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Thread: First 44 mag with Bayou Hi-Tek 240 SWC for a S&W 629: Advice please

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    First 44 mag with Bayou Hi-Tek 240 SWC for a S&W 629: Advice please

    I just joined the forum although I lurked in and out over the years. I mostly shoot FMJ but wanting to go with the SWC coated based on fiends recommendations. I also just purchased my first rev + I never loaded 44 mag. Lot's of firsts! After some research on bullet weights and optimum powders I came up with the following. RCBS dies are in hand. A RCBS 44 spl Cowboy Expander Assembly is on it's way. I have the following powders on hand:

    2400
    AA9
    H-110
    Blue Dot
    Longshot
    Unique
    Bullseye
    HS-6

    My game plan is to start with 2400 since that was EK's load with BB's 240 SWC. Personally I prefer hotter loads ( not nuclear ). I plan to use these on some feral hogs 25-75 yards. I'm trimming my brass to 1.275 (once fired Win ) in hopes that it will help me get the roll crimp right. I have loaded 45-70 Gov in the past and 45 LC but that was some time ago. I thought I would begin with the following ladders to check accuracy from a rest. I have a RD (1x30) on the 629. At 25 yards the Win 240 JSP ammo was dead on ( fired by my RO ) with the iron sights. I'm hoping one or more of these loads will equal the accuracy of the Win factory.

    18.5
    18.8
    19.1
    19.4
    19.7

    I have CCI 300 or Win LP's. Most recipe's I've seen are using the CCI 300's. Thoughts please? Any help from the experts is greatly appreciated! Not new to reloading but definitely to rev's and cast boolits. Thanks again!
    Last edited by kwesi; 06-24-2018 at 04:57 PM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Well,

    I would say you have been paying pretty good attention “grass hopper”!

    I can not ascertain which boolit you are using with respect to it’s base but barring that issue, you are doing very well thus far. The issue is whether you have a bevel base or square based boolit.

    For high performance you want to avoid bevel based slugs. Simply put you are inviting gas cutting with them.

    My favorite all around slug for my Smith MG is the RCBS 250K. My favorite powder is HS6 running around the mid 20k pressure range (Hodgdon’s #26 manual) with a magnum primer and the charge at upto 12 gr. I use 11.8 gr just because the magnum shotgun powder really cleaned up there.

    With 2400 you are correct in using standard primers because this powder lights off easily and a fast ignition primer spikes pressures unecessarily. I use magnum primers in the charge range around 17.5 with 2400 but switch to standards above there.

    The most argued thing about using 2400 is what is a safe maximum. For my taste I top out around 20.5 gr. If I want more horse power I reach for H110 and magnum primers and work uptowards a max of 23.0 gr.

    Lots of folks use current manual suggestions to run Unique at levels into 10 gr plus but I think and prefer to load the powder at 8.5 gr in magnum cases just like the great writer Skeeter Skelton used it (7.5 in Specials and 8.5 in magnum brass).

    When I want to jump the shark above the power level of the famous Skeeter loads, I shift to HS6.

    I will not comment on Blue Dot, no experience in handguns for me.

    You list Bullseye. I have never loaded that powder but lots of folks sure do use it. Check how accurate your thrown charges run.

    I certainly use fast light charges for light plinkers. My taste runs to Clays (it is clean) and I have also used WW 231 (not as clean but meters like butter on a hot skillet). I probably have loaded more plinkers with Titegroup than all the other faster powders put together however. It is not very clean nor does it meter super well but it just works and is not bad enough in the negative attributes to offset it’s accuracy potential.

    Just avoid double charges with these little dinky loads because they are truely deadly.

    When I was looking for a powder that beat HS6 I dallied with 800X. It reminds me of road gravel when I tried to measure it. The final straw was when I placed three 800x charged rounds staggered in the cylinder along with three rounds of the HS6 variety. The effect was to alternate the firing of the two loads until the revolver was empty.

