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Author Topic: Reloading .44 mag or special?  (Read 10681 times)

Colin

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Reloading .44 mag or special?
« on: May 17, 2011, 03:48:58 am »
Ok, now I've got the bug for a .44 mag man-cannon.

This will be the caliber that gets me into reloading.  Mostly a cost thing.

Honestly, I'm most interested in shooting .44 special, though like the idea of being able to go with full mag loads for hunting and just plain old fun shooting. 

I plan on getting rossi trapper 16", with most likely a smith and wesson to start, but interested in ruger blackhawk as well.

Here's the big question.  When buying equipment to reload, why should I bother with .44 special at all?  WOuldn't it make just as much sense to avoid the leading problems and simply download the mag case to .44 special velocities?

I don't know much at all about reloading, or even a ton about the .44 mag, other than I've shot one a few times, and want one. 

Am I on the right track here? 

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    Evil Jim

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    Re: Reloading .44 mag or special?
    « Reply #1 on: May 17, 2011, 06:45:54 am »
    Without a dedicated .44 spl, I would suggest doing lighter loads in Mag cases.
    No carbon ring to clean in the magnum chambers, less sorting of brass, spl ammo generally costs more to begin with... and I find most factory specials an extreme let down when fired from fill size magnum firearms.
    The .44 is a joy to reload, LOTS of load data out there for you.
    I load mostly hard cast lead, and if you shop for your components... you can have a .44 that is nice and cheap to plink with.


    Jim
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    only1asterisk

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    Re: Reloading .44 mag or special?
    « Reply #2 on: May 20, 2011, 02:54:18 pm »
    The Evil One is right is on all counts. 

    The .44 Magnum is a great round to start loading with. 

    THE NORSEMAN

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    Re: Reloading .44 mag or special?
    « Reply #3 on: May 20, 2011, 10:11:41 pm »
    On top of the dreaded(over-dreaded IMNSHO) carbon ring, the lever action will most likely feed more reliably with the full length round as well.

    Edit-  clarity. :facepalm

     
    « Last Edit: May 22, 2011, 01:17:18 am 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

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    Re: Reloading .44 mag or special?
    « Reply #4 on: May 22, 2011, 12:13:03 am »
    I had a 3" S&W .44 with a badly leaded barrel.  It got that way from me shooing cheap HSM and other LSWC ammo.  Gundoc can attest to it; he's the one that cleaned it out for me.

    What kind of lead bullets do you use to avoid this problem?  Does high volume shooting with lead mean you're going to get a badly leaded barrel?
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    Re: Reloading .44 mag or special?
    « Reply #5 on: May 22, 2011, 12:36:16 am »
    Its a hardness/speed issue.
    http://www.missouribullet.com/technical.php


    Jim
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    Moral of this lesson:
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    Re: Reloading .44 mag or special?
    « Reply #6 on: May 22, 2011, 01:19:13 am »
    Yup ^^^ that. 
    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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    Re: Reloading .44 mag or special?
    « Reply #7 on: May 22, 2011, 06:51:56 pm »
    I understand that.  I was asking which bullets you guys use.  Brand.  Weight.  Type.
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    Re: Reloading .44 mag or special?
    « Reply #8 on: May 22, 2011, 07:09:07 pm »
    I have been using Venom Ballistics 223 and 226 gr... and Oregon Trail 180 gr.


    Jim
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    Re: Reloading .44 mag or special?
    « Reply #9 on: May 22, 2011, 09:30:15 pm »
    Can anyone recommend a good, non leading 240 grain semi-wad-cutter that'll perform at about 1000 FPS?  [email protected] is a good high volume practice load for .44; more oomph than most cartridges but easy on the gun and the shooter.  I don't want to deal with the leading issue again, if I can avoid it.
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    Re: Reloading .44 mag or special?
    « Reply #10 on: May 23, 2011, 08:40:12 am »
    I have been running Missouri Bullets 300 gr in my .45-70, same brinell hardness of 18 as their 240gr swc.
    http://www.missouribullet.com/details.php?prodId=103&category=5&secondary=12&keywords=
    I am pushing them a BIT harder than 1000 fps with no lead issues.
    My next batch of .44s are coming from them.
    I am impressed with the .45-70s.


    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.

    only1asterisk

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    Re: Reloading .44 mag or special?
    « Reply #11 on: May 23, 2011, 10:25:20 pm »
    Can anyone recommend a good, non leading 240 grain semi-wad-cutter that'll perform at about 1000 FPS?  [email protected] is a good high volume practice load for .44; more oomph than most cartridges but easy on the gun and the shooter.  I don't want to deal with the leading issue again, if I can avoid it.

    All lead bullets designs are going to lead with the wrong load.  There is no such thing as a nonleading bullet.  With typical commercial cast you'll have to load to the bullet.

