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Thread: Most accurate 44 mag design?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    fatelvis's Avatar
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    Most accurate 44 mag design?

    I load 90% of my 44mags light/medium in my 6.5" 629 for casual target use. I've only used Keith style boolits up until now, and am wondering if RF or other designs tend to be more accurate in your revolver. Please share your experiences, I'm curious to see if the Keith is better for game than target, or good as an all round choice. Thanks guys!
    I shoot so that I can handload.

  2. #2
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    There are two favorite designs, the Keith SWC and the LFN round flat nosed design. Both can be very accurate, and both are excellent hunting bullets.

    Some claim a tad better accuracy for the LFN, but I can't detect it. Best five-shot groups at 100 yards with my 8-3/8" S&W PC Model 629 are sub two-inch with 240 grain Keith bullets from Accurate Molds #43-240K mold.

    There is also the claim that the LFN is accurate to longer ranges, but again, I can't detect it. I don't shoot past 100 yards with revolvers.

    Of course, the key to accuracy with any bullet style in revolvers is chamber throat fit. My best guns are set up to have minimal clearance between bullet diameter and throats . This usually involves custom throating and custom sizing dies. My 44 Rem Mag guns are set to 0.4315" throat diameter, and I size bullets with a 0.4310" die. Now, I don't really know how good that fourth digit is, but I do know my bullets sized in that die are a very snug fit in my chamber throats. Guns set up this way shoot well.

  3. #3
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    Looking for an accurate boolit for casual target use ?
    Then take a look at the N.O.E. web site at #432-237-WC-PB-BL4.
    This design was created to fill your need... I love it.
    Cast with a hollow point and it's a wicked hunting boolit.
    Gary
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  4. #4
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    I have been shooting my home cast 44 bullets in my 5, 44 Magnums for about 25 years (sized to fit). Lyman 429421 are pretty good but for me, I've found Ranch Dog's RNFP to be very accurate in my guns. My Puma likes the 265 gr. a bit better than the 240 gr bullet, but both are pretty accurate. I read an article by Venturino and he states his findings that a plain old round nose is probably the most accurate design, it just lacks in "target effect". I'm pretty satisfied with my 3 choices...
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  5. #5
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    I use two boolits in my.44's Specs and Mags. .429421 and 429244

    The 429421 is used in all .44's and is probably the best all around boolit for the .44 ever concocted. I use the 429244 in my Rifle as it has a gas check and can take 1600 fps+ velocities. People will complain that the rifles don't feed these boolits well, to whit I say put a chamfer on the chamber mouth and they will feed right.

    I powder coat these boolits now and that eliminates leading completely.

    I have several other boolit moulds for my .44's they go mostly unused as the two above are the most accurate and do the job the best. Other moulds are 429215 GC, Lee 429-240GC, a 190 gr SWC which has dropped perfect boolits from the first fill,,, none of which go anywhere near the POA, and several others I can't remember right now.

    The good moulds are both Mihec Moulds which cast over sized and allow you to size as needed and give the option of 3 different HP's and a solid which is what I cast mostly.

    I haven't found any boolit type that performs better than these either in accuracy or terminal performance.

    Randy

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy dkonrai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tatume View Post
    There are two favorite designs, the Keith SWC and the LFN round flat nosed design. Both can be very accurate, and both are excellent hunting bullets.

    Some claim a tad better accuracy for the LFN, but I can't detect it. Best five-shot groups at 100 yards with my 8-3/8" S&W PC Model 629 are sub two-inch with 240 grain Keith bullets from Accurate Molds #43-240K mold.

    There is also the claim that the LFN is accurate to longer ranges, but again, I can't detect it. I don't shoot past 100 yards with revolvers.

    Of course, the key to accuracy with any bullet style in revolvers is chamber throat fit. My best guns are set up to have minimal clearance between bullet diameter and throats . This usually involves custom throating and custom sizing dies. My 44 Rem Mag guns are set to 0.4315" throat diameter, and I size bullets with a 0.4310" die. Now, I don't really know how good that fourth digit is, but I do know my bullets sized in that die are a very snug fit in my chamber throats. Guns set up this way shoot well.
    Tell me how I can shoot, my 629, and get 2 inch groups at 100 yards?
    I feel lucky to get my rounds on paper at that range. I am shooting a 629 in 6.5 inch open sights.

