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Discussion Starter #1
New to reloading I have a redhawk 7.5 barrel what would be a good reduced load for just plinking and target shooting?Something I can get bullets local..thanks
 

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Since I don't have a clue as to what/where your local bullet supply is...lets start with cast lead bullets . For plinking, tin cans and targets I like the LEE 429-214-SWC over 8.0 grains Unique powder .
If that seems to be be too much cut the charge back to 7.5 grains of Unique , this load is also a good accurate one .
Gary
 

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New to reloading?
You need at least several current reloading manuals.
For example...Speer, Lyman, Hornady for load data.
And read the opening sections.
Or online load data from bullet and/or powder manufacturer sites.

Beware of anonymous internet load data.
Some is okay, others can get you in trouble you do not need.
 

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In a .44 Magnum case, 8.5g of Unique (or Universal, or 20/28) under 240g SWC make for a good load. This duplicates the .44 Special Skeeter load. I've also loaded 7.0g-8.0g of Unique as well for even lighter loads under same bullet. That's one of the great things about reloading, is you can load from light to hot all in the same cartridge. As said above, make sure you pick up plenty of reading material. Never have to much. Always, try to have at least two sources of load information so you can make a good judgement call.
 

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You didnt pick a bullet weight Most common is 240. As earlier stated about 8 gr of Unique. Or start at the top of 44 special for any bullet weight.
 

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I’ll second 8.5 of Unique under a 240 SWC, it’s manageable
 

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For a really reduced plinking load to shoot in your .44 Mag, I'd recommend using .44 Spl cases and 200 gr cast bullets with a powder such as W231/HP-38. AA #2, or Alliant Unique.

I have been experimenting with greatly reduced .44 Mag jacketed bullet loads (240 gr JHP) in my Marlin 1894. My goal is to keep MVs around or below 1100 fps. It can be difficult to obtain consistant velocities with small charges of fast burning powder in such a large case. Poly fiber fillers between the bullet and powder have been working for my loads.
 

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When I started, I only had a Lyman's manual. Some of the generic loads worked well enough for .38 special plated or coated bullets, but magnums scared me.

Now I have more books, to match the bullets I can buy. I'd start with a proven load for a proven bullet before you branch out into approximations for bullets you don't know well. I don't load for .44, but with .357 you can still get into trouble fast. I'd been happy with Hornady's offerings for .357 Magnum, so I bought their loading book for their XTP hollowpoints. Ended up with a bullet I can use in a .357 or a .38 +p round.

As others have said, the .44 special is a forgiving round and, like my .38s, there are many options from mild to nearly wild (that's how Elmer Keith ventured into Magnum territory in the first place).

I'll have a .44 SA one day, myself, and maybe a lever gun to match. So let's hear about how it works out for you. So enjoy, be safe, and send us photos.
 

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OP, I assume you want reduced recoil?

Energy = 0.5 * Mass * Velocity * Velocity

Changes to Velocity (squared) reduces recoil faster reducing bullet weight.
Reducing the velocity is done by reducing the pressure.
Lower pressures require soft cast lead, i.e. lower Brinell Hardness Number

44 Special, IMR Red, 2.81 lb Ruger Vaquero

; Recoil foot-pounds with Mass changes at maximum pressure
6.29 lbs = 240 grains, FPS=886, CUP=13,800, BHN=7.5
5.73 lbs = 200 grains, FPS=993, CUP=13,800, BHN=7.5
4.93 lbs = 165 grains, FPS=1093, CUP=13,800, BHN=7.5

; Recoil foot-pounds with Velocity changes at minimum pressure
5.28 lbs = 240 grains, FPS=815, CUP=10,500, BHN=5.7
4.18 lbs = 200 grains, FPS=855, CUP=9,300, BHN=5.1
2.62 lbs = 165 grains, FPS=809, CUP=6,400 BHN=3.5

Cowboy shooters use low pressure, low velocity loads.
The side effects are blow-by from insufficient chamber sealing, and leading when too-hard lead is used.

Many cowboys use Trail Boss powder for low pressure loads because TB is fluffy and fills more of the cartridge.
44 Magnum cartridges are less desirable for light loads, because of more empty space in the larger cartridge.
The same holds true for 357 Magnum vs 38 Special cartridges.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the help I have a bunch of books and doing a lot of reading.I shot some 44 special but that really made a mess in the cyl.
 

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Again, 44 mag case, a quick/moderate burning powder start at the top of 44 Special load level. I use 8 to 8.5 of Unique or actual beginning load of Cfe Pistol for 44 mag. Those loads w a 240 gr pill will be 900 to 1100 fos.
 

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Has anybody seen an Alliant guide that publishes pressure?

Their online guide has no pressure, either Min or Max loads.
 

