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Old February 20, 2012, 04:32 PM   #1
oldcars
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.44 special 185g Loads?

Hi, I have searched all my reloading manuals and found very little info on a good load for a 185 grain ( Moly coated lead flat point by Bear Creek) in a .44 special. The gun is a new Ruger .44 special Vaquero with a 4 5/8" barrel and I have tried lot's of different bullets and loads from 200g-245g ( even the "Skeeter" and "Keith" loads) and the little 185's are the only one I can get to group under 2" at 25 yards. I would like decent velocity without a huge muzzle blast. Just a nice mild-ish plinking/using load.The powders I have on hand are:
-Win. 231
-2400
-Blue dot
-Red dot
-Bullseye
-Unique
-Accurate #9
-Dupont P-5066
Any one with more experience than I have some info?
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Old February 20, 2012, 05:46 PM   #2
salvadore
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I loaded 180gr silver bullet co. for a 396 Mountain Lite using titegroup, max load from hodgen goes around 1000fps.
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Old February 20, 2012, 05:49 PM   #3
salvadore
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I'm using a 250gr Lee roundnose in my Ruger using 5.8gr of Unique. It's pretty accurate in my gun and I can put quite a few down range before my flinch kicks in. If ya wanted to try a heavier bullet again.
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Old February 20, 2012, 07:18 PM   #4
black mamba
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Try 5.5 and 6.0 gr. of 231. Should be accurate and burn clean, giving 950-1000 fps.
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Old February 20, 2012, 07:28 PM   #5
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Acurate#9 will give great velocity without the huge amount of flash. I use it a lot in .41 Mag.
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Old February 20, 2012, 09:04 PM   #6
joneb
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This may be of little use, my S&W 696 shoots very well with Nosler 200gr JHP and 6.5 or 6.7gr of W231 using WLP or Fed 150 primers respectively.
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Old February 21, 2012, 11:55 AM   #7
oldcars
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Thanks for the info so far, Out of the powders I have which one is best for the shorter 4 5/8" barrel ?
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Old February 21, 2012, 02:23 PM   #8
joneb
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Quote:
Out of the powders I have which one is best for the shorter 4 5/8" barrel ?
I think for the type of load your after W-231 and Unique would be my first choices, followed by Red Dot and Bullseye for lighter loads.

I am not familiar with P-5066 it must be about 40yrs old, do you have load data for this powder ?
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Old February 21, 2012, 07:16 PM   #9
Ozzieman
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http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load.asp

The Hodgdon web site has 44 special loads for bullets down to 165 GR.
I am a little surprised that your lighter bullets are more accurate. With all of my 44 specials and we are talking N frame smiths, Ruger Blackhawks a J.P. Sauer and Son, the 240 are always the most accurate, it’s the amount of bearing surface from bullet to lands contact.
I have never shot or handled Bear Creek, are they cast or swaged lead.
Not to push a manufacture you might try Penn, I have 240 GR out of a 3 inch barrel Smith. It’s a modified 28 that shoots 44 specials that will leave all 6 touching at 25 as long as it’s someone else shooting. With my eyesight, I can do that at about 15.
I have two favorite powders for 44 special. 1 is W231 and 2 is Herco.
http://www.pennbullets.com/44/44-caliber.html
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Old February 23, 2012, 01:45 AM   #10
oldcars
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Thanks for all the info guys ! I have tried four different 240 grain bullets and two 200's factory and handloads, jacketed and cast, and I had a hard time getting under 3" groups. When I tried the 185's, everything seemed to come together? My Smith 629 loves 240 grain loads, but not the Vaquero? Oh well, at least it shoots something accurately !
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Old February 23, 2012, 01:48 AM   #11
oldcars
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I will try that w-231 soon and see how it likes it. I think that p-5066 IS about 40 years old! It looks and smells fine & I have a couple pounds of it, none of the newer manuals even list it anymore.
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Old February 23, 2012, 03:11 AM   #12
joneb
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Quote:
I think that p-5066 IS about 40 years old! It looks and smells fine & I have a couple pounds of it, none of the newer manuals even list it anymore.
I would ask IMR they may know something.
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Old February 23, 2012, 12:07 PM   #13
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My .44 spl flat top is picky too. The only real accurate bullet I've found so far is the Speer 240 LSWC (swaged). I use Clays and 7625. Red Dot and Unique would be similar powders.

Here's some data.
http://www.handloads.com/loaddata/de...Powder&Source=
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Old February 23, 2012, 07:08 PM   #14
89blazin
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.44 Spl load

The moly coating makes this a little different animal. I'd get a hold of Bear Creek and get their recommendation. They make the darn things, so ought to be able to provide you some good data. I prefer Unique in my .44 Spl loads, but all I shoot is jacketed.
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Old February 24, 2012, 09:07 PM   #15
Ozzieman
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I’m slow, I just realized you were talking about a Ruger.
Try larger lead bullets.
In all my Rugers 44 and 45 I use the largest bullet that Penn makes. My old 45ACP/COLT Blackhawk couldn’t hit the side of a barn till I started using .454. Since then I use the largest diameter that they make. For the Special I use .432’s.
Do remember these are target or plinking loads only. I would not do this with maxed out loads.
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