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Old December 22, 2018, 09:12 AM   #1
Wallyl
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.44 Magnum Medium loads w/Red Dot powder

Have had great success using Red Dot/Promo powder loading the .44 Magnum with an RCBS 250 grain Keith bullet shooting a Ruger Superblackhawk & a S & W Model 29. I use 7.0 grains and get 900 FPS in the M-29 and 950 in the Ruger. Very accurate and comfortable to shoot. In the past I've used Bullseye, W-231, HP-38, & Unique. When the great powder shortage hit, I starting using Promo more to stretch my powder inventory I found it worked superbly, however it is a bit dirty. I use a loading block and am careful to inspect powder levels prior to bullet seating. Was wondering if anyone else might want to share their experience using these medium loads.
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Old December 22, 2018, 11:18 AM   #2
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Light loads maybe, but medium, not so much. That is one of the very fastest burning powders and will produce a pressure peak and sharp recoil if pushed too hard. I use AA#7, BE-86, and A2400 when not loading full tilt. Light loads get Trailboss, because I can easily see the charge, and there is not much chance of position sensitivity. If you are happy, that's great, but no validation here.
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Old December 22, 2018, 12:05 PM   #3
mikejonestkd
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Red dot and 250 grain bullets in a 44 mag? I am happy it is working for you, but your powder choice is too fast for conventional wisdom.
You mentioned 231, I would revisit that powder for medium loads in the 44.
As Real Gun mentioned, trail boss is ideal for the lower speed plinking loads.
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Old December 22, 2018, 12:26 PM   #4
buck460XVR
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Like others, I feel that Red Dot and Promo are way too fast for heavy bullets at moderate velocities in .44 mag. During the powder shortages, we all grasped at straws for fear we would run out of our favorites. That ain't the case any more. Still, if it's working for you and you are happy with the results, who are we to say.
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Old December 22, 2018, 01:13 PM   #5
mikld
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The 44 Magnum is my most favorite reloadable cartridge. I've reloaded everything from 123 gr. balls over a dusting of Bullseye to 310 gr ingots over near max loads of WC820. For a long time I played with "fast" powders, lots of Bullseye and W231, but no Red Dot in magnum loads. I don't see why it wouldn't work. Some of my "funnest" and most accurate loads were 44 Special loads right out of the manual in my Magnum brass.
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Old December 22, 2018, 01:31 PM   #6
300Whspr
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I haven't played with Red Dot in the 44Mag, but I have experimented with it in 44 Special for my Charter Arms Bulldog, practice loads.

In my experience, it's almost interchangeable with Bullseye, the two are very near the same burn rate, with Red Dot being just a little bit slower. But, going anything beyond "Powder Puff" loads, I don't think I could recommend Red Dot or anything faster... I would recommend stepping up to Unique or Herco for those loads.

Just my opinion, based on my experience with the 44 Special.
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Old December 22, 2018, 01:47 PM   #7
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I've used a lot of Promo in .38 Specials and .45 Colt, and some in .357 Magnums. (I say a lot, I haven't finished my first 8 pounder yet) It's a good powder. In the .357, I was going for about 900 or so FPS. That's not a "moderate" load in a magnum revolver, that's a "modest" load. But there's nothing wrong with that, and it sure is economical.

I'll also recommend Herco. You'll be a lot happier with it (and probably safer) going much beyond 1000 FPS with heavy cast bullets.
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Old December 22, 2018, 02:03 PM   #8
rclark
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In the .44 Mag I run some tests with Red Dot. Not a bad powder at all to use with light/medium loads. I see nothing wrong with using it. BTW, I consider 900+fps as medium loads regardless of caliber. When you hit 1200fps your starting into Magnum territory. I liked 8.0g Red Dot when I was testing it under a 240g SWC. Marked as a nice accurate load. 7.5g was fine too. Note that the 7.0g load ES was 45fps, but with the 7.5g load the ES dropped to 23fps. 8.0g ES was 24fps. I shoot 15 rounds as the sample number per load. YMMV of course, but that was my experience. Do you own research.

