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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
No 44 Mag threads going. Heres one. Who loads for the 44? What is the load? My favorite load is with a 300 gr cast lead bullet.

FC Brass
Federal LP Primers.
18.0 gr 2400 Powder
Lyman mould 429265(?) GC 300 gr
1.700 OAL
Heavy Crimp
Gravity Ejection of cases!

10 rnd avg. 1401 fps / 1308 fpe
Avg Deviation 14 fps (extreme 54 fps)
7-1/2" BBL (SBH)

This is 6 rounds of it at 50 yds. Sandbagged at the bench just to see what it was capable of, and sighting in purposes. I was trying for target zero, so POA was 6 O'Clock and when it came back like this I said good enough and didnt fiddle with it! I probably dont need 1400 fps so I may just trim this load back to 1250 or so

For reference purposes only! It may work for me but you and your gun may be in trouble if you try this load without working it up slowly like you should. Safety first!

Aint 44's Grand?! :cannon:
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
NOBODY RELOADS FOR 44 HUH?
 

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Yeah, this reloaders forum is still pretty small.

Keep sending in your data and your pictures, though! We need to get a "critical mass" of posts here to attract more reloaders.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, I vote that all yall go buy 44's and report back.!:D
 

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Well Ed, I'm new to the forum but I've been loading the 44 since 1970. Early on, I found out that Elmer Keith knew what he was saying about the 40 & 4, so I followed his advice. I've shot everything you can shoot in a 44 and I've shot about every thing out there that is chambered for it.

I use and have used since 1970, a S & W Model 29 6 1/2 barrel 44 but I also owned a 8 3/8 inch Mod. 29 for several years too. I shoot Keith's 250 grain cast bullet and 22 grains of 2400 powder although, since Alliant took over Hercules powder, I've had to cut it back to 21.3 grains because the newer Alliant powder burns slightly fasted that the oloder Hercules 2400.

I've shot whitetail and mule deer with it and got one shot kills. I've killed two turkeys and same result.

I once shot 25 grains of WW 296 behind the Keith 250 grain bullet and it was the absolute most accurate load I've ever used but after about 200 rounds, it had started to flame cut the top strap so I went back to my 2400 loads.

There is no telling how many ten's of thousands of rounds I've shot out of that Smith. One summer, the city dug up about two miles of old lead pipe. I was on the Sherrif's Department then and the city cops and the SO got all of that pipe to cast bullets.

I had exactly one ton of pure lead pipe and another 500 pounds of tin and antimony in the form of linotype in my garage. I cast all of it and shot it in about four months. Every tire shop in four counties knew me because I'd make the rounds every month and get all their old wheel weights to make bullets.

I shot the heavier bullets for the 44 in my Contender until I sold it. Sold the 300 grain mould too. Keith's 250 grain bullet cast hard of linotype and 22 grains of 2400 will kill anything I need to kill. The load is about all I shoot now having discovered there are few, if any, loads better for the 44 mag.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I had exactly one ton of pure lead pipe and another 500 pounds of tin and antimony in the form of linotype in my garage. I cast all of it and shot it in about four months. Every tire shop in four counties knew me because I'd make the rounds every month and get all their old wheel weights to make bullets.
Lessee, 2500 lbs X 7000 grains / 250 gr bullets = 70,000 bullets!

Man thats a lot of shooting. I got the 245 keith mold too. I use 21.0/2400 in it. The bummer is that the noses of the two (245 & 300) are exactly the same and it makes it hard to tell them apart with out looking reel close. I made a finishing shot in the head of an elk with the 300 gr load at about 6 ft, pretty dramatic.
 

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70,000 rounds you say? Well, it might have taken me six months to shoot it all up unless I was practicing for something special. But I averaged shooting 10,000 rounds a month back then. But understand, all of it was not 44's. I shot 2700 bullseye matches in three states and in those matches you have to shoot 22, any centerfire (and I used a Model 52 S & W Master for that leg of the match) and of course, 45 Auto. I dang near wore out a Dillion progressive press loading 45 ACP's. I'd start loading on Wednesday night out of a 5 gallon bucket of cast bullets and when I got set up, I took out primers 1000 at one time. Usually by Friday night, I'd have enough ammo to last me over the weekend.

