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44 MAG Favorite loads?

8572 Views 66 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Black Prince
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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Well, I vote that all yall go buy 44's and report back.!:D
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.
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!

<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.:(
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.
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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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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Man oh man. Go to work for a couple days and come back to see the 44 making a comeback. Sweet.

Well, I've only ever used Bullseye for real light loads and kind of abandoned it for 44's, when you get to max with Bullseye, it goes max real quick in the pressure department. Unique impressed itself to me as a medium load powder for 44. The 2400 runs the whole spectrum from light all the way up to bear stompers. I almost only use 2400 any more for 44's. I suggest trying a pound of that.

Unique works real good in the shotloads. Take the plunge and buy a mould or two! At the price of ammo or even slugs for that matter, it'd pay for itself in no time. Maybe 200 bucks to get going on casting. Sizer/Luber and a couple moulds.

I tried some 'Laser Cast' bullets for the 44 just cause everyone talks so good about them anf found that they are pretty good. Nice and hard and little to no leading.

Come back with your questions.
1. Enough for sunday breakfast.

2. Ahh, trick question. I'd use the Redhawk, take out the Hogeux, they'd stop to eat, then take out all the dogs. Elapsed time? mmm, maybe 2 minutes. Then bacon & eggs! Of course I'm the master of 300 yd running hogeux shots wid a pistol!:rolleyes:

3. On my EDI (Edwards Death index) scale, it would be a 9.1 with a single shot, 12.2 if a followup shot was needed. You do have your EDI chart don't you?;)
Hmmm. You must live inna less swat infested area than I. I'd have to look around for the man for at least a minute and a half first! I did take 5 squirrels outta the tree (over time) with 22 shorts and got away with it, my dog loves em.

Cant make up my mind if you're pulling my leg with that shot or not. Iron sights, I presume? What load was it? How big the hog? Did ya have bacon & eggs?

Sure you aunt stretching it just a little?
Sorry bout puttin you on the spot there, Black Prince, I believe you. I started to doubt you when I didnt hear back for a few days about it. I hear so much tall talk on different boards most of em got to be lying. When you ask em for a few details about their feat they cant remember or don't reply or contradict themselves or just plain get mad, thats when you know they lie. You got that casual no brag matter of fact ring to your words that sound truthful. No offense, jus wanted to see how you'd sound if pressed a little deeper bout it.

I read Elmers stories of taking deer at 250 and 600 yards with a 4" 29. I believe them too. On a good day I can hit a gallon jug at 100 yds 3 or 4 times (Staged DA, in kind of a jackass ricepaddy prone). My wife got 5 once, with my 5.5" RH. I never really did any back braced shooting, think maybe I'll try that.

My 5.5" is gone now, stolen. Its been replaced with a 7.5" RH and I got the SBH since too. One of these days I'll really pit em together for an accuracy comparison to see which one has the edge. I've been neglecting my SBH for the M1A. I got a guy who's trying to get me to come shoot High Power with him an his buddies but between time constraints and not wanting to make a total bad showing, I've been declining until I'm better equipped to do so. So I've been neglecting serious pistol work lately.

Hearing stories like that are encouraging. It lets me know whats possible if I do my part. Gives me something to work towards. Good shot, man. My hats off to you. I'd be lieing if I told a story like that. Best I can do is one shot .429" groups at 100!;) :confused:
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You two guys should be writin books or something. Yeah, you make perfect sense.

< I think if you'll think back to your best performances on the range, it was most likely when you were relaxed, and letting yourself have some quiet, pleasurable fun, and NOT when you were "bearing down." Am I right? >

This is correct. On my best days its almost like its a spectator sport, and I'M the spectator. I'm just watchin...seein what happens. I'm jus holding a pistol while I watch is all. When it goes good, I was right there and hopefully notice little things that were in place that allowed it to happen. I agree its more of a letting go than a bearing down. May sound a little twilight zone to some but its real and it works.

<Most fellows could shoot 100,000 rds. a year, and never get more than passable, because they just don't notice things, and the reason they don't notice things is because they don't really, really, really WANT to make the shot.>

Most would deny it too I think! I was like that until about 10 yrs ago & realized that even though I was going through a lot of ammo (for me) I wasn't really getting any better. It occured to me that they were just plinking sessions and I wasn't trying to get better. Then I started paying attention and found out I could actually shoot less ammo and get more out of it. Largely just paying closer attention.

