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Old April 14, 2012, 06:48 AM   #1
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Your favorite 44 mag recipe

Well after years of being on the fence about it I finally broke down and bought a 44 mag, Got a Smith and Wesson model 629 full lug 6 inch barrel.
should have it next week, I`ve been looking on the web for reloading stuff, dies, powder, primers, brass, bullets, and seems to me that handgun equipment is harder to get than rifle ( Backordered,out of stock ) is all I see everywhere.

When I do finally get everything I was wondering what you favorite loads are.
I am looking at two different loads, one a lighter load for practicing and then a heavier load for deer hunting. I m not dead set on any particular bullet or powder brand as of yet but am very fond of hornady bullets.

sooo, what ya got fellas
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Old April 14, 2012, 08:31 AM   #2
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My "plain vanilla" hunting load for .44 Mag is

240gr Speer JSP
23.0gr H110
CCI 350 primer

Note: Because H110 is not recommended for reduced loads, a practice or plinking load can't be created from this by simply reducing the charge.
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Old April 14, 2012, 08:49 AM   #3
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Your favorite 44 mag recipe

I'm quite willing to share.
Both powders are Accurate Brand. Win L/P primers. O/Fired Federal brass. >Heavy crimp

Hot deer load.
No. 7 @ 16.0 grains--240 gr. bullet. Gas checked lead SWC or store bought jacketed HP

Mild target load
No. 5 @ 10.4 grains.--240 gr. bullet SWC. Cast Lead.

I cast my own bullets from Range lead. I also gas-check everything I make whether its required or not. The hot load (above) as with most others you'll encounter. If wanting to shoot cast lead bullets at game I do recommend that they be gas checked ones. >It's old school theory that many still practice, but it works._ Happy shooting.__SSMcG

Last edited by Sure Shot Mc Gee; April 14, 2012 at 10:06 AM. Reason: Tweak it.
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Old April 14, 2012, 09:05 AM   #4
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One of my favorite all around loads for the 44 was a spin-off of the Elmer Load, using the same 250 grain bullet but with 22.5 grains of W296. The load gave 1088 fps from my old 4" Model 29 and killed everything I turned it on including a couple of deer. It didn't shoot half bad, either.

If I was building a deer-specific load for that gun today, I'd use Hornady's excellent 240 XTP and a max load of the same powder.
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Old April 14, 2012, 09:07 AM   #5
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44 Magnum Loads

250gr cast lswc-WLP-10gr Unique or W296-23gr.-Rem, Fed or Win brass.

Last edited by 243winxb; April 14, 2012 at 04:22 PM. Reason: remove photo
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Old April 14, 2012, 09:17 AM   #6
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Alliant 2400 allows a wide range of velocities.
Load data is on their web site.
A 240 grain SWC bullet is hard to beat in this gun.
Here's a good and in depth article:
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Last edited by g.willikers; April 14, 2012 at 09:25 AM.
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Old April 14, 2012, 10:10 AM   #7
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Dunno about the S&W, but I have never had good accuracy from any jacketed 240 grain bullet at .429" out of my Super Blackhawk w/7.5" barrel...

Only jacketed bullet I load now is a .430" Hornady 265gr (SKU #4300) over 22 grains of H110...I use the same load in my SBH and Marlin 1894...Load is from Hornady 4th Edition, and is under max for both guns according to that data...

Sorry, can't help with a plinking load...
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Old April 14, 2012, 10:22 AM   #8
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Hornady 240 XTP's, CCI 350 mag primer, 23 grains of Win 296. Same exact powder as H110. Recommended charges with Win 296 and 240 grain bullets is 24 grains and you are not supposed to shoot reduced loads with Win 296-H110. Only use these powder with top charges. At 23 grains the 240 XTP's shoot very well in a 6" revolver and my Winchester Trapper rifle.
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Old April 14, 2012, 11:01 AM   #9
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See reloading section.

