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Hello every one. I'm new on here, have had Rugers for a long time and in many calibers. My latest is the 4 5/8 inch Flat Top Blackhawk. Just got it late last week.
I've been through quite a few loads with it, mostly looking to make a good, every day packing around the ranch load. Might shoot anything from porcupines and jack rabbits to deer. I have not settled on anything yet, but most promising so far is the 7.0 Unique and 240 SWC and JSP load.
I have on hand some Titegroup, 2400, Unique, IMR 4227, and Bullseye. Bullets I have are 240 Oregon Trail SWC's, 240 XTP's, and 200 XTP's. What are some of your favorite loads with these components?
 

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Congratulations & enjoy.
Post up a pic. if you can, we enjoy pics. of fine handguns.
 

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What are some of your favorite loads with these components?
7.5g of Unique/Universal under 240g SWC bullet for 1033fps. The Skeeter load. This is my 'everyday' load.

I've not found many loads that were not accurate with my Ruger .44Spec revolvers. I have 3. I don't shoot jacketed bullets in mine. Following velocities are from a 5 1/2" barrel Ruger .44Spec flattop.

Here are the loads I use in the powders you mentioned.

5.5g __Titegroup, 240g SWC, CCI-300, 917fps
5.5g __Bullseye, 240g SWC, CCI-300, 893fps
17.5g IMR 4227, 240g SWC, CCI-350, 1047fps
17.0g ____2400, 240g SWC, CCI-300, 1246fps (Keith load)

These loads I use in my revolvers, YMMV. Please research before using and use your own judgement.

Congrats on your new revolver! I know I enjoy mine.
 

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If you are loading to .44Spcl levels, Unique at 6.5-7.0gr will do the trick, maybe 7.5gr. Speer lists 11.5gr for a 240 jacketed, which nets less velocity than the Unique load.
 

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I've had great luck with all three of my Ruger .44 Specials using Hornady's 200 gr XTP over 7.2 gr of HP38 or Winchester 231(a max load from the Hodgen Data Site), giving a chrono'd 925 fps..this combination gives me groups of 1.5" at 25 yds. For Lead alloy, 6.5 gr of the same powders or 7.5 gr of Unique groups equally well and chrono's virtually the same.

As always, these are my loads, safe and accurate in my guns...check a good manual, look for pressure signs and work up slowly for your efforts. Best Regards, Rod
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you for the suggestions.

I tried the Bullseye today and 5.5 shot a nice, little 1.3" group with the 240 gr. Oregon Trail SWC's. Wow, love it.

The Unique won't seem to shoot as well for me at about 2.5" groups, which aren't too shabby, but not up to the Bullseye load.

I seem to be dragging lead down my barrel unfortunately. Starts about where the threads are in the frame, just ahead of the forcing cone. I did get it out, but it was a pain in the rear end. Might try to fire lap this gun as it seems that it is constricted at the threads.
Anyone else have this problem?

This is one nice little revolver. Packed it all day today again.

Thanks for the load sharing and help. Good place to visit.
 

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As to the leading issue, you might try jacketed bullets for a box or two...it helped my SS Talo model...I cleaned with JB Bore Paste every 25 rounds or so...it no longer leads with my standard loads...ie. 7.5 gr of Unique or 6.5 gr of HP38 or Win 231 and a decent LSWC. I've come to like Missouri Bullets offerings very much...good hardness (either 12 or 18 Brinnell) depending on your intended velocities. Their 240 gr LSWC in 12 Brinnell hardness is a favorite. BTW, less than 7.5 gr of Unique has never worked well for me with a 240 gr LSWC...HTH's Rod
 

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As to the leading issue, you might try jacketed bullets for a box or two...it helped my SS Talo model...I cleaned with JB Bore Paste every 25 rounds or so...it no longer leads with my standard loads..
I have done this with the Rugers I have owned. It's a conservative and slower approach than fire lapping, but in handgun applications, it doesn't really take very long to complete the task. Over the last few years I've used Trail Boss with a bullet with a lot of bearing surface. The 300gr Sierra is a champ for that.

