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Old November 10, 2012, 11:03 AM   #1
Ike666
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Setting up for .44 Special

I'm getting ready to set up for .44 Special. This will be a new cartridge for me. My primary purpose will be plinking and paper/steel. I'm loading for a Charter Bulldog (maybe some SAA after Christmas).

First, what is the better choice for a press. I've got a Forster Co-Ax and Lee Classic Turret. I won't be looking for high volume reloading and I like both presses equally well.

Second, what dies have people found to work well. I'm not opposed to using Lee dies, but am equally willing to spend more for higher quality dies.

Third, what powder/bullet combination have worked well for you in a 2.5-inch revolver.

I really like Trail Boss for plinking loads in .45 Colt. I'll be using commercial ammo for carry purposes, but would also like to match some of those loads for practice as well.

Any and all suggestions welcome.
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Old November 10, 2012, 12:05 PM   #2
mikld
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I have found Lee dies to be more than satisfactory for reloading my .44 Specials/Magnums for many years. I tried a Lee Factory Crimp Die, just out of curiosity, and it now lives in a landfill somewhere in Southern Oregon. While I haven't tried a Co-Ax press, I do load on a Lee turret and that suites me fine. I used a lot of Unique and W231 for my Specials with any cast SWC of 240-250 gr. I would keep the loads on the light side for a Charter Arms Bulldog and make sure you slug the barrel and cylinder throats so you can size/purchase bullets to fit your gun...

Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook has a lot of load data for .44 Specials with lead bullets.

OOPS! I just automatically thought of cast lead bullets 'cause I haven't reloaded a jacketed bullet in .44 cal. for nearly 18 years.
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Old November 10, 2012, 12:27 PM   #3
Ike666
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What happened with the Lee FCD? I've had good luck with mine in .45 Colt and 30-30.
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Old November 10, 2012, 01:37 PM   #4
joneb
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I'm using RCBS 44spl/44mag with the carbide sizer.
For a short barrel 44spl I use mostly 200gr bullets with W-231 or Accurate #5
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Old November 11, 2012, 06:58 PM   #5
McShooty
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Just thinking: Your loading for a Charter will probably not be high volume. If I had the aristocratic Forster Co-Ax, I would use it for everything when loading 50 rounds or less. The Lee turret will be faster for volume loading, I think. I would stick with Bullseye, 231, HP-38, etc. with bullets of 200 grains or less. Pleasant to shoot for plinkable rounds.
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Old November 12, 2012, 02:17 AM   #6
jamaica
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I would shop for dies with the carbide sizer. Any brand will be fine. I have loaded 44 spl for many years. 250 gr lead bullets and Unique powder works for me.
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Old November 12, 2012, 06:37 AM   #7
spacecoast
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My Lee dies (including the FCD) work great for .44 special, I doubt that the others are "higher quality", and if so I would like to know in what way.

I use 4.25 grains of Titegroup under a 225 gr. LRNFP bullet and it works great in my 629, very accurate. Titegroup is a fast powder so it should work well in a snubby too.
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Old November 12, 2012, 10:28 AM   #8
the Black Spot
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Check out the search function on this sight, or google "44 special pet loads"(wealth of info), or go here www.thehighroad.org go to the reload section and look for "44 special pet loads".
My own bulldog likes 5 gr of Bullseye with a 240 gr xtp bullet.
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Old November 12, 2012, 11:31 AM   #9
slugoo
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I use 200gr bullets from powder valley and my best powders have been solo 1000 and red dot, zip and pb are also very good for accuracy. 5.5 grains of red dot is a mild load that won't tear up your gun as i also shoot a charter bull and these are what works very good in it. Charlie
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