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Thread: Longshot in 44 Special

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy

    ejcrist's Avatar
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    Longshot in 44 Special

    Anyone tried Longshot in 44 Special handloads? I'm working up a load for a new FA 97 with 7 1/2" barrel. I'm aiming for an accurate load of around 1,000 fps or a little above and plan to try Unique, IMR 4227, 2400, and two more. Longshot is one I'd like to try but I can't find any load data on it at all for the 44 Special. I'm thinking about trying Blue Dot as well but I also have VV N105 and N110 but like Longshot, there's not much out there on 44 Special loads. If anyone could point me in the right direction I'd certainly appreciate it.

    Thanks, Gene

  2. #2
    Boolit Mold
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    First, Longshot isn't the powder for plinking rounds in the 44 special. Hodgdon probably doesn't want folks blowing up old guns trying to use this powder...

    I asked this very question here a couple months ago, and got no replies. I haven't found any data, either. So yesterday I tested some 44 special +P loads in my Ruger Blackhawk 5 1/2". Here's what I got with loads between 8 and 8.5 grains of Longshot:

    All loads were new Hornady 44 special brass. Primers were Winchester WLP. I used 257 grain Keith bullets of 15 bhn. Good heavy crimp. And... as an experiment I used 45-45-10 tumble lube.

    I was attempting some +P loads, since I've noticed Longshot doesn't perform well at lower pressures. I was looking for something around 950fps.

    8 grains Longshot - 10 rounds fired - 902 fps average - standard deviation 16.54
    This load was a little sooty, similar to some of the starting loads I've tried with 44 magnum cartridges. I noticed a sharp recoil in this load - a little uncomfortable to shoot, but that may have just been me. The primers looked a little flat, but not anything major. Brass was sooty. Groups not so great.

    8.2 grains Longshot - 10 rounds fired - 932 fps - standard deviation was 23.83.
    Recoil felt better & the primers look normal - not flat. Still a little sooty. Groups tighter.

    8.5 grains Longshot -
    8 rounds fired - 962 fps - standard deviation was 14.62.
    Grouped up pretty good, and the casings are much cleaner. These primers looked best of all. I think this is my keeper load, but I may tweak it down 1/10 grain & see what happens.

    I had no major leading to speak of. What traces I had were around the outside of the forcing cone, and a tad by the end of the muzzle. Swabbed out easy with a bronze brush. The heavy coat of alox and jpw seemed to do the trick. But now I'm wondering If I could get better accuracy with pan-lubed bullets. I'll have to test them next time.
    Last edited by Sea Bear; 04-10-2015 at 06:30 PM.

  3. #3
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    I've never used it in 44 anything but in my 41 mag it really shines as a 80-85% max throttle every day working load. Accurate and clean. Equally stellar in full bore 10mm, 40, 357sig. It's become a new favorite of mine. Speaking of, I need to grab a few more pounds.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Bear View Post
    First, Longshot isn't the powder for plinking rounds in the 44 special. Hodgdon probably doesn't want folks blowing up old guns trying to use this powder...

    I asked this very question here a couple months ago, and got no replies. I haven't found any data, either. So yesterday I tested some 44 special +P loads in my Ruger Blackhawk 5 1/2". Here's what I got with loads between 8 and 8.5 grains of Longshot:

    All loads were new Hornady 44 special brass. Primers were Winchester WLP. I used 257 grain Keith bullets of 15 bhn. Good heavy crimp. And... as an experiment I used 45-45-10 tumble lube.

    I was attempting some +P loads, since I've noticed Longshot doesn't perform well at lower pressures. I was looking for something around 950fps.

    8 grains Longshot - 10 rounds fired - 902 fps average - standard deviation 16.54
    This load was a little sooty, similar to some of the starting loads I've tried with 44 magnum cartridges. I noticed a sharp recoil in this load - a little uncomfortable to shoot, but that may have just been me. The primers looked a little flat, but not anything major. Brass was sooty. Groups not so great.

    8.2 grains Longshot - 10 rounds fired - 932 fps - standard deviation was 23.83.
    Recoil felt better & the primers look normal - not flat. Still a little sooty. Groups tighter.

    8.5 grains Longshot -
    8 rounds fired - 962 fps - standard deviation was 14.62.
    Grouped up pretty good, and the casings are much cleaner. These primers looked best of all. I think this is my keeper load, but I may tweak it down 1/10 grain & see what happens.

