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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A long time ago when I purchased my 629, I bought a case of Samson 44mag 240 JSP ammo.

Turned out the 629 loved that ammo, was extremely accurate, I took several white tails and wild pigs with it. Then I started running out of the ammo and found out that it wasn't available in the US any more. It was made by IMI in Israel.

I took 10 rounds that I had left and chronographed 5 of them, got an average velocity.
Then I pulled bullets on 3, inspected the powder and weighed it, as well as weighing the projectiles.

I bought a bunch of Nosler 240gr JSP and several hundred Starline cases.

The powder was small spherical balls very similar to IMR2400. I worked up a load with a similar velocity. All my hard work did not pan out. The accuracy is poor, I can't shoot a group with it, and muzzle blast is much worse than the IMI rounds and recoil is greatly increased as well.

As a side note, my Henry rifle loves these reloads that my 629 hates.

I missed something, somewhere, Any suggestions would be appreciated.:confused:
 

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Factory loaded ammo often uses non-canister powders which are unavailable to the handloader, so it is difficult to duplicate. Tell us what the velocity average was, and you should get more and better advice on which powders to use. H110/W296 is usually very accurate in 44 mag, but is only useful at the highest velocities. Downloading it is NOT recommended.

Nosler 44 mag bullets are .429", while Hornady's excellent XTP bullets are .430". The larger bullet may be more accurate.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
629 reloads

I used a micrometer on the IMI bullets, they were .429

Can you provide a good starting point for the Blue Dot loads, I have plenty of Blue Dot. I had really hoped to have a load interchangeable with the Henry rifle though.

The IMI velocity was 1430fps. I worked up a load with 22.1gr of 2400 behind Nosler 240gr JSP, new Starline brass and CCI standard primers. That chronied in at around 1420fps.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I use Blue Dot in my Ithaca 10ga Autoloader. It performs well but is dirty and requires alot of cleanup effort. I know it is slower burning. Out of a 6 inch revolver how much unburned powder will go into extra muzzle flash.
 

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This info is from the Speer #10 manual...

Ruger Super Blackhawk, 7 1/2 bbl, CCI 350 primer, 240gr/ .429 dia jacketed bullet

Blue Dot: 17.2gr --- 1373fps
16.2gr --- 1315fps

I changed to blue dot to avoid the muzzle blast and to avoid the danger of over-pressure created by lighter loads encountered from using Win 296.
 

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Ruger Super Blackhawk, 7 1/2 bbl, CCI 350 primer, 240gr/ .429 dia jacketed bullet

Blue Dot: 17.2gr --- 1373fps
16.2gr --- 1315fps

I changed to blue dot to avoid the muzzle blast and to avoid the danger of over-pressure created by lighter loads encountered from using Win 296.
I thought everyone was aware that you are NOT to use lighter loads of 296/110. I've been using it for longer than I can remember with no problems what-so-ever. Careful reloading will prevent any dangerous over pressure. Most of my friends use it also and I personally don't know of anyone who's had trouble with it. Just about any powder can be dangerous if due care isn't taken. I wouldn't steer anyone clear of using this powder as long as they knew what they were doing in the reloading room. Too many idiots don't read, or believe, the reloading manual. Lots of them still think you need more powder for heavier bullets, etc. simply because they don't bother to read the book or follow directions. I've found in 45+ years or shooting and reloading that 296 has been the best powder for accuracy and velocity in every .357mag and .44mag that I've owned. I also don't know anyone who shoots more 357 than I have (I know they're out there, I just haven't met then yet). Nothing wrong with Blue Dot, is just isn't the best choice in my opinion.
 

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I've found in 45+ years or shooting and reloading that 296 has been the best powder for accuracy and velocity in every .357mag and .44mag that I've owned. I also don't know anyone who shoots more 357 than I have (I know they're out there, I just haven't met then yet). Nothing wrong with Blue Dot, is just isn't the best choice in my opinion.
By coincidence, :)

I transitioned from 2400 to W296 decades back, and my first attempt with .357 loads was memorable. The flattest primers ever seen, and I had to remove the cylinder to tap the empties out. I used a starting load below 100% load density. The W296 sat on a shelf for a while, until I got up the nerve to load up some .44M, a 101% load density start load, that worked like a charm.

Eventually, I read through enough stuff to realize that LOW end loads were the risk in a .357,(and any other round up to the pressure), and over the range of bullet weights from 140gr to 180gr, I never had another scare starting at 100%. W296/H110, good stuff, but it shouldn't be loaded down. 2400 can be loaded down, and so can the 4227's, but when I cut the HP on the .357/.44M's, I find Herco to be more suitable with lighter jacketed and cast bullets. To make up loads that correspond to "Special" levels using swaged lead, Red Dot.

Why low end loads? Because it extends the utility of the .357 & .44M considerably. The W296 powered ammo in my SP101 and M69 is just un-fun for more than a couple cylinders full, or less. Top that with the additional wear, and tear on the gun, and moderate loads make a lot more sense.
 

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low end loads ALWAYS produce higher scores at the range.
The exception to that might be silhouette with a .357 :)

When it comes to slow fire leagues, mild loads are the ticket to be sure.

1430 FPS average over 5 shots.
A couple of my references list a few powders that can hit 1400fps, max. But every reference has 296/110 as the powders that net the best speeds. In my collection of .44's, they are also the best for accuracy, at the very top of the load range.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Mystery solved. Not really a mystery, my own dumb fault. I had used a load that I had put together for a 44mag rifle with 200gr JSP's. I just set the charge micrometer on the powder measure, weighed a few charges and went to town. I did not knock down the powder charge of 2400 for the 240gr JSP's but left it where it was for the 200's. OMG, glad the tough old S&W 629 N frame is built like a tank and that I only tried a couple of shots before I realized something was way out of line. I have a bunch of bullets to pull now. It will keep me busy during the upcoming blizzard, I won't be tempted to go outside, except to feed the chickens and pigs and gather eggs before they freeze. The new loads with 2400 that I made up are more pleasant in the 629. I also made up some Blue Dot loads that have a pretty good bark but are otherwise pleasant to shoot and produce a group that matches my capabilities.
 

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My S&W model 29 .44mag has always shot very tight groups using 2400 powder, which is of course has a little to much residue to suit me but it shoots great.:D:D:D
 

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I'd suggest you try Accurate's #9 powder. I know that this is one of the favored powders
for the 44RM that commercial mfrs use. LP Magnum primers. If you need load data go
to their web page online: Accurate Arms. Google it.

If you're using 2400 powder, DON'T USE MAGNUM PRIMERS! Per the manufacturer's recommendation.
 

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I have used Accurate #9 as well as it's slower brother, Accurate 4100, and neither one has needed a magnum primer. 4100 is between 2400 and 296 for burn rate, and is the most accurate and cleanest burning powder I've ever used. Velocities are way up there as well . . . 1400+ is easily obtainable with 240 gr bullets.

I like the Speer 270 gr. Not a bad group for a 5 minute red dot sight.

 
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