I also shot the 45 auto "combat " matches that were all the rage back then and had a complete range set up behind my house in an old dirt pit that was on some of the land I owned at the time. Great place for a range. Had 20 foot tall clay banks on three sides of it! On weekends when I didn't go to a match somewhere, there would be about 20 local shooters show up at my range and we'd blast away all day. That range grew into what is now the NRA Certified Pine Belt Rifle and Pistol Club Range and I was the first president of it.

Dang, those were the good old days! I had several 3/8 inch and 1/2 inch steel plates of various diameters hanging at various distances from 50 to 300 yards and we'd shoot them so much, they'd get concave and then I'd turn them around and shoot them until they'd get concave on that side. Back then, I was 10 feet tall and bullet proof. Now a days, I just a wore out old fart but I have some dang good memories and even a couple of trophies or six.

Today, I shoot 5200 grain balls out of a 150 caliber cannon. Now that is a hoot! Dang near as much fun as shooting a 44. And just a little "Did you know." Hanging over the firing line at the old range behind my house was a sign that said " If you ain't a shooter, you ain't schmitt. And if you ain't a 44 shooter, jiss doan tell anybody unless you wanna fat lip! " Heck, I didn't know anybody that didn't have at least one 44 and at that time, I had three! Course I also had three 45 auto's and two Ron Power custom combat revolvers and . . .well, I was into it let's say.

I had a shooting/loading buddy that owned a welding shop. We used to take all of the wheel weights and whatever else we could scrounge up or collected that week and put them in a big steel pan and turn a rosebud on them. Man you could melt down a 5 gallon bucket of wheel weights and pour them up in one pound ingots in about 15 minutes. Then we'd get three 20 pound bottom pour pots going ( I still have one of them) so we could keep at least one melting all the time. Our only trouble was keeping our moulds cool enough so we wouldn't cast frosted bullets. Dang, I can still smell that place. It smelled like a shooters place because we had an indoor range in there and we used a bullet catcher we welded up in the shop that worked great. All the city cops used to come by at lunch or at shift change and shoot with us. man. Those were the days..
Sorry to bore you with alla that but when I get to thinking about 44's and casting and such, well . . . I guess I get carried away. All of those boys have gone on now and more's the pity because there wasn't a finer bunch anywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Man thats not boring, thats slightly awe inspiring! I cast maybe 1000-1500 44's a year if I'm lucky. Specially since I'm loading for more calibers lately and have been playing around with swaging 45's on that Corbin equipment I bought. Somehow I dont feel like a 44 reloader anymore next to you! Wow.

Two tire shops in one county know me. I got two big pots, one for melting down WW's and old lead drainlines(stinks up the whole neighbrohood) and one for dipping. Oh yeah and one tiny Lee electric pot that my friend got at a yard sale for 3 bucks which I've never used since its largely too small.

I've never shot any matches, but I did shoot my chrony. My RL550Bmight be broken in by now. My steel plates still lay there. If I shot out back, they'd call the swat team on me.

And yet, my friends think I'm 'into it big time' since I doall that!

<sigh>
 

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Well now Ed, I'm talking all of this happened 30 years ago in south Mississippi in the little town of Laurel. Although I can shoot out back now, I don't do it much because I can't see the sights on my handguns anymore. My right eye is about gone and of course, it's my dominant eye. But I can still manage to hit an X every now and then shooting with that dang left eye.

Back in the days when I was doing all of that shooting, I had what was called a 10 ring wobble. That means that I did not woble out of the 10 ring and almost anytime the sear broke, it was gonna be a 10. And in those days, I could SEE the dang X at 25 yards and I always shot at it.