    I had no major leading to speak of. What traces I had were around the outside of the forcing cone, and a tad by the end of the muzzle. Swabbed out easy with a bronze brush. The heavy coat of alox and jpw seemed to do the trick. But now I'm wondering If I could get better accuracy with pan-lubed bullets. I'll have to test them next time.
    Thanks for the detailed response there Sea Bear - you da man! I saw your posted question earlier when I was searching and the lack of responses so I figured I was in for being a pioneer with this powder in the special. I'm really glad to get your details on velocity, etc. so thanks much. I believe I'm going to start with 8.5 grains. Incidentally I have the same exact Ruger you have but I never tested Longshot in it, only Unique, 2400, 231, and Bullseye. 15 grains of 2400 shot best in mine and gave an average around 1,120 fps which was a little higher than the range I was looking for but I haven't had a chance to fine tune yet. Accuracy was an average grouping of three strings of five shots each and resulted in 2.1" off a rest at 25 yards. Primers (CCI 300) looked fine and Starline brass extraction was easy. The boolit was Lyman 429421 cast from straight wheel weights with a BHN around 11 sized to .430 with Lyman alox lube. I'll be using the same brass/boolit/primer combination to work up an initial load with the FA 97 but I'm thinking to work for a velocity more around 1,000 - 1,100 fps. I'm probably going to cut back a notch on the Ruger charge because the current velocity is a little higher than I'd like. I didn't have any signs of leading whatsoever in the Ruger.

    I know a lot of guys shoot boolits in the 15 BHN range but I haven't hardened past regular ww or 16:1 and haven't had any leading issues in everything including my 686 357 which has a velocity of 1,490 fps average. Just a thought, but I'd bet money if you did the same you might not have any leading at all assuming your sized to your throats' diameter. Something to consider as you refine your load further. I don't know if you've read Glen Fryxel's (sp?) writings on the LASC website but that's pretty much what he suggests and I found his advice sound. If you think about it, the BP silhouette crowd shoots 20:1 and 30:1 in their rifles at higher velocities than most handguns and they don't usually have leading issues. My first handgun was a Ruger SBH and I initially shot Lyman #2 in it and had a lot of leading issues but it cleared up when I went with straight wheel weights. Just something to think about.

  5. #5
    Boolit Mold
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    Good info, EJ. I have a friend with a 66, and he has had bad leading using hard cast. My alloy consists of mystery metal about 10 bhn & I had 1/2 lb. lino to 10lbs. I don't water quench. I'm gonna try to back off the lino by 1/2 & should be around 12 or so. Most of my loads have been pretty mild up to 1100, but recently I tried 21.5 grains h110 and still no lead to speak of. I just swab the barrel every time I go out to stay on top of it.

    I would be indebted to you if you would share your results above 8.5 grains. I think there is a better load after some tweaking.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Bear View Post
    Good info, EJ. I have a friend with a 66, and he has had bad leading using hard cast. My alloy consists of mystery metal about 10 bhn & I had 1/2 lb. lino to 10lbs. I don't water quench. I'm gonna try to back off the lino by 1/2 & should be around 12 or so. Most of my loads have been pretty mild up to 1100, but recently I tried 21.5 grains h110 and still no lead to speak of. I just swab the barrel every time I go out to stay on top of it.

    I would be indebted to you if you would share your results above 8.5 grains. I think there is a better load after some tweaking.
    Roger that - I will most certainly do that. I really like Longshot. It does really well in my Ruger SS 32 H&R. H110 was just oh so slightly better so I've been sticking with it but Longshot is my go-to powder in the 32 for anything under max loads. I have a feeling it can do really well in this new 44. I'll keep you posted.

    Gene

  7. #7
    Boolit Master curioushooter's Avatar
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    Fyi. Brian Pearce did a pet loads 44 spl+p in 2018 that featured longshot prominently and it was among the top performing powders of the medium burn rates noted for accuracy. It outperformed blue dot and unique, which are both good powders. I've never used it but I am thinking of trying. 2400 is always dirty in these lower pressure loads, and a pound or unique or longshot will go nearly twice as long due to lower charge weights.

  8. #8
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    Works well in .38 special and .32 S&W Long . 135 gr GDHP in the .38 and 100 gr lead in the .32 .
    Grumpy Old Man With A Gun....... Do Not Touch !!

  9. #9
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    Here are some more data points

    Have a friend who loves to test powders -
    here's his results with his 5 1/2" Ruger .44 Special

    8.0 Longshot 250g Keith CCI-300 932 23 75 15
    8.5 Longshot 250g Keith CCI-300 1002 14 61 15
    9.0 Longshot 250g Keith CCI-300 1040 8 29 15
    9.5 Longshot 250g Keith CCI-300 1113 8 32 14

    to the right of CCI-300 Avg FPS, SD, ES, No of Shots

  10. #10
    Boolit Master trapper9260's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Southgate View Post
    Works well in .38 special and .32 S&W Long . 135 gr GDHP in the .38 and 100 gr lead in the .32 .
    May I ask how many grs in both do you start with ?
    Life Member of NRA,NTA,DAV ,ITA. Also member of FTA,CBA

  11. #11
    Boolit Master curioushooter's Avatar
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    Your friend report on accuracy. The 9.5 trainer has impressive velocity.

  12. #12
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    I have not used Long Shot but it looks good. Seems to be just a tick slower than PP.......
    JMHO-YMMV
    dd884
    dgilbert07 at windstream dot net

  13. #13
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    pp - purple powder?

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Power pistol, I suspect
    “You don’t practice until you get it right. You practice until you can’t get it wrong.” Jason Elam, All-Pro kicker, Denver Broncos

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Yes it is Power Pistol. I'm sorry i just took it for granted all here would know. I'll try to do better........
    JMHO-YMMV
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    dgilbert07 at windstream dot net

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check