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44 special break in recommendation?

This is a discussion on 44 special break in recommendation? within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; Is anyone familiar with the Handloader issue where Brian Pearce reviews the "Ruger New Model Blackhawk .44 Special from Lipsey's" (Handloader June 2009 Issue No. ...


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Old June 19th, 2010, 05:58 PM   #1
 
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44 special break in recommendation?

Is anyone familiar with the Handloader issue where Brian Pearce reviews the "Ruger New Model Blackhawk .44 Special from Lipsey's" (Handloader June 2009 Issue No. 260).

In the article he states "To help season and break in the barrels, 100 rounds of Hornady's 240-grain Hornady XTP-HPs were loaded over 19.0 grains of H-110 and Federal 155 Large Pistol Magnum primers" He got 1,189 fps and under one inch groups at 25yards.

The only load data to back this up I have seen is in the Sierra manual with a 240grain JHC bullet and a recommendation of 11.6 grains of H110 for 850fps or 13.3 grains for 900fps. Does anyone have any experience with Pearce's load of 19grains - H110 over the 240gr XTP-HP in the new model Blackhawk 44 special and any pressure data for this load? I would like to try about 50 of these loads down the 4-5/8" barrel of my new BH 44 special.

Thanks in advance!

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Old June 19th, 2010, 06:48 PM   #2
 
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Ruger revolvers have a history of handling more than the loading manuals give. My old ones had sections labeled for Thompson Contender and Ruger guns only. I don't have your particular model, but I used to load some hot stuff in nonmagnum cases and rarely had any issues. I have a Redhawk and Vaquero in 44 mag and a S&W 624 44 special. The ones I had were sticky extraction out of a Vaquero and 624 and the cylinders were filthy which probably caused it. I don't think I could hurt the Redhawk. The 624 handled everything I stuffed in it also, but now I load it below 1000 fps. Now that I'm an old geezer I appreciate milder loads for just throwing lead downrange and save the "magnums" for the guns chambered in them. They all seem to like 5.4 - 6.0 grains of WW231, and 8 grains of AA7. I only use H110 or W296 in magnum cases. IMO 296 means less cleanup when you get home. Just bought some Lil Gun, but haven't opened it yet. In developing the 44mag they used 44 spec cases with 2400 powder. If you decide to do it, just start below the book max and work up. Good luck. I live in a major metropolitan area and factory 44 spec are non existant, but 44 mag is plentyful so handloading is the way to go.
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Old June 19th, 2010, 07:15 PM   #3
 
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Lobo55,
I doubt you'll ever find that load listed in any manual. Nor any of Elmer Keith's, for that matter.

My 6 1/2" S&W 624 has seen more than its share of Elmer's cast loads. Anymore, though, I load it with a fat Lyman 429421, that drops around 250 grains, and a reasonable amount of 2400.
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Old June 20th, 2010, 10:27 PM   #4
 
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Thanks Bedford and APatriot...appreciate the thoughts around this..Anyone else loaded this load of a 240gr Hornady XTP-HP over 19grains of H110 in a NMBH .44 Lipseys Special?
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Old June 21st, 2010, 12:08 AM   #5
 
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Have not, but if you're only looking to smooth out the bore, any jacketed bullet will do that.
If you want this particular load as a keeper/carry load, that'd be a different matter.
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Old June 21st, 2010, 07:22 AM   #6
 
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Thanks DPris..Yes I just want to smooth out the bore with 19gr H110 over 240gr XTP-HP's for about 50 rounds in the Lipsey's NMBH.

Last edited by lobo55; June 21st, 2010 at 09:17 AM.
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Old June 21st, 2010, 10:30 AM   #7
 
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If all you want here is a bore-lapping load, buy the cheapest jacketed bullet you can find, look up any low to mid-velocity powder charge appropriate to the caliber & bullet, build your 50 rounds, and blow them off.
Accuracy makes no difference whatever, you don't need to waste money on expensive premium bullets, you don't need max velocities, and you don't need to worry about pressures.