But that was about all I did besides work. If you get into anything enough and have any ability at all, you can get good at it. But to tell you the truth son, it can also become work too because once you get to that level, everybody EXPECTS you to shoot a possible every time and if you don't, they say you are loosing it. And everybody is gunning for you and there is no place to go but down. It takes a hell of a lot of mental discipline to keep it all in proper perspective and not let it stop being fun because the instant it does, you loose a damn fine hobby. It's OK to be competetive but winning every time should not become the objective. Having fun is what you want to do and it has been a fun hobby for me since 1958 when I first started reloading on a second hand Texan single stage press and Herter's dies and accessories. Man. I thought I was in high cotton and by golly, I was.

Right now, I have no less than 20 two pound coffee cans full of cast, sized and lubed bullets of various kinds under my loading bench and probably 300 pounds of linotype and wheel weights cast up in one pound ingots out in the garage and two five gallon buckets of raw wheel weights. I can't go into a dirt pit without looking for brass. Once the reloading bug bites you, you are bit for life. But it's a good hobby and you learn a lot about physics, chemistry, statistics, and how to do research when you are trying to work up various loads.

I recently got a ported, Taurus 2 inch barrel, stainless revolver chambered for the 45 Colt cartridge. I quit carrying my old 45 auto simply because it is too big and heavy and I'm old and skinny and had to fill my off side pocket with rocks so I could walk straight while carrying that big old auto. And even then, I was always afraid it was gonna pull my pants down right in front of everybody. And because of that, I started leaving it in the truck instead of taking it with me and that is a recipe for trouble. It doesn't matter what you have in the truck when you need it in the Quick Stop because it's the gun you have with you at the time that you are going to have to depend on to save your life or the life of someone else. So I got the little Taurus. It's no problem to carry and it's powerful enoug to adjust the attitude of any jerk that needs an attitude adjustment but now, I have to get that done with five shots instead of eight. ( All of my 45 auto magazines were ther eight shot types. Ain't no since in giving up another round if you can get it.)

I had worked with the 45 Colt cartridge about 20 years ago but I didn't remember any of the loading data and it was for an old Colt sixgun anyway. So I got down five or six different loading manuals and read everything each had to say about it. I had to go the the old Lyman manuals to find any really good information about loading cast bullets. But I have the research materials and it's no big deal because that's they way I learn about things I don't know. It's still a fun and interesting hobby even after all of these years. I hope it is for you too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
<it can also become work too >

I thought about that while doing the math on all them bullets. Sounds like you had a full time job with some overtime!

<I recently got a ported, Taurus 2 inch barrel, stainless revolver chambered for the 45 Colt cartridge. >

I got a Charter Arms Bulldog bout 17 yrs ago to fill this niche, backup to my Colt 1911, and for when I wouldnt/couldnt carry the full size Govt. mdl. The pins walk under recoil at the range, but its held up fairly well. I do not shoot it alot and load mildish loads for it for faster follow up shots. Hows the Taurus holding up for you? Do you carry factory or reloads? If reloads, are they on the light side for faster followup?

On my 3rd snow day off work. Its warmer today but Hwy 24 is closed to Peyton where my work is waiting. Guess I'll work the weekend to catch up.:(
 

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I have a buddy whose wife carry's one of those old Bulldogs. It's chambered for the 44 Special and it's been a good little cary gun for her for over 25 years now.

The little Taurus I have is strong and holding up very well so far. (I've had it three years now.) I've shot 185 grain hollow points designed for the 45 ACP but I don't like light bullets. They shot very well however. Factory loads for the 45 Colt are on the mild side because of all the old revolvers around chambered for it so I do not carry a factory round. In fact, I haven't bought a factory bullet in about 20 years or maybe even more.

I also shot a bullet (45-201-SCW) cast from an RCBS mould. It was designed by Elmet Keith for the 45 ACP and I like it a little better than the Lyman 200 grain SWC bullet. Interestingly enough, John Browning originally designed his big automatic to shoot a 200 grain bullet and the Army changed it to 230 grains in the trials to select a new government pistol. But since the Taurus is ported and the RCBS bullet is plain base, after about 20 rounds, the front sight is coated with lead so that isn't going to work as a general shooting bullet but it might work as a self-defence load. I think I can get the velocity up on it to about 1000 FPS and still stay safe.

