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Thread: 44 Mag: strong & stronger production revolvers...and strong ammo...

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    Default 44 Mag: strong & stronger production revolvers...and strong ammo...

    ...and good reasons to consider the subject. A recurring Forums question asks whether a certain ammo exceeds the construction/material limits of a given revolver. The purpose is virtually always for bear defense. To understand the ballistics behind recommended calibers/bullets and the revolvers needed to shoot them, I think the Garrett ammo site has a treasure of information, beginning with why one wants a heavy, "19 Brinnell" bullet traveling slow for the purpose (http://www.garrettcartridges.com/defensive.html).

    When it comes to shooting more powerful ammo, individuals are concerned whether their revolver-of-interest will handle the sportier loads. The Garrett website & much posted on these forums suggests a few proposals for rules-of-thumb worth discussion in selecting your revolver or ammo. Most of this is from the Garrett website. Are these good suggestions? Any other practical guidelines helpful for anyone looking at using hi-potency ammo for their .44?

    1. Strong: All modern, all-steel revolvers except Taurus Tracker.


    b. Most modern revolvers produced by SAMMI member manufacturers (http://www.saami.org/member_companies/index.cfm) will handle most modern ammo, including +P ammo (http://www.handgunsmag.com/ammunitio...tplusp_0306-7/).

    b.
    But we careful with old revolvers: In general, old guns are often not constructed in a way that compares well with the strength of modern revolvers. +P ammo particularly, is designated +P to warn shooters that it's produced to fire at higher chamber pressures, and needs careful consideration before use in old revolvers. I don't know if it applies to any .44 Mag (a fairly recent production ammo) revolvers.

    2. Strongest: But for some hi-potency ammo, only the strongest revolvers will do. These include: Rugers; Redhawk, Super Redhawk, Taurus Raging Bull, Dan Wesson

    3. Long enough barrels: Garrett advises against using high-potency ammo in revolvers with less than 4" barrels.


    For any ammo sold in interstate commerce, the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) is the federal agency with primary jurisdiction over the safety those products. Further information or complaints are available on its website at www.cpsc.gov. You may also want to check with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (“BATF”), the agency with jurisdiction over firearm sales.

    Be interested in hearing your comments. Thanks.

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    Default Cylinder Length - not strength

    The Garrett literature states that the heaviest 330 gr. loads are limited by cylinder length - not the strength of the revolver. Likewise Garrett states that the 310 gr loads are for revolvers with standard length cylinders like the S&W.

    I've been shooting 310 gr hardcast bullets I mold using the Lee mold for some time now in both my 329 PD and 629. They work well in both guns sized to .430 dia. but I have to size the nose to .428 or .429 to seat in the bottom crimp goove.

    I'd like to shoot a 320 or 330 but the molds get very expensive compared to the Lee 6 cavity I use to crank out the 310 ones in volume.
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    I don’t think there is a problem with any 44mag and SAMII ammo, 44mag is new enough any gun chambered for it will take it . . . same with 357mag. Some of the very light 44mag fed a seedy diet of +P+ will certainly wear them out faster but I don’t call that damage, it’s wear and tear. Now 45 Colt, 44 Special, and 38 owners better know their gun before they stuff hot ammo in there. Most understand the old guns won’t stand it but many new guns in those chambering can’t take it ether. Then there in some very hot loaded ammo out there that fits right in these weak guns making knowledge of what your gun can take very critical information.
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    Question though. I probably read this but can't remember.
    Is +P or +P+ ammo still within SAAMI pressure limits?
    Agreed that the 44 mag is new enough to be not a problem.
    Mike
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    Default SAMMI specs

    If you goto the SAMMI link and look around you will find that there are specs for both the standard and +P loads for many calibers.

    There is also a lot more on the site- worth spending some time poking around there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Echo View Post
    Question though. I probably read this but can't remember.
    Is +P or +P+ ammo still within SAAMI pressure limits?
    Agreed that the 44 mag is new enough to be not a problem.
    Mike
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Echo View Post
    Question though. I probably read this but can't remember.
    Is +P or +P+ ammo still within SAAMI pressure limits?
    Agreed that the 44 mag is new enough to be not a problem.
    Mike
    From the Handguns magazine article cited above:

    "...SAAMI (Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute) uses the +P designation to separate the new pressure limit for these old cartridges from the old lower standard...SAAMI-specified +P is simply a modern standard for maximum pressure ..."

    "... another P rating: +P+... designates that the cartridge is loaded above SAAMI specs for +P ammo, and most manufacturers restrict sale of these loads to law enforcement, for good reason. These loads are carefully tailored for modern service handguns and may not be safe in all firearms. Thus they are not offered to the general public".

    The article contains one important caveat: "...Consumers should be aware that only manufacturers that are members of SAAMI are bound by the Institute's guidelines...All the major American ammo manufacturers are SAAMI members, and most smaller outfits also abide by SAAMI guidelines... Be aware, all comments in this article regarding the safety of using +P ammunition are related to SAAMI-sanctioned +P loads only".

    To see which manufacturers are SAAMI members, chk here: http://www.saami.org/member_companies/index.cfm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    The Garrett literature states that the heaviest 330 gr. loads are limited by cylinder length - not the strength of the revolver. Likewise Garrett states that the 310 gr loads are for revolvers with standard length cylinders like the S&W.

    I've been shooting 310 gr hardcast bullets I mold using the Lee mold for some time now in both my 329 PD and 629. They work well in both guns sized to .430 dia. but I have to size the nose to .428 or .429 to seat in the bottom crimp goove.

