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Old September 12, 2012, 10:14 PM   #1
jaredb03
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Reloading 44 Mag question

I've been reloading 9mm, and 223 for about 2 years now, and i recently bought an 8" 44 mag raging bull. I love the gun and is really fun to shoot. This is my first large caliber pistol that i am trying to reload for and i had a couple questions.
I have been buying Winchester 44's from walmart that are about $40 for 50, and i built up enough brass that i am ready to start reloading. So i went out and got all the reloading stuff, and 3 different types of bullets. 200gr Lead round flat tip, 240gr lead SWC, and 240gr FMJ flat tips. Loaded the 200gr with 7gr win 231, and both 240gr with just under 10gr win 231(all inside the specs from hodgdon site).
The problem i am having is they don't have much power behind. The factory rounds I've been buying from walmart have a lot of kick and you can feel it when you shoot them, and i was wanting that feeling in my reloads not for them to feel like 9mm. I haven't been crimping as i never have on pistols, and was wondering if that would change anything? I don't know what a safe amount of win 231 would be to put in. Also I have red dot, varget, and unique powder available to use. Thanks for any help in advance.
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Old September 12, 2012, 10:26 PM   #2
black mamba
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All of your powders are too fast for top velocities in the 44 mag except Varget, which is a rifle powder and way too slow.

I prefer Accurate 4100 or Ramshot Enforcer (both the same powder, just labeled differently). They give top velocities, burn super clean, meter beautifully out of powder measures, and do not require magnum primers to ignite. You can check their online guides for loads.

http://www.accuratepowder.com/wp-con...d_data_3.5.pdf

http://www.ramshot.com/wp-content/up...dgun_rifle.pdf
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Old September 12, 2012, 10:39 PM   #3
jaredb03
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Thanks for the quick reply. Will that powder give the umph im looking for? The way im loading it now doesn't effect the accuracy it just feels like shooting a 9mm out of a 4 pound gun.
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Old September 12, 2012, 10:52 PM   #4
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296/110 pretty much the same thing from same company Hogdon/Winchester. That will work real good if you want that "feeling." I like more pedestrian ammunition - something with Unique.
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Old September 12, 2012, 11:20 PM   #5
45YearsShooting
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Titegroup, 231 and Unique are for low-velocity loads in the 44 mag, something like 6.5 grains of Titegroup with a 240 gr cast bullet, giving about 1000 fps in my S&W 629 at 8000 feet elevation at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. I would not load a cast bullet much faster than that.

If you want a real "magnum" load, you have to use a slower powder. Something like 22 to 24 grains of H110 pushing a 240 grain jacketed bullet to about 1400 fps. Beware that 24 grains is a maximum load and should be approached with caution. Also make sure to clean any leading out of the barrel if you were shooting cast bullets before the jacketed ones.

If you don't have a good reloading manual, make sure you get one. The Speer manual is a good one.
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Old September 12, 2012, 11:29 PM   #6
45YearsShooting
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I also recommend doing a roll crimp on that round, especially when using real magnum loads. Besides the obvious reason for doing this, it supposedly gives more consistent velocities, although I have never tested this.
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Old September 12, 2012, 11:36 PM   #7
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45Years - good info. Do you live at 8,000 feet? Must be nice. I'm 60 years shooting but even 15 years ago I couldn't live or even stay long at that altitude. In 1981 I was getting nosebleeds and headaches in Estes Park.

I was gonna tease you about your velocity measurement in that thinner air.
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Old September 13, 2012, 12:19 AM   #8
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Lyman say 9.1 to 12.6 of 231 with a 200 gr lead boolit. You'd probably have a good plinking load at 10.0 grains. The 240's are going to do better with a slower powder like 2400. You absolutely have to crimp them for a revolver. I would advise against you trying H110/296 yet because it can be touchy, and you sound like a newbie to reloading. A newbie without a manual and a 44 Mag?!

