Shooters Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
223 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Greetings...
I was browsing the Load Swap area the other day and discovered a couple loads posted by a user named "Stranger".  He/She? provided load data for the .44mag in a 16" Microgroove Marlin 1894 that delivered a 300 grain WFN at 1660fps with fine accuracy.  Anyway, I'm considering the purchase of a similar Marlin (I'll probably go with the 20 or 24" bbl) and am wondering if this rifle will digest a steady diet of such handloads... and what pressure levels are we dealing with?  Actually, what I had in mind was using Lee430310 seated in the lower crimp groove over a case full of mil-surp WC820 (basically AA#9).  This bullet has proven very accurate in my 444P at 100% load density using somewhat slower surplus ball powders (AA2200).

If Stranger should run across this post, I'd like to know more about his load/rifle combo.  I'm mostly curious about the brass life expectancy, which is a good indication of how hard one is working his rifle.  I'd also like to know what the determining factor is with respect to his overall cartridge length of 1.61".  I understand from others that a Marlin Cowboy in .45 Colt will handle a 1.72" cartridge.  

Thanks for your input...
Forty Four
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
935 Posts
Hi there Forty Four,

I am not "Stranger" (my wife says I'm strange) but maybe I can be of some help until he shows up.  I have done quite a bit of reloading with the Beartooth 300gr lmndcgc in .432 .  Much of that has been with my Marlin 1894P (16" non-Micro groove barrel).  With this particular  bullet I have found 1600 fps is about the max velocity (with H-110) I can get without giving me signs of excessive pressure.  I  presume you could get about an extra 100 fps going to a 20" barrel.  By the way, to shoot this bullet I had to open up the follower .100 since it's a long bullet.  I think this procedure is written up somewhere in this site.

The problem is that as 300 gr bullets vary in design and profile, what would be considered a safe & max load will vary quite a bit.  I am not familiar with the Lee bullet but it is probably a LOT more invasive in the case than the 300 gr bullet I am using.  That does not make it worse but it does mean your max velocity will be lower than a less invasive  bullet.  With this in mind and with the quicker (than H-110) powder, I think you may have a stretch to get 1600 fps with a 20" barrel.  

You might want to read Marshall Stanton's brilliant article (in Tech Notes) on how to develop max loads.  You'll need a chrono and some time but it is very worth it.  

For what it is worth, I develop all my 44 mag loads (as a measure for max) in a particular handgun that shows consistant changes as pressure rises and falls.  I have shot what I believe to be over max loads in my 1894P.  The rifle has never given me the slightest clue of an over pressure load.  None!  Case life has been consistanly good but I attribute that more to the toughness of Starline brass than to its reaction to pressure.  When I shot Reminton brass a few years ago, it reacted strongly (stretch) to hot loads.  

I hope this is of some help until "Stranger" replys to you.  There's a bunch of people on the forum who know more about this than I do, so please ask.  

Good luck and let us know how things work out.

God bless................  Bill M
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
223 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply Bill,

Lee430310RF has been referred to by many as an LBT WFN dup. and when seated to the lower crimp groove, one can get about 26 grains of 680 behind it while using W-W .44mag brass.  I don't know if that helps, but if you're interested you can view a pretty accurate depiction at <a href="http://www.leeprecision.com/catalog/browse.cgi?1008984510.2384=bullmol2.html.

It" target="_blank">http://www.leeprecision.com/catalog....l.

It</a> actually doesn't look quite as blunt in reality and if your really interested, I can apparently scan and post a GIF image of it here.  Some may scoff at the idea of using Lee moulds, but after a pre casting tune-up, which in my case includes the addition of a sprue plate pivot set screw, one can cast excellent bullets for less than a double sawbuck per mould.

Thanks again for the info.  So to recap... I shouldn't have a problem finding an accurate load in the 1600 to 1700 fps range with a Marlin Cowboy (24" bbl) uning a 300 grain pill from the .44mag.

44
 

·
The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
Joined
·
36,336 Posts
Sounds like you are on track....

If you have a chrono then you can work toward that velocity level, which 'appears' to be a reasonable goal with a 24" barrel.

What powder charge that will end up being is something you'll discover along the way.  Your choice in bullet design and source of powder just illustrates the need to work up a load when changing anything!  In reality most handloaders probably don't consider these variables as carefully as they should, I know I've been guilty of that in the past.  But no more, especially since I started using cast bullets.

Good article in the current Handloader by Seyfried on "maximum" loads.  To summarize part of the article, at normal .44 pressures, you'll probably never see any of the so-called pressure indicators.  Hence the utility of the chrono.

Let us know what you end up with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
223 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Mike,

My definition of a maximum load is one than usually generates somewhat less than SAAMI specifications for the cartridge in question.  This is why I was inquiring about pressure in my first post.

When I develop a cast bullet load I strive to achieve several things. Gilt edge accuracy, respectable velocity, minimal velocity spreads for ten round strings, percent deviation in velocity (standard deviation divided by average velocity times 100) less than 1 percent and... long brass life.  Even though the .44mag is industry spec'd for about 40K, I'm actually more interested in what can be achieved at 36K.  I also strive to find a load with the above attributes that uses a powder which is not going to produce large variations in average velocity with fluctuating ambient temperatures.  In other words, if I develop a load that delivers 1680fps in August, I expect at least 1600fps in the middle of Winter.

Good Shooting,
44
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
554 Posts
With regard to load pressures, one of the things I've noticed about the .44 mag is that it seems to be most accurate at near maximum load.  
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
240 Posts
That's true for me too. My most accurate loads are those listed in LoadSwap for the 300g bullets (both cast and jacketed) driven to near max velocities. If I back-off a bit, accuracy drops significantly.

Also, regarding case life, I've seen no accelerated case wear, balooning or stretching with the listed loads using Speer, Hornady, Federal and Starline brass.

Both the listed loads are heavily crimped at the crimp groove and COL meets SAAMI specs. They feed beautifully in my Marlin.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
I haven't had good results with 300 gr. bullets in my 20" 1894S.  I find the extraction gets sticky when i get near the warm loads my Ruger single actions thrive on.

1 load that really sings in my 1894 is the Lyman 275GC over 22 gr. of H-110/ Federal brass and CCI 350 primers. The little carbine shoots cloverleaf groups at 75 yards and I have no doubt those rounds would punch the ticket on anything in the lower 48.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
223 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Leadslinger,
What kind of velocities are you getting with your 275 and 300 grain loads?  You know, a 38K to 40K load in a Ruger sixgun may be an overload in the Marlin since the cylinder gap on the Ruger will bleed off some pressure.

44
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
MICRO GROOVE RIFLING SUCKS...BALLARD RIFLING ROCKS. I WISH MARLIN MADE ALL THEYRE GUNS  WITH BALLARD CUT RIFLING. ACCURACY OUT OF A MICRO GROOVE BARREL IS LIKE ASKING FOR GOOD GAS MILAGE FROM A V 10 DODGE RAM 2500 4X4 PULLING 4 HORSES OVER THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE. 300 , 265 AND 270 GRAINERS ARE THE BEST FOR THE 44 RIFLE AND THERE IS ONLY 1 POWDER, H110 . MAX. RIFLE CHARGE PER YOUR MANUAL AND THAT WILL BE THE BEST YOU CAN HOPE FOR.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top