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.44 special target load

This is a discussion on .44 special target load within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; I am trying to find a light .44 special target load data for the following bullets: nosler 240g JHP (.429) hornady XTP 180g JHP (.430 ...


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Old February 6th, 2010, 04:32 PM   #1
 
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.44 special target load

I am trying to find a light .44 special target load data for the following bullets:

nosler 240g JHP (.429)
hornady XTP 180g JHP (.430 dia)

I have a speer #14 manual and a Lyman pistol and revolver handbook, and neither has load data for these bullets in a .44 special.

Thanks in advance for any help.



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Old February 6th, 2010, 04:39 PM   #2
 
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also, my .44 is a ruger super redhawk 71/2 barrel, and I'm using Unique powder and cci 300 primer.

Thanks

Last edited by dolfan; February 6th, 2010 at 05:01 PM.
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Old February 6th, 2010, 09:08 PM   #3
 
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Here's the problem. You are wanting a light load but you are wanting to use a jacketed bullet. Too light a load in a revolver with a jacketed bullet and you can "stick" the bullet in the barrel. Then, when you fire the next round you get a KABOOM.

Hogdon powder, on their website, offer loads using the Nosler 240 gr bullet. The lightest loads exceed 1000 fps.

I shoot a LOT of .44 Special AND .44 Magnum loads. However, I cast my own bullets and use nothing but cast bullets.

My gallery load, using .44 Special cases and a 250 gr Keith cast bullet is 4.0 grs of Bullseye. This will also work well to fifty yards for serious target work.

I also cast a 200 gr full wadcutter and it also works well with 4.0 grs of Bullseye in .44 Special cases.

My favorite field load in .44 Special cases is 7.5 grs of Unique with a 250 gr Keith cast bullet (this chronographs at about 950 fps with a 6" barrel).

If you want the same ballistics using .44 Magnum cases, then increase the powder charge by 1.0-1.5 grs of powder (greater case capacity requires slightly more powder for the same results).

My suggestion is to order out some good cast bullets for your light target loads. The loading manuals are full of "Cowboy" loads that will probably also meet your requirements (but they all use cast bullets).

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Old February 7th, 2010, 03:52 AM   #4
 
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Wink

which is exactly why you should use published load data. Maybe I phrased my question wrong. I'm looking for the min charge data for the nosler 240 JHP and hornady xtp 180 bullets using unique powder. I'd also be interested in knowing the max charge for them. Exceeding the published max load data might also give you a big KABOOM. I currently shoot a magtech 240g SJSP in both .44 mag and .44 special using the min published load data.
.44 special 6.8g unique
.44 mag 9.2g unique

Last edited by dolfan; February 7th, 2010 at 03:55 AM.
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Old February 7th, 2010, 05:57 AM   #5
 
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Perhaps someone here can help you. I hope so. But I would advise you to put those jackets up on your shelf; you will be able to use them later.
Buy some inexpensive hardcast lead bullets. They are perfect from punching paper to punching elk. We will give you our trusted vendors if you ask. And then, tons of help will be on your doorstep.
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Old February 7th, 2010, 06:14 AM   #6
 
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Use them later? are you referring to when I want a max load? From what I have read, the semi jacketed bullets are better for you and the gun. Which is why I have avoided the cast bullets. Is this not true?
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Old February 7th, 2010, 06:33 AM   #7
 
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dolfan,

Like Dale53, I cast my own bullets, having given up on jacketed except for the real serious work. Even then, I'd trust lead. I can load my .44 Special from about 700 to 1200 f.p.s.

Buy some 250 grain Keith-style semi-wadcutters, load them according to the Lyman manual, and enjoy. Buy the largest diameter available, at least .431".
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Old February 7th, 2010, 06:40 AM   #8
 
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what's the reason for going with the largest diameter?
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Old February 7th, 2010, 06:54 AM   #9
 
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dolfan,

Whoever wrote that is full of hogwash and should not be trusted. Lead bullets only pose a danger to whatever is down range. And, which do you think will produce the least amount of barrel wear, copper of lead?

