Shooters Forum banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
Joined
·
7,764 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
5/23/01 test.

S&W Master Hunter 44mag with Leupold 2.5x8 scope
325gr. WLN  with gc
CCI mag (350) primer
Starline brass
Lil'gun powder
46 degrees temperature
light mist (poor conditions)
50yd. target from bench rest
5 shots for each powder weight

19.0gr. = avg. 1222fps with 36es
19.5gr. = avg. 1281fps with 21es
20.0gr. = avg. 1299fps with 66es - 1.5"  5 shot pattern
20.5gr. = avg. 1318fps with 39es - 7/8"  5 shot pattern
21.0gr. = avg. 1329fps with 15es - 1.25"  5 shot pattern

Test results appear to show potential and I will test at 100 yds. Comparison test by Jeff Quinn at "gunblast.com" achieved 1375 with 21.0grs with 320gr. bullet. Considering the conditions, this test appears to be in the ball park.

Respectfully,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Thanks for the information. I'm searching for a good 325-grain load for my .44 Magnum (Super Redhawk). The powder range you are using will give me a starting spread to look at. Have you tried this powder with 240-grain or other bullet weights?

Also can you be specific with the product numbers for the bullets you are using in your reply.

Thanks in advance.

RugerMag
 

·
"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
Joined
·
7,764 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
RugerMag,

The bullet is the Beartooth 325gr. WLN with gc - the comment that accompanies the bullet discription on the bullet selection page is "Absolutely the best balance of weight to velocity potential for the .44 magnum."

I've just started to experiment with the Lil'gun powder and have not used that particular powder with the 240gr. bullets.  Just to let you know what you "may" be up against, last year I loaded 176 different combinations of brass, powder, bullet (all 240gr) and primer, totaling over 5000 rounds to find the best load for just one gun, the S&W masterhunter.  I experimented with 7 different powders and was surprised to find that BlueDot 15.7grs. was the most accurate for my particular gun.  Used CCI mag (350) primers, Starline brass and Hornady XTP 240gr. bullets.  And I've got 7 more 44mag revolvers to satisfy -- may not live that long.  One of the things I discovered that made the testing more difficult and time consuming was that a load that worked well at 50yds may not work well at 100yds.  A number of loads worked well for the first five shots and then really increased in pattern size -- just an ongoing challenge that took me three months of shooting every day.  I suspect you may need to choose one or two bullets that you have confidence in (Beartooth certainly qualifies) and standardize early on primer and brass and then try H110/W296, 2400, BlueDot, or 4227, starting at the "starting" loads listed by the powder manufacturer.  

But you know I tease you, it was the best three months of my life -- found the handloading and record keeping to be as much fun as the shooting.  And I'm sure your wife/significant other will certainly understand :)

Respectfully,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
DOK,

I know about the experimentation. I spent about 12 - 15 months getting my Glock 10mm the best shooting load that I could. Now I've gone and decided that the 10mm isn't what I really wanted / needed. Such is life!

I've used Starline Brass and CCI 350 prrimers so I will start with them in my load development. Bullet wise I'll go with the Beartooth that you mention in your reply.  As to powders it is a toss-up between H110, 2400 and now Lil' Gun. Hogdon has also just introduced another powder called Longshot that I was thinking about trying out with my 10mm, but have gone over to the .44 Magnum. Ain't life fun?

There are so many variables - as you mention - this time around I need to standardize on a few things and limit my experiments, but based off of other's experiences. Therefore my posting or reply to you.

As you keep going on with your experiments please keep us posted.

RugerMag
 

·
"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
Joined
·
7,764 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
RugerMag,

Sure sounds like you've "been there, done that". Maybe we can help each other.  I'm loading an additional 25 20.5gr. and 25  21.0gr Lil'gun with 325gr. bullets, and if the weather permits, I'll test tomorrow.  I would think that would help support or question my original findings re Lil'gun performance.  If possible, I'll test at 50yd and 100yd.

And since I haven't used other powders with the 325gr bullet, I'll keep an eye open for your H110/2400 tests -- and may give them a try also. Sure is tough being retired, shouldn't have waited so long!

Respectfully,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
With short crimped SSK325s, 21-22.5gr H110 in the SuperRedhawk.


On a side note,
After a trying 30gr of LilGun with 300XTP in 454 yesterday and still getting the same velocity as 32gr in a 6inch FA (around 1550fps), I have some big questions about Lilgun.

