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Old February 14, 2009, 09:52 PM   #1
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Best Modern Powder for 44 Mag?

In the past I have used Blue Dot and 2400 to load my 44 magnum revolvers. I got away from shooting them for some years, but now I have a Ruger Super Blackhawk and I'm planning to load for it. In the intervening years, have any better powders come along that will be superior? I do not push the pressure and velocity envelope. Approximating factory loads is always my general goal.
I would appreciate any opinions and updated information.
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Old February 14, 2009, 09:59 PM   #2
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For full power loads H-110 and Lil'Gun are probably the best modern powders.
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Old February 14, 2009, 10:13 PM   #3
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H110 is all I use for 44 mag. in my Blackhawk.
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Old February 14, 2009, 10:21 PM   #4
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I have done a lot of reloads for .44 mag in the past year.

Have used Blue Dot, Unique, and 2400 all with success. But my all time favorite now is Winchester 296. I love this stuff.

I love the accuracy, and the velocity that I get out of it. But the best thing about it I think is the way it flows like water. It is so fine, almost like table-salt. When metering out in the powder drop, the fine texture of it makes it so it never "cuts" like the rod powders like all those IMR powders or even the flake powders like the Unique.

My pet load now for my 5.5" Redhawk is a 305 gr HC/GC over 21 grains of
W-296. Incredible accuracy and great penetration.
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Old February 14, 2009, 10:32 PM   #5
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The only 2 new powders I know of that fit your discription are Power Pistol and Lil'Gun.
  • Power Pistol is a slow-burning version of Bullseye. Very high energy (I think it's 40% nitroglycerin.) It's intended for high pressure auto-pistol cartridges, like 9mm +P, .40 S&W, and 10mm, but .44 Mag runs at the same pressure so it should work good.
  • Lil'Gun is a new .410 Shotgun powder. It's in the same league as 296 and H-110, a little slower than 2400 and #9.
An old powder that's good for magnum cast-bullet loads is Herco. It's sort of a big brother to Unique. HS-6 and 800X might be worth a try...
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Old February 14, 2009, 11:38 PM   #6
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Full power loads Win 296. For cast bullet target loads, IMR Trail Boss is fantastic.
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Old February 15, 2009, 12:20 AM   #7
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44 mag powder

2400 is still a good one for 44 mag as is AA#9 but my favorite is Vitavori N-110.It gives about the same velocity as H-110 and Win 296 but not as much flash.Lil Gun is another but I have not tried it yet.
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Old February 15, 2009, 12:47 AM   #8
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For full power loads in .44 Mag, best modern powder is IMO:
Win 296 and H-110
These are the same powder, simply packaged and sold under two different names.
Good shooting and be safe.
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Old February 15, 2009, 11:13 AM   #9
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If you want full powered loads, then H110/W296 is an excellent powder.

And that is all you are going to be able to do with H110. The powder comes with a warning not to cut the powder charge. So it is 100% pedal to the metal, or nothing.

I prefer 2400 because I have been able to go from 17.5 grains to 22.0 grains with a 240 L without any loss of accuracy, just less recoil. Depending on my mood.
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Old February 15, 2009, 11:20 AM   #10
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I like 2400. went to 296 and h110 years ago because they were a cooling burning powders, whatever that is. 2400 is cleaner than the old stuff and you can pick your dose rate.
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Old February 15, 2009, 06:43 PM   #11
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I was not aware of the rigidity of the H110 recipes. Thanks much. I have yet to look thoroughly at the newer loading data, though I have downloaded some. I have several older manuals, but I would be wary of them at this point unless I knew the powders had not changed; such as with Bullseye.

I think I might, for the moment, just stick with 2400 as suggested by some, because of its flexibility. I worked up loads for it from mild to medium strong and never had a problem with it.

