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44 special handloads in 44 mag brass
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 Posted: Mon Jan 9th, 2012 04:33 PM
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pmn
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My local range won't let me shoot 44 mag but does allow 44 special. So I thought I'd cook up some 44 special rounds in 44 mag brass. I am shooting a 6.5" bbl SW 629 Classic.

Components:
WW (my own once fired) and Starline (new) 44 mag brass
Nosler 240 JHP
Winchester #7 large pistol primers (WLP)
Alliant Unique powder

Checked the Lyman guide (no 240 JHP but did have 245 lead which doesn't translate to jacketed I don't think)
Checked Hornady handbook
Checked Alliant powder website
Nosler website didn't have data for Unique

So, between the Hornady and Alliant data there was a big gap between loads for the same bullet and powder. I ended up using the Alliant data 7.6gr which was lower than Hornady's by nearly 2gr. However, they used CCI primers not Winchester. My COL ended up being about .030 shorter than the Hornady handbook stated when I lined up the case mouth with the middle/upper part of the crimp groove. Variation of the dropped powder was .3gr according to my Hornady electronic scale (that's not +/- .3 but generally -.1 to plus .2)

So, my question is, how anal do you get with following some exact published recipe down to the primer / bullet / powder when different sources have different loads? Given that I am 'down loading' a 44 special load to shoot in my 44 mag firearm I am comfortable with what I came up with but am looking for a little reassurance.

My thinking is that if I were loading 44 magnum loads, I would work from the lowest published up toward the max published and look for pressure signs along the way. Given that I am well below 44 mag published data in general I am confident in my choices.



 Posted: Mon Jan 9th, 2012 05:25 PM
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swampshooter
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At the pressures that you are loading your current loads at you don't need to be at all specific. I loaded 7.5 grs. of unique in .44 mag. cases for several years with 240gr. cast bullets for shooting bowling pins. It's a fine load. I just used whatever LP pistol primers that I had on hand and never noticed any difference.



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 Posted: Mon Jan 9th, 2012 09:26 PM
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rainyday
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be careful on how low of a powder charge you go on a mag case. max charge of unique is 11.0 grains with a 240, which is what i shoot. personnaly i wouldnt go below 9 grains on a mag case. i have been picking up 44 spl cases to use for plinking. if i remember right its about 6 grains on a spl case with unique



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 Posted: Tue Jan 10th, 2012 12:14 AM
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swampshooter
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Why not go below 9 grs. of Unique in a .44 mag. case?



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 Posted: Tue Jan 10th, 2012 02:12 AM
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rainyday
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the powder can fall below the level of the primer and possibly cause a reaction like a shaped charge

 

note the word possibly

Last edited on Tue Jan 10th, 2012 02:13 AM by rainyday



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 Posted: Tue Jan 10th, 2012 02:39 AM
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fryboy
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shaped charge or SEE ( secondary explosion effect ) here's my take on it , no matter what you load in a 44 magnum case the case is still going to be in that mag case you can load it down or up but ....the case is still a 44 mag and unless you know the range owner etc ... worse even then joe blow off the street mite see you and think " gee i can do mags too " , there is quite a bit of differences in the start charges ( as well as max loads of course ) like rainyday i also load about every special case i got for plinking but load them with cowboy action type loads , while it's true some powders reduce well please stay within published data for cases ( it's much much less problematic this way )



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 Posted: Tue Jan 10th, 2012 03:10 AM
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RobertMT
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I load 44sp loads in my mag brass, I just seat bullet .120" deeper and use 44sp data. As far as the range rule against 44mag, why? Noise? Target damage? or just because? If the brass says 44mag, range would most likely consider it that, even if only loaded to 44sp levels. You could easily load 44sp brass to mag levels and still be in compliance with rules. This is why such rules are silly, at best, dangerous at worse.



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 Posted: Tue Jan 10th, 2012 04:35 AM
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rainyday
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who knows why ranges come up with such rules. a range by me dosent allow for more than 1 round at a time for semi autos. i dont go there do to that rule. if some one was rapid firing, i can understand that not being allowed



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 Posted: Tue Jan 10th, 2012 09:51 AM
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pmn
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They only ask what you are shooting. I put the cartridges in a MTM case with my load data written on it. That has worked in the past with my 357. Nope, can't shoot that there either but I can shoot 38 special loads in 357 brass. The range was built a long time ago then houses sprang up around it. The do-gooders have tried for years to shut them down but haven't succeeded yet. One concession the range has made is limiting the noise by banning magnum loads.

Hornady handbook says 5.6gr of Unique for 44 special; Alliant says 7.6. I went with the Alliant data mostly because it was well below the 11 of a 44 mag and half fills the case.