Lead bullets need to be at least .001' larger than cylinder throat size in order to eliminate the possibility of leading and provide the most accuracy. That is why a .38 Special/.357 Magnum lead bullet is at least .358" compared to its .357" jacketed counterpart. Similarily, a .44 caliber cast bullet should be at least .430" opposed to a .429" jacketed. Ideally, you need to slug your cylinder throats and buy or cast bullets that are at least .001" larger than the largest throat. The throat and barrel will then size the bullet to the proper diameter for optimum performance.

Example: I have a .44 Special revolver that I have to cast a bullet to .434" and size to .433" for proper fit. Any smaller than that, I get leading.
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Old February 7th, 2010, 08:37 AM   #10
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dolfan, There's some good and some not so good information posted above. First off, I know everyone means well but I don't understand why people jump in with other powders and bullets when you clearly stated what you have to work with.

From the Hornady 7th Ed Manual, the minimum charge weight for Unique with a 180 gr XTP is 5.9 gr (750 fps) and the maximum is 7.5 gr (900 fps). This assumes a 44 Special case, standard primer, a COL of 1.480" and a 3" barrel. I've used these bullets in 44 Special loads with 6.5 gr of Unique and found them to be very accurate.

For the Nosler 240 gr bullets, the range is 6.8 gr of Unique (750 fps) to 7.5 gr (850 fps) with the bullets seated to a COL of 1.470" from a 4" barrel. I have not tried these bullets but there's no reason why they shouldn't be accurate in a 44 Special.

As long as you stay with listed loads, there's no risk of "sticking a bullet in the bore" .... that's why manuals list the minimum load. If you load below recommended charge weights, there is a risk of sticking a bullet with either a jacketed bullet or a lead bullet.
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Old February 7th, 2010, 08:54 AM   #11
 
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Smile

Iowegan, Thank you for the info, that's exactly what I was looking for.
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Old December 7th, 2010, 02:54 PM   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dolfan View Post
I am trying to find a light .44 special target load data for the following bullets:

nosler 240g JHP (.429)
hornady XTP 180g JHP (.430 dia)

I have a speer #14 manual and a Lyman pistol and revolver handbook, and neither has load data for these bullets in a .44 special.

Thanks in advance for any help.
I just tried 6.3 grs of HP-38 with the 180 gr. XTP in my 44 Lipsey's with a 4 5/8" barrel. Very accurate with very little recoil, a great target load. I just started using the 180 gr/ XTP because I found a couple of boxes I didn't remember I had.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 01:11 PM   #13
 
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I find that the 44 Special really shines when loaded using cast bullets. I cast my own and for the 44 Special I cast quite soft about 8 BHN (he says, guessing). My most accurate cast bullet is the Lee 214 gr. SWC. When cast as soft as I do it weighs 215+/_. I lapped the mold so it drops .432 and I size back to .431. Load to approx 750-800 FPS, works well in several 44 Special revolvers, old, new, blued and stainless.
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Old December 9th, 2010, 02:13 PM   #14
 
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I agree that cast bullets are great for target shooting and hunting for that matter. They are also cheaper than say XTP's, but I have developed loads with XTP's that shoot just as good as cast bullets. The reason I was talking about the 180 gr. XTP load in my 44 Special was to point out how well they shoot. Another reason I like to use jacketed bullets sometimes is because it is so much easier to clean your gun after a shooting session than lead bullets. For me anyway. I clean my gun after I shoot every time I go out. And I clean her up clean. I think it's because of my U.S.M.C. training. I could not put a dirty weapon up until it was clean. I just like how much faster it is to clean up using XTP's rather than lead. I still use lead most of the time, but I enjoy the change of pace offered by the XTP. Semper Fi.
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