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Have you ever reloaded before? If not, I suggest sticking with a 240 gr jacketed bullet from a reputable manufacturer. jacketed bullets are much easier to have success with from inexperienced reloaders than lead, especially since one does not have to worry about bullet fit to bore/throats and jacketed bullets are more forgiving when it comes to crimp. While the bullets cost more, good accuracy is generally easier to obtain from random jacketed than random lead. What you spend extra for a few hundred jacketed bullets may well be worth the lessened disappointment and headaches one can have with lead, since Rugers are notorious for differences in throat sizes.

Once you have slugged your bore and throats, understand the reloading process and have had good success with jacketed, then moving on to lead may be for you. JMTCs.
 

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Since I don't have a clue as to what/where your local bullet supply is...lets start with cast lead bullets . For plinking, tin cans and targets I like the LEE 429-214-SWC over 8.0 grains Unique powder .
If that seems to be be too much cut the charge back to 7.5 grains of Unique , this load is also a good accurate one .
Gary
That 214 gr Lee with mid loads is my most accurate bullet in all three of my .44's. :D
 

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I use 9.0 gr of Universal under a 240 gr lead swc for a light magnum load. Very controllable but still has some guts. For everyday use I use the same bullet with 5.6 gr of W231 in a .44 Special case. It has a very mild recoil and is dead nuts accurate in my .44 Blackhawk Hunter and Taurus Tracker. 12 gr of Blue Dot with a 240 gr jacketed bullet makes a good mid range magnum load as well.
 

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I have a reduced load I use in my 8&3/8's model 29 smith. I use an 240 hornady xtp over the bottom charge of h110 or w296 what the hornady manual states with good accuracy, and less recoil but still a magnum load. I find that more enjoyable, and less punishing on the gun for target practice. I can't tell you the last time I loaded a higher end load for my 44 magnum. I really have no need too. If I need more power I have some high end 45 colts for my 454 alaskan, and of course 454 casull rounds. If that doesn't do It, I grab my desert eagle 50 ae with 300 grain speer deep curl bonded. All use w296 or h110. Another good powder for the 44 is imr 4227, have used it. I do have some 44 specials with the 240 extreme flat point and w231, just don't shoot 44spcl much. I have loaded some 240 flat points over the bottom charge of h110 with no issues noted.
 

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If you want a super lite plinking load, try 5.5 grains of WW231 under a 200 gr. Lead bullet (that's with a 44 mag case, not a Special). I've shot a lot of these and out of some .44's they are extremrly accurate. I've used the same load under a 190 gr. Lead wadcutter bullet as well. To be honest, they're a bit boring to shoot! Without checking, I believe the max load for the same 200 gr. bullet is 11.0 of 231 but check that before you load, my memory isn't what it used to be! Generally, I'll load from the lightest to max in .5 grain increments when testing accuracy using the 231. If I remember correctly, my Vaqureo likes 6.5 gr. for accuracy work. I always load a few of the boomers to impress the girls and newbies but generally, I want the most accurate load I can get.
Cheers,
crkckr
 

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This is an old topic that come up now and again. Here is a link to 2010 on the exact issue.
RugerForum.com ? View topic - 44 mag loads w/Unique powder

I like Unique powder and the article talks about 10.7-11.5 grains in the reloading books. I have used the John Taffin load of 10.0 grains behind a 240 grain that I cast. It also works great with the Berry bullets I buy at Cabela's.

Ten grains of Unique is supposed to give 1,000 fps which equals to 533 foot pounds. In my 2.5 inch, 4 inch barrel, and Ruger 5.5 inch it is a ***** cat to shoot. Actually feels less to me than a standard 1911 in 45 acp. It is fine for hunting small game at reasonable ranges and plenty for any self defense issues.

By reference, the white box 240 grain factory ammo, PMC and Remington all go about 1,250 fps from my 4 inch which is about 833 foot pounds. So it is only about 65% of a full power load. Actually the premium ammo gets well over 1,000 foot pounds so it is only 50% of so of the really hot stuff.

If you drop back to the plinking or 44 special level loads say 8.5 grains of unique you lose a lot of velocity so you cannot really shoot at coyotes or game reliably because at those low speeds you drop like 18 inches at 100 yards. If you are just shooting paper or cans up close it would not matter.

If you reload I might also suggest you consider loading round ball loads. You can buy .433 round balls for muzzle loading rifles or mold them as I do. They weigh about 140 grains each and I load 2 of them for 280 grains in front of that 10.0 grains of unique. In my 2.5 inch barrel they spread vertically about 8 inches at 25 yards. Pretty fun for plinking because that spread increases your odds of hitting. They are great on 8 inch falling plates. People at the range often are surprised at how I seldom miss one. Sometimes I tell them I am shooting 2 balls, sometimes not. Enjoy.

I tried the lighter loads but if I am looking for zero recoil I just go to my Single Six. Just seems like a waste to shoot the wimpy loads in such a big gun. Except, they are great for kids who may be afraid of the noise and recoil. Enjoy.
 
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