    It only took one cylinder full and 800x lost out.

    These were loaded comparably but what I learned was that the dwell time was different with the recoil impulse being significantly different. Two identical boolits, one accelerating faster earlier in its departure and the other accelerating at a more even rate and you experience more of a push from the gradual acceleration. Mind you, the resultant velocities of the two different loads was very close, the firing of each of them looked more like the difference between day and night.

    Best regards and hope you have a GREAT stay here at “Boolits”!

    Three44s
    Last edited by Three44s; 06-24-2018 at 11:38 PM.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Grmps's Avatar
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    It is a bevel base , BUT it is also 16-17 BHN (a lot harder than you need so you shouldn't get blowby unless you have an oversized barrel
    44 mag data
    http://castpics.net/dpl/index.php/re...et-data-lookup
    http://www.alliantpowder.com/reloade...33&bulletid=52

    Like 3-R's said, looks like you've got the gist I think I'd start @ 18.8 and go up to 20.3 or until the accuracy starts falling off or you start getting overpressure signs (flattened primers)
    I can't help on hotter loads, I prefer the lightest accurate load I can find

    kwesi - welcome to CB. If you decided to start casting to save money, forget it. You won't, you'll just shoot more.
    Casting boolits (lead bullets) properly is a science, once you know the basics, not a hard science.
    There is a lot of good information on CB. The Google search (top right of every forum page) is a gateway to all the knowledge on this forum. IF you can’t find your answer there ask the question (Please be as detailed as possible, pictures help http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...g-screen-shots I would be very surprised if there wasn’t someone on this forum that could answer ANY question you might have)
    http://www.lasc.us/Fryxell_Book_Contents.htm
    1. Boolits need to be cast .0005 to .003 over the slugged diameter of your barrel for accuracy and to avoid leading. If the fit is wrong nothing else will work right.
    a. slugging a barrel (it is safer to use a brass rod or a steel rod with a couple of coats of tape to avoid damaging your barrel http://7.62x54r.net/MosinID/MosinSlug.htm
    b. chamber casting https://www.brownells.com/guntech/ce....htm?lid=10614
    or pound casting http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...rifle-chamber)
    2. the right alloy needs to be used for the velocity and purpose of the boolit (don’t fall into the trap of going with to hard an alloy
    Economical way to easily test lead hardness
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...rdness-testing

    Some alloys harden over time
    http://www.lasc.us/Fryxell_Book_Chap...Metallurgy.htm
    different alloy’s different end sizes

    Lead alloy calculator
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/atta...4&d=1341560870
    3. velocity the bullet needs to be pushed hard/fast enough to get the proper spin, have the proper velocity to accurately reach the target but not so hard as to be dangerous or strip the lead off in the grooves instead of spinning the boolit..
    Powders range from fast to slow, you need to choose the right powder for your application.
    Loading manuals list the best powders for certain calibers and boolit weights.
    NEVER use any posted noncommercial load data without first checking to see if falls in the safe parameter for your firearm!! There are several firearms out there that can handle much higher pressures than others!!
    Link to free online load data
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...online-sources

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Kwesi - These guys got you covered. I just want to welcome you to castboolits. Stay safe.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Well, don't neglect some light accurate plinking loads around 1000 fps.

  6. #6
    I agree with everything said above. One bit of wisdom to add. I like making low power plinking rounds. Fun to shoot and gets the wife out more. Anyway, a couple years ago with my inexperience, I just figured I would just use less 2400 and be right on, right?

    NO! Dont use less than starting charge with 2400. While its relatively easy to light, when all the powder is compressed forward, after a shot or two, the rest will become Squibs.

    Ugh. My poor Ruger saw the wooden dowel a few times with my stupidiy. So dont make that mistake. Use either Unique or Trail Boss for softer loads.

