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My new .44 magnum Ruger Vaquero

This is a discussion on My new .44 magnum Ruger Vaquero within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; So this is my first wheel gun....I was planning to go with a .357 or .45 and ended up making a deal for my .44 ...


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Old May 12th, 2013, 05:15 PM   #1
 
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My new .44 magnum Ruger Vaquero

So this is my first wheel gun....I was planning to go with a .357 or .45 and ended up making a deal for my .44 mag....I'm thinking it might have been a bad idea because I can't find .44 mag ammo or components ANYWHERE and if I do find them I feel sore on my rumpus from the lack of lube when that person or business boinks me.....

Now since that is out of the way, I got what I got and there's no turning back now....So onto reloading for it.....

I have a Lee Classic turret press, I will buy my carbide dies' on ebay (only place I can find them at a good price) but, I'm having trouble making up my mind on a few powders...I reload 12ga shotgun So, I have Clays, Int Clays, Universal and Unique....All of these I really enjoy in the shotgun especially the clays because of the clean burn...I have taken my NRA reloading class and I have a Lyman and richard lee reloading book...I have some jacketed Nosler 240grain lead tipped and some rem mag brass....I'm still on the hunt for some primers, I've been trying to do some reading to see if it's best to use small pistol or small magnum pistol primers...

My main goal is to have target rounds for some fun metal shooting (so lead SWC'ers prolly) and have some rounds for home defense and hunting....I doubt I will hunt with it, but I might pop a yote or deer if I get a wild hair....I've only used jacketed bullets in the past, I've been reading mixed reviews that all lead SWC'ers 180grain for plinking and 240jacketed for home defense and hunting.....I have also heard that if I cast my own or buy cast lead bullets I might need a gas check which i've never heard of before til now....

I'm not picky and I'm willing to do all the research I can but, It doesn't hurt to get more info from current loaders that have done the trial and error....O and the reason I like those shotgun powders is that I'm trying to just load up on a powder I can use for both shotgun and pistol...That will cut down on cost and save me some room....

Feel free to give me some constructive criticizm or helpful hints, I will heed them all and will be appreciative of any info I can get to load safe NON break your wrist loads....NO specials either...I wanna load 1 kind of brass and the mags give me the play room to load down or up....



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Old May 12th, 2013, 05:27 PM   #2
 
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I have had my heart set on various guns with specific calibers but I now go with the calibers that have been the most common in my area.

I too would love something in a 44 mag but until the current administration is kicked to the curb and things get back to normal I'll base my choices on availability.
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Old May 12th, 2013, 05:32 PM   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColoradoChris View Post
I have had my heart set on various guns with specific calibers but I now go with the calibers that have been the most common in my area.

I too would love something in a 44 mag but until the current administration is kicked to the curb and things get back to normal I'll base my choices on availability.
Yeah I'm kicking myself for buying it after seeing NO .44 on the shelves....i really like it tho....i might trade it for a .357 not sure yet....
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Old May 12th, 2013, 05:36 PM   #4
 
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Don't kick yourself.... Sooner or later things will calm down and you will find supply's of 44 mag.... Then you'll have the gun you always wanted....
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Old May 12th, 2013, 06:07 PM   #5
 
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Welcome from Australia mate.
Glad to have you on board, nice folk here and lots of good info.
Nice choice of wheel gun.
Good luck with your reloading.
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Old May 12th, 2013, 06:11 PM   #6
 
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Don't panic! The current craziness will subside and components and loaded ammo will return to normal.
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Old May 12th, 2013, 06:31 PM   #7
 
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After the events of today in New Orleans...our current drought of all things 2A probably just got extended beyond next year. Buy whatever primers you can get, you can always use non-magnum primers in light loads and 44 spcl. loads. Lead bullets work fine if you keep the velocity below 1200 fps.

...and welcome from AZ.
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Old May 12th, 2013, 06:44 PM   #8
 
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Here in Virginia ammo was almost totally unavailable for a while, but it's starting to come back. The price is up and you can't find any .22.
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Old May 12th, 2013, 06:50 PM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollurown65 View Post
After the events of today in New Orleans...our current drought of all things 2A probably just got extended beyond next year. Buy whatever primers you can get, you can always use non-magnum primers in light loads and 44 spcl. loads. Lead bullets work fine if you keep the velocity below 1200 fps.

...and welcome from AZ.
Ty...

