44 special +p ?

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BB Rvlr

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Brian Pearce did a great write up in Handloader Magazine #260 that covers what he feels it can loaded to. That article was one of the deciding factors that promped me to jump on the flattop/44 special bandwagon.
 

VAdoublegunner

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Yes, you should really check out that Pearce article in Handloader. Great information there.

You can push a 240 Hornady HP/XTP to just under 1200fps in one. I chrono'd his load for that in one of my 4 5/8" guns vs. his 5 1/2" test and it was right on the money considering barrel length difference.

But anything pushing a good 240 gr cast bullet to 1000fps will generally perform quite well as a field/game load. Easily to do that in the new Ruger, and much easier on the gun as well as being very pleasant to shoot. Not to mention exceptionally accurate.
 

Rainman

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Also check out the November 2009 issue of Shooting Times. Lane Pearce, the handloading editor, wrote a good article on the 44 spl.

Dan
 

Jayhawkhuntclub

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BB Rvlr":2zguxfnv said:
Brian Pearce did a great write up in Handloader Magazine #260 that covers what he feels it can loaded to. That article was one of the deciding factors that promped me to jump on the flattop/44 special bandwagon.

How do I obtain a copy of this article? thanks.
 

Dale53

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Brian Pearce's article in the #260 is indeed an excellent article. You can do an online subsription to the Wolfe publishing magazines. That's what I do. Saves money and the Handloader is again a fine magazine.

Dale53
 

M'BOGO

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He also did an article a couple of years prior that had about three pages of .44 spc data in different pressure ranges. They (Wolf Publishing) used to sell handloader by the year on DVD too.
 

Sonnytoo

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There are two HANDLOADER articles, by Brian Pearce, that you want for the .44 Special. My favorite issue is #236, August 2005, in which Brian takes common gun makes and models (.44 Special) and puts them into three pressure categories, the highest one of which operates at 25,000 psi or less. The other two categories are SAAMI standard 15,500 and 22,000 psi, or less. He includes everything from the Colt SAA to the Freedom Arms models.
The other article, perhaps more to your liking, is #260, June 2009, and is written specifically with the new Ruger Blackhawk .44 Special in mind. He does suggest Keith's load, the 250 grain Lyman 429421 with 17 grains of 2400 in Starline cases, CCI 300 primer, for 1211 fps. He has many other loads in his article as well, many which surpass 1000 and 1100 fps with 240gr or heavier cast bullets. He does note that some of these loads will approach 25,000 psi of pressure or less, far surpassing the SAAMI max of 15,500 psi. It is good for you to be careful. Either you trust him or you don't. Personally, I do. I think he's great.
Brian's work on the .44 Special, which has astounding in its great amount of work and data over a number of years, allows the reader to utilize his particular .44 Special to its full capability. There are some well-meaning folks out there who full believe that the .44 Special is best left alone at its SAAMI standard of 15,500 psi. Lane Pearce, mentioned in a previous post, is one of these folks and certainly is in good company with many of the people who read this forum's posts.
If you want these articles, you can call Wolfe Pub Company at 800-899-7810 in Prescott, Arizona. Note the time zone when you call.
I have these, as I ordered them several months ago from Wolfe Pub; I believe for about $8.00 for each HANDLOADER magazine. I would do it again in a second.
Sonnytoo
 

demo_slug

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thank you all very much. I wanted to know how much head room there was. not that I'd be a hot loading fiend with a 44spl, I just don't want a pistol that doesn't have any margin.
 

surveyor47

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And who said that old Elmer Keiths data was not going to be resurected? Something tells me that we are going to know "the real upper limit" of the 44 Special in short order. :roll:

I can understand the temptation that the Ruger Blackhawk 44 Special presents. I CANNOT see pushing a 44 Special to 44 Magnum ballistics. A 240 grain bullet at 1200 fps IS a 44 Magnum and these guns are built on a 357 frame. In my opinion, that is pushing things too far.

As I recall, Buffalo Bore has a 44 Special+P load that runs about 1000 fps and they have never been known for weak loadings. Thats a pretty stiff loading for a Special case.

How many articles do you see about pushing the 38 Special case beyond 1000 fps in 357 frame guns? Not many? That is because the 38 Special case is thinner than a magnum case. Virtually every reloading manual I have ever read has specifically warned not to load 38 Special cases to 357 levels even when used in 357 guns due to the weakness of the Special case and extremely high pressures due to the 1/10 inch shorter case length.
 

