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Fred -

I worked exrtensively on this with a 2" 44 Special and learned a lot. For any given cylinder gap, you can maximize energy by EITHER using heavy lead or very light fragmentation bullets.

In the 44 Special, a 240 gr lead bullet and Blue Dot got 950 fps at safe pressures - powders in the Unique and Universal burn rate zone will jump pressures very fast with the deep seating depth of the 240s and slower than Blue Dot will just dump pressure out the end of the bbl.

For defense work, the 115 gr X-ploders from Shell Reloading (602) 983-7078 are very good - try 1550 fps using Green Dot!! This is over 600 fp of energy from a 2" bbl with moderate recoil.

When I carry this gun I have the X-ploders in the first 3 cylinders and the 240 gr lead rounds in the last 2. This gives 3 for quick close range defense and 2 for longer range or big penetration if needed.
 
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