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  #1  
Old 01-05-2013, 08:23 AM
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The Special 44


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Seems like a lot of the new forum members have mentioned that they shoot the 44 special. I, along with lots of members really enjoy shooting and reloading this old cartridge. My everyday load is a 240 gr LRNFP over 5.3 grs of HP38 / WW231. This load produces 825 fps out of a 4 in barrel revolver and 1200 fps out of my Marlin carbine. I shoot a Ruger BH 5.5 in and a Ruger Vaquero 4 5/8 in. What is your favorite bullet, powder and revolver / rifle?
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  #2  
Old 01-05-2013, 08:40 AM
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I've been trying a few loads. 5.5gr. of Green Dot with the Beartooth 240gr. WFN works great, also trying some AA#5 with the Beartooth 280gr. WFN. Don't recall the charge weight on that. Ruger Bisley Flat-Top.
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  #3  
Old 01-05-2013, 08:43 AM
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I have two handguns in this caliber, a 24-3 S&W with 4" bbl, and an old Triple Lock. I have no favorite load for the 24-3. It does well with most every load I have tried, but for the TL, I have tried several different bullets, and a few powders. It does pretty well with Power Pistol behind most 240-260 grain cast SWC's but I just happened to try 5.5 gr 231 under a Dry Creek 240 cast swc (not the 429421, but it isn't the typical BB type bullet that so many cast bullet companies sell either) that shoots right to point of aim, is very mild to use in this old gun, and clusters all the rounds into a ragged hole from offhand at 35'-50'. The load only clocks an average of 625 fps, but that's fine with me, and allows me to shoot and enjoy the TL without fear of undue wear to a gun for which parts are extremely hard to come by now.

This old gun shipped 10-1-1913 and letters as a 5" nickel gun, which were far less common in that length and finish.
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  #4  
Old 01-05-2013, 09:42 AM
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I shoot two. A 696 S & W and a 1976 Colt New Frontier w /7 1/2 in. barrel. Bullet is Lyman 429421 cast out of Lyman #2 alloy over a forgotten....but written in the die box.....charge of Bullseye for the S & W and 7 grs. of Unique for the Colt.
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  #5  
Old 01-05-2013, 09:52 AM
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jodum,

I have a Ruger Super Blackhawk 7.5-inch barrel .44 Magnum that I usually only shoot .44 Specials in. My favorite load is my hard cast Lyman #429421 ahead of 16 grains of 2400.

Webley
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  #6  
Old 01-05-2013, 10:24 AM
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How does that load work for you? Does it burn clean?

I have never used 2400 ...... just curious.
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  #7  
Old 01-05-2013, 11:39 AM
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Ditto on MikeG's question. I use 2400 in my 44 mags but have never tried it in the Special.
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  #8  
Old 01-05-2013, 11:42 AM
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Just got back from shooting about 250 rounds-quick trip the weather is deteriorating. About 100 rounds 44 Special. Used a Ruger New Vaquero 3.75" barrel. The S&W 696 is about the most accurate hand gun I own with almost every load. Shooting WW231 and 200 gr. Lee FNPB today.


My 44 Specials.

Don
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  #9  
Old 01-05-2013, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
How does that load work for you? Does it burn clean?

I have never used 2400 ...... just curious.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jodum
Ditto on MikeG's question. I use 2400 in my 44 mags but have never tried it in the Special.
That is nearing, but not quite at the upper end of what is safe in the .44 Special case (though not what the Blackhawk can handle obviously), and it burns about as clean as any load will with 2400. It is a good load just below max in the 24-3 and 696 too.
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  #10  
Old 01-05-2013, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
How does that load work for you? Does it burn clean?

I have never used 2400 ...... just curious.

Years ago I used it for a while in my 44mag. It made accurate loads. Back then my reasoning was that if it was good enough for Elmer Keith, it was good enough for me. He liked 18gr of it under his 429421 bullet in the 44 special, 22 for 44 mag. I think they smokey compared to 296 but like I said earlier, that was years ago, like 20.
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  #11  
Old 01-05-2013, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taco650 View Post
Years ago I used it for a while in my 44mag. It made accurate loads. Back then my reasoning was that if it was good enough for Elmer Keith, it was good enough for me. He liked 18gr of it under his 429421 bullet in the 44 special, 22 for 44 mag. I think they smokey compared to 296 but like I said earlier, that was years ago, like 20.
Not to pick nits, but EK's charge was 17.5 gr of 2400 back then under that bullet for the 44 Special. Today 2400 has been pressure tested to be slightly faster than it was back then, and now the max recommended charge is 17gr, with 16-16.5 gr being easier on a gun. Just wanted to set that straight before someone who doesn't now any better try's 18 gr. 18 gr may not destroy a modern 44 Special, but it is over pressure, and won't be doing the gun any good.

