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Thread: Light 44 mag load

  1. #1
    Member bgreen's Avatar
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    Default Light 44 mag load

    I've got a 27 oz 44 mag and want to develop some light loads for practice. I picked up a 100 ct box of Sierra 180gr JHC at Sportsman's Warehouse last time I was in Anchorage, and would like to use them up before I go on to any other the fine bullets that might be available or preferred by many.

    I see a load in my Lyman 48th edition reloading handbook that shows that "2400" is an acceptable powder for this bullet, and since I haven't purchased but one other pistol powder (HS-6 for 38 special), would this powder be a good choice for the above? (I'm assuming that they are referring to Alliant 2400)

    How far below the listed "Suggested Starting Grains" can a person safely go? I see that there are slower loads with other powders, but if this same powder could be used in my .357 I would prefer to only buy one other powder at this point.

    Once this lot of 180 grain bullets have been used, what would you suggest? I shy from non-jacketed bullets due to leading, but if the cost is low enough, or if thats the only way I can shoot tolerable low recoil practice loads, I will bite the bullet so to speak.

    Thank you for your input,

    Brook
    The individual right to keep and bear arms shall not be denied or infringed by the State or a political subdivision of the State.

  2. #2
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    2400 is a good powder for the 44 Magnum, especially for heavy bullets.

    The standard warning is to not go below the lightest load you find in the Loading Manuals. (Something about the core leaving the barrel, and the jacket staying in there and causing big trouble the on next shot.)

    (Of course, this canít happen with a Cast Bullet. And, cast bullets have less friction, and wonít wear your barrel out. While leading can be an issue with cast bullets, it doesnít have to be.)

    Using the lightest bullet, at the lightest load is a good way to reduce recoil.
    Smitty of the North

  3. #3
    Member jdb3's Avatar
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    Give W231 a try. It works wonderfully with 44 special loads and does not leave much residue in the barrel. 2400 will. The cases come out looking almost as clean as when you first loaded them. I'm shooting both 200 and 240 grain case bullets out of my S&W 696 and they work wonderfully. Both are in the 800 to 900 fps range. Jim

  4. #4
    New member George's Avatar
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    Default light 44 loads

    Good, light 44 mag load- 6 grs Trailboss under decent cast 180 gr bullet. Trailboss is a bulky, relatively fast and clean burning powder excellent for low to medium velocity cast bullet loads. A good 180 cast bullet for 44 Sp or Mag is the Hornady swaged 180 FN- about 22.00 per 250 thru Midway.

  5. #5
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    I use 8 to 9 grains of Unique and a 240 grain semi-wadcutter with a good crimp. I think it is still going around 950 to 1050 fps. The Speer half jacketed semi-wadcutter really works well.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    I use 8 to 9 grains of Unique and a 240 grain semi-wadcutter with a good crimp. I think it is still going around 950 to 1050 fps. The Speer half jacketed semi-wadcutter really works well.
    That's exactly what I have been using minus the SWC, but I just bought some 240 gr. cast plinkers. So we will see how that goes.

  7. #7
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Pretty tough to beat unique and a 240-250 gr cast bullet, 7gr yields ~700 fps, and 10 gr ~1000 fps. The 7gr loads are very mild, though you'll likely find the best accuracy closer to 10 gr.

  8. #8
    Member jdb3's Avatar
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    I agree with you Paul, but the W231 is cleaner burning and the accuracy is almost as good. Jim

  9. #9
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    The reason I use the SWC type designs with the light loads, are two.

    A. the bullet is seated way down in the case taking up some room.

    B. I crimp a real heavy roll crimp over the shoulder that holds the slug there until a little more pressure has built up . It seems to keep things more consistant.

    I have also used Blue Dot for more medium loads and Herco which seems to be a little dirtier than Unique.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

  10. #10
    Member smwwoody's Avatar
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    8 grains of unique and a 240 swc with a nice tight crimp is real hard to beat for a good all around light load

    Woody

  11. #11
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    Well, I finally got back to my reloading bench and finished up my first round of handloads. Plinker loads for my 44. 8gr Unique, 240gr cast swc, heavy crimp. Now to get out and shoot!

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