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Old January 4, 2006, 04:34 PM   #1
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.44 Magnum Garrett loads?

Warning: Hot loads discussed here.

My gun is a redhawk 5.5" .44magnum.

I have shot up to a 240gr LSWC with 25.0gr of Winchester 296 powder in a compressed charge from this gun, per the Lee loading manual. Also have shot same bullet in max H110 load (can't remember load off the top of my head, it was last year for H110 and this year is 296).

With 296, the case sticks on extraction and the primer is completely flattened. Signs of very high pressure.

I have extended my bullet seating depth so my OAL has gone from 1.600 to 1.625, and maybe it's just my imagination, but the pressure seems a little bit less. The cases stick a little less on extraction, but the primers are still completely flattened. Cartridge still feels very controllable.

Is it safe to continue extending the cartridge OAL by bringing the bullet forward little by little? Accuracy doesn't seem to be suffering, if anything it is getting better. Not sure if it's loading technique or just more practice.

And, if it is safe to continue extending OAL, can I increase powder charge, since I am working in a redhawk?

Can anyone cite a reference to "ruger DA's, Dan Wesson DA's, Taurus Raging Bulls and TC Contenders" loads that have been printed specifically for super-hot .44mag+P extended OAL loads that border on .445 supermag loads? Any good books out there that give me load data for super-hot .44mag data?
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Old January 4, 2006, 04:39 PM   #2
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Also, is 296 the powder to use for something like this? Maybe H110? Something else?

I'm not in any hurry to get to 25.1grains and blow my gun up.

I do want to figure out how to handload monsters similar to Corbon or Garrett or Buffalo Bore, however. Garrett flat-out says they do it by extending cartridge OAL in guns that can accomodate that and increasing powder charge. They also re-balanced the bullet to be more front-weight heavy.

Experiences, anyone? Good books to read for something like this?
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Old January 4, 2006, 06:45 PM   #3
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the hard extraction is telling you something loud and clear that the load is too HOT. I would back off several grains of powder for starters. th3 44 mag doesn't need to be loaded that hot for any reason.
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Old January 4, 2006, 08:17 PM   #4
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.44 Maggie-

PMC brass is best period, 296 and H-110 are made by the same powder manufactuer and sold under the two names....same stuff aside from very minor lot variations.
the reletively new Lil Gun gives more velocity and less pressure than h-110/296, that may solve the sticky extraction OR you may have rough chambers.
My proven .44 Maggie bear load is 23.0 H-110/296 under a LBT 330gnLFN for about 1300fps from a five inch 629 S&W
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Old January 4, 2006, 08:18 PM   #5
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1. You are NEVER going to produce loads that are as powerful and safe as the loads from Buffalo Bore, CorBon, etc. because you don't have access to pressure testing equipment.

2. If you continue on your current path, by using seat of the pants reloading methods, you are going to learn some very hard lessons. If you need more .44 mag power, than the reliable loading manuals indicate, go to a bigger cartridge...445 SM, 444 Marlin (BFR), 450 Marlin (BFR), 500 S&W. Don't try your homegrown recipes for jacking up the .44 mag beyond it's design limitations. You are treading on VERY thin ice. I don't care how strong the Redhawk is.....any firearm can be destroyed through reckless handloading.
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Old January 5, 2006, 08:32 AM   #6
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Okay guys...

I'll leave it be and look into a different cartridge if I want more power.
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Old January 11, 2006, 06:16 PM   #7
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I have read 296 and H110 are pretty much the same thing. I was loading 240jhp with 25.4gr H110 last year(I think 24.0 is the max listed) and getting slightly flattened primers, but not cases sticking in the cylinder, I wonder why you are getting that? Difference in bullet or crimp? I was shooting these out of a 4" 629 and getting over 1600fps IIRC(cant find my book), but I find loading slightly lighter is a bit more pleasurable to shoot, and flattened primers are bad for business.

Look into a 454! I might get a Super Redhawk in 454, that looks like it could be great to reload for once you top out 44mag and want more. Lots of room to grow there.

EDIT: Im using Remington brass, and I dont recommend exceeding the recommended limits for H110 or 296 like I did, I wont be doing that again.
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Old January 12, 2006, 12:22 AM   #8
Harley Quinn
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If you change brass or not, drop it down a tad.

If you decide to go to the PMC brass drop down a couple of grains and work back up. The over all length will change the pressure's by taking the compression off. Some powders work better with compression some don't.

You are right on the edge of the pressure limit for that particular load. Cut back a 1/2 grain and see what happens when you stay with the same overall length as the last. Your crimp is important also.(it can change the pressure)...

Everything is very important when you are on the edge as you are with the pressure signs. You are still ok but you are a little hot.
Sticky cylinder might be the walls are not really polished but when you have a slippery wall you have backward movement faster. (notgood) this will give you a false reading as to flat primer.

When you see the imprint of the firing pin hole and black around the primer you are really close to problems, (don't go any higher in powder amount).

Ruger's are strong but then there is a limit. You have reached it LOL...

Like I said before, cut back 1/2 grain and then see what is happening.
296 is one you dont want to be underpowered either, tricky one to tell, but you are not on the underside of it.
You are on the high side...

480 Ruger is the next step for you. Six shot and just like you 44...Good gun. Cannot beat those investment casted dudes.

Good luck,

Last edited by Harley Quinn; January 12, 2006 at 05:45 PM.
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