S&W329pd Information
Kel Tec PF-9 Review
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Old April 14, 2012, 11:13 AM   #10
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My best all-around load is also for my 6" Model 629-5 Classic, with the full underlug barrel. Using WLP primers in WW Super cases, I load 9.1 grains of HP-38 under a 265 grain SWC-GC at 1.68" COL, for a chronographed 1030 fps. It shoots consistent 1.3" 5-shot groups at 25 yds. off sandbags, and is plenty powerful enough for deer hunting out to as far as I can hit 'em, about 75 yds.

For a heavier load, I use Speer 270 Deep Curl jacketed bullets and 18.5 grains of Accurate 4100 powder with Winchester cases and WLP primers at 1.595" COL for 1350 fps. Same accuracy as the above lighter load, but much more powerful and much cleaner burning as well.
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Old April 14, 2012, 12:01 PM   #11
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180gr XTP and H110 puts them down nicely.

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Old April 14, 2012, 01:55 PM   #12
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i have a 629 classic with an 8 3/8" barrel. im playing with 10.5 grains of unique pushing a 240 gr. mag tech sjsp bullet with a moderate crimp.the best so far i shot was 1 3/4" @ 25 yds with a red dot sight, it was a 6 shot group.this was bench rested. im very happy with that and cant wait to make more rounds
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Old April 14, 2012, 02:10 PM   #13
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I stopped casting my own lead a few years back (still have all of the stuff to do it except the will). I now just buy lead bullets. There are many sources to pick from.

To the point:
240 grain lead semi wad cutter with plain base, similar to the Elmer Keith designed bullets, do well.
I have a thing about using 5.6 grains of Olin/Winchester 231, so that is what I use for my light 44s. (As well as in my .45ACP loads.) Note, 231 is reported to be the same as HP38.
I do have a few .44 Special cases some place, but I don't ever get around to using them. I have and use standard .44 mag brass (I buy from Star, they are almost local for me). The brass last forever with this light loading.
Oh, out of my 6 1/2 inch Model 29, I get around 875 to 900 fps and a tad less out of my 6 incher. These are far from being barn burners, but are nothing to sneeze at. They will take little Missouri white tail deer at 60 to 75 yards with good placement.
For more business loads, again, I defer to 240 grain bullets. Only this time I use jacketed hollow points. My powder selection goes back to the late 70s and Olin/Winchester 630. So, you would have to fall back to other sources for a suitable load. Mine run a happy 1250 fps. They do all that I want from a handgun.

My loads are safe in my weapons as I load them. They may not be safe with your components the way you load them. Always refer to trusted loading data from a recognized source.

Enjoy and be safe.

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Old April 14, 2012, 04:44 PM   #14
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Here's my best heavy load for my Redhawk.

255gr swc-gc (lee) .430
22.0 gr H-110
RP Brass
CCI 350 LPM Primer
1417 fps/8 avg dev/24 es
7.5" RH

This load is like a lightning bolt from my RH.
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Old April 14, 2012, 04:54 PM   #15
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well this is some good stuff to absorb in, thanks for the input fellas

I just bought a 50 round box of winchester 240 gr jsp from wally world,,,,,
almost $ 40.00

Thats a set of hornady dies right there !

I gotta start surfin the web and find all the gear I need to start loadin.
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Old April 14, 2012, 06:28 PM   #16
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I just started reloading and am working with the .44 mag too. So far I'm working up loads for cast 240 grain and 200 grain bullets (Oregon Trails Lasercast brand). Here is what I've done with the 240's, with luck I'll get to the range tomorrow to test the 200 grain loads.

