The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old July 12, 2006, 09:08 PM   #1
Join Date: June 11, 2000
Location: Alabama
Posts: 48
Somewhere between 44 Special and 44 Magnum

I will probably confuse every reader with what I am asking but here goes. I am looking for something in between the top end 44 Special and full house 44 Magnum. Right now I am reloading a Cowboy Action 44 magnum load using 5.9 grains of Titegroup with a 215 grain LWC. This was the only bullet available locally. This is pleasant and mild but I would like something with a bit more authority. I ordered some 240 grain Hornady LWCHP and 240 grain HP/XTP. From what I have read you should not exceed a 1000 fps with lead projectiles. I also read that jacketed bullets meet more resistance, thus requiring a bit more powder.

According to the Hodgon data I can use anything from 4.7-6.2 grains of Titegroup with a 240 grain LWC. On the high side it produces 18,400 C.U.P. I do not like to go to the high side of any load.

Next 10.0 grains of Titegroup and a 240 grain XTP produces 37,000 C.U.P. I realize this is the top end, so I should start at 10% less and work up to this. But this would still exceed 30,000 C.U.P.

Is there a way to use the 240 grain XTP, safely and yet have the effectiveness of a hollow point, without this much recoil? Or should just shoot lead in the magnum and revert to a jacketed 200 grain 44 Special for a business purpose HP?

Any thoughts on this subject will be appreciated. Thank you for your experience and advice.
DakTo is offline  
Old July 12, 2006, 09:24 PM   #2
Join Date: November 2, 2005
Posts: 50

If you uyse a hard cast bullet you can run them to 1200FPS with no problems.Try a slower burning powder such as Alliant 2400
skeet47 is offline  
Old July 12, 2006, 09:25 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: June 25, 2006
Location: The Keystone State
Posts: 1,273
Get a .41 mag!
"The Constitution is not an instrument for government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government, lest it come to dominate our lives and interests."
Patrick Henry, American Patriot
ammo.crafter is offline  
Old July 12, 2006, 09:31 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: September 8, 2004
Location: Kansas
Posts: 723
I believe the XTP’s are more of a hunting bullet. I use Speer Gold Dots. Speer says their bullets are bonded core. To me there plated heavily. Kind of in between lead and jacketed. Check out this link –

click on - 44 Special and 44 Magnum with 200 gr GDHP
Bullet94 is offline  
Old July 12, 2006, 09:40 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: July 4, 2006
Posts: 124
I am by no means an expert my but in my loads heavy bullets at faster velocity produce more recoil than lighter bullets at slower speed in my .44 for target practice I use 240 grain lead with 4.7 grains of IMR 700x a real pleasure to shoot light recoil etc, My hunting loads are 300 grain JHP with 17,2 grains of accurate #9 these kick alot. But if you find a good "hot" load with lo recoil let me know please
It is better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6
FRANK1669 is offline  
Old July 13, 2006, 06:07 AM   #6
Join Date: June 11, 2000
Location: Alabama
Posts: 48
Bullet94... thank you, that's exactly what i was looking for Now i wouldn't mind having a 41 but they're cost prohibitive around here. As a matter of fact the concept of the 41 is what got me looking at larger bore pistols. I now feel that a reloader, with knowledge, research, powder and bullet selection, will not suffer but most likely benefit using the 44 mag. This in not to start a flame war. BTW the 215 grain LWC with Titegroup is very accurate, with extremly light recoil and listed on the Hodgon website.
DakTo is offline  
Old July 13, 2006, 05:38 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: March 11, 2005
Location: austin
Posts: 735
I load the 210 gr gold dot hp with 11.5 gr of unique for my practice load. Very accurate and a pleasure to shoot. Not a cowboy load, but not at all overpowering.
kingudaroad is offline  
Old July 13, 2006, 07:32 PM   #8
Junior member
Join Date: September 28, 2005
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 6,465
I routinely run 240gr LSWC hardcast bulk bullets up to 9.0-9.5gr of Titegroup. Max published load is 10.0gr. I don't get any fouling in my redhawk. The max you quoted was from the cowboy only section which is a bit prudish, IMO. Even full powered titegroup loads are nothing compared to an H110/Win296 load.

And lets face it, you didn't buy a 44mag to shoot loads equal to light 38specials. At least, I didn't.

