, that's good for just about anything that will set if off.

    just make sure the gun your using is heavy enough to hold the presure, and in a big gun like a super blackhawk you'll find the recoil pleasant and managable
     
  25. TheCracker

    TheCracker Member

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    I agree 100%. If u want magnum performance get some 2400. Unique isn't going to get you to the same 44 mag levels. I use universal clays (basically same burn rate as unique) for plinking loads, 2400 for full power.
     
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