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Thread: Reduced 44 magnum loads?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Reduced 44 magnum loads?

    Is it possible to have reduced loads for the 44 magnum. I will clarify this little. Loading for a S&W 629 not a Desert Eagle. I would like some reduced Unique loads with a 210gr SWC bullet and was wondering if something like 9.3gr of unique would be ok. I have been told you can use the 44 special loads in a 44 mag but that just doesn't sound right to me.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Ed_Shot's Avatar
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    My 629 does very will with either 200 gr. or 250 gr. over Unique 7.5 gr. in a 44 Mag case. Also like the same boolits over Red Dot 6.0 gr.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I guess I should have mentioned lead bullets not jacketed. The 9.3 gr of Unique is less than the 10.0 gr starting load for the 210 gr bullet.

  4. #4
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    ShooterAZ's Avatar
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    6 gr of Bullseye, or 8.5 grains of Unique shoot very well with 200-250 gr cast boolits in the 44 Mag.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    9.3 Unique would be fine. Probably give around 800 fps with a 210 grain cast swc.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    An article on the subject from Ed Harris, cross-posted here by permission:

    Tales from the Back Creek Diary
    Bullseye Powder .44 Magnum “Medium” Velocity Loads

    Soft, plain based, bullets and fast-burning powders provide economy and utility.

    C.E. “Ed” Harris

    A firearm does not need to be operated at “full power” any more than any other machine. It is true that some people still believe that if you own a .44 Magnum and reload for it, you must be able to feel the heat on your face every time you pull the trigger, as your hand stings and your ears ring. But this is nonsense, of course. Less power loads are fine for recreation and most field shooting. They indeed have their place. My friends and I probably shoot 100 rounds of “medium velocity” loads for every dinosaur killer. Few reloading manuals list loads for the .44 Magnum other than hand busters. Experienced reloaders successfully improvise, but less intrepid, practical shooters are frustrated.

    The so-called “medium velocity” load is subsonic when fired in from a typical revolver. It also does not exceed the leading threshold of about 1300-1400 fps., when a soft, plain-based bullet is fired from a rifle. Remington offered marketed exactly such a .44 Magnum load for a short time during the early to mid 1980s. It was intended for the police market, as a counterpart in .44 Magnum, to the similar lead bullet .41 Magnum police load, which has also, unfortunately been discontinued.

    Remington’s .44 Magnum Medium Velocity load offering used a flat-nosed, 240-grain, plain- based, swaged lead bullet with two cannelures, resembling an elongated .44-40 slug. Its shape mimicked today’s “Cowboy Loads” having a catalog velocity of 1000 f.p.s. from a 4-inch vented test barrel, simulating revolver conditions.

    These ballistics approximate those of the original 1873 black powder .45 Colt service cartridge, when fired from a 7-1/2 inch barrel. This is hardly today’s “mouse-fart” cowboy load, but stout stuff like they used to kill buffalo and shoot Indians. For today’s hand loader the greatest economy is realized by being able to exploit plain-based cast bullets, using the least expensive, soft scrap alloy, such as wheel weights or common scrap, with faster-burning pistol or shotgun powders which provide twice as many rounds per pound, as the slow-burners normally used for full power .44 Magnum loads.

    Lyman’s Cast Bullet Handbook, 4th Edition lists .44 Magnum charges with using fast-burning powders, but their starting loads, while useful in revolvers, often exceed the leading threshold of plain based bullets, when fired in a rifle. Newer powders such as Titegroup or Trail Boss are listed, but my favorite, Bullseye was not. Be careful in reducing slower burners, such as #2400, because ballistic uniformity is impaired if you go below about 16 grains in the .44 Magnum case with 240-gr. bullet.

    What follows is my listing of loads which “work” and are well proven. I hope this shortens your learning curve and that they work as well for you as they do for my friends and I.

    Medium Velocity Loads for .44 Mag., 265-gr. Saeco #441, BHN11, unsized .433”, LLA
    Case, Primer and_______Velocity_____Velocity_____Five, 5-shot Groups* @ 50 yds. H&R
    Charge Weight_________5-1/2” RBH___H&R 22”*___Largest___Smallest___Average
    Starline .44 Spl. WLP_______________________________________________ _______
    5.2BE,RCBS LD#10______782,10Sd_____940,9 Sd____3.0_____1.9_______2.46
    Remington .44 Mag. WLP_______________________________________________ ____
    6.0 Bullseye, LD#11_____774,36Sd_____983,49Sd____2.5_____1.9____ ___2.24
    6.6 Bullseye, LD#12_____948,13Sd_____1141,9Sd____2.5_____1.4____ ___1.94
    7.8 Bullseye, LD#14_____1017,11Sd____1233,10Sd___2.5_____1.2____ ___1.88
    16.2 #2400, LD#20_____1080,39Sd____1411,44Sd___2.5_____ 1.3_______1.97

