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Thread: .44 mag small game load

  1. #1
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    Default .44 mag small game load

    Could somebody give me some good ideas for recuced loades that would work for some bunnies now and then?

    Thanks

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    Member Diesel Nut's Avatar
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    Try Bullseye or Red Dot loads in a 44 Special case. With a medium-weight (200-250) gr bullet there should be little damage, especially if it's a FMJ round nose design.

  3. #3

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    I've always used 6 grains of Unique or 5 grains of 700X under a 240 grain semiwadcutter in 44 special cases. Busted a whole lot of bunny heads with those combos. Plenty accurate and mild as mild can be.

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    I've used 6-8 grains of Unique with 240 SWC in 44 magnum cases for that purpose. These are mild loads to shoot and even with these loads you'll have more than adequate penetration on bunnies and such.

  5. #5

    Smile me too...

    What Brown Bear said with the Unique and .44 Spl. cases. Oh yeah, it does work on the bunnie heads!

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    Default Try round balls

    .430 round balls also work great and are cheap and easy to load.

    Try unique or bullseye and simply press them into the case mouth. You can try a dap of bullet lube also if you shoot a lot of them.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
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    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    .430 round balls also work great and are cheap and easy to load.

    Try unique or bullseye and simply press them into the case mouth. You can try a dap of bullet lube also if you shoot a lot of them.
    Well, I think I'll do that.

    Thanks tvinak.

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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    .430 round balls also work great and are cheap and easy to load.

    Try unique or bullseye and simply press them into the case mouth. You can try a dap of bullet lube also if you shoot a lot of them.
    I did a whole bunch of this at one time. The swaged Hornady or Speer balls are 100% pure lead and will lead your bore like crazy with lots of shooting if you aren't careful to seat them slightly below the case mouth, then smear a little lube in between the edge of the case mouth and the ball. I messed with lots of lubes and for cheap and easy, it's hard to beat good old Crisco. If you want a little color, pic up a tube of yellow Bore Butter muzzleloading lube, though it will cost you more.

    Better yet, cast your own from wheelweights. Not as much problem with leading, but still worth adding the lube for long sessions.

    Primers alone aren't quite enough to push the balls out a 7" barrel, and they're a little iffy with a 4" barrel. I found it best to charge with a slight bit of Bullseye. I have a Forster pistol powder measure with fixed, interchangeable tumblers including one that drops 1.1 grains of Bullseye. That turned out to be just about perfect. You can see the ball flying through the air, but it will penetrate a 1" spruce board at 15-20 feet. Careful of knots if you do that, because the balls rebound back right at you rather than penetrate.

    More powder resulted in leading, even with wheelweights and lube, BTW. I'm not sure I'd call this a small game load much past 25 feet. Accuracy starts getting weird, both due to group size and arcing trajectory.

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    Wow thanks guys! I'll defiently try some of this.

    Ok now I have another one.

    Can somebody reccomend a good .30-30 small game load?

  10. #10

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    I'd buy or cast your own 170 grain flat nose, gas checked lead bullets. No need to go super hard for low velocity small game shooting, so a Lyman #2 alloy will be ideal. My favorite bullet is along the lines of the Lyman #31141, though my mold is older and there are very slight differences. Load it on top of 10 grains of IMR-4756 or Herco for around 1400fps, and I'm betting it will be super accurate in most guns.

    Folks who don't cast or buy their own have reported happiness with the Speer 100 grain Plinker or 110 grain Varminter HP, but the manuals only list higher vel loads and I haven't taken the time to work out low vel loads since I'm already happy with cast. At higher velocities such as in the manual, I've never been happy with the accuracy. I sure wouldn't shoot edible small game with any of the loads the Speer manual lists for these bullets either! Waaaaaaay too fast.

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    Default 3118

    The Lyman mold for bullet 3118 works great in 30 cal. for small game and cheap plinking. This is a flat nose non-gas check bullet that cast out around 110 gr. or so. Probably orginally made for the .32-20 and .32 S&W and Colt long cartridges. I ened up with 6.8 gr. of PB powder in an '06 and it shot well in every gun I tried it in. You could probably use some other powder like Unique but PB worked well for me.

    Back when powder and primers were cheap and lead was free I could shoot the load as cheap as a .22 LR.


    Quote Originally Posted by andrew cochran View Post
    Wow thanks guys! I'll defiently try some of this.

    Ok now I have another one.

    Can somebody reccomend a good .30-30 small game load?
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    Thanks for the help! I'll be trying some of this!

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    I used my .44 mag to dispatch a grouse last Saturday using a 320 gr hard cast in front of a full case of H110. Penetration was.... adequate.

    Actually, I aimed for the base of the neck and didn't waste any meat at all. 30 min later I used to to finish off a cow moose, which was the real reason I was carrying it with those loads.

    Normally, about 7 gr of Red Dot and a 240 gr cast SWC are what I carry for small game. Super cheap to shoot and they happen to hit to the same point of aim as my hot 240 gr loads out to about 20 yds. You have to be VERY careful about double charging though.

    I've also used some of that Cowboy Action powder, Trailboss I think? That also worked well, but wasn't nearly as cheap to shoot and carried a little more velocity.

    Yk

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