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Thread: loading shotshells for 44 mag

  1. #1

    Default loading shotshells for 44 mag

    i have found leads on loading shotshells for pistols but no recipes. has any heard of this or do this? i was wondering since cci shotshells are so expensive any one care to share advice. i was thinking along the line of being able to take grouse since a pistol is easier to carry and the shots are close. what size shot and wads t use?

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    Member 2jumpersplease's Avatar
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    The Speer reloading manual number 13 has a bit of info on loading your own handgun shotshells. I have used factory rounds and they don't do much for anything more than 10-15 feet away. Speer says they are intended for pest control, particularly snakes. Good luck.

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    The easiest would be to use the speer shot capsuls loaded with #9 or #8 shot. Loading data was listed on the box the capsuls came in I think.
    You could make your own shot shells using a small charge of red dot an upside down 44 gas check, fill rest of case with shot and top with a piece of thin card board. You won't get much shot this way and you are into expermenting with things that may not be safe. Also shot pattern beyond 15 or 20 feet is huge. The shot capsuls tend to hold patterns a little better and give more pellets but still doesn't extend range much. I have some of the capsuls but can't remember if they are 357 or 44. If you want I can look.

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    After some thought , even better is a 22 revolver with shorts. Plenty deadly at any range you can hit them, fairly quiet and doesn't tear up meat or leave lead in the bird. Cheap too, like me.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    The Dec 2008 issue of Shotgun news ran an article called shot shells for rifled arms which has some load info. They were also showing some info on loading shot shells for the 45/70! That would be sweet on a fall bb hunt to pick off some ptarmigan.

  6. #6

    Default longer cases

    One option I've seen used is long cases cut down to what the OAL for a loaded round would be. For example for a 44 mag, take a 445 supermag and trim the brass to the OAL of a loaded 44 mag round. Then you have greater capacity for a shot payload. You are off into experimental territory here so you will have to figure out the loads and the wads.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by linger27 View Post
    i have found leads on loading shotshells for pistols but no recipes. has any heard of this or do this? i was wondering since cci shotshells are so expensive any one care to share advice. i was thinking along the line of being able to take grouse since a pistol is easier to carry and the shots are close. what size shot and wads t use?
    Back when I lived and worked in snake country, I dinked around with this a lot in both 357 and 44. Basically, unless you really like scrubbing lead from bores, go with the Speer shot caps rather than gas checks. There's loading data on the back of the Speer box, if they're still made. I used them a bit on cottontails in front of beagles, but beyond about 15 feet, fuggedaboutdit. Go with #9 shot for max density, but expect the pattern to blow quickly anyway.

    One word of loading advice: Check your case length and trim them for consistency. Then be real careful about getting just enough crimp, but not too much. Too little and the capsules shift around. Too much and they'll break off with very little provocation.

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    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Go with a target load and head shots. I have taken two grouse in two shots with my 454 and full power hunting loads. Head shots both of them. I think this would work better that shotshells because you will either bag them or miss. I found shotshells to really only be good for 10' at max.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMiller View Post
    Go with a target load and head shots. I have taken two grouse in two shots with my 454 and full power hunting loads. Head shots both of them. I think this would work better that shotshells because you will either bag them or miss. I found shotshells to really only be good for 10' at max.
    I found out the hard way that my sights were off. I accidentally hit a ptarmigan dead center in the breast while aiming for the head. All that was left was a plum of feather floating across the tundra.

    The article I read recommended using the speer caps and .44 special shells loaded to a velocity of 1100-1200 fps The article recipe for .44 called for 6 grains of bullseye behind 142 grains of shot in a 15 grain capsule. You could play with it a great deal though depending on what pistol you are using. I would imagine you could load a longer cartridge in a Redhawk than in a smith etc. Sounds like a fun project!

    ****I do not handload yet, so I have no knowledge of the safety of this load, do your own math/research as I am just regurgitating published info****

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    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Doesnt sound like a target load there. I use to shoot grouse with wadcutter 357's and it would just make a hole through the chest that was no big deal.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

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    Member IceKing02's Avatar
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    Default Here's the key for .44 Mag shotshells...

    As told to me by the good folks at Boondock's:

    Fill Speer capsule to about 3/4 full with birdshot of choice (#8 for me). Then place a single piece of 00 Buckshot on top of birdshot. Then put opaque plastic base on top. Place capsule on top of case tumbler and vibrate it until the capsule almost closes. Apply a small piece of tape to the capsule/base and seal it shut.
    Drop capsule into case filled with 9.0grains of 2400. Apply decent amount of crimp. Enjoy!

    This load puts out a nice pattern of birdshot with the buckshot right in the center. Deadly for rabbits or grouse out to 20feet.