CraigC

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surveyor47":21l9rtio said:
And who said that old Elmer Keiths data was not going to be resurected? Something tells me that we are going to know "the real upper limit" of the 44 Special in short order.
Really? How many .44Spl's did Elmer Keith destroy??? I'll give you a hint, it starts with "z" and ends with "ero". How many of the already available .44Spl's have been destroyed at the hands of reloaders? :roll:


surveyor47":21l9rtio said:
I CANNOT see pushing a 44 Special to 44 Magnum ballistics. A 240 grain bullet at 1200 fps IS a 44 Magnum and these guns are built on a 357 frame.
Why not? So it's okay to push the .45Colt to 32,000CUP in guns strong enough to handle it, which is more than double SAAMI pressure standards but it's not okay to push the .44Spl to 25,000psi in guns strong enough to handle it?


surveyor47":21l9rtio said:
In my opinion, that is pushing things too far.
Nobody said you had to buy a .44Spl and load it to 1200fps.


Safety Police bulletin duly noted. :roll:
 
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quite frankly I don't see .38 spcl cases being a bit thinner and 1/10th of an inch is infitisemal except when trying to put an maggie round in a spcl cylinder. I use spcl cases to load 173 gr swc so they aren't too long for my sp101 mag version.
gramps
 

surveyor47

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If Ruger starts getting a bunch of destroyed 44 Specials, I would expect to see manufacture of the 44 Special ended sooner than later. This is not the first time this issue has come up.

These are not 44 framed guns like the "Old" New Model Blackhawk 45 Colts. The Ruger Only 45 Colt data was developed for older stronger Rugers, not the lighter weight guns, originally developed for Cowboy Action Shooters. This introduces an element of doubt and possible confusion as to which gun and which data. My undertanding is that these new guns are built on 357 frames, NOT 44 frames, much closer to the Colt Single Action Army than to a 3 screw Blackhawk or first New Model Blackhawk.

The articles I have read in years past about Elmer Keiths experiments indicated that not all of them were successful. He didnt have a laboratory or current methods of determining pressure. Given the fact that I wrecked a 357 magnum 30 years ago using "Keith data" quoted from a magazine article, I can state as a positive fact that it is possible to destroy a gun. For that reason, I stay within SAAMI specs.
 

CraigC

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surveyor47":16ioqpte said:
If Ruger starts getting a bunch of destroyed 44 Specials, I would expect to see manufacture of the 44 Special ended sooner than later. This is not the first time this issue has come up.
This logic is interesting but unfounded in reality. There IS NO .44Spl loading data in print that will destroy a Ruger Blackhawk .44Spl. None. However, there is PLENTY of .45Colt loading data in print that will destroy the Colt SAA .45Colt, its replicas as well as the New Vaquero and even the large frame Blackhawk. This apparently has no impact on the production of those guns. Why? Because it is the responsibility of the handloader to know the limitations of the guns he loads for. Always has been, hopefully always will be.

So do you really think that a firearm will be discontinued because handloaders destroy them with unpublished data??? Didn't you stop to think that this logic could be applied to any firearm in existence??? Let us not forget that the data in question (Elmer Keith's 1200fps load) is not new, nor are the guns strong enough to handle them.
 

CraigC

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surveyor47":3qw72vls said:
How many articles do you see about pushing the 38 Special case beyond 1000 fps in 357 frame guns? Not many? That is because the 38 Special case is thinner than a magnum case. Virtually every reloading manual I have ever read has specifically warned not to load 38 Special cases to 357 levels even when used in 357 guns due to the weakness of the Special case and extremely high pressures due to the 1/10 inch shorter case length.
Quite a few, if you're looking for .38-44 loading data. Okay, so first the guns are not strong enough, now it's the cases??? Are you just trying to be a wet blanket, because it doesn't seem like you have much knowledge on this subject?

.38-44 loads typically push a 158-173gr case bullet over 1200fps. This is a very high pressure load but perfectly safe in suitable guns. Those guns would be the original S&W .38-44 Heavy Duty and Outdoorsman sixguns and any .357Mag. Some .357's lack the cylinder length to handle the 173gr Keith bullet in Magnum brass, .38 brass is perfect. Concerns about case strength are unfounded speculation. I'm sure there are some crappy cases on the market, like those Remingtons with the cannelure but I've loaded standard pressure .38Spl cases with .38-44 loads in the 1200fps range more than 20 TIMES without a failure. The cases are plenty strong if you use good brass, move on. Same can be said for .44Spl cases, you have no argument.
 

surveyor47

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I have experienced many 38 Special cases splitting with target loads, typically on between the 4th and 10th loading, which is when I junk them, but I have also seen them split on the 2nd or 3rd loading. I have rarely had a 357 case split. There is a difference in wall thickness.

