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Old December 22, 2012, 07:37 PM   #1
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.44 special loads?

I just purchased a new ruger super blackhawk 44mag. I have some .44 special brass that was given to me a while back and I am having trouble finding good load data. Everything I find is for soft lead. I am wanting to use berry's 240gr hard cast SWC's and CCI Large pistol primers with either Unique powder or Titegroup powder. Any load data for this? And what kind of OAL: because there is no crimp groove. Thanks.
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Old December 22, 2012, 11:14 PM   #2
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I wouldn't use any pistol bullets without crimp groove. Missouri Bullets has excellent hard cast 240 Keith style. Use them in my 44 spl and mag. 8gr of Unique is easy and accurate in both.
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Old December 23, 2012, 08:13 PM   #3
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I just reload regular .44 magnum but I use 9gr of W231. It's a great target load with a 210gr RFP.
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Old December 23, 2012, 08:19 PM   #4
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I just reload regular .44 magnum but I use 9gr of W231. It's a great target load with a 210gr RFP.
You can kill a deer with this load under a 250 keith in a 44mag.

Here is a classic 44sp load...Skeeter load - 7.5g Unique and a 250g cast SWC
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Old December 24, 2012, 02:47 AM   #5
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might help.

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Old December 25, 2012, 10:05 AM   #6
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Never mind about the crimp groove. Unless your loading hot loads, crimping is completely unneeded. Just take the flare out. There is no way a 44spl will kick hard enough to need a crimp.

For Unique, start at 6gr and go up.
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Old December 25, 2012, 12:57 PM   #7
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Looks like there's a groove to me.
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Old December 25, 2012, 04:53 PM   #8
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With or without a crimping groove

Got calipers?

The OAL is merely a proxy measurement. What really matters is the volume UNDER the base of the bullet.

What you are trying to set when you set COAL (Cartridge Overall Length also known as COL and OAL) is the volume under the bullet. Less free volume, more pressure. But please note, the volume/pressure relationship not proportional.

The measure you want is the distance from the top of the web (the bottom of the inside of the cartridge case) to the base of the bullet. If you have a thicker web, you have less volume. Fortunately, most cases have a web that is pretty uniform, though military brass is reputed to be thicker. You can get an idea of the variation by weighing cases. Since the cases outside dimensions are VERY uniform, heavier cases mean you have less volume in the cavity. But, as I said, there is not much variation here, even between different manufacturers. But something to be aware of if you are pushing the performance envelope or trying for extreme accuracy.

Bullets (even of the same weight) however, DO vary in length. This can make a difference in volume, and thus, pressure. A hollowpoint bullet with an extremely large hollow will be longer than one with a small hollow. A flat point bullet will be shorter than one with an elongated round nose.

So, take some time to research (or measure) the length of the various bullets/slugs you might use and subtract that figure from the OAL If you substitute a bullet of the same weight into a load recipe you should strive to make that (under-bullet) dimension for your bullet the same as the published recipe's (under-bullet) dimension.

Just remember that it is the volume UNDER the bullet that is the critical dimension for pressure and the length is just a proxy to tell you that.

Good luck and Merry Christmas

Lost Sheep

edit: Put succinctly: If you have a load from a manual for a different shape bullet of the same weight as the ones you are loading, just load the bullet so the BASE of your bullets are the same depth as the base of the bullet from the manual.

Last edited by Lost Sheep; December 25, 2012 at 11:10 PM.
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Old December 25, 2012, 07:52 PM   #9
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I would load them about a 1/16 below the ogive just as if they had a crimp groove there. Should be fine. Just don't do a roll crimp. Just enough crimp to straiten the bell from the case. I'd load for standard .44Spec level loads .. so 6.0g of Unique would be good under the bullet. Treat the Berry bullet as is if it were a 'lead' bullet in your reloading manual.

Personally I'd not load/buy any bullet in .357/.38Spec/.44Mag/.44Spec/45 Colt that did not have a crimp groove. That's just me though. But if you bought 'em ... Shoot 'em . Keep the loads 'light' so the bullet doesn't pull out of the case.
A clinger. When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. Single Action .45 Colt (Sometimes improperly referred to by its alias as the .45 'Long' Colt or .45LC). Don't leave home without it. Ok.... the .44Spec is growing on me ... but the .45 Colt is still king.
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