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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Just recently bought two Rossi 720 revolvers (which I'm really loving), and I'm enjoying tinkering around with various powders and charge weights. I have worked up a recipe that is the most satisfying load I've yet shot in .44 Special. I'm loading 5.5 grains of Bullseye as the propellant, for a 200 grain cast RNFP bullet seated at an OAL of 1.44 inch, ignited by Winchester Large Pistol primers. This is one sweet load, for sure! ;)

LATER EDIT: I ran some of these across my chronograph this morning. Keeping in mind that the Rossi 720 has a 3" barrel, I was pleased to see that this round runs at an average of 810 feet per second when it leaves the muzzle. Plenty of stopping power there!

Amistad
 

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The load varys with gun it is for. My favorite is probably the old Skeeter load of 7.5 grains of unique under a 240 grain Keith SWC. Shooting a old model Ruger 3 screw 357 that was converted to 44 special by John Gallagher. It is not a load I would shoot in most 44 specials. It is above max in many reloading manuals. Was a load worked up years ago in and for tough guns. It will punch through deer with authority.
 

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For guns like the Charters and Rossi I like Titegroup, HS-6, and H4227. Hodgdon's reloading manual gives loads for all 3 powders. I like Titegroup in my 2" barrel Charter and 3" barrel Charters with a 200 grain cast or JHP.
 

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I'm a 44 Special loader/shooter who prefers my own cast projectiles. I don't magnumize the Special in any way, I have two 44 Magnums for that. I found that my 441 has a definite preference for the Lee 214 grain cast SWC. I size .430 and load over any of the faster powders, A#2, Bullseye; that burn range. The Special seems not to be position sensitive as far as powder ignition goes. I came into a quantity of Winchester Action Pistol Powder. It was discontinued just before Hodgdon started distributing Winchester powders. Hornady had a load listed for their 200 gr. bullet, I adapted it to the 214 Gr. cast, turned out to be a great combination, accuracy and clean burn, no hint of leading are the major attributes of WAP in my 44. I acquired a S&W Model 624 last fall, haven't tried it yet, hope my loads for the 441 work. I like bullets in the 200-225 weight range for 44 Special.
 

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kd115: "44 manum load"!! do you shoot that in a 44 Special chambered revolver?
do you load it in 44 Special cases??
 

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Hope not. That would be a good way to get in trouble. Drop that in a Charter Arms Bulldog and watch out!

I like 700X with lead bullets in .44 Spl. Very accurate.
 

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Yes, I'm talking strictly 44 Special. That was the original posting, then the "44 Manum" was introduced into the conversation, I was trying for clarification and precise distinction.
 

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I like 18.5gr of 2400 with a 240SWC. thats a 44 manum load.
This is the Keith heavy load that Elmer Keith describes in his book "Sixguns by Keith" for use in old ballon-head cases. He blew up weaker guns with it and learned what guns to shoot it in. All of them were heavy. For solid head cases (which is what we shoot today) you should only use 17.5 gr of 2400. You shoot this in a Charter Arms Bulldog and you will have some excitement and possibly a sprained wrist. It is very accurate and it is the basis for the design for the .44 Mag. Keith used 250 gr bullets with his 17.5 gr load, in case anyone is interested.
 

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The 44 special I shoot the most is my Ruger 357 to 44 special conversion. The load I gave for it is not as heavy as the Keith load but I still will not shoot it in my other 44 specials. That load runs between 900 and 1000 fps out of a 4 5/8" barrel. Most of my 44 mag loads now run in the 1100 fps and less range with 200 to 335 grain cast in most. The old "Hotter is better" load theory is seldom used for anything I load now. The 44 special in a 2" barrel gun with a 180 to 220 grain bullet makes a big hole. The wide nose flat points or full wadcutters hit like a hammer and don't have to be loaded to 44 mag ballistics. For years we killed a lot of deer every year. The wound channel in game teaches volumes about what and how a bullet really does. The old semi wadcutters and wide nose flat point bullets kill as well or better than a lot of hollow and soft points out of handguns.
 
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