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Thread: Heavy 44 magnum bullets.

  1. #1
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    Default Heavy 44 magnum bullets.

    I recently purchased the lee 430-310-RF mould.

    Im working on both a light load, and a heavy hitter. I'll probably start with w296/H110 for the heavy loads.

    I'd like to find a starting point to use WSF powder for this weight bullet, as a light to mid range load, as I have a couple pounds on hand and dont use it for any of my other loading at present.

    What powders does everyone else like for there heavy 44 bullets?

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    Member Libertine's Avatar
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    I like Win296/H110 for .44mag in all bullet weights. Decent results with IMR 4227 as well, but always have some unburned powder in the empties even when using magnum primers.

    2400 seems impossible to find, but I would like to experiment with 800x, Longshot, and AA1680 in the 44 Magnum as time allows.

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    I would look for published data for the application. Some shotgun and handgun powders that work well in smaller cases such as the 9mm and 45 acp act strangely when run at mild pressures in larger cases such as the 44 mag or 45 colt.

    The Lee 310rf is a great bullet in the 44 and as I recall 21.5 gr of H-110 was my preferredload lit off with a CCI-110. I've concluded that for heavy cast bullets in large bore magnum handguns you can't beat H-110 or W-296 for accuracy and velocity.

    For mild loads I prefer Unique, but a good alternative of Universal. There really are a host of powders in this range and I made the switch from Unique to Universal because Unique has been unobtanium for several years now. I also vastly prefer a 240-250 gr cast bullet for mild to mid range loads in the 44. With lead not as easy to find and not as cheap I throttle back on both lead and powder for target and small game loads. 7.0 gr should get you right at 700 fps, but you might need to throttle up to 10.0 gr and 1000 fps for best accuracy, or somewhere in between.
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    2400 is my preferred powder for magnum handgun loads, but It is mighty scarce round these parts also.

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    2400 is good, but H-110 is superior. That's based on several pounds of powder lots of testing in the 357, 44, 45 and 480 over 10 years. H-110 shows a significant accuracy edge. If you're going to shoot 180-200 gr in the .357, 300 or heavier in the 44 or 45 and 400 or heavier in the 480 (or 475 or 500) then you simply can't find a better powder than H-110 or it's sister W-296.

    When Powder Valley finally got hand gun powders in stock last fall I got 16 pounds of H-110, should last me for some time
    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.

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    I loaded a starting load of AA9 under the 430-310 cast from straight wheel weights for some testing and to get a feel for it. I didnt use a gas check for these as I didnt have any, and I didnt have the appropriate sizing die. So, i loaded them as cast, with LLA for lube. I just shot a couple cylinder loads, plinking so far, and it is a real thumper. Penetration must be good as I wasnt able to stop one in a short row of water jugs. Was hoping to see if I got any expansion with the wheel weights or if i'll need to go 50/50 ww/pure like I think i may have to. I'll work up once I get gas checks. And a sizing die in the appropriate size.

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    Here is a couple good links.

    http://www.lasc.us/fryxell44overweight.htm

    http://www.sixguns.com/tests/tt44mag.htm

    i have 2 loads for my 44mag using 310gr cast bullets.
    The 310gr gas check bullet I believe made by Oregon Trail 21.5grs of H110/296
    and the other is a 310gr Kieth style bullet using 16grs. of 2400
    they will both do the job.
    With 240gr./260gr. cast its hard to beat 8.5grs of Unique

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    Default Lil'Gun or N 110

    If cost is no object use Vihtavuori N 110. It is the cleanest burning by far and gives very uniform results.

    In Alaska the Lil-Gun is superior to the H 110/WW296 at cold temperatures. This subject has been covered in the past on this forum in some detail. I haven't tried the N 110 personally at low temperatures but others have reported it does well. I have personally experienced erratic ignition with H 110/WW 296 at low temperatures; do a bit of research and you will find the low temperature problems are well documented by a number of shooters. At temperatures above 30 deg F or so ignition is not a problem with any of the common powders.

