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Hot 44 specials

This is a discussion on Hot 44 specials within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; I am just saying, if you ever loaded the 1000FPS 44 hot loads I would love to see them shot at night. The B/C flash ...

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Old March 12th, 2017, 09:55 AM   #16
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I am just saying, if you ever loaded the 1000FPS 44 hot loads I would love to see them shot at night. The B/C flash and fire ball from the short barrell should be impressive.

Kind of like a hand held flash bang.

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Old March 16th, 2017, 10:54 PM   #17
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It would be a good flash, huh!!! I've got a nice load going right at 900 with berrys 240 grain plated flat noses that accurate, clean, consistent, and manageable. I will have to try them toward dark soon.
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Old March 17th, 2017, 08:40 AM   #18
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Hooksetter, It just amazes me .... why buy a 44 Special then try to goose it up to magnum velocities??? The SAAMI max pressure rating for a 44 Special is 15,500 psi. 7.5 gr of Unique with a 240gr LSWC runs almost exactly at SAAMI max .... leaving no room for mistakes, temperature conditions, or variations in the gun itself. 7.0gr of Unique is the normal "max" load .... well under SAAMI max pressure but it allows for minor mistakes (ie slightly heavy powder drop or slightly too heavy bullet), variations in the gun (ie tight cylinder throats), and higher temperatures. Powders are typically tested at "room temperatures" ... about 72deg F. When ammo is exposed to temps in the 90 deg F range or higher, chamber pressure for 7.5 gr Unique loads will exceed SAAMI specs.

It's all about chamber pressure .... slow burning powder in a 44 Special will reduce chamber pressure but because it burns slower, it takes at least a 6" barrel to realize a higher velocity. Mid burn rate powders such as Unique match up with SAMMI specs pretty well with a 3.5~4" barrel .... topping out at 7gr for 850+ fps from a 4" barrel. A good compromise is a medium slow burning powder, of which there are several: HS6, AA#7, Win 540, N-340 (VVH) or Blue Dot. These powders will achieve higher velocities than Unique while keeping chamber pressure under SAAMI max. The problem is finding load data from reliable sources.

There's nothing magic about Buffalo Bore ammo .... no secret fairy dust powder, no exotic formulas, just the proper "off the shelf" burn rate powder coupled with the proper bullet weight.

The problem with reloading manuals is .... they tend to publish loads that are in the same velocity range as factory ammo. We see this very commonly with cartridges like a 357 Mag where gun owners want a mid-velocity load .... something hotter than a 38 Special but something lower than magnum velocities. Just like loading a 44 Special hotter, you can load a 357 Mag lighter and still achieve excellent accuracy. The only problem is finding load data .... something safe and tested.

If you own a 44 Mag and are working up 44 Special "hot loads", life is much simpler because the gun will handle pressures up to 36k psi. However when you load hot for a 44 Special revolver, you really don't know how much pressure the gun will take before it starts to wear excessively or at worst case .... goes Kaboom. For this very reason, it's always safer to use published loads from a reputable reloading manual rather than experiment and end up with a disaster.

Just a FYI .... SAAMI has been rating cartridges with pounds per square inch (psi) since 1993. Some reloading data sources still use the old "crusher" method of determining pressure, which is rated in copper units of pressure or CUP. These two pressure rating systems use different equipment and different procedures .... making them incompatible. For a 44 Special, the good news is .... the max pressure rated in CUP is 15,900 CUP versus 15,500 psi ... . Most cartridges have a much wider spread .... which can get dangerous if you substitute psi for CUP. In handgun cartridges, CUP is always a higher number than the same exact pressure rated in psi. With rifles, it's just the opposite ....psi will be the higher number for the exact same pressure. No biggie .... just thought I'd pass it on.
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Old March 17th, 2017, 12:15 PM   #19
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Thanks Iowegan for all the info and advice. It's not that I'm actually going to rev up this 44 special, I just really wondered if I could even come close to the claims BB makes regarding their heavy 44 special ammunition. I do appreciate all the advice here though.
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Old March 18th, 2017, 08:21 AM   #20
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I fully expect to see a post in the "gun media" before too long wherein some dimbulb has KABOOMED his .44 Special GP100. It's almost a sure thing.

"Everybody knows Rugers can handle massive overloads!" Famous last words.

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Old March 18th, 2017, 10:58 AM   #21
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I recently received some of "Matt's" 250grn. LHP bullets, while weighing them I found that with the red hard lube they varied any where from 250.1 to 250.4 according to my electronic scale and at the same for my balance beam scale. Note I checked at least 50 bullets this way and set them aside for reloading.

I then reloaded the bullets in Winchester casing using a Winchester standard LP primer, and 6.3grns of Unique powder. The OAL was right at 1.540. Please note I started with 5.5grns and slowly worked my way up, as the 49th Lyman Edition shows a maximum load of 6.5grns. of Unique.

My average velocity out of my 3" Charter Arms was right at 783fps with a 31 fps extreme spread, and that same combination out of my 2.5" Charter Arms showed 736fps, with a 39fps extreme spread. BTW 10 rounds on each of the two revolvers was used. The temperature when I started shooting was right at 78 degrees, and 88 degrees when I finished up, very little humidity.

I noted the recoil to be very manageable, perhaps a bit stout, and accuracy was really good in the 3" and so, so in the 2.5" acceptable, as I was shooting at 15 yards as I had the chronograph out approximately 3-4 yards from the line of fire.

Below is a photo of one of the bullets I managed to retrieve after it penetrated two milk cartons filled with water, with a green old T-shirt draped over it, and lodged in a 4X4. Like Lowegan earlier stated if I wanted a more powerful cartridge in that caliber, I would have loaded one of my .44Mags for the chore. Incidentally the bullet expanded to .678 and weighed right at 253 grains, as it must have taken in some of that wood in the huge cavity, or perhaps cotton from the T-shirt.




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Old March 18th, 2017, 11:19 AM   #22
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I think Ruger knew what it was doing with the GP100 44 Special. I would love to have one but I don't want to start another caliber. The 44 Special is a very capable caliber for many circumstances. You might do some warm loads but still keep the powder charges still under maximum!!! Especially with Unique, I like to load 2400 in most of my reloading in .38 & .357 even have done some in .327FM. Good luck to the OP just proceed slowly and very carefully cannot put a price on one's self!!!~
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Old March 18th, 2017, 05:10 PM   #23
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All my stuff is loaded right at max. I did work up to it, but I use HS6 powder, and it seems to burn a lot cleaner with a heavy crimp and more pressure. It is pleasant to shoot and quite accurate...at least at the distances I've been shooting so far. 10-15 yards.
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