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Thread: Herco 44 Mag and 44 Special

  1. #1

    Default Herco 44 Mag and 44 Special

    I picked up some Herco today and was told I could load some 44's with it. Should have checked myself first but didn't. I went to Alliant's site and couldn't find jack on 44 mag or 44 special loads.. Does anyone have a reliable book that has a load using this powder?

    I not, I have 4 pounds of Herco for sale cheap..

  2. #2
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    Don't throw away that Herco just yet. I have used it for the 44 Special and for loads of similar ballistics in the 44 mag case. It is slightly slower than Unique and I prefer it over Unique for such calibers as 44 Spcl, 45 ACP, 10 mm and the 38 special.

    My Speer #8 manual list Herco with a 250 grain cast bullet for the 44 special with a max load of 8.0 grains for a velocity of 872 fps. By comparison Unique is listed with 7.0 grains with that bullet for a velocity of 906 fps. They do use a CCI 350 magnum primer with the powder and I would agree with that. I have personally loaded 44 spcl with 9.0 grains of Herco and a 250 grain cast bullet. This is about 1000 fps from a 4" barrel. This is 44 spcl case with 44 special gun (S&W M24)

    For the 41 mag they list Herco and Unique both with magnum primers. With the 220 grain bullet Herco maxs at 10.5 grains and Unique max at 9.0 grains.

    So, I would say, you could use Unique data for Herco plus one grain in either spcl or mag case.

    In burn rate, Herco lies between Unique and Blue Dot, all are good powders for the special. I use all three of those powders for the 44 spcl and 250 grain cast bul;lets. They max at about 8.0, 9.0 and 10.0 grains, Unique, Herco and Blue Dot, in that order. Have fun with that powder.
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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    Don't throw away that Herco just yet. I have used it for the 44 Special and for loads of similar ballistics in the 44 mag case. It is slightly slower than Unique and I prefer it over Unique for such calibers as 44 Spcl, 45 ACP, 10 mm and the 38 special.

    My Speer #8 manual list Herco with a 250 grain cast bullet for the 44 special with a max load of 8.0 grains for a velocity of 872 fps. By comparison Unique is listed with 7.0 grains with that bullet for a velocity of 906 fps. They do use a CCI 350 magnum primer with the powder and I would agree with that. I have personally loaded 44 spcl with 9.0 grains of Herco and a 250 grain cast bullet. This is about 1000 fps from a 4" barrel. This is 44 spcl case with 44 special gun (S&W M24)

    For the 41 mag they list Herco and Unique both with magnum primers. With the 220 grain bullet Herco maxs at 10.5 grains and Unique max at 9.0 grains.

    So, I would say, you could use Unique data for Herco plus one grain in either spcl or mag case.

    In burn rate, Herco lies between Unique and Blue Dot, all are good powders for the special. I use all three of those powders for the 44 spcl and 250 grain cast bul;lets. They max at about 8.0, 9.0 and 10.0 grains, Unique, Herco and Blue Dot, in that order. Have fun with that powder.
    Well that is good to know considering I bought a 4 pounder. I do have another question. Is there anyone local (Wasilla area) that makes and/or sells cast bullets? I bought 500 online but the shipping is steep. It would be nice to have someone or someplace local that I could get 500 or a 1000 for a reasonable price.

    Anyone else have any expierience with loading 44's with Herco?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by dvarmit View Post
    Well that is good to know considering I bought a 4 pounder. I do have another question. Is there anyone local (Wasilla area) that makes and/or sells cast bullets?
    Yup we sure do got some good ones here in the Valley and in the big city also. These 2 threads list some of them.

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=54719

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=56984
    Andy
    On the web= C-lazy-F.co
    Email= Andy@C-lazy-F.co
    Call/Text 602-315-2406
    Phoenix Arizona

  5. #5

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    If my memory serves me, some 20 yrs ago I used about 12grs of Herco with a 200-gr Hornady H.P. in my 44 Mag. It was an accurate, fun to shoot load...easy to manage recoil.