Thanks for the excellent input!
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Old February 16, 2009, 09:02 PM   #12
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I still like 2400 for my Super Red Hawk and Super Black Hawk.
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Old February 19, 2009, 04:58 PM   #13
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My all time favorite for the 44mag and 357mag is win 296. I call it the big boom powder. Gives your cases a good fill.
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Old February 19, 2009, 06:16 PM   #14
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There are several good powders for the big old 44; WW296/H110 are tops with 2400, HS6, HS7, LilGun, Longshot, AA#7 and AA#9, Blue Dot, Unique, IMR SR4756, 800X, Herco, and others right up there in the hunt.
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Old February 19, 2009, 09:10 PM   #15
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my anaconda loves win 296 with 300 gr jhp deer killin machine
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Old February 19, 2009, 10:37 PM   #16
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Consider Alliant's HERCO.
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Old February 19, 2009, 10:50 PM   #17
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I like Lil Gun, but then I am more recoil tolerant than a lot of people.
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Old February 20, 2009, 09:00 AM   #18
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Accurate #9 is my favorite, but have used several Alliant products, unique, AM Select, The dots. Try a few and get a favorite. Have heard good things about H-110 but haven't tried yet.

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Old February 20, 2009, 09:25 AM   #19
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i like aa#9 or h 4227
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Old February 20, 2009, 11:16 AM   #20
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H110 or 296 have been my top two magnum powders for both 357 and 44 mag for some years now. Great accuracy with all bullet weights.

An old lot of AA #9 has produced excellent results.

Not cheap , but VV N-110 has given me best accuracy out of a 10" TC 357 with little muzzle blast and very clean burning. I am going to try it in 44 mag soon.
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Old February 20, 2009, 11:31 AM   #21
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I have been a fan of 2400 for years.
I've tried about every powder out there suitable for the 44mag and 2400 always ends up back in the cartridge.
The accuracy is good, muzzle flash is not too back and because you can load from 22.0gr down with good results I just don't see a 44mag powder more usable over such a broad range of loads and bullets.
It meters very well and is clean.
IMR4227 is not bad and has less recoil with close velocities.
Keep in mind the fuller the case without compressing the load is almost always more accurate and complete burning.
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Old July 7, 2013, 07:05 PM   #22
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My apologies to you all on reviving an old thread; but I feel this needs some clarification.

What is the inherent danger in reducing loads using H110?

My manual states a max load with a 240 jacketed bullet is 24.0gr. I am using a lead 240gr bullet, my manual says that substituting a lead for jacketed bullet is kosher because of the reduced pressure load-for-load compared to jacketed. I loaded a handful (30) of rounds with 21.5gr (approx. 10% reduction), now that I read this thread it made me read the bottle a little closer and it says to reduce loads 3%. What gives? I was simply aiming to approximate the heavy 44 spl load that spawned the 44 Magnum. Do I need to pull these bullets now?
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Old July 7, 2013, 09:04 PM   #23
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From Hodgdon's website -

Reduce H110 and Winchester 296 loads 3% and work up from there. H110 and Winchester 296 if reduced too much will cause inconsistent ignition. In some cases it will lodge a bullet in the barrel, causing a hazardous situation (Barrel Obstruction). This may cause severe personal injury or death to users or bystanders. DO NOT REDUCE H110 LOADS BY MORE THAN 3%.

It just doesn't work as well as some other powders when reduced loads are used. (Don't look for consistency in all things related to reloading... )

I use W231 for lighter loads in .44 Magnum, but this may be too far in the "powder puff" direction for what you are trying to accomplish. While I have no experience with it, Alliant 2400 is supposed to like reduced loads better than H110/W296.
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Old July 7, 2013, 09:28 PM   #24
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Teuthis, check the data here: Their latest load guide covers both Accurate and Ramshot powders. AA4100 and Enforcer are the same powder I recently confirmed. They are spherical and their burn rates are similar to 2400. They can be loaded Down easily. I use Enforcer and it's an excellent powder. As has been mentioned, AA#9 can be used as well, but it's just a tad faster burning than 4100/Enforcer. I like AA#9 for .357 and some .41 Magnum loads with light bullets. For the .44 Mag. I think 4100/Enforcer will give you more flexibilty.
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Old July 7, 2013, 09:41 PM   #25
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What is the inherent danger in reducing loads using H110?
Possibly a blown up gun. H-110/W296 needs consistent, progressive pressure to burn properly starting with a heavy crimp and heavy bullets. When the charges are reduced too much you get a poor burn and weird pressure spikes.

Also if you are going to be out in cold weather for long periods of time, H-110/W296 is poor choice as it's cold sensitive. You need to use magnum primers or better yet use a powder like Lil'Gun or 4227 for cold weather heavy hitters.
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