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Thread: 44 mag heavy loads

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    Default 44 mag heavy loads

    Buffalo Bore cranks out 44 mag +P+ loads that give you a 340 gr. @ 1478 fps for 1649 ft. lb. , that's a .454 . Interesting side note is that they're not for use in S&W revolvers . Combine the above with a 4 5/8 " Super Blackhawk and you have a gun you won't know your packing that will do the trick .

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    Saw that. I was thinking of buying my first Ruger .44, a 4" Redhawk, so I could try off-the-shelf hotloads like that. I hadn't thought of going single action, but they are lighter, which is a good selling point. Double Tap and Garrett both make really hot ammo I wanted to try as well.
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    I just picked up the KRH-444 on monday. 4" redhawk .44 mag, can't wait to shoot it. I also picked up a box of the buffalo bore 340's, will squeeze off a couple to see what I am in store for and save the rest for carry.

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    Thought this might be a consideration for some, as recently referenced on the other thread. John Linebaugh's take on bullet weight for caliber:

    http://www.customsixguns.com/writing...ht_bullets.htm

    The point I'm getting to is this. As the bullet weight goes up pressure does not go up accordingly. It usually goes well until we reach the balance point of bullet weight in each caliber. I have not done nearly enough testing in all the caliber's to give you an exact bullet weight/velocity limit for each caliber, but here are my ideas. The .41 Magnum is probably at its best with not over 250 gr. slugs. I will not shoot over 300/320 gr. in the .44 Magnum and my favorites are the 290 Keith and the 320 LBT at not over 1300 fps in 7 1/2" guns. I've done the majority of my testing with the .45 Colt and feel the 350 gr. is about the best heavy of them all and is my maximum recommended weight in this caliber. I have shot 420 gr. cast bullets to some interesting velocities, but they are too big for the gun and well over the balance point for that caliber. I also feel the 350 gr. is a happy maximum weight for the .454 Casull.
    It made me wonder at what bullet weight your returns are diminished. Buffalo Bore has a great 305gr. load.
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    65Bowtie,
    Let me know how that goes. I'm thinking of a similar rig.


    Thanks,
    Mike

  6. #6

    Default B.Bore loads

    Not to put myself on Mr. Linebaugh's level of knowledge, but I fully agree with what he is saying. A 300/305 grain WNFP hard cast .44 cal. bullet at 1275-1325 fps will give very impressive penetration. I don't see that an overweight bullet of 340 grains at such high velocity will give you that much more, and penetration for bear loads is what we are looking for. As has been discussed numerous times, excessive velocity can actually decrease penetration. What I think will be gained with such a heavy high velocity loaf is more recoil and less control for follow up shots. What you'd get in a 4 5/8" single action Ruger is nerve damage to your hand. The other thing I am concerned with is that Buffalo Bore doesn't always stay within SAAMI Specs. Such a load will loosen even the toughest of guns. Rugers are probably some of the sturdiest big bore guns in the calibers they are chambered for, but that doesn't mean they won't loosen up using excessive loads.

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    That's interesting. I'm thinking of ordering a 440grn mold for my 480. I wonder what Linebaugh thinks of that weight caliber combination.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RainGull View Post
    Thought this might be a consideration for some, as recently referenced on the other thread. John Linebaugh's take on bullet weight for caliber:

    http://www.customsixguns.com/writing...ht_bullets.htm

    It made me wonder at what bullet weight your returns are diminished. Buffalo Bore has a great 305gr. load.

    The law of deminishing returns does come into play along the way here but your quote does not take all factors into consideration. Barrel length certainly matters. The optimum effectivness of a bullets performance will be reached and that may not be the highest velocity or the highest energy level and may depend on such things as nose shape and meplat diameter. If we refer to just the most energy or most momentum that can be easily determined with a chronograph and a calculater. I will say, in general the sectional density of bullets, from the same type of case, i.e. straight walled, with the approximate expansion ratio which means volume to bore ratio, and these three qualify, will regulate exactly the same.

