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Old November 26, 1999, 05:28 AM   #1
Hal
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Join Date: October 9, 1998
Location: Ohio USA
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****DO NOT USE MY LISTED LOADS IN YOUR GUN!!!*** Goes without saying for 99.99% of the people here, but still worth repeating as I found out.


I bought a Lee factory crimp die thinking that my crimp wasn't tight enough as per the other 2 threads. Thursday morning I loaded up some rounds and headed out. The gun used for both is the Winchester Trapper .44 Mag.

Load 1 (six rounds)
New RP Rem primed brass
18.2 grain 2400
240 gr cast lead SWC
Lee Turret press/using Factory Crimp Die

Result: Signs of overpressure ie:flattened primer. The book (really the website) lists the max load some 2 grains higher, but with the factory crimp, even this shortened load is showing signs of being too hot. Good thing I reduced it from the load I used before. Recoil was also up there with the factory stuff, so I know I was at or near a level I didn't want for a plinking load.

Load 2
New RP Rem primed brass
9 gr Unique
240 FMJ
Lee Turret press/using Factory Crimp Die

What was that about Unique being dirty? Zero unburned powder, but a fair amount of soot. Very accurate. So accurate in fact, that this is the load I am after. Problem is the FMJ bullet. I wanted something cheaper like a cast lead, but this is such an accurate load I hate to stop using it. I may just grin and bear it as far as the extra cost of the FMJ goes. Mild accurate load that should do everything I want. Recoil did seem a bit more than the same load without the Lee FCD, but it's hard to tell.

Conclusion: Reduce loads when changing components. Any component, including dies. I know it goes without saying, but as above, it is worth repeating. I'm not sure if the switch from CCI primers to the Rem primers or the Lee FCD caused the difference. Maybe both did. One thing I did observer though was a lack of unburned powder. This leads me to believe the Lee FCD did a good job of getting a nice tight crimp, and letting the powder get all burned up just right. Well worth the $12.95 I paid for it. I roughly figure my cost per shot, using the FMJ, and the new primed brass, at $.22 to $.25 per shot. 'Bout half of the cost of factory JHP. Reusing the brass should cut that figure down for future loadings. Fun factor of loading your own accurate load is priceless though.

Equipment failure:
Yep, the handle came off the Lee press during this session and the little old hand held Lee Auto Prime is on it's last leg(I also loaded some .38's and had the Auto prime go during that process). I see a Dillon 550B in my future. No regrets over the $$ spent on the Lee stuff though, it did pay for itself in $$ and experience. FWIW, I would recommend someone just starting to go Dillon though, unless they plan to do a very small amount of reloading.
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Old November 26, 1999, 09:17 AM   #2
fal308
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When testing loads I usually use a pistol as they can take more pressure than my 1894 Marlin. Haven't checked the website but did it mention that these loads were only to be used in specific weapons (Superblackhawks, T.C Contender etc)? Some loading data is not meant for lever action rifles.
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Old November 26, 1999, 12:23 PM   #3
TheOtherMikey
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I don't see the point in loading to maximum unless for hunting where deep penetration in needed. For self defense, a lighter load would be desirable to reduce the chances of full penetration and collateral injuries.

Also, maximum loads are just plain unpleasant to shoot. I have loaded some heavy loads for my Blackhawks and shot a few just to see what it felt like but wouldn't like to shoot such loads on a regular basis.

I load with hardcast lead and increasing the load would require a gas check or semi-jacked bullet.

No offense intended....to each his own. Just my thoughts on the subject. Mikey

------------------
Retired, Broke, and In Need of Brass, Powder, and Shot. Will Work To Shoot!
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Old November 26, 1999, 02:06 PM   #4
Robert the41MagFan
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Join Date: November 18, 1999
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Hal,

You need to find yourself a chronograph in order to aid you. It is the best way to figure whether changes to your loads really benefit the gun. Another huge benefit is if you can recover the fired bullet for inspection. Lastly, do the changes increase accuracy? Those are the three things that ultimately determine whether these changes benefit or hurt.