ANY jacketed bullet will help smooth out rough new rifling, and if that's your only goal then anything with a jacket will do it.
I would suggest something closer to 100 rounds, but 50 should help.

Can't see any sense in the expense & concern over pressures involved with that specific load just for that purpose.

I put a mix of Win Silvertip, Speer Dots, and Buff Bore JHPs through my gun, along with three lead loads, when I first shot it in testing.
No leading, no problems.

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Old June 21st, 2010, 11:52 AM   #8
 
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DPris, all that makes sense and thanks for the suggestions..Do you think the 19 grains H110 and the 240gr XTP-HP load that Pearce mentions would make a good jacketed hunting load for the NMBH 44 special? I am thinking backup for elk hunting this season since I do not cast my own bullets yet.

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Old June 21st, 2010, 01:14 PM   #9
 
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I've talked to Pearce a couple times at SHOT Shows, seems down to earth & knowledgeable.
I think he's careful about what he puts out on his reloading stuff.
The XTPs were designed for an edge in penetration across calibers, you're probably about as good there as you would be with any HP & better than many.
I got a five-shot average of 1225 FPS through my Flattop with Buffalo Bore's 185 JHP with 10-foot energy figures of 616.38 ft/lbs, but I'd prefer something a little heavier in weight for bigger critters & better penetration.

Don't start at his exact charge weight, work up carefully while watching your primers & case extraction.

I'm waiting for Starline to make another run of brass, after which I'll work up a lead load at 1000 FPS & call it good for that gun. I don't entirely trust any HP for best penetration.

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Old June 21st, 2010, 02:16 PM   #10
 
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Problem with working up to an unpublished (not in a manual) load, using H110/W296, is how much less powder to use to start with. Since a starting amount is unknown, and Hodgdon/Winchester have warnings about using too little powder, where do you start? Usually there is not much difference between minimum and maximum, with those powders.

I know it's a different cartridge, but a published (Lyman) .357 Magnum load, that I use, has a difference of only .7 grains of H110/W296, from minimum to maximum.

In this case, if you want to pursue Pierce's load, you may be better off loading it as he stated.
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Old June 21st, 2010, 04:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
ANY jacketed bullet will help smooth out rough new rifling, and if that's your only goal then anything with a jacket will do it.
I would suggest something closer to 100 rounds, but 50 should help.
+1 to this but I was going to recommending shooting it until your wrist hurts. The barrel should be smoothed out by then and 5-6000 rds later the trigger will be nice and smooth too.
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Old June 21st, 2010, 05:56 PM   #12
 
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Ok thanks for all the help. I appreciate the input. I loaded 75 rounds starting with 12gr H110 over 240gr Hornday XTP-HP to a max of 19gr H110. The 12 to 14 grain loads had incomplete burning and a few grains of powder were visible in the case after firing. Pleasurable to shoot around 14-17.5 grains. Signs of increased pressure on fired case for 18-19grains and at 19 the triggerguard was hitting my fingers if I did not maintain a firm grip. I think I will get some SWC bullets and try a milder load. Overall I think I am going to enjoy shooting this caliber my first 44 should be fun!

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Old June 22nd, 2010, 08:54 AM   #13
 
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Anyone have access to Quick Load to see what pressure that load is running? 19 grains of H-110 under a 240 gr bullet sounds an awful lot like a .44 magnum load. I mean, the Ruger .44 Specials are strong, but I don't think anyone would recommend trying to fire .44 magnums in them...
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 09:52 AM   #14
 
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Yes, I would still like to know the pressures..I am thinking based on the original article in Handloader August 2005 by Pearce. According to Pearce he places 18.5grains of H110 with the 240gr XTP as a "Category III" load or 25,000 PSI or less.

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Old June 22nd, 2010, 10:19 AM   #15
 
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Well, I just looked at the Hodgdon site and maybe it's ok. They list a 240 gr. Nosler JHP at a starting load of 23 grains H-110 for a pressure of 25200 CUP. That's in a taller case than the .44 special, so maybe 19 grains in the Special is under 25k PSI.

I'm kinda surprised you got the 12 grain loads to ignite.
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