44 special wadcutter loads

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by dunnifish, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. dunnifish

    dunnifish New Member

    Feb 25, 2012
    I have been following this forum for several months. Now I have a question that has motivated me to attempt a post in the forum. I recently purchased a box of 500 200 grain wadcutter bullets from Rim Rock bullets. I then checked all my reloading resources to find a suitable load. Not a single listing for wadcutters of any weight in 44 spl or 44 magnum. I am looking for a starting load for both 44 special and 44 magnum. Hoping to safely attain 800-900 fps from my 3 inch Taurus model 431. I will also use the bullets in my 44 magnum. Can any forum readers help me out with some PUBLISHED loads utilizing 200 grain wadcutters. Would like to use Unique, Universal, or HS6 but have several others available.
    I appreciate any data or ideas anyone might suggest!!! BTW, thank you for the "Wicked Wadcutters" link! Very useful info.
    Thank You
  2. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

    AA No.2, 200gr RN FP, start load of 5.1grs @ 875fps, max load of 5.6grs @ 950fps.

  3. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    First of all, are your bullets actually wadcutters, or are they semi-wadcutters? If they are SWC then Carver's load is fine. If WC, and you want them flush-mounted, like a 38 WC, I think you are SOL. Far as I know, nobody publishes a target-wadcutter load for 44 Special, for the simple reason that nobody shoots one.
  4. Surprised me too, now that I know they have them I am thinking of trying some because I love 44 spcl.

    I would think this would work well for the 200 gr wadcutter as well as the 190.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2012
  5. dunnifish

    dunnifish New Member

    Feb 25, 2012
    Thanks for the info. The bullets are, indeed, full wadcutters. The bullet used by Buffalo Bore for their 44 spl "anti personnel" loads are available from Rim Rock Bullets in Montana. They're excellent. The wadcutter isn't the "double-ended" type. There is a single crimping groove. I "extrapolated" (I know this is VERY UNDESIRABLE) from the Speer manual. Speer listed 7.2 grains of Universal for a starting load with a 200 grains SWC. I tried 7.0 grains of Universal. The load chronographed at 1000 fps from my 3 inch barrel. Recoil was uncomfortable. Extraction was normal and the primers were not unduly flat. The very long bearing surface of the wadcutter together with the encroachment of the bullet into the case surely increased the pressure of the loads. I do not wish to punish gun or shooter with my loads. Hoping to find published pressure-tested loads to continue testing. The 44 spl wadcutters offer, I think, a superior self-defense option. I have not found that 44 spl hollowpoints expand at the velocity you can safely achieve with a 3 inch barrel. The wadcutters are also good for all-around plinking, too.
  6. Duane Trusty

    Duane Trusty New Member

    Nov 16, 2012
    Laramie, Wyoming
    More years ago then I care to count, I would take Keith 245 Grain bullets (Lyman # 429421), file off the nose flat and use them in a 1960's vintage 44 magnum flat top Blackhawk as a wadcutter.
    Crimped in the original crimp groove, used 6.0 grains of Unique, standard large pistol primer, and 44 special case. This worked becase the wadcutter seating depth was the same as the original semi-wadcutter, so no pressure problems. Since they were shot from a Blackhawk with a 6 1/2 barrel the recoil was not an issue.
    No chronograph in those days and bunch of work to file off the nose. I never bothered to weigh them.
    Shot a few cottentails at short range and didn't leave much but coyote food.
    I think Old Grump's suggestion of using AA #5 has merit, since it is cleaner burning then my old Unique back then.
    Brings up old memories, now retired with time to spare. I might just try doing that again.
    Just for old times sake

    Hope this helps you.

  7. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

    Thanks for bringing this up! I didn't think to ask if SWC, or WC. I didn't even know that there were full WC bullets for the .44 spcl.
  8. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    Many years ago, when the Charter Bulldog first appeared on the scene, Guns Magazine did a writeup on it. The reviewer had a mould for a 44 wadcutter. He chucked 'em in his drill-press and turned 'em into 44 versions of the 38 HBWC, then seated 'em with the big hole pointing out. Said these giant hollowpoints did terrible things to ballistic gelatin.

    That's the only reason I knew 44 WCs existed. I rememberd that article.
  9. mikld

    mikld Well-Known Member

    Jun 24, 2009
    I would find an equivelant weight lead bullet (200 gr. RN, etc.) and use starting loads as listed in your manual...
  10. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    That's a bad plan. Using a WadCutter bullet cuts the powder space drastically, and using the same powder charge as for a RN bullet will double or triple pressures.

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