The Firing Line Forums

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

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old November 10, 2012, 11:03 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: October 10, 2009
Location: SW VA
Posts: 486
Setting up for .44 Special

I'm getting ready to set up for .44 Special. This will be a new cartridge for me. My primary purpose will be plinking and paper/steel. I'm loading for a Charter Bulldog (maybe some SAA after Christmas).

First, what is the better choice for a press. I've got a Forster Co-Ax and Lee Classic Turret. I won't be looking for high volume reloading and I like both presses equally well.

Second, what dies have people found to work well. I'm not opposed to using Lee dies, but am equally willing to spend more for higher quality dies.

Third, what powder/bullet combination have worked well for you in a 2.5-inch revolver.

I really like Trail Boss for plinking loads in .45 Colt. I'll be using commercial ammo for carry purposes, but would also like to match some of those loads for practice as well.

Any and all suggestions welcome.
"I'm your huckleberry."
Ike666 is offline  
Old November 10, 2012, 12:05 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: February 7, 2009
Location: Southern Oregon!
Posts: 2,307
I have found Lee dies to be more than satisfactory for reloading my .44 Specials/Magnums for many years. I tried a Lee Factory Crimp Die, just out of curiosity, and it now lives in a landfill somewhere in Southern Oregon. While I haven't tried a Co-Ax press, I do load on a Lee turret and that suites me fine. I used a lot of Unique and W231 for my Specials with any cast SWC of 240-250 gr. I would keep the loads on the light side for a Charter Arms Bulldog and make sure you slug the barrel and cylinder throats so you can size/purchase bullets to fit your gun...

Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook has a lot of load data for .44 Specials with lead bullets.

OOPS! I just automatically thought of cast lead bullets 'cause I haven't reloaded a jacketed bullet in .44 cal. for nearly 18 years.
My Anchor is holding fast!
I've learned how to stand on my own two knees...

Last edited by mikld; November 10, 2012 at 12:11 PM.
mikld is offline  
Old November 10, 2012, 12:27 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: October 10, 2009
Location: SW VA
Posts: 486
What happened with the Lee FCD? I've had good luck with mine in .45 Colt and 30-30.
"I'm your huckleberry."
Ike666 is offline  
Old November 10, 2012, 01:37 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: December 10, 2005
Location: Central , OR
Posts: 1,827
I'm using RCBS 44spl/44mag with the carbide sizer.
For a short barrel 44spl I use mostly 200gr bullets with W-231 or Accurate #5
joneb is offline  
Old November 11, 2012, 06:58 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: January 4, 2012
Location: Northern Missouri
Posts: 430
Just thinking: Your loading for a Charter will probably not be high volume. If I had the aristocratic Forster Co-Ax, I would use it for everything when loading 50 rounds or less. The Lee turret will be faster for volume loading, I think. I would stick with Bullseye, 231, HP-38, etc. with bullets of 200 grains or less. Pleasant to shoot for plinkable rounds.
McShooty is offline  
Old November 12, 2012, 02:17 AM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: March 24, 2006
Location: Northern Utah
Posts: 520
I would shop for dies with the carbide sizer. Any brand will be fine. I have loaded 44 spl for many years. 250 gr lead bullets and Unique powder works for me.
jamaica is offline  
Old November 12, 2012, 06:37 AM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: October 14, 2009
Location: Sunshine and Keystone States
Posts: 4,448
My Lee dies (including the FCD) work great for .44 special, I doubt that the others are "higher quality", and if so I would like to know in what way.

I use 4.25 grains of Titegroup under a 225 gr. LRNFP bullet and it works great in my 629, very accurate. Titegroup is a fast powder so it should work well in a snubby too.
spacecoast is offline  
Old November 12, 2012, 10:28 AM   #8
the Black Spot
Senior Member
Join Date: September 9, 2009
Location: arkansas
Posts: 117
Check out the search function on this sight, or google "44 special pet loads"(wealth of info), or go here go to the reload section and look for "44 special pet loads".
My own bulldog likes 5 gr of Bullseye with a 240 gr xtp bullet.
the Black Spot is offline  
Old November 12, 2012, 11:31 AM   #9
Join Date: May 3, 2011
Location: Littleton Colorado
Posts: 78
I use 200gr bullets from powder valley and my best powders have been solo 1000 and red dot, zip and pb are also very good for accuracy. 5.5 grains of red dot is a mild load that won't tear up your gun as i also shoot a charter bull and these are what works very good in it. Charlie
slugoo 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 10:57 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 0.05843 seconds with 7 queries