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Old September 16, 2000, 05:35 PM   #1
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What's a good powder for .44 mag? Specifically for hunting loads. I've been using 7.5 grains of Unique with a 240 gr. LSWC bullet for practice and bump it up to 7.7 grains for hunting. What's a good bullet to use? So far this load has worked really well. However, I'm always on the look out for something better
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Old September 16, 2000, 08:06 PM   #2
Jack Straw
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It depends on what you are going to hunt. For deer I use a the RCBS 240SWC-GC with W296.

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Old September 16, 2000, 10:41 PM   #3
Tom Matiska
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What length is your barrel? For a 20" rifle I like H110.

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Old September 16, 2000, 10:42 PM   #4
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Like Jack I use W296 to load my 44 mag rounds. I prefer to use the Hornady XTP 240 gr. JHP for deer hunting. Since I'm using a contender I won't tell you how much powder I'm using, but the velocity is up to 1500 fps.

I've never tried using cast bullets because of the leading problems that would accure at those velocities.
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Old September 16, 2000, 10:57 PM   #5
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My barrel length is 7.5"
It's a Ruger Super RedHawk
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Old September 17, 2000, 12:00 AM   #6
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Using a Cast 270gr/Gas Chkd OWC LBT Design and H110 powder.

5 1/2" Magna-Ported Ruger SBH s/s.

(The Tree Stand gun)

But, For deer you really can't go wrong with a good SWC(with a large meplat) or a nice jacketed HP. I like the Remington 240gr. SJHP bullet.

Fisher, Give them Gas Checked Hard Cast bullets a try in your Contender. I've had very good luck with them. I'll bet you'll lik'em.

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Old September 17, 2000, 02:04 AM   #7
Johnny Guest
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Some load manuals, like the SpeerManual #12 edition, tend to show light loads with lead bullets to pervent leading. As far as safety goes, you can use 240 gr. lead bullets for any load shown for 240 jacketed bullets--you WILL get leading toward the higher ends.

Fourth Edition, Hornady Handbook shows their lead bullets with 8.5 gr Unique for 1,000 fps, but 240 jacketed with up to 12.1 gr Unique, for 1300 fps. With conventional lead bullets, even hard cast, pressures will be somewhat lower than with same weight jacketed bullet.

FYI--the loads you are using are nice, pleasant loads, but I have an old Speer Manual Number 8, which shows your loads in .44 Special cases with 240 jacketed soft point.. I guess I ought to write the "CAUTION INDICATED --above current maximums" warning stuff here, because that data is from 1970, and it seems that either guns have gotten weaker or Unique powder has gotten stronger in the enduing decades.

Anyhow, you won't go wrong with the lighter loads.
Best wishes.

---The Second Amendment ensures the rest of the Bill of Rights---
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Old September 17, 2000, 06:01 AM   #8
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Try Accurate #5 for cast bullet loads. Its much cleaner burning than Unique. I use 10 grains for a Lyman 245 LSWC . In a 6" Colt Anaconda it is right at 1000fps. No leading to worry about.

For hunting loads I use AA#9. ITs close to 296 or 110 for speed. You ought to be able to get 1400 fps for a 240 grainer .

BOth meter well and so far they are the cleanest burning powders Ive found. Not much muzzle flash either.
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Old September 17, 2000, 07:49 PM   #9
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IMO best 44 (.429") powder is W296.

Best hunting bullet? Hornady 300g XTP, Swift A-Frames, and decent-quality 240g or heavier lead bullet of the correct shape.

For serious info contact direct...