My "Carry" load is Lyman bullet number 452490. It is a gas check bullet and weighs 255 grains when cast from 90% lead, 5%, tin and 5% antimony. It functions great with no lead coming out of the ports because of the gas check and the hard cast bullet.

I loaded that bullet with 8 grains of Bullseye and shot about 25 of them. My chronograph said they were averaging 1050 FPS out of the 2 inch barrel!!! I didn't believe it although it was bucking and roaring like a 44 mag. I got home and checked my manual and I was supposed to load 8 grains of Unique!! The max load of bullseye was 6.2 grains. Why it didn't buldge a cylinder, I don't know but it's a tribute to the little revolvers strength that it didn't. There is no tribute to my stupidity.

So now I carry it loaded with 8 grains of Unique with the 255 grain SWC gas check bullet but I haven't shot it across the chronograph yet. I'm guesing it's gonna go about 800 to 850 out of the 2 inch barrel. At 255 grains and that speed, it'll adjust a bad attitude. I like it and sure don't feel underarmed while it is stuck in my belt.

But I confess that when I know that I am going to stay out late at night, John Browning's big automatic goes in my belt along with two full spare magazines and a big ole folding knife, and the little Taurus takes a night off. As Bill Jordan so eloquently said." If there is any advantage to be had in a gunfight, TAKE IT!"

I think ole Bill was right but the Black Prince rule is, "Never go to a gunfight with any pistol whose cartridge size does not start with at least a 4." But if I could shoot as well as Bill did, hell, I would carry a little .357 Magnum too. Naaaaaw. I'd still carry a 40 & 4 or 40 & 5. I don't see any percentage in cutting the bad guy any slack because as Bill said, "There is no secone place winner in a gunfight." And by the way, I knew Bill Jordan personally and well and when he knew he was going to stay out late at night, he also stuck John Browning's big automatic in the small of his back cocked and locked like it is supposed to be carried, so that ought to tell you something coming from the father of the Model 19 S & W 357 magnum.

I remember one new gung-ho law dog who was just out of the law enforcement academy that was attending a shooting match for the first time back when Bill was the NRA field rep, and he took Jordan to task about "SAFETY." He told Bill it was "DANGEROUS" to carry a 45 auto cocked and locked. Jordan looked at him with those steeley gray eyes of his that looked right through you and said real slow, " Damn right it is and I intend for it to be. It ain't worth a damn if it ain't dangeruous."

And I reckon so pilgrim.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
He told Bill it was "DANGEROUS" to carry a 45 auto cocked and locked. Jordan looked at him with those steeley gray eyes of his that looked right through you and said real slow, " Damn right it is and I intend for it to be. It ain't worth a damn if it ain't dangeruous."
I get those mini-lectures at the range quite frequently. "scuse me sir, but did you know your pistol is cocked?":rolleyes: Especially if I'm wearing that crossdraw holster. That holster is very intimidating to people, even gunfolk. Gotta remember that quote from Bill, its a good one. I read that book years ago when my dad had a copy, No second place winner.

Shot about everything (44) in about every weapon you say? Hmmm, ever get a chance to shoot GC'd lead from a Ruger Deerhunter or Deerfield (?) carbine. I hear its gas operated so lead is supposedly a no-no but I like the platform & chambering and have often wondered if a GC bullet would be ok in it. Any experiance here? Cause, like you, I just don't shoot factory and very seldom jacketed in my 44's.
 

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Sorry. I have no experience with either of the Rugers you mentioned. They are what I'd call a "NEW" gun and they were not around when I did most of my shooting. I did have a 44 mag Ruger auto carbine once but gave it to my nephew. He still has it and loves it. I never had any trouble shooting anything reloaded out of it and neither has he.

