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reduced load .44 mag

This is a discussion on reduced load .44 mag within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; I use 9.0 gr of Universal under a 240 gr lead swc for a light magnum load. Very controllable but still has some guts. For ...

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Old February 6th, 2020, 05:28 PM   #16
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I use 9.0 gr of Universal under a 240 gr lead swc for a light magnum load. Very controllable but still has some guts. For everyday use I use the same bullet with 5.6 gr of W231 in a .44 Special case. It has a very mild recoil and is dead nuts accurate in my .44 Blackhawk Hunter and Taurus Tracker. 12 gr of Blue Dot with a 240 gr jacketed bullet makes a good mid range magnum load as well.

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Old February 6th, 2020, 07:33 PM   #17
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I have a reduced load I use in my 8&3/8's model 29 smith. I use an 240 hornady xtp over the bottom charge of h110 or w296 what the hornady manual states with good accuracy, and less recoil but still a magnum load. I find that more enjoyable, and less punishing on the gun for target practice. I can't tell you the last time I loaded a higher end load for my 44 magnum. I really have no need too. If I need more power I have some high end 45 colts for my 454 alaskan, and of course 454 casull rounds. If that doesn't do It, I grab my desert eagle 50 ae with 300 grain speer deep curl bonded. All use w296 or h110. Another good powder for the 44 is imr 4227, have used it. I do have some 44 specials with the 240 extreme flat point and w231, just don't shoot 44spcl much. I have loaded some 240 flat points over the bottom charge of h110 with no issues noted.
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Old February 6th, 2020, 08:30 PM   #18
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If you want a super lite plinking load, try 5.5 grains of WW231 under a 200 gr. Lead bullet (that's with a 44 mag case, not a Special). I've shot a lot of these and out of some .44's they are extremrly accurate. I've used the same load under a 190 gr. Lead wadcutter bullet as well. To be honest, they're a bit boring to shoot! Without checking, I believe the max load for the same 200 gr. bullet is 11.0 of 231 but check that before you load, my memory isn't what it used to be! Generally, I'll load from the lightest to max in .5 grain increments when testing accuracy using the 231. If I remember correctly, my Vaqureo likes 6.5 gr. for accuracy work. I always load a few of the boomers to impress the girls and newbies but generally, I want the most accurate load I can get.
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Old February 6th, 2020, 08:52 PM   #19
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This is an old topic that come up now and again. Here is a link to 2010 on the exact issue. ? View topic - 44 mag loads w/Unique powder

I like Unique powder and the article talks about 10.7-11.5 grains in the reloading books. I have used the John Taffin load of 10.0 grains behind a 240 grain that I cast. It also works great with the Berry bullets I buy at Cabela's.

Ten grains of Unique is supposed to give 1,000 fps which equals to 533 foot pounds. In my 2.5 inch, 4 inch barrel, and Ruger 5.5 inch it is a ***** cat to shoot. Actually feels less to me than a standard 1911 in 45 acp. It is fine for hunting small game at reasonable ranges and plenty for any self defense issues.

By reference, the white box 240 grain factory ammo, PMC and Remington all go about 1,250 fps from my 4 inch which is about 833 foot pounds. So it is only about 65% of a full power load. Actually the premium ammo gets well over 1,000 foot pounds so it is only 50% of so of the really hot stuff.

If you drop back to the plinking or 44 special level loads say 8.5 grains of unique you lose a lot of velocity so you cannot really shoot at coyotes or game reliably because at those low speeds you drop like 18 inches at 100 yards. If you are just shooting paper or cans up close it would not matter.

If you reload I might also suggest you consider loading round ball loads. You can buy .433 round balls for muzzle loading rifles or mold them as I do. They weigh about 140 grains each and I load 2 of them for 280 grains in front of that 10.0 grains of unique. In my 2.5 inch barrel they spread vertically about 8 inches at 25 yards. Pretty fun for plinking because that spread increases your odds of hitting. They are great on 8 inch falling plates. People at the range often are surprised at how I seldom miss one. Sometimes I tell them I am shooting 2 balls, sometimes not. Enjoy.

I tried the lighter loads but if I am looking for zero recoil I just go to my Single Six. Just seems like a waste to shoot the wimpy loads in such a big gun. Except, they are great for kids who may be afraid of the noise and recoil. Enjoy.
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Old February 7th, 2020, 05:16 AM   #20
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I like 10 grains of Unique with Elmer's bullet.
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Old February 7th, 2020, 06:32 AM   #21
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Same here 8-11g Unique is a great load in every 44 I have shot them in. 0FB93B11-9AEB-4CAF-8A51-BDB194DDF4C0_1581085961362.jpeg
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Old February 13th, 2020, 08:19 PM   #22
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One other thought. You mentioned that you made a mess with 44 special loads, I assume you mean the carbon ring at eh front of the cylinder? I actually like the flex hones to polish my cylinders ever so often, but you can do the same with a piece of T shirt on a cleaning jag in an electric drill and just use a little rubbing or polishing compound. Bring them to shine and done. I do that to every revolver once in a while, the brass just falls out. FYI

Flex hone data:
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Old February 13th, 2020, 08:52 PM   #23
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OP, don't forget you have the option of the 44 Russian.
This is Starline #4400 brass at 0.960" trimmed length.

This is an even lighter load than 44 Special.
The smaller case volume allows for better filling for mouse fart loads.
A lot of cowboy shooters use the Russian 44.

This was a very accurate cartridge when first developed by Smith & Wesson in 1870.
COAL is 1.43", 27 grains H2O capacity, 14,500 PSI.

Lyman #50 and Speer printed guide have many loads for this.
You can find legit Lyman #50 for $12 in PDF if you don't want paper.
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Old February 14th, 2020, 04:57 AM   #24
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Light .44 mags are very popular at my gun club. Several people use 6 grains of TiteGroup with 200 grain coated flat nose Missouri bullet in their S&W 629s. I use it in my 7.5" SRH and it's quite accurate and mild.
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