Reloading

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Super Cholo

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 28, 2022
Messages
2
Location
henderson, nv
Gentlemen. I re-load .44 magnum for use in a super blackhawk. I would like to know optimal (range) reloading data using 240 gr. SWC lead bullets and H110/W296 powder. TIA. John
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2003
Messages
5,228
Location
Richmond Texas USA
John,
Welcome to the form.
Since there are so many options for the 44 Mag I would look in your reloading manual to see what performance data best suites you. My loading of the 44 is for SASS matches and is probably a much lighter load than what you would want.
I like to shoot fast not brutal, but I do have some tank killers loaded:)
As far as your lead bullets if you keep them around 800-900 FPS IF THEY ARE hard cast you should be OK. My hard cast 357/38 out of my rifle are 1450+- no problem.
Experiment That is what is great about reloading.
 

noahmercy

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jun 13, 2015
Messages
254
Location
Sheridan, WY
I hand-cast 240 grain SWC for 44 Mag, and in my experience, unless a cast bullet is flat-based (or gas checked), sized to the firearm, lubed with a good "soft" lube, and cast of straight linotype alloy (if it's not a gas check design), you're going to get some leading with 296/H110. The issue is that 296/H110 cannot safely be downloaded (manufacturer does not recommend more than 3% below book minimum), so velocities with it are going to be at the upper end of what cast bullets can handle. Depending on the forcing cone on your revolver, leading can be from mild to, "Break out the brass wool and penetrating oil" after a couple cylinder-fulls. Most often, leading is caused by using too hard a bullet, but magnum loads using this powder is one of the exceptions.

An issue to be aware of- and the reason I am hesitant to recommend a charge weight- is that LSWC designs can vary greatly, even at the same diameter and weight. How deeply they seat is critical with 296/H110, as too much empty case can lead to catastrophe with that powder. An example is that there are 255 grain designs that require more powder than 240 grainers of a different design (completely opposite of most loads), because that 240 has a crimp groove that places a lot more bullet in the case. When determining a load using 296/H110 and a bullet that isn't specifically found in the load manual, I measure the bullet below the crimp groove using calipers, lock the jaws in place, then put the depth gauge into the case and trickle in the powder until it just reaches the tip of the depth gauge. I then weigh the powder and that tells me what 100% load density is. I multiply that by .95 and call Hodgdon's tech line to see if they okay that as a safe load, since I have found best results with that powder between 95% and 105% load density.
 

Super Cholo

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 28, 2022
Messages
2
Location
henderson, nv
Cholo

You can't get more precise than that....
Yes, that is quite precise. I have been using Trail Boss powder and filling the case. I measure the components exactly as described. I prefer the Trail Boss powder as it is quite safe. Alas, Trail Boss is quite difficult to obtain here (Las Vegas/Henderson, nv) I will call Hogdon's tech line and see what they say. The comments received are very much appreciated. Regards. John
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,179
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
Welcome to the Forum John,
Load data should ALWAYS come from printed loading manuals by respected companies. All reloaders should own 3-4 good manuals to reference things & cross reference loads. While different companies may test things using different primers or bullets etc,, and get different results, or use different firearms,, you will be able to see just where you can begin a load, and where to stop a load.
Since you've mentioned lead SWC bullets,, and using 296/H110,, you got a pretty good reply above about why it may not be the best combination.
Get a copy of the Lyman reloading manual. It'll give you a LOT of good solid data using lead bullets. WELL worth the money spent on that manual for your lead bullets.
 

BROKENBEAR

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 25, 2016
Messages
94
I qualify the below by declaring I am talking for 100 yards or less from a rest/scoped kill shots antelope, mulies and whitetails have been harvested by myself with the below ..my opinion is you skill set had better be a bottom of a beverage can group size at 100 yard to take the shot due to lower energy.. you will be relying on blood loss organ damage and not shock
I've done a few at max in my younger days but in truth and upon reflection ..50 yards is likely where you can expect shock/energy to augment the blood and organ loss to better facilitate a clean harvest ..honor the animal for sure.

Experience likes a medium soft lead swc bullet gas checked at just a grain off max ..it will lead the barrel a bit but its just an absolute great penetrating hand grenade ..for range work by all means a hard cast
I do not like the offering of .44 jacketed bullets simply because of experiences blowing up on ribs for example and not doing mortal damage ( maybe designed for softer targets and lower RPM's??)

Bear
 

Ralph H

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 20, 2006
Messages
17
Location
North Central Ohio
Greetings, Ladies & Gentlemen,
Let me dump some old school on you. Used since 1957.

Lyman 429421 lead with 5% to 10% babbit, casts @ 250 gr.
25 gr. of IMR 4227. Alox lube

Extremely accurate and fast. Great for hunting.
Never found any reason to change.
 

Biggfoot44

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 6, 2009
Messages
799
But the OP is looking specifically for 296/ 110 . Implied is that his two powder choices are 296 and Trail Boss .

*************_*********

Super Cholo , those two powders are both specialized powders , at opposite ends of the spectrum . Trail Boss for light powder puff loads , and 296 for full house maximum loads . That's fine if that's what you are seeking on purpose . If you would wish something inbetween , you would need an additional powder . There are a plethora of powders with more flexibility , suitable for loads in medium range up to more or less equivalent to mainstream factory loads .

You expressed liking that Trail Boss for being " safe " . Presumably using the usual context of being difficult to inadvertently reaching unsafe pressures .