-CAL
 

·
"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
Joined
·
7,764 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Cal,

What do you mean by "short crimp"?

2 grs. difference and yielding the same velocity -- and the loads only yielding 1550 sure does raise questions.  As I'm sure you know, Hodgdon lists 31grs. at 1746fps.  I'm not set on Lil'gun at all, but the 15% reduction in pressure (.454) versus H110 would be nice if all other things are equal.

I haven't received my XTPmags that I ordered, but when I get them, I'll load 30/31gr. and see what I get with the Taurus for comparison to your yields.  

Respectfully,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
CAL,

Any idea on the velocity of your Ruger load with H110 and did it shoot well from 25, 50 and 100 yards? I've got one load of 300-grain XTPs with 16.5 grains of 2400 that runs at about 1175 fps, but shoots like a monster w/ 2" groups to 100 paces.

RugerMag
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Dok,  that 1746fps Hodgdon lists is from a 9.375" test barrel.  So there is no comparison. BTW, I lookup up an issue for you the other night that tests the shortbarreled Taurus 454. It pushes the Corbon [email protected] and the Corbon [email protected] (these clock at  ~1520fps from my 6inch FA).  Hope this helps with your velocity difference question.


The 44mag 300XTP is setup to allow for crimping in two places. My "short crimping" statement refers to crimping so the OAL is closest to spec (~1.610 inch) Same goes for the SSK/JDJ 320 style. This is what was used to safely run the heavies for killing elephant at over 1500fps in 44mag SuperRedhawks.


RugerMag , The most accuracte load in my  SuperRedhawk was the Hornady 300XTP custom. They are clocking at around 1150fps or so. These would group a 6shot of 3/[email protected] and about double that at 50yrds. My most accurate reload you can duplicate (I swage my own jackect bullets and it hard to find 213gr bullets <!--emo&:)--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':)'><!--endemo--> ) was with the 300XTPS and IMR 4227. I forget the exact load but I believe it was around 19-20gr (21.5-22 was sticky).

The 21.5 H110/ 300xtp  load was good for around 1300-1350fps IIRC.


-CAL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
CAL,

Thanks for the reply. I'm running at about the same velocity that you are with my 2400 300-grain XTP load and think I'll stick with it for the time being. However, I've always found that hardcast bullets give better performance than jacketted bullets. Also, there is a velocity increase versus jacketted rounds and better penetration. I prefer penetration as critters aren't always standing broadside to the shooter and I would prefer to go through and through on any good clean shoot that would kill.

I'm looking to hit 1,300 fps with both a 240 and 325-grain bullet. When I say hit I mean with absolute precision and accuracy. If I find a really good shooting load in my Super Redhawk that comes in at 1,250 for either bullet I'll be more than satisfied.

Have you ever thought of posting your loads @ LoadSwap.com?

RugerMag
 

·
"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
Joined
·
7,764 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Cal,

Really appreciate your going to the trouble of looking up the data on the Corbon load.  It's my understanding that Corbon loads are "relatively" hot (warm?), my test 2/3 parallels their performance closely.

RugerMag,

I shot seven 3-shot groups with 20.5 and 21.0grs each and did not get what I consider results that will cause me to pursue Lil'gun -- at least with the S&W.  The best results were with the 21.0grs, with the very best being 1.14 inches at 50yds.. The 50yd results didn't support trying 100yds.  My typical results were 1.76" (21.0grs) with two close together and the third "not so close".  I had several groups with the 20.5grs. that had flyers four inches from the other two.

To validate that the performance was load based and not the gun/me, I shot several 3-shot groups with my best load (15.7gr. BlueDot/240 XTP) and got .455" and .766" at 50 yds.

I am going to try this load one more time, but not with the S&W Masterhunter.  I used that revolver because it will go 2" at 100yds whenever I do my part.  However it appears it will not handle these 320gr/21.0gr loads -- the cylinder unlocks!  The old Model 29 design did that and the gunsmiths I've talked to indicate that is design based and they can't fix it, but that the newer 629 design fixed the problem.  Well, today 80% of the time, the cylinder was free floating after the shot.  If I cocked the revolver, it would "forward" to the previous cavity which had been fired.  This required me to look at the cylinder each time to verify there was a loaded cartridge in the next cavity.  Since this has never occurred with the 240gr. max (powder manuf. max) loads, and did not occur with the last six rounds (240gr XTP loads) today, it appears the S&W simply isn't going to handle the heavier loads.  I obviously can't test for pressure, but the recoil and gun reaction with the 21.0gr Lil'gun is noticably heavier than with the "so called" max load with 240gr. XTP and BlueDot. It may be the poorer accuracy was the result of the Smith unlocking, but I didn't see any signs of lead shaving, etc., but really don't know other than this Smith isn't the gun for this load.

