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reloading the REM .44 mag

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by trappair, Dec 31, 2010.

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  1. trappair

    trappair Member

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    I am going to start reloading the Rem .44mag. I notice that my loading tables
    list both a .429 and a .430 bullet. I will be loading for both a rifle and
    handgun. I am wondering which to use or what difference it woulod make. Why
    two bullit sizes? Thanks for help, Mike Ruggieri
     
  2. rpw

    rpw TS Member

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    I'm looking at a Hodgdon data manual #26 and there is only one diam. listed for 44 mag. (429).I'm also looking at a Black Hills Shooter Supply catalog and they don't offer a (430) Anyway it's amazing how many feet-per second you can pick up from the same load ina rifle compaired to that same load in a pistol.
    This thread caught my eye cuz I love loading 44 mag
     
  3. vpr80

    vpr80 Active Member

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    click....BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMM!!!!.....hehehe
     
  4. trapperpg

    trapperpg Member

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    The .429/.430 thing came about mainly as a result of many Ruger revolvers having oversized cylinder throats. They are not the only ones, but are the main offender. For the best accuracy, you don't want the bullet to be able to "fall" through the cylinder throat, but it should be able to pass with slight effort. In the grand scheme of things, .001 is not going to be anything to get concerned with. Factory boolits vary among manufacturers, with some being .429(Nosler,Speer) and others being .430(Hornady,Remington). If you cast your own, you can custom size for each gun, or experiment to find the happy medium.
    Slug your barrels, and check the cylinder throats. If you have a Ruger, they will replace the cylinder if you find it to be grossly oversized. The loading data you have probably reflects the fact that the bullets tested were sized differently.
    pg
     
  5. MtnGun

    MtnGun Member

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    Mike,
    Are you going to be shooting jacketed or cast bullets? Jacketed pay no mind. If you are shooting cast, either buying or casting your own, sized to .431 would be where I would start.
     
  6. vpr80

    vpr80 Active Member

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    very interesting...leave it to Ruger to run "loose" tolerances in their guns. Bet my S&W doesn't have the same issue. But now that you mentioned it, I'll have to try it out.
     
  7. JerryP

    JerryP Active Member

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    cast bullets will be .001 larger than bore. jacketed bullets same as bore.
     
  8. kicker

    kicker TS Member

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    I have just completed the process u mentioned. I had bought a marlin 1894 in 44 mag couple a years ago and was not satisfied with my out of box accuracy. after much investigation, all marlins in 44 have 1 x 38 twist with some bores running .430 to .431. I ordered the bullets from the respective companies, hornady, speer, nosler, winchester, and remington. for my rifle the best performing bullet was a remington jsp .430 diameter in a 240 grain bullet. I loaded 23grains of h110 pwder and seated it to 1.60 inchs. If I do my part, I have 1 1/2 group out till 110 yds. best thing I can say is find some reloading manuals and work up a bunch of different loads and then go shoot.

    kicker
     
  9. AAtrap

    AAtrap Well-Known Member

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    Try 8 grains of Universal behind a 240 grain SWC for a good manageable, accurate pistol load. I also use it for deer with a 240 JHP. Have fun with the 44 mags.

    Steve
     
  10. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    The cast bullets I use (Hunter's Supply hard-cast 240-grain SWC) only come .430" while all the jacketed bullets I have measure .429".

    Ed
     
  11. W.R.Buchanan

    W.R.Buchanan Member

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    Ok, here's something I do know something about.

    My all time favorite cartridges are the .44 Mag and .44 Spec. I have had no less than 8 guns that shoot this round. I currently have 4.

    First I would like to talk about the guns. My Marlins,,, I have a .44 mag Rifle with a 24" barrel and Ballard rifling, and a .44 mag Carbine with a 20" barrel with Micro Groove rifling. Both are 1/38" twist rates. The rifle's groove dia is .431, and the Carbiine is .430. Niether one of these guns is a tack driver, in fact 3" at 50 yards is about as good as it gets, and for what they are designed to do, that's OK? They will shoot Mags or Specials interchangably

    I have a Ruger Super Blackhawk Bisley in .44 mag, and a Blackhawk Bisley in .44 spec. Both of these guns have chamber throats that are .430 and bores that run .429. This is exactly what they should be as you want the throat about .001 larger than the bore. The .44 mag's chambers look like shit, the .44 spec looks perfect.

