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Thread: Light load 44 Mag question

  1. #21
    Boolit Master
    Chill Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonB_in_Glencoe View Post
    I'm assuming this 100m Competition is off hand?


    I gotta ask, why light loads?
    Is there a reason? ...100m Competition Rules? ...arthritis in the wrist?


    I don't know if there is anything more to it, then just the boolit going faster, but when I shot 100m, I got the best groups with H110 loads.
    Some interesting questions here.
    Yes, the 100m Competition is off hand. But only 25% is shot at 100m. Chickens at 40m, Pigs at 50M, Turkeys at 75M and the Rams are 100m.

    Light loads you ask?
    Briefly, in my misspent twenties when I bought the Ruger SBH new, the first year of warnings on barrels BTW, I thought I needed to shoot the snot out of everything using dump-trucks loads of H-110/WW-296. I get how accurate some of those loads can be. I became pretty deadly with it.
    So no, the match rules do not limit the loads and so far so good on the health of my wrists.
    This match is actually a local cowboy lever-rifle silhouette match that allows a second gun be fired and you can compete in singleshot class or SA revolver class - all for fun. Mostly everyone cheers on and roots for anyone that does well. I shoot a Winchester 1892 in the lever class and I thought I would add a revolver to my fun and give it a try. The longest barrel handgun I own is the 7-1/2" 44Mag.
    A better choice might be a 357 mag as the targets are easy to knock down, not requiring power. So, a smaller fast 357 with shorter barrel time might trump a heavy recoiling 44 or 45, but I just don't have one.

    As a place to start, I want to try using the so called mid-range loads in the 44, even tho the longer barrel time of the slower bullets will require better follow through, lighter loads makes better sense to me. If I can find an accurate load with my available resources at 800 fps to 1000 max, I hope to score better than if having to fight the recoil of the supersonic T-Rex killers. ...it's a place to start.

    Given the short range chickens and pigs, light accurate loads could be the way to go even if a 357 were the handgun being used.

    Does that explain my thinking? Thanks for asking.
    Last edited by Chill Wills; 02-10-2020 at 12:30 PM. Reason: typo repair
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  2. #22
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    Does that explain my thinking?
    Yes it does.
    especially the part where you mention your experience with H110.
    Good luck.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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  3. #23
    Boolit Master Maven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fast ronnie View Post
    As I recall, 8 grains of Unique behind a 240 grain lead semi-wad cutter worked for me. I don't have my data here for that load, tho.
    That load works for me as well with any of the following CB's: Lee 240gr. SWC-TL, Ly. #429421, RCBS clone of Ly. -421: Accurate out to 100 yd. from my 10.5" bbl'd. Ruger SBH.

  4. #24
    Boolit Buddy JoeJames's Avatar
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    My pet 44 Magnum load for my Rossi R92 - is 7 grains of Unique under a .431 Laser Cast Oregon Trail 240 grain SWC. It runs about 1150 fps in my 5 pound Rossi lever gun. Accurate and easy on my old shoulder.
    You Can Vote Your Way Into Socialism, But You Have To Shoot Your Way Out of it.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chill Wills View Post
    Being mostly a rifle shooter I thought I would get some opinion on making ACCURATE light loads for the 44 Mag.
    I would like to try to shoot our local 100meter Silhouette match with this ammo.
    1970's era Ruger SBH, 0.432" cylinder by pin-gauge.
    I intend to shoot bullets cast from RCBS 250K mold, or maybe the RCBS 250KT. I have access to both.

    Primer and powder are the questions.
    I am thinking 850 - 1000 FPS maximum

    Red dot, Bullseye, Universal, Unique, Herco ???
    Please tell me what I don't know about making an accurate revolver load.

    -Chill
    High country weather being what it is, I am just now getting to shoot the loads I made up at the beginning of this month.
    Based on your replies and the powder choices I have on hand, I loaded up sample loads using Bulls Eye, IMR-700X and Red Dot for starters. I have Unique, Herco, Universal and other powers to try as well should I need to.
    All loads used the RCBS 250K cast bullet. In my aged 13 BHN alloy, that bullet weighs in at 269grains. It's kinda a chunk. I did not size them. I filled the one large lube groove by my super duper, not messy, no cutter, just push them out pan lube method.

    I needed to do some snow removal work at the BPCR silhouette range for the upcoming match and I stayed over to test loads. It was above freezing with little wind.
    Of the three powders tested today, BE, Red Dot and IMR 700X, the 700X was outstanding and the BE was right in there too. Maybe the next time it would turn out reversed.
    The shocker, to me at least was how bad the Red Dot shot!
    I was shooting the TQ-8 target, (8" black bull) at 50 meters and was getting <2" vertical with 6 shot groups using both BE and 700X. Also all three powders were loaded using between 6.2 and 7.2 grains of powder. With just a little variation on the target, all those loads shot very well! Well, not the Red Dot.

    The Red Dot was another story. Wow! With everything else about the load the same, just a change to Red Dot, I could not keep the bullets on the paper. ???? I would not have guessed I could have created a load that bad if I set out to do so. It looked like a trap load at 50 meters. I will cross Red Dot of the list of 44 Mag powders.