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  7. #7
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    I've been shooting the Lyman#429421 cast of #2, sized .430 in various RUGERS & S&W's for 40+yrs. Some 25yd groups have measured 1 1/2".

    My COLT SAA's & NF's favor .428dia. I used to have a NF 7 1/2" in .44SPL that once put 5rds into a 1 1/4" round group.

    My mold was made in the 1970's. I've also had good luck with LYMAN'S # 42798, #429244, #429215 and the RCBS # 44-245-KT.
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  8. #8
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    Overall, in revolvers within normal revolver range usage, I've also not found a lot of "accuracy" difference between RN, SWC and WFN designs. Any difference is mostly attributable to the alloy, powder used and pressure level. Most often the most accurate magnum level bullet is one that is GC'd. I currently have 6 moulds on hand for bullet choice to use in my four 44s; 429-200-RF, 429215, 429360, TL430-240-SWC, 44-250-K and 429640HP. I have used the 429421 and 429244s with equal success. I've come to not need any bullet over 275 gr though I have tried the heavier ones and they do well also.

    Actually, they all shoot well for me. The intended use is the criteria I use to choose which to use.
    Larry Gibson

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  9. #9
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    First lets rapidly deal with reality.
    How well can one shoot? Now I am not talking about from the benchrest all the time. I am talking about across the spectrum of shooting. From the bench, kneeling, standing offhand, standing just using some form if improvised wrist rest like a low limb etc.. I am sure you you get my point.
    If you are an exceptional shooter, say a high master class NRA bullseye shooter you may tell subtile differences in the accuracy of different bullets but then again maybe not. Many will come on a shooting forum with descriptions of their groups from the benchrest but rarely ever of their offhand or less than dead steady rest shooting. Unless they shot that one in a blue moon group.
    Many shoot from the benchrest most of the time looking for that elusive one hole group producing load.
    Could they shoot well enough to tell the difference in a 1 inch grouping load and a 1.5 inch grouping load at 25 yards benchrest shooting when shooting offhand or from a less than dead steady rest positions at any distance?
    Most I seriously doubt it. Ive watch shooters with varied abilities over many years to know beyond any reasonable doubt they it is very unlikely.
    Is it impossible, no, but not very likely. Can they luck up and shoot some unbelieveable group or two once in a great while, yes. We all have. Its not what one can do once in a blue moon it what one can do on the average.
    I KNOW, I KNOW statisticians, that one doesnt shoot an average group but even the statisticians should be smart enough to know what I mean.
    Now if one has fun looking for that elusive one holer group I say go for it. But should one find a good load and then hone ones skill shooting from varying positions rather than staying on the bench experimenting all the time?
    Then can one outshoot a given bullet well enough to be able to tell the difference when not on the bench?
    That is the question. And a very good question.


    Again I mean no hurt, harm, anguish or turmoil by my post I have posted on this posted subject. I am not baiting, trolling or calling out anyone. I am making a post based on my experience, knowledge and/or belief or opinion. That is all.
    Last edited by 44MAG#1; 12-25-2018 at 12:45 PM.
    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.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 44MAG#1 View Post
    First lets rapidly deal with reality.
    How well can one shoot? Now I am not talking about from the benchrest all the time. I am talking about across the spectrum of shooting. From the bench, kneeling, standing offhand, standing just using some form if improvised wrist rest like a low limb etc.. I am sure you you get my point.
    If you are an exceptional shooter, say a high master class NRA bullseye shooter you may tell subtile differences in the accuracy of different bullets but then again maybe not. Many will come on a shooting forum with descriptions of their groups from the benchrest but rarely ever of their offhand or less than dead steady rest shooting. Unless they shot that one in a blue moon group.
    Many shoot from the benchrest most of the time looking for that elusive one hole group producing load.
    Could they shoot well enough to tell the difference in a 1 inch grouping load and a 1.5 inch grouping load at 25 yards benchrest shooting when shooting offhand or from a less than dead steady rest positions at any distance?
    Most I seriously doubt it. Ive watch shooters with varied abilities over many years to know beyond any reasonable doubt they it is very unlikely.
    Is it impossible, no, but not very likely. Can they luck up and shoot some unbelieveable group or two once in a great while, yes. We all have. Its not what one can do once in a blue moon it what one can do on the average.
    I KNOW, I KNOW statisticians, that one doesnt shoot an average group but even the statisticians should be smart enough to know what I mean.
    Now if one has fun looking for that elusive one holer group I say go for it. But should one find a good load and then hone ones skill shooting from varying positions rather than staying on the bench experimenting all the time?
    Then can one outshoot a given bullet well enough to be able to tell the difference when not on the bench?
    That is the question. And a very good question.


