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Discussion Starter #1
Hi , I have recently aquired an 1894 44 mag with the micro groove rifling and 20 inch barrel . I realize from better than 10 years of handgun hunting exclusively that a 250 at 1400 will kill the crap out of deer . I am looking for advice on the high velocity loadings of the 44 mag for the 20 inch carbine . I want a 250 LBT at about 2000-2100 fps for flattened trajectory . I have been a hunter and a gun nut for about 30 years so please no just get a 30-06 or 270 advice please .Win 296 or ? I appreciate any advice along these lines but I really dont want any of the "dont try to make the 44 into more than it is " type of replys .
  I know that if I can drive a 240 jacketed at 1900 + fps then I can achieve 2000-2100 fps with a cast 250.
        Thanks a lot Craig
    PS the reason I am looking for such a load is that I casn have approximately a 3-1/2 to 4 inch high at 100 with approximately a 3-1/2 to 4 inch low at 200 yds.
 

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Well I see there have been a number of folk who read your posting but did not reply. If I know the most experienced loaders here as well as I think I do, there is a reason for their silence. If speaking out offends you but saves an eye or several fingers, so be it. What you are asking is too much for the .44 Magnum. From your comments I think you realize it yourself but are hoping someone will provide you with some support in your endeavour. I sincerely doubt you'll find it here. I hope you will seriously rethink your desire to push the .44 Mag beyond its capabilities so that you can continue shooting and hunting another 30 years.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
hi , I did not think that asking for someload info about this subject I just knew from previos experience that someone would get on telling me to but a o6 or the like !
       I have gotton some loads of of sixgunner .com bit was wanting all the load info I could get .
     According to Paco Kelley and some load notes aquired off of his book "cd" with a 250 keith 23.5/2400 the velocity is 2120 / psi 41,000
    Also accoding to him a 250 keith/24/H110 the velocity is 1970 /35,000 psi
     Accoding to various different manuals 24.5 of 296/H110 with a 240 JACKETED bullet 1900/ out of a 18-1/2 is possible .
          In all due respect if 1900 is easily obtained with a 240 jacketed the the lead bullet with less friction inside the barrel along with the increased powder capacity " at least with an LBT design " should be easily attained .
      Now realizing that I have the above info obtained from Paco,s Book I suppose I should not have asked the question on this board HOWEVER I just wanted to get some more input .
     I do appreciate the concern over the loss of fingers and such though .
       In retrospect would you care to reflect on Paco,s loads and pressure figures ? BTW these figures supposedly out of a 20 inch winchester I believe .
     In any event I honestly appreciate your comments a
   Thanks sincerely , Craig
 

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Francis "Paco" Kelley is an excellent role model for handloaders- a role model for what not to do. I would not give much for the reliability of his load data in terms of generated pressures. Even if his figure of 41,000 psi for a 250-grain LSWC and 23.5 grains of 2400 is accurate, that still exceeds the SAAMI maximum average of 36,000 psi by a substantial margin. Somewhat over 12% to be exact. Is it worth the risk?

Mr. Kelley is a classic example of "anyone can say anything on the Internet and he's an expert."

Of the several handloading manuals I have dating back to the early '80s, only one shows a 240-grain JHP/JSP exceeding 1900 fps from a carbine. It is listed as a maximum, "do not exceed" load. Far from "easily obtained" as you last posted. That same powder charge
and bullet configuration in every other source clocks upwards of 100-130 fps slower. It is a classic example of why using just one source for load data can be misleading at best and potentially dangerous at worst.
 

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Craig,

In theory, a lead bullet could be pushed faster due to it's friction coefficient being less than a jacketed bullet of the same weight.

Having said that, there are other factors to consider. Bullet hardness, lube film strength and gas checked or plain base to name a few.

A plain based bullet may or may not, probably not, be able to be pushed that fast without leading. So the other option is a gas checked version. Really the only way to tell would be for you to experiment with this yourself in your gun. I have found on a number of occasions, using a powder charge that is SAFE with a jacketed bullet and then substituting a Hard Cast Lead Gas checked bullet of the same weight or a little heavier, will often yield more velocity with the same powder charge. This is due as has been stated, to the frictional coefficient being less.

I myself, usually take that result for what it is worth and stop there.

From what I can deduce here, it appears that you are looking to make this cartridge into a longer range round. You are working against the relatively poor BC of any 44 bullet and quite an arching tragectory and also with what I think myself are above max pressures.

I will just say that there is nothing wrong with a little experimentation in this regard, it's fun!, but you really won't get much more out of this cartridge even if you get another 100 FPS out of it at the ranges we are looking at here.

I can't really comment on Paco's results because ultimately they were in HIS gun. I would only go by what I was able to achieve myself in my own firearm and being comfortable with it. I also don't own any pressure measuring equipment.

