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Thread: HS 6 in the 44 mag

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub Iwsbull's Avatar
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    HS 6 in the 44 mag

    Have to say I was really impressed with the way it metered and it seemed to have less recoil for the muzzle velocity than other powders and has a fairly wide range of load. The only drawback was it does leave unburned powder though not as bad as the old 2400. Overall it does have a chance to replace Unique but time will tell.

  2. #2
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    You'd probably be good with it as long as you didn't want to make magnum power with a heavy for caliber boolit. Unique runs out of headroom in the 44 with heavy boolits, same with 45 Colt, but 250gr will work great with HS6.
    Got a .22 .30 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throat reaming? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? Shoot me a PM! Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cylinderhone-756429174391912/

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I have used hs6 quite a bit in 44mag.
    It shoots real nice recoil is moderate and it is quite accurate.
    I was tee’d onto it be a fellow member her that is very knowledgeable on the 44mag.

  4. #4
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    I've used it a lot for what I consider a "medium" load in the 44 mag using an Accurate Molds 265 grain cast bullet. I've never chronographed the load but it is accurate and relatively mild. As someone else mentioned, HS6 can leave granules (for lack of a better word) if you try to go too mild with it.

    My load is 12 grains and standard LP primers. I've tried 13 grains and it didn't shoot any more accurately so I stayed with 12 grains.

  5. #5
    Boolit Bub Iwsbull's Avatar
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    That was what I found as well. Went 11-12.5 in .5 increments and thought that 12 was about the best overall at around 1115fps with a 255 grain Keith.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    FWIW, Hodgden #25, 1989 shows HS-6 loads for 44 Mag.

    For 250gr lead, it shows max of 12gr at 24,000 cup. 1139 fps in 7.5" barrel.

    My own testing shows about 1125 fps in my Ruger SBH Hunter at 11.5gr. This is using the RCBS 44-250-K. Groups started opening up at 12gr.

    I really like HS-6 in 44 Mag from 1050-1150 fps. It burns better at higher pressures, but as long as the case isn't sooty I'm good.
    Last edited by Bookworm; 08-20-2019 at 09:17 PM. Reason: Corrected RCBS mould number
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  7. #7
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    With boolits in the 270-280 grain range I found the best accuracy at 12.8 and 13.2 grains with a WLPP.

    Iím referring to the HG 503 Clone, NOE 280 Keith, 44 Hammer as a Cup point.

    Just as accurate as Unique and clean burning on the upper end of the charge range.
    You never know how you rank amongst men 'til you have seen what will break another man.
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wasalmonslayer View Post
    I have used hs6 quite a bit in 44mag.
    It shoots real nice recoil is moderate and it is quite accurate.
    I was tee’d onto it be a fellow member her that is very knowledgeable on the 44mag.
    Hey! I told that guy what you posted and he is blushing a little! Lol! He says thanks for the compliment though, maybe we can get him to post once in a while?

    Where does HS6 fit?

    I find it is at its best when the boolit weight is down around 230 to 270 grs. and you want MVs higher than Skeeter Skelton levels pushing with Unique.

    I call it an upper medium field load.

    As already noted you will have a hard time finding an easier powder to meter in a measure.

    Simply put I will take HS6 at 24,000 psi against lead boolits over Unique at 33,000 psi or higher to get 1050 to 1200 FPS (depending on barrel length) any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

    I like magnum primers while some swear by standards because yes .... HS6 is not squeaky clean. I also inside debur my flash holes (I do this on every piece of brass I hand load. I am greedy. I want the best most consistent burn every time I drop the hammer.

    I learned the inside debur trick with red dot in the 44 after using it with varmint rifle cartridges and their respective powders to squeeze group size down.

    It was natural to clean up big bore hand gun powders and once my “toe hit the water” there was no pulling it back! It was easier to debur every thing than try to sort with from without.

    Now this paragraph will trigger a food fight: I want a uniform crimp. There is only one way to get that .... consistent case length and a good crimp die. Oh that nasty word? Trim

    Consistent crimp, a good primer (magnum in my opinion) and inside flashole debur and you will be treated with a cleaner burn out of HS6 than you can imagine.

