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44 Special Loads : New Ruger SA

4648 Views 8 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  unclenick
With the advent of the new and much stronger Ruger SA revolvers now being offered, what are the new "maximums" for reloading for these revolvers? Most of the reloading manuals have different data for older guns and newer guns - understanding that the manuals have not had time to react.....With the new, stronger Ruger SA 44 Special revolvers, is there any new loading data for these revolvers.........or will there be?

I've read numerous threads where these revolvers can be loaded up more because of the stronger platform. Are there any "maximums" out there yet?

Regards, Vic
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Certainly plenty of special load data is out there for Ruger #1 rifles and Marlin .45-70's and so on. Some Ruger revolvers in .45 Colt seem often to be loaded to .44 Magnum pressures.

The thing to watch out for in all this is how heavy the revolver is? Elmer Keith developed the .44 Magnum in .44 Special large frame revolvers that had enough steel in the cylinder walls and heavy enough frames for the task. Typically that kind of work up was done by inching up a load of 2400 a fraction of a grain at a time until fired case extraction got sticky from the chamber walls expanding too much, then backing the load down 5%.

If the different Ruger cylinders and frames are not uniformly stronger (and I would not expect a Vaquero to be up to a Super Redhawk, for example), I'm not sure anyone will post generalized increased pressure loads for all Ruger revolvers, but rather they will be posted for specific models. You might try using the advanced search function with your model to see if anything's been mentioned for it?
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There is a "new" .44 Special Ruger SA revolver, but there is not a "stronger" one. The new Ruger .44 Special Flat Top revolver is built on a smaller frame than the Super Blackhawk. The new frame size is about the same as a Colt SAA. It is NOT suitable for extremely heavy loads such as those for the larger frame Blackhawks in .45 Colt. You can use any load that would be OK in a Colt Single Action Army.

You did not say whether you already have this "new" revolver in hand or are just considering one. I may have missed something here, but why hot-rod the .44 Special when the .44 Magnum was worked up for that express purpose? Is it a matter of some styling feature that steers you to the .44 Special? If not, you might be better served with the Magnum. I used to have a Special and a couple of Mags, but after while the Special seemed redundant because if I wanted light loads, I could handload them in the Magnum. The Mag. is more versatile to my way of thinking.
Hot loads for the .44 Special are probably not widely published due to the large number of older revolvers still in use that could not take the pressure and no one wants to make trial lawyers richer. While respectable loads can be attained from this cartridge, IMO, if more is desired it would be wiser to switch to the .44 Magnum.
Use a 250 grain Keith bullet behind 7 Grains of Unique
and have a ball. Not my load it's in all the books.


Check the books so you don't hold me responsible.
The "Lyman Pistol and Revolver Handbood - Third Edition" has a section for Ruger revolvers and Thompson Center handguns. The loads listed are meant only for those models, and not for other guns due to the higher pressures for the loads that they list.
I have become a fan of Power Pistol in the 44 special. With a 250 gr swc and 8.0 gr of Power Pistol, you can obtain 900 fps velocities without exceeding basic 44 special pressures.
Hmm. 1200 psi (good) but only 23% ballistic efficiency and 87% burned in a 6" tube. 7.5 grains of Ramshot Silhouette will give you the same velocity at lower cost. The pressure goes up slightly to 13,300 psi, but you burn 99% in the tube, and the ballistic efficiency goes up to 30%, according to QuickLOAD. That's why you need less charge weight. The more complete burn should tend to be a little cleaner and produce less muzzle flash and smoke.

Just a thought for something to try on a lazy day.
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