 Posted: Tue Jan 10th, 2012 12:57 PM
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If an S.E.E. or a pressure excursion can occur when loading Unique in a straight wall pistol case I've never heard of it. I've loaded extremely light charges of Unique, so light that I got an occasional blooper and stuck the bullet in the barrel, but nothing ever occurred that even resembled a pressure excusion. I'd be leary of reduced charges of H-110 or 296. I've used Unique for reduced loads in a .458 and they've worked out good.

You will get large velocity variations with extra light charges of Unique, that's why I abandoned these loads, but nothing dangerous ever occured. Velocity variations were commonly 150 fps. This will cause excessive vertical stringing of your groups. Bullseye will work better for extremely light charges. 6 grs. of Bullseye with a cast bullet makes a good load. Velocity with a 240 cast bullet in my 6 1/2" #29 is about 950fps.

The large case causes light charges to string vertically. That's why I wound up trimming cases to .44 spec. or .44 Russion length. Your idea of deep seating bullets should accomplish the same thing.

Last edited on Tue Jan 10th, 2012 01:36 PM by swampshooter



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 Posted: Tue Jan 10th, 2012 01:07 PM
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wheezengeezer
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About the only danger of an underload would be a bullet stuck in a barrel.Especially with a jacketed bullet.



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 Posted: Tue Jan 10th, 2012 04:12 PM
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Paul B
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rainyday wrote:
the powder can fall below the level of the primer and possibly cause a reaction like a shaped charge

 

note the word possibly

I did note the word and all I will say is "Horsepucky!":lol:

Now regarding .44 Spl. Loads in .44 mag. brass, been there done that and will probably do that again. :thumbs: Personally, I would not waste the money on jacketed bullets for those lighter loads. There's no need. hell! I don't even use jacketed bullets in my full power .44 Mag. loads consisting of a 250 gr. Elmer Keith cast bullet over 24.0 gr. of W296 or 20 gr. of Alliant #2400.
My suggestion would be to pick up 100 rounds of .44 Spl. brass, some 240/250 gr. cast bullets, stick 7.5 gr. of Unique in those cases, stuff the bullet in place and enjoy the heck out of Skeeter Skelton's pet .44 Spl. load. That's what I use in my S&$ M624 and a sweeter load you'll never find. Use that same load in .44 Mag. brass and you'll be pretty close to what a factory .44 Spl. does.
The only drawback to using .44 Spl. brass in the magnum is you'll have to clean the chambers very thoroughly to remove the carbon ring left from shooting the shorter brass. Just the same deal as when you shoot .38 Spl. in a .357 mag. chamber. Truly a minor PITA. :lol::wink:
Using the Spl. brass just might save you from having a hassle with the rangemaster so you might give that some consideration. FWIW, Skeeter's load is no pussycat deal. It does a serious number on coyotes and javalina in my neck of the woods yet is quite pleasand to shoot in my 6.5" 624. In my S&W 629, it's a real pussycat due to the extra weight of the .44 mag. revolver and in my two Ruger Redhawks, (5.5" and 7.5" barrels) recoil is like a warm .38 Spl. My wife just loves that load in my 624.:wink:
Paul B.



 Posted: Tue Jan 10th, 2012 07:38 PM
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pmn
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My next step is to gather the things I need to cast my own bullets. :) The two ranges I use have differing rules: one you can shoot 44 mag but no cast bullets, the other you can't shoot 44 mag but CAN shoot cast bullets. Once the outdoor range opens again, I will be able to shoot whatever....



 Posted: Tue Jan 10th, 2012 09:22 PM
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rainyday
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paul, since you dont want to believe me, check out some back issues of handloader magazine and some others. shaped charges occuring has been discussed. just because it hasnt happened to you or some one you know, dosent mean it hasnt happened or cant happen.



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 Posted: Wed Jan 11th, 2012 06:03 PM
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Paul B
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rainyday wrote:
paul, since you dont want to believe me, check out some back issues of handloader magazine and some others. shaped charges occuring has been discussed. just because it hasnt happened to you or some one you know, dosent mean it hasnt happened or can't happen.

When I said "Horsepucky." it was in reference to handgun rounds in straight sided brass. In reference to bottleneck cartidges, I will agree with you 100 percent when using slow powders like WMR, 4350 or one of the 4831s. I think it would be very difficult to have SEE, PEP or DDT happen in a straight walled shell. However, I suppose one should never say never, but that's why our opinions differ.
FWIW, the two worst offending cartrdiges are the .243 Win. amd &mm Rem. mag. Don't ask me why cuz I don't know. :confused: I just remember that from an article on the subject in one of the HANDLOADER Magazines I have laying around the house. :thumbs:
For me, "shaped charge" refers to working with stuff like C4. :lol: I have been reloading since 1954 and in the mid 70's loaded custom ammo for customers as a paying business. I've never blown a primer or a customer's gun. I've only had one case head separation in all thpose years and it was from a factory load in a brand new Ruger M77 chambered to the .35 Whelen. According to my gunsmith, the headspacing on that rifle is way out of line.
I have experimented wit loads in a .45 ACP revolver (1917 S&W) with loads as light as 1.5 gr. of Bullseye. No problems. Shot one into a 2x4 at three feet and the bullet, a 185 gr. wadcutter embedded half way into the wood. I was hoping that load would be quiet enough to shoot in the basement of the house I was living in at the time. That was a load I thought might have potential for problems, more likely a bullet stuck in the barrel.
Guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on the subject.:wink: Ya'll have a good day. :thumbs:
Paul B.