John Browning designed his auto to be carried cocked and locked. The designs until the series 80 came out had a "Theoretical" flaw in that they MIGHT fire if droped on the barrel. I once saw a test conducted to try to make one do that when the Jones County Sheriff's Department was going to switch over from the Mod. 19 S & W service revolver to automatics. The Glock people said the Browning design was "dangerous" and set up the test to prove it to the high sheriff. The Glock boys droped a Colt 45 auto cocked and locked for an hour and it never did fire. They broke the front sight off. They broke the hammer in half. They beat the crap out of the end of the barrel but it never fired!!

The result of all of that business was the sheriff put out a memo that said if you could qualify at the range with any pistol or revolver firing a bullet of at least 35 caliber, weighing at least 158 grains at a velocity of at least 850 PFS, you could carry it on duty as long as it was in a "law enforcement regulation" holster. A lot of guys started carrying 41 and 44 mag revolvers and 40 and 45 autos of various makes. We had a deputy named Larry Davis. He carried a 4 inch S & W 44 mag on duty and we all called him Dirty Larry. He loved it .

However, I had a Highway Patrol investigator friend that carried a little combat commander in the small of his back. He carried it with a round in the chamber but with the hammer down or as Jeff Cooper calls it, condition two. I have never done it and for this reason: my buddy was wearing a light vest over his pistol. He raised his arms to do something on a top shelf and the vest snaged on the commander hammer (we guess) and pulled it back just far enough so that when it slipped off and let go, the hammer fired the round in the chamber. It ruined a good paid of dress pants and shot a hole in his wallet. It cleared out the whole damn office and got him put on suspension for a week. He threw that Commander in his glove compartment and it stayed there for two years despite me offering him a good price for it.

He bought a Glock 40 caliber and carries it to this day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I did have a 44 mag Ruger auto carbine once but gave it to my nephew.
Thats the one I meant, couldnt recall the name of it. Did you all shoot lead or GC'd bullets in it?

The Glock boys droped a Colt 45 auto cocked and locked for an hour and it never did fire.
I did this once to my dads old beat up series 70 45. I put a primed empty case in the chamber, cocked & un-locked and rolled / tumbled it across the carpeted living room floor to see if I could induce a bang. Crashed into the wall a few times. Never did bang or drop to halfcock or anything bad. Then I went out and bought a series 80 which I carry to this day.

Years ago, I was a security guard. I went through some course in Ohio at which the conclusion of the course they put us through a PPC course with a boxfull of beat up 4" mdl 10's. I asked them if I could use my .45 and they said no, but they let one guy use his 686 cause it was a 'wheelgun'. Some girl took first with a mdl 10, the guy with the 686 took second and I was two points low which gave me third. I've always thought I could've taken first if I could've used my Colt.:2guns: (beware the women though, most shoot better than men, if they shoot,)

He raised his arms to do something on a top shelf and the vest snaged on the commander hammer (we guess) and pulled it back just far enough so that when it slipped off and let go, the hammer fired the round in the chamber.
That was one in a million. Bet he couldnt do that again if he tried.
 

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I shot a little of everything in that little Ruger carbine. My nephew shoots some kind of 240 jacketed bullets in it but I don't know what. I never had any feeding or ejection problems with that carbine and I never noticed any problems with any of the reloads I used in it, plain based cast, GC or jacketed. It shot them all with no problems.
 

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Ed & BP, danged if y'all ain't got a rite fine discussion goin', boys!