    For a semi custom caster, I'd go with http://bullshop.gunloads.com/tbs_pistolbullets30.htm
    He casts to order and can help match the bullet to the load.

    Order the Lyman 429421 and RCBS 44-245-SWC for your revolver.  Air cooled wheel weights would be my choice of alloy and have them sized as large as tour throats will accept (I'd order the sized .432 if you don't know and get a Lee push through sizer bullet sizing kit).  Powder choice would be Unique.


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    Re: Reloading .44 mag or special?
    « Reply #12 on: May 23, 2011, 10:27:11 pm »
    Powder choice would be Unique.


    Agreed, thats the only powder running thru my .44s.


    Jim
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    Moral of this lesson:
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    only1asterisk

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    Re: Reloading .44 mag or special?
    « Reply #13 on: May 23, 2011, 10:48:50 pm »
    Another caster I've never used but looks interesting:

    http://www.westernbullet.com/44caliber.html

    THE NORSEMAN

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    Re: Reloading .44 mag or special?
    « Reply #14 on: May 28, 2011, 03:03:36 pm »
    I run grundles of laser-cast bullets myself.  No leading issues.  But they're in hand loads.  If you're looking for already loaded stuff NC, I don't know where to point you really.
    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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    Re: Reloading .44 mag or special?
    « Reply #15 on: May 28, 2011, 11:20:15 pm »
    I was asking about bullets, not loaded ammo.  I intend to get into reloading one of these days, and .44 FMJ bullets are hard to find.

    I want a 240 grain load doing maybe 1000-1050 feet per second from a five-inch tube.  Good high-volume practice load that still packs some oomph, but won't be hard on me or the gun.

    An advantage to LSWC over FMJ is that the lead bullet, especially a Keith-type, makes a decent defensive/hunting slug as well.  Not as good as a modern JHP in some situations, but .44 Mag hard cast is used to take down plenty of big game.  It's no slouch, even without being an expanding bullet.

    There aren't really any "bad" .44 loads, come to think of it.
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    Re: Reloading .44 mag or special?
    « Reply #16 on: May 29, 2011, 11:20:18 am »
    You can get jacketed bullets for about the same price as quality hand cast.  If you know where to look.  Montana Gold has a JSP for about $.16 shipped in quantity.

    When you talk defensive use, you don't necessarily need a SWC, Keith Boser, Thompson or otherwise.  The meplat size is what matters.  So long as your bullet remains stable (both during flight and penetration) bigger is better.  LBT style ogival flatpoints have bigger meplats and are more forgiving when you can't have size exactly right. nothing wrong with the SWC, but it isn't your only option.    Likewise, expanding your weight window to include some slightly heavier options might also give you more options from which to choose.






    THE NORSEMAN

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    Re: Reloading .44 mag or special?
    « Reply #17 on: May 30, 2011, 03:03:45 pm »
    Colin- Have we answered your questions satisfactorily here? If not chime in and let us know.

    NC- I run the 240 SWC laser cast bullets that run .431 dia by the thousands, and have had very little(in fact almost none) leading issues.  My Ruger tubes are a bit different than your Smith ones in both size and finish though I'd imagine, so your results may vary.  But were I you, I'd grab a box of 'em, a pound of clays universal, and load them up with around 8.5 grains and a standard LP primer, holding the slug in place with a moderate but firm crimp.
    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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    Re: Reloading .44 mag or special?
    « Reply #18 on: May 30, 2011, 05:06:32 pm »
    Colin- Have we answered your questions satisfactorily here? If not chime in and let us know.

    NC- I run the 240 SWC laser cast bullets that run .431 dia by the thousands, and have had very little(in fact almost none) leading issues.  My Ruger tubes are a bit different than your Smith ones in both size and finish though I'd imagine, so your results may vary.  But were I you, I'd grab a box of 'em, a pound of clays universal, and load them up with around 8.5 grains and a standard LP primer, holding the slug in place with a moderate but firm crimp.

    If I'm not mistaken, Penn casts a similar if not identical bullet: http://www.pennbullets.com/44/44-caliber.html
    The price is 23% less plus free shipping on 2000 bullet orders.  They also offer .mil LEO and disabled veteran discount.  Of course they cast the bullets after you order them and the bullets are sized/lubed to order while the Oregon Trail bullets are shipped from stock on hand, so you may have to wait a few days extra.  I used their products before I started casting my own.

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    Re: Reloading .44 mag or special?
    « Reply #19 on: May 30, 2011, 05:31:29 pm »
    http://www.pennbullets.com/44/44-caliber.html
    Thanks for the link... I am always on the lookout for good casters... and they are only a couple of hours away.


    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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