    Remington .44 Mag. WLP, Remington 240-gr. Semi-Jacketed HP
    8.4 Bullseye, LD#15_____1033,11Sd____1197,15Sd___2.2_____1.2____ ___1.76
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShooterAZ View Post
    6 gr of Bullseye, or 8.5 grains of Unique shoot very well with 200-250 gr cast boolits in the 44 Mag.
    Exactly what I use.....
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Any load in-between Special and Magnum data will be fine in a Magnum. Max Special loads are a good place to start. Problems might start to arise if you try and use starting loads in the Magnum cases.

    There are certain Magnum powders that should not be down loaded i.e Win 296. However any powder that has both Special and Magnum data will work with loads in the middle.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I have 2400 powder but only use max loads of that with jacketed bullets in my Desert Eagle. No plans to us it in the 629 with lead bullets.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Check into Alliant PowerPistol. I have been using 9.4 gr with the 250 "Keith" bullet and have been very pleased with this load. It is roughly equivalent to 8.5 gr Unique.
    Meters well (not that it makes any difference in the shooting of most of us) and shoots well.
    Currently I am using S&B primers and have found them just fine.
    Yeah for sure don't use 2400 in a Smith N frame they won't last long. It would be an interesting paperweight though.
    We Know Mass Cannot Be Weighed But It Has Newtonian Weight And That Is Derived From Kilograms And Kilograms Can Be Converted to Pounds. But, Still Mass Cannot Be Weighed. But How is the kilograms obtained? Can Kilograms Be Weighed? Evidentally Yes It Can. But, Still Mass Cannot Be Weighed So Kilograms Must Not Exist. Funny Isn't It.
    One good thing out of this the next time I'm at the doctors and they want to weigh me I'll tell them mass cannot be weighed.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    This is what I have on hand for pistol powders...WW231, Unique, Red Dot, and Bullseye.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    You can safely substitute Red Dot for the Bullseye charges listed above. You could also do so with 231 and it would be OK to increase charges about 10%, cross-checking against published data. I ran alot of rounda with 10 grs. of W231 with Hornady 240 XTP with good results.
    The ENEMY is listening.
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  13. #13
    Boolit Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    9 grs of Unique under a 210 cast is a wonderful load in the .44 mag AND the .41 mag. My brothers and I shot thousands of these honing our handgun skills when we were young.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    All of the above good. I've used 7.5 to 10 grains of Unique with 240+ grain cast, all shot well. My Bullseye loads have been less so far but even 4.5 grs. shot well in indoor plate shoots. Will be trying some other BE loads soon, due to the input here.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    8.5 grains of Unique under an RCBS 44-250 KT was all I shot for a long time. Later I went with 6.5 grains of WW-231 for reasons of economy. I sent an awful lot of wheel weights down range with one or the other of these loads. I see no reason whatsoever that your 210 grain load shouldn't work like a champ, putting a lot less wear on the old S&W, and dare I say, less wear on the old S&W shooter as well.
    _________________________________________________It's not that I can't spell: it is that I can't type.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    I have the Saeco # 420- 200gr TC have used them between 800 to 1,200 fps in about 8 different 44 mags over the past 25 years with excellent accuracy ! this is my go to bullet for 99% of my 44 shooting, have 3 other 44 moulds

    My loads are loaded in 44 mag cases with 6.0 gr of BE or TG @800 fps
    7.0 gr of BE or TG @ 940 fps
    13.0 gr of HS-6 @ 1,200 fps

  17. #17
    Boolit Master JMax's Avatar
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    I load 7.8 gr of Unique with a 210 gr RNFP in my 6" 629. Chronos at a little over 1000 ft/sec and very accurate.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    44 Russian loads would be nice plinkers. My first pistol loads were for a German Commision revolver. Trimmed 44 Special brass to less than an inch, Lee 215 SWC in COWW, and about 6 grains of Unique. A very similar to 44 Russian load. Has been years since I loaded any, so the charge may have been a little more or less.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    I hate to go against all the experts but I would go with Trail Boss and eliminate any chance of multiple charges in the big cases.

  20. #20
    Boolit Man
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    I tend to load most of my .44 cartridges with Special loads. I even have some Russian brass to play with. The only time I load "heavy" is for hunting use and practice. Otherwise I dont beat myself or guns up.

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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