    Again I mean no hurt, harm, anguish or turmoil by my post I have posted on this posted subject. I am not baiting, trolling or calling out anyone. I am making a post based on my experience, knowledge and/or belief or opinion. That is all.
    I used to shoot my 44 a lot, but I'm wasn't professional/competitor level. I used to shoot my 44s at an indoor range, offhand. My good repeatable groups (with a good load and bullet) was around 1" @50' +3/8"/-1/8". (Dan Wesson 44H w/6" bbl.). Same powder charges, primers and brass but with different bullets would produce up to 4" at the same distance. Was your opening statement meant to disparage the OP or the intent of this thread?
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdi View Post
    I used to shoot my 44 a lot, but I'm wasn't professional/competitor level. I used to shoot my 44s at an indoor range, offhand. My good repeatable groups (with a good load and bullet) was around 1" @50' +3/8"/-1/8". (Dan Wesson 44H w/6" bbl.). Same powder charges, primers and brass but with different bullets would produce up to 4" at the same distance. Was your opening statement meant to disparage the OP or the intent of this thread?
    My intent was what I said. Dealing with reality. While there are subtile differnces "MAYBE" in different bullets is there enough to say a shooter is going to be able to tell the difference.
    It would take an unbelievable shooter to tell the difference. If one wants to spend time looking for the elusive bullet to turn himself/herself into a phenom with a handgun more power to him/her. In reality it doesnt happen.
    So, with me saying that, would one be better off to get a bullet with a good track record, work up a good load, and go out and practice with that track proven bullet and improve oneself?
    Just talking about reality is all. But reality is an elusive thing with some.
    Going from a 1 inch group consistanly at 50 feet to a 4 inch group there was something else wrong. A smoothbore should have done better than that.
    Again read my disclaimer. Please.

    BTW I wasnt talking about the OP or targeting him. I was targeting all shooters.
    After years of observance of many shooters. Maybe where I live there are no phenoms and all of them are located elsewhere. I dont know.


    Again I mean no hurt, harm, anguish or turmoil by my post I have posted on this posted subject. I am not baiting, trolling or calling out anyone. I am making a post based on my experience, knowledge and/or belief or opinion. That is all.
    Last edited by 44MAG#1; 12-25-2018 at 02:32 PM.
    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.

  12. #12
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    No offense taken 44, in fact, I appreciate your reality based input. Honestly, I enjoy handloading and experimenting as much or more, than actually shooting!
    Sometimes asking around about other people’s experiences acts as a short cut to my load development. I know, I know, it shows laziness. Lol


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    I shoot so that I can handload.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatelvis View Post
    No offense taken 44, in fact, I appreciate your reality based input. Honestly, I enjoy handloading and experimenting as much or more, than actually shooting!
    Sometimes asking around about other people’s experiences acts as a short cut to my load development. I know, I know, it shows laziness. Lol


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Thanks for being honest. Honesty is a dying thing even among shooters.

    Again I mean no hurt, harm, anguish or turmoil by my post I have posted on this posted subject. I am not baiting, trolling or calling out anyone. I am making a post based on my experience, knowledge and/or belief or opinion. That is all.
    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.

  14. #14
    The reality is the ammunition dispersion is, with pistols, only a SMALL part of the total group size. The biggest part is the person on the trigger.
    That said, we would always like to make the ammunition dispersion as small as possible.
    In revolver bullets I look for:
    1. A full diameter band ahead of the crimp groove. This should be wide enough to extend into the cylinder throat. This centers the bullet and is important to accuracy.
    2. A meplat to suit your use. A wide meplat like a wadcutter gives maximum impact on game but is inaccurate over 50 yards. A medium meplat like 429421 is accurate to long range, with good game performance. A round nose like Lyman 429383 gives the best trajectory and wind-bucking but poor game performance.
    3. A wadcutter shoulder is only good for paper punching. A RNFP and SWC with the same meplat diameter have the same game performance.