    Your quote doesn't give any creedance to this or we've taken it out of context. The 350 .452" bullet has an SD of .246 the 320 grain .430" bullet has an SD of .247 So what is "balanced" for one is certainly balanced for the other. It would take a 290 grain bullet of .410" diameter to equal the SD of the others with a number of .246. This is the way the powder "sees" it. We have this much surface area to push on and we have this much weight to push and therefore a powder charge of this much is needed to equal this pressure for all calibers. If the SD is the same, the work of the powder and the pressure is the same, given the lesser volume of the case and the lesser charge of powder in the smaller case. The way the large caliber does more work is by increasing the surface area (base of the bullet) on which the expanding gases push (more work is done, with equal psi).

    In order to push a 290 grain 41 mag bullet to the velocity of a 44 mag or 45 Colt bullet of the same weight would take proportionally greater pressure. Thus we must give up bullet weight and SD as we go down in caliber if everything is going to operate at the same 36,000 psi. That "balance point" will be determined by multiplying the SD by the ratio of case volume of one to the other. That is almost exactly .8 for the 41 mag vs the 44 mag meaning the volume of the 41 mag case is about 80% of the volume of the 44 mag case. That means a 41 mag bullet of 232 grains can be driven at equal velocity/pressure as the 44 mag bullet of 320 grains. This isn't exact because the pressure curve is non linear but it does err on the side of safety. But as for the bullets optimum "balance" for the caliber, equal SD is the determining factor, but maybe the volume ratio makes it a better balance, that fits with J L's numbers.

    I'm probably a whole lot deeper in this than you care to travel but I just felt like I ought to apply some science to this before it gets too far out in left field. This is how we stay out of trouble with the pressure genie.
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    Murphy, I apologize for the severely abbreviated quote that scarce does justice to the article. If you haven't read it, I think you would greatly appreciate it.

    I abbreviated it that way to avoid some of the other issues he was discussing and to simplify matters, but as you pointed out I did indeed oversimplify the point to the negecting of a few important considerations.
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    I believe the pressure curve would run more along these lines for the 41 mag.

    Hodgdon max load for the 41 mag and 295-300 grain bullets is 19 grains H110.

    In my last 41 mag 4-5/8" ruger blackhawk 19gr. H110 gave me a velocity of 1275 FPS with a 293 grain hardcast.

    I think Linebaugh is short changing the 41 mag. But I have not compared penetration between the 293 and 250's so maybe he is right. I do know that 293 grain 41 mag load will go through a mooses head and into the dirt behind though.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

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    This part stuck out to me:
    Here is some more data to help you figure out what is happening. A .44 Magnum runs 44,000 psi with 21 gr. of H-110 and a 318 gr. slug. Go up 4 gr. to 25 gr. and think what the pressures are. in the .45 Colt 25 gr. H-110 is 40,000 psi with the 315 gr. slug.
    In the .45 Colt our proof load is 29 gr. H-110 with the 315 gr. bullet. (This is in our strong 5-shot guns.) From Hornady's pressure barrel it runs 1617 fps and develops an honest 59,000 psi. This is what we proof our custom .45 Colt with. They are fitted with our oversize cylinders. THIS IS NOT FOR ANY STANDARD, STOCK, .45 COLT OR THE "BEND IN THE MIDDLE" CONTENDERS. This is a pressure barrel tested proof load and only a proof load. But we do have "would be" reloaders walking around shoot loads equivalent to these type of loads in their .44 Mags.
    Another problem with this is that due to the fact the .44 has less case capacity than the .45 they are loading way beyond the working case capacity the .44 offers. Pressure does not go up comparatively. Power, when ignited, needs working room to work "comfortably". Putting too much powder in a crowded space means a pressure curve well out of proportion to the velocity return we get. Put too heavy a slug on top this and pressure climbs even further out of line. Heavy slugs seat deeper in the case aggravating the situation even more, and reducing case capacity. Some bullets are made with a double crimp groove so the reloader can seat slug further out in the case, but this does not cure the problem completely. When the powder itself reaches the limit to burn with the pressure limits it is designed for, and at the rates it is designed for, it goes wild. The result is called "DETONATION."
    Results are that pressures soar off the scale in relation to the velocity we obtain and at worst a destroyed gun and injured shooter. All of this in search of "high velocity". And for what? To shoot through a skinny Whitetail, or a piece of paper, or to impress your pals?
    I would guess there are lots of heavy bullet shooters out there that are running some "UNREAL" pressures in the revolvers. Their argument being they are using strong Redhawks or other strong guns and pressure signs are "normal". I have personally loaded hundred of rounds of ammo well over 60,000 psi and even 70,000 psi level in special test guns. In all cases I got normal extraction and normal looking primers. Scott Heter of Speer wrote me years ago of fired cases falling out of the chamber of pressure guns when the gun was tipped up. These loads exceeded 60,000 psi. Even with this high pressure the cases fell out of the chamber by gravity.
    Straight cases handle pressure differently than bottle-neck cartridges and often show no excessive pressure signs. We have blown a few guns up here, on purpose, and in all instances upon recovery of the cylinder fragments and case remains, the primer has shown normal pressure.Pressures in these instances have run from 70,000 to over 100,000 psi in our estimation. Do not depend on case pressure signs for danger signs in a sixgun. In most cases the first sign of high pressure you will have, other than excessive recoil and blast, is a bulged cylinder or cracked bolt notch.
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    And this as to pushing our firearms into service they are not designed for, "inter-caliber magnumitis" if you will.