    I'd like to shoot a 320 or 330 but the molds get very expensive compared to the Lee 6 cavity I use to crank out the 310 ones in volume.
    tvfinak: Reading more from Mr. Garrett, I see that you are right (http://www.garrettcartridges.com/garrett44mag.html). Thanks.

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    This thread has a lot of promise. I am interested to see where it goes..

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    Default Hope

    The SAMMI and Garrett sites were good starts.

    The Hodgdon and latest Lyman manuals have some good info on loads including pressures. Both pressure and velocity are a lot easier to measure accurately nowadays thanks to modern electronics so we have a much better idea of where we were than a few decases ago.

    I'd like to see some modern cylinder buldging and blowup tests along the lines of what Ackley did long ago. It would be of special interest to me to see the differences between blued carbon steel and the more popular stainless guns of today. People tend to forget that the alloy carbon steels are generally signifcantly stronger than stainless steels at normal temperatures.

    Quote Originally Posted by sthrcave View Post
    This thread has a lot of promise. I am interested to see where it goes..
    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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    Taurus? Strongest revolver. Surely you jest.

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    Default ???

    It appears you mis-read something or ??

    Quote Originally Posted by seant View Post
    Taurus? Strongest revolver. Surely you jest.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by seant View Post
    Taurus? Strongest revolver. Surely you jest.
    Yea in 44mag a Raging Bull is stout, they can take 454 so 44mag +P+ is a walk in the park. Did you see it also lists Tracker as less than strong?
    "1. Strong: All modern, all-steel revolvers except Taurus Tracker."
    Andy
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    Did you see it also lists Tracker as less than strong?[/SIZE][/FONT]
    "1. Strong: All modern, all-steel revolvers except Taurus Tracker."
    No it doesn't, it just lists that those loads cannot be fired from a Tracker. Why? Because the tracker has a shorter cylinder and they will not fit. Those loads are fine in the standard taurus 44s which have a longer cylinder. IIRC the trackers and standard 44s have same pressure ratings (I may be wrong).

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    Quote Originally Posted by nbh40 View Post
    No it doesn't, it just lists that those loads cannot be fired from a Tracker. Why? Because the tracker has a shorter cylinder and they will not fit. Those loads are fine in the standard taurus 44s which have a longer cylinder. IIRC the trackers and standard 44s have same pressure ratings (I may be wrong).
    That is likely what they mean but the wording is:

    "1. Strong: All modern, all-steel revolvers except Taurus Tracker."

    To me it reads that Tracker didn’t make their “strong” revolver list . . . or it rated somewhere below than strong.
    Andy
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    That is likely what they mean but the wording is:

    "1. Strong: All modern, all-steel revolvers except Taurus Tracker."

    To me it reads that Tracker didn’t make their “strong” revolver list . . . or it rated somewhere below than strong.
    Yep it does read that way. Only reason I know was because I thought the same (not sure where I heard it from), then I read Gunblast review of the Tracker and Jeff Q stated about the 300Gr max due to cylinder length. Then looked into a bit more. I actually like those trackers, still pondering buying one; light (ish), slim to carry and the porting actually does a nice job of keeping the bbl down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    The Garrett literature states that the heaviest 330 gr. loads are limited by cylinder length - not the strength of the revolver. Likewise Garrett states that the 310 gr loads are for revolvers with standard length cylinders like the S&W.

    I've been shooting 310 gr hardcast bullets I mold using the Lee mold for some time now in both my 329 PD and 629. They work well in both guns sized to .430 dia. but I have to size the nose to .428 or .429 to seat in the bottom crimp goove.

    I'd like to shoot a 320 or 330 but the molds get very expensive compared to the Lee 6 cavity I use to crank out the 310 ones in volume.
    What's Lees part number on your mold? GCed or PB?
    Andy, not just older guns but, modern S&Ws as well.
    Steve

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    Default 310 gr 44 cast bullet

    I don't have the number in front of me but it is the only heavy .44 bullet mold Lee makes. I started out with the 2 cavity and recently got the 6 cavity.

    It is a gas check bullet. I use the alox/beeswax classic lube with no leading in any of the handguns I've shot it in. Of course even with max loads it isn't traveling too fast in a hand gun. A rifle may be another story.

    Quote Originally Posted by S.B. View Post
    What's Lees part number on your mold? GCed or PB?
    Andy, not just older guns but, modern S&Ws as well.
    Steve
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    I don't have the number in front of me but it is the only heavy .44 bullet mold Lee makes. I started out with the 2 cavity and recently got the 6 cavity.

    It is a gas check bullet. I use the alox/beeswax classic lube with no leading in any of the handguns I've shot it in. Of course even with max loads it isn't traveling too fast in a hand gun. A rifle may be another story.
    I'm thinking this is the same bullet mold I've got in 6 cavity? Two crimp grooves, one for Smiths and the back one for Rugers?
    Steve

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    Default Lee mold

    That has to be the one.

    I load in the bottom goove for my Smiths also - the bullet isn't too long but with the bullet sized to .429 or .430 it hits the throats so I flip the bullet over and run just the nose into a .429 sizing die.

    I was shooting 20 gr. of H110 but the extraction was sticky in my 329 PD so I dropped back to 18 or 19 gr. I need to get down and chrograph the various loadings.

    The bullet seems to be fairly large as cast- even at .430 the dies size it down noticeably.


    Quote Originally Posted by S.B. View Post
    I'm thinking this is the same bullet mold I've got in 6 cavity? Two crimp grooves, one for Smiths and the back one for Rugers?
    Steve
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    IIRC, I was running around 17 grains of 2400 in my Redhawk in top groove for a little over 1100 fps? And 16 Gr. of 2400 in top groove, in my Smith mountain gun for 1000 fps?
    Steve

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