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Author Topic: Pre-emptive question regarding .44 mag loads in short barrels  (Read 10351 times)

HiVelSword

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Pre-emptive question regarding .44 mag loads in short barrels
« on: February 10, 2012, 09:15:03 am »
Okay, so my tax return is hitting any day now. I will be splurging on 240 grain XTP’s and some propellant. These will be for GunDoc to test in my .44 Automag AR. But…..that’s not what I’m concerned with.

I will be purchasing a Ruger Alaskan .44 mag for my next handgun. Only 2.5” barrel. Now I’m a complete cherry when it comes to handloading. So please don’t laugh at any assumptions I make because they stem from lack of knowledge. So am I safe in assuming that if I want to waste less energy I should be using a faster burning powder? My goal is to make stouter than normal loads for carry as you lose a lot of velocity as it is. And yes, I know. I will be increasing my times between shots due to the stouter recoil. God forbid I ever have to drop the hammer on someone but if I do, I don’t plan on missing (who does?). Also, I know that you can load the rounds “long” in a Ruger as the cylinder has a smidge extra length. But I generally see that with hard cast bullets. Can that be done with a 240 grain hollowpoint? For some reason I’m thinking “no”. I don’t know why for sure but some of you guys know more than I will ever forget so that’s why I’m asking.  ;)

Basically I’d like to get more foot pounds than a Double Tap 10mm load out of a 5”. Because my Starfire 240’s are giving me bupkis in foot pound range according to guesstimations pared with BallisticsByTheInch. In fairness though. BBTI used the 240 HydraShok which, although isn’t a pansy load, it still flies slower than your average 240 and definitely slower than the Starfire. Anyway, my goal is to get high 700’s in foot pounds. I think breaking 800 is probably unreasonable. But again, I truly don’t know.

Thanks in advance for your time.

-Andy
« Last Edit: February 10, 2012, 10:22:12 am by HiVelSword »
To all those killed by a 9mm, "Get up! You are not dead! You were shot with a useless cartridge!" -HVS

"You see, Doctor, God didn't kill that little girl. Fate didn't butcher her and destiny didn't feed her to those dogs. If God saw what any of us did that night he didn't seem to mind. From then on I knew... God doesn't make the world this way. We do." Rorschach-Watchmen

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    steveracer

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    Re: Pre-emptive question regarding .44 mag loads in short barrels
    « Reply #1 on: February 10, 2012, 09:42:41 am »
    No need to load 240 grain bullets "long". Don't worry about that part.
    A lot of loads out there will greatly defeat the 10mm load with your Alaskan.
    This one:
    http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=232
    Is what I use in my 629.

    freeman1685

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    Re: Pre-emptive question regarding .44 mag loads in short barrels
    « Reply #2 on: February 10, 2012, 09:45:47 am »
    My first question to you, has to be: Have you ever fired a .44 Mag snubbie?   :panic

    With standard, over the counter ammo, IT HURTS.

    I had a co worker, several years ago, that had a S&W .44 Mag Snubbie.  That thing left a bruise in my hand, that lasted a week.  And You want to put a hotter round through it.   :facepalm

    What're you a masochist!?
    ArizonaStupidity cannot be cured with money, or through education or by legislation.  Stupidity is not a sin, the victim can't help being stupid.  But stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death, there is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity.  RAH

    seanp

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    Re: Pre-emptive question regarding .44 mag loads in short barrels
    « Reply #3 on: February 10, 2012, 09:52:12 am »
    Hmmm...

    Interesting question.  All of my handloading in .44 Mag has been for my 5" 629.  I've made up "Thunder" loads using H110 and 240gr Remington soft noses, but these have been for novelty.  According to the load data they are supposed to punch out at 1500 fps.  But most of the time, I actually shoot much milder loads.  Around 11 1/2 grains of Longshot still produces well over 800 ftlbs at the muzzle with noticably less flash and recoil.

    I wonder if you are going to get what you are looking for out of a 2.5" barrel.  You may be better off looking at a load that is designed to kill out of a shorter barrel rather than looking for the highest energy load.  Historically, .44 Bulldogs were big and slow, using a heavy, soft lead bullet that would make a massive hole in the target.  Consider that a 265gr .455 Webley has a lethality that is not apperant from it's ballistics data.
    "Nobody wants to be here and nobody wants to leave."
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    HiVelSword

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    Re: Pre-emptive question regarding .44 mag loads in short barrels
    « Reply #4 on: February 10, 2012, 10:08:18 am »
    No need to load 240 grain bullets "long". Don't worry about that part.
    A lot of loads out there will greatly defeat the 10mm load with your Alaskan.
    This one:
    http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=232
    Is what I use in my 629.

