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Old March 2, 2000, 10:52 PM   #1
Airborne
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Join Date: December 11, 1999
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Greetings,
A lot of people would say that a 3" .44 Mag is a waste because major velocity can't be reached. I tend to agree to some extent, but still very much enjoy shooting this short and ported S&W 629. I like 240 grain bullets in this caliber, particularly Hornady XTP's.

Is it possible to get these 240's over 1150 fps without blowing lots of unburnt powder out the barrel? I've tried several different powders...Blue dot, AA #5, 7, and 9, WW231. I reach a certain point where more powder doesn't propel the bullet much faster, only gives a more religious experience, creating the impression of higher velocity. Chrony says otherwise. Incidently, this gun/load combination loves AA#5...around 14 grains under the 240 XTP. Accurate, and consistant as all get out velocities. Any thoughts on getting more velocity from this rig would be appreciated. (yes, I know lighter bullets, but that's not what I'm asking)
Best regards,
SM
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Old March 4, 2000, 08:25 PM   #2
WESHOOT2
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Join Date: February 20, 1999
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If you're using 240g XTP's you might consider seating them atop a stiff charge of W296, using CCI350 primers, and finishing with the superb accuracy-enhancing Redding Profile Crimp die.

W296 is the correct powder for heavy 44 loads. You will have unburned powder exiting the barrel, but ignore it.
Barrel length is not the critical issue; powder burn rate (W296) and dwell time (Redding crimp) is.

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Old March 4, 2000, 08:54 PM   #3
El Chimango Pete
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...and nothing wrong with the religious experience either - even though friend Chrony gets a dirty face. There will be a definite physical limit with burning rate, 'dwell' or crimp time and all the other factors that can affect the pressure curve in the short barrel. Keep us posted on how far you can push the envelope.
Peter K
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Old March 5, 2000, 10:18 PM   #4
Airborne
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Join Date: December 11, 1999
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Thanks for the replies,
I shot mostly .45's today, but to end the day just before dark, I touched off a few dozen 14.0 gr. of Blue Dot 240 XTP loads just for the fireball. My shooting buddies call it "Praying to the God of the giant blue flame!" It's really spectacular. Anyway, it isn't the fastest 240 load by any means, but boy is it exhilerating! They Chrony at around 1050 or so ave vel.

I'll look into the Redding profile crimp die as well. I don't have any 296 on hand, but I think I can borrow a cup from one of the neighbors. Maybe I'll get a chance to wind some new recipies downrange next weekend. I'll keep ya'll posted on my findings.
Best regards,
SM
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Old March 6, 2000, 01:08 AM   #5
Menos
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Join Date: March 21, 1999
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Well , I wouldn't go the 296 route personally, cause I don't need that much religion, plus its rather hard on Smiths as well. The burn rate and the peak pressure are significant on the stress and the "shaking loose" that smiths have been known to exhibit. I have no doubt that the XTP will perform at 950fps much less the 1050 your crony shows.

I tend to like to "hot load" 44S&W for the 3" barrel ( since I don't own a 44 S&W chambered revolver) load them to about 24 to 27 kpsi which is about 1000/1020 fps in the 240gr. uses less powder and the burn is hotter than downloading the 44mag. I stick with Unique for this job and it never fails me!

Try shooting your 1050 loads at wet phone books and see if you don't get excellent results.

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Old March 6, 2000, 07:56 AM   #6
Airborne
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Join Date: December 11, 1999
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Menos,
Thanks for the thoughts, as you've made some good points. It's not that the velocity range this gun averages won't yield excellent results with the 240 XTP's...for a self defense load against BG's they're right where I want them to be.

This whole velocity pushing the envelope thing is just a pet project for the fun of it. The faster burning powders yield the best results so far, but are topping out around 1150 fps. The slower burning powders like 296, AA #9, H110, with heavy bullets and heavy crimps beat on guns. However, my experimenting with #9 was that velocity was only average with a much greater "bang". I won't destroy my gun in the name of "fun"....I just want to find that "magic load" (My buddies are all satified with the Blue Dot...this one's for me!) Best regards,
SM
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