Now get out that chrono and start doing some load development! <!--emo&;)--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=';)'><!--endemo-->

No matter what you end up with however, you won't make the 44 mag into a 444 Marlin and still have a safe load.


Regards

:cool:

(Edited by Contender at 10<!--emo&:0--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':0'><!--endemo-->5 pm on May 9, 2001)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
HI , Bill I appreciate your thoughts and comments . I of course will start with a safe powder charge and work slowly upward . I do not own a chrograph but a close friend of mine does and I will use that . I also do not have any way to pressure test . I hope I am wrong but I sure would hope that Paco would not print information for sale that is incorrect .
      Bill just for the heck of it what , in your opinion , would be a safe RANGE of velocity for the 20 inch marlin with a 250 LBT?
       I will be testing and working up loads for the rifle in a few months and will let you know the results I get in my particular rifle .IE case head expansion , primer flattening , etc.
   I do appreciate the info and as always will start low on powder!
        Thanks again , look forward to any and all sharing of info and have a good day , Craig
      PS. BILL what is it about Paco Kelley that leads you to doubt his info so much ?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
HI, thanks contender for the information . I of course am not trying to make a 444 out of the 44? Just trying to get input on finding the Limits of the catridge in a Safe manner .
      Yes the bullets bc is horrible which is excately why I want the most of the catridge I can SAFELY achieve.
     I have a LBT 280 wfn mold HOWEVER IT is plainbased so I will probably use a friends mold a250 LFN gas checked . or most probably buy the bullets from beartooth .after all they can have the fun ? of making them and I can have the fun of shooting them !!
   if I cant achieve the velocities I desire SAFELY out if MY rifle then I will make do with what it will do SAFELY .
      AGAIN AS ALWAYS i do APPRECIATE THE INFO .
    Have a good day , Craig
 

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Craig,

When you begin your experiments with your new Marlin,
don't be lulled into the false notion that head expansion, flattened primers, etc., are accurate indicators of excessive pressure. There are so very many factors that impact upon a cartridge's operating pressure that to rely upon anything less than a ballistic lab's measuring equipment is akin to reading tea leaves. I exaggerate a bit but not by much. That is why I personally only use and recommend data arrived at under controlled test conditions. Even then I proceed with caution. As Contender mentioned, each firearm is a rule unto itself. I've had my fair share of "near misses" when juicing up the .38 Special, 9mm, .45 Colt, .30-30, and others. Now that I'm older and hopefully wiser, I don't play that crap shoot anymore.

If you want highest velocity in your Marlin .44, slowly work up to about 24.0-24.5 grains of H110 or Win. 296
with 250-grain slugs and I'm sure you'll have an excellent combination. But heed Brother Contender's warnings about leading. At the velocities such loads will travel, severe leading can easily occur. With each shot, as more and more alloy is deposited, pressures will build. Caution is the watchword. Use ultra hard slugs, like the Beartooths at 21 BHN.

I really don't want this topic to become a personal diatribe aginst Mr. Kelley. Suffice to say much of what he writes is flatout wrong, mostly in details about guns and/or cartridges. His recent articles on the 6.5X55mm Swede Mauser immediately come to mind. Now if someone can't get the "easy stuff" right, something as potentially dangerous as handload data from such a source is suspect at best. He has no pressure testing equipment, yet pronounces this or that load to be XX,XXX psi or CUP. How does he figure that? Tarot cards perhaps?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi , Bill I dont know mr kelley and I certainly dont want any kind of beef with him or anyone else .
   I haven,t read his article on the Swede but I am getting ready to right now . Maybe I can see what you are talking about !
   I assumed " dam I thought I learned a long time ago to quit doing that  !" that ANYONE  including MR Kelley would have a way to measure pressure BEFORE stating that xyz gun gave xyz pressures with a certain bullet  !!
      you stated that APPROX 24 GR OF 296 WOULD BE GOOD . what do you think would be the APPROX velocity
 of this load ?
    I will use whatever is SAFE in my rifle but I am just curious .
   Bill I am also curious as to how I could determine a safe load for my rifle. I have always been told and praticed measuring case head expansion and also looking at the primers .I have always heard that case head expansion was one of the most reliable ways to stay safe IE compare against factory ammo and if it was the same or less then it would be safe .
      The way I am understanding your comments I THINK you are saying that a person should NEVER exceed the reloading manuals data. Is this what you are saying or am I not understanding what you are saying?
       I have always used water dropped wheelweights when casting but seeing as how I am going to start buying my bullets from Beartooth I will be able to shoot a lot more instead of casting !
  as always thanks for the info and have a good day , Craig
 

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I think Craigspic the best information for working up your .44mag is to read the article by Marshall in the Tech Notes "Max Loads & Handguns". Although this article is about handguns the principles still apply to the rifle. It tells you how to find that sweet load for YOUR firearm. You mentioned you wanted to shoot it out to 200yards, would it not be better to go for an accurate load that gave you a better chance of hitting the target, rather than going for all out velocity? Max velocity and trajectory doesn't always=accuracy.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
HI  ,thanks for the info I didn,t realize accuracy was important too !!!!!!" tongue in cheek of course"
    Thanks I will read the article you spoke of , have agood day , Craig
 

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Getting back to the original question... that is, "what is the highest velocity bullet available in the .44 mag in the 250 grain weight" - it seems that there is another possible answer which I don't recall anyone suggesting.