    That’s a sick load to be sure but something tells me it might have a hard time staying in flesh. It’s a hard cast HP.

    But I like the fact that it achieves that velocity from a 4” S&W Mountain Gun without going “long”.

    So here’s the vague math for some purely hypothetical numbers.

    According to BBTI the 240 Federal HS flies out of a 4” tube at 1,251, 3” at 1,095 and 2” at 944. From 4” to 3” that’s 156 fps less. From 3” to 2” that’s 151 less. 151 divided by 2 is 76 fps. So theoretically the 240 HS should fly out of a 2.5” tube at 1,020 fps. That’s only 554 foot pounds. Absolutely unacceptable!

    Now I know that velocities can vary for any reason. The load, bullet weight, rate of twist, type of powder, all that stuff. Again this is theoretical. Velocity loss could very well be different. But the end result is that it’s quite possible to breach 800 foot pounds from a 2.5” tube.

    So let’s saaaaaaay….

    The Buffalo Bore 240 flies at 1,466 from a 4” tube. Subtract 156 fps and it MAY fly at around 1,310 from a 3” tube. Subtract 151 and it MIGHT fly out of a 2” tube at 1,159. Add 76 fps for another half inch and it could POSSIBLY fly out of a 2.5” tube at 1,235. That’s 812 THEORETICAL foot pounds!!!

    WOOT!!!  :clap
    « Last Edit: February 10, 2012, 10:22:55 am by HiVelSword »
    To all those killed by a 9mm, "Get up! You are not dead! You were shot with a useless cartridge!" -HVS

    "You see, Doctor, God didn't kill that little girl. Fate didn't butcher her and destiny didn't feed her to those dogs. If God saw what any of us did that night he didn't seem to mind. From then on I knew... God doesn't make the world this way. We do." Rorschach-Watchmen

    HiVelSword

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    Re: Pre-emptive question regarding .44 mag loads in short barrels
    « Reply #5 on: February 10, 2012, 10:12:42 am »
    My first question to you, has to be: Have you ever fired a .44 Mag snubbie?   :panic

    With standard, over the counter ammo, IT HURTS.

    I had a co worker, several years ago, that had a S&W .44 Mag Snubbie.  That thing left a bruise in my hand, that lasted a week.  And You want to put a hotter round through it.   :facepalm

    What're you a masochist!?

    I've owned, carried and shot three. The first was a S&W Backpacker. 3" barrel. Non Mag-Na-Ported. The other two and different times in my life were S&W Trailbosses. 3" Mag-Na-Ported barrels. My carry load was the 210 grain STHP then I moved up to the Starfire 240. And yeah, the drumstick part of my thumb is a bit sore a week after a range session.

    But I don't consider myself a masochist. I reserve that title to those that like the 29 ounce .44 mags. ;)
    To all those killed by a 9mm, "Get up! You are not dead! You were shot with a useless cartridge!" -HVS

    "You see, Doctor, God didn't kill that little girl. Fate didn't butcher her and destiny didn't feed her to those dogs. If God saw what any of us did that night he didn't seem to mind. From then on I knew... God doesn't make the world this way. We do." Rorschach-Watchmen

    freeman1685

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    Re: Pre-emptive question regarding .44 mag loads in short barrels
    « Reply #6 on: February 10, 2012, 10:22:15 am »
    Yeah, it's been so long, I don't remember the model of his, but it had standard wood grips, and was a six shot.  But I do remember that the back strap made a nice impression on my palm.  DAMN!

    Call me a P____, but I've fired Ruger Blackhawks in .44 Mag, and they didn't hurt at all.  I'll pass on the hot snubbie, thanks.
    ArizonaStupidity cannot be cured with money, or through education or by legislation.  Stupidity is not a sin, the victim can't help being stupid.  But stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death, there is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity.  RAH

    HiVelSword

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    Re: Pre-emptive question regarding .44 mag loads in short barrels
    « Reply #7 on: February 10, 2012, 10:25:27 am »
    Yeah, it's been so long, I don't remember the model of his, but it had standard wood grips, and was a six shot.  But I do remember that the back strap made a nice impression on my palm.  DAMN!

    Call me a P____, but I've fired Ruger Blackhawks in .44 Mag, and they didn't hurt at all.  I'll pass on the hot snubbie, thanks.

    Yeah, wood grips. No thanks! Rubber only for my .44 mags and they also need to cover the backstrap. Had Pachmayr's on all three that I owned.

    And I'd never call you that FM!
    To all those killed by a 9mm, "Get up! You are not dead! You were shot with a useless cartridge!" -HVS

    "You see, Doctor, God didn't kill that little girl. Fate didn't butcher her and destiny didn't feed her to those dogs. If God saw what any of us did that night he didn't seem to mind. From then on I knew... God doesn't make the world this way. We do." Rorschach-Watchmen

    freeman1685

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    Re: Pre-emptive question regarding .44 mag loads in short barrels
    « Reply #8 on: February 10, 2012, 10:45:30 am »
    And I'd never call you that FM!