    For this caliber I have shot every bullet known to man. I gravitate to cast bullets made from wheel weights. Here's pics of the bullets I currently shoot.
    wrbuchanan_2009_19128.jpg


    From the left is Lyman 429244 SWC GC 250gr. Lee 240GR GC, Magma 44-190gr FB and a 200gr Extreme Plated lead bullt I am trying to see if they are worth buying. I will be buying a 300 gr SWC mould soon, and I always prowl the gunshows for interesting moulds for this and several other calibers. i have also shot Beartooth Bullets 250Gr WFNGC's. This is a bullet designed by Veral Smith and is as close to be completely cylindrical as it gets. The Meplat(front flat of the bullet) is .340 in Dia. It is very satisfying to hit a 200 yard steel Ram with this bullet as the sequence goes,,,, Bang,,,,,,,,,,Fonk!!!! and the ram slams down with authority!!!!

    GC stands for "Gas Check" which is a small copper cup that is installed on the base of the bullet to protect it during firing and also seal the bore. They also prevent leading of the bore which can happen if you try to push plain base bullets too fast with high pressure powders.

    I don't use bevel base bullets as they promote leading in many cases by allowing gases to bypass the bullet and transfer lead to the bore as a result. The bevel base is used mainly to promote easy bullet seating in progressive presses, and I don't have that problem.

    Also all of these bullets are cast from strait wheel weights which is about 8-9BNH. Too hard a bullet will not obturate(conform to the bore) and will result in leading. For bullets I know are going into my rifles I sometimes heat treat the bullets by dropping them into a bucket of cold water right out of the mould. They end up about 15BNH but revert back to soft with in about 1 year.

    If you going to buy Hard Cast Bullets from any of the numerous makers just make sure to buy gas check style bullets, otherwise bore leading can be a problem and if allowed to get bad can result in skyrocketing pressures which can change your out look on life.

    I don't shoot any jacketed bullets now because the cast ones cost virtually nothing to make (once you've got the tooling) and they will do anything you can possibly want to do with the .44 mag or .44 spec in any rifle or handgun. Accuracy will be as good as the gun will shoot, and penetration is complete on just about anything you will shoot up to a 59 DeSoto.

    There is nothing wrong with Jacketed bullets in most pistols, but in the Marlin Rifles with loose bores they will not give any kind of accuracy.Most Jacketed bullets are .429 or at most .430. In fact my experience with jacketed bullets in my rifles has been one of numerous keyholes in targets. Not exactly what I look for in accuracy.

    I am not a hunting expert, but everything I have read on hunting game animals in NA by "them that knows" suggests complete penetration on anything up to Moose with any 250 gr cast bullet at anything above 1000 feet per second. That would include the .44 Special also. The great bears of the North being the only possible exception.

    In selecting a bullet you need to know what your groove dia is on the gun you'll be loading for. The cast bullet needs to be .001-2 bigger than the groove dia. This is also the reason the throats on revolvers chambers are sized at .001 above the groove dia. So a proper sized bult will go thru unscathed.

    I will not quote charge weights. You get to figure this out yourself by reading as many loading manuals as you can get your hands on. I also suggest a subscription to Handloader Magazine. This magazine is written by "Them that knows" and the combined expertise on everything related to loading ammo is in the "hundreds of years of experience". I get alot of current and standard info from this source, and believe me they will not steer you wrong.

    Powders that work well with low range loads from 700 to 900 fps for pistols are the same as for any other pistol round, see Bullseye, Unique, W231/HP38, Red Dot, Green Dot, etcetera.

    Mid Range loads up to 1000-1200 fps and many of the same powders still work well. Powders like Unique will deliver 2-4 times the number of loads per pound that you can get out of H110/W296 or 2400 or some others. Just becasue of the smaller charge weight.

    Hot Rod or full power loads up to 1300-1500fps brings in 2400, H110/296 and others. These slower burning powders don't work very well at lower pressures and I reserve them for Hot Rod Loads. I have 8 lbs of H110 and that's the reason I want a .410 shotgun.

    Also anything you load for the pistols will work in the Marlin rifles except they will go alot faster. A 250gr gc bullet at 1400 fps in a pistol will be going 17-1800 fps out of my rifle, will go strait and clean thru anything on this continent, and leave a 1/2 to 3/4" + hole behind.

    There are also bigger bullets made. There are cast bullets, and moulds for the .44 that go up to 335 gr. However a stock Marlin rifle with it's 1/38" twist barrel won't stabilize anything longer than about 265-280gr, and the overall length of the round is too big for the action to swallow. They still work well in pistols as most all pistols have 1/20" twist barrels and cylinders long enough to shoot them. The cure for the abismal accuracy in the Marlin Rifle is to rebarrel to a 1/20" twist .430 dia barrel. (this is where mine are heading after the SHOT Show in Jan)

    If you go to the Garrett Ammuniton page you will see factory loaded ammo with bullets as big as 330 gr. And if you look thru the picture gallery you will see a huge pig shot(600lbs?) shot by Ashley Emerson with his .44 mag Marlin Takedown Carbine that has not only been rebarreled, and converted to takedown, but modified to accept the longer rounds. This is a very powerfull little rifle.