That said, I got lots of Unique and use it both in .44Mag and .44 Special loads. Currently my goto powder for my medium loads for .44
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Last edited by rclark; December 23, 2018 at 09:49 PM.
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Old December 22, 2018, 02:26 PM   #9
David R
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1995 Aliant shows 8.8 Red Dot for a 250 gas check lead at 1175 ps. This is a max load,use caution.

I am on my second jug of promo. Use it where Bullseye is good, but I look up all loads for Red Dot. Lyman manal is a good one.

38, 44 special, 45 colt and 45 ACP. All good. Promo does not work well in my 9mm.
I only load magnum loads for my Super Redhawk because I already have 2 guns in 44 special.
David

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Old December 22, 2018, 03:50 PM   #10
mikld
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A lot of "I wouldn't use it in anything but powder puff loads". I've used fast powders in my Magnums and just stayed with the recommended data from my reloading manuals. Yep, there may be "better", more suitable powders for big bores, but as long as one stays with book loads from their manuals, they're OK. If I were reloading for my magnums using H110 and I went over the manuals' recommendations, I'll be in trouble just as if I were loading Red Dot and went over manual recommendations... K.I.S.S.
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Old December 22, 2018, 05:31 PM   #11
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That's what I recall too. 8.8g Red Dot under 240g SWC (around 34K psi). I stopped at 8.0g as it got me where I wanted to be with this powder. I've tested it in .32H&R Mag, .357, .44 Special, .44Mag and .45 Colt. While it worked fine in .32H&R Mag, I didn't like how it metered in my powder measure, so moved on to 'finer' grained powders that meter much better in small quantities like True Blue, AA#2, AA#5, etc. for that cartridge.
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Last edited by rclark; December 22, 2018 at 05:43 PM.
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Old December 23, 2018, 09:05 AM   #12
Wallyl
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mikd & rclark .... You have stated what I found to be sound advice. I shoot many rounds in the course of a year and have found my medium loads to be just fine using the powders mentioned. Lately I've been using Titewad powder as it is fluffier and dispenses more consistently than Alliant flake powders. I have found a hack to dispense Red Dot & Unique very consistently. You tap the powder measure base with the same force with each throw. I find by doing so I can keep the charges at the exact charge within 0.1 grain by doing so.
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Old December 23, 2018, 01:17 PM   #13
buck460XVR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallyl View Post
I have found a hack to dispense Red Dot & Unique very consistently. You tap the powder measure base with the same force with each throw. I find by doing so I can keep the charges at the exact charge within 0.1 grain by doing so.
Yep, most of us that reload with Unique use a similar method. I use a consistent throw with the "double tap" method. Thing is, for me, Unique shoots best when charged by volume. That is why it is so well liked by those that use dippers. If volume is the same, a difference of .1+/- in weight, doesn't seem to affect anything.
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Old December 23, 2018, 05:30 PM   #14
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Green dot works about the same IME with my .357 and .41 and I'd imagine similar results with.44 mag as well. I've been running 8-8.2 gr of green dot with 210-220 gr bullets in my .41 mag for over 30 years with great results. I've also gone as low as 4 gr for powder puff loads, it's been a very forgiving powder IME.
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Old December 23, 2018, 09:44 PM   #15
rclark
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Yes, Green Dot does work well too. In fact, it is my 'current' goto powder in both .357 and .45 Colt. Lots of good powders out there . Just use them where appropriate.

Quote:
You tap the powder measure base with the same force with each throw
Works well in most cases... but when I go below 4g (Red Dot, Unique) in my measure... well, all bets are off. Since I hate to weigh every load (can't trust the throw), I just moved to a different powder that I can trust.
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Old December 24, 2018, 08:24 AM   #16
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Some of the larger granule powders don't flow well around powder measure baffles. At least with Trailboss I remove the baffle in my Hornady and get better results, no clogging, no empty cases at the seating station. With the Lee powder measures without removable baffles, the AutoDrum is the least constricted for me. The powder drops straight into the cavity and is sheared by the rotation.
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