<Most guys, when their pennies are on the line, start second-guessing themselves, and telling themselves that they probably won't make the shot.>

I try not to set limitations in my shooting. I go into it lately with the attitude of 'I am the greatest unknown pistol champion and can make the shot"! Others have done it before me so it IS possible. I just have to do my part. I think I should be able to call every shot or its like I just fired into the air without looking. I'm doin pretty good with that, 'looking through the shot'.

<that the only things you really have to do is Tiger the sights and make the sear break when you are sure the sights are alighned.>

Wouldn't that be like sayin that all you gotta do to play the Blues guitar is to hit all the right notes at the right times?:confused: :D

I hear you though, suprise break works on rifles but I dont think it can be correctly applied to pistols. You nudge it when coupled with a good sight picture enough times and learn what you can get away with, within the sphere. Some are calling this compressed suprise break.

<If you don't know or if you can't control the trigger break, you can't shoot a pistol.>

Exactly. I agree completely. Somebody at the door, gotta go...
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Ah, on the contrary BP, Others see it as twilight zone, I see it as a reality. I've made it there a few times and go home feeling like it was spiritual or magical. Its more than just the bullseyes even though thats the goal.

Brian Enos touched on this stuff a little in his book and I've tried to discuss it with some other shooters, who wind up not getting it. Those are the shooters that don't do very well too.

'Going Zen' on demand is what I cant do yet. It happens sometimes. Sometimes it don't. One guy who kinda gets it tells me its probably what I eat the day before I go shooting that affects my system positivly or negativly and allows or disallows me to reach it. Says I should pump up on water for a week before shooting also, that its in the mind but proper diet allows the mind to be properly prepped and functional.

Guy, you don't run on unneccessarily and don't come off as a know it all. A know a hell of a lot maybe!;) So you just get back on that soapbox if it pleases you cause if you still talkin, I'm still listening. I enjoy your stories and theres plenty of tidbits in them that point me the right direction or confirm what I already knew/thought. You and Blackwater are top notch and I appreciate your time & effort to spread your knowledge to me. Life's short and you guys might not be here next year...So talk on. They should give you guys your own forum!

So did you make that dog shot single action? I try to stage the trigger on my RH in DA when shooting at 100yds, and I can do it pretty good but its a small spot where it stages and its easy to pull the shot if I don't get it right. Think thats a waste of time & ammo? I don't, but wondered bout what your thoughts are on the matter...
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I hear ya on the 29 T trigger. My dad sent his 29-2 to my son and I loaded up some reeall light loads for it to let himget used to it and I of course had to try some fast DA work with it and sure enough, it kept pinching my finger.

I used to take niacin when I was on the healt kick thing and its like you can feel your hair growing on your head. I used to flush splotchy red from my head all the way down my chest. Pretty itchy stuff.

Think you could kinda outline the course of fire of one of those matches for me so I can go up and see just how I might fare if I was shootin next to you guys? Distance, power levels, targets, round counts and so forth. Is it all offhand?

My kids are pretty competitive but they dont go with me as much as they used too. Maybe if I brought home some targets they'd be spurred to try an best ol dad and get em up there some more!

Wow, that should keep me busy all summer, all those drills. Thanks. I gotta print that out an start gathering targets.

LMAO at those hippies. Hope they can laugh as hard in remembering it! Doubt it.;)

Boy, the work sure picked up. They workin me day & night lately.
Awright! Guess I don't have to work today. Somehow I thought bein the owner would let me work less an make more. Wrong. Makin more but workin a Lot more. Cant call the shop to say hey this guy needs help an I'm off for the night/weekend. Oh well. Praise the Lord I'm workin at all. Goin into biz in the slow time of the year was scary. But dangit, I got swamped so all is well. Guess the big shops are losing money an layin people off, too much overhead. As I said, Praise the Good Lord.

Interesting! I never read books on how to do stuff, because they never work. I've found that I may screw up a lot more, initially, but if I just "figure it out myself," the process gets me a lot more involved in what's going on, and I notice stuff I'd never notice if I were just following directions
All the how to books ever did for me was to point me in the right direction on somestuff to look for. That was helpful but since they never really say why something works, or that it worked for them but may or may not work for me cause I aint them, all it they are is a general pointer book. You & BP's writings are in the same catagory for me cause I read it and have yet to go do it thru work & snow. Every little bit helps if you pay attention. I get so much more out of less shooting lately that I know I'm on the right track. Jus gotta get out & practice more.

Only the guitar takes a LOT of finger dexterity that I apparently just don't have.
Me either. Good thing shooting is easier than playin guitar.

Interesting! I never read books on how to do stuff, because they never work. I've found that I may screw up a lot more, initially,
Thats cause you wrote / are writing the book, friend. When people are really good, they pick up where others left off and add some more chapters to the world archives. Thats you & BP. Guys like me with a will to do better, read your guys stuff and get a glean of what works, a little from each author, and keep what works for us and stop there, or get really good and take it further enough to write a couple chapters later on. Dunno where I'll wind up but I figure one thing, if I set my goal at an 'A', I'll get to C or B- maybe. (life just works that way). If I set out to be better than A class, world master, I may get to 'A'. With a little luck, I'll go zen with it and notice something no one else noticed before and tip myself into the awe inspiring class like you guys. Then maybe I can write a chapter or three.

4. "... but when you get to the point where your sear breaks when you think fire, you have arrived where all good pistol shooters must get to in order to be able to shoot well."
Sometimes I think I'm almost to this point. It aint like riding a bike though. Compressed (time) suprise break.

For fine, precise shooting, that means it has to be light, and maybe even more important than how light it is, within reason, it has to break EVERY TIME at the same exact pressure
This is interesting. All my guns have factory triggers and springs. Dunno if I could appreciate a fine trigger or not as I've never shot one. Well, I shot a guys rifle once that had a fine trigger. It seemed too light to me and I was happy to return to my factory trigger. But a pistol it wasn't so I really don't know bout that. I'm at the top of the ladder amongst the shooters I know personally so probably wont get the chance to experiance a good trigger to any degree unless I take the plunge and buy it myself. And what if I dont like it? Money down the crapper. I need a good weekend shooting a good trigger to be able to digest the potential gain for myself if I wanted to go to the next level with it or not. I likely would since good triggers on pistols are heavier than good triggers on rifles. IIRC, that guys rifle trigger was 1-1/2 lbs. I just barely started to think bout the press and bang. it was so barely that I think it was really a unintentional discharge...

Aww. Buddies furnace is out so I guess I am working today. More later..:ar15:
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Oh I'd never cut any springs. Decided that long ago when Some guy cut his and was all excited about it and then it wouldnt fire. I never was a parts changer either. Lots of them guys go too far I think in their pursuit of race guns. If a guy cant use his gun for defense cause its too tight or too light, what good is it? Most I ever did was to polish the trigger & disconnector on my Colt, or change sights & grips.

10 Bucks is a cheap experiment though. I think I'll try a new spring kit like you suggested and see if it makes a difference. I like to practic DA so it may just help me out. I'll let you all know how it turns out.

I know what you mean about the slow motion under stress. I had a very close call once with my wife when we lived in Columbus. Two guys followed us off the bus and tried to get us to play their little three card monty game and were about to strong arm us but luckily I had my 45 that day and as the one guy was slow shuffling towards me from about two or three feet I kept giving ground, backing up, assessing the situation, until I felt him about to sucker punch me and I guess that was the straw cause suddenly everything went slow on me and a very focused yet perriphrial (?) vision set in (I could see him, his buddy, my wife, the tree branches blowing, the people in the background, the cars, everything, in total detail and at once) and I decided to act, I backstepped off the curb and swept my jacket back and grasped my pistol, but before I could even draw it, I seen the one guy 'fall' to the ground and his buddy brought his empty hands up and started to backpedal so I didnt even pull it. They assured me that 'we all friends here' and 'why you so uptight?' and started to leave. I got my pregnant wife by the arm and started us up the street at a fast pace in another direction. About a half block away I started shaking real bad and that lasted for about 20 minutes. My wife wanted to know why I was shaking. She didnt pick up on what was going on! We had a talk about that.

I practice fast draw from concealment, always have. As quick as I can draw, there was no way I could've seen all that I did in the middle of a draw sequence and decide not to act. Something happened and I had no clue what. The world did not slow down so I came to the conclusion that my mind speeded up giving the slow motion effect. I thought about that alot and eventually read about the phenomenon and thats exactly what happened. My Colt paid for itself that day and never left the holster. My heart rate is up just recounting the event.:eek:
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Maybe if I could get to go shoot! The mountains are snowed over and I keep having to work every weekend. At least the ammo is stacking up instead for after the thaw.

Man,thats a prettty scary story there BP. I dont think they could pay me enough to be a cop and do a raid like that.

Are Smith triggers hard to adjust for backlash? We got a 29-2 and You got me curious to check it out. I dont hardly ever shoot it prefering to spend time with the RH instead, so I dont even know if it needs it but am still curious.

Thanks for the kind words BW. I been takin it easy on the shooting pros by not ever entering any matches, so's not to wreck the curve!;) but maybe one day I'll quit feeling so kindly and go write some chapters for em'! (the coffee should kick in soon.)

Gotta get ready and go bang some more tin...
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