Downloading the 44 mag for kids

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Shopfox, Mar 15, 2018.

  1. Shopfox

    Shopfox Well-Known Member

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    I just finished loading up 25 rounds. Started at the lowest charge and went up in 0.2gr increments. Will do a total of (5) 5-shot groups. I have kind of low expectations. Something is up with the FCD. After seating the bullets, the overall lengths were pretty consistent. After crimping, i had substantial length variation. Not sure what's going on yet. I need to do some reading and research, then likely take the die apart.
     
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  2. Greg_r

    Greg_r Well-Known Member

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    I load cast 240 grain SWC over TrailBoss for light loads in my 44 Magnum. I use the max load listed in the Hodgdon data.

    I load 240 grain JSP over a max load of IMR 4227 for hunting.

    I would not use 44 spl load data in a 44 magnum case. And I shoot what the firearm is chambered for. No 44 spl in 44 magnum or 38 Spl in 357 magnum. I have seen chambers damaged from shooting shorter cases in longer chambers come through my grandfather's shop. Owned a 22 revolver that would not easily eject 22 long rifle because of an erosion ring from shooting 22 shorts in it.

    Erosion from improper cleaning of from simply firing? You be the judge, but if top straps will cut and forcing cones erode, why would a chamber wall not erode? What makes them different? Granted, most will not shoot enough to cause problems if they perform proper maintenance.
     
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  3. Greg_r

    Greg_r Well-Known Member

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    My first jug of TrailBoss was purchased to load 45-70 for a 1873 Trapdoor. I was advised by another Trapdoor shooter to look at the pressure produced by TrailBoss before shooting it. TrailBoss produces some pretty hihg pressures in rifle cases vs the velocity it gives. Not overly dangerous pressures but according to Hodgdon data, it will produce top velocity of some 900 fps with the 405 grain bullet in 45-70. IMR 3031 and AA5477 will produce some 300 fps more velocity with much lower pressure using the same 405 grain bullet.

    I use a lot of TrailBoss, but in pistol cartridges, not in rifle.
     
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  4. Shopfox

    Shopfox Well-Known Member

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    I agree with your points. I'm sticking with published data for the appropriate case.

    I had a chance to look a little closer at the load data last night for a 240gr LSWC from a .44 Russian, .44 Special, and .44 Magnum. The .44 Russian was only in 1 of 3 reloading books I had on hand. There was only about a 50fps difference between the Russian and Special. The Russian data was pretty thin, and had no loads for jacketed bullets. For a light load, the 44 Russian should offer the absolute lightest recoiling round. This said, I think the negatives offset the benefits vs. using something like a 44 special.

    That brought me back to the 44 special vs. 44 magnum. I bought a turret press because I want my dies to largely be, "set it and forget it." I really don't want to mess with screwing dies in and out to change between .44 special and .44 mag, and I don't want to buy a 2nd set of dies either.

    I think I'll stick with the light 44 mag loads for kid shooting. If the recoil is still too much, maybe my son will need to wait another year or two, and we just do more rimfire practice.
     
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  5. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I use a taper crimp on all my re loads. Separate die but worth the effort.
     
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  6. Shopfox

    Shopfox Well-Known Member

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    Does the taper crimp affect the overall length?
     
  7. Shopfox

    Shopfox Well-Known Member

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  8. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Has not on mine.
     
  9. mikld

    mikld Member

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    The 44 Magnum is my favorite round and I have 5 guns chambered for it and have been reloading it since '88. I have used 44 Special data, right from the manual, in my Magnum brass many, many times. I would not taper crimp any loads with Special or Magnum data for a couple reasons; every bullet I have used in my 44s, with the exception of 123 gr balls, has had a crimp groove or a cannalure and second even with light loads there is a chance of the bullets walking from recoil. Also for many/most powders a good crimp insures good even burning.
    I had a Lee FCD die for a while that I bought out of curiosity. It now resides in a landfill somewhere in So Oregon. It ruined my carefully sized bullets and the actual crimp was just so-so, and I went back to my Redding Profile Crimp Die...
     
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  10. Shopfox

    Shopfox Well-Known Member

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    The good thing about my low expectations: I wasn't dissappointed. I ended up working up from 6.0gr to 7.2gr in 0.2 increments. By the time I got to 7.0 gr, my groups had improved to a shockingly bad 11" 5-shot group. The 7.2gr load was a 5" group at 100 yards. With a bar this low, improvement will be easy. I'll try 7.2gr with and without the crimp, and bump up to the max load of 7.3gr with and without the crimp.

    I didn't clean the barrel between groups (or at all) while on the range. I wouldn't be surprised if it's leaded something fierce contributing to the terrible accuracy.

    Fwiw, I shot some Hornady 300 gr XTP's at the beginning and they grouped very well (just under 2").

    I finished up shooting an AR just to be certain the problem wasn't the nut behind the trigger.
     
  11. Ireload2

    Ireload2 Member

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    If your rifle had the sorry one turn in 38" rifling you may never be able to get good groups at low velocity.

    I had a rifle that did not even hit paper at 100 yards with low velocity ammo.

    Maximum loads were excellent grouping about 1.5".
     
  12. Shopfox

    Shopfox Well-Known Member

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    It's a 1:20 CVA Hunter