I start with cleaning the new barrel with JB on a tight patch, until the snags feel better, then shoot a few cylinders of jacketed bullets. Clean to the metal, and shoot the cast or swaged stuff until leading shows up. Remove the lead with JB or Remington 40X, and go for another series. Track the progress and you'll see that leading drops off quickly, and soon even a hundred rounds will demonstrate acceptable leading.

"Acceptable" is an important point though. Reading through several decades of Handloader, and miles of different forum comments, leading is a combination of lots of factors. Myself, I'm not about to re-cut the forcing cone on a pair of BH/SBH revolvers than can consistently tumble a bowling pin at 100yds, in the hopes it might reduce the tendency to lead up after a hundred rounds. Part of the solution is to select components that minimize the effect, and load to velocity levels that cooperate with the combination.
 

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Funny thing is, that is exactly how I cleaned it last night. Went and shot some JSP's afterward and cleaned again. Will shoot more lead next chance I get.

The leading showed up in two cylinders full. I tried two different speeds with Bullseye, Unique, and up to 17 grains of 2400. All seem to do the same thing.

I will keep up this routine like you folks suggest. Thanks for the help.
 

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I can help you. I like to do lots of incremental test loads in my spare time, and I don't mind trying stuff that's unfamiliar to most folks, as I've found some treasures over the years. I never overlook Red and Green Dot powders when working with pistol loads, as they are often very nice.

My favorite load with 240 grain cast lead flat nose bullets has been 4.6 grains of Red Dot. These shoot consistently into 1-3/4" at 25 yards from a sand bag, and is a fun load you can shoot all day.

Green Dot didn't work out with this caliber.

If you're looking for maximum velocity loads, my best thus far with lead bullets has been 7.5 grains of Alliant Power Pistol, which groups with the same bullets into beautiful, 1-1/2" groups at 25 yards. This powder exhibited tendencies to open and close groups considerably with variations of just .2 tenths of a grain, as wide as 4-1/2". Further up the ladder, it shot nicely with 8.3 grains, giving me a closely clustered 2" group. Use only standard primers.

Now, if you want the ultimate load, try HS-6 with Hornady 265 grain flat points. In my Vaquero with cowboy sights, it shoots 3/4", 6 shot groups at 25 yards with 6.5 grains. That's rifle country. The 6.5 grain load is running about 765 fps. It opened up with successive increments but closed back down to 1-5/8" when I got to 8.5 grains, which is a very mighty, but comfortable shooting load that's in the 1,000 fps club that I'd take bear hunting any day. That lighter load is sure one weird looking (and expensive) match load, but I've never fired anything more accurate from a six shooter. Come to think, I'd have to dig deep to find anything that shot like that load.

I know I'm heretical, but other powders I have used were so-so, including the legendary Skeeter Skelton load. The Elmer Keith load with 2400 is barking up .44 Mag trees and is OK if you want deer loads, but it seems rather out of place in the Vaquero to me and is certainly on the wild side in such a light gun.

All these loads used Federal #150 primers, and W-W cases and all groups were six shots.

It goes without saying that all cautions apply, and be sure to consult powder manufacturer data before using any of these loads.
 

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You might want to try a lower BHN bullet than the 'hard' LaserCast. Mine come from Rimrock and have a hardness of 15 BHN. These have worked from 800fps to 1200fps (actually 1300fps in .44Mag) . I haven't seen any heavy leading in all of mine, so haven't worried about. If that doesn't work firelapping is not a bad option in my opinion. Worked on a .357, and two .45 Colt Rugers that had constrictions.
 

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My favorite load with 240 grain cast lead flat nose bullets has been 4.6 grains of Red Dot.

