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Discussion Starter #1
I have a Bisley Vaquero (Stainless, 4 5/8 barrel) coming my way soon, and I wanted to work up a load for it.  Being a fixed sighted gun, I wanted one load that would cover as many bases as possible.  I do not hunt much, but I would like it to be capable of it if necessary. It would mainy be for infomal shooting, woods loafing, and from time to time, as a CCW option.  I am thinking about a 280gr. BT @ about 1100 fps and was wondering what was thought of this as a 'all around' load.

Thanks
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Sounds good to me.

When you get the gun adjusted to that load, I suggest also trying a 240gr. SWC, starting with the lowest listed loads for a fast burning powder like Bullseye/WW231/Titegroup/AA#2 etc., and working up.

You may be able to regulate the point of impact enough to have a pratice load that hits to point of aim at 25 yards or so.

I've been able to do this with several guns, although they all had longer barrels (6.5 and 7.5").
 

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Nice piece. If it is new you should watch for leading if you shoot lead bullets in it. I have been working with a lot of different loads with mine for a while now and everything is leading so far. I just ordered Marshall's Tech guide and I will probably be sending him some measurements and slugs pretty soon to see what I need to be doing so I can shoot lead in this gun. Just be aware, you will probably not have the trouble I have had, but if you do you will find the answers here.
 

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meadhall,

Unless you intend to hunt large game with the load, the best all around I have found is 8.5-9.5 Gr. of Unique behind a moderately hard Lyman 429421 or a commercial equivalent. If you want a higher powered load, then 18.5-22.0 2400 is always good.

So far as going to a defense load, read Massad Ayoob's column.  He appears in several different magazines.  Carrying hand-loaded ammunition for defense purposes is definitely a bad idea!  If you ever have to use the gun there is a good chance, even if you were right, that you are charged criminally or sued civilly.  If that happens, the unwashed jury which won't understand such matters, could and probably would be swayed against you by the opposing attorney who only is interested in winning his case, not a fair judgement for you!

Always carry factory ammunition for defense, you don't need any more complication in your life than you will already have if you are forced to shoot someone.  Ask anyone in law-enforcement who has had to shoot a person, I know, I have had to before, it will follow you forever even if you are right and are never sued or charged!
 

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A .44 Magnum is an excellent hunting firearm (for a pistol), COR-BON has a nasty load that I have shot that specs a 180gr bullet at 1700 fps. The one they list (and I have target practiced with) for defense is a totally different load - more like 1200 fps... My .44 is a Desert Eagle - so even if I were CCW permitted (unlikely in California) it would be way too large/heavy to carry concealed. For that job I'd either use the Browning Hi-power or the Para Ordinance 45 - but each to their own...

Although I have all the tools I have yet to do a hand load for the 44 (9mm, .40 S&W, 45 ACP, 30-30, 300 Win Mag I've done). When I do a .44 load I will share...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Alk 8944, you are absolutely right about the carrying of handloads for defense.  I'll blame the late hour of my post for my lapse in reasoning....

That Lyman, that's 240 grs. right?  If so, I have a favorite load that I shoot now that is close to that.  Its a 240 SWC, sitting on 10 grs. of Unique.  I had been thinking that a 280 would be more versitle though.  After you comment though I thought about it and maybe for a general use round 240 would be better.  It certainly was good enough for Elmer.  I would think that a 240 @ 1200 fps out of the Bisley would be quite pleasant to shoot, and more than enough for most situaitons.
 

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My 4 5/8in Vaquero shoots to the point of aim with the 325 and 300 gr bullets with 16.5 gr of 2400 and 21.5 gr of 296. The 2400 load is 1000fps and the 296 load is 1200fps.  
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For practice I use 6 grains of Unique with the 300 gr bullet. This is a mild load but is accurate and shoots   close to the faster loads.
The lighter bullets shoot to the left for me unless I use a light grip with one hand.
Good luck with your new piece.
 
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