    These 330gr rounds are leaving the muzzle at around 1600fps, and that's deeply into 45-70 ballistics, but in a gun that is 36" long and weighs less than 7 lbs. you won't shoot many of those mega loads thru this one in one sitting unless you are impervious to recoil.

    The .44 Mag and Special are cartridges that perform well beyond their paper ballistics, and specifications. You can't argue with the fact that everything on earth with the possible exception of whales and Obama have been taken down by them. There is versitility for every use from plinking to bears.

    I personally think it is THE most versitile caliber out there.
    It is also loads of fun, because you can interchange rounds just like .22 Short and Long Rifle. One for a tin can, one for a Bus.

    Randy

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  12. CalvinMD

    CalvinMD Well-Known Member

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    I use the Buffalo Bore ammo just for marlins in all my guns..expensive but accurate when an expensive hunting trip counts on it
     
  13. Ahab

    Ahab Well-Known Member

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    Randy ... good informative post!
     
  14. Shooting Coach

    Shooting Coach Well-Known Member

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    I have loaded the big 44 since the 1950's. After a generation of trying about every bullet/powder combo available, I have come down to using Accurate #9 exclusively for magnum class loads. I prefer the 210 gr bullet in the pistol, and the 250 gr Nosler Partition in the Carbine, when used to harvest game.

    Accurate #9 is not as picky as WW 296 or H-110, and produces a lot less muzzle flash.

    A GOOD crimp is needed. I use the Lee Factory Crimp die.

    I prefer the Ruger Super Blackhawk and the Winchester 1894 for the pistol/rifle combo. The RSB takes the heaviest loads, and the '94 seems easier on the brass than the Marlin when rounds are run through the magazine.

    I had and enjoyed a Ruger 77/44 (ACCURATE!), but for the weight, size, and flexibility, would rather have a 308 class round in a turnbolt rifle.
     
  15. CalvinMD

    CalvinMD Well-Known Member

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    calvinmd_2008_030381.jpg

    calvinmd_2008_030382.jpg
    Here are my homecast from custom saeco molds the SWC is 220gr and the RNFP is 330gr ...both are sized at .433 as cast and .432 after size and lube...my Marlin Carbine and Marlin 94 Cowboy 24" both shoot these into 1 80 caliber hole at 50yds using 2400 powder and 3 inches at 100yds...My Super Redhawk goes about an inch wider spread at 100. Velocities run 1805 for the small bullet and 1545 for the big boy...have murdered many steel plates with both as well as pigs and bambis...got a real big hog in '06 in Texas that went almost 400lbs...the 330 grain flipped him twice at 90yds and he was DRT(dead right there)...what a BBQ we had!!!!
     
  16. Shooting Coach

    Shooting Coach Well-Known Member

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    That 330 grain bullet is a lot of freight!
     
  17. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

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    I've had dismal results with Marlin Micro-Groove rifling and hard cast bullets, even when matched to bore size. Lower velocity isn't as bad, but the micro-groove will not hold the bullet well and it will sometimes strip the lead off in the rifling.
     
  18. dverna

    dverna Active Member

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    I have a Marlin and Ruger Super Blackhawk in 44 Mag.

    The RSB has never been fired but I have put a few rounds through the rifle. The rifle shoots 1.5" groups at 50 yards.

    My advice is to slug your barrels and see what you get. You want cast bullets about .001-.002" larger than bore diameter. I agree with Randy on using cast bullets in this caliber. They are relatively inexpensive and will do the job if you select the right bullet and alloy.

    I have a few hundred 44 Special cases for reduced loads as I do not want to get confused (which is easy for me). The Mag cases are loaded to Mag specs.

    Don Verna
     
  19. locdoc

    locdoc Member

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    Excellent read, Randy. Thank you.

    Doug Whiton, P/W dealer/dist
     
  20. Old Cowboy

    Old Cowboy Active Member

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    As a general rule with revolvers you want to use the size bullet that just barely slides thru the throats at the front side of the cylinder, very important with cast bullets, not so much so with jacketed. In my experience most Smith & Wesson .44 spec & .44 magnum revolvers like .430" bullets with the single exception of my 5" 629 Classic that needs .429" bullets. Every Ruger .44 spec/.44 mag I've seen likes .430" bullets while my Colt New Frontier .44 special needs 'em sized .429".

    As a general rule with rifles and cast bullets, the bigger the better as long as they'll chamber freely.

    John C. Saubak
     
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