All these loads used Federal #150 primers, and W-W cases and all groups were six shots.
I like RD for swaged and cast bullets at medium velocities. Very similar to Bullseye, and it's my favorite powder for light 12ga clay bird loads. I always have a 4lb canister on hand.

The primers are worth a comment though. For ages I never stocked anything but WLP's, but I think they are a bit hot with RD/GD and pressures are erratic. I found that CCI 300's produced more consistant velocity, without the occassional severely flattened primer.
 

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I like RD for swaged and cast bullets at medium velocities. Very similar to Bullseye, and it's my favorite powder for light 12ga clay bird loads. I always have a 4lb canister on hand.

The primers are worth a comment though. For ages I never stocked anything but WLP's, but I think they are a bit hot with RD/GD and pressures are erratic. I found that CCI 300's produced more consistant velocity, without the occassional severely flattened primer.



Sir, the standard protocol demands that only components used in testing be mentioned. Any other primers or changes are entirely speculative and may exhibit entirely different pressures. It would be very imprudent to suggest direct substitution of components, and I do not concur with your comments.

I am not at liberty to speculate concerning components other than the ones I tested, and I make no other suggestions. The loads I listed are exactly as I tested.

I specified the results of my testing, which I considered quite stellar, given my experience, and those results were achieved with the Federal primers I indicated, and no other results can be interpolated or presumed without working up loads from an established safe starting point.

I quite disagree with your suggestion that one primer is necessarily more or less consistent than another, and do not concur that CCI necessarily produce more consistent velocities with the .44 Special or any other caliber. They may or may not, given the vast variables, and it would be quite unfair to suggest that everyone, should for the sake of consistency, go with CCI. I have used every brand of primer on the market, and have worked up loads with each independently. Every one has given me outstanding results with the many dozens of calibers I've loaded for well over 40 years. Certain primers seem to occupy a niche in the game with one caliber or another, but even then, that becomes elusive under direct examination, as any munitions lab will attest. I have seen all manner of primers used in bench rest circles, and they've all had their winning and losing days.

Now, as to the experience you have on occasion with flattened primers, and to suggest that one primer flattens more than another because of itself is utterly incongruous. Primers do not flatten in a vacuum. Loads, being an admix of all components and variables of seating depths, cause them to flatten. That's quite a different matter, entirely.

There are many handloaders that get a mistaken impression of flattened primers, as if it's benign. I see that on this site and others. They run up loads until primers flatten and apparently believe that's a good place to begin setting up the powder dispenser to load ammo cans. That's a real recipe for disaster, particularly with handguns. There is a mechanical process involved in the flattening that shows why it should not be taken lightly.

Primers don't stay put on firing. They migrate out of and back into the case by the difference between cartridge length and headspace length. First, the cartridge is driven forward by the firing pin until forward movement is arrested. The primer is detonated and backs out of the primer pocket. The case expands to grasp the chamber walls, except at the rear, where the brass is hard. In rifles, the case stretches at the web and the head backs over the primer, reseating it. In straight walled handguns, the lower operating pressures permit the entire case to slide back over the primer. Flattening and sticking of the action occurs simultaneously when pressure exceeds specifications and the case stretches at the web, forcing the head back violently against the primer cup, distorting it. When the web stretches too far, the action of a rifle will lock up, typically many psi before trouble. Handguns don't have that wide safety valve margin. They blow up without warning. I've seen it and it's a horror show that has the potential for fatal or crippling consequences, and the gun is gonzo, for the trash.

There is a very narrow threshold between a sticking handgun action, flattened primers and disaster, especially with quick burning pistol and shotgun powders that are greatly affected by small changes of components when they are near peak loads.

Hornady has a particularly good explanation of this phenomenon that all handloaders should be aware of, as well as other measurements that contribute together as warning signs. I highly recommend that reading.
 

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Mine likes 6.8 grains of Unique under a 200 grn XTP. I got some cast bullets but it needs to break in first. Been using CCI 300 primers and Win. brass.
 
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