44 magnum round ball load needed

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max503 posted this 03 November 2018

Anyone have a light, round ball 44 handgun load they care to share?  I have balls cast up and lubed with LLA. 

 

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onondaga posted this 03 November 2018

A .451 RB in pure lead weighs 138 gr.

In 38 special a 135 gr cast bullet needs 3.1 gr H titegroup for 824 fps @ 9600 CUP as a START load according to Hodgdon Data.

3.1 gr H Titegroup will be a pressure safe load for your cast round ball in .44 Mag and that powder has excellent ignition in large cases with small charges making it the first choice.

CAUTION: listen how bang sounds and note how recoil feels. If it is different on any shot, check barrel for a stuck ball as velocity this low may cause a stuck ball and the associated catastrophic disaster on the next shot. Use this load at your own risk.

Gary

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max503 posted this 03 November 2018

I'm going to use Unique because that's what I have.  I guess we don't worry about the flat spot from the sprue throwing things off?

I thought about loading them in primed, unsized cases so that the ball would sit down in the case and take up some of that free space.  I have an old book by John Wooters.  He would use a stab crimp on certain loads.  I thought about trying that if the ball won't stay down in the case.

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TRKakaCatWhisperer posted this 03 November 2018

Hmmmm.  I used to do 3 spheres in the .375 Win.  Might do two in the 44?  Just thinking out loud.

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onondaga posted this 04 November 2018

Max,

I don't know what size ball you have but fit is very important. The way to determine maximize size is to use the largest diameter ball that an un-sized case will take and still chamber. I hope you don't already have your mind made up to ignore that if you really want to hit stuff.

The RB has only a small area around the circumference that bears to the brass. Be very aware that if you crimp the brass in that area , you will size the ball smaller and allow more gas blow by causing your hits to be all over the place and your barrel to lead up like mad. And that is exactly the complaint you hear from loaders that get it wrong.

You may have to get a different size ball mold to get it right, but when you do, they will shoot well and shoot clean.

Gary

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onondaga posted this 04 November 2018

Max, I have loaded RB in 44 Mag and the Lee .433" RB shot all over the place but the Lee .440" cast in scrap was big enough to put a tiny bulge in an un-sized case. I seated them with a pin press onto the powder with no crimp. They behaved well in my Smith 29 and killed many rats at my college dump in the 60s. I shot them with a Lee recommended .410 shot-shell load.  I genuinely forget which Lee scoop I measured with and which powder, but it was .410 shotgun light field load level.

Gary

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max503 posted this 04 November 2018

I've loaded these before.  According to my notes the lighter loads of Unique gave erratic ignition.  I'm going to load some up to take on a camping trip.  

I'll do some more experimenting.  It wouldn't take much effort to load some balls into unsized cases and see how they shoot.  I'm just looking to have some fun and maybe shoot some small game.  If I come up with any major technological break throughs I will post them here.wink

My past efforts with this load have been inconclusive and I was just wondering if anyone else has gone down this path.

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GP Idaho posted this 04 November 2018

max503:  Somewhat the same path.  I've loaded 44 round ball rounds for my 444 Marlin Handi rifle.  I used light charges of TiteGroup and powder coated the round balls to gain a little girth and protect against leading.  They are OK for plinking and cost near nothing to build. I might go with the .440 balls next time (Gary's suggestion) and see if I can get a little better grip on the rifling. With the balls being only .435 nominal, there is very little lead at the equator to grip the rifling.  Powder coat to the rescue, so no leading, just not stellar accuracy  Gp

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max503 posted this 04 November 2018

Yes.  I've run these through a sizing die and only a thin band on the equator gets flattened.

This ball mold is something I picked up cheap.  I also use the balls for split shot fishing weights, so if they don't work in my 44 all is not lost.

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M3 Mitch posted this 05 November 2018

A very easy check on revolvers is to try the ball (or any other bullet) by dropping into the back end of the cylinder, if they fall on through, they are undersized enough that they won't shoot accurately at all.

With a round ball, the smallest ball that won't fall all the way through is not going to really be big enough, as onondaga noted, the biggest ball that will fit into the fired case is what you want.  Or take a big ball and size it down a bit in your usual lube-sizer.

Me, I would want to build up to a "hot" enough load that I could rely on the ball not sticking in the barrel. 

Traditionally you would put the sprue scar front and center, so you have a "nose pour" ball mold and didn't even know that.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 05 November 2018

cautiously i offer my experience with shooting round balls .... plinker loads in a 44 mag. rifle ...

balls big enough that i am sure they distorted in the throat when fired 

were more accurate than throat-sliding fit balls.

*************

it seems strange that purposely distorting balls was best .

possibly the better ignition because of clogging the throat is better than having a round ball at exit ....  or possibly the ball is distorted anyway so you might as well get better ignition.