And, speaking of hurt. I agree with Mickey, plinking with loads of that magnitude are not very fun. To each his own, certainly not for me.

Robert
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Old November 26, 1999, 06:39 PM   #5
Hal
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Mikey and Robert,
No offence taken. If you notice, I only loaded 6 rounds with this combo.I was trying to work up a heavy .44 Special/light .44 Mag load when this first started a little over a month ago. I ran into problems with keyholeing when using the Unique charge and the lead SWC bullets, so I switched over to 2400 and upped the load to a little less than 10%under max, given at the Alliant site. I am doing a sort of reverse loading, starting with a heavier load and working down to a good plinking load. Walt Welch and Jeff OTMG advised I step the load down even a bit more than I did, so with this batch I reduced my load even a bit more than before. The other load was over 19 gr, and I used the standard Lee seater/cripmer die, and CCI primers. Accuracy in that load was pretty good, but not as good as the Unique load. That first load showed no signs of being over pressure, and was a little milder than the factory stff, but a little heavier than the Unique load. if you are interested, you can find the other threads here under the same title.
I agree, light loads are the way to go for everyday shooting. Heavier loads just cause fatigue, bit in the gun and the shooter, or a least as far as I'm concerned. My ideal is to duplicate the Cowboy load as I find that very pleasant to shoot, and pretty easy on gun and shooter. We determined in the previous thread that becaus of the slow 1 in 30 something twist in the Lever Action, both .44Mag and .45 Colt, that the slug has to be going pretty fast to stabalize. Yeah a Chrony chronograph is high on my wish list, but there are a couple of things ahead of it, so the speed is going to remain a best guess for right now. Thanks for the input.

fal308,
These are the standard loads listed at Alliant web site, and cross checked by me in a cople of manuals. Not my manuals, but a friend looked up the powders for me before I started.

------------------
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[This message has been edited by Hal (edited November 27, 1999).]
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Old November 27, 1999, 04:16 PM   #6
Hal
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Ok, here is the final load.
This is a little heavier than the Cowboy load listed at Alliant.
240 gr cast SWC
6.2 gr Unique
Rem pre-primed brass w/Rem primer

Winchester Trapper

According to the Alliant data, this load should be in the 900 to 1000 fps range. Recoil is just a bit heavier than .44 Special, but nowhere near factory .44 mag loads. A good thing. Accuracy as far as I can tell is very good. I had 1 25 yard grop that was a little over 2 inches. A better shot with a rifle could undoubtedly do much better. No signs of overpressure, and pretty consistant to shoot. I think this is the one. I loaded up 10 rounds to see how it shot, and I'm pretty happy with what I got. I just finished loading 50 rounds that I will try out Sunday morning.

------------------
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Do what you C.A.N.

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Old November 28, 1999, 08:59 PM   #7
Brasso
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Join Date: October 28, 1999
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I find that using full powere loads all the time is not only more fun, but it makes for better marksmanship. Training yourself to shoot these loads without flinching really improves your skill with all weapons. Also, if I only use moderate loads most of the time, when it comes time to shoot the big stuff, I'm not going to be mentally prepared for the greater recoil that I know is coming. As for gun wear, the price of a Ruger SBH isn't really that much. If I wear one out, I'll just get another.

------------------
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Old November 29, 1999, 05:47 AM   #8
Hal
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Brasso,
Whatever works for you. I find a steady use of full magnum loads to be detrimental to my shooting skills. The trade off of cost per round vs the benefit just isn't there for me with this gun and ammo combination. Since 100% of the use of the Trapper is limited to ranges of 75 feet to 50 yards, and it's defensive role involves the use of .44Specials, full magnum loads are seldom if ever shot in it. Put simply, in this situation I would be solving a problem that didn't exist. I see no reason to beat myself or my rifle with heavy loads, in this case, on the idea that I may need to shoot a full magnum load at one point. Other guns and ammo combinations are a different story.
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