Thirty years ago, I destroyed a 357 with published data and learned my lesson. I do load some "stout" loads, but they are all within SAAMI specs and I have not experienced a gun failure since. I frankly find little need for loadings exceeding 1000 to 1100 fps for the vast majority of loadings in 357, 41 or 44 Magnums, particularly practice or target ammo. I get very little leading, good case life and my guns are in good condition.

Several years ago, Rugers the then current head of Customer Support told me that they were determined to stop the practice of "Ruger Only" loadings in 45 Colt. Since that time, some reloading companies have stopped publishing "Ruger Only" data. The introduction of lighter frames in 45 Colt and 44 Special only further confuses the issue. What might have been safe in one model, might be unsafe in the other. It is something to consider.

If I purchase one of these new Ruger Bisleys, I would not exceed 1000 fps with a 240 grain lead bullet in deference to the 357 frame. I have checked the Hodgon and Alliant websites, Lyman and Hornady relaoding handbooks and do not find any +P44 Special data.
 

CraigC

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surveyor47":2jl7m40m said:
I have experienced many 38 Special cases splitting with target loads...
I've had cases split on the second firing too. Like anything else, you have to find cases that work. I use Starline almost exclusively but the above-mentioned loads were assembled in Remington UMC once fired brass from their bulk ammo. Twenty plus firings.


surveyor47":2jl7m40m said:
There is a difference in wall thickness.
Wall thickness is not everything. Some folks make the same statement about .38 and .38 +P brass but the only difference is the headstamp.


surveyor47":2jl7m40m said:
I destroyed a 357 with published data and learned my lesson.
Care to share the details?


surveyor47":2jl7m40m said:
I frankly find little need for loadings exceeding 1000 to 1100 fps for the vast majority of loadings in 357, 41 or 44 Magnums, particularly practice or target ammo.
Agreed, 100%.


surveyor47":2jl7m40m said:
I have checked the Hodgon and Alliant websites, Lyman and Hornady relaoding handbooks and do not find any +P44 Special data.
So what??? The data is out there, it has been tested, it is proven and it works.
 

surveyor47

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Who has the +P44 Special data been tested by?

My S&W 19 357 was wrecked by a load published in Speer Reloading Manual #9, circa 1974. This was a starting load of Blue Dot under a Speer 125 grain JHP. The gun locked up tight within 25 rounds. Frame was stretched to the point that the gun was deemed beyond repair. I was told that I must have made a mistake, that it was my fault. I disassembled remaining rounds and found that they were loaded per the Speer recommendation. This manual was in general on the hot side. Starting loads were usually maximum for my guns. S&W was not in the habit of letting people know that K-frame magnums were primarily 38 Specials with a limited ability to fire 357 Magnums. My replacement gun was a Ruger Security Six that is still going strong 35,000 rounds later.

I was inspired to ignore my caution (or common sense) by a magazine article claiming that then current loading data, including Speers data, was on the weak side. The only real 357 data was Keith data. Wrong!


http://www.alliantpowder.com/getting_st ... tices.aspx

"Safety Notice
At Alliant Powder, we take safety seriously. That’s why we periodically test our products in different situations to be sure our use recommendations stay current. Check here for any safety notes or recall information. Stay safe and keep accurate.
Alliant Powder periodically reviews and tests their published reloading data to verify that our recommended recipes have not changed over time.
During the latest review Alliant Powder discovered that Alliant Powder's Blue Dot® should not be used in the following applications:
•Blue Dot® should NOT be used in the 357 Magnum load using the 125 grain projectile (Blue Dot® recipes with heavier bullet weights as specified in Alliant Powders Reloading Guide are acceptable for use).
•Blue Dot® should NOT be used in the 41 Magnum cartridge (all bullet weights).
Use of Blue Dot® in the above cases may cause a high pressure situation that could cause property damage and serious personal injury.
We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause and appreciate your understanding and cooperation in this matter."
 
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