.44 Magnum and 2400

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David LaPell

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Messages
979
Location
Upstate NY
I have yet to unpack my reloading manuals from the move, but I am trying to find what Elmer Keith's loads for the .44 Magnum, the 250 grain cast bullets and 2400 powder.
 

jforwel

Bearcat
Joined
May 19, 2006
Messages
74
Location
Montana
Elmer's load was 22.0gr of 2400 under his 429421 bullet.

Not saying you should use this without further study, just that this was his load.
 

Lost Sheep

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 3, 2008
Messages
407
Location
Anchorage Alaska
David LaPell":7qvt1uw6 said:
I have yet to unpack my reloading manuals from the move, but I am trying to find what Elmer Keith's loads for the .44 Magnum, the 250 grain cast bullets and 2400 powder.
I would go to the powder manufacturer's web site and ask them.

http://www.alliantpowder.com/reloaders/ ... rtridge=33
if the link does not work, paste this into your browser
alliantpowder.com/reloaders/default.aspx?page=/reloaders/powderlist.aspx&type=1&powderid=9&cartridge=33

Also, check John Taffin's article here
http://www.sixguns.com/range/44magnumsixguns.htm
sixguns.com/range/44magnumsixguns.htm
 

captainkirk

Blackhawk
Joined
Jul 30, 2002
Messages
538
Location
Abilene, TX
jforwel":a2x3oeue said:
Elmer's load was 22.0gr of 2400 under his 429421 bullet.

Not saying you should use this without further study, just that this was his load.

I think he also used a standard rather than a magnum primer at the time as well. I would add the same caution about this load - the formulation of 2400 has changed somewhat since Mr. Keith used it.

captainkirk
 

WESHOOT2

Hunter
Joined
Mar 19, 2005
Messages
2,124
Location
Duxbury, Vermont, USA
I would start at 19.0g and work up in .2g increments; I would use new sized cases ONLY; I would start with Winchester WLP primers.
I would finish with a Redding Profile Crimp die.
 

I_Like_Pie

Blackhawk
Joined
Aug 24, 2006
Messages
659
Location
Chattanooga, TN
jforwel":1u2i20ta said:
Elmer's load was 22.0gr of 2400 under his 429421 bullet.

Not saying you should use this without further study, just that this was his load.


Yeah...these days that is a Hot, Hot, Hot load! 2400 has changed a bit since then. I would personally never go over 1.6cc (21.6 gr.) with a 240gr. and can't ever see doing it with a lead bullet that sticks down in that case even more than the JHP that I am using. It has to be lower than 20-21 grain these days...just too darn much pressure.

Keith may have used it then, but I would use a more modern recommendation from Alliant before going any further. I do know that there are several blurbs in various manuals that say to pretty much stay away from magnum primers with hot 2400 loadings for some reason of other.
 

Big Bubba

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 26, 2006
Messages
112
Location
WV
I now shoot 20gr. 2400 with a 250 Keith SWC and standard pistol primers. In years past, I shot the Keith load of 22 gr of 2400, but as the other fellows said, the newer 2400 powder is faster burning than the old. My chrongraph has proven this to me.

As stated, start low and work up.
 

COR

Blackhawk
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
848
Location
Pittsburgh, Pa
I agree with the 20gr load with todays 2400. I have shot as much as 22gr behind a 260grWFNGC and 250K but it is hot in my guns. 20grs was the most accurate anyway, which is what really matters. BTW I use WLP primers exclusively.
 

LAH

Buckeye
Joined
Jun 6, 2002
Messages
1,437
Location
WV
If you go to the Alliant site you will find much help there. I think you will find a Keith bullet at 1200 fps will do 99.9% of that which needs done with a sixgun.
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2006
Messages
9,534
Location
Woodbury, Tn
Hi,
I don't have a chronograph. I have shot 10 rounds with 22 gr of 2400 from my 4 inch Redhawk. I don't reccomend it. In my gun it was very hard to hold. Supposedly Elmer used this load to kill an elephant. I use 19.5 to 20.5 gr of 2400 now, and still have plenty of oomph to it.
gramps
 

two bit okie

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 27, 2004
Messages
220
Location
Topock, AZ
I used to load that 22 grs of 2400 and 250 hard cast. While sighting in with the local in southern Utah, a local friend commented that all california hunters had to carry a handgun. even if you could not hit anything beyond 50 yards. Fightin words. I had my super with the above load and picked his target, (a 50 pound bag of dried and hardened lime) at what he claimed was a measured 250 yards. I leaned over the hood, and first was over, second was under, and third was a huge puff of lime dust. so was 4 and 5.

