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Thread: Finally found the magic load

  1. #1
    Member The Kid's Avatar
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    Default Finally found the magic load

    Here a while back I rebarrelled my Super Blackhawk 44 with a Douglas bbl, which I carefully crowned at 5" and set the forcing cone to shoot cast bullets. When I was all finished I couldn't wait to get to the range to witness the awesome performance and see the amazing one hole groups it was going to shoot. Imagine my surprise when the darn thing wouldn't shoot any load I tried into anything under a 2.5" group with some groups giong into the 4" range, all of the shooting being done at 25yds with a good rest. Then to add more salt to the wound the worn rattling old 357 Blackhawk I bought on the cheap a few weeks ago shot circles around the custom 44 last range session.

    I tried about a dozen different loads through the 44 both handloads and factory, with bullet wieghts ranging from 180 to 265 for jacketed and 200 through 310 for cast bullets. I did notice that the 310 cast bullets shot the best but didnt give it too much thought. So yesterday after work I bought a box of Seirra 300 JSP and loaded a dozen over 11.3 gr of Blue Dot. John Taffin says that this load should be clocking around 1100 fps and I thought I could live with that if they shot good.

    So this afternoon I strolled down to the range to try out my new load and imagine my suprise when the first 6 were all touching. I could not belive it until I shot the rest of them onto a nice 1.5" group.

    So it seems that I have found either the magic load or the magic bullet. My question now is should I try to get more velocity or should I be happy with what I have? Also have any of you guys used this bullet on game, will it expand at this velocity?

  2. #2
    Member Armymark's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by The Kid View Post
    Here a while back I rebarrelled my Super Blackhawk 44 with a Douglas bbl, which I carefully crowned at 5" and set the forcing cone to shoot cast bullets. When I was all finished I couldn't wait to get to the range to witness the awesome performance and see the amazing one hole groups it was going to shoot. Imagine my surprise when the darn thing wouldn't shoot any load I tried into anything under a 2.5" group with some groups giong into the 4" range, all of the shooting being done at 25yds with a good rest. Then to add more salt to the wound the worn rattling old 357 Blackhawk I bought on the cheap a few weeks ago shot circles around the custom 44 last range session.

    I tried about a dozen different loads through the 44 both handloads and factory, with bullet wieghts ranging from 180 to 265 for jacketed and 200 through 310 for cast bullets. I did notice that the 310 cast bullets shot the best but didnt give it too much thought. So yesterday after work I bought a box of Seirra 300 JSP and loaded a dozen over 11.3 gr of Blue Dot. John Taffin says that this load should be clocking around 1100 fps and I thought I could live with that if they shot good.

    So this afternoon I strolled down to the range to try out my new load and imagine my suprise when the first 6 were all touching. I could not belive it until I shot the rest of them onto a nice 1.5" group.

    So it seems that I have found either the magic load or the magic bullet. My question now is should I try to get more velocity or should I be happy with what I have? Also have any of you guys used this bullet on game, will it expand at this velocity?
    Question, what were the cast bullets sized at. Each gun will like various diameters of the caliber. You should compare the sized bullets and look for a pattern there as well. This might give you other bullet weights with the same sizing, that shoot as well as the 310s. If your not loading a max load already, I would try for a bit more velocity and see what the spread does. You might be able to get some more out of it.

  3. #3
    Member L. G.'s Avatar
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    Hey Kid

    You don't say what powders you tried that gave the bad accuracy.

    I've always liked IMR4227 in the .44 mag. About 100 fps less than H110/W296, but always shot better for me in my 6" bbl M686.

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    Member The Kid's Avatar
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    Default powders

    Sorry for the lack of info, I had tried loads using Blue dot, 2400, and I believe Unique. ( Alleged Unique loads came from good friend of mine, Experienced loader but had been loaded about 15 yrs back. ) Also used factory loads from Fed, Rem, Win, PMC, Norma, and HSM, to no avail.

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    Default AA#9

    AA#9 has been superb in a couple .44's with the 300 grain jacketed bullets, though I have only shot it at paper at the moment. I'd have to check my notes but I beleive the velocity was right at 1100fps without leaning on it too hard. I think I'd be content at that speed if the accuracy is there. I doubt you will gain much in trajectory, possibly some in expansion. Another 300 grain jacketed worth trying is the speer. Shoots very well, and is pretty stout.

  6. #6
    Member Alaska Bush Hunter's Avatar
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    Thumbs up H110 and 2400

    In my Ruger Predator 44 my 2 best powders have been H110 and 2400 with 320gr LBT's. 2400 gave the best accuracy but burns a little dirty but both powders are excellent in the 44 mag.

  7. #7
    Member The Kid's Avatar
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    Default Well as it turns out

    I checked the Seirra manual and the load I was using is about one step up from the minimum and 4 gr under max. This would explain the gentle recoil I guess, so I loaded a half adozen up to near max and tried them today. Well I wont be trying to get any more Vel out of them as recoil is pretty stiff and I dont think that expansion will be a problem as the jackets seem pretty thin ( skwished one with a bullet puller). Also I have switched to 2400 because with max loads with both powders (2400 and Blue Dot) Blue dot gave a much larger muzzle flash. I guess I will have to fix up a bullet box and see what they do as far as penetration and expansion goes. Also I've got some 255 CGC Keith type bullets coming from a friend. He sizes them to .430 so I'll give them a whirl.

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    Quit playing with guns and go get me some ice cream

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    H110 , 2400, lilgun and 4227 are my powders of choice for the 44. Your 44 not shooting anything but 1 load is not very common at all for a 44 mag. Most of the time they shoot everything decently.

  10. #10

    Default The barrel

    So, what is the twist rate and is the rifling dep or shallow? What was wrong with the Ruger barrel so that you didn't just cut it back. Did you do the crowning and barrel installation? Lots of variables. I also like 2400 for cast bullets and Blue Dot for jacketed. If the rifling is shallow it might be better for jacketed bullets.

  11. #11
    Member The Kid's Avatar
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    Default About the barrel

    Yes, first off I did rebarrel it myself and I am a fully trained and qualified gunsmith. I am unsure of the twist rate and have not measured it and the rifling has rather wide shallow grooves. The reason that I rebarrelled it in the first place was that I had it set up as a Sheriff's Model with a 3" tube ( cool to look at and nice to carry but big flash, loud, and short sighting plane). When I set it up I centered both the forcing cone and the crown to within .0005", and cut them in the lathe, so they probably arent the problem also the bbl cyl gap is set at 4 thousandths, reasonably tight but still loose enough to stand some knocks and going without a cleaning for a while.

    When I ordered the bbl blank the company (Not Douglas) sent me the wrong blank, but since the one I ordered was a chromemoly and the one I got was stainless, I figured wow what a deal and decided to use it. It was only stamped Douglas XX .429, and I never bothered checking the rate of twist.

    All is well I guess since it seems to prefer heavy bullets and I too prefer heavy bullets, I guess the logical thing to do would be to shoot heavy bullets huh.

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