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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys I'm looking for some advice using W296. I have a 5 1/2" RedHawk and at 25 yards i'm not able to get a group. I have been loading rifle and auto handgun for around fifteen years now but I am new to the magnum handgun stuff. I use Lyman data and data I come across on the forums but i haven't had any luck. powder selection is very limited in my area so I need to be able use what I can find. I have IMR 4227 loads that are running great but its tough to come by. I look forward to any advice you folks can give me.
 

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Whenever I load magnum level jacketed bullets 296/H110 is my powder of choice. I load it exactly as suggested with magnum primers and charge weights from the Hodgdon data. This load has shot very well for me in several 44's. I scoped a 629 once and it was impressively accurate with this load. For magnum level Keith type cast bullets I use 2400 but I have not had or seen any of it in a long time. For 2400 I always use a CCI standard large pistol primer. I have always gotten good accuracy with those too. I long ago backed off a little from the often quoted Elmer Keith 22 grain load because in a completely unscientific way had the impression it was a little to hot for extended use. I know some loaders use 296 with heavy cast loads I just never have.

I used these loads in several Super Blackhawks, a 5 1/2 Redhawk, and several S&W 29/629's with good results.
 

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In most of my revolvers I have found that near max loads with H110 and 296 are the most accurate. A good Crimp I feel is also important. Go the Hogdon/ Winchester site and look at loads there. If you are willing to pay the yearly renewal Load Data .com is awesome. Good luck
 

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RedHawker44, I totally agree with the other two above members ... it's pretty hard to beat W-296 or its twin H-110 for full power loads. I have tested virtually every brand of slow burning magnum powders and found Lil'Gun, IMR 4227, and 2400 all work OK but W-296/H-110 work better. Here's why: W-296/H-110 takes about 15" of bullet travel to totally burn up. That means in a revolver with shorter barrel, some of the powder doesn't burn in the barrel but does produce a huge muzzle flash .... a drawback of all slow burning powders. The good news is .... this process acts much like a "regulator" where each bullet will chronograph nearly identical ... even if the powder charge varies a little. It is not unusual for H-110/W-296 loads to chronograph with a max velocity spread of 10 fps in a 10 shot string. Most other powders will have a max velocity spread of 50~100 fps .... maybe more.

W-296 and H-110 are not without flaws ... they REQUIRE a magnum primer for positive ignition ... especially at colder temperatures. They also don't deal well with light loads where squibs can happen. So ... if you stay within the limits of the reloading manuals, accuracy is typically excellent ... even better at the higher end of the charts. I use 240gr Hornady XTPs for most loads but I also use 180gr JHPs for high velocity loads. Both are very accurate in my Colt Anaconda and my Ruger Super Blackhawk.

If you want accurate loads that are NOT at magnum velocities (typically 1400+ fps with a 240gr bullet), H-110 or W-296 are not a good choice. You can drop down to 1200 fps with Blue Dot or HS-6 and still get accurate results. You can get excellent accuracy with Unique at about 1000 fps. I guess the point of my post is .... for full magnum velocities, H-110/W-296 would be the best choice. Don't try to reduce powder charges for these two powders and don't try to get magnum velocities with faster burning powders.
 

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From my experience, W296/H110 also require a firm consistent crimp for best consistent accuracy. Too light a crimp or inconsistent case length resulting in varied amount of crimp results in lessened accuracy.
 

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23.8 grains (as per Nosler's manuals) of 296 ignited with a magnum primer (haven't found the brand makes any difference) pushing a Nosler 240 gr JHP has been our hunting load of choice since the late 60's .... in our Redhawk with 7.5" barrel it has proven to be accurate and effective .... in fact, we wouldn't be comfortable hunting with any other load
 

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As others have already said, W296/H110 are best when loaded to higher velocities (pressures); I've never been satisfied with accuracy when I've tried to use H110 at "moderate" velocities.



Jim
 

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You have already gotten much advise on W296. I do not load 44 Remington Magnum. I have noticed that of all the reloading data online, there is little or no data on lead bullets with 296. I do not know if you are loading cast bullets or not. I have an old Winchester reloading data booklet. It is dated 6/79. I probably got it in the late 80's. It lists data for lead bullets and W296. I have not tested this load and I do not know if it is what you need or not. I have used W296 and 158 grain 357 magnum SWC with good success, especially with Hi-Tec coated bullets. :D

The booklet lists: 44 Remington Magnum 240 grain LSWC over 25.0 grains of Winchester 296 with a velocity of 1560 fps. No barrel length is listed.