My Super Redhawk is at Mag-na-port for an action job and wouldn't be back for four months, so I'll retry the Lil'gun loads with a Super Blackhawk.

Respectfully,
 

·
"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
Joined
·
7,764 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
As indicated in my last post, I have now used the Super Blackhawk with Burris 2x7 scope to check the Lil'gun 20.5/21.0gr. loads and basically got the same results I got with the Smith -- 1.75" at 50yds

Since the results from two separate revolver have been
1.75" (some worse) at 50yds, I'm not going to pursue Lil'gun and the 325gr. bullet combination further.

Respectfully,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
DOK,

Thanks for the multiple postings. Judging from your experience I think I'll give Lil' Gun a pass.

I've used Blue Dot for my 10mm loads, but metering wasn't the best in my Dillon 550. I think I'll be trying 2400, but preferably H110. Have any recipes in 240-grain or 325-grain?

I picked up some handloads from my local dealer today in 240-grain XTP. Once I find out how they shoot I'll let you know the data. As of yet I've not yet gotten my .44 Magnum dies and am in the middle of moving down to the heat of Phoenix.

RugerMag
 

·
"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
Joined
·
7,764 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
RugerMag,

I found 22.5grs. of H110 with 240XTPs to be my most accurate H110 load, but that is a little more than the "don't reduce more than 3%" that Hodgdon stresses.  I stopped testing at 24.0grs. While H110/W296 seems to be "the" powder(s) to use, I didn't get as consistent results as I did with BlueDot and 2400 -- and 2400 was just right behind BlueDot on accuracy.

I've used all my 325gr. bullets but should have some more by end of next week and I'll try some H110 or W296 along with 2400 to see what happens.

Respectfully,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
DOK,

Thanks. You really seem to be in the swing of this. I'd work with 2400 if the need be for the time being, but then again I'm in the middle of moving as I mentioned before and I have some time.

I'm starting to loose the thread here with all the data. What did you use for the 240-grain XTP or Beartooth with 2400 or H110.

Have a Happy Memorial Day to all!

RugerMag
 

·
"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
Joined
·
7,764 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
RugerMag,

To correctly answer your question, I reviewed the old records and it brought back a lot of memories and some old and continuing frustrations -- particularly consistency.  I really try hard to reduce (notice I didn't say eliminate) the influences (me) on the gun during testing to assure accurate data.  But I have never been satisfied with the consistency of most loads.  The first pattern may be .85" at 50yds. and the next pattern will be 1.5" or worse.  Well, anyway, I found that testing at 25yd thru 100yds. my most accurate and consistent 2400 load was 19grs. and the H110 was 22.6grs.  After testing three primers and three brass manufactureres, I standardized on CCI350 and Starline. I also standardized on the 240gr. XTP bullet and have not, until very recently, started testing lead bullets.  Quite frankly, until I tried the Beartooth and Cast Performance bullets, I had not been able to reduce the leading to a satisfactory level. So, the new era of lead testing starts.  It's also obvious that I need to start testing 300gr. XTPs, but quite frankly, I'm so pleased with the lead bullet performance, that will take a back seat.

But the best news is that responses to the questions posed on this site remind me of how much I need to learn.  I subscribe to 7 handgun magazines, but these guys referenced many things I've never heard of -- can't beat the handson experience from users without sponsors to satisfy.

Cal, Southpaw, Contender, Jim Lambert, yourself and many others have opend my eyes and got me excited again -- thanks to all

Respectfully,
 

·
"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
Joined
·
7,764 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
RugerMag,

To correctly answer your question, I reviewed the old records and it brought back a lot of memories and some old and continuing frustrations -- particularly consistency.  I really try hard to reduce (notice I didn't say eliminate) the influences (me) on the gun during testing to assure accurate data.  But I have never been satisfied with the consistency of most loads.  The first pattern may be .85" at 50yds. and the next pattern will be 1.5" or worse.  Well, anyway, I found that testing at 25yd thru 100yds. my most accurate and consistent 2400 load was 19grs. and the H110 was 22.6grs.  After testing three primers and three brass manufactureres, I standardized on CCI350 and Starline. I also standardized on the 240gr. XTP bullet and have not, until very recently, started testing lead bullets.  Quite frankly, until I tried the Beartooth and Cast Performance bullets, I had not been able to reduce the leading to a satisfactory level. So, the new era of lead testing starts.  It's also obvious that I need to start testing 300gr. XTPs, but quite frankly, I'm so pleased with the lead bullet performance, that will take a back seat.

