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44 specials with gas checks

This is a discussion on 44 specials with gas checks within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; OK. I have slugged barrels before, and I know I probably should on my GP100 44 special, however I really don't want too. Becauase of ...


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Old March 14th, 2017, 06:53 PM   #1
 
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44 specials with gas checks

OK. I have slugged barrels before, and I know I probably should on my GP100 44 special, however I really don't want too. Becauase of this I spent most of the evening cleaning lead out of its bore. These bullets were bevel base .430 bullets. I measured them and they were true to size. They leaded at slower velocity so I increased velocity/ pressure and the leading was horrible leading me to think they are simply undersize.

Montana Bullet Works has this bullet...RCBS 82042, 240GR, SWC-GC...and I like the looks of it. I can get .430, .431, or .432. The gun shoots .429 Berrys and Xtreme plated pretty well, along with the 200 grain xtp, which leads me to believe that I should go with the .432 diameter gas checks, I order to gain the seal I need to shoot lead bullets properly.

I would like any opinions on this thought process, including that I really should slug the barrel, even though I really don't want to.



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Old March 14th, 2017, 07:07 PM   #2
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I'd slug the cylinder to see what the throat size is and go with that number
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Old March 14th, 2017, 07:23 PM   #3
 
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Ok. I have actually never done that before. Advice??
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Old March 15th, 2017, 04:06 AM   #4
 
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The cylinder chamber throat diameter will tell you if it is too small or too big diameter. Too small you can ream it out to bore diameter which would give better accuracy and reduce leading. Buy bullets to fit throat/bore diameter.
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Old March 15th, 2017, 05:31 AM   #5
 
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Ok. I don't know how accurate this really is, but with my calipers, the throats measure .435. I use a micrometer for barrel slugging, but I thought since this is actually a sound hole with no rifling it might work. I don't own any pin gauges.
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Old March 15th, 2017, 05:58 AM   #6
 
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If you have some XTP bullets, how do they fit in the throats? Snug? loose? They are usually a pretty consistent .430 diameter.

If the XTPs fit the throats snug, you should do OK with .431 or .430 lead. If the XTPs drop right through you would be best served to measure the throats with pin gauges that will give you a precise measurement.

For a lack of pin gauges, you may be able to contact your potential bullet supplier for a sample pack of their various diameters to test fit in your cylinder throats.
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Old March 15th, 2017, 07:18 AM   #7
 
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I will try this.
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Old March 15th, 2017, 09:44 AM   #8
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Most of the time is difficult to get a good measurement of small diameter holes with a caliper. I'd find some "fat" bullets, .435"+ (or lightly squish a bullet, length wise, in a vise to increase OD) and drive/push it through the throats. Measure with micrometer and size/purchase bullets this diameter (my Ruger SBH has .431" throats so I size my bullets to .431". Very little leading).
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Old March 15th, 2017, 10:11 AM   #9
 
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My Lyman handgun reloading manual shows the .44 Special having ALL recommended loads at under 1000 fps. Are you loading faster than that? If so, you are exceeding the caliber's design. Although a Ruger GP can probably withstand a great deal of abuse and hot loads, a risk still exists if the recommended loads are exceeded. Lead bullets usually do not lead when traveling under 1000fps.
If you are not going above the normal loads, then what the others told you about slugging is correct. It isn't a difficult job; one simply needs almost anything of lead which is a little larger than the bore. I have even used a lead sinker once, when I was too impatient while waiting for my correct balls to arrive from Dixie Gunworks. A GP is small enough to use a large C-clamp to get the slug started in the barrel. One does not need to go the whole length of the barrel. Then carefully reverse the slug with a wood or brass rod, and measure across the major diameter. I don't know if that GP has five or six grooves; an even number is easiest to measure, but the five-groove varieties are not too bad, either.
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Old March 15th, 2017, 10:53 AM   #10
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Hooksetter, The concept for loading lead bullets is to match bullet hardness to chamber pressure. This will force bullets to obturate and form a good seal in the cylinder and bore. If bullets are too soft or too hard, (especially too hard) expanding hot gasses will erode the circumference of the bullet and cause bore lead fouling. Gas checks can be used in lieu of matching bullet hardness but it doubles the cost of bullets and is a pain to set gas checks on each bullet.

44 Specials operate at a very low chamber pressure so this makes hard cast bullets even worse when it comes to fouling the bore. Most 44 Special loads use very soft BHN 10 bullets for the best accuracy and minimal bore fouling.

Here's a document I wrote that should help you understand the detailed concepts for loading lead bullets in revolvers. Here's a link for the free PDF download: http://rugerforum.net/library/19869-...revolvers.html
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Old March 16th, 2017, 04:17 PM   #11
 
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Thanks Iowegan!! That is exactly what I did. I actually used that when choosing bullets for my 45-70 and 44 mag. After checking chamber throats, a 431 cast bullet falls right through them. They are consistently.435 with my calipers, which I know isn't very accurate, but accurate enough to know it's going to take a large bullet with a soft Brinnel hardness in this pistol. I will just stick to plated bullets I think. I do love shooting lead though!!! Once again, the advice and suggestions from people such as you helps tremendously!!!!
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Old April 3rd, 2017, 04:47 PM   #12
 
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Quote:
the throats measure .435.
That's an enormous throat measurement! Are you sure you're getting a true reading. My Rugers, both .44 Special and Magnum, measure 0.430"-0.432"....and that's for an even half dozen of them. The following bullet and procedure work well for me.

I've had good success in 3 Ruger .44 Specials of the Flat Top variety. I cast my own bullets using Lyman's 429215 GC mold then size to 0.430" with a Hornady GC seated and sized in my Lyman 450 Lubrisizer. The gas check eliminates leading, 100%.

I cast straight wheel weight alloy with less than 1% tin added for mold fill out. This bullet, an old Thompson design, drops at 220 grains from the mold using the above alloy.

Accuracy is superb, running just over an inch at 25 yds from a seated rest. The same sizing, works equally well in a cpl .44 Magnums of Ruger and S&W make, as well as a Smith M24 with the longer barrel, and a new Smith M69 with 4-1/4" bbl. It's truly a great bullet and the gas check does away with the leading issues. For practice use, day to day carry here in KY around the farm, I feel you can do no better. As a bonus, the lighter weight helps with recoil. BTW, in Special brass and fired in my 4-5/8" Flat Top, I get 984 fps with the above bullet and 6.5 grains of Win 231. This is my load, & I feel it's safe in my guns, but you should work up to it if interested after consulting a GOOD current manual and considering all the pressure implications.

HTH's Rod (Here's a pic from several years ago when the Ruger was new, shot it from 25 yds with a seated back rest and that load.)


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Old April 3rd, 2017, 05:54 PM   #13
 
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That is excellent. No I'm not sure the throat measurement is accurate. Especially since it shoots .429 Berrys and Xtremes excellent.
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Old April 4th, 2017, 01:23 AM   #14
 
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Hmmm, I've never had serious bore leading in any of my handguns. I use Montana Bullets now, but, I used to cast my own in various calibers. Even full house loads in my Ruger Super Blackhhawk 44 mag were no leading
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Old April 4th, 2017, 03:40 AM   #15
 
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Most likely the bullets were too hard for the pressure I was shooting the at.
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