The 4227 mentioned by Ralph H above would be similar in that regard . In virtually any combination , a compressed charge of 4227 will still be safe in your .44 Magnum . Downloading will be " safe" with the caveat that as you reach the lower end ignition can get inconsistent .

My default starting point for magnum revolvers for a certain power level are : normal for caliber weight bullet ( yes , 240gr -ish for .44) , and 90% load density of 4227 . The worst accuracy that formula has given me is 1.25 inch @ 25yds .

The usual complaint about 4227 is being " dirty " . Meh . Clean the gun every couple hundred rounds anyway .

Maximum velocities with 4227 are a bit less than with the usual yardstick of 2400 . But still definitely Magnum class , and probably plenty fast enough for most any purpose to use a 240gr .44 .

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

We don't know what other loads and powders you are experienced with , but I'll throw out some general discussion .

With heavy loads of slow powders as a class , the bullet resistance aka Case Neck Tension is important for proper powder burn , which effects accuracy , consistency , and reaching expected velocities .

This is a combined factor of bullet diameter , expanded neck inner diameter , and crimp . Average mainstream die set may well prove sufficient , but you need to be aware and check , instead of assuming .

If there are issues , there are multiple ways to deal with that . Including using .430 or even .431 projectiles instead of .429 , polishing down the case expander by 0.001 or 0.002 smaller diameter , or specialty crimp dies , or combinations thereof .
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,179
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
To the Op.
As you can see,, you are getting some good info. Biggfoot44 has made an excellent post. The (2) powders you mentioned,, as noted,, totally opposite ends of the chart.
4227 is an excellent powder as is HS-6 for 44 mags. Good solid performers.

But one thing I didn't mention in my earlier post. And to me,, it's extremely important. Second ONLY to safety,, is accuracy. Any load using any combo of stuff is worthless if it's not safe or accurate.

I'm a handgun hunter, and have been for over 30 years. A good quality cast lead SWC moving in the 900-1200 fps range can & will perform quite well on most big game in North America. I've found that 1000-1100 fps is my sweet spot in many handguns for accuracy AND the necessary power level.

Get the Lyman manual & study lead bullets.
 
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gcf

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 6, 2006
Messages
39
Location
Corpus Christi, TX
Good info above regarding manuals (I like the Lee), 4227 (burns a bit cleaner with magnum primers - but not necessary), and case neck tension.

The Lyman M expander die, is quite handy (my favorite actually) for cast bullet handgun loading.

What ever powder / load level you settle on, suggest you confirm that your cylinder throats are uniform ID’s (talk to DougGuy, or 2 Dogs), and that your cast bullets fit your uniform ID cylinder throats correctly. Should be a medium fingertip push through - not drop through, or hammer through.

Oh yeah, while you’re at it, to keep bore lead fouling to a minimum, it’s not a bad idea to confirm that your clean bore is free of tight spots / constrictions. Quite a few revolvers are “blessed” with bore constrictions, and they are lead fouling waiting to happen.
 

woodperson

Single-Sixer
Joined
Sep 27, 2004
Messages
410
Location
Knoxville, TN
You are gonna need jacketed bullets or a different powder to keep things simple. You will need a greatly increased tolerance for recoil to go from Trail Boss to H110. Hodgdon has said there will not be any Trail Boss produced in 2022 at all and I doubt if it will show up early in 2023. Time to find a different powder. I loved Trail Boss. I am loading Clays now for my light loads. And being careful loading it. I have come to trust my technique but still would prefer to use Trail Boss.
 

jgt

Blackhawk
Joined
Jul 30, 2008
Messages
790
Location
coleman texas
If you want to reload and shoot good groups there are two steps that come first. Number one is to slug your barrel. You need to know what size it is and if there are any tight spots in it, mainly at the barrel/frame threads. I don't mind the muzzel being tighter than the rest of the barrel. If you have a tight spot from thread crush at the barrel/frame you need to fire lap it or take it to a gun smith and have him fix it. Number two is to have the cylinder throats checked either by you or a competent gun person. If they are not the same cylinder to cylinder, then they need to be fixed so they are. When those areas are addressed, you can choose the proper size bullet for the task. That means both diameter, configuration, and weight. With proper size bullets and good lube, I have shot cast plain based bullets in some of my 44s with no leading. In those that have leaded, it is minimal enough to get me through a hunting trip with no problem. If you are planning to shoot a 44 magnum rifle as a companion to your handgun you will need to choose a bullet design to work in the rifle. Those will likely work fine in the handgun. It is not always true for those that work in handguns to feed well in lever action and semiauto rifles. Single shots may not have a problem. Until the antifa threat, I shot 44 caliber handguns exclusively. Now I use semiauto handgun in .45 caliber with .380 backup.
In my casting I use clip on air cooled wheel weights exclusively. I have several designs in molds. I like the Keith design for handguns, but for combination I use J.D. Jones or others designs. I like slow burning powders for my magnum loads and the heavier the bullet, the slower the powder up to 1680. 2400, H4227, and others in that burning range work fine for me. For other chores I usually use a 44 special and medium burning powders like Unique, Universal clays, HS-6 and others for Ruger guns. Colts and Uberti 44s get red dot, 231, bullseye, and similar fast powders and lighter bullets. My loads all came from loading manuals. I have never gotten in trouble using that information. You are free to choose what you do, but I do not shoot other peoples loads or those I have not assembled unless it is factory.
 

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