Loading the 44 Mag for a Rifle

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by dksac2, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. dksac2

    dksac2 New Member

    Jan 14, 2011
    I've loaded hundreds of rounds of 44 mag for my handguns, but never for a rifle, a Marlin Micro Groove lever gun.
    My thinking is to use the slowerst burning powder that is recommended for the 44 Mag.
    I have chosen to go with IMR 4227. It's an excellent Mag powder for the 44 Mag and my reasoning is that being the slowest burning powder listed for the 44 Mag, it should give the longest burn time in the longer barrel.
    2400 was my second choice.
    If someone could share some loads they use in a Lever rifle, It would be great.
    I'm starting out loading 240 and 200 Grn JHP, Hornady bullets, CCI mag primers. I will be loading mostly the 240's to start with.
    I'm interested in accuracy as well as decent velocity, yes, I want it all.
    I was thinking about a max load of one grain under the listed max load to begin with.
    I have found max loads are usually not the most accurate. It's best not to start with max anyway. I'll load one round, one and one half grain under and check for pressure signs before loading more. I'll try about 3 different loads for accuracy. The loads that are near max will not be the loads I shoot the most.

    Any thoughts, experiences would be appriciated.
    I've been loading for 30 years, so I know how to prepare my rounds for max accuracy, it's just finding the correct powder and load for the weapon you are using and of course every rifle is different.

    The Micro Groove barrels are a pain with lead bullets unless the velocity is kept under 1500 FPS and hard cast.
    I will be loading some lead in some 44 special to use in the Marlin for plinking.

    In the near future I will also be loading a heavier, tougher bullet also as I will most likely be lugging the Marlin in the woods as a bear protection rifle. We have mostly brown bears, but some Grizz also, just not many.

    Thanks, John K
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011
  2. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    pretty much all the 'magnum' powders listed for the .44 mag are suited to the longer barrel. I would use 2400, 20 grains under the 240s and 22 grains under the 200s. I had a Henry big boy for years and this is what it shot best.

    And if you want a plinkin load with lead for the mag cases, use 8 grains of unique under a 240 grain hardcast boolit. It still runs almost 1000 from the longer barrel with no recoil.

    BTW, I also used HDY bullets and CCI primers

  3. dksac2

    dksac2 New Member

    Jan 14, 2011
    I've used that same 2400 load for years in my 7.5" Blackhawk.
    I got a couple pounds of the IMR 4227 because of two factors. First, the new Lyman reloading manuel has it as the most accurate powder with the 240grn jacketed bullets (I know, subjective) and also it is slower burning than the 2400.
    I figure a slower burning powder in a 20" barrel might just be a little better.
    I have a little 2400 left, so I'm just going to have to load both and see which load the Marlin likes the best.
    I want a stout load, but not one that's going to beat up the rifle too bad. The presure increases a lot when you get to the max loads without a lot of return FPS wise.
    The 1894 is going in the salts in a couple of days after having spent many hours hand polishing the metal and if the finish on the stock ever totally dries, I'll get to see what works the best.
    Testing loads is one of the things I enjoy doing unless every load looks like a scatter gun. Lucky for me, that's far and few inbetween.
    Thanks for the reply.

    John K
  4. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    Good luck. let us know how it goes
  5. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Athens, Georgia
    My manuals have separate listings for .44 Mag pistol and .44 Mag rifle. I load for my Ruger Carbine using 22.0 grains of H110 behind a 240 grain bullet, usually Berry's.
  6. mikld

    mikld Well-Known Member

    Jun 24, 2009
  7. dksac2

    dksac2 New Member

    Jan 14, 2011
    Thanks for the site, it is one I have not found yet.
    I do cast bullets, but need to get more lead.
    The gun I bough had so much lead in the rifling, I had to scrub forever, used lead remover and kroil. I finally finished up wit JB Bore cleaner and then JB Bore Shine.
    Whoever had the rifle must have been getting some poor acuracy because the lead had totally filled the grooves.
    The rifle sure should look great when done. Lucky for me, the exterior was the only thing that needed fixing. The HS checks good also. For $200, a brass saddle ring from the 60's, I could not pass it up. No real collector value, especially with the way it looked, it was the perfect rifle to burn some time with and refinsh everthing.
    It obvious there is a wide range of powders used in the 44 Mag rifle. It should be fun finding the ideal load.
    I have a post 64 Win 94 in 30-30 that I'm just about ready to blue also. The stock and forend are done, just a little more polishing of the metal. I still need to draw file and polish one side of the lever. It was a sears model, so it has a slightly different forend band, got it very cheap.

    John K
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2011
  8. TheGunClinger

    TheGunClinger Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    I have been using the same loads in my Henry .44 as I use in my Redhawk and my two Superblackhawk .44's. Seems to work just fine. I use 240 gr JSP with 23g of H-110. You get quite a jolt with any of those guns but I like jolt.
  9. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    I dont like jolt... Especially from a nick in a 220 cord that someone didnt tape up...:mad: dern near made me pee myself...
  10. dksac2

    dksac2 New Member

    Jan 14, 2011
    Thanks guys. I found a couple manuels that had 44 Mag rifle loads.
    The H-110 seems to be the one with the highest FPS. I'll load some with the 4227 and 2400 I have and pick up some 110 next time I'm at Sportsman wharehouse.
    Looks like it will be a fun rifle to shoot.
    I love the lightweight. Great for a bear protection rifle, I think it would do the trick against 2 legged critters should it ever be necessary also.

    Thank, John K
  11. gun-nut

    gun-nut Member

    Jan 15, 2011
    My Lymans 48th handbook uses the t/c Contender as the firearm used. 10" and 12" Bbl used. 200 gr. JHP
    Unique 10.5 starting 13.0 max
    800X 12.0 ----- 14.9
    Blue dot 15.7 ----- 18.7
    AA#7 18.0 ----- 20.0
    (2400) 19.5 ----- (23.6)
    *H-110 27.7 ----- 28.8
    IMR-4227 22.8 ----- 26.4
    (Best pick for there choice)
    * is the use of a magnum primer
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2011
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