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Thread: Skeeter's load...

  1. #1
    Curmudgeon in Training



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    Skeeter's load...

    I'm sure most here know of Skeeter Skelton's load of 7.5 grains of Unique under a 240 to 250 grain Keith style boolit for the 44 Special.
    That load gives a muzzle velocity of roughly 950 fps.
    I want to duplicate that load using 44 Magnum brass to shoot in my Model 29.

    In looking at Alliant's web site they list 11 grains of Unique as the max load for that weight boolit. (1211 fps)
    Reducing that by 10% would give a starting load of 9.9 grains.

    Lyman data lists a starting load of 9.8 grains of Unique under the 429421 with a book velocity of 912 fps. (seems to be a bit slow for the amount of powder to me...)

    I was thinking (very dangerous I know) those starting loads seem a bit on the high side.
    Since the 44 Magnum is about 10% longer than the 44 Special I was thinking of just upping Skeeter's load by 10%. Say 8.3 to 8.5 grains of Unique.
    Am I asking for trouble if I do that?
    I'd love to hear from someone who has done this and would share their experience.
    Matt

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  2. #2
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    Have shot allot of 240 gr swc through my ruger redhawk using 8.0 grs Unique. Has a 7 1/2" barrel and chrono averages 1039 fps. Have gone as low as 7.0 grs for 913 fps. The 7.0 gr load comes from the old NRA 'Handloading" book from the 80's.

  3. #3
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    IMO barrel length will give you more variation than your plan. i would use the 7.5 gr in Mag cases and see how they group.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Rocky Raab's Avatar
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    I don't shoot mangleums (always though of myself as special, LOL!) but MT Gianni's suggestion ought to work just fine. Start with the Skeeter load and work up till you get the velocity and accuracy you'd get using 44 Special cases.
    Please visit my shooting articles at www.reloadingroom.com and my Vietnam novels at www.rockyraab.com (Do use Firefox, NOT Internet Exploder)

  5. #5
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    Yes, load 7.5 grains of Unique, and all should be well, then chrono it and if you want more velocity move up to 8.0 grains.

    Enjoy the day
    Mike

  6. #6
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    Thanks for all the good replies guys!
    I think I will just load up some at 7.5 and some at 8.0 and see what they do.
    Matt

    44 Special Articles

    With regards to gun control in this country, everyone should be asking themselves one question:
    What is it that this government feels they need to do, but can't do, unless the citizens of this nation are first disarmed?
    (I seriously doubt you can come up with any plausible answers that you will like...)

    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Not to preach, but this is where chronographs remove all guesswork.
    It is the only tool that WILL tell you how fast your bullets are going. A best guess at 950 can run from 850-1050 (not that either of those speeds may not be very accurate and work just as well).
    If you don't have one, buy one. You won't regret it!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master in Heaven's Range

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    Quote Originally Posted by Potsy View Post
    ...chronographs...
    If you don't have one, buy one. You won't regret it!
    That said, learn to shoot over it using a solid rest. The boolits are supposed to pass OVER it. (See the various posts about "Shot My Chrony".)

    Now, for the loads...

    If Lyman says they got 912 fps with 9.8 gr of Unique, they probably did. Will you get exactly the same velocity from your firearm? Not likely, but you won't know without the chronograph.

    Keep in mind that they were also trying to ensure that the boolits didn't stick in the bore. You ARE working with a larger case (Mag vs Spl), so until you work with your brass, primer, powder lot and boolit (taking into account its size with respect to the dimensions of your handgun and its hardness), you won't know what you'll actually get. I'd say that starting load is in the ballpark, and if you don't get what you want, work the load up or down to suit yourself. If your chronograph tells you you're getting into the low 700 fps range, be VERY watchful for stuck boolits.

    Enjoy your experimentation. Be observant of your results. That's what makes you a better shooter.

    Regards,

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Potsy View Post
    Not to preach, but this is where chronographs remove all guesswork.
    It is the only tool that WILL tell you how fast your bullets are going. A best guess at 950 can run from 850-1050 (not that either of those speeds may not be very accurate and work just as well).
    If you don't have one, buy one. You won't regret it!
    Never own two as you may never know which is correct. I watch for load development changes and it's good to know speeds but don't trust it as true figures all the time.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    I just use 7 gr, either 231 or Unique for can popping. Shoots just fine and is a lot of fun.
    I just hate to see all the lead disappear in the woods, need a lead magnet!

  11. #11
    Boolit Master JIMinPHX's Avatar
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    larger case capacity + same powder charge = lower velocity. That's just normal.

    More so with revolvers than automatics, muzzle velocity will vary from one gun to another, even with the same barrel length. The forcing cone gap seems to be the biggest variable, followed by the size of the throats. You need to watch your revolvers extra careful when you start feeding them low end loads. Some (sloppy) guns will stick a boolit in the barrel if you're not careful.

    That aside, I've loaded .44mag cases pretty far below book starting loads with fast powders like 231 & Bullseye. I never had any trouble, but I always watched for it. Lite charges of slower powders have been reported to be much more dangerous for other reasons.
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  12. #12
    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
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    FWIW I think that a lot of the Lyman loads were chronoed using a 4" vented barrel.
    You'll go far providin' you ain't burnt alive or scalped."

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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
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