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44 Special Loads

This is a discussion on 44 Special Loads within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; Hello, I just purchased a ruger Flattop 51/2 inch 44Special,a real beauty! This is my first 44Special and would like to ask the members here ...


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Old December 28th, 2010, 03:34 AM   #1
 
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44 Special Loads

Hello, I just purchased a ruger Flattop 51/2 inch 44Special,a real beauty! This is my first 44Special and would like to ask the members here for their pet loads! I will be shooting mostly Keith style 240 grain SWC lead bullets but am flexible here and am looking around 1000FPS. thank-you!!!



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Old December 28th, 2010, 06:13 AM   #2
 
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I've had great luck with both of my .44 Spl Rugers. A cpl of loads that really do extremely well are:

Any quality cast 240 gr LSWC, 6.5 gr to 7.0 gr of Win 231 or HP-38...7.0 gr will give you 1000 fps. The 6.5 gr load; about 950 fps.

Same bullet and 7.5 gr of Unique...about 950 fps through my guns. This is the old "Skelton" load, authoritative at hand gun distances and relatively mild in these 40+ oz. Rugers.

Both of these loads show mild pressure levels in my guns, and will produce sub-2" groups at 25 yds on demand. I've been using both R-P and Starline brass and Winchester Large Primers tho it doesn't seem to matter. These particular bullets are commercially cast and sized to .430". Leading has not been an issue.

Please note that these loads were worked up for my guns, you should do the same. Best Regards, Rodfac
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Old December 28th, 2010, 03:31 PM   #3
 
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Rodfac,thank-you for your resonse! I went to the gun shop after work and bought a pound of Unique and will work up a load. The 7.5 grain load looks about what I am looking for. I may have to try some Win 321
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Old December 28th, 2010, 04:28 PM   #4
 
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I've used Win 231 for years and 7 grns. gives excellent accuracy. A big plus with 231 is that it's an excellent powder for most handgun loads.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 04:52 PM   #5
 
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My 1000 Starline .44Spec cases arrived this morning. My 1000 Rimrock 240g SWC bullets arrived yesterday. I have plenty of Unique and just a found a pound of 231. Time to do some testing. Last time I was out with my 5 1/2" flattop, the gun shot the 7.5g of Unique pushing 240g SWC load really well. Dead on with rear sight bottomed out. So I'll be loading up a couple hundred of that to confirm findings as this is the 'planned' load for this revolver. Rodfac likes the 231 so will load a hundred of that up as well to see how that works . Some 6.5 and 7.0 loads.

[update] 200 7.5g Unique 240 SWC loads ready to rock and roll..... Unfortunately (or fortunately?) I have to work tomorrow.... Maybe by the weekend. Although we are to get a cold snap (-22 or so below) that might deter me from shooting .

[update] 100 6.5g W231 240 SWC loads ready for test.

[update] 100 8.0g W231 255 SWC .45 Colt loaded for test. I noted for both .44 and .45 that I don't really care for how little space the W231 uses in the case. You have to be much more observant when you check the load. I did note that I never had one light drop with this powder. Seems to meter well for the spot checks I did with the scale.

Last edited by rclark; December 31st, 2010 at 02:01 PM.
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Old January 8th, 2011, 07:49 AM   #6
 
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Doesn't get much better than this. Skeeter load (7.5g Unique pushing 240g SWC) works great. The target on the left was shot freehand at 15Y. Had to stop at 6 as to not ruin the group. The circled holes on the right were shot from rest at 25Y. Again doesn't get much better. This Ruger .44Spec Revolver is amazing. I tried some IMR-4227 15g and W231 6.5g loads. They shot a bit high at 25Y but were just as good as the Unique load. I just have to heat them up a bit to get them right on target... But you know what? I don't think I am going to bother as long as the skeeter load shoots so well. I have another batch of hs-6 to test (because it's loaded) but I think I am going to just stick with Unique here. Oh, no leading after 160 rounds down range .



Oh, I did get a chance to shoot the 8g of Unique load pushing 240 XTP bullets. It was still a 'little' high but it was better. I think another 0.5g would get it down where the Skeeter load impacts. Probably not going to try though.... I have the Skeeter load to shoot now....

Last edited by rclark; January 8th, 2011 at 08:07 AM.
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Old January 8th, 2011, 01:36 PM   #7
 
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First thing to do is check your reloading manual! Use Lyman's Cast Bullet Handbook, and since you're going to use Unique, get an Aliant manual. I really don't mind sharing data, but a reloading manual is the bare minimum equipment for reloading (most important item for reloading!).