    "But what about really big game?" "We need more speed for more penetration!" I say, "So what?" A .44 is still a .44 whether it's going 1200 or 1500 fps. I prefer a bigger caliber and slug even if I have to loose a bit of velocity. The bigger gun can do and equal amount of work as the smaller caliber with less pressure, blast, and felt recoil. And with handguns we simply can't get enough velocity to shock big game animals like we can with our medium and big-bore rifles. A sixgun is simply a long-range punch press. It simply punches a hole in game. Often times velocity works against us in penetration if our bullets are too soft, or perhaps, too hard.
    My route is a dependable cast slug, not too hard, not too soft, at a moderate velocity not to exceed 1300 fps and let caliber and bullet weight do the job. CALIBER AND BULLET WEIGHT are the only CONSTANTS we have in external ballistics, since velocity is constantly DIMINISHING VARIABLE. I have tried several avenues and find myself coming back full circle to moderate velocity and dependable cast slugs. Robert Smythe always said, "...not to exceed 1100 / 1200 fps." Jim Taylor has killed quite a bit of big game with his .45 Colt 300 gr. at 1200 fps. My wife and I have shot around 4 Mule Deer and a dozen Antelope with .45 Colts. The loads ranged from 260 Keiths at 900 fps to 250 gr. JHP at 1500 fps. While the JHP always knocks a 1" hole through game they don't drop any quicker than the .45 caliber hole made by the cast slug at 900 fps. In these cases of ours, shots were made from 90 to 130 yards.
    I like 1200 fps as a balance point for shooter comfort, trajectory, and ample penetration. If you are after dangerous or really Big game, don't load your little gun up. Load your big gun normal. In other words, don't send a boy to do a man's job.
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    He brings his point home. A very good point about absence of pressure signs in a revolver, there ain't no such thing. Also he's spot on about the velocity it don't matter much 900 to 1400 will do about the same thing, punch a hole all the way through. I like the analogy of the long range punch press, that's it. I don't care about expansion, if I want a bigger hole I'll use a bigger bore size.

    I do believe we put way too much emphasis on velocity, especially in a handgun, where velocity is hard to come by and bullet weight and bore size come in spades. Let the instrument do what it does so well. Velocity may give big energy numbers back here at the firing line but there is absolutely nothing but bullet weight and bore size down range. A bullet starts at 300 grains and 1400 fps, down range it will be 900 fps but it will still be 300 grains.

    Apparently this is a comparison between the 44 Mag and the 45 Colt and he certainly makes a very good point there as well. The 45 is bigger in diameter, its bullets are heavier, and at 44 mag pressures it can equal the velocity. It is every bit the equal of the 44 mag. We do need to be careful about loading for the 45 Colt mag. A seven inch gun will send 300 grain cast at 1350 fps at 44 mag pressures, I think that is about it. Of course we also overload our 44 mags too. I'm glad Ruger makes strong guns.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfeye View Post
    Saw that. I was thinking of buying my first Ruger .44, a 4" Redhawk, so I could try off-the-shelf hotloads like that. I hadn't thought of going single action, but they are lighter, which is a good selling point. Double Tap and Garrett both make really hot ammo I wanted to try as well.
    You might want to check Garrett's website. IIRC although Redhawks and SuperRedhawks are recommended I don't think Blackhawks are. Certainly might be wrong.....

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