The guys here are a great help and I'm certain I'm not the only one who appreciates their input and benefits from their shared experience.
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Old April 14, 2012, 08:35 PM   #17
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I like 21 grains of lil gun
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Old April 14, 2012, 11:30 PM   #18
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I run 21.5 gr of H110 pushing the 310 gr lee GC bullet. Gives great penetration. Both the Redhawk and the contender seem to like it.
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Old April 15, 2012, 06:44 PM   #19
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Last edited by bkhann; April 15, 2012 at 06:54 PM.
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Old April 15, 2012, 06:50 PM   #20
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FC brass, CCI 350, 24.0 of WW 296/H110, 240 grain JSP or JHP
RCBS 44-240-SWC sized .430", FC brass, CCI 350, 24.0 to 25.0 of WW 296/ H110 Hornady gascheck
Lyman 429215 sized .430", WW brass, CCI 350, 26.0 of WW296/H110
Nosler 200 gr. JHP, WW brass, CCI 350, 27.0 of WW296/H110
RCBS 44-245-SWC sized .431", CCI 300, FC brass, 21.0 of 2400
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Old April 15, 2012, 06:53 PM   #21
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I shoot 2 loads for range/practice:

Berry's (plated) 240 gr HP DS Bullet
Large Pistol Primer (CCI 300)
9.5 gr Titegroup
COL 1.620"
1082 fps

Bayau (green coated hard cast) 240 gr SWC Bullet
Large Pistol Primer (CCI 300)
9.5 gr Titegroup
COL 1.645"
1113 fps

Both are very nice shooting rounds. Very accurate and consistant. They are definitely "magnum Rounds" without tearing your arm off. I shoot a S&W 629 5" revolver.
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Old April 15, 2012, 08:11 PM   #22
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240gr Nosler JHP loaded over 21.1 grains of Alliant 2400.

WHY it's my "go to" .44 Mag load? Well, though we use it in a few different .44 Mags, I developed it to run a Desert Eagle, and it needs to be a full-bore and also jacketed bullet load to do that.

WHY I chose the Nosler 240-- because the Nosler is one of few .44 Mag jacketed slugs that can be bought in a semi-bulk form, 250-count boxes of them save dough over most any jacketed .429" slug in 100-rd boxes.

WHY I choose to run it with 2400-- because I love 2400 and I use it in at least 6 different chamberings with the ability, if I wished, to try it in even more.

Also, 2400 meters nicely in my powder measure.

Also, 2400 is pretty economical in an 8-lb jug. It does use heavy charge weights, but not THE heaviest charge weights.

2400 gives me lots and lots of speed with a moderate pressure -- it's not quite as powerful as H110/W296, but it's comparable, but so much better to use in a magnum handgun round than some mid-range "do it all" powder that gets way too spikey at the higher end.

And I chose 2400 over H110 because I can safely reduce it if I wish without it acting erratically and I don't ever have to use a magnum primer which suits me well because I already stock 4 different kinds of primers and that's plenty to worry about.

So that's the .44 Mag load I build most often, and it's a firm one, not too friendly in some lighter .44 Mag handguns.
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Old April 15, 2012, 10:15 PM   #23
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My three Favorite .44Mag Loads

6 1/2" barrel .44Mag BH

_8.0g Red Dot, 240g SWC, CCI-300, 1080avg, _7 SD, 24 ES, 15 shots
10.0g Unique, _240g SWC, CCI-300, 1136avg, 14 SD, 47 ES, 10 shots
19.0g 2400, ___240g SWC, CCI-300, 1265avg, 15 SD, 51 ES, 15 shots
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Old April 16, 2012, 10:15 AM   #24
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240 gr JHP 24 gr H110, roll crimp into cannelure.
This is probably the most widely published 44 mag load, and I have been shooting it for 10 years.

It may require 25.3 gr to reach the SAAMI max pressure of 36,000 psi, and it may be possible to shoot overloads, but I have found that the 24 gr load kicks just right.

H110 smells good when burning.
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Old April 16, 2012, 10:44 AM   #25
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Congrats on the Smith; I bet it will be a beaut!

I have a Ruger Super Blackhawk with a 5.5" barrel. I use Missouri Bullets's 240 grain .430" "Elmer K" bullet over 20 grains of Alliant 2400. I use whatever non-magnum primer is handy, which is usually Winchester or CCI (prefer CCI). I use mostly Starline brass. I worked up from about 18 grains. 2400 is great because you can load down to 44 Special levels safely.


Last edited by frumious; April 16, 2012 at 07:13 PM.
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