    I have both the 2 cavity and the 6 cavity Lee molds and have cast quite a pile of bullets from them. They certainly don't look as nice as the ones from steel molds but seem to shoot quite OK. I've used them in both a S&W 629 Classic and a 329 PD. I have to drop the loads back a couple of grains in the 329 PD from the 629 or I get sticky cases.

    I did have to send my 629 back to S&W several years ago due to throat and breech erosion, and some cylinder axial play. But that was only after many years of shooting all sorts of heavy loads, and S&W fixed it for free including shipping both ways.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bazoo View Post
    I recently purchased the lee 430-310-RF mould.

    Im working on both a light load, and a heavy hitter. I'll probably start with w296/H110 for the heavy loads.

    I'd like to find a starting point to use WSF powder for this weight bullet, as a light to mid range load, as I have a couple pounds on hand and dont use it for any of my other loading at present.

    What powders does everyone else like for there heavy 44 bullets?
    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

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    Thank you for the advice. I havent seen any N 110 round these parts. I have seen some Lil' Gun, but passed it over. Im thinking maybe I shouldnt have been so quick to dismiss it. It only recently has occurred to me that I need to be conscience of powders that do well in cold temperatures. I never thought about searching that here though, thanks for the direction. I suppose I will need to figure out which powders do well in the extreme cold, and work my loads with them, instead of what I most likely wont want to continue using later on.
    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    If cost is no object use Vihtavuori N 110. It is the cleanest burning by far and gives very uniform results. In Alaska the Lil-Gun is superior to the H 110/WW296 at cold temperatures. This subject has been covered in the past on this forum in some detail. I haven't tried the N 110 personally at low temperatures but others have reported it does well. I have personally experienced erratic ignition with H 110/WW 296 at low temperatures; do a bit of research and you will find the low temperature problems are well documented by a number of shooters. At temperatures above 30 deg F or so ignition is not a problem with any of the common powders. I have both the 2 cavity and the 6 cavity Lee molds and have cast quite a pile of bullets from them. They certainly don't look as nice as the ones from steel molds but seem to shoot quite OK. I've used them in both a S&W 629 Classic and a 329 PD. I have to drop the loads back a couple of grains in the 329 PD from the 629 or I get sticky cases. I did have to send my 629 back to S&W several years ago due to throat and breech erosion, and some cylinder axial play. But that was only after many years of shooting all sorts of heavy loads, and S&W fixed it for free including shipping both ways.

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    Default cold in Ky

    I've set in a tree stand on some pretty cold mornings in KY and TN . I grew up in E TN and later lived for a while in KY.

    I've pretty much standardized on Lil'Gun for all my .44 loads and generally use it in my .500 S&W also. I've used about every powder you can imagine in the .44 mag in the last 50 or so years I've been loading for that caliber, and Lil'Gun fill the spot for everything except light loads which I never shoot anyway.

    There has been a question of throat erosion with Lil'Gun - you can do some searches - but unless you shoot a massive number of rounds you can pretty much dismiss that concern. And if it is a S&W - I don't know what you are shooting - simply send it back for a free overhaul.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bazoo View Post
    Thank you for the advice. I havent seen any N 110 round these parts. I have seen some Lil' Gun, but passed it over. Im thinking maybe I shouldnt have been so quick to dismiss it. It only recently has occurred to me that I need to be conscience of powders that do well in cold temperatures. I never thought about searching that here though, thanks for the direction. I suppose I will need to figure out which powders do well in the extreme cold, and work my loads with them, instead of what I most likely wont want to continue using later on.
    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

  11. #11
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    The gun in question is a ruger blackhawk hunter. I will have to do some research about throat erosion and lil gun. It might be a concern for me, i do plan to shoot it a while. Im only in my 30s so i'll have a spell to try to wear it out, Lord willing.

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