    Recoil has been mentioned. My theory is that HS6 is enough slower than say Unique or 800x that the “dwell time” is slowed just enough so as to soften the recoil impulse.

    I found this by alternating rounds with HS6 and 800 X until the cylinder of my Smith Mountain gun was full. As I fired through them it was pitifully obvious that 800 X was beating me up and HS6 was not. This insight coupled with the bloody hell you have with trying to get decent drops from that IMR powder and HS6 was the easy winner!

    A word about “clean” and big bore revolvers. If one is afraid of doing a little cleaning, get out of big bore revolvers if you expect hunting performance.

    I like Clays powder for plinkers. It is clean, real clean but you will never get these clean powders to drive nice big hunks of lead at velocities that impress nasty ole bitty critters or even good tasty ones at a pressure your revolver can like or even stand.

    Best regards

    Three44s
    Last edited by Three44s; 08-20-2019 at 06:37 AM.
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  9. #9
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    I followed three44s guidance as well and my observations were that if you’re not using magnum primers work up until it burns clean and SDs go down.
    You never know how you rank amongst men 'til you have seen what will break another man.
    The original "Bluejay" US Army/ US Navy 1945-1970.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    bluejay75,

    My Smith MG gives me an SD of 7 FPS and a MV of 1066 with the Federal 155 magnum primer, the RCBS 250K pushed by 11.8 gr of HS6 and a Starline 44 Mag Case.

    I will have to try your system with standard primers though.

    Best regards

    Three44s
    Socialism works great until you run out of zoo animals to eat!

  11. #11
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    Looks as though I am going to be trying HS-6
    I use it in my 45 ACP but now it may have a new home
    also try a few new,over looked tricks for brass prep
    thanks to all

    I also learned this from a old guy that to clean brass
    boil them in water with a few drops of dish soap and then tumble them
    cleans them up real good and you don't get many cracked cases
    doing this
    Last edited by white eagle; 08-26-2019 at 11:14 AM.
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  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    white eagle,

    I believe you will be well rewarded! The added brass prep is work for sure but the trim lasts quite a while in these straight sided cases giving more even roll crimps and the inside flashole debur (right after the trim) if you chose to do it lasts for the life of the casing.

    Enjoy

    Three44s
    Socialism works great until you run out of zoo animals to eat!

  13. #13
    Boolit Bub Iwsbull's Avatar
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    Loaded up 100 rounds at 11.8 grains( was going 12 but that’s close enough) and going to make some racket this weekend. Winchester large pistol primer and a 255 grain Keith style and a purty red boolit on top. I am hoping that this will be just barely subsonic so it doesn’t have to transition and have one less thing effect accuracy. Will test out to 100 yards.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Iwsbull,

    It depends on your barrel length. My 4” MG runs 1066 and a 7.5” Redhawk launches them at 1176 FPS.

    I mention loading at 11.8 gr because that is where my magnum primer lit loads cleaned up right about there. I should add however nothing indicates that that exact charge is somehow magic compared to some other.

    What I do think is important is that HS6 has a performance level that achieves substantative velocity at a pressure level that is right in the eye of the curve for general boolit alloy strength and one that (HS6) meters very nicely through powder measures.

    You can achieve 1066 FPS with Unique but you do so by boosting pressures into the mid 30 k range (well above what Richard Lee finds is ideal for average cast boolit strength) and have less than stellar charge throwing consistency.

    Three44s
    Socialism works great until you run out of zoo animals to eat!

  15. #15
    Boolit Bub Iwsbull's Avatar
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    I used 11.8 because when I was adjusting my powder measure that was what it dropped and it was not worth messing with yo get to 12. I did find that 11.5 to 12 cleaned up the load over 10.5 to 11. The 11.5 and 12 were both accurate and similar in velocity. I had a bigger jump from 12 to 12.5.
    I am using a Super Redhawk and a Super Blackhawk both with 7.5” barrels. I was getting 1144 fps with 9.5 grains of Unique but it doesn’t meter worth a crap where HS6 is spot on.
    Last edited by Iwsbull; 08-24-2019 at 12:48 AM.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Are you getting a bit faster than you wanted with the 7.5” barrels then?