    That's alright, you know what they say, "You are what you..."  anyway, back on topic.

    I really need to get into hand loading.  If for no other reason, than I need another hobby.  I'd like to find a good Dillon, preferably, a progressive, but a single stage would get me started.
    ArizonaStupidity cannot be cured with money, or through education or by legislation.  Stupidity is not a sin, the victim can't help being stupid.  But stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death, there is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity.  RAH

    HiVelSword

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    Re: Pre-emptive question regarding .44 mag loads in short barrels
    « Reply #9 on: February 10, 2012, 11:05:54 am »
    That's alright, you know what they say, "You are what you..."  anyway, back on topic.

    I really need to get into hand loading.  If for no other reason, than I need another hobby.  I'd like to find a good Dillon, preferably, a progressive, but a single stage would get me started.

    Ha! Good one!

    Yeah, me too. For my initial foray I'm using my friend's 550 set up in his basement. Right now I have everything I need parts-wise to load .44 Automag. But .44 mag will follow that. And when I move into my new place later on this year I will have room for my own press. Which I'll have to buy...lol

    But I'm happy to learn on my friend's machine. And he's been doing it for a while so he should be a good teacher. Oddly enough I'm more into guns than he is. :shrug

    He's no Fudd tho.
    To all those killed by a 9mm, "Get up! You are not dead! You were shot with a useless cartridge!" -HVS

    "You see, Doctor, God didn't kill that little girl. Fate didn't butcher her and destiny didn't feed her to those dogs. If God saw what any of us did that night he didn't seem to mind. From then on I knew... God doesn't make the world this way. We do." Rorschach-Watchmen

    Evil Jim

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    Re: Pre-emptive question regarding .44 mag loads in short barrels
    « Reply #10 on: February 10, 2012, 09:24:33 pm »
    Run the gun... dont let the gun run you.



    Jim
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    Moral of this lesson:
    Don't get in any gun fights with buffalo hunters. There ain't no such thing as cover.

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    Re: Pre-emptive question regarding .44 mag loads in short barrels
    « Reply #11 on: February 10, 2012, 11:14:29 pm »
    HVS-  No such thing as a free lunch, eh?  Faster powders will not give increased performance over slower powders in shorter barrels.  They just give substantially less flash and blast than slower powders do, as they are more efficient in shorter barrels.

    Maximum ooommpphh with minimal drawbacks in a stubby barreled 44 mag?  IME, and IMNSHO:

    Starline or Winchester brass.
    VihtaVuori N110 powder(follow the books, use a chrono, and work up to the max loads listed)
    Federal #155 primers
    Your 240 XTP slugs.

    Seat and crimp in separate steps.  Use this die http://www.redding-reloading.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=31:profile-crimp-dies to crimp.   Trust me on this step, it makes all the difference in the world assuming you use properly sized, high quality brass and slugs.
    This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty. . . . The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction- St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries

    HiVelSword

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    Re: Pre-emptive question regarding .44 mag loads in short barrels
    « Reply #12 on: February 11, 2012, 09:28:16 am »
    Thanks, Norseman!

    I will absolutely buy that die for .44 mag. I wanted a Redding die for .44 Automag. The gentleman I placed my conversion parts order with at Dillon recommended them to me as they didn't have one. So I called Redding but they didnt have one either. So I settled for Hornady.

    As for the bullet, I absolutely love XTP's. Around for years and still a terrific choice. Though I'm unsure of it's penetration tendencies when it comes to .44 mag vs. people. Sanow once wrote how the Starfire bullet liked to stay in bodies more than most 240 HP's. Admittedly that was from an article written in 1994. But the XTP was out then too. But hey, I'm all about experimenting. So many different bullet styles to choose from...

    I guess I will need to put aside different loaded rounds for the day I decide to shoot blocks of ballistic gel, eh? Then I can start making some measurements.
    To all those killed by a 9mm, "Get up! You are not dead! You were shot with a useless cartridge!" -HVS

    "You see, Doctor, God didn't kill that little girl. Fate didn't butcher her and destiny didn't feed her to those dogs. If God saw what any of us did that night he didn't seem to mind. From then on I knew... God doesn't make the world this way. We do." Rorschach-Watchmen

    THE NORSEMAN

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    Re: Pre-emptive question regarding .44 mag loads in short barrels
    « Reply #13 on: February 11, 2012, 11:07:22 pm »
    The XTP bullet you are discussing- http://www.hornady.com/store/44-Cal-.430-240-gr-HP-XTP/ , right?


