Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Does this look OK (.44mag load)?

  1. #1
    Member Ryan J's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    218

    Default Does this look OK (.44mag load)?

    A couple post down I picked up a reloading kit. I got my dies in the other day and have started my first load. I have only reloaded 5 so far.....trying to get the process down and being very systematic. Or anal, however you prefer it.
    So here is what I have, I would like someone with experience to tell me it looks OK before I go and fire these.
    Ruger Redhawk, .44 Remington Magnum, 5.5" barrel
    300 gr LFN from Hunter's Supply
    Starline Brass, fired once
    CCI LPM (350) primers
    18.3 gr of H110
    and a COL of 1.66 for all five.
    Anyone see any issues with this? I guess my one concern is no gas checks.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    5,594

    Default

    It's been quite awhile since I've loaded for the 44 mag, and hence I'm going from memory, not a load book or my reloading notebook. I did load quite a few 300-330 gr cast bullets, some gas checked, some plane based, and all with H-110 lit off with CCI 350's in my super blackhawk. It is a good combination, and you'll likely find your best accuracy with maximum charges. The one caveat with H-110 is do not go below published starting loads, because it is one of a few powders that will do weird things with reduced loads. On the other hand I've found it is an outstanding powder for heavy cast bullets in large bore magnum handguns.

    My quick perusal of Hodgdon's website didn't show any data for 300 gr cast and H-110, so I don't know what the starting loads are. As I recall, and again this is from memory I used 19.5 gr of H-110 as a starting load and worked up to 20.5 to 21.5 for the various bullets.

    I wouldn't be concered with the lack of a gas check, I've had exceptional accuracy in both the 44 mag and 480 with heavy for caliber plane base cast bullets at 1200-1300 fps with no signifigant leading. My only concern would be if you're starting load is too light.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  3. #3
    Member Armymark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    624

    Default

    Your good with that load. Make sure you give them a good crimp though so they don't creep forward in the cases from the recoil and lock the cylinder up. You should get yourself a manual if you don't have one. Here is the Hodgdon web site if you didn't already have it.

    http://www.hodgdon.com/basic-manual-inquiry.html

  4. #4
    Member Ryan J's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    218

    Default

    Thanks for the help so far.
    I did get the Lee 4 die set for this caliber, so the last step is the Factory Crimp Die. I definately gave it a good crimp.

    I do have some manuals, and was on the powder website. The problem was I could only find loads for the 300gr XTP. I thought a jacketed bullet would have different ballistic data from a cast lead one.

    Of course when you search on the web you find more things than you want. One site said 1200fps was way too fast to push a lead bullet. Another said start at the jacketed bullet data and work up from there, you can push lead harder.

    So I went .3 gr over the starting load for the XTPs. I seated and crimped the bullet at the cannelure.

    I'm not trying to push the limits on anything yet....just want a safe accurate "pet load" for fun shooting.

    Thanks for the help so far.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    welfare state of Alaska
    Posts
    5,153

    Default .44 loads

    I've been shooting a lot of the 315 gr bullets cast in the Lee mold with H110, Litl'gun, and a few other powders in the last years or so. I've been shooting them in my 6" S&W 629 classic and a 4" 329 PD.

    In my guns 19 gr of Lit'lgun or 20 gr of H110 works fine with easy extraction and no leading. I've went up a grain ot so but cases start to stick in the 329 PD with its rougher finished titanium cylinder. I don't have the figures in front of me but 1200 -1300 fps is about right.

    I always seat the bullets out as far as possible and then crinp well. Seating with the first die and then crimping with the Lee factory crimp die works fine - I just started using the Lee crimp die but i always seat and crimp in two operations. With bullets sized to .430 I get seating problems in the throats but .428- .429 bullets work fine.

    I've been loading for the .44 Mag for some 40+ years and always found it an easy cartridge to reload. 240 gr. bullets are the standard down south but up here many perfer the heavier bullets. The Lee 315 gr has worked out for me and can cast a lot of lead with the six cavity mold.

    Good luck and ahve fun!
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  6. #6
    Member Armymark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    624

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan J View Post
    Thanks for the help so far.
    I did get the Lee 4 die set for this caliber, so the last step is the Factory Crimp Die. I definately gave it a good crimp.

