NOTE !!! This post contains loading information that is not found in loading manuals. Just because I was able to fire it in my Judge, with out any appearant damage to either myself or my 2.5" Chambered, 3" barrel, SS Judge, does not mean you will be able to fire it in yours. Exercise due caution with your own loadings.
Yesterday I finally got back to the range to try the 410 loads I had loaded in 444 Marlin cases. I used 2 powders, Unique and IMR4227. The shot load was 3 ea. 0000 buckshot balls, wt 83g ea. 250g total, a Ballistic Products Stretch-36 410 wad, and a overshot card cut from a cool whip lid.
I started by firing some Americam Eagle 225g PSP 45 LC loads, box M.V. shows 860 fps. to set up my Chrony Beta. Initially they were reading 250 pfs because of a poor bullet path over the Chrony. When I finally got the Chrony to record them it showed 750 to 795 fps. We then proceeded to the 410 / 444 loads.
The 4227 loads left unburned powder in the cases and balrrel. Tried it because I had found a book loading for 1/2 oz shot (212g) and 15-17g 4227. Adjusting the powder down to 14.0g & 14.5g because the shot load was higher at 250g. So for me the 4227 loadings are unacceptable and will not be loaded again.
Next came the Unique loads: 6.5g, 7.0g, 7.5g, 8.0g. The 8.0g seemed to work best. Produced a recoil simular to the factory 45 LC loads I earlier fired. No matter where I tried to place the shot over the Chrony Beta it gave numbers in the 250 to 325 fps range. I did not believe them to be accurate readings. Was it reading the balls or the wad or a mix of both. CHrony was 5' in front of the muzzle. Before I gave up on the Chrony I managed to hit it with one of the shot balls or a wad. Even damaged it still displayed all but the first digit. Must be a Chrony Timex model. So the Chrony is taking a trip home to Chrony. But I digress. At a target range of 7 paces, aprox 21 yrds, the 3 shot patterened at 4" to 6". One pic ( if I can figure out how to post them) is of 3 shots, 9 balls total, all hitting within 6". I had hoped to achieve a smaller pattern than the factory 000 buckshot loads (4"), but so far I have not. BUT I WILL KEEP TRYING !!!
The 444 Marlin cases all swelled out to mirror the chamber dimensions but could be pushed out with the ejector. I read the 444 cases do not need resized when fired in a 410 single or doubble barrel but they will need resized after being fired in a Judge. I have tried to add pictures. We'll see how that goes. 2 pics are of single shot 3 ball groups (4"), 1 pic is of the 3 shot 9 balls total grouping (6"), and one of a cut-a-way of how the load is assembled.
I also loaded 3 with 8.5 g Unique. That is a max cowboy action load for 255g cast lead bullets. I will shoot them next time.
Not to hijack the thread, but would a .45 BPM (Black Powder Magnum) work in a Judge? I saw a video of the BPM in a Dragoon clone and figure the Judge is al least as strong as the Colt copy.
That would require the step in the cylinder to be removed. That would make it possible to chamber 454 casull & 460 rds. BAD ... Then there is the chamber pressure issue. I have not yet found info on that
My 444 cases loaded for use in the Judge are loaded to 45 LC cowboy action load specs for powder and projectile wt. and they are full length re-sized after firing. Cowboy action loads are: 7.8g Unique with a 250g LRN bullet. I am using 7.5g Unique with a 260g load of 3 ea. 0000 buckshot sized to .357" and shot wad.