    In my opinion, it's a bad choice for SD use anywhere but woods bumming in a short barreled gun.  Basic slug design is too tough.  Couple that with the lower velocity inherent with a short barreled gun, and you'll get incomplete mushrooming, and through-n-through penetration with plenty of power left after exiting.  Not so bad on a hunt, very bad in an urban setting.

    Edit:  In a 16-20" rifle barrel, now?  That's a whole different kettle o' fish.  AWESOME is the word.
    « Last Edit: February 11, 2012, 11:20:02 pm by THE NORSEMAN »
    This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty. . . . The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction- St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries

    Evil Jim

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    Re: Pre-emptive question regarding .44 mag loads in short barrels
    « Reply #14 on: February 11, 2012, 11:17:40 pm »
    For SD I prefer the Speer Gold Dot, it opens nicely even at .44 spl velocities.


    Jim
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    Moral of this lesson:
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    HiVelSword

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    Re: Pre-emptive question regarding .44 mag loads in short barrels
    « Reply #15 on: February 11, 2012, 11:41:51 pm »
    The XTP bullet you are discussing- http://www.hornady.com/store/44-Cal-.430-240-gr-HP-XTP/ , right?


    In my opinion, it's a bad choice for SD use anywhere but woods bumming in a short barreled gun.  Basic slug design is too tough.  Couple that with the lower velocity inherent with a short barreled gun, and you'll get incomplete mushrooming, and through-n-through penetration with plenty of power left after exiting.  Not so bad on a hunt, very bad in an urban setting.

    Edit:  In a 16-20" rifle barrel, now?  That's a whole different kettle o' fish.  AWESOME is the word.

    I'm mainly using the XTP's for the .44 AMP test loads. The ones I'll be sending to GunDoc for testing in Black Sunshine. For defense in my future Alaskan I probably will go Gold Dot. I want to try both 240 and the 210 grain. Might try Starfire if they sell the bullets as components.
    To all those killed by a 9mm, "Get up! You are not dead! You were shot with a useless cartridge!" -HVS

    "You see, Doctor, God didn't kill that little girl. Fate didn't butcher her and destiny didn't feed her to those dogs. If God saw what any of us did that night he didn't seem to mind. From then on I knew... God doesn't make the world this way. We do." Rorschach-Watchmen

    Evil Jim

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    Re: Pre-emptive question regarding .44 mag loads in short barrels
    « Reply #16 on: February 11, 2012, 11:47:40 pm »
    From what I have heard, the 270 deep curl is a renamed gold dot also.


    Jim
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    Moral of this lesson:
    Don't get in any gun fights with buffalo hunters. There ain't no such thing as cover.

    HiVelSword

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    Re: Pre-emptive question regarding .44 mag loads in short barrels
    « Reply #17 on: February 11, 2012, 11:48:46 pm »
    For SD I prefer the Speer Gold Dot, it opens nicely even at .44 spl velocities.


    Jim

    Yeah, another great bullet. It's definitely going to be fun reloading .44's. Heck, I might find a better performance balance with the 210. Max expansion with even less chance of overpenetration.

    That 270 sounds awesome. But I can see it making that 2nd hole that I don't want. ;)
    To all those killed by a 9mm, "Get up! You are not dead! You were shot with a useless cartridge!" -HVS

    "You see, Doctor, God didn't kill that little girl. Fate didn't butcher her and destiny didn't feed her to those dogs. If God saw what any of us did that night he didn't seem to mind. From then on I knew... God doesn't make the world this way. We do." Rorschach-Watchmen

    THE NORSEMAN

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    Re: Pre-emptive question regarding .44 mag loads in short barrels
    « Reply #18 on: February 12, 2012, 12:42:49 am »
    I like the Speer gold dot line in most cases.  I use the 158 GDHP as my carry slug in my 357s in fact.  They can be driven fast without breaking up as general rule.  Though they may fold clear back to original diameter and shed petals at warp speeds, I have personally never had one blow up.  My velocities with both 357 and 44 caliber variants are topping out at around 2,000 f.p.s. in my Winchester 94s.   Marlin 444 owners with higher velocity loads however, are reporting blow ups on hogs and bone shots on deer with the 270 GD in 44 caliber at high speeds, so it may be prudent to limit them to 2,000 +/- fps for reliability on live game.

    In 44 caliber applications I prefer the XTP line from Hornady over gold dots, for one very "specific to me" reason-  I shoot Rugers, they generally run on the large side of allowable specs.  Therefore the larger .430 XTPs engage the rifling a touch better than the .429 speer slugs, netting me better accuracy as a general rule. YMMV.
    This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty. . . . The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction- St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries

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