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Thread: loading .44 special loads in .44 mag brass?

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    Default loading .44 special loads in .44 mag brass?

    So I was told in another thread that I can use .44 special recipes for .44 mag brass for plinking loads. When doing this I assume I can use regular LP primers and that I don't have to crimp? And I can use COL for the mag?

    I am using the hornady 240 grain xtp, in my hornady manual it has the same bullet used for both mag and special so I have load info. I like shooting my 44 special but only have about 25 brass and am looking to load my magnum brass to the same recoil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKF View Post
    So I was told in another thread that I can use .44 special recipes for .44 mag brass for plinking loads. When doing this I assume I can use regular LP primers and that I don't have to crimp? And I can use COL for the mag?

    I am using the hornady 240 grain xtp, in my hornady manual it has the same bullet used for both mag and special so I have load info. I like shooting my 44 special but only have about 25 brass and am looking to load my magnum brass to the same recoil.
    Sounds like pullin yer pants down to pull yer socks up, no offense of course. Try this, take the velocity you want from the .44 special load and find a .44 mag load that will be close. Compare the load data from the Hodgdon web site for the .44 Special and the .44 Mag. Note that many of the minimum .44 mag loads are the same as the .44 Specials. Primers as per recipe for the .44 Mag. I would at least put a mild crimp. COL would not be a factor as you are loading a normal SAAMI spec cartridge.
    44 Special Data

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    That's something I actually do all the time, for both the .44 and the .357. One of my favorite loads in my .44 magnums is a 250 grain Keith bullet over 7.5 grains of 231. One thing you'll find is that if you take a book load for .44 special and use it with .44 mag brass, because the case volume is bigger it'll result in less velocity than the book shows. To deal with this you can increase the charge by half a grain or so, depending on the powder. If you're just starting out loading, it's probably a good idea to follow Armymark's advice and look at the minimum loads for the magnum. I also totally agree with his advice to still use at least a mild crimp.

    Mike

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    CAUTION!!
    If you do just dump a 44 special load in a mag case be advised you could get an overpressure, destroy your gun, or even harm someone with some powders due to the extra case volume. H110/W296 powder is very well known for pressure spikes with light charges but they are not the only powders that can bite you like this. This is why itís always best to stay between the lines and not go over or under published data. There is ample proven data for 44mag light loads with fast and safe powders like Unique or Bullseye so why go reinvent the wheel, why risk it!
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    I would say that's a very valid concern if you can find any .44 special loads using H110 or W296. I've certainly never seen any. All published .44 special data use the very powders you recommend, Unique and Bullseye, or powders of very similar burn rate. Even Elmer Keith's load of 17.5 grains of 2400 is perfectly safe when magnum brass is substituted.

    Your recommendation to stick to book loads is always good advice in any situation, but this just isn't as dangerous as you make it out to be.

    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeT View Post
    I would say that's a very valid concern if you can find any .44 special loads using H110 or W296. I've certainly never seen any. All published .44 special data use the very powders you recommend, Unique and Bullseye, or powders of very similar burn rate. Even Elmer Keith's load of 17.5 grains of 2400 is perfectly safe when magnum brass is substituted.
    There are H110/W296 published loads all the way down to 38 special but thatís not the point. Like I said there are many other powders that can give grief in light loadings, it's not just one powder that can do it.



    Quote Originally Posted by MikeT View Post
    Your recommendation to stick to book loads is always good advice in any situation, but this just isn't as dangerous as you make it out to be.
    Mike
    I said use caution not Ďdanger flat out don't do ití since it can be done safely. Like many things in the world itís all fun till someone gets heart. Just like driving a car itís a good idea to stay between the lines, no one said the first time you drift out of your lane everyone dies. However it is more likely that something bad will happen when youíre not staying in your lane, these bad things range from picking up a nail in your tire all the way to a catastrophic wreck. The same risk principle is true in reloading, there are thousands upon thousands of proven loads for the 44mag so unless the point is to invent something new why not use proven data?
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    MikeT, I think the point is this, why mess around and assume any risk when there are plenty of .44 Mag loads that will be just as lite as a lite .44 Special? In doing so you have removed any "guess work, and have mitigated as much risk as possible to be safe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKF View Post
    So I was told in another thread that I can use .44 special recipes for .44 mag brass for plinking loads. When doing this I assume I can use regular LP primers and that I don't have to crimp? And I can use COL for the mag?

    I am using the hornady 240 grain xtp, in my hornady manual it has the same bullet used for both mag and special so I have load info. I like shooting my 44 special but only have about 25 brass and am looking to load my magnum brass to the same recoil.
    OR..........You could ask someone that actually knows how to do that. I've loaded thousands of 44 special loads in 44 mag brass and it is simple and safe with the right powders, lots of them. Tell me what powder(s) you have to work with for that 240 grain Hornady. (You can use a different bullet) There are way too many ignorant myths floating around about this and there shouldn't be. It is a very popular loading, 44 special velocity in 44 mag brass. Ideally you want 900 fps from a mid length barrel and the 240-250 grain bullet. Easy to do and yes you do use standard LP primers not magnums. We actually are matching primer to powder. The slow ball powders need mag primers but we won't use that in these loads, no high pressure just crappy performance. You will always need to crimp loads for a revolver if you want efficient trouble free loads. And of course the COAL is the same, it is still a 44 magnum load and the bullet has a crimp groove to establish the correct length. The load will just be at 44 special velocity.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    OR..........You could ask someone that actually knows how to do that. I've loaded thousands of 44 special loads in 44 mag brass and it is simple and safe with the right powders, lots of them. Tell me what powder(s) you have to work with for that 240 grain Hornady. (You can use a different bullet) There are way too many ignorant myths floating around about this and there shouldn't be. It is a very popular loading, 44 special velocity in 44 mag brass. Ideally you want 900 fps from a mid length barrel and the 240-250 grain bullet. Easy to do and yes you do use standard LP primers not magnums. We actually are matching primer to powder. The slow ball powders need mag primers but we won't use that in these loads, no high pressure just crappy performance. You will always need to crimp loads for a revolver if you want efficient trouble free loads. And of course the COAL is the same, it is still a 44 magnum load and the bullet has a crimp groove to establish the correct length. The load will just be at 44 special velocity.
    Thanks for the replies all,
    What you say makes tons of sense Murphy. I have win 231, clays, and ramshot true blue. I am using 296 for magnum loads. I've read all the manuals and such so I understand the basics, just variations like this leave me uncertain.
    AKF

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    Hodgdons Clays powder will make a good clean burning load with 6.0 grains behind a 240 grain bullet. This will give about 900 fps from a 6" revolver. Max would be about 6.2 grains. Charge a batch of cases then look into each case with a good light. The danger here is a double charge. Always check twice before seating a bullet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKF View Post
    Thanks for the replies all,
    What you say makes tons of sense Murphy. I have win 231, clays, and ramshot true blue. I am using 296 for magnum loads. I've read all the manuals and such so I understand the basics, just variations like this leave me uncertain.
    AKF
    I used to load 44mags for my brother with 240 grain Hornadys for plinking.
    Here are some of these loads from my notes, all with CCI LP primers and from a 5.5" Blackhawk.
    7 grains 231 @ 900fps
    10 grains Unique @ 900fps
    9.5 HS6 @ 950fps
    8 of Bulseye @ 950fps < this was his favored plinking load
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