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Thread: 44 special load?

  1. #1
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    Default 44 special load?

    I did a search and see alot of people use Unique powder with 240 grain cast bullets for 44 spec loads in a 44 mag. I am pretty sure I am going to Sportsmans to pick this up. Wanted to know what you all think of this load for plinking? This will be my first time at reloading and I want to do it right. What kind of bullets are recommended? There are so many choices but this seems pretty popular. Thanks

  2. #2

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    Unique and 240-245 grain hardcast bullets are my staple for this caliber! I was a big Skeeter Skelton fan and he loved the 44 Special. His favorite load was 7.5 Grains of Unique with these bullets. I mostly plink with this round and settled on a lighter charge. It is a great round, one of my favorites!

  3. #3

    Default 44 Special

    You said that you are new to reloading, be sure and use a powder that is bulky to avoid
    double charges. Check and double check. Would use a single stage loader and sight check each case, before adding bullet to case with powder.

  4. #4

    Default 4 special load

    Hello, it seems like we both have special questions. I can say that I really like the 240gr (L)SWC with TrailBoss between 4.2-5.5 grains. The 4.2 was like shooting a 22LR out of my 5.5 Redhawk. At 25 paces it had no problem spinning one of those metal spinner targets with the large plate on the bottom and small one on top. Good luck and keep everyone posted.

    P.S. TrailBoss will use 70+% of your space in the case so over charging is hard ot do.

  5. #5
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    I have been looking at Cabelas(free shipping now) for 44 hard cast bullets with no luck. Maybe I am looking at the wrong thing. What exactly do I need to load 44 special loads as far as primer, brass and bullet? I will be shooting with a Ruger Redhawk 44 mag. Is it ok to use mag brass for this? How about large pistol primers or do I need mag primers? I did buy some Unique powder. Also very close to buying 44 mag winchester brass. Lots of fmj and hp bullets but none say cast on them. Thanks for any help. This is all new to me and am just learning.

  6. #6
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    Default 44 Special load in a 44 mag...

    Got it! That title means you want to load 44 special ballistics in a 44 mag revolver and cases. Here is my take on this special magnum load, which is different from a magnum special load.

    First Starline brass is the best for any handgun caliber, hands down. Winchester would be my second choice. I load lots of 44 special loads in special cases and 44 mag cases. By far everything works so much better in the special cases. If you haven't bought brass, give Starline a call or buy 44 special by the 100 pieces from Graf.

    Bullets; You don't need expensive hard cast such as the Cast Performance sold by Cabela's. Laser case 240 grain SWC, almost a keith style, work great at 44 special velocities. Almost any inexpensive cast bullet will be fine at the under 1000 fps velocity of the special. Also the 200 to 220 grain jacketed soft points will do well for plinking and target.

    Powder; For the special cases unique, Trail Boss and others work very well. Probably the very best powder, the cleanest, most consistant velocity and repeatable performance will be Blue Dot. A shotgun powder. It is also the best in 44 mag cases for reduced loads, which is what you want here. Unique is very good in special but not as good at 8 to 9 grains in the 44 mag case. Trail boss at about 6.0 grains in mag cases is better than unique and cleaner. It is important as has been pointed out to select a powder that is bulky enough to prevent a double charge. Unique is not that powder, for what that is worth to you.

    An interesting thing with cast bullets vs jacketed. With the same powder charge and same pressure you can get the same velocity with about 20 to 40 grains more bullet weight in the cast. Lower fiction in the barrel. This is a big plus for handloaders. Also the 44 is not bad to lead a barrel, bullets don't have to be so hard if they have good lube. I have been getting very good performance with the laser cast for the 44 and they
    leave no trace of lead at 44 special velocities. I also like the Leadhead Keith style bullets especially where more serious work is needed.

    Also you can shoot pure lead soft swaged bullets at about 700-750 fps with about 5.0 grains of Trail Boss without leading the nore. Speer makes a 240 grain swaged lead .430" bullet.

    If you're in Fairbanks, drop me a line. I have some components I can give you to try.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  7. #7
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    I agree with what Murphy said. But I've discovered that basically, I'm lazy. I used to cast my own and worry about how hard or soft they were, and try to match the hardness to the velocity and champer throat, just like the pros. Now, I'd rather spend the time shooting. For cast bullets in a .44 mag, that shoot like a hot .44 Spec, I use magnum cases, because I don't want to spend the time cleaning the fouling out of the chambers left behind by the shorter Special cases. I've settled on Lazer Cast 240gr semi-wadcutters, which are about the hardest commercial cast bullets you can buy, and according to the rules, are too hard for lighter loads. They seem to work really well anyway. To keep it even simpler, I use 2400 powder and regular (non-mag) primers. 18.5 gr. seems to work so well that I don't even bother with slower powders and higher speeds most of the time (except for grizzly country). I use 2400 and the same bullet in my .44 Specials (check out the loading manuals for a good load). 2400 isn't the cleanest burning powder, but it works as fine now as it did for decades, and I know exactly what to expect from it. If, for some reason you can't find Lazer Cast (Oregon Trail Bullet Co.) in Cabellas or Midway, you can buy them right off their web site. If you're not going after monster loads, the case brand matters little. But please, buy one or two new loading manuals and read them. I've also had luck with Unique with light loads (check your manuals). Lyman used to list lots of loads for cast bullets, the later Speer manuals do for a few weights. Unique (or maybe even 2400) can allow a double load, but with the care that should be taken, it won't be a problem. If care isn't taken, the gun will come apart one day, with a very loud and painful bang. The brand of powder can never take the place of very careful loading technique. Lock the door, and don't get disturbed while your loading. Focus. And keep it simple to start.

  8. #8
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    Well, I ordered the Laser swc 240 gr cast as well as a few Berry fp plated 220 gr for the 44. Also went with rem 44 brass as well as a few 44 special. I have some H110 as well as Unique powder and now will have to hit the books and see what will work. As this is all new to me I am always open for suggestions and do appreciate them. This forum has been a great help so far. Looking forward to recieving the bullets and brass and getting started. Still have alot of book reading to do yet before I pull any press lever! Thanks

  9. #9
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    The H110 (the exact same powder as Winchester 296 with only small lot to lot variations) will be great for full magnum loads, but will need large pistol magnum primers, plus NEVER load below recommended starting loads. Unique will be good for light to medium loads, with standard large pistol primers, but be careful because a double load will fit in the case, so careful visual inspection of all cases once they have powder in them to be sure they all have the same amout of powder is important before seating and crimping the bullets. With case-filling powders like H110, I often use a powder measure, but with Unique I decided to weigh every charge, and still visially check all the cases in the loading block. I never liked doing all the steps on each round at a time, size the all, then mouth flare them all, then prime all, then powder all, then seat all bullets, then crimp all. A progressive press does 5 rounds at a time, but sure isn't good for learning on. The next time you buy something for reloading, buy a good caliper. Good luck, and you'll get lots of answers on the forum, but a manual is the best to learn from, and use the forum to clairify points, but expect different opinions. Safe loading to you. (Oh yeah, if you didn't buy a carbide die set, you have to lube each case before sizing, then clean all that gunk off.)

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