Little O/T but ----
Would like to hear some pet loads for .44 mag. These will be shot in both Ruger Super Blackhawk and Super Redhawk, also 1894 Marlin lever gun. Mostly hard cast lead bullets in handguns and some jacketed in lever.
For the sake of accuracy in the Marlin, stay with Hornady, Remington factory, or oversize hardcast bullets .430 dia in jacketed..and 432 in cast also because of the slow twist in the rifle you'll see best accuracy stying under 300gr bullets in the 240-270gr range...the 300's are iffy..some '94's will shoot them...some wont..I like the 265 meant for the 444 over 20.5 H110..hits hard and still expands from the handgun
I prefer Accurate Arms #9 for full throttle loads with 200-265 gr bullets. I used H110 and 296 long ago, but prefer #9 powder. Another plus of #9 is a lot less muzzle flash than 296 and H-110. Blue Dot is good for 180-200 gr bullets, but may have the worst blast and "nuclear" flash of any powder for the 44. 2400 never wound my watch. Elmer Keith loved it, but that was a long time ago.
My very favorite heavy load for deer sized game for RUGER revolvers is the 250 gr Nosler Partition bullet in front of 21 gr of AA #9 with the Winchester or Federal primer. This load is rated at around 1450, is VERY HOT, and I would NOT shoot it in anything except a Ruger, Freedom Arms or T-C. This load is a handfull in the big Rugers. I never had much use for the super heavyweight bullets in the 44. The 265 gr Hornady bullet made for the 444 Marlin at 1400 fps has penetration needed to stop the largest bear, elk or moose.
BTW, I have a Smith 629 Power Port which I dearly love, but only fire cast bullet gallery loads in it. My Super Blackhawk and Super Redhawk get the big loads.
Titegroup and Trail Boss fill the bill for gallery loads. Trail Boss is VERY bulky, and may prove to be the best mid range pistol powder of all. Unique is the standard for 1000 FPS loads with cast bullets, but is DIRTY. Most cast bullets these days are very soft. I like the Ranier plated bullets for 1000+ FPS non hunting loads.
I have never found it necessary to use magnum primers in the 44, but for extreme cold weather performance, one might use them. The big guy has versatility almost in a class of its own. It has the range to go from cowboy fun gun to a sidearm with the horsepower to harvest big game, or stop an attack from a large predator. Ammo is plentiful at most sporting goods stores. Full sized arms are easy to shoot heavy loads in with a minimum of practice.
A long time ago, I had pistol caliber carbines. These days, I would rather have a light 308 or 30/06. For those that want a 44 carbine, the above poster is on the money about the Marlin. For some reason, it has a 38" twist, which makes it a gun limited to around 270 gr bullets. The Hornady 265 is ideal in this gun.
Agitator, here is a good accurate mid-range load that I shoot a lot for fun and sometimes hunting deer in heavy timber. Have shot these out of an 8 3/8 Mod. 29 and two stainless Vaqueros(7 1/2 and 5 3/4). 8 gr. of universal behind either a Meister or Oregon trail SWC. WLP primer.
Have also shot some of the loads that Shootin Coach mentioned,although I have had some good loads with 2400 and Hornady 240 JHP.---Steve
I used to load 22 grs. 2400 with a 240 gr jacketed bullet. Seemed to be very accurate in my youger eye days. I have since scaled down to 20 grains with a 240 gr bullet and have taken 7 whitetails with no problem.
I've been loading the 44mag. for a long time. I've settled on a few loads for hunting and plinking. My favorite hunting loads are WLP, 24.0gr. H-110 and a 240gr. Hornady XTP or 22gr. H-110 and the 265gr. Hornady designed for the 444 Marlin. I shoot the out of a Taurus model 44 with a 6.5" ported barel. I've fired many hundreds of these loads and they are perfectly safe in my gun. YMMV!
Plinking loads are a WLP, 21gr. of IMR-4227 and a 245gr Keith LSWC that I cast. I also like a 44 special case loaded with 15gr. IMR-4227 and a 240gr. Rem. JFP.
I won't ever be without a trusy 44!
For great cast bullets go to http://www.carrollsweb.com/gunshop/ for Midstates Cast Bullets and talk to Ed. His bullets are first rate and as cheap as anyone I've found lately. His internet prices include shipping to your door. He also loads cowboy ammo and his .223 ammo is absolutely the best I've seen. Lately, he's about the only one that has any amount of .223 ammo so if you're needing some, that's the place to look.
Depends on what you wanna' do with it, the .44 Magnum is VERY versatile.
My current "pet" .44 Mag load (for general carry around/varmints/targets of oportunity) is a cast Lyman 429215GV(sized .429" for my 5"bbl S&W 629 Classic), 215gr GC, WW brass, CCI 300 std LP primer and 20 grains of 2400. Not bad recoil and yet shoots flat enuf' to at least scare the hell out of any coyotes I find in my calving pasture.
If you're going after big game then you'll prob'ly want a heavier bullet and more "whump", you can load 'em quite a bit heavier than my "pet" but they'll kick more.
Agitator, If you are a shotgun man try some shotgun powder in your .44. I use 9.0 grains of either PB or SR7625 behind commercial cast 240 grain bullets for about 1070 fps chronographed. SR7625 is the favorite. No leading problem, very accurate, and little recoil. I buy or size the bullets to .430. For more gidiup and go, use about 21.5 grns of W296 behind a Lyman 255 gr. cast gas check bullet. All loads use the CCI300 primer. I use a 6" S&W full lug, and a Ruger Bisley 7 1/2". Both put the bullets right where you are looking if you squeeze them off.
I used to love to read Elmer Kieth working up loads in an S&W revolvers,..especially for 44's...loadem hotter until the lead hit paper like molten spray or that the gun recoiled so hard it unlocked the cylinder letting it flop open(whichever comes first!)..then back off a half grain..hahaha
I load only cast bullets. Either the 429421 or for light loads the Lyman 429358 wadcutter. 2400 @ 18½ grains in the 250 Gr or a light load of Bullseye or Red Dot for the wadcutter. Both cast from wheelweights.