Go buy a manual, and a LB of 2400. 2400 is a very forgiving powder to load with and works very well with lead boolits. Especially in 44 Mag. A good powder for you to learn on.
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Old September 13, 2012, 06:10 PM   #9
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For heavy loads, use a 240 grain jacketed on top of Alliant 2400 or Hodgdon H110.

Hodgdon warns that you should not reduce H110:

Quote:
Reduce H110 and Winchester 296 loads 3% and work up from there. H110 and Winchester 296 if reduced too much will cause inconsistent ignition. In some cases it will lodge a bullet in the barrel, causing a hazardous situation (Barrel Obstruction). This may cause severe personal injury or death to users or bystanders. DO NOT REDUCE H110 LOADS BY MORE THAN 3%.
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Old September 13, 2012, 06:18 PM   #10
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Some years ago I settled on just exactly two loads for my .44 magnum. The first is a good cast 240 grain wheelweight bullet over 19.0 grains of Alliant 2400. This gives over 1300 fps from my Ruger and does what I expect a .44 magnum to do.

The other load uses .44 Special brass with that same bullet. Use 7.5 grains of Unique and in my gun the bullet leaves the barrel at 970 fps. It's a little stouter than the old factory loads for the .44 Special, but doesn't overly stress the revolver. Truth be told, that's the load that I use for about 95% of my .44 shooting and it seems to do everything that I want done.
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Old September 13, 2012, 10:02 PM   #11
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I have two loads for my 44. First is a plinking load, it is 6 grains of Unique under a home cast 240 grain SWC. even in my 329PD that is super light they are quite pleasant. My big boy load (what I carry when hunting) is a home cast 270 grain RNFP that I load over 19 grains of 296, it is quite snappy in that light revolver. You could probably handle a few more grains as the 19 is right at the minimum. I always put a good crimp on my loads, even the light ones.
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Old September 14, 2012, 08:11 AM   #12
Rifleman1776
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I have loaded many thousands of rounds for my .44 mag.
Your objective of getting more recoil is, indeed, bizarre. I hesitate to share my loads with you.
I'll say this, for low velocity, low recoil loads I use 231 and light charges.
For most other rounds I have pretty much settled on H110 although several other powders do perform well.
My favorite bullets are Keith style SWC in extra-hard cast lead. All the weights you mention will perform well with proper loads.
From your question and statements, I surmise you have not referenced a reloading manual. That is the first, and most important, piece of equipment a reloader should acquire.
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Old September 14, 2012, 10:44 PM   #13
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I have been shooting 44 mag loads of 240 gr 24 gr H110/W296 for 12 years.
That is probably the most widely used 44 mag load.
It kicks like a mule, but does not hurt.
I should probably increase it for the rifle and decrease it for the revolver, but it is fun the way it is, and H110 smells good when it burns. And it is nice not to have to keep the ammo separated.
My brother can't stand 24 gr 240 gr 44 mag because it kicks too hard.
I won't shoot a 454, because I know I don't want any more recoil than that 44 mag.
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Old September 14, 2012, 11:38 PM   #14
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W296/H110 works very well for what you are looking for. If you find the recoil a bit much, may I suggest IMR 4227. IMR 4227 is also a little more forgiving than 296/110.
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Old September 15, 2012, 10:35 AM   #15
oldpapps
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" jaredb03
Reloading 44 Mag question
I've been reloading 9mm, and 223 for about 2 years now, and i recently bought an 8" 44 mag raging bull. I love the gun and is really fun to shoot. This is my first large caliber pistol that i am trying to reload for and i had a couple questions.
I have been buying Winchester 44's from walmart that are about $40 for 50, and i built up enough brass that i am ready to start reloading. So i went out and got all the reloading stuff, and 3 different types of bullets. 200gr Lead round flat tip, 240gr lead SWC, and 240gr FMJ flat tips. Loaded the 200gr with 7gr win 231, and both 240gr with just under 10gr win 231(all inside the specs from hodgdon site).
The problem i am having is they don't have much power behind. The factory rounds I've been buying from walmart have a lot of kick and you can feel it when you shoot them, and i was wanting that feeling in my reloads not for them to feel like 9mm. I haven't been crimping as i never have on pistols, and was wondering if that would change anything? I don't know what a safe amount of win 231 would be to put in. Also I have red dot, varget, and unique powder available to use. Thanks for any help in advance.
"

It is my view that 231 is an excellent light pistol/target powder for the .44 Mag. However, that is 'light' loads.
As stated in other posts, your desire for more 'oomph' will require a different powder. Also previously stated you powder selection dose not include one that will give you what you want.