 Posted: Wed Jan 11th, 2012 07:13 PM
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pmn
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1.3" at 30 feet with no rest - and the guys at the range didn't complain. This was a good way to blow off a little stress at lunch today!

Attachment: 44at30ft.JPG (Downloaded 57 times)



 Posted: Wed Jan 11th, 2012 08:44 PM
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swampshooter
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That looks good pmn, glad it worked out for you. Looks like both gun and load are keepers.



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 Posted: Wed Jan 11th, 2012 09:01 PM
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pmn
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swampshooter wrote:
That looks good pmn, glad it worked out for you. Looks like both gun and load are keepers.

Thanks! I'm thinking so too :-) I have run out of sight adjustment to the right; don't know if it's me or the gun but I think if I can group like that it might be the gun/sights.

Phil

Last edited on Wed Jan 11th, 2012 09:02 PM by pmn



 Posted: Wed Jan 11th, 2012 10:55 PM
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wheezengeezer
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Paul B wrote: rainyday wrote:
the powder can fall below the level of the primer and possibly cause a reaction like a shaped charge

 

note the word possibly

I did note the word and all I will say is "Horsepucky!":lol:

Now regarding .44 Spl. Loads in .44 mag. brass, been there done that and will probably do that again. :thumbs: Personally, I would not waste the money on jacketed bullets for those lighter loads. There's no need. hell! I don't even use jacketed bullets in my full power .44 Mag. loads consisting of a 250 gr. Elmer Keith cast bullet over 24.0 gr. of W296 or 20 gr. of Alliant #2400.
My suggestion would be to pick up 100 rounds of .44 Spl. brass, some 240/250 gr. cast bullets, stick 7.5 gr. of Unique in those cases, stuff the bullet in place and enjoy the heck out of Skeeter Skelton's pet .44 Spl. load. That's what I use in my S&$ M624 and a sweeter load you'll never find. Use that same load in .44 Mag. brass and you'll be pretty close to what a factory .44 Spl. does.
The only drawback to using .44 Spl. brass in the magnum is you'll have to clean the chambers very thoroughly to remove the carbon ring left from shooting the shorter brass. Just the same deal as when you shoot .38 Spl. in a .357 mag. chamber. Truly a minor PITA. :lol::wink:
Using the Spl. brass just might save you from having a hassle with the rangemaster so you might give that some consideration. FWIW, Skeeter's load is no pussycat deal. It does a serious number on coyotes and javalina in my neck of the woods yet is quite pleasand to shoot in my 6.5" 624. In my S&W 629, it's a real pussycat due to the extra weight of the .44 mag. revolver and in my two Ruger Redhawks, (5.5" and 7.5" barrels) recoil is like a warm .38 Spl. My wife just loves that load in my 624.:wink:
Paul B.

I am with Paul.I have 2 SBH's,old and new model.Havent shot them copper lookin things from them for about 30 years. 7gr 231 with a 200 gr cast for the light stuff.24 gr H110 and any 240 to 250 cast SWC for serious work.Shot some 300 flat base at 1350 and decided it was more than I need .Got a 250K RCBS mould and it iz the shitz.



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 Posted: Thu Jan 12th, 2012 03:28 AM
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while i wonder about the story behind these foto's ( seems i recall seeing another set of foto's that looked either similar or identical to these ) i saw a 45 colt that had blown up - i wasnt behind the trigger but i was on the other side of the table .....it looked pretty much like this one

http://www.thedailysheeple.com/chinese-ammunition-disarming-americans-one-gun-at-a-time_012012

the 45 colt was a buddy's of mine , he had reloaded the shell ,it had lead boolits and while some speculate it was a double charge i've personally always found him to be a meticulous reloader , thankfully examples these arent the norm but finding out the hard way that your's is the one that isnt the norm kinda sucks
but both it and the 44 mag in the fotos ( at least that's what it looks like to me ) were/are straight walled cartridges and i know that because you or i managed to do something successfully in no way means that mary,marv or mike can also do the same thing , there are nuances to varying degrees - the biggest IMHO is the reloader's individual practices followed by the normal differences in lot #'s of components as well as chamber and barrel differences - any data is a guide - it may or may not be safe for other firearms or reloaders [shrugz]



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