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Old March 28, 2005, 12:25 PM   #1
bill k
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Powder suggestions for 44 mag

I use Unique powder for my 44 mag pistols and am very happy with my performance.
I'm going to load up some 44 mag for my winchester model 94, 44 mag. For those of you that remember, it's my rifle that shoots the 12 inch groups at 50 yards, larger at 100 yards with factory ammo.
I have both 200 grain and 240 grain bullets, any suggestions. My goal is to hit a target at 100 yards. If I could actually get a group of less than 3 inches at 100 yards I'd be estatic.
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Old March 28, 2005, 01:42 PM   #2
Robert M Boren Sr
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2400 has worked for me for years. I shoot the 240 gr bullets mostly and have on occasion shot some 225 and 250 grainers. I'm looking into the ramshot line of powders now though. Good luck.
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Old March 28, 2005, 01:50 PM   #3
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Hi Bill,
The original "best" powder for .44 Mag loads was 2400 and it still is good. However, W296 is even better (in my opinion). I believe W296 gives slighly higher velocities, meters like water, and yields excellent accuracy in my S&W revolvers. It also worked well in previously owned Marlin 1894 rifle. I would lean toward the heavier 240 gr bullet for rifle use but only test loads and shooting can determine which best suits your needs.

Good luck and be safe.

ps: You may have a defective rifle or an extremely bad bullet/load. Have you tried other bullets and loads? My S&W M629 revolvers with 6.5" barrels and 2X Leupold scopes will regularly shoot groups under 6" at 100 yds from bench rest using H&G 250gr cast bullets with W296 powder. When sighting in at 75 yds from rest, five shot groups are usually smaller than the palm of my hand.
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Old March 28, 2005, 02:35 PM   #4
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Bill, have you ever tried H110. It is a powder you will love or hate. I have extremely good luck with it with Hornady XTP HP 240 gr. I get 2-3 inch groups at 65 yards. It does have a lot of flash but it has never bothered me much.

I cann't figure why a 12 inch pattern with the "94". If you find the problem let us know.

Good Luck. I love reloading BTW!
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Old March 28, 2005, 04:33 PM   #5
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I have been loading for many years and have so many different types of powder around I can try it all if need be,I don't think I ever saw a rifle that grouped 12 inches at 50 yds.Several years ago a friend bought an older ruger 44 mag autoloader carbine that shot so poor he thought it needed a new barrel, come to find out the thing wouldn't shoot low or even medium velocity rnds.with any kind of accurracy but came to life with some hotter stuff. I believe you just haven't found what it likes yet,keep trying and good luck.
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Old March 28, 2005, 04:51 PM   #6
Shooter 973
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Powder for 44 mag.

I use a lot of Unique for my moderate loads in 44 Mag also but when I load full power loads I like Blue Dot. It's a flake powder a lot like Unique so it doesn't measure as well as the ball powders but it give me great performance and at somewhat lower charge weights than almost any other powder. I shoot 3 different Win. Trapper 94's with this powder, but if I'm loading for my Ruger Semi-auto's I use nothing but jacketed bullets and 296 powder. It's a lot cleaner load. I've also found that ALL of my 44 mag rifles like a fairly heavy bullet. 240-250's do the best. They really hate light bullets(180's) and don't shoot them worth a dang.
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Old March 28, 2005, 09:21 PM   #7
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I'd suggest WW296 or H110 and a jacketed bullet. Hornady's 240gr .44-caliber XTP pistol bullets have always given me great accuracy. Between 3 pistols and 2 rifles, it is rare for this combination to not want to cloverleaf or at least print relatively close together. My pet .44 load is a 240gr XTP, WLP primer, and a max-dose of WW296 (from the freebie Winchester data book) which is around 24 grains. Very hot though, I'd be surprised if it chrono'ed at less than 1400fps from a 6" revolver. Should smoke out of your Winchester.
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Old March 28, 2005, 11:12 PM   #8
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I load for a .44-40, was getting 8-10" at 100yds, finally slugged the barrel, the groove was .429, but the chamber is too small to accept a loaded round with a .429 bullet, so I made a sizer to .428 and have it shooting 2" at 50 yds or less.
The factory 200gr is .426 and is a waste of time, the 8-10" at 100yds again, 200gr lrnfp at .428 do ok, under 3" at 50 yds, with 8.5gr Universal, 1240fps, 240 swc gc with IMR 4227 at 1650 fps do under 2" at 50yds and 310gr fn gc at 1350fps with H110 do the same, all are game loads at 100yds.
This is with the old 1910 factory sights and my 64 yr old eyes.
Slug your bore and find out what the groove diameter is, then find a jacketed bullet to match, or start casting and make them .001 or .002 " over groove diameter.
2400, IMR 4227 and H110 all do nicely with heavier loads.
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Old March 28, 2005, 11:28 PM   #9
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If your '94 is an older one like mine, it has a rediculous 1 in 30something (36?) rate of twist. That plays hell with the longer heavier bullets.
Shorten up on the bullets some. Try some 180 gr. factory ammo and see how they shoot.
I've had marginal success with 2400 and Unique.
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Old March 29, 2005, 01:11 AM   #10
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For moderate loads, try Titegroup. You'll like it better than Unique.

For full house, the standard bearer is H110.
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Old March 29, 2005, 01:43 AM   #11
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I prefer WW296 (or it's twin H110) for full powered .44 Magnum loads.
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Old March 29, 2005, 05:52 AM   #12
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Over the past 20 years or so I've tried a lot of powders in the 44 Mag, keep coming back to Hodgdon H110.
For rifle loads I really like Speer's 270gr Gold Dot soft point. Superb whitetail bullet.

Take Care
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Old March 29, 2005, 08:55 AM   #13
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Try hotter loads of 4227 or 2400. These are the best 2 powders I have used in my 14 " TC Contender .44 mag.

I know that this what I am about to type will seem stupid when you first read it, but please think about it a while before judging the rest of this post as just being ignorant.

Most loading manuals are going to have the .44 mag. handgun (much shorter barrel than a .44 mag. rifle) loads listed, so start at the max. load and slowly work upwards from there. You should quickly find an all rite load using one of those powders, and working your load up in this fassion. That is what I had to do with my Contender. It straight out will not shoot anything under what most manuals call a max. load. I found out why when I purchased the TC manual with the loads for the longer barrel. Most of the loads listed in this manual start at 2-3 grains hotter than what the others manuals claim to be max. loads.
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Old March 29, 2005, 04:06 PM   #14
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I also use W296 and have been very happy with it.
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Old March 29, 2005, 08:07 PM   #15
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I also prefer W296 for full-power .44 mag loads.
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Old March 29, 2005, 09:41 PM   #16
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I've burned a lot of 2400 over the years so it's my fitst choice. H110 is good too.
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Old March 29, 2005, 09:55 PM   #17
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A friend of mine uses AA 9, WW 296, and Blue Dot for his .44 Mag. loads.

His Blue Dot loads are pretty vicious.
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Old April 3, 2005, 07:25 AM   #18
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I use Unique for my moderate loads (lead) and Blue Dot for my serious loads (jacketed). The Blue Dot loads shoot very well out of my Winchester 94-44 mag. Happy Trails.
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