Here is my follow-up on my experience with using other powders in the M77/44 rifle. If you shoot the heavier bullets, 265 to 320gr., and want the absolute max velocity, possibly the best powder I have found is Accurate 5744. It really does not give much of an advantage over H110/296, but it may give some velocity increase and maintain accuracy. It can be downloaded safely, and is relatively clean burning. There is a reasonable amount of load data available. Another powder I have had success with is Accurate #9. It will drive the moderately heavy bullets almost as fast as H110/296, and in some cases equal those two powders in velocity when using the heaviest bullets. Look at load data available. It is cleaner burning, can be used in lighter loads than H110/296, and I have found to be just as accurate. I have not tried Lil'Gun other than with just a few loads. It looks good so far. For max velocity and excellent accuracy those are the powders I have found to work best.
Some will notice that I have included a 320 grain slug. Normally that weight of bullet will be too long for the Ruger magazine. I start with a Cast Performance WFNGC bullet. This just barely fits at best depending on the particular lot. Usually not. A Beartooth Bullet of similar weight may fit better. What I do is file the nose of the bullet back until it fits. This usually does not reduce the weight more than 5 grains. The more I file the greater the metplate and lighter the bullet. Works best with the heavier bullets. I mentioned this technique in an earlier post as a possible accuracy enhancer. Did not go into the additional aspect/benefit of increasing the metplate from filing back the nose. This can also be used to increase the metplate considerably in some cases. These bullets evidently are cast from some pretty hard alloy as I have never had one mushroom much even when firing into wet phone books. That or the heat treating process goes much deeper than just the surface. Can't tell about what happens to the slug when hitting game, other than making big holes, as I have never recovered one. This is another way to increase the metplate to near/equal that of a 45 caliber slug, and still be firing a 44 caliber weapon. Kind of like having the benefits of a hot 45 Colt or medium 454 Casull load in a 44 mag. This process in many cases can effectively make your firearm shoot one caliber larger. This by the way only works on cast bullets! I also do this for my 454 and 45 Colt loads to increase my metplate to nearly that of a .475 caliber. On my .475 Linebaugh I don't do this other than to match projectile weights. If the metplate isn't already big enough on a 400+grain slug @ 1300 fps. then I am going home.
Last edited by HNB; January 30th, 2011 at 01:23 PM.