As to the little Ruger carbine, I've never owned one, but back when I was still back in my last two years of college, some time 'tween '72 and '74, a buddy had one, and was too broke to shoot the dang thing, so I'd cast and load for my .44, and let him shoot them in his lil' Ruger. Never had a problem. I've shot the Saeco Keith style bullet, #441 I think it is, and it's different from the original Lyman Keith bullet in that it has a shorter nose and longer bearing surface. I've cast a BUNCH of bullets with that mould through the years, but $30 for the mold AND handles was a princely sum back then, and I had to do without some good stuff to manage to pay for it. Ain't never been sorry, though. It may not QUITE be a "real" Keith bullet, but it's always done fine for me in everything I've shot it in. One of my best shootin' buddies and I both had .44 Ruger SuperB's, and he had the Lyman Keith mould, and I had that Saeco. For once in life, everything worked out, and my gun shot slightly better with the Saeco bullet, and his shot best with the Lyman. It's usually the other way around of course. That dang Murphy and his Laws must'a been nappin' then?

I had a .35 Whelen Ackley built for a planned trip with some relatives that used to go every year. They're all older than I am, and one by one, they crapped out for various reasons. The most exciting part of the planning stages, though, before it all went awry, was when they told me about the wallows and watering holes where a good man might get a shot as close as 10-50 yds., and lots of potential inside 100. I was still shooting a fair bit back then, and an elk at 100 would have been no problem. After building that Whelen, I was all hot to trot to leave it aside in favor of the Super Blackhawk .44, and there's not a doubt in my mind it would have done the job with that Saeco Keith bullet ...... or probably any other decent cast bullet, for that matter.

I've loaded a sorta' strange load for a very long time now, and it's one determined by a very "practical" reason: my old Ohaus powder measure's small cavity, when backed all the way back to full capacity, throws 20.7 gr. of 2400. It's still just a mite compressed with that long bearing surfaced bullet, and probably shoots just as fast as a larger charge with the longer seated Lyman bullet. All I can say for sure is that I've loaded from 18-24 gr. of 2400 under that old Saeco bullet, and can't tell much difference in the accuracy or performance in the field with any of the charges, except that it shoots a hair better with 20 or more gr. of 2400. I guess it takes a certain amount of pressure level to get that much maligned 2400 to burn more cleanly?

I've used 296 powder in the Super B, too, but like Davy, gave it up for my old standby 2400. Can't see a reason in the world to change, either, to this day. Probably get a mite more velocity from the newer "faster" version of 2400, and maybe it burns just a mite cleaner, in comparison, but none of those differences are significant. All those boys complaining about 2400 being "dirty" probably just aren't loading enough of it. I've also usually gotten better accuracy with std. primers instead of magnums, too. Maybe my guns were different, but that's what I got, and I used to do little else but cast and shoot my .44 and .45 auto for a good many years. My wife says it kept me out'a trouble.

A good .44, a good Keith style cast bullet, and some 2400, and you're steppin' in about as high a field of cotton as a man has a right to expect to ever step in. I've probably tried a dozen or more powders in the .44, but nothing to beat that combo. Keith DID know a thing or two about a gun! One day, I'd really like to find an old, original Keith mould with the longer front driving band and the square grooves ......... just 'cause every time I'd fire one of those slugs, I'd think of ol' Elmer. The man was a True Original
and his work will last forever in handgunnery ........ as long as folks want something that WORKS instead of the newest, shiniest bauble the Marketing boys WANT them to want!

I guess my best shot with that old Super B and the Keith bullet was beheading a dove at 69 long steps on an old logging road on a hunting club. Uhhhhh ..... now that I think about it, shootin' "migratory fowl" with a handgun is illegal, ain't it???? Must'a been a Whoopin' Crane, then ...... or a Spotted Owl???? :rolleyes: I disremember right now ...........

:confused:

Davy, your stories took me back a ways when just about all I did was shoot ....... and fish some in the spring, summer and fall. Good thing was, at the River, I could combine the two. During a good, hot, dog-day summer trip to the river, I'd take that .44 and we'd take turns shooting gar and mudfish that made the mistake of silhouetting themselves against a white sand bank. Those .44's will PENETRATE water to a depth NO jacketed bullet will, and I've shot a gar or two at darn near 4' deep. It was luck when I hit one that deep, of course, but the fact that the bullet could transverse, say, 3.5 ft. of water and STILL kill a gar was kinda' amazing to me. Great "river gun" in summer.

