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Discussion Starter #1
I have a new 44 mag 4 5/8" Ruger s/s SBH and like the looks of the Beartooth 280 WFN PB. I am guessing  about 1,000 muzzle fps is more than enough for complete penetration closeup hunting deer. Someone told me H4227 is pleasant shooting: low flash and burns nicely. Is that true? Does anyone have a powder weight suggestion for that combo? Also, is .431 a good bet for bullet diameter for a new SBH?
Thank you.
 

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Dave,

I've done some limited loading with the 280 WFN GC and IMR 4227 (which isn't the same powder) and the early testing looks promising. As you've stated, its a clean burning powder with very mild manners. My only concern is that the loads running 1000 fps may be in a higher pressure range than I'm looking for. The load is within SAAMI spec but I'm looking for a load that will work when the temps outside are 110  degrees.  In the rest of the world where windshield wipers don't melt to your windshield in the summer, this load will be just fine.

Another concern is the accuracy level of this bullet at low velocities. As a rule the WFN shape needs more speed to maintain stable bullet flight. This really applies to longer ranges than most people will be shooting at but its something to consider. Another 150 to 200 fps certainly couldn't hurt in making a more accurate load. Remember that every rule is made to be broken and this bullet at the velocity you're looking for could be a perfect match from your revolver

More bullets are on the way and I'll be back at the loading bench (provided I can sneak away for a few hours) to carry on my testing. Accurate Arms #5 is on the list of powders to play with as well. It may prove to be the best all around powder for my needs.

As far a bullet size, this will depend on your revolver. My Ruger has cylinder throats measuring .432 and the bore measures out at .430. I can't push a bullet sized at .432 through the throats so I'm trying bullets sized at .4315. You'll want to slug your bore and cylinder and find out what size will be best for your gun. If you haven't ordered Marshall's Technical Guide yet, by all means do so. This little book will answer questions you haven't even thought of yet as well as guide you through the steps to properly slug your gun and determine the best bullet fit.

Hope this points you in the right direction.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Three of my SBH's had chamber throats of 0.432" or so.  I just ordered bulelts sized .432" and they shot fine.  My guess is that .431" would probably work fine also, especially with a gas-checked bullet.
 

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I have been using H4227 in the 475 linebaugh for some time and could not be any happier with the accuracy either with 370gr up to 430gr. load it high or load it low and it has very good manners. When I first thought of using it in the 454 a few years ago I called hodgdon and ask one of the techs on how this powder reacted when loaded very light (70-75% capacity) and the tech said it will behave very well. then when the 475 arrived I thought lets see how it does in larger cases and know doubt it delivers. I use it in loads with the 475 that range from 1000-1300 fps with the 420gr lfn and have yet seen anything compare to its accuracy other than HS6 in which is only going to give about 25fps more while keeping pressures acceptable, one more note on the H4227 is that it is one of hodgdons EXTREME line of powders to which powder position or wide temp variations does not alter its performance. although you will probably pay for the quality. in my neck of the woods it runs &#3622.95 lb.
 

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Greenhorn Dave,

If using H4227 in your .44 Mag loads and you want 1000 fps loads try this:

.432"-280g WFNPB/17.0g H4227/WLPP/Starline Brass

Also, another good 1000 fps load is with IMR 800X:

.432"-280g WFNPB/12.0g 800X/WLPP/Starline Brass

I tend to like the 800X, as it is both consistent in ignition and uniformity is superb.  Two drawbacks however, there is quite a bit of smoke using 800X, and it can be finicky to meter through some powder measures due to the large diameter flakes of powder.  However, in our region of the country, there are at least two local sources for this powder where I can buy it for under six dollars a can (it comes in 1/2 lb. cans)!  So, it is a very economical load, @ 12 grains per load, that's 583 loads per pound, at &#3612.00 per pound, that comes out to 2 cents per load!  That makes shooting the .44 Mag just a bit more affordable than most folks think possible.  And, like you said, a 280 grain WFN bullet going 1000 fps. makes a potent package within some range constraints!

Hope this helps!

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Question: Best dies for WFN in 44 mag?

Thanks for your replies to my original question. I appreciate your wisdom. I ordered Marshall's Technical Guide this morning.
I will be ordering some 280's as soon as I get the Ruger throats and chamber slugged.
Meanwhile, I need to buy dies (my first 44). Are certain brands of 44 mag. pistol die more suitable (is any unsuitable?) for that wide .340 meplat diameter???
 

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correction to my statement above, to where I said HS6 will only give about 25fps more than the H4227 LOAD while keeping pressures on the safe side. I SHOULD HAVE NOTED THAT I WAS COMPARING THE HS6 TO THE H4227 LOAD THAT DELIVERS 1000 FPS. NOT UNDER ANY CONDITION SHOULD HS6 BE USED FOR HIGH VELOCITY LOADS. MIDRANGE LOADS AT BEST!! SORRY FOR ANY CONFUSION.      JIM.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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I doubt if any off-the-shelf dies are going to fit the WFN bullets.  The best solution seems to be to take the SWC seating stem, and grind/file/sand off the outer lip, so it's totally flat.  Then it works great for any flat-nosed bullet.
 

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Dave,

Mike G is right on the money. We all have our brand of choice when it comes to dies and other gear but they really all do work just fine.
 

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Mike's suggestoin for the nose punch is my treatment for all dies destined for flat-nosed handgun type bullets.  Also, if you don't like grinding your seating punch, if using RCBS dies, they will cut you a custom fit punch if you send three bullets down to them to adjust for the nose... cost is nominal, I don't remember off the top of my head, but it is quite reasonable.

Blessings to you!

Marshall
 

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TRY HORNADY DIES!

Hornady New Dimension carbide dies come with 2 seating stems, one is for your typical SWC shape the other is perfectly flat faced, no grinding required.

I can't say enough good things about my 2 sets of these dies. For WFN profiles they are perfect.

try them out & take care
 

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Discussion Starter #12
This is Greenhorn Dave. I was a reloader years ago, but forgot much of it.

Thank you all for the good advice. I did purchase the Hornady New Dimension 44 mag. dies and that second seater stem that comes packed with it is really w-i-d-e and flat -- .49 wide.

I'm definitely enjoying this and now have practically everything I need to reload 44 mag cartridges except for Beartooth Bullets. I even splurged and bought an RCBS APS hand priming system and it is really slick once I got the hang of it.

For years I have been saying how time is flying by, and in fact it is. But the strangest phenomenon is that in the middle of the currently speeding time there is this gravity-defying subset of 12-weeks-wait for Beartooth bullets that seems to be in a much slower dimension.  But that is OK and I am certainly willing to wait for them.

Meanwhile, the 12-week wait allows me a very leisurely schedule for fire-lapping my revolver. Another commendation: the Beartooth Bullets technical guide was a real bargain for all it's benefit to me, and the convenience of getting the fire lapping supplies one-stop from Beartooth is excellent.

I will post the actual-use result of all this when I get around to it, probably near 2002. I'll be interested to try it out on our central Florida hogs. I have been reading Mr. James Gates' forum memos. I am manning a check station at a nearby Florida Wildlife Management Area and it has been interesting to see how many modern hi-power rifle cartridges aren't penetrating hogs, even fairly light animals (like 90 lbs.) Last week, one guy lost about a 300# hog that was hit, but couldn't be found -- no blood trail & tracking dogs not allowed on that WMA.

That's it for now. Thanks again, everyone.
 
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