What's your favorite .44 Special load?

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Paul B

Buckeye
Joined
Dec 4, 1999
Messages
1,550
Seems to me Skeeter Skelton's pet load of 7.5 gr. Unique and Elmer's 240 gr. bullet are mighty popular here. :roll: Yeah, it's my favorite as well only I cast my own bullets and they weigh closer to 250 gr. I also load that same bullet over 10.0 gr. of Unique in q 4 5/8" Super Blackhawk .44 magnum. Seems to be in the same power range as the .44 Spl. load Both loads shoot more accurately than I'm able to do but maybe that a goal to shoot for, no pun intended. :mrgreen: They're also a lot more comfortable to shoot than full power .44 mags. I don't think any of my .44s have seen a jacketed bullet since I bought them with one exception. That was an early new model Super B with 7.5" barrel. I bought it that year because Nevada had just opened up handgun hunting for deer. IIRC, the ammo was Remington 240 gr. jacketed with a scalloped nose on the jacket. I shot a large doe in the shoulder and on autopsy found the jacket imbedded in the near shoulder. The core passed through and exited just behind the off shoulder. The doe made a few steps and died. By the next year I'd obtained a mold for Elmer's bullet (Lyman #429241) and worked up to his 22.0 gr./2400 load. Stout but accurate. I shot a doe in that same area come deer season in almost the exact same manner, in the near should and the bullet punched through the off shoulder and kept on going. I never saw the need for using jacketed bullets in my .44s or .357 mags after that.
Paul B.
 

any ruger

Blackhawk
Joined
Feb 18, 2007
Messages
709
Boy Unique keeps coming up I hope they never find a powder to replace it. It always seems to be the favorite.
 

Paul B

Buckeye
Joined
Dec 4, 1999
Messages
1,550
any ruger said:
Boy Unique keeps coming up I hope they never find a powder to replace it. It always seems to be the favorite.

:mrgreen: That's why they call it Unique. Great in most if not all handgun rounds and will work in rifle cartridges as well. Try 5.0 gr. of Unique with a 115 to 120 gr. cast bullet for plinking, practice and small game. I have a mold that's similar to a semiwadcutter made for the 32-20 Win. that I run over that 5.0 gr. load. Smacks the holy living bejabbers out of jack rabbits. I haven't run that load over a chronograph in years but if memory serves that load is in the 1500 FPS range.
Paul B.
 

Paul B

Buckeye
Joined
Dec 4, 1999
Messages
1,550
A good load for the Charter Arms Bulldog is the Lee 185 gr. wadcutter over 6.0 gr. of Unique. A friend who had the Bulldog wanted something that had some smack down for a defense load will a bit less than factory loads. The man was about 82 years old at the time. I found that Lee mold at a gun show and gave it a try in his gun. He tried it, liked it, so I loaded him up a couple of boxes.

Speaking about .44 caliber wadcutters, Lyman once made a mold that cast a 245 gr. WC. :shock: If you can find one the # is 429352. It's been discontinued for a very long time. I loaded some up, yes I have that mold in my collection, with 7.0 gr. of Unique and went to run them over the Chrony. First bullet out of that barrel hit one of the posts on the Chrony and one dead chronograph. I still haven't figured that one out. :?: I was shooting over sandbags and my hold was good. I shot the rest on paper and while groups were not particularly spectacular there was no sign of tumbling. The gun was an S&W 624.
Paul B.
 

Rclark

Hunter
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
Messages
3,266
Paul, I have disagree with one of your statements . To match the 7.5g Unique .44 Special load in the .44Mag you only need another grain (8.5g) of powder with the same bullet... Not 10.0g. That what my chrono recorded anyway. That said, 10.0g Unique is my favorite general purpose load for .44Mag. Accurate, shoot all day, yet has a bit more thump in the hand compared to the .44 Special.
 

Yankee_Papa

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 24, 2006
Messages
47
200 gr powder coated, round nose flat point pushed by 7.9 gr Unique. I mine the berms behind the targets for lead.
 

badguybuster

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jul 6, 2010
Messages
336
8.5 grains of Unique under a 185 grain XTP is my "go to" 44 special load. Mild recoil, excellent expansion
 

dwayne

Single-Sixer
Joined
Sep 22, 2013
Messages
235
For the range: Deep seat a 240 gr LSWC ahead of 5.7 grains of W231 (or HP-38). Yields about 850 fps, soft, accurate and fun all day. This is from an open sight 4 5/8” Gallagher with senior citizen eyes …

07345A34 E840 4F3F BE47 64DE45BD9FE2 B4A0DADE B868 4E52 B9E5 F47E5BC993C8
 

Bob Wright

Hawkeye
Joined
Jun 24, 2004
Messages
5,987
This was among my favorites:



And this:



As to the powders, I think Winchester 572 and Hodgdon's HS-6 are pretty close, while HP-38 and Winchester 231 are one and the same,

Bob Wright
 

KRuger

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 12, 2003
Messages
31
Beautiful group dwayne. I use a similar 44M load; deep seated 240 swc over 5.5 grains of 231. When I start getting groups that look like yours, I'll up the powder.
 

dwayne

Single-Sixer
Joined
Sep 22, 2013
Messages
235
69F0B634 9284 4B6A 9BFF DB96C9CADBB3

And then there’s this 5-shot 50-yard group shot with a 5.5” M97 with a Trijicon RMR.
 

Longcarbine

Single-Sixer
Joined
May 19, 2017
Messages
155
In my flat top I load a 180gr XTP over 10gr's of Vihtavuori N350 to push it up over a 1000fps, very accurate.
 

Rclark

Hunter
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
Messages
3,266
Shesh, after that 50 yard target (very very nice), I hardly want to show my .44 Special 5 1/2" flattop target at 15Y shot off hand (two handed) open sights and 25Y group (leaning arm against a post).. But I will. Skeeter Load.
 

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dwayne

Single-Sixer
Joined
Sep 22, 2013
Messages
235
Just for grins, here’s a 5-shot, 50 foot target shot offhand with the same M97 (not the 44 Special BHFT in the pic). 0C330B32 A5A6 40C0 9AF9 2FA72040A131
 

375supermag

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
485
Hi...
I run two different loads in my .44Spl revolvers.
My go to load is the Skeeter load...7.5gr of Unique with a commercial cast coated LSWC. This gives good power and excellent accuracy in both of my Ruger flat top .44Specials.
My other load is the same bullet with 6.6gr of Unique. This load is used in my Taurus stainless adjustable sighted 44Spl revolver and my Uberti/Cimarron SAA clone in .44Special. Again...this loads gives excellent accuracy and is used to limit wear on those two revolvers as the heavier load tends to loosen the screws on the Taurus and I just want to protect the SAA clone out of an abundance of caution.
 

KRuger

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 12, 2003
Messages
31
RClark,
The groups you posted on Monday are pretty impressive in their own right.
I have a question.
When you compared 7.5 gr. of unique in 44 special brass to 8.5 gr. of unique in magnum brass; both with the same bullet, what kind of numbers did your chronograph yield?
Thank you,
KRuger
 

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