Which powder for use in Ruger Alaskan 44 Mag 2 1/2 barrel gun? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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Smooth_squeeze
04-17-2014, 15:34
Perhaps there's a thread dealing with this question, but I didn't find it using the search function. If there is such a thread, please point me in that direction.

Somewhere I read that if 44 magnum doesn't push someone to reload, probably nothing else will.

That said, I have several hundred rounds of 240 gr JHP ammo, but want to start reloading before I shoot my stock all up.

My gun is the Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan in 44 mag, with the 2 1/2 inch barrel.

There is some ammo commercially available from Speer designated "Short Barrel" and there may be some others out there, too.

But I'd like to handload ammo for my gun, and am unsure which powder is best for that purpose. In the beginning at least I'll be shooting 240 grain bullets, either hard cast lead or perhaps some copper coated bullets in 240 gr.

Any suggestions will be most appreciated.

Also, which of the many reloading manuals do you suggest I get? I'll be reloading for 45 ACP as well.

Thanks.

WeeWilly
04-17-2014, 17:28
Speer ammo labeled "short barrel" means they are using hollow point bullets that will open easier (at lower velocity) than a bullet normally used in that weight and caliber.


The limiting factor performance wise is the barrel length. Nowadays, the "optimal" powder may not be available and you may be stuck with "what you can find".


When you can find it give AA #9 a look. It will deliver excellent results for max effort jacketed loads, but unlike many of the other "max velocity" powders (like H110), #9 downloads well to target velocities.


Good luck.

Kentguy
04-17-2014, 17:30
Smooth_Squeeze,

I have tested the 240g JSP FN bullet (Remington) out of my 44 mag. only I have a 8 3/8" barrel. I will not post my numbers here because of the difference in barrel length.

I used Alliant 2400 which makes for a very nice accurate round. Meters well and burns very clean in my tests. I needed a round to stretch out to 100 yards so these are a bit warm for not over bearing. Then again with a 2 1/2" barrel you are looking for a bit more up close & personal use. I think 2400 would be a good choice in powder for you.

I used the "Speer Reloading manual #14" for my numbers.

Good luck and be safe out there

snowwdog
04-17-2014, 18:26
i would stay away from 2400. it wont have time to burn in that short barrel. its very dirty if you download it or if it doesnt have time to burn. Its awesome for full power loads. I also love h110 for full power. It will throw a fireball 10 foot in front of that little 2 inch barrel. In the grand scheme it doesn't matter what you use your not going to burn all the powder before the bullet gets out of the barrel. might want to try unique. Problem there is loading density. I used universal clays on some 44mag once. Very small powder charge but moved the bullet pretty good. Very low recoil. Problem was it didnt "feel right". So i abandoned any further testing of universal.

fredj338
04-17-2014, 18:41
Regardless of bbl length, if you want the highest vel, use the slower powders like 2400, H110/W296, AA#9, LilGun, even BlueDot. There is no free lunch when it comes to short bbls. The highest vel will be with the slowest powders, BUT you will pay for that in blast & flash. If you just want midtange plinkers, then medium burners like Universal, Unique, HS6, WSF, AA#5 & 7, will work fine, & give you less blast, but also a little less vel.

njl
04-17-2014, 19:14
It kind of comes down to a question of what sort of performance you want and what powder can you actually get. If you're looking at using hard cast, coated or plated, you're probably not going to be loading full power H110 type loads. You could load light target loads with Clays/Clay Dot/Red Dot, or middle of the road sort of loads with Universal Clays or CFE pistol. Given the current powder situation, you really need to just see what you can find and then figure out how suitable it is.

WeeWilly
04-17-2014, 19:43
Regardless of bbl length, if you want the highest vel, use the slower powders like 2400, H110/W296, AA#9, LilGun, even BlueDot. There is no free lunch when it comes to short bbls. The highest vel will be with the slowest powders, BUT you will pay for that in blast & flash. If you just want midtange plinkers, then medium burners like Universal, Unique, HS6, WSF, AA#5 & 7, will work fine, & give you less blast, but also a little less vel.


I agree.

This is a common misconception that with short barrels you somehow can get higher velocities using faster powders. As Fred said, the powders that deliver the most velocity with a 12" barrel, will deliver the most velocity out of a 2" barrel.