The booklet states to load exactly as listed. I know that later data information lists some variance in the powder weight of loads, but the old data from Winchester did not.
 

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I agree that W296 is not an ideal powder for lead bullets. Hard cast bullets such as those from Missouri Bullet, ACME and many other suppliers have a hardness of 16 to 18 according to their sites. They can be pushed to higher velocities without leading. Then there are the Hi-Tec coated bullets. There is little "real" info on loads and velocity for them. It will be difficult to do because the Hi-Tec coating is different or is applied differently by the respective manufactures. I have read that many loaders are pushing them to full magnum velocity with slow powders without leading.
I have used the W296 with Hi-Tec coated bullets for the simple reason I have almost two pounds of it and now use 300MP for jacketed bullets at max loads. The load I am using is listed on the Winchester booklet as just a little more than 2 grains less than the load listed for a JHP or JSP bullet, but gives almost the same velocity. Good accuracy, no lead and so far no problems. Hard cast lead, un-coated, gets Accurate #9.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey thanks folks. I'm gathering that I need a better than good crimp any suggestions on a crimp die? I have used lee factory crimp dies for rifle rounds. Are they just as good for the roll crimp on a pistol round?
 

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RedHawker44, There's nothing magic about crimp dies. The key to crimping is all about adjustment. If you adjust them according to the instructions, virtually any brand will work, Lee FCD included. As a side note, if you use jacketed bullets and try to over crimp, chances are you will cause the case to expand and actually end up with less case mouth tension. With lead bullets, you can over crimp and the case mouth will bite into the lead without expanding the case.
 

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Over crimping with a FCD, taper style crimp, in a lead or plated bullet will actually loosen the bullet, not tighten it. I had read of this so I did some testing to prove this to myself and then looked up why. What I read was that the brass case has 'springback' where it will partially return to it's previous state while lead doesn't, it tends to displace. The difference between 'springback' of the brass and displacement of the lead is what loosens the bullet. I was able to over crimp the a couple of test 40 cal bullets so much that I could pull the bullet out of the case easily with just my fingers.
 

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I agree, especially when using a taper crimp. I found when loading 45 ACP cases with R-P headstamp I was not able to get a proper crimp. I resolved the problem by running the cases through a taper crimp die before I ran them through the expander die. When I seated the bullet in the case I ran them through a taper crimp die again adjusted for just enough tension to secure the bullet. I use to different crimp dies.
The only time I use a heavy crimp is when I use a rolled crimp with a seating die and JHP bullets on rimmed cases such as a 45 LC or 357 Mag.
 

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You have already gotten much advise on W296. I do not load 44 Remington Magnum. I have noticed that of all the reloading data online, there is little or no data on lead bullets with 296. I do not know if you are loading cast bullets or not. I have an old Winchester reloading data booklet. It is dated 6/79. I probably got it in the late 80's. It lists data for lead bullets and W296. I have not tested this load and I do not know if it is what you need or not. I have used W296 and 158 grain 357 magnum SWC with good success, especially with Hi-Tec coated bullets. :D

The booklet lists: 44 Remington Magnum 240 grain LSWC over 25.0 grains of Winchester 296 with a velocity of 1560 fps. No barrel length is listed.

The booklet states to load exactly as listed. I know that later data information lists some variance in the powder weight of loads, but the old data from Winchester did not.
I load Keith style 240gr SWC with very nearly this charge of H110/W296 and

results are spectacular with little to no leading. In 25 shot string, velocity

spread was about 30fps (1510-1540fps), and got 5 out of 6 shots touching

at 25 yards.

And of course the BOOM and muzzle flash are impressive.

Crimp is extremely important. I recommend using Lee 4-die carbide set

so a firm full roll crimp can be applied as a separate stage.

I'll often run reloads through the crimp die a second time to better ensure

consistency. Loading 44 magnum is a blast (pun intended) and my Ruger

Super Red Hawk 7 1/2" gets a lot of attention when lighting off those

heavy hard cast bullets backed up by healthy dose of H110.
 

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Another good powder choice for jacketed bullets is AA #9.

I've been getting decent results using it with 240gr XTP,

good enough to warrant spending more time developing the load.
 
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