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Thread: 44 special, mag loads help.

  1. #1
    GunLoad Trainee
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    North East Tennessee

    Default 44 special, mag loads help.

    Hello 1st post.
    I have enjoyed this sight for a few years now just looking around and I'm about to get serious about loading my own cast boolits. I bought a Lyman Keith 5 years ago I have cast a coupple of hundred boolits with it. I also bought a Lyman 210gr gas check and bought some gas checks but have never cast any with this mold. Just bought a lee 310gr gas check but haven't as of yet cast it. I was wondering of all of the helpful people on this sight if I could get some load reccomendations for all of the above boolits. I hate to admit it but when I reload and cast I'm sort of odd as I sort my boolits 1/2 grain up or down into diffrent piles and outside of this go back into the pot. I have a Lyman 45 luber on the way so I can get a more consistant amount of lube on my boolit. I will be using all starline brass and cci 300 primers. I will be shooting 4" pistols I may lee alox some more boolits until I can get the Lyman up and running. I have a new pound of H110 on the bench but I'm open to ideas. I have a chrono so I could work some things up. I like a tight (paper) group but want to hog, dear hunt with them. I think a hog in this area would be around 250# or less, I have not shot one yet. and 150# or so for deer have shot around 7, but not with the pistol. Any othe tips that might help?
    Thanks William.

  2. #2


    I shoot the Lee bullet with good accuracy, but have yet to shoot an animal with it, I like a load of 21 gr. of H110, and seat the bullet to the bottom crimp groove in my SRH. I dunno what your revolver is, but loaded that way it won't fit into my friend's Smith. DO NOT TAKE MY LOAD AS GOSPLE!
    It works in MY revolver.
    Last edited by Tom W.; 06-28-2011 at 03:51 AM.

    Warning! Does NOT play well with others!

  3. #3
    GunLoad Trainee
    Join Date
    Jul 2008


    In my experiance with the 250gr, (263gr cast from ww) Lyman Keith boolit and a CCI standard LPP in a 4" S&W 629-3 for .44 mag is 19-21gr. of 2400 does very well, about 1070fps accurate, very managablerecoil, and will provide all the power needed, (just my opinion on the power). The same boolit in .44spl cases, (from the same gun) I like 13.5gr. of 2400. Again, I use this load in a S&W 629 .44mag, not a Charter Arms bulldog or other light framed .44spl.

    I have no experiance with the other 2 molds you mentioned. For light plinking loads I use the LEE 429-240-2R and small charges of Bullseye or Red Dot in .44spl cases.

  4. #4
    GunLoad Trainee
    Join Date
    Mar 2011


    Get yourself a Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook, it will give you some good ideas for starters. It used to be a small spiral bound thing, now it's a magazine size book about 3/4" thick, brown cover.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010


    The 44 mag does a great job on deer, but I only use flying ashtrays. 240 gr. serrated hollow points.

    Accuracy and proper shot placement is more important than any of the other factors. My youngest daughter dropped a doe in its tracks with a properly placed shot from a .223 at about 2600 fps. I don't know why a 44 mag pill at about 1000 fps ought to have the same affect.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson AZ


    OK, if I understand you correctly, you're looking for loads for cast bullet in the .44 Spl. and .44 magnum, right?

    For the .44 Spl., for me there is only one load. This is the late Skeeter Skelton's pet load of 7.5 gr. of Unique and the 240/250 gr. Elmer Keith bullet. Mild enough for plinking and stout enough for deer and most hogs if they're under the weight you said. When I bought my S&W 624 6.5" that was the first load I tried and have never looked back.

    For the .44 magnum, I've used 2400 and W296. W296 and H110 BTW are just different lots of the same powder. To be honest, I'll be glad when my supply of W296 runs out as I plan to go back to 2400. I shoot 24.0 gr. of W296 from my 6" S&W 629 and the flash and muzzle blast are a lot more unpleasant to put up with compared to 2400 and the power difference is negligible.
    I used Elmer's per load os 22.0 gr. of 2400 with his bullet but these days it is consider 2.0 gr. too much. I don't see it as a problem in a Ruger Blackhawk or Redhawk as those guns are hell for stout. But in the S&W 29 and 629, Elmer's load will beat them to death in a hurry. Mine's been back to Smith twice now so when I shoot the .44 mag. it's from either a Super Blackhawk or Redhawk. The Smith still uses a design from 1905 IIRC altough supposedly some of the later ones have had the innards beefed up a bit. One of my Super Blackhawks has a 4 5/8" barrel and the smaller Blackhawk grip. That one with full power loads is a beast to shoot well.
    On those 300 grain bullets, have fun. I have the 300 gr. RCBS mold that looks like a Keith bullet but takes a gas check. I've tried that bullet in the short gun (OUCH!) and in the 7.5" Redhawk. Depending on the gun, the bullet hits about 6 to 8" high at 25 yards. You cannot lower the rear sight enough to compensate. They are accurate though but the recoil in the 4 5/8" gun with the smaller grip is brutal. Other than the vicious muzzleblast, recoil and shooting high, that load would make one heck of a hog stopper or bear deterrent. They're almost tolerable from the long barreled Redhawk.
    Just a word on Elmer's bullet. When I got my first .44 mag., a Super Blackhawk in IIRC 1973 or 4, it was the first year Nevada allowed handgun hunting for big game. At the time I was shooting factory to accumulate some brass to reload. It was a 240 gr. Remington jacketed hollow point and when I shot my deer through the shoulder, the jackat separated from the bullet and stuck in the shoulder blae while the lead core punched on through and the deer went down after a few steps.
    The following year I hunted using the Keith bullet over 22.0 gr. of 2400 and smacked a deer through the shoulder. Deer went down and the bullet went out just behind the other shoulder and was never recovered. I never went back to factory jacketed bullets again.
    Paul B.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Harrison Michigan


    Get a manual that is current for your loads for top 44 magnum loads I use IMR-4227 but that is my choice other prefer 296 H110 0r 2400. I shoot a discontinued Lee 255 which casts a 268 gr soft bullet or 261 gr bullet of wheel weight alloy.

    I use the soft bullet in the 44 special and keep things low as recoil is terrible in a Charter Arms Bulldog.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
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