    I do have some manuals, and was on the powder website. The problem was I could only find loads for the 300gr XTP. I thought a jacketed bullet would have different ballistic data from a cast lead one.

    Of course when you search on the web you find more things than you want. One site said 1200fps was way too fast to push a lead bullet. Another said start at the jacketed bullet data and work up from there, you can push lead harder.

    So I went .3 gr over the starting load for the XTPs. I seated and crimped the bullet at the cannelure.

    I'm not trying to push the limits on anything yet....just want a safe accurate "pet load" for fun shooting.

    Thanks for the help so far.
    There is a difference in bullets for sure, but you did the right thing by starting with the lowest load on a bullet you don't know. You can work your way up from there. Stick to the manual on case length and Over All Length. Most likely with H110 and a large cast bullet, you'll run out of room in the case for powder before you get signs of pressure. I don't think 1200 FPS is too fast for a lead bullet, ask anyone reloading 45-70 or 450 Marlin slinging lead at about 1800 FPS. Much of that depends on the alloy mix of the bullet. Just something to consider, a "safe accurate pet load, fun to shoot", might be found in a lighter bullet. Shooting 50 or 100 240 grain bullets over a medium load will be more fun than losing interest because 20 of the 300 grain bullets sting a bit.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    welfare state of Alaska
    Posts
    5,153

    Default .44 loads and H110

    If seat your bullets out to match your cylinder length you can easily get too much H110 behind a heavy bullet. I start getting sticky cases above 21 grs. with a 315 gr bullet seated to maximum length. Part of the issue may be from the bullet lube on the cast bullets but I wouldn't make the statement that you "most likely" can't get too much H110 powder behind a heavy cast bullet in a .44 Mag.

    I find the heavy bullets actually appear to have less "sting" than the lighter bullets esp. in my 329 PD. The recoil effect tends to be more of a shove than a slap IMO. In the relatively heavy Redhwk recoil shouldn't be an issue in any event.



    Quote Originally Posted by Armymark View Post
    There is a difference in bullets for sure, but you did the right thing by starting with the lowest load on a bullet you don't know. You can work your way up from there. Stick to the manual on case length and Over All Length. Most likely with H110 and a large cast bullet, you'll run out of room in the case for powder before you get signs of pressure. I don't think 1200 FPS is too fast for a lead bullet, ask anyone reloading 45-70 or 450 Marlin slinging lead at about 1800 FPS. Much of that depends on the alloy mix of the bullet. Just something to consider, a "safe accurate pet load, fun to shoot", might be found in a lighter bullet. Shooting 50 or 100 240 grain bullets over a medium load will be more fun than losing interest because 20 of the 300 grain bullets sting a bit.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  8. #8
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    5,594

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Armymark View Post
    There is a difference in bullets for sure, but you did the right thing by starting with the lowest load on a bullet you don't know. You can work your way up from there. Stick to the manual on case length and Over All Length. Most likely with H110 and a large cast bullet, you'll run out of room in the case for powder before you get signs of pressure. I don't think 1200 FPS is too fast for a lead bullet, ask anyone reloading 45-70 or 450 Marlin slinging lead at about 1800 FPS. Much of that depends on the alloy mix of the bullet. Just something to consider, a "safe accurate pet load, fun to shoot", might be found in a lighter bullet. Shooting 50 or 100 240 grain bullets over a medium load will be more fun than losing interest because 20 of the 300 grain bullets sting a bit.
    Agreed, for a pet load it's tough to beat a 240-250 gr cast over 9-10gr of unique.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    Agreed, for a pet load it's tough to beat a 240-250 gr cast over 9-10gr of unique.
    I wholeheartedly agree. All my "middle aged" cases that I retire from heavy loads spend the rest of their life with that load. Stiff enough to be more than 44 special, but still easy on guns, brass and shooters for long life of all. Not too shabby as a 50 yard deer whacker either!

  10. #10
    Member Armymark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    624

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    If seat your bullets out to match your cylinder length you can easily get too much H110 behind a heavy bullet. I start getting sticky cases above 21 grs. with a 315 gr bullet seated to maximum length. Part of the issue may be from the bullet lube on the cast bullets but I wouldn't make the statement that you "most likely" can't get too much H110 powder behind a heavy cast bullet in a .44 Mag.