I even push the same bullets with H110 when I am feeling...adventurous. Leading is there a little bit, but not bad. Comes out quickly.

Again, there is a mountain of felt recoil difference between 9.0gr of Titegroup and 24.0gr of H110. Try the titegroup load with the 240gr bullets you ordered. You'll like.
azredhawk44 is offline  
Old July 13, 2006, 09:34 PM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: March 10, 2001
Posts: 401
Try 7 or 8 grains of Unique behind your lead bullet.
maxwayne is offline  
Old July 13, 2006, 11:08 PM   #10
Harley Quinn
Junior member
Join Date: August 30, 2005
Location: State of KALI
Posts: 1,531

24 grains of 2400 with a 240 bullet. It has to work, numerically it can't be beat.

Harley Quinn is offline  
Old July 14, 2006, 02:36 PM   #11
Join Date: June 11, 2000
Location: Alabama
Posts: 48
I went out this morning and shot the 240 LWC up to 6.2 grains of Titegroup. This was the Cowboy load maximum. You were right until 5.9 grains of powder the loads were like bunny farts. I'm looking forward to more powder. I also think i have fairly a soft load for plate shooting. Being able to stay with only two bullet weights makes it easier to stockpile and very little adjusting on the Dillon when i'm ready to use it.
DakTo is offline  
Old July 14, 2006, 03:28 PM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: December 25, 1998
Posts: 1,570
UMC and others sell what they call "medium velocity" 44 mag ammo which sounds like what you are looking for.

OJ -
OJ is offline  
Old July 14, 2006, 10:22 PM   #13
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 13,654

You didn't state what barrel length you have, but it will take about 12.5 grains of 2400 to get to the speed you want in a 7.5 inch barrel. The problem is that powder is really best suited to full magnum loads and at the reduced pressures of a 1000 fps underloading, only 70% will burn while the bullet is in the barrel. This means you can expect some powder residue to be left behind. I've read a couple of S&W owner's complaints about 2400 residue from low pressure target loads jamming their guns in 50 rounds or so. I've personally seen a lot of the little yellow waxy looking granules it leaves in a .44 Special, where SAMMI maximum is only 15,500 PSI. So 2400 is not my first choice for a target load, though the pressure is very modest at about 12,000 PSI.

The next thought is to try Trail Boss in about 7.3 grains (max load - starting load 6.0 grains). According to the manual, it will produce about 21,000 PSI pressure and the same velocity. Because it is a newer powder from the same Australian company that makes Hodgdon's extreme series of powders (Hodgdon now owns IMR), it is likely to be cleaner burning, but I don't know without trying. I just bought a bottle, but haven't tried it yet. It certainly appears to lack the heavy dose of graphite that is part of the soot problem with older flake powders like Bullseye and Unique.

Another possibilty is about 6.7 grains of Hodgdon Universal Clays (not to be confused with just plain "Clays", which is a much faster powder). This will burn 100% in the tube and generates about 17,500 PSI.

Incidentally, 17,500 or even 21,000 or so PSI is nothing to be concerned about in a gun chambered for the .44 Magnum. The maximum SAMMI pressure for the .44 magnum is about 36,000 PSI, so these are well under maximum safe pressure. It just isn't suitable in the .44 Special.

Gunsite Orange Hat Family Member
CMP Certified GSM Master Instructor
NRA Certified Rifle Instructor
NRA Benefactor Member

Last edited by Unclenick; July 15, 2006 at 10:07 AM.
Unclenick is offline  
Old July 15, 2006, 11:18 AM   #14
Join Date: June 11, 2000
Location: Alabama
Posts: 48
Nick, thanks for the info. I am shooting a Ruger Redhawk with a 7 1/2 barrel. Have you ever had a firearm that called your name and asked you to take it home?

I've tried Trailboss and like it but i'm saving it for my 30 30 with cast bullets. Trailboss is also fine in pistol, as it fills the case, but the cost per round has me looking elswhere.

Your suggestion of Universal Clays sounds very promising. The wife and I are going to the city today and a pound of Universal Clays is on the shopping list. My powder shelf is growing longer and longer. It is nice to look up and see all those cans, canisters, and jugs. I know I really have a hobby.

Thanks again,

Loy M
DakTo is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:25 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2016 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.08357 seconds with 7 queries