But the best news is that responses to the questions posed on this site remind me of how much I need to learn.  I subscribe to 7 handgun magazines, but these guys referenced many things I've never heard of -- can't beat the handson experience from users without sponsors to satisfy.

Cal, Southpaw, Contender, Jim Lambert, yourself and many others have opend my eyes and got me excited again -- thanks to all

Respectfully,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
DOK,

I do know that it gets frustrating at times trying to develop the perfect load then along comes a new powder, bullet, etc., etc.

Based off your input I'll go for a 240-grain XTP @ 19.0 grains of 2400. Based on my experience with a 300-grain XTP I'll use 16.5 grains of 2400 as a mark. When I say "mark" I mean that I usually load in 0.1 grains of powder and 5 different loads. Since I know that what I bought works very, very well for the 300-grain XTP I'll use 16.5 grains as the mean and go under and above in 0.1 grain increments. Just to see. With the 240-grain bullet - in this case XTP - I'll also do the same spread.

When I test a load I shoot @ 25 and the 100 yards. I shot some 240 grain XTPs today and got a 1" group @ 25 yards, but it did not hold up @ 125 paces. I have a good long pace as I'm 6' 3". At the range I shot I got about a 6" group and I wasn't impressed. My 300-grain XTP hold together much better.

In my experiments with hardcast bullets I've always used the same load - or range of loads - for my lead as with Jacketed stuff to start off with. I've used Starline brass and CCI350 primers in the past so I'll keep this up with my .44 magnum. I hear you about using soft lead. It makes a mess of the barrel. Beartooth seems to be the way to go.

Just so I can keep everything in prespective did you mention a 325-grain load or have you one in mind? This is one that I'm most interested in developing. Finally, did you record the velocity of your 240-grain XTP load? With my 300-grain load I should be getting about 1175 fps.

Regards,

RugerMag
 

·
"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
Joined
·
7,764 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
RugerMag,

I wouldn't be abe to start the 325gr. tests for about a week -- out of bullets and new ones coming late next week.  I plan on starting with H110 at 19.0grs. and go up in .5gr. increments to 21.0grs for the first test.  I will of course watch for signs of pressure as well as follow the process outlined in the article by Mr. Stanton -- that is, watch for the reduction in velocity increases as you add powder, as well as monitoring the ES.  I also have a recommendation for a powder I've not used very much, #9, and the recommended loading starts at 15.0grs..  I don't know where to start with the 2400, but based on your experience with the 300gr. bullet, 15grs. may be a starting spot -- but I will email the powder manufacturer to see if they will give me an recommendation.  If you determine a starting point for the 2400/325gr., let me know.  By the way, loaded some 300gr. XTP with 16.5gr. 2400 to see what your load does in a couple of my guns.

Since I always started at the powder manufacturers starting load and accuracy was my primary interest, I did not chronograph the various 240gr. bullet loads until I finalized on the load -- the 15.7gr. BlueDot/240gr XTP gave me 1250 fps from the 6.5" S&W barrel.

A side note, you and I could share the same shooting booth -- you're 6'3" and I'm 5'5" and obviously look up to you.

Respectfully,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
DOK,

The 325-grain load would be used for elk, 240 / 300-grain for deer / antelope. Here in AZ the deadline of mid-June is fast upon me for permit application. Last year I got nothing across the board for deer, elk, antelope and bighorn sheep. Oh, I did get turkey, but it rained for the 5 days I could hunt. We are almost over run with elk and they out number the deer enormously. I'd prefer a deer as an elk needs a team to dress and haul out of the woods.

I could put in for black bear, but what would I do with it besides make a rug. There are some horror stories about bear hunts out here. If I get pulled for deer or antelope in the permit lottery I'll be sure that the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th round are 325-grain loads against the black critters.

We'd make an interesting pair due to the height difference.

RugerMag
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top