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Old August 9, 2021, 08:01 PM   #2
44 AMP
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 24,555
So, HOW did I get away with using the same charge in cases of assumed variable internal capacity with projectiles that differed in 3 weights?
well, to begin with, you're shooting SHOT, and your accuracy standard is minute of pheasant (in this case).

Next, the plastic shot capsule doesn't have the same resistance to the rifling that a lead of jacketed bullet does,

and third, and probably most important, you're shooting a lot LESS WEIGHT than the regular lead bullets.

The first old Speer manual I grabbed shows 8.0gr Unique as a max charge in the .44 Special with a 215gr bullet.

Your heaviest shot charge is only a bit over half that weight. It makes a considerable difference.

Also, always remember that listed max charges in the books are NOT the safety limit of the gun. They are well below that. So, even if you happen to accidently stick a toe over that line, you will not be eaten by dragons.

I'm fairly sure Speer's recommended charges on the old box are what they found gave the best shot performance, which isn't about the fastest speed, but about enough power and a decent pattern.

8gr Unique throws the 215 slug at about 1000fps from a 6.5" barrel in the old Speer book. SO, a 140gr-ish shot charge would likely be in the 12-1300fps range with that powder charge, and that is the standard operating velocity range of all shotguns shooting shot, because going faster results in patterns getting worse,

Add in the spin effect from the pistol's rifled barrel and a lighter charge might actually give a denser pattern, but since you got your limit of pheasants, I'd say what you used worked just fine.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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