    In 44 a bullet about 250 grains seems to work best all-around.
    I currently use Accurate 432 249H and Accurate 432 257H which cover my uses.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  15. #15
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    This thread is relevant to my interests since I am about to undergo setting up to cast and shoot .44

    I only have experience loading cast in rifle calibers, mainly 8x57 but have procured a Lone Eagle in .444 marlin with the purpose of having a novel way of getting into launching big bore cast.

    I'm fairly certain that I'll be ordering a mold from Accurate but am having trouble deciding on a specific mold. My reloading at the moment is all done with either H4895 or 2400 in my inexperienced quick research both should be excellent for launching cast out of that platform.

    I was drawn to a full wadcutter like the 43-250z in particular because I gas check everything presently and it gave me room to experiment with leaving them on or off.

    But I have access to longer range, and will certainly try to push distance as far as I can land hits on steel...and I have large pieces every 100m or so out to 500. So a SWC is probably a better fit.


    Any and all advice/anecdotes/old wives tales are welcome and encouraged. Like I said this is my first step into big bore cast for pistols, and I plan on having and shooting much .44 out of various things in the future so let's get me off on the right foot.

    I want to throw bullets on the largish side but for the sake of my wrists we probably should stick to 250ish grain range as opposed to trying to launch 300+ grain monsters out of this thing.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master murf205's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatelvis View Post
    I load 90% of my 44mags light/medium in my 6.5" 629 for casual target use. I've only used Keith style boolits up until now, and am wondering if RF or other designs tend to be more accurate in your revolver. Please share your experiences, I'm curious to see if the Keith is better for game than target, or good as an all round choice. Thanks guys!
    Here goes my take. I have a S&W 686 6" with a 2x scope and I started it off with some 180 gr LBT RNFP gas check boolits with a dose of H110. Right from the get go I got some 40 yd groups from the rest that were in the "yahoo" zone. I thought I had found the ultimate load for that gun and I bought into the premise of round (or semi round) nose boolits self centering in the forcing cone. This baby was stackin' em tight. I had Tom at Accurate Molds build a 3 cav 158 gr RNFP so I could have a lighter load for casual use and it shot lights out too. Sooooo, one day while loading some 150 gr Lyman Keith style boolits for my K38, I decided to load some for my 686 and drove them in the 1300 fps range and some light (850 fps) loads. Well, whadaya know, they made groups just as small or smaller that the RN. What does this prove, nothing except that my old Smith is a shooter and I got lucky. I have never seen an inaccurate revolver that RN or RF boolits would cure it's ills.
    Now as far as the game question, cast and shoot Elmer's SWC and live happy. It kills whitetails like a bolt of lightning and takes the squeal out of some big hogs. In my 44's, it cuts a thumb sized hole going in and about a 50 cent piece hole going out with lots of damage inside and it breaks shoulders and ribs coming and going. I've said it before and I'll say it again here, Elmer Keith got it right.
    IT AINT what ya shoot--its how ya shoot it

  17. #17
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    The Lyman 429649, heavyweight has been slightly more accurate in several of my guns than any other bullet I have tried, and that includes the Keith designs, the Ranchdogs, and several others. I don't use the bullet much, though, as it's weight seems to be a bit of a waste of alloy for most of what I use my .44's for. It weighs 340 grains cast out of the alloy I normally use.
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  18. #18
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  19. #19
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    I have not personally found a difference between LFN, WFN or Keith designs to shoot better or worse than the other. What I have noticed is that they all prefer one powder load over another even if in a similar given weight. I’ve shot a lot of Keith’s over the years but prefer the “look” of the WFN. So there you have it, just like in women, it comes down to look/preferred profile.

  20. #20
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    I personally found in my Ruger Redhawk that the most accurate plain base boolit when bench rested and loaded to mid-rang levels was the 429-383. But Gas checked boolits, such as the 429-244 or RCBS 429-240 Sil were more consistent with fewer fliers.
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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