Ahhhhhhh! The simple pleasures of a good, well stoked .44!
Thanks guys for a little trip back to a very nice place!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yeah, ol Elmer sure knew what was up with that 2400. Every once in awhile I'll try something else in it just to see what happens. I dont think I've ever loaded a bad load in .44 but always come back to 2400 cause its just so much better.

I may just have to pick up one of those little Ruger carbines. I've got a friend thats been after me to buy his for some time now. I haven't cause I figured lead'd clog it up.

Do you got any idea when Lyman changed the keith mold? I'm thinkin I probably got the original style cause it was my dads, and we were casting with it in the early 70's. I didn't even know it was changed.

I have loaded from 10 to 22 grains of 2400 behind that 245 keith bullet and your experiance mirrors mine in that the warmer loads do shoot better than the lighter ones. When my dad sent his 29-2 to my son as a gift I loaded up some with 10 gr to let him get used to it with something less than bear stompers (he was about 12 at the time) and 10 gr's aint terribly accurate but it sure was fun. There was zero muzzle rise and not much of a report ( I kept checking it to make sure they was making it out of the barrel!) but it sure bounced them cans around. My son had been used to seeing me shoot full-house loads with my RH so was a little hesitant to shoot the 29 when it came, until he seen me shoot some with 10 gr's. He warmed up real quick to it then. Now theres the beauty of loading for .44's, anything you want can be had on the loading bench for it.

Me & my friend was walking the river once and a dragonfly flew over the water about 10 ft out and my friend says "get him!" so I peeled out the RH and BANG!, the dragonfly disintegrated. Well he built me up so much about that shot that I didnt have the heart to pop his bubble and tell him I had some shotshells in it! I'm now some kind of legend in his mind, he still talks about that shot!:D

.44's are my all time favorite to load for. Just about everything shoots well in it, and its versatility cannot be matched by anything I've found.
 

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Yew a good man, Ed! I like ya' awreddy!

That skeeter hawk story brings to mind one 'bout one of my best shootin' buddies. He wuz raised down onna' banks a' th' river, an' wuz partly raised by his granpa an' gramma. Granpa made 'is livin' by huntin', fishin' an' trappin', an' doin' seasonal farm work. They growed most alla' they vittles out back inna' big ol' garden, an' canned it fer th' winter months. He still rolls 'is eyes talkin' 'bout eatin' wid gramma!

Th' boy growed up wid a gun in 'is hand, includin' a ol' .25/35 M-94 Win, that he thought was th' killinest thang he'd ever seen, this side of a atomic bum, an' a ol' Colt Peacemaker in .45 LC. One day his granpa took 'im to th' master bedroom 'cause he had sumthin' ta' give to 'im. Whilst Jimmy sat onna' bed, granpa opened th' top drawer of his ol' dresser, an' took out ANOTHER bran' spankin' new, never bin fired Peacemaker wid 7 1/2" barrel, blued an' case colored jes' lak th' one he'd bin usin' fer many years. It wuz all wrapped in a lightly oiled red bandanna, an' as he unwrapped it, he tole Jimmy, "I bought this one so I'd have another one when I wore out the first one, but looks lak I ain't never gonna' wear that first one out, so I want yew ta' have this 'un," an' wid that, he put that brand spankin' new Colt in Jimmy's hands. Th' boy dang near CRIED, he wuz so surprised an' happy. Comin' from granpa made it all th' more special, not to mention bein' jes' lak gramps'.

I guess ya' know th' boy slew many truckloads a' deers an' hawgs wid that ol' Peacemaker, allus wid th' regular factory load, which at th' time he thought was 'bout equivalent to a Browning .50 cal.? That's how he got to be one'a th' finest shots I know wid ANY kinna' gun, but pistols has allus bin special for 'im on account'a that ol' Peacemaker, an' all.