    NOTE: All load data has been verified by at least six rabbits and two grouse. Sample of this verification is posted in photo.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 100_1665.jpg  

  12. #12
    Member IceKing02's Avatar
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    Default Feel free...

    to hit me up with the Rep Points for all of the rigorous load-testing data collection that was done in the name of science!

    Next project: The "What a Load!" Foundation...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by aklefty View Post
    One option I've seen used is long cases cut down to what the OAL for a loaded round would be. For example for a 44 mag, take a 445 supermag and trim the brass to the OAL of a loaded 44 mag round. Then you have greater capacity for a shot payload. You are off into experimental territory here so you will have to figure out the loads and the wads.
    I have done this with 445 super mag cases. It is experimental but it can be safe and effective. First of all, shot in a handgun is a ten foot effective range at best and they are really just for snakes-at-your-feet kind of load. You must be close for birds. Also the #8 or #9 shot often recommended for snake loads won't kill a bird cleanly. I use number 4's or 6's for these survival 44 loads.

    This came about some many years ago when I was discussing with a gun nut friend about general purpose do all loads for the 44. We were disappointed in the Speer shot capsules at several levels. One of which was when shooting heavy cast bullet loads in the same cylinder with the shot capsules, the recoil would bust the shot capsule and spill its contents. Also the rather anemic performance of the small quantity of small shot. I was shooting a single shot 445 SM back then and took that case and through a series of steps necked it down to fit into the throat of the 44 cylinder. The final size was with a 41 mag die. I can get 200 grains of shot in this case over my powder charge. I think the Speer capsules hold about 120 grains. I used different powders but settled on Blue dot because it was the right load density and burn rate for this rather light bullet. I cut card board (cereal boxes) with a 410 shotgun wad cutter (these are really gasket cutter tools of the right size) and placed two over the powder. I used the flared end of my long drop tube funnel, I guess a pencil would work but I used the funnel tube and added the shot through the funnel which held things in place. I filled the case almost full with shot #6 or #4 if you want to kill a bird, then placed another wad (double) over that. I glued two of these cardboard wads together for strength. These should fit tight, then super glue in place. I then crimped these by starting the case in a Redding 38 special seater die body. Just starting them in the die will roll the case in. I think I crimped then glued the wad in place.

    These can be loaded in a cylinder with heavy (bear) loads and you can shoot the heavy loads and the shot loads will remain together. Don't ask why I want both in the same cylinder, it's just a durability thing. These shot shells can be carried in a coat or pants pocket without being broken like the plastic capsules can.

    This is a lot of trouble but once the cases are made not so bad. They can be resized in the 44 mag carbide die and then neck sized in the 41 mag die and reloaded several times. With 10 grains of BlueDot it is a mild load. There can be some ejection problems with these especially if you shoot six in a D/A revolver that ejects all six at once. They work better in a S/A Blackhawk. I've also done the same thing with the 460 S&W case and the 454 cylinder of my M83. This is a 3/4 ounce load.

    In barrels shorter than 5 1/2 or 6" they just don't pattern worth a flip, the longer the barrel the better. Also they do lead a barrel but not as bad as some lead bullets. Also you may need to adjust the powder charge to get the best pattern for your shot. The distance at which you can get about 80% in a 20" circle is your range. Twenty feet is probably the best you can get. Just another experiment with some limited success.

    Another effective load is two .433" soft lead, 120 grain, round balls in a 44 mag case over a modest charge of BlueDot. Crimping in the middle of the top ball. This 240 grain load is about 1100 fps from a 4" barrel and will place the balls two inches apart at 7 yards. Don't ask me why I did this either but they are capable of dispatching a large animal quickly at the range which a big mean dog can bite!
    Last edited by Murphy; 12-28-2008 at 15:39. Reason: learning to spell
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  14. #14

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    Interesting coincidence. Blue Dot was my pick with the Speer shot caps, too.

    Gotta tell a story to illustrate the limited range and effectiveness. I was using 357 shot caps at the time, but I don't think it matters on snakes. Whacked an awful lot of them over the years while working in serious snake country and couldn't see a difference, except the 357 handguns were a lot smaller and lighter.

    Anyway......

    Got caught with my feet spread on a narrow trail and a coiled, P***ed off rattler right between them. Emptied the 357 at the snake, but somehow missed it and my feet. He just slithered off and I killed him a few seconds later with a rock. Yeah, I was rattled, literally. But darned if the three of us could find a single hole in his hide, my shoes or my feet. Go figure that one out!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by RMiller View Post
    I use to shoot grouse with wadcutter 357's and it would just make a hole through the chest that was no big deal.
    This is what I'd recommend as well. I've used 200 grain Lasercast RN bullets with 6 grains of Hodgdon Clays in my 4" S&W model 29. I've also used 231, I think about 7 or 8 grains if I remember right, but I don't recall for sure. A round nose should make for a little less meat loss than SWC or full wadcutter.

    Mike

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