I shouldn't need magnum primers for a magnum pistol right? I can use regular large pistol for all my needs unless i load up some 300grain deer slayers yeah?
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Old May 12th, 2013, 07:26 PM   #10
 
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Correct. Magnum primers has NOTHING.... NOTTA, NOTHING to do with magnum cartridges. All depends on the powder you are going to use that dictates what primer you use. Unique and Universal are perfect for your .44Magnum cartridge as long as you are not looking for Magnum level loads (1300+). 8.5g of Unique/Universal under 240g SWC will duplicate the Skeeter load. Regular primers are fine with these powders. If you can't find regular, the magnums will work too. As above, you can't be to 'picky' now-a-days.... My go to load for .44Mag is 10g of Unique under 240g SWC. I don't use jacketed bullets so can't help you there...
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Old May 12th, 2013, 07:36 PM   #11
 
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Originally Posted by rclark View Post
Correct. Magnum primers has NOTHING.... NOTTA, NOTHING to do with magnum cartridges. All depends on the powder you are going to use that dictates what primer you use. Unique and Universal are perfect for your .44Magnum cartridge as long as you are not looking for Magnum level loads (1300+). 8.5g of Unique/Universal under 240g SWC will duplicate the Skeeter load. Regular primers are fine with these powders. If you can't find regular, the magnums will work too. As above, you can't be to 'picky' now-a-days.... My go to load for .44Mag is 10g of Unique under 240g SWC. I don't use jacketed bullets so can't help you there...
I just picked up 250 pieces of Nosler 44 240gr SPHP from a buddy and 150 pieces of rem mag 44 brass 1F.....Not sure what SPHP stands for, but they look jacketed with a lead tip.....I can't find load info for unique on the Hodgdon load data site....what is a skeeter load? i'll have to look that up....
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Old May 12th, 2013, 09:21 PM   #12
 
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Unique is a Alliant powder, so their reloaders guide will show loads for it.

I like 9.5 grains of Unique under a 240 cast SWC for practice, carrying at work and hunting. A good Keith style cast bullet will kill deer just as well and much more reliably than a jacketed bullet will, and i see no reason to run anything but cast in my revolvers. That load is a mid range working load, and has plenty enough power for anything i may use it for on a given day, yet i can still shoot a few hundred at practice. I see no point in burning nearly twice as much of a slower powder to only pick up a bit more velocity.
Cast bullets do not require a gas check to prevent leading unless something is wrong with the load and gun combo. As long as the bullet is sized correctly and the gun has properly sized throats for the bullets, leading will be a non issue and you'll be much easier on the gun than using jacketed.
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Old May 12th, 2013, 09:36 PM   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 429421Cowboy View Post
Unique is a Alliant powder, so their reloaders guide will show loads for it.

I like 9.5 grains of Unique under a 240 cast SWC for practice, carrying at work and hunting. A good Keith style cast bullet will kill deer just as well and much more reliably than a jacketed bullet will, and i see no reason to run anything but cast in my revolvers. That load is a mid range working load, and has plenty enough power for anything i may use it for on a given day, yet i can still shoot a few hundred at practice. I see no point in burning nearly twice as much of a slower powder to only pick up a bit more velocity.
Cast bullets do not require a gas check to prevent leading unless something is wrong with the load and gun combo. As long as the bullet is sized correctly and the gun has properly sized throats for the bullets, leading will be a non issue and you'll be much easier on the gun than using jacketed.
Ty very much for that info....I think shooting lead only bullets will be the way to go and much cheaper from what I can see....I could probably look into casting my own by maybe using my 8shot or 7.5shot shotgun pellets....That's a whole nother process, I'll prolly just buy a few thousand cast first and see how they do...I was worried about leading up the barrel, prolly have to clean it more between certain number of shots compared to jacketed....Never heard of Jacketed being worse for my cowboy single action than lead....I appreciate that information....I'm sitting here with umteen tabs opened looking at diff powders, casts, brass and refreshing this forum for more info....nothing better to do at work til 5am....Now i'm searching youtube and other sites to see about velocities, not sure what is normal on these for hunting and what not, how accurate how far, etc, good velocity for hunting load, etc.....and if only reloading magnum brass will bother my load if I load down instead of loading .44 special brass....
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Old May 12th, 2013, 09:51 PM   #14
 
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Do you use LSWC'ers for target, home defense and hunting?
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Old May 12th, 2013, 09:56 PM   #15
 
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Casting is a whole other addiction of itself! Not a good time to get into it now though, best to let things settle down a bit more. Shotgun pellets aren't quite an ideal alloy for bullets, there are other options that are better suited and much cheaper.
A cast bullet of a solid profile in the 240-300 grain range needs only to be going about 1000 fps to shoot the length of a deer, you can't ask for much more than that really, which is why i like that Unique load.
Cast bullets operate at lower pressures for the same velocity and are easier on the forcing cone in revolvers than jacketed, and don't have the potential for failure like jacketed can while hunting sometimes. Again, if proper bullet fit is maintained, there will be no leading and the gun will be just as clean as with jacketed bullets.
Nothing wrong with loading moderate loads in magnum brass either, brass just lasts longer that way. I have reloaded much of my brass with that Unique load over ten times and it still keeps ticking.
Alot has been done and said about primers in revolver cartridges, and my general theory is that unless a powder calls for a magnum primer, a standard primer works just as well and can be more accurate, and fuctional since that extra pressure isn't blowing the bullet out of the case before the powder has enough pressure for a good consistant burn.
Just some more thoughts for you before bed here at midnight my time!
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