The good news is with that short barrel, you won't be pushing any bullet, plain base lead, plated or jacketed, past it's speed limit.

Smooth_squeeze
04-17-2014, 21:19
Thanks for the suggestion! At this point, I haven't taken a good look in an actual brick and mortar store to see what's available powder wise... Thanks also for the info regarding the Speer "short barrel" bullets. Very helpful.

Speer ammo labeled "short barrel" means they are using hollow point bullets that will open easier (at lower velocity) than a bullet normally used in that weight and caliber.


The limiting factor performance wise is the barrel length. Nowadays, the "optimal" powder may not be available and you may be stuck with "what you can find".


When you can find it give AA #9 a look. It will deliver excellent results for max effort jacketed loads, but unlike many of the other "max velocity" powders (like H110), #9 downloads well to target velocities.


Good luck.

Smooth_squeeze
04-17-2014, 21:20
Thanks, Kentguy. Tell me... are the various editions of the Speer manuals markedly different?

Smooth_Squeeze,

I have tested the 240g JSP FN bullet (Remington) out of my 44 mag. only I have a 8 3/8" barrel. I will not post my numbers here because of the difference in barrel length.

I used Alliant 2400 which makes for a very nice accurate round. Meters well and burns very clean in my tests. I needed a round to stretch out to 100 yards so these are a bit warm for not over bearing. Then again with a 2 1/2" barrel you are looking for a bit more up close & personal use. I think 2400 would be a good choice in powder for you.

I used the "Speer Reloading manual #14" for my numbers.

Good luck and be safe out there

Smooth_squeeze
04-17-2014, 21:27
Hey there, Snowdog!

Well, well... you've touched on one of my interests, namely, muzzle blast. As it turns out, I LIKE it...

Or perhaps I should say I like it in certain circumstances, as for instance, when I'm shooting 44 mag. In other calibers, it's not what I'd want, but in 44 mag, yeah.

Why? Well, there's the intimidation factor, in the case of a self defense situation. Big blast = intimidation, at least in my book.

Since the 2.5 inch barrel won't allow the powder to completely burn, is it your opinion that H110 will produce MORE muzzle blast than other powders?

Also, the FPS I'd get out of that short barrel will be decent, right? Is there any advantage to running a much heavier or lighter bullet than a 240 gr. in a short barrel?

Thanks!

i would stay away from 2400. it wont have time to burn in that short barrel. its very dirty if you download it or if it doesnt have time to burn. Its awesome for full power loads. I also love h110 for full power. It will throw a fireball 10 foot in front of that little 2 inch barrel. In the grand scheme it doesn't matter what you use your not going to burn all the powder before the bullet gets out of the barrel. might want to try unique. Problem there is loading density. I used universal clays on some 44mag once. Very small powder charge but moved the bullet pretty good. Very low recoil. Problem was it didnt "feel right". So i abandoned any further testing of universal.

Smooth_squeeze
04-17-2014, 21:32
Thanks, NJL,

At this point, I don't know what powder I'm going to find in a Cabelas, for instance. What they have online and what's available in their stores are two possibly different things.

So, I'll find out when I visit one, hopefully in the next several days.

While I listed two different bullets in my original post, if I can't get those bullets, and jacketed bullets are the only ones available, I'd go with those.


It kind of comes down to a question of what sort of performance you want and what powder can you actually get. If you're looking at using hard cast, coated or plated, you're probably not going to be loading full power H110 type loads. You could load light target loads with Clays/Clay Dot/Red Dot, or middle of the road sort of loads with Universal Clays or CFE pistol. Given the current powder situation, you really need to just see what you can find and then figure out how suitable it is.

Smooth_squeeze
04-17-2014, 21:34
Thank you, sir.

By the way, what's the speed limit for hard cast bullets? And will I never reach that with my Alaskan?


I agree.

This is a common misconception that with short barrels you somehow can get higher velocities using faster powders. As Fred said, the powders that deliver the most velocity with a 12" barrel, will deliver the most velocity out of a 2" barrel.

The good news is with that short barrel, you won't be pushing any bullet, plain base lead, plated or jacketed, past it's speed limit.

WeeWilly
04-17-2014, 21:46
Thank you, sir.

By the way, what's the speed limit for hard cast bullets? And will I never reach that with my Alaskan?