FWIW, I don't pay much attention to any load data that appears on my 'puter screen. Not from any forum expert, not from any website, and not from the "gun shop guru". Most data comes from well meaning forum members, but one out of a hundred might cost a gun or worse yet, injure me! All (well 99.9%) of my load data comes from a hard copy, published reloading manual. I've seen too many bad loads from forum "experts" to believe anything from cyberspace...

Last edited by mikld; January 8th, 2011 at 01:40 PM.
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Old January 8th, 2011, 06:48 PM   #8
 
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mikld, of course you should check your manuals. That's obvious. But that isn't the end all. If a load isn't found in the manual (like 7.5g of Unique for .44Spec) -- research it. Luckily we have books and the internet to 'confirm' that this load is safe to use. Check in with Elmer, Skeeter, Taffin, both Pearces ( Lane and Brian), Ross, etc... Always double check..... But don't be to overly 'paranoid' either and say "If it ain't in the reloading book. Can't use it!" .

Example : http://www.sixguns.com/tests/tt44spec.htm
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Old January 9th, 2011, 08:55 AM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rclark View Post
mikld, of course you should check your manuals. That's obvious. But that isn't the end all. If a load isn't found in the manual (like 7.5g of Unique for .44Spec) -- research it. Luckily we have books and the internet to 'confirm' that this load is safe to use. Check in with Elmer, Skeeter, Taffin, both Pearces ( Lane and Brian), Ross, etc... Always double check..... But don't be to overly 'paranoid' either and say "If it ain't in the reloading book. Can't use it!" .

Example : http://www.sixguns.com/tests/tt44spec.htm
I understand what you're saying, and I agree. But, the internet should NOT be the first source of load data and the OP is obviously new to reloading so he may not have the knowledge to know where to find legitimate load data. I've been reloading for several years, so I don't need loads from helpful forum members; I have other sources. The last example I saw of why to disregard "free" advice was a few months ago. Newby asked for a load (didn't own a manual) for his .357 using 158 gr. lead SWC. A well meaning member of the forum soon posted his favorite load for .357/158/Unique, said he used it all the time in his handgun. His suggestion was 16.0 gr Unique . A few hours passed before anyone challenged that load and the original gent that posted the overload came back with his real load 6.0 gr, Unique, but several hours later (the posts have a time stamp and when I found this load and the cautions, and then the correction, several hours had passed). I'm sure you're thinking any fool would know that this load was 10 grains high, but would a new reloader? Maybe he had heard of compressed charges and tried it. Or because the poster was correct because he had a high post count? Don't remember ever hearing anything back from the OP, I just hope he did't take the advice of the well meaning but careless poster (he said he couldn't understand why he hit the "1" key first, just apologised). Luckily several members warned the OP not to use this load but, the time differance gave the OP plenty of time to load and shoot this load. So, my advise to anyone without the experience of Elmer, Jordan, Skeeter, Taffin, etc., stands; Use published data only!
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Old January 9th, 2011, 10:12 AM   #10
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Yes, a simple typo (an extra digit or misplaced decimal point) can indeed be dangerous. However, this can happen in published manuals as well. Hopefully, in the manuals the mistake is detected at some point in the manual's publishing history. This is why cross-referncing across as many sources as posible is recommended. I suppose a careful reading of the various powder properties (shape, density,base, cautions, burn rate, etc) is in order in any reloader's education path. Most of my manuals have powder characteristics textual detail.
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Old January 9th, 2011, 03:25 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
But, the internet should NOT be the first source of load data and the OP is obviously new to reloading so he may not have the knowledge to know where to find legitimate load data .... Use published data only!
Absolutely in agreement there....

Always 'research' before loading up a load.... Beginner or experienced. That's why most of us have more than one manual on our bench (off the top my head I have about eight). Also have several articles and such in my reference binder too.

I think we agree .
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Old January 16th, 2011, 12:09 PM   #12
 
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Have to agree with all this advice, and add one other thing: I once read a magazine article about reloading wherein the data shown for a particular load was WAY TOO LOW!! Can't remember the details, but it was a caliber and powder that I have used quite a bit, so immediately noticed the error. I wrote the mag, and emailed them, and also posted on several gun fora. Why? Because that load would have VERY PROBABLY caused a squib-load barrel obstruction! Just as dangerous, (or maybe even more so!) as a high load.
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