reloading 44 mag for rifle

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by jarbill, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. jarbill

    jarbill New Member

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    Hello, all:

    I am going to start reloading soon and I am in the information-gathering stage. I have purchased a turret press, dies, casings, primers, priming tool, two books, scales, reloading trays, etc. I think all I still need is bullets and powder.

    I have a few questions about reloading recipes for rifle vs. pistol loads in 44 mag. Information about rifle load recipes seems to be a little sparse. I was thinking about using H110 powder to load with since I think it was designed with the .44 mag in mind; however, in my reloading book (Lyman), the difference between min. and max. loads is often only 1 grain; however, in another book I have, which is a compilation of load data from bullet and powder manufacturers, sometimes, it will show a difference between min and max loads as 3-4 grains. I think I'm going to begin loading with 180 and 200 gr. Dardas LRNFP cast bullets, but a difference of only 1 grain of powder between min and max doesn't seem like much wiggle room to me as a newbie.

    I would be interested in anyone else's information about rifle recipes for 44 mag. (I'm shooting a Marlin 1894 lever action.)

    Jerry in Texas
  2. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    I shoot a Ruger .44 magnum carbine and I load a 240 grain Berrys FTHP over 22.0 grains of H110. This load is about a midrange load in the Hornady book. They do show this load through a Ruger carbine. I also shoot the same load in my Thompson Contender.

    Hornady does not show H110 with the 180 and 200 grain bullets. The speer manual does not even show a 180 grain load at all and a 200 grain min 26.5 and max 28.5 with H110.

    BTW, Welcome to the forum.
  3. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Welcome jarbill, good to see another fellow texan join the ranks. I too began with .44 mag. The reason data differs between sources is because they develop their loads with different components and different lots of the powder.

    Use the data that best matches the components you are using and start your loads at starting charge and work up until you realize your best accuracy or signs of severe pressure begin to show. Its really that easy...

    Since youre going to be loading for lead bullets I would recommend a different powder than H110. H110 is best suited to jacketed bullets and is a very finicky powder to load with. For your Dardas bullets I would opt for alliant 2400 for full power loads and unique for reduced loads, you can also load full power with unique in the .44 magnum, you just wont get quite as much velocity for the pressure as 2400 gives...

    Matt Dardass produces top quality cast boolits, you wont be disappointed...

    Good luck.

    ~Josh~
  4. dammitman

    dammitman Member

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    also, be sure not to use non jacketed bullets in a older ruger carbine, it will clog up the gas port in the barrel. i didnt see what rifle you had but just wanted to let you know that from my experience.
  5. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    dammitman is right, you really dont want to use lead in anything gas operated because the lead will clog the gas port within the bore and eventually stop the action from cycling on its own. And its a big time PITA to get it cleaned out, and you have to completely disassemble the weapon...
  6. old semperfi

    old semperfi Active Member

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    i live in southern indiana,old country boy at hear
    i will also suggest not to use cast bullets unless they have the copper bottom,otherwise you will have some molten lead heading down the barell.the other thing you must do is to make sure your bullets have a cannelure,other wise the sharper recoil of the hotter load may cause you problems with the projectile staying seated. old semperfi
  7. jarbill

    jarbill New Member

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    Hi, Dammitman:

    The gun I'm using is a new Marlin 1894 lever action.

    Jerry in Texas
  8. jarbill

    jarbill New Member

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    Hi, JLA:

    Thanks for the info about the powders. I'm going to re-research my load data tonight and check it out and see what it says. I was talking to a reloader the other night at Cabelas and he said he really liked Titegroup. Have you ever used that brand? Just curious. I don't see it mentioned in the forums a whole lot, but I do see it some.

    Jerry in Texas
  9. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I love titegroup, and in the .44 mag it is just as versatile as unique and cleaner burning to boot.
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