The Beartooth 250 gr. LFN GC would seem to have the highest velocity potential, I would think.  It is a very long-nosed bullet so leaves plenty of space for powder.

As I recall from other postings it seems that this bullet can hit some mighty fast speeds in a hangun 1500+<!--emo&???--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/confused.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt='???'><!--endemo-->

So in a rifle this might be worth looking at, assuming Marshall or someone can get you some data.  Whether you hit 1999 or 2001 fps, I'll leave that question for someone who has used that bullet and chrono'd it.

Only downside is that I believe that you'll end up with an OAL somewhere around 1.710"  Don't know if this could be made to feed in your Marlin.  There is an article off the home page about modifying Marlins for a longer cartridge OAL.

Might be worth trying a box.  If you do - let us know what kind of velocities you end up getting.  
 

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Craig,

With the load I previously mentioned, you should see 1750-1900 fps. Maybe a shade more, maybe a shade less. Either way you'll have a very powerful load for game under 150 yards. Don't think because an alloy bullet is more slippery compared to a jacketed slug that the gain is a big one. Usually, in my experience with many .357, .41, .44 Magnum and "hot" .45 Colts, it is only good for 25-75 fps on average.

Comparing head expansion of factory ammo and handloads can be quite deceiving. There are so many ways that a load may appear safe but isn't. If you use heavy brass like Starline, it will show less expansion for a given psi/CUP that lighter cases. If the commercial rounds use a faster or slower propellant than your handloads, expansion and pressure may vary greatly for a given bullet weight/velocity combo. Tight chambers will also fool you into thinking a load is still okay when it isn't. Conversely a loose chamber may bulge brass with light loads. These are just a very few of the possibilities.

That is why, yes, I do stick to data published by the propellant manufacturers and handloading companies like Speer, Hornady, Sierra, etc. I have done far too much "hot loading" and if truth be told I'm probably pretty lucky. I've only had two blowups, neither of which caused more damage to me than a couple light cuts and rattled nerves. BUT it could well have been a whole lot worse.

With so many variables affecting our homebrewed cartridges, we really don't know what internal pressures are like in personal weapons. That is why the loading data is usually a bit under max. SAAMI average. To take in the fact that I may use Winchester primers instead of the indicated Remingtons, or you may use cases a few tenths shorter than the factory. Minor differences can make a big impact on working pressure.

I would second Quiet 1's suggestion to read Marshall's "Max Loads & Handguns." It speaks volumes on the subject of diminishing returns in hot handloading.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
HI, thanks Bill , I did read Marshals article . I also noticed some preyy impressive gains regarding the load of 250 LBT/26.7/lil gun/1895 fps . 16-4/ inch barrel .Iknow it is hard if not impossible to compare different guns BUT would it be a somewhat logical Guess to believe that a 20 inch barrel would give approx 100 fps increase over a 16-1/4 imch barrel ?
 Even wuth diminishing gains ?
      By the way what kind of pressure was the particular load running ?
   If no pressure equipment was used what type of load developement was used to develope the loads ?
    I appreciate your advice and knowledge as I am always learning and will until the day I pass on as I will never know it all !
    I appreciate anyone who tries to help myself and others learn.
    Thanks again for info from you and the others who have responded so far .
    Have a good day , Craig
 

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I'm not certain to which load you refer, but I assume it's the one Marshall used in the "Max Loads..." piece. More than likely he used Hodgdon-generated charges for the given bullet weight, started low and worked back up to the point where more powder didn't equal more velocity or smaller spreads. This is certainly acceptable. Start with a known quantity and creep higher from there. But never exceed what the professional ballisticians have put to paper.

Your assertion that an extra 100 fps may be created by an extra 3-1/2" of barrel may not be valid. Even with rounds like the .44 Magnum, handgun rounds hold a relatively small amount of powder for large-bore, carbine-length barrels. Maximum burn efficiency is often reached in 12-14," as witnessed in such firearms as Contenders, Encores, etc. You may get an extra 100, but then again you may not.
 

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HI Craig,
I thought I heard my ears burning.  You mentioned loading data on Tech Notes for the 250gr LBT .432 LFNGC.  That was from the article I wrote.

