Cowboy loads for a 44 magnum

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  • Last Post 30 March 2020
99 Strajght posted this 23 March 2020

I have been invited to shoot some cowboy pistol but the only pistol that I have that will work is a 44 magnum. Does anyone have any loads in the 700 to 800 fps range that are accurate. I have both  the Lee 240 swc and the Lee 240 round nose bullet mold. Thank You for any help.

Glenn

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Larry Gibson posted this 23 March 2020

With the Lee 240 SWC; 5.5 gr Bullseye

LMG

Concealment is not cover.........

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RicinYakima posted this 23 March 2020

 The only load that I have that slow is 5.5 grains of WW231 at about 800 f/s with a 250 grain 429421. You may consider 5.0 grains of Bullseye or Titegroup with a 200 grain bullet, but don't know if that would be less than 800 f/s. Case volume is your problem for reasonable ignition.

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Michael S posted this 23 March 2020

To solve the case volume problem, trim some 44 mag brass to 44 spl to 1.150" load the 240gr SWC

  Unique 6.9gr @ 767 fps 13,300 c.u.p.  that is the max load listed in Lyman 4th edition page 272.                               I find that load to be most accurate with my Lyman 429421 of #2 alloy and sized .430 blue carnauba lubes shooting out of my Ruger 44mag 4.5"  big frame vacaro and my Ruger 44spl 5.5" flat top and both my Ruger 44mag 3" birdhead revolvers.  It will also clear my Marline rifles

 

  The starting gr for Unique is 6.0 @ 649 fps 10 300 c.u.p.

GOD, United States of America, US Marine Corps, Family, Self

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Ed Harris posted this 23 March 2020

I agree with Larry on 5.5 grains of Bullseye.  It gives more uniform velocity in reduced loads than Unique.

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

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Eutectic posted this 24 March 2020

44 Special cases will give lower velocity spreads than magnum cases with light loads.

I find TightGroup equal to Bullseye, These loads are TightGroup in Special brass in a 5 1/2 inch 629 with 429421. 12 BHN alloy

3.7 grains 560fps, 4.0 grains 623 fps, 4.5 grains 660 fps

The 4.5 grain load is accurate in several revolvers.

Steve

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Bud Hyett posted this 24 March 2020

 S&W 696 .44 Special practice load:

  • 6.5 grains Unique
  • Federal Large Pistol primer
  • Lyman 429215, Sized .430
  • Wheelweight alloy

This is light for double action practice. 

Farm boy from Western Illinois, living in the Magical Pacific Northwest

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BigMan54 posted this 24 March 2020

I've been loading .44Mag Cowboy for/with a Buddy for 18years. Same Bullet weight; 240grs. Use the data from the Hodgdon "Cowboy Action Data" handout #5 dated 1/03.

With 240gr Bullet: N.O.E #432-240-RF; 

Titegroup 4.7grs - 6.2grs , He uses 5.3grs,  very consistent. 

Clays 4.3grs - 6.2grs

HP38 5.5grs - 7.2grs  (Same as W231)

Lee RN is a very fine Bullet, almost duplicates the ancient Lyman #429251.

 

If you do get to shoot some Rifle, PLEASE DON'T USE ROUND NOSE BULLETS IN A LEVER RIFLE.

Here are suggestions.

 

If you roll crimp over the front driving band on the Lee  SWC it should be short enough to feed in any Lever Rifle w/o a problem. Regardless if it is old style or new TL style.  Best to make up dummies to check cycling. If you're using a Win 16" Trapper, make up 10 dummies. If the loads OAL is short enough, you might get 9rds into the Magazine. 

A lot of Cowboy Shoots call for 9rds. His Win Trapper WILL NOT feed even a long bullet loaded in a .44Spl case. We've only tried the Lyman #429667, and He doesn't like .44Spl loads.  

Have found through Experience that Titegroup performs well under both Cold and Hot conditions. 

Have add'l data for Hodgdon Universal & International powders too.

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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skeet1 posted this 25 March 2020

I have just started shooting reduced loads in my Marlin and decided to use IMR Target at 5.0 gr. So far it seem to do very welland very pleasant to shoot. 

 

Ken

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99 Strajght posted this 28 March 2020

I thought  I would let you know what I found out. I loaded up 100 rounds of each of the following just to see what the accuracy was. 5.5 gr. Bullseye, 240 gr. round nose bullet in a 44 mag. case and 6.9 gr. Unique. 240 gr. round nose in a 44 mag. case. Both shot under 2 inches at 25 yards but the unique was a little more accurate for all groups. Now I am all set up for the cowboy shoot.

Thank You

Glenn

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BigMan54 posted this 30 March 2020

That load of 6.9grs of Unique is going to be a bit hot for Cowboy Shooting.  

If you are shooting at steel, it won't make the Match Director happy. Those targets are big & close. 

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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99 Strajght posted this 30 March 2020

Thank you. I will try about 6 gr. of unique.

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