It depends on the bullet, but just about any commercially cast bullet will be plenty hard enough to withstand the velocities you will be pushing in the Alaskan.

The most important factor when shooting lead is making sure your bullets are sized properly. Along with this consideration, many newer revolver throats are sized for jacketed bullets, so getting them checked to assure they are not too small for your lead bullets will help minimize leading.

My guess is you should be looking at about 1100 fps for a 240gr bullet with a full house load with that barrel.

PS - you will definitely get a big muzzle blast from h110/w296. A longtime poster here relayed a story where he set one of his paper targets on fire when shooting a big h110 load out of one of shorter barreled revolvers. Put your sunglasses on for indoor work... ;)

Smooth_squeeze
04-17-2014, 21:50
How do I check bullet sizing? Will a digital caliper be adequate to do that?

My Ruger Alaskan is basically brand new. I bought it about 3 weeks ago, and it had been in the gun store for less than a week, having come directly from Ruger. Do I need to get it checked??

It depends on the bullet, but just about any commercially cast bullet will be plenty hard enough to withstand the velocities you will be pushing in the Alaskan.

The most important factor when shooting lead is making sure you bullets are sized properly. Along with this consideration, many newer revolver throats are sized for jacketed bullets, so getting them checked to assure they are not too small for your lead bullets will help minimize leading.

My guess is you should be looking at about 1100 fops for a 240gr bullet with a full hous e load.

WeeWilly
04-17-2014, 22:04
How do I check bullet sizing? Will a digital caliper be adequate to do that?

My Ruger Alaskan is basically brand new. I bought it about 3 weeks ago, and it had been in the gun store for less than a week, having come directly from Ruger. Do I need to get it checked??

The way you tell the bore size is by slugging the barrel. There are a number of videos on YouTube to take you through it. You can also slug the throats, or have a gunsmith check them with pin gauges. You want your lead bullets to start out at least .001" larger than your bore size. The throats ideally will be .001" larger than your bullets.

One way to start would be to buy .429" plated/jacketed and use those for a while until you get some experience. Try and get bullets with a cannelure, versus plated without as if you decide to run some H110/W296 loads, a nice firm roll crimp wil help.

fredj338
04-17-2014, 22:51
Thank you, sir.

By the way, what's the speed limit for hard cast bullets? And will I never reach that with my Alaskan?

There really is no "limit" with a medium to hard cast bullet in a 44mag handgun, any bbl length. I have run cast lead to 1500fps in the low pressure 45-70. In the 44mag 1400fps is easy. The key is proper bullet fit; 0.001" minimum, larger than bore dia. In any revolver, propr cyl throat dims a crucial foe good lead bullet performance,

Kentguy
04-18-2014, 06:27
Smooth_Squeeze "Tell me... are the various editions of the Speer manuals markedly different?"

The 240g bullet/loads have been around since the 50'S (not 100% sure about that) so some load data mostly powders that have come/gone or changed names may be different.

I re-checked my notes and I did test a load using H110 and although my results they were not bad at all, however for those tests my results (and revolver) liked 2400 best (just some FYI there).

For your concern toady as I suggested in your other post, pick up a copy of Speer's Reloading manual #14 which has the latest Data you will need for that new revolver you just picked up.

Keep in mind that this bullet was originally designed as a hunting round for small to medium size game, so most data out there is skewed in that direction. Meaning the final product is meant to pass through a deer or elk. Will it work on humans? I should think so! However when working up loads with past or present data, just keep that in mind.

Good luck and be safe out there

Smooth_squeeze
04-18-2014, 06:50
Great info!

It depends on the bullet, but just about any commercially cast bullet will be plenty hard enough to withstand the velocities you will be pushing in the Alaskan.

The most important factor when shooting lead is making sure your bullets are sized properly. Along with this consideration, many newer revolver throats are sized for jacketed bullets, so getting them checked to assure they are not too small for your lead bullets will help minimize leading.

My guess is you should be looking at about 1100 fps for a 240gr bullet with a full house load with that barrel.

PS - you will definitely get a big muzzle blast from h110/w296. A longtime poster here relayed a story where he set one of his paper targets on fire when shooting a big h110 load out of one of shorter barreled revolvers. Put your sunglasses on for indoor work... ;)

Smooth_squeeze
04-18-2014, 06:52
Thank you, sir; very helpful.