I would not shoot this load in my 4 5/8 vaquero. but would in the 7 1/2".

But, still not a fun load in any thing. I was young and foolish.
 

SAJohn

Hunter
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Messages
2,300
Location
Terrebonne, Oregon, USA
Once apon a time in the west, when I was young and brave(?) I worked my way up to an absolute maximum load for my then new Old Model Super Blackhawk. The biggest .44 bullets then available were jacketed 260 grainers. The powder of choice was Hercules (not Alliant) 2400 and all of the manuals specified magnum primers.

I used carefully inspected, once fired brass. I started at 20 grains and slowly worked my way up. All cases, bullets, and powder loads were individually weighed. No affordable chronographs then so pressure was evaluated by primer flattening and cratering and difficulty of extration.

Note: I am now going to mention some numbers which should never be used! This is just to let all of you know just how tough these old Ruger SBH's are.

At 24 grains primers started looking a bit extra flat. Flatter yet at 25 grains. At 25.5 grains primer crating was becoming apparant. At 26 grains I had significant cratering and hard extraction. Recoil was exceptional!

I settled on 25 grains as my mule deer hunting load. I got one large Utah mulie buck with this load. He dropped in his tracks. Even with heart shots I never saw this much stopping power with a Winchester .300 magnum rifle (my Ruger No. 1, of course).

I never fired a total of more than about ten of these rounds. Later, when I knew better, I disassembled my remaining supply.

The moral to this story is that we have a heck of a safety margin in our Ruger SA revolvers (maybe even more in a Redhawk). Pushing that safety margin is stupid. I did it and got away with it in that particular revolver. What this means to me is that the 21 grain load of todays 2400 behind a 250 grain lead bullet is plenty powerful and very safe.

SAJohn
 

txpete

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 3, 2003
Messages
36
Location
ft hood TX
for my ruger 44

429421 my cast 15 bhn
7.5 grs W231
win brass
win lg pistol primer

this is a very accurate load and will blow thru a deer and keep going :D

thats 933 loads per pound :wink:
 

sailorb

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 2, 2006
Messages
154
Location
Indianapolis, IN USA
OK, I am a whimp, but I don't see any point in punishing myself or my firearms. I use 17.0 gr of 2400 with a CCI Lg Pistol primer and a Speer 270 gr SP Gold Dot as a hunting load in both my "old style" Ruger .44 Mag carbine and my SBH Hunter. Both shoot real well and deer fall over dead. I can't see going a whole lot more, even with cast bullets, maybe 18-19 gr.
 

BearStopper

Blackhawk
Joined
May 16, 2008
Messages
787
Location
Oregon
I shoot 19gr of 2400 and a cast 240gr bullet. It was my starting load and was so accurate I never bothered to go up from there. It recoils less than a box of Remington factory 240 half jacketed lead nose that I had in a side by side comparison so I am sure that I can go up a couple of grains and gain some velocity but I will only do that if I find that the accuracy is maintained.
 

Aqualung

Blackhawk
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Messages
710
Location
Philadelphia, PA, USA
BearStopper":3m0odu0y said:
I shoot 19gr of 2400 and a cast 240gr bullet. It was my starting load and was so accurate I never bothered to go up from there. It recoils less than a box of Remington factory 240 half jacketed lead nose that I had in a side by side comparison so I am sure that I can go up a couple of grains and gain some velocity but I will only do that if I find that the accuracy is maintained.

You're probably pretty good right there and won't gain much.

That's my cast load as well. Anything more leaded my barrel up, even with hard cast.

I've got some XTPs loaded with 19.5 and 20.0 I need to test yet.

Aqualung
 

BowenBuilt

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 20, 2008
Messages
52
Location
Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia
In my old age I have found that 17.5 of 2400 or the Taffin Load of 10 grns Unique handles about anything I need to do with a .44 Magnum these days. I used to think that if the gun didn't try to rip my hands off everytime I pulled the trigger It wasn't powerful enough. I now know the error of my ways. 10 grns of pleasent shooting Unique kills all out purportion to the load.
BB
 

Sonnytoo

Blackhawk
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
631
Location
florida
In a 7 1/2" barrel, using 17.6 gr of 2400 (new powder), 272 gr hardcast bullets and WLP primers and new Starline cases (as well as Federal), I get 1125 fps and what I call "medium" recoil. Standard deviation is good, accuracy is good.
Recoil to me is light, medium or heavy and varies of course from one gun to another depending on weight, barrel length and such. This is medium out of a relatively light Colt SAA New Frontier.
You probably don't need more than that for most hunting, but I realize that "different strokes" argument.
sonnytoo
 
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