Next. I don't care for 2 out of 3 of the bullets you have selected. My opinion is after you burn up the 200 gr lead, don't fool with them again (go to heavier bullets if anything). As for the 240 FMJs, why? They just punch through by design.
My view is a 240 lead SWC for 'light' loads. I use 5.6 grains of 231 for around 640FPS and my granddaughters love to shoot them. And for that 'sting' you are wanting, 240 grain JHPs loaded with a suitable powder. There are many out there; 296/H110, 2400, Accur 9 & 7 and more (you can find them in a good loading book). I use a suitable loading of WW630 from an old stock that I have (as it dwindles I will have to move on to H110, but I have been thinking of working on 'Lit Gun' but it is not listed anyplace that I have seen).

The point is unless you want to use great effort to build a lead bullet load to the pressure levels that will give you the 'oomph' you are looking for (and an excellent hunting load also with heavier bullets), just use a suitable jacketed bullet with slower burn rate pistol powder. So get several loading books and study the data. It is not rocket science, it is fun.

Be safe and enjoy,

OSOK
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Old September 15, 2012, 12:02 PM   #16
buck460XVR
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Are those 240gr FMJ-FPs jacketed or plated?

Yes, in a revolver you need to crimp into a cannelure unless it is a powder puff load...and even then, you will need sufficient neck tension to hold the bullet under recoil. The bigger the bang, the firmer the crimp. In slow burning powders like H110/W296, one needs a consistent firm crimp to insure consistent burn for best accuracy.


Following published loads the use of H110/W296 is no more dangerous for a newbie reloader than any other powder. No powders should be used outside published recipes by new reloaders(or old reloaders for that matter). H110/W296 have narrow parameters, but perform very well when used within those parameters and are very safe. They are actually safer than many powders because they are virtually impossible to double charge because of the volume one uses. Anywhere between 23 and 24 gr under any 240 jacketed bullet and you are safe. IMR4227 and 2400 are also great powders if one wishes a little less velocity that H110/W296, with IMR4227 proving to be a little more accurate for me in my firearms. It also can be downloaded safely to mid level loads when one is tired of full power loads.
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Old September 15, 2012, 12:04 PM   #17
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.44 Magnum is my all time favorite cartridge. I've loaded everything from Bullseye to H110/W296 but settled on two powders for heavy loads; 2400 and Blue Dot. All my .44 Magnum reloads get a firm roll crimp or a Redding Profile Crimp. As noted above get a manual and decide how much you wanna put in each case. I disconinued my use of H110/W296 because the load "window" is narrow and I wasn't comfortable just throwing a load, I measured them all. AA9 is also a popular powder for heavy .44 loads and I'm also using some WC820 (my batch is about 10% slower than H110). I seem to be going the opposite way as the OP; I'm going for lighter kicking loads and even tried Trail Boss with 265 RNFPs in my .44 Puma...
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Old September 15, 2012, 12:15 PM   #18
Nathan
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Simply put, for more recoil and velocity, you need a powder like:
Heavy loads: AA#9, Enforcer, 2400 or h110.

Longshot, might be good for intermediate loads.

231, AA#5, Unique and Titegroup for light loads sounds about right.

Last edited by Nathan; September 17, 2012 at 10:52 AM.
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Old September 15, 2012, 11:19 PM   #19
black mamba
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Longshot is good for intermediate loads, but Accurate #9 is at least as good as 2400 is for heavy loads, and Enforcer is even better. Check their data in the two links in my post #2 of this thread.
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