  7. #7
    Boolit Mold
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    Thanks everyone!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Sorry, I disagree on light loads.
    TITEGROUP was designed by HODGDON for light loads and to have NO sensitivity to position in the case.
    I have used it since it came out 20yrs+ ago.
    HODGDON printed a COWBOY LOAD Handbook about 15yrs+ ago. TITEGROUP Loads for .44MAG runs 4.7grs to 6.2grs 800fps to 970fps. CUP 11,100 TO 18,400.

    The trouble I have with TRAILBOSS is the higher pressure than comparable loads, velocity wise. Higher pressure, more recoil.
    I load 44MAG for one of my COWBOY SHOOTING BUDDY'S. 245gr RNFP over 5.5grs TITEGROUP (N.O.E. TL-432-243-RF). Light recoil and it doesn't seem to matter how you hold your gun, muzzle up or muzzle down.
    I love UNIQUE, I've loaded 9.5grs under LYMAN #429421 for a target/jackrabbit load since I bought my own .44MAG. At 22yrs, it was a Real treat to have MY OWN .44MAG & not one of my my DAD'S.

    2400 is reserved for the 255gr LYMAN #429244 Gascheck or the SAECO #432 265gr Gascheck bullet.

    And if your just starting out loading .44MAG don't use a ****ed bevel base bullet. They are designed for Giant Production Machines, to feed easier. They also are "supposed" to drop out of molds easier.I don't like them.
    And you don't need a special expander for LEAD bullets, especially if your using BB bullets. Just turn turn the expander insert a quarter turn.

    You can buy different bullet weights & shapes in 100's from most small casters. Try as wide a variety as you want until you find a design that suits your needs. Learn to cast well before trying your hand at powder coating. I think trying to learn both at the same time would be like trying to learn to drive a stick & French kiss your new girlfriend at the same time.
    Last edited by Walks; 06-26-2018 at 02:13 AM.
    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Light loads require a fast powder. Tite Group works well for both pistol and rifle in this respect. For shooting cast boolits I could be quite happy with just TG, Unique and 2400.
    Last edited by Cosmic_Charlie; 06-27-2018 at 02:10 PM.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
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    18.5 of 2400 and a Keith boolit put venison the freezer worked up to 20.0. Not my current load but it did fine. Same boolit with 6.5 of red dot was fun to shoot and still would be enough for many critters.
    You'll go far providin' you ain't burnt alive or scalped."

    Will Geer as Bear Claw in "Jeramiah Johnson"

  11. #11
    Boolit Mold
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    Thanks for everyone’s input and encouragement. My first batch of 44 mag are ready to test fire. I trimmed all my brass. COL is 1.593 - 1.596. Not sure if the range is due to my trimming or components. My ladder is 5 rounds each beginning with 18.5 gr of 2400 with .3 grains increments up to 20.0. CCI 300’s. Since I know the iron sights are dead on at 25 yards I’m thinking of testing with a Bushnell TRS-25 RD from a bench rest. Hope to chrono these. My indoor range is 25 yds max. I will report back.

  12. #12
    Boolit Mold
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    Thought I would post the average velocity of each of the 4 ladders. All rounds chambered and functioned just fine. I trickle charged every round on my RCBS Chargemaster that I first verified with check weights. Powder 2400 and CCI 300’s. Bayou Bullets 240 SWC. All Winchester once fired brass trimmed to 1.275. Ave velocity per 5 rounds:


    19.1 @1368
    19.4 @1381
    19.7 @1389
    20.0 @1428

    Long story but I was not able to test for accuracy from a bench rest. Hopefully on my next outing.
    Last edited by kwesi; 07-01-2018 at 01:13 AM.

  13. #13
    Boolit Mold
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    Update: Accuracy Test on all 4 ladders fired from the bench. UTG RD , 5 Shot groups , 25 yards. My RO is Victor. I asked him to test all the loads since he is a MUCH better shot. Interesting what the 629 prefers:





    And the winner is?
    Last edited by kwesi; 07-02-2018 at 11:16 PM.

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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