    Marshall/Ak

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    I have not tried these loads. Be very careful, they are at max 44 mag pressures.
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by brettcar View Post
    I have not tried these loads. Be very careful, they are at max 44 mag pressures.
    I would be great to find some recipes like this with low end pressures. I am new to reloading and the wording "max pressures" scares the hell out of me for good reason.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by dvarmit View Post
    I would be great to find some recipes like this with low end pressures. I am new to reloading and the wording "max pressures" scares the hell out of me for good reason.
    Track down a copy of the 45th edition of the Lyman Reloading Handbook. It lists both min and max load for 44 mag for Herco with 2 jacketed and 5 cast bullets. Interesting enough, they don't list any for 44 special. That really surprises me, cuzz it's a goodun for the special, too.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Track down a copy of the 45th edition of the Lyman Reloading Handbook. It lists both min and max load for 44 mag for Herco with 2 jacketed and 5 cast bullets. Interesting enough, they don't list any for 44 special. That really surprises me, cuzz it's a goodun for the special, too.
    Nothing for the special is disappointing. The wife really enjoys shooting but doesn't enjoy shooting a couple of hours with magnums. The specials fit her better for longer shooting periods. By chance, are any of the loads for the magnum in Lyman's book low end loads that wouldn't smack her very hard?

  10. #10

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    One more thing, I found a copy of the Lyman 45 Edition and it was published in 1970? Is that correct? Seems like a very old reference.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by dvarmit View Post
    One more thing, I found a copy of the Lyman 45 Edition and it was published in 1970? Is that correct? Seems like a very old reference.
    Yes and no. I just checked my 46th edition (1982) and the loads are there, too. Herco is an older powder, so it makes sense it would get lots of attention long ago, even if it's getting less today. I would have no qualms using their starting loads because Herco should be pretty stable and I doubt the formulation has changed all that much. As always, work up with caution.

    While I was at it I went and checked some of my other Lyman manuals including their cast bullet guides. The 39th edition (1953) doesn't list Herco in the 44 Special, and of course the 44 mag was only a gleam in Elmer's eye at that point in time.

    Speer's Volume One (1954) doesn't have any handgun data, and their Number Six has handgun data, but none for Herco in either the special or mag. The NRA Handloaders Guide (1969) has data for both specials and mags, but none for Herco. Phil Sharpe's Complete Guide to Handloading, Third Edition (1953) has lots on the special, but no Herco.

    Ah, pay dirt. Speer manual #11 has Special data for Herco, both jacketed and swaged. I knew I had seen it somewhere. That's 1987, BTW.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Yes and no. I just checked my 46th edition (1982) and the loads are there, too. Herco is an older powder, so it makes sense it would get lots of attention long ago, even if it's getting less today. I would have no qualms using their starting loads because Herco should be pretty stable and I doubt the formulation has changed all that much. As always, work up with caution.

    While I was at it I went and checked some of my other Lyman manuals including their cast bullet guides. The 39th edition (1953) doesn't list Herco in the 44 Special, and of course the 44 mag was only a gleam in Elmer's eye at that point in time.

    Speer's Volume One (1954) doesn't have any handgun data, and their Number Six has handgun data, but none for Herco in either the special or mag. The NRA Handloaders Guide (1969) has data for both specials and mags, but none for Herco. Phil Sharpe's Complete Guide to Handloading, Third Edition (1953) has lots on the special, but no Herco.

    Ah, pay dirt. Speer manual #11 has Special data for Herco, both jacketed and swaged. I knew I had seen it somewhere. That's 1987, BTW.
    Your are the man! Thanks a lot! i will see if I can get my hands on the Speer Manual and the Lyman manual as well. Now all I have to do is find some large pistol primers. I would have never have thought it would be this difficult to find supplies. We need to get Obama out of the white house and the Moon-bats out of the majority before they destroy this country.

    I just ordered the Speer #11, Speer #8 and Phil Sharpe's Complete Handloading Guide.. I check for Sharpe's book on Amazon and they wanted $166.00 bucks for one so I checked again and found one on another site for $22.00. Why would Amazon what $166.00 for this book?

    Anyways, thanks everyone for all the help! It is much appreciated!

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