Well, th' boy growed up to his teens, an' lak ol' country boys is prone to do, learnt ta' play that dang ol' guitar, an' nex' thang ya' know, he's playin' inna' band in them backwoods juke joints that only th' initiated even KNOWS about that REALLY DID have chicken wire strung out in front'a th' band so they equipment wouldn't be quite as likely to git tore up, an' after a few "introductions" to gunfire an' knife swishin', he took to totin' a leedle ol' pistol a' some kind 'most alla' time, an' ESPECIALLY at th' "clubs." To this day, he's got an affinity for lil' cheap .25 autos, an' some years back, he had - of all thangs - a Sterling .25 that he'd worked over an' got reliable. He carried it wid 'im inna' truck, an' went fishin' wid a rather simple minded friend one early spring evenin'. He usta' hunt or fish 'bout 300 days a year, an' turnt down promotions onna' job 'cause it'd change his workin' hours so's he wouldn't be able to hunt or fish inna' evenins. Wal, he tucked that lil' Sterling .25 in his shirt pocket when they left th' truck an' put th' boat in, an' 'bout sundown, it got COLD an' windy, an' his fishin' mate tole Jimmy he wuz gittin' cold an' wanted to go home, since they already had pleny'a fishes caught.
'Bout that time, a coupla' wood ducks come over, callin' loud an' clear as they're wont to do, an' th' boy tole Jimmy, in intended jest, "Hey, Jimmy! Take that lead duck out wid yer pistol!" Never bein' one to avoid a chance ta' burn some powder, Jimmy pulls that lil' Sterling out an' swings along, straight-faced as a preacher inna' middle of a 2 week revival, an' swings that outstreched arm a' his along wid th' ducks, an' pulls th' trigger. POP! went th' lil' gun, an' DOWN COME TH' LEAD DRAKE DEADER'N A DOORNAIL!!!
Yep! Folded like a cheap lawn chair! Now Jimmy's watchin' this duck fall, absolutely amazed at th' poor duck's bad luck, an' his simple-minded buddy's jaw drops down to th' deck'a th' boat, an' STAYS there, all gape-mouthed an' wide-eyed!

Now havin' growed up in them chicken wire clubs, ol' Jimmy'd learnt ta' thank purdy fast on 'is feets, an' rat away, he straightens up all serious like, an' when 'is buddy ast 'im why he didn't take th' other one (he just KNEW Jimmy could do this kinna' shot at will!), Jimmy jes' fawned a bit, an' humbly said, "Well, I figured that one'd do for yew, an' I already got plenty inna' freezer."

To this day, that simple-minded buddy b'lieves Jimmy can take ducks onna' wing wid that .25, an' tells everbody that story when th' subject a' Jimmy's prowess widda' gun comes up in conversation, which is purdy reg'ler when Jimmy's around.

They's bin other shots made lak that, an' several in my presence, but that duck story is my favorite. I'm really glad to have Jimmy as a friend, an' he's th' finest all around shot I've ever known - a "natural" you might say. He's good, but he ain't THAT good! Not alla' time, any way.

Doancha' jes' LOVE these kinna' stories?
 

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I would like to jump in here and ask one of you experienced fellows a question about powder. I have just started reloading for the 44mag. I went into the store to buy powder, I had settled on bullseye from some light reading on the subject. The man that works at the store recomended unique with some 240gr. swchp lead cast. After working up a load "light" 10.4 gr. and I was really impressed! I did notice that it really leaded up the old 29 but Ive got a group displayed over my bench that you could nearly cover with a Morgan silver dollar at 25 yds. This was my first bunch and I know that it can be improved upon. Please let me know if you have any suggestions. I am willing and very excited about learning the ropes from you guys. I have always been a 44mag fan.:sniper:
 

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Yep. I've used 10 grains of Unique, a standard pistol primer, and a wheel weight cast 250 grain Keith bullet for my "plinking" load for 30 years. It has always been accurate. If you are experiencing leading with that load, go to a harder bullet because you shouldn't be leading. If you can't buy hard cast bullets, buy a mould and cast your own. It ain't difficult or Blackwater couldn't do it.
 
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