"All my ammo is factory ammo"

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Old September 18, 2000, 12:11 AM   #10
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I have 2 handloads for hunting with my Super RedHawk (9 1/2" barrel). First is for smaller deers (we don't have big deers in Florida) and small meat hogs and consist of 280gr WLN-GC LBT design hard cast bullet in Federal once shot brass with enough Unique for 1,000fps. This is pretty mild in the revolver but is accurate and works very well on these smaller animals. For bigger games I use 305gr WLN-GC LBT design hard cast bullet in Federal once shot brass with enough H110 for 1,280fps. This has worked on two large 200+ pound deers and on several trophy hogs up to 350 pounds. This is pretty heavy load but is safe and reliable in my revolver. I have put together a load with 300gr XTP bullet and H110 that will do 1,230fps but it has not been used to shoot any game... yet. What kind of game will you be hunting?
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Old September 18, 2000, 09:33 AM   #11
Chad Young
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So far, me and my reloading buddy have done two loads in .44 magnum. Both are very accurate, although one is more shootable than the other!

Load #1 - "Target"
Winchester 231 powder
WLMP primer
Sierra 210g JHP
10.5g powder

Load #2 - "Ouch"
Winchester 296 powder
WLMP primer
Remington 240g SJHP
24.0g powder

The target load is easy to shoot and is astonishingly accurate. The "ouch" load will scare everyone else off the range. These loads were tested in a S&W model 29 with a 3" (yes, that is not a typo) barrel. The light load was easy to shoot. The ouch load will probably be saved for bigger guns next trip (my friend's hand still hurts).

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Old September 18, 2000, 01:55 PM   #12
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How about Lyman 429650, gc'd, over 20.0 gr W296 and a WLP primer. Authoritative but manageable. I like. Also the Lyman 429667 over an appropraite amount of Green Dot for cowboy shooting. sundog

safety first
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Old September 18, 2000, 06:47 PM   #13
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I haven't tried it in a rifle but, 19 grains of H110 under a 300 grain Hornady HP/XTP will absolutly pound in a 8" Anaconda.
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Old September 18, 2000, 10:45 PM   #14
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IMO in a 7 1/2" bbl, Unique is too fast burning to get decent velocities. By the time you load enough to get decent velocity from a 240 grainer the pressure is going to be too high. My favorites for .44 mag & heavy .45 Colt "magnum" loads are H110 followed very closely by W296 and 2400. Blue Dot is also a good choice. Elmer Kieths old standby of 22 grains of 2400 with a std primer and a cast 250 grainer is potent but still well within pressure limits. 24 grains of 296 or 110 with a 240 grainer is also an excellent load.
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Old September 19, 2000, 12:48 PM   #15
Unkel Gilbey
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Recently tried a load with Win 296 that turned out very well.

-240 gn plated TC flat nosed bullet (Rainer - I think)
-Various cases.
-Standard Large pistol primers (CCI)
-23.5 gn's of Win 296
-medium Roll crimp

According to the books, this should have given me about 1200-1250fps using magnum primers out of a 10" Bbl.

Mine was a 5.5" Redhawk, and I'd rate them about 'medium' on the kick scale. They burned clean, and were accurate enough to bounce bowling pins around at about 25yds.

Maybe this is too little, too late, but I didn't see too much mention made of what primers were used. I made a point to mention that I used standard Large pistol's in my load, and I think this is vital info. Using Magnum primers WILL change the way certain loads respond, so please include this information with your load suggestions. Thank you!
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Old September 19, 2000, 02:55 PM   #16
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OK Ok you guys sold me on W296. I'm buying some tomorrow to try out
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Old September 19, 2000, 06:32 PM   #17
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Unkel Gilbey, I use std primers with 2400 and magnums for W296 & H110. Winchester recommends very specific loads with 296 and warns very strongly to use them exactly as recommended. Reduced loads of 296 can generate excessive pressures and ruin your whole day. H110 works best with a very heavy crimp and likes a tight gun to burn properly. I prefer H110 myself but the two (296 & 110) have nearly identical burn rates and I've read that loading data for one can be used with the other. (Paco Kelly?? or Linebaugh?? I don't remember) Go here for Winchesters reloading manual, it's a free download:
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Old September 19, 2000, 08:48 PM   #18
Mal H
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Several have said their favorite powder is
W296 and some say H110. Most agree that both are "very close" to each other. In fact, the only difference between these two is the packaging. The ball powder is manufactured by Primex Tech and shipped to both Winchester and Hodgdon for packaging.
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