    That is all I have so far...
    Chill Wills

  6. #26
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hickory View Post
    Anyone have a recipe for Trail Boss with a 250 gr boolit for around 800-900 fps?

    Thanks
    6.5-7 grains of TB will do what you ask in the .44 Magnum.
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  7. #27
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    Outpost75, do you find the Trail Boss loads shoots with the same accuracy that other powders do?


    For an example, BE, Unique or WW-231?
    I have not used it much in anything do to the less than best accuracy I have had with it in my limited tests.
    Last edited by Chill Wills; 02-28-2020 at 12:33 PM.
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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chill Wills View Post
    Okay, thanks for the input. Based on the replies, unlike rifle I guess there aren't that many variables. Just load the different combinations and follow the best results.

    I cast 59 sample bullet from the RCBS Keith mold in a scrap alloy that tests about 10-11 on the LBT hardness tester and does not age harden much more than a point in two weeks. They weigh 269 grains on average.. Kinda heavy for a 250 grn mold. They run 0.429" on one side of the parting line and 0.431 on the other.

    Other than powder choice, charge weight, primer choice and maybe degree of crimp, I am not sure what else I can adjust that will produce an accurate load from just another load, by that, meaning the "the also ran's".

    I am going with a few load levels of BE and RedDot to start with, Wolf LPP primers and, a light crimp. It will be a few days until I can get past the deep snow that just arrived to know much on the target.
    I'm not sure the Chrono numbers mean much so I will leave that at home. The target will say.
    The RCBS Silhouette and Rifle moulds are spec with Linotype alloy that's why you get heavy bullets!
    my mould also casts bullets in the 269 gr weight with softer alloys.

    When I was working with this bullet I got my best accuracy with Bluedot powder tried several other powders, testing @ 50 yards / scoped in a SSP RPM XL

  9. #29
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chill Wills View Post
    Outpost75, do you find the Trail Boss loads shoots with the same accuracy that other powders do? For an example, BE, Unique or WW-231?
    I have not used it much in anything do to the less than best accuracy I have had with it in my limited tests.
    Trail Boss is OK and convenient to load, but more expensive and never gave the most accurate load in my experience. I got best accuracy in mild .44 Magnum, and standard-pressure .44-40 and .45 Colt loads with charges in the range of 6.0-7.0 grains Bullseye, TiteGroup or 452AA adjusting as needed to obtain about 900 fps. in a 5-1/2" revolver and remaining subsonic 1080+/-30 fps in a 20-inch lever-rifle with the particular bullet.

    I run 200-230 grain bullets in the .44-40, 230-260 grains in the .44 Magnum and 260-290 grainers in the .45 Colt. My favorite bullets are all from Accurate Molds shown here:

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    Last edited by Outpost75; 02-28-2020 at 03:05 PM.
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  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobthenailer View Post
    When I was working with this bullet I got my best accuracy with Bluedot powder tried several other powders, testing @ 50 yards / scoped in a SSP RPM XL
    I am looking for a subsonic less recoiling accurate load. I have part of a can of Blue Dot from long ago. Are your accurate Blue Dot loads near starting load level?
    Yesterday's shot test put me on an optimistic track with Bull's Eye and especially IMR 700X. I would try the Blue Dot powder if it shows accuracy at the near starting level but I don't think I need to compete with loads at near maximum velocity.
    The weather is looking good today again and I plan on trying a few more loads out to 50m and 100m and retesting yesterdays B E and 700X again. That poor performance yesterday with Red Dot has me puzzled. I will shoot the few remaining to get rid of them and confirm their lack of accuracy.
    Chill Wills

  11. #31
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    Agree with Outpost75....especially when using Bullseye. It's what I prefer with 700X next in 357, 41, 44 magnums and the 45's [ACP, AR, Schofield (aka 45 Government) and the 45 Colt.
    Larry Gibson

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  12. #32
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    Yes, those B E loads were very good from the start.

    Here is an observation I made this morning in looking at the fired cases. Often heavy crimps are recommended when making revolver loads. Especially for slow, hard to ignite powders. Not just a light crimp to hold the bullet in place from recoil but a heavy crimp.

    Many times I see that a heavy crimp is still there on the fired case. That says to me that neither pressure nor the bullet is opening up then very end of the case mouth.

    I used light crimps with the B E and 700x loads. Yesterday's fired cases showed no residual crimp.
    Question: So what good effect could that have on accuracy if the cast lead bullet is passing through the small bottle neck of the crimp on the way to large forcing cone and then the barrel?
    Yesterdays good groups using B E and 700X were with very light crimp. Just enough to butt into the back edge of the front band.
    Last edited by Chill Wills; 02-28-2020 at 11:55 PM.
    Chill Wills

  13. #33
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outpost75 View Post
    6.5-7 grains of TB will do what you ask in the .44 Magnum.

    It all depends how deep you see your bullet. You’re better off measuring where your bullet seats and adjust your load from there. I’ve tried trail boss in my 77/44. It likes to be pushed faster to be more accurate. It works very well for 25 yard groups with my 45 colt vaquero at a minimum 5.2 grain charge going off where my bullet seats.

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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