First of all, I have reloaded for and shot 44 mag for over 16 years and I would NEVER NEVER NEVER load 23.5 grains of 2400 behind a 250gr Keith bullet!  About 6 years ago I did 22 gr of 2400 with that bullet and I pounded each case out of the cylinder with what much have been pressure out of this world.  If you are shooting a 240-250gr Keith type bullet (they vary quite a bit on what is defined a Keith), Bill Lester's advice to work your way up to the 24-24.5gr range with              H-110/296 , testing for pressure, is very sound advice.

You asked about the 26.7 gr of 'Lil Gun with Marshall's 250gr LFNGC .432 bullet.  I have to be super specific on the bullet here since it is like no other 250 gr bullet I have ever used or seen.  It takes up about as much space in the case as a 200 gr jacketed bullet.               H-110/296 thrive on a big combustion chamber.  This load, as tested was quite within reason on pressure.  But I must temper that with the fact I developed this and a few other loads in 20 degree F weather.  That was one of the reasons for my strong disclamer in the article.  Ultimately it proved a good rifle load but I did not like the effeciency of it in a handgun.  Yes, 1900 fps is achieveable safely with this bullet if you do everything right.  I suspect you will indeed get that extra 100 fps with a 20" barrel.  If you would like to go more in depth about this, feel free to e-mail me @ [email protected]   I will share so other loads with you if you like.  Bill Lester gives very good advice so be careful.  I'd be happy to help if you want.

God bless...................  Bill M
 

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Discussion Starter #17
HI, I have heard all my life that the definition of a pro was someone who lives at least 60 miles  from you and that you do not personally know! That way you dont know all the stupid and questionable things they  has done in their life!!
I sincerely appreciate all the comments and I think that I finally have at least one of the methods that CAN be used to establish good loads " using a chrono and hodgen based powders " and dont ever exceed the pros recomended data"
    Yeah right , anyway thanks guys and I appreciate the info and opinions and sorry such a seemingly simple question led into such a drawn out answer!!
  I will do the experimentation myself and if I blow up a rifle then I will buy another and if I lose fingers then I have 10 ya know and ya da ya da .
    Ps. keep on loading your 44 mags to 1000-1200 with a 250 out of your 44 mag rifles and killing deer !! After all that is what it is all about !! I will continue to look for the most effective load out of a rifle and when I get results I will publish them !!
   One thing to keep in mind , when someone else does load experimentation it is a good thing and worked up to carefully BuT when we do it it is considered foolhardy and dangerous and insignificant!"" tongue FIRMLY planted in cheek" !!!!!!!!
     I sincerely thank all the guys who have taken the time and trouble to respond with ides opinions and data.
Bill M I thank you for the offer to share loads with me and will be in contact  with   you .   You the man  
Have a good day , Craig
 

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I have no experience (or interest) with hot loading the 44 mag though it is my favorite caliber, I have  one observation and one question related to the topic, the observation is that I really doubt the bullet you want to use will kill much more effectively at 1950 fps then it will at 1700-1750,   most cases all it will do is make a deepr hole on the other side of what is being hit.

the question is related to a shooting times article from two or three years ago, the writer said something like it has long been known 18.5 inches is the most effective length for a 44 mag bullet and lengths beyond that may actually show a decrease in velocity.    Any opinions if that is true? probably no perfect answer to the question, will vary between barrels?  thanks,  ben
 

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Ben,

Your point is valid in my limited experiences using a single cartridge in handguns and carbines. In my case it is with the .41 Magnum. My notes show a substantial velocity increase from any handgun length I've tested (4-7.5 in.) against my dearly departed Marlin 1894S with its 20" barrel. However I did have an opportunity once to compare some handloads in a 14" Thompson Center Contender. I used a 200-grain JHP and 2400. Velocity was still a bit higher in the Marlin, but not by much. I want to say less than 175 fps. Since it was not my T/C I didn't record the exact data, although looking back I really should have.

The late Bob Milek also did a test many years ago with the .44 Mag in a 16" Contender. He cut the barrel in 1/2" increments all the way back to around 3" if memory serves me. As I recall the velocity didn't take a big dive until the barrel reached 10-12 inches.

I would also agree that bumping a .44/250 by 150-200 fps will do nothing but make a slightly bigger hole in the snow after the bullet fully penetrates the game.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
HI, thanks to evryones input on this subject . Each and everyone who has given of their time and expertise concerning this question I have asked have given me something to think about and hopefully learn from.
     As I said at the beginning of this thread I like the 44 mag and I respect its killing ability , I was just looking for a way to Safely extend the trajectory .
  I will be doing load developement in the near future and will let everyone know how it turns out .
       Have a good day , Craig
  PS who knows might even try some 44 spitzer bulletes " one in chamber and one in spout " Just for the heck of it !!!
 
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