BTW,
It was 18.5 of 2400 under the 454424 in the 45 Colt.
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  #12  
Old 01-05-2013, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by American Made View Post
Not to pick nits, but EK's charge was 17.5 gr of 2400 back then under that bullet for the 44 Special. Today 2400 has been pressure tested to be slightly faster than it was back then, and now the max recommended charge is 17gr, with 16-16.5 gr being easier on a gun. Just wanted to set that straight before someone who doesn't now any better try's 18 gr. 18 gr may not destroy a modern 44 Special, but it is over pressure, and won't be doing the gun any good.

BTW,
It was 18.5 of 2400 under the 454424 in the 45 Colt.
Actually Elmer has always used 17.0gr of 2400 ever since he started loading modern solid head brass. He even says so in this article that he wrote, it's on pg 25 http://www.elmerkeithshoot.org/GA/19...orite_Load.pdf

Also 2400 is no hotter now than it was when owned by Hercules. Here is a good indepth comparison made between the two using an Oehler M43 Personal Ballistics Laboratory
2400; Hercules vs Alliant
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  #13  
Old 01-05-2013, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 336A View Post
Actually Elmer has always used 17.0gr of 2400 ever since he started loading modern solid head brass. He even says so in this article that he wrote, it's on pg 25 http://www.elmerkeithshoot.org/GA/19...orite_Load.pdf

Also 2400 is no hotter now than it was when owned by Hercules. Here is a good indepth comparison made between the two using an Oehler M43 Personal Ballistics Laboratory
2400; Hercules vs Alliant
Yes, you are correct about the 17 gr charge in modern brass. My apologies for the mistake. Not sure why I added the .5 unless I was thinking ahead to the 45 Colt. (Mmm, I just love the taste of foot in the evening)

As for the 2400 being faster issue-

I'll just say that Brian Pearce has written several times, including not very long ago in Handloader that he has seen the pressure tested data from a major ballistics labratory that shows that 2400 is in fact faster than it used to be, albeit only slightly, but enough so that the 17 grain charge should be reduced to 16-16.5 gr. I have been in on several hot debates on other forums over this with some guys who were claiming it would be a legal nightnmare for a powder company to slightly sped up the burning rate of a power. I say that isn't true if handloader follows the latest published data. As for someone with a M-43........ I know that's a high tech piece of equipment ( and I have owned a 35P for 25 years now, so it's not like I have anything against Oehler), but I'll take the word of a major ballistic lab over one any day.
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  #14  
Old 01-05-2013, 08:54 PM
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14 grains of 2400 and a lyman 429421 runs 1050 ish. Nice load, used in old model three screw converted to 44 spl.
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  #15  
Old 01-06-2013, 10:08 AM
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Elmer changed his load about 1973. Dropped it down to 17.0 from 17.5. I have used both and there is a difference. The 17.5 load picks up a good bit over the 17.0. There was a reason Elmer changed it so I would go with the 17.0 with his 250 gr bullet. Standard primers, not magnum. This is in solid base cases.

2400 works fine in the 44 Special. The only problem is that with the S&W unburned powder can get under the extractor star and cause binding. Never had that problem with other 44 Specials. No big deal as it takes a few cylinders full before this shows up. You wont want to use that load for plinking anyway.

The start load of Unique makes a great, mild practice load with the same bullet.

For a general purpose load the Skeeter Skelton load goes 840 fps from a 3 inch and 870 fps from a 4 inch, as chronoed by me.
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  #16  
Old 01-06-2013, 11:47 AM
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Mike G and Others,

I have no problems with 16 grains of 2400 and the 429421 cast bullet in my .44 Special reloads. Since it is my pistol's accuracy load and clocks over 1,000 fps in my chrony, what is not to like? I shoot very few magnum loads in my Super Blackhawk since the .44 Special load handles all chores here on the farm.

Webley
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  #17  
Old 01-06-2013, 12:30 PM
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I don't see anything wrong with that load. My practice load with the .44 mag is a 240gr. SWC at about 1,000fps, just with a different powder. Very pleasant to shoot.
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  #18  
Old 01-06-2013, 01:07 PM
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Like Webley, I shoot very few 44 mags as the special does everything I need.
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  #19  
Old 01-07-2013, 12:45 PM
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I shoot 44spl in a Ruger Flattop 5,5". I shoot either a 267gr Keith bullet (RCBS) or a 180gr WC bullet (Lyman). Both are very accurate. The gun is strong and can support heavy loads but I mainly use loads around 1000ft/s. I use .432" sized bullets with soft alloy (BHN7).
For casted bullets, the 44spl and the 45LC are really the best to handload and to shoot!
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  #20  
Old 01-11-2013, 07:37 AM
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In this NM FlatTop, I shoot Beartooth 250 grain WFNGC with 2400 for 1060 fps. I also use a lot of 240 grain 429421s with 2400 or Power Pistol.
My Ruger really likes 200 grain Hornady XTPs with Power Pistol @ 1130 fps.

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