    I find the heavy bullets actually appear to have less "sting" than the lighter bullets esp. in my 329 PD. The recoil effect tends to be more of a shove than a slap IMO. In the relatively heavy Redhwk recoil shouldn't be an issue in any event.


    Don't you miss the cannalure with the crimp, seating a cast bullet out that far? I will acknowledge that you can put too much powder into anything and I should not say things like that, you have me there. I only meant that with a cartridge of proper length by the manual and a large bullet there might not be too much room for much more than 18-20 grains of H110. I retract that statement in the interest of safety. I didn't mean that you could put any amount of powder in the case if you use a large bullet.

  11. #11
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    5,594

    Default

    Paticular to cast bullets, there can be a dramatic difference in powder capacity depending on bullet design. I had a 330 gr WFN style bullet that had the same capacity as a 240 gr swc, in fact I took a 240 gr swc mold, and just machined out the forward portion of the mold to lengthen the bullet and reshape the nose. With the popularity of the truncated cone wadcutters, i.e. LFN/WFN designs, you can assuredly stuff quite a bit more than 20 gr of H-110 in a 44 mag, especially if the bullet is designed for the long redhawk cylinder.

    It's been too many years since I got rid of my 44 to recall how hot I pushed it, but I know I was running at least 21.5 under the various 300-330 gr bullets, and may have even gone up to 22.5. Not recomened, and I'm sure over SAAMI pressure for the 44 mag, but just to clarify that one can put enough H-110 under a 44 mag to boost it's performance. I wouldn't be the least bit suprised if one could get into the 50,000 psi and beyond territory in a 44 mag with H-110 and 300+ gr cast bullets.

    Back to the op, a chrono is your friend and an excellent investment. 300 gr @ 1200 fos and change from a 5 1/2" barrel is reasonable and safely attained with H-110 with a charge of around 21 gr, maybe 21.5. If your'e getting 1300 fps or more, you need to back off the gas.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    welfare state of Alaska
    Posts
    5,153

    Default crimping and powder

    The Lee bullet I cast has two crimping gooves - the bottom one puts the overall length just short of the length of a S&W cylinder. SInce the bullet extends into the throat of the chambers the diameter becoems more critical for chambering. I've never paid too much attention to maximum length by the book - I do for my individual guns since I'm not loading for anyone else. With a handgun loading out to maximum length contributes to lower pressures for a given load since case capacity is so realitively small.

    I've even crimped into lead bullets where there is no crimping gooves to get the maximum possible length. If course crimping naywhere doesn't work as well for jacketed bullets.

    I knew what you mean of course - I was just afraid the statement may get mis-interpreted by some less experienced.


    Quote Originally Posted by Armymark View Post
    Don't you miss the cannalure with the crimp, seating a cast bullet out that far? I will acknowledge that you can put too much powder into anything and I should not say things like that, you have me there. I only meant that with a cartridge of proper length by the manual and a large bullet there might not be too much room for much more than 18-20 grains of H110. I retract that statement in the interest of safety. I didn't mean that you could put any amount of powder in the case if you use a large bullet.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  13. #13
    Member Ryan J's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    218

    Default

    Armymark - I knew what you meant too.
    So what I've got from you fine folks is:
    1. This load will be safe
    2. I could probably go hotter if I want to kill big things with it
    3. 240gr bullet sitting on 9 or 10gr of Unique gets a thumbs up for target shooting
    4. I need to buy a chronograph (I figured I would need one once I got into rifle cartridges anyway)
    Thanks everyone.
    Ryan

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan J View Post
    3. 240gr bullet sitting on 9 or 10gr of Unique gets a thumbs up for target shooting
    That's a dandy deer load out to 50 yards at least. I've only whacked a handful with that particular combo in 44 mag cases, but a whole bunch with the 240 on top of 6 grains of Unique (750fps) from assorted 44 Specials. And about as many with 250's and 7 grains of Unique from 45 Colts.

    Kills em just as dead and just as fast as full snort 44 mag.

  15. #15
    Member Armymark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    624

    Default

    Have fun Ryan, reloading and shooting is a real satisfying pastime with a lot of different ways to do it. Hope to see you on the shootin range some day.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •