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  1. #1
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    .44 Magnum Loads

    Does anyone have a "reduced" load recipe for a .44 Magnum? (That they have used SUCESSFULLY)

    Basically I am looking for a reduced load for a first time shooter of the .44 and something I can use for practice,
    The only thing that I have found is to reduce H110 or W296 by 3% MAX.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Rory McCanuck's Avatar
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    Unique would be a great powder to try.
    Just lower the load until you get the recoil you want.
    Once you get down to really light loads, it will burn a bit dirty and throw some unburnt powder out, but that doesn't hurt anything.

    Any particular bullet you intend to use?

  3. #3
    Moderator kennymo's Avatar
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    What about using 44 Special cases? You should be able to tune them down a hair more with the reduced case capacity no?

  4. #4
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    Not sure how much you intend to reduce the loads (marginally or a LOT), but I load hot and cool loads for my revolvers. I compare .44 special and .44 magnum loads. Look at the ideal powders for the special loads, and you'll find some less than ideal magnum loads listed for them (that is, loads that reach pressure before providing full velocity values for the cartridge). I just extrapolate between the values, bumping up the .44 special loads by a bit to accommodate for the slightly longer .44 mag case (I don't use "special" cases at all).

    For example, from Hodgdon's website, for a .44 Special 240gr LSWC bullet load, using HP-38 (Win 231):


    Hodgdon
    HP-38
    .430"
    1.450"

    4.2
    717
    8,400 CUP

    5.2
    858
    13,200 CUP

    Same bullet and powder in a .44 mag load:

    Winchester
    231
    .429"
    1.600"

    8.0
    1,021
    23,800 CUP

    11.0
    1,272
    37,800 CUP
    Hodgdon
    HP-38
    .430"
    1.620"

    5.5
    800
    12,000 CUP

    11.0
    1,334
    38,100 CUP

    So you see, the max load for the special is listed as 5.2 grains of powder... But you're using a magnum, which is built for higher pressure, so just raise the pressure by increasing the powder, and lo-and-behold, you find yourself in the magnum loads simply by having increased the amount of powder. The full range becomes available to you, though, as with any load, care should be taken to avoid jumping immediately to the extreme loads at both ends of the scale.

    EDIT: Sorry about the formatting, looked nice and pretty in the reply box until I hit submit... Basically looking at between 4.2-5.2 gr. of powder for the 'special' loads, and 5.5-11.0 gr. of powder for the magnum loads, same bullet.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Rory McCanuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kennymo View Post
    What about using 44 Special cases? You should be able to tune them down a hair more with the reduced case capacity no?
    Using the larger case just lowers the pressure a bit, no real need to use the shorter cases.
    I went down as far as a 25acp caseful,4.4gr(I think) of Unique, pushing a lead roundball out of the 444.
    Felt more like a spring pushing it than a gun going off!
    There couldn't have been very much pressure.
    Just make sure there's a hole in the paper before setting off another one

  6. #6
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    Not sure how much you intend to reduce the loads (marginally or a LOT),
    When I take someone to the range to shoot , and they want to shoot my .44, I was looking for a less powerful round. For example, when someone is new to shooting my 357Magnum, I usually will run .38 special rounds first before reloading it with the Magnum rounds. I am basically looking for an equivalent.

    Thanks for the info, I never thought of working up from a 44 Special.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ROADGLIDE45 View Post
    When I take someone to the range to shoot , and they want to shoot my .44, I was looking for a less powerful round. For example, when someone is new to shooting my 357Magnum, I usually will run .38 special rounds first before reloading it with the Magnum rounds. I am basically looking for an equivalent.

    Thanks for the info, I never thought of working up from a 44 Special.
    Then the above should work for you great, just make sure you're working with a powder that takes kindly to being downloaded or uploaded as the case may be. W231/HP-38 (cool) and W296/H110 (hot) or alternatively Unique (cool) and 2400 (hot) have been my go-to powders for accomplishing exactly what you're looking for in my .357 and .44 loads. .38 special+P and .44 special+P loads will probably put you squarely where you want to be with your magnums if, like me and many others, you opt to use magnum brass for all your loads.

  8. #8
    The Gunsmithing Moderator blacksmithden's Avatar
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    7 grains of Unique under a 240 grain round nose or semi wad cutter is a pretty decent load. It still has enough punch to it to make it through the OBS target backers, but you'll know right away that it isn't a full pop load.

    If you want to try something really surprising....take the case and fill it with IMR7828 up to the point where the base of the bullet will be just sitting on, but not compressing the powder when seated. Sounds like a 22LR..kicks even less...495 fps. The delay between the time you fire, and the time you hear the bullet bounce off (not go through) the target backer at 50 meters is kind of neat.
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  9. #9
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    Thanks again guys, all I need to do now is find powder!! LOLOLOL

  10. #10
    Senior Member Pizzed's Avatar
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    I can't remember the last time I shot a full power .44!

    I've used Unique, Bullseye and 700x with 240 grain LSWC and the velocities were in the mid 800 fps range.

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