****************

this sorta seems to work the same with standard long cast bullets ... too big is better .....  hey, remember BEAGLED  bullets ??? ... defies common sense ...  oversized oval bullets are better than just snug perfect bullets ...  heresy !! ..  maybe Richard Lee knew this all along ( g ) ... some of my lee molds give me pre-beagled bullets ...

ken, still learning 

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John Alexander posted this 06 November 2018

I agree with Ken. When I was shooting round balls out of a rifled 20 gauge at deer the best were oversizes never considered they were distorted  but just a very short bullets with short parallel sides. They shouldn't tumble out of a rifled bore like from a smoothbore.

Virtually everything I have shot seriously for the for the last 35 years has been from beagled molds.  I have seen no downside to oval bullets if needed for a better fit.

I'm not so far gone that I think oval is better than round if everything is otherwise equal, but angst over less than round bullets is misplaced agony.

John

 

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Ed Harris posted this 06 November 2018

Some years ago Ellis Lea had a "From the Loading Bench" short article in American Rifleman firing Speer .433" round balls in the .44 Magnum T/C Contender pistol with 10" barrel and he got best results flush seating these in .44 Magnum brass, and smearing lithium grease in the gap between ball and case mouth, with a heavy roll crimp and 5 grains of Bullseye.  I don't recall the specific issue, but have used this load with good results in both revolver and rifle. 

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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max503 posted this 06 November 2018

Wish I could find that article. 

This is another on my list of CB projects.  I'll throw together some RB loads for my upcoming trip and try them out on some small game.  But I probably won't spend a whole lot of time on this project.  When I get back from my vacation I'll need to load up some heavy bullet 30-30's and some 223's for the coyote shoot.  

The fun never ends.  Thanks for all the help.

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jimkim posted this 06 November 2018

Maybe this will help. It's an article on Cast Pics.

Years ago, I used 0.454" round balls run through a series of sizers, until they were oblong 0.430" balls. I think I used 4.5-6.0gr of Unique. I wanted a quiet round to use on pests around the house.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.castpics.net/LoadData/Round%2520Ball%2520Loads.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwjIkSricDeAhWHzVMKHYbdB0IQFjANegQIBRAB&usg=AOvVaw3zQx98dxis7s9svV4-Wek

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max503 posted this 06 November 2018

Maybe this will help. It's an article on Cast Pics. Years ago, I used 0.454" round balls run through a series of sizers, until they were oblong 0.430" balls. I think I used 4.5-6.0gr of Unique. I wanted a quiet round to use on pests around the house. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.castpics.net/LoadData/Round%2520Ball%2520Loads.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwjIk_SricDeAhWHzVMKHYbdB0IQFjANegQIBRAB&usg=AOvVaw3zQx98dxis_7s9svV4-Wek
Very good article.  Thanks much.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 07 November 2018

in general, round/ovulated balls have not much resistance on firing ... even distorted first, they still have little initial resistance ....  so::

in my adventures with these, i find the fastest  powders are preferred ... bullseye etc.,  to get cleaner burning ...  it is easy to go through a lot of easy-loading balls at a time, and unique and blue dot etc. usually leave me with too much unburned powder in the action.

btw, at 35 yards, round balls were my most accurate load in my 44 mag rifle ... so far i can't get them to work even for plinking in my 45-70 ruger3 ... ?? ...  but the lee 230 gr. rn " old army " works well enough even for 100 yard groundhogs ...  ( and 12 gr. unique burns ok ) .

ken, still looking for rule #2 for cast bullets ...

 

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max503 posted this 15 November 2018

Here's the group I got at 50 feet with .3 cc's of Unique, a .431 ball lubed with LLA, seated down all the way onto the powder charge.  That's 2.x grains of powder.  

These were assembled in unsized cases.  I made some heavier loads and they performed as well, but they weren't quiet like this load.  Seating the ball down on the powder charge seems to make all the difference.  This is a useable load.  (I shot these out of a 10" 44 Magnum Contender with a 2X scope.)  That 3 inch note means the group was centered 3 inches below point of aim.  Looks like I'll be using some Tennessee Elevation.

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M3 Mitch posted this 15 November 2018

Interesting that not many people seem to think to push the ball all the way down in the case.  Of course most loading dies are not set up to do that.   But if you are just putting an oversized ball into an unsized case, I guess it makes perfect sense, increases loading density.

Do heavier loads shoot closer to your aiming point?  And what load do you have that Contender sighted in for anyway?

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max503 posted this 16 November 2018

Yes.  The heavier loads hit just below and a little to the right of the aiming point.  They were .5 and .7cc dippers of Unique.  4.x and 6.x grains.  Figure if I need something that powerful I'll just use SWC's.

After de-priming with a punch I washed the cases with hot water, Dawn, and a bore mop.

My usual load is 8.5 grains of Unique under a Lyman 429421 cast from mystery alloy and lubed with Felix lube.  Any faster and that bullet leads.  

I've got lots of Unique. 

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Brodie posted this 16 November 2018

Max503, You don't need to wash those cases if they didn't wind up in the dirt at your feet.  The current mania about shiny brass came from wanting to get the grit off of them so it wouldn't change the dimensions of your steel dies.  Now the practice seems to have gotten out of hand or at least I think so. Brodie

B.E.Brickey

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