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Old May 17th, 2020, 05:17 PM #1
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44 mag loads

I just picked up a new super Blackhawk not to long ago and Iím getting excited to start working on loads for it. I also picked up a lee 240 gr LSWC mold to break into the casting world. Iím going to use water quenched wheel weights for now but I do plan on eventually getting some bullet specific alloys to try. They will be lubed with alox and resized if necessary.

I have a half can of A2400 but Iím not finding to much data for the lead load. I guess I will stick with the 240 jacketed bullets with that. I have a pound of lil gun for my 221 fireball to mess around with too.

I really want to try IMR4227 for the cast loads but Iím having trouble finding it.

My questionS to you guys involves gas checks. Are they necessary for medium velocity loads? And is using a harder alloy bullet the key to less barrel leading when pushing higher velocity?

Also from what I understand, lead bullets are better off sized to .430?

Like I said Iím new to casting bullets so any info or tips will be appreciated.
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Old May 18th, 2020, 09:24 AM #2
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I haven't cast in a while but here goes.
If you are going to push lead bullets much over 900-1000 fps its a good idea to use gas checks to minimize leading. The powders you are listing are great for jacketed bullets and speed but if you intend to keep speeds lower then you might want to try some Unique or Universal. I have good luck with these powders in my 240 lead practice loads. Light loads of H-110, and the other slower powders could give you squib loads.
As for bullet size, its best to size them to fit the bore of your gun to minimize leading. You can slug your bore to get this dimension. I think most 44 lead bullets size .430
If you are going to use the slower powders, I'd definitely use gas checks because the hotter flame temps and longer burn of those powders will cause some serious leading.
With jacketed bullets, my Redhawk didnt group well with 2400 and preferred H-110 but yours may like it. Be sure to wear proper PPE when casting. Nasty fumes. Hope this helps. Ken
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Old May 18th, 2020, 02:48 PM #3
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Good powder for 44 Magnum. The best lead bullet heavy load powder I have used in 44 Magnum has been A2400. I also determined jacketed or lead that sacred Keith load of 22.? grain of 2400 was too much. Sacrilege, really.

Keep the charges between 20.5 and low 21.x and you will probable find a charge your gun likes. The gun can handle it but my groups would open up. Good suggestion for medium and light load powders above. I use Unique and Bullseye for midrange and light loads, respectively. The Unique powder and a hard cast 240 grain bullet is deadly on Hunter’s Pistol targets.
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Old May 18th, 2020, 03:04 PM #4
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I generally use my own cast bullets, wheel weights plus 60/50 solder, cast in lee molds sized to .429 for some .430 for others then I apply allow to the outside

2400 powder usually with large pistol primers for most loads but mags if my old books call for them

18 grains makes a nice target plunking load and you can work up from there but always get a manual and stay within the allowable limits

And always crimp the heck out of them

And again get a manual and don’t take people’s words as gospel
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Old May 18th, 2020, 06:13 PM #5
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I too cast my own boolits for my Dan Wesson and Ruger 44 mag range rounds with the Lee 240 gr LSWC mold. I use reclaimed wheel weight lead; sized to .429 with GC's and lubed with Alox.

I've tried various powders but always end up relying on the recipes/ranges in the RCBS CB Manual I started with many years ago. H110 and 4227 work best for me in power loads. I use low end charges of Unique for mild rounds. And I use magnum primers when the recipe calls for them.

I load CB's different than I do JB's. 44 magnum isn't a lightweight cartridge. You'll likely find a good CB load in the mid-range of the recipes in the RCBS book. And...YMMV.

As has been said, 44 mag rounds need a good crimp.

Good luck on your loads. If you work at it you'll find the right one for your gun.

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Old May 18th, 2020, 06:39 PM #6
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I always crimp heavy as well.

I surprised myself many years ago...probably over 35...on just how powerful a 44 Magnum is. I had a few different loads walking around an old gravel pit shooting at different ranges. Along the way I happened upon an old but not rusted 55 gallon drum...the old thick gauge stuff. I used one of my light loads, 240 soft lead at around 900 fps thinking the bullet would dent it but not penetrate because...soft lead...not 44 Magnum fast. Wrong. It went through both sides of the drum.

The 44 Magnum is my favorite cartridge, bar none.
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Old May 18th, 2020, 06:39 PM #7
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Here is my .02. For a Ruger Blackhawk, the first thing I would do is make a barrel throat and chamber cast using Cerrosafe. If you can make bullets, you can make chamber casts. The reason for this is Ruger has had problems with tight chambers in the past. Ideally, you want your chambers to be a little bigger than your barrel throat. Assuming that your your chamber/throat diameters are correct, you want to size your bullets at least .001 over your chamber diameter. This may not always be possible with off the shelf molds unless you powder coat them.

For Alliant 2400 and a RCBS GC 245gn SWC bullet, I use 19 grains which gives me about 1050 fps. This is a mild load but will take any type of thin skin game you care to. (within reasonable handgun hunting distance) 4227 puts you in the same ball park but doesn't meter as well as 2400.
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Old May 18th, 2020, 06:52 PM #8
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I heard oversize chamber throats was a problem in the 45 Blackhawks. As I understand it it is because of the bullet swaging larger going through the cylinder throat then swaging larger hitting the forcing cone then swaging smaller entering the bore. The smaller throats prevent one expansion event.

But I never heard of issues in the Super Blackhawks.
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Old May 18th, 2020, 08:21 PM #9
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The issue was the chamber mouths were too small. When that happens, the bullet experiences gas cutting and the bore leads and accuracy deteriorates. The fix was to ream the cylinder mouths. I have done it for super blackhawks and Taurus Trackers as well. I own a Taurus tracker that had .428 cylinder mouths. It would have never been a good shooting gun if I didn't ream it.
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Old May 18th, 2020, 09:24 PM #10
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Got it. Thanks.
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