    Three44s
    Socialism works great until you run out of zoo animals to eat!

  17. #17
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    Kinda off topic, but having played with HS6 for a while I've found that it does the same thing for the other revolver calibers I shoot too. I use it for 45 Colt and 357 Magnum and as long as you keep it in the the sweet spot, it shoots clean and very accurately.

    Everything I cast would be considered heavier than standard (.358" @ 165-185 grain, .430" @ 265-290 grain, .452" @ 280-300 grain, and I powdercoat everything now) and HS6 really does very well for all. Recoil is never harsh and fired cases will fall out of clean chambers.

    Good stuff that HS6.

  18. #18
    Boolit Bub Iwsbull's Avatar
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    I was getting a bit more velocity at 12.5 grains than I wanted. It was too close to going supersonic so it looks like for my needs the 11.5-12 is money. Should the T-storms stay at bay this afternoon I hope to log some more data.
    DH that’s what I like to hear as it doesn’t seem to be as popular as a lot of other powders so all info and experience with it lets me know I am not wasting time with it.
    White eagle I wanna hear your results as well.
    Last edited by Iwsbull; 08-24-2019 at 09:25 AM.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Iwsbull,

    Very good, looks like you have things headed the way you want them.

    My holy grail powder manual is the Hodgdon’s #26 and that is where I found the 10-12 gr loading for 250 grs of lead with 24,000 psi @ 12 gr.

    Later publications list heavier charges but now we move the peak pressures away and above where it is ideal. When I want more velocity I switch to 2400. In the 44 Mag I have loaded it as light as 17.5 gr. and a magnum primer. Loading still higher I switch to Elmer Keith’s recommended standard primers.

    I do not know what 12.5 gr of HS6 generates but it is bound to be more than the 12 gr loading does. The advantage of powder coating brings something new to the equation for leading reduction that I have not delved into yet so.

    DHDeal,

    I have found that as well. My very first use of HS6 beyond loading 10 ga shot shell was in 38 special loaded expressly for a 357 wheel gun (SP101 Ruger). I was having trouble with sight regulation and needed to raise my point of impact. My gunsmith suggested a slower powder and HS6 was the first (and last) I tried as it worked very well. The slightly slower dwell time brought my bullet impact nearly dead on.

    I have used HS6 in .41 Mag as well as 480 Ruger in that middle ground power range that works so well in the 44. I confess that my time with these other cartridges and the powder is minuscule compared with the 44.

    I have no experience with 45 Long Colt yet but there is a 10” Contender barrel waiting for me to fire up in it and I have little doubt that a niche for HS6 can be found there as well.

    After I became very hooked on HS6 powder I called Hodgdon’s and spoke with them. The tech I spoke with assured me that they would not drop the powder. I remain pessimistic. Also this was before Hodgdon’s acquired IMR who ever else they own now. We have some of our old stalwart powders already gone ...

    I did some work with Winchester’s WSF in 9 mm a while back and it looked similar. Some trials in the 44 seems like the next step.

    Best regards

    Three44s
    Last edited by Three44s; 08-24-2019 at 11:19 AM.
    Socialism works great until you run out of zoo animals to eat!

  20. #20
    Boolit Bub Iwsbull's Avatar
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    I was trying to post a pic but no luck. Suffice to say it was about as accurate as I can shoot. 11.8 grains of hs6 with a wlp and mixed head stamp brass gave me 1122 FPS with an sd of 12. I had to turn the red dot up higher than I like to see it in the bright light so it also covered more target than I would prefer.
    I would highly recommend trying this powder if you haven’t for a good solid midrange loading. It has a lot of upside and very little downside. I do believe it has beat Unique out as my go to midrange.
    Last edited by Iwsbull; 09-01-2019 at 01:57 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