The way you tell the bore size is by slugging the barrel. There are a number of videos on YouTube to take you through it. You can also slug the throats, or have a gunsmith check them with pin gauges. You want your lead bullets to start out at least .001" larger than your bore size. The throats ideally will be .001" larger than your bullets.

One way to start would be to buy .429" plated/jacketed and use those for a while until you get some experience. Try and get bullets with a cannelure, versus plated without as if you decide to run some H110/W296 loads, a nice firm roll crimp wil help.

Smooth_squeeze
04-18-2014, 22:04
Thanks for all the great suggestions.

Found some H110 today and bought a bottle. Store only had large magnum pistol primers? Any problems with those? Expect to buy some of the Oregon Trail laser cast 240 grain bullets, with canelure.

Any recommendations for starting loads with this combination? Also, what might the max load be?

Thanks.

WeeWilly
04-18-2014, 22:18
You will need those magnum primers for the H110.

Just go on Hodgdon's online load data they will give you start and max (which will be very close together for H110).

fredj338
04-18-2014, 22:21
Thanks for all the great suggestions.

Found some H110 today and bought a bottle. Store only had large magnum pistol primers? Any problems with those? Expect to buy some of the Oregon Trail laser cast 240 grain bullets, with canelure.

Any recommendations for starting loads with this combination? Also, what might the max load be?

Thanks.
Mag primers are exactly what you need for slow powders like H110. Follow book data, H110 has a Narrow load window, It doesn't tolerate down loading well, more of a max effort powder.
As to lead bullets, the LC are a good bullet but over priced IMO. Try to get a bullet at least 0.430" in size. For the cost, I would go here, better selection:
http://www.montanabulletworks.com/

Smooth_squeeze
04-18-2014, 22:43
Mag primers are exactly what you need for slow powders like H110. Follow book data, H110 has a Narrow load window, It doesn't tolerate down loading well, more of a max effort powder.
As to lead bullets, the LC are a good bullet but over priced IMO. Try to get a bullet at least 0.430" in size. For the cost, I would go here, better selection:
http://www.montanabulletworks.com/

Thanks, Fred. Just took a look and Montana sure does have a tremendous selection available. I appreciate the suggestion.

Smooth_squeeze
04-18-2014, 23:35
You will need those magnum primers for the H110.

Just go on Hodgdon's online load data they will give you start and max (which will be very close together for H110).

Went there, but it didn't give me loads for a Lead bullet. Must have done something wrong...

WeeWilly
04-18-2014, 23:57
See next post.

WeeWilly
04-19-2014, 10:18
Went there, but it didn't give me loads for a Lead bullet. Must have done something wrong...

OK, I went down to the garage and checked my Lee 2nd Edition. I loaned out my Lyman cast book to a friend and of course he is not home, so I have only one book to go on.

Lee lists 25.0gr as min and max for H110 and a 240gr lead bullet. I looked up the 250gr lead and he lists 23.0gr min/max.

In my experience I think you may have a hard time getting all 25gr in the case and getting the 240gr bullet seated deep enough to crimp at the cannelure, I used to use 24gr of H110 with 240gr lead and I remember it being a tight fit for 1.6" OAL. Pretty sure 23.0gr would also work fine, if you wanted to back off slightly.

I want to reiterate my caution about the cylinder throats on newer Ruger and Smith revolvers. In my experience they are way too tight for shooting lead. If yours are, it will result in a lot of leading, especially with these hot loads. If you decide to go ahead and shoot them anyway before having the throats checked (they should be .001" bigger than your bullets which should be at least .001" bigger than your bore), just keep an eye on the forcing cone and barrel. Dark grey skid marks are no big deal, more lead than that and you need to stop and clean the lead out. Too much lead can result in an over pressure situation. Any lead left behind can be removed with some copper choreboy clipped from the pad and wrapped around a bronze bore brush). Reaming the throats for lead shooting is very straight forward.

Have fun with the big blaster.

Smooth_squeeze
04-19-2014, 10:27
Thank you, sir. I really appreciate your advice.

Here's a different sort of question. Do you know of any jacketed bullets for .44 that are budget priced? Just checking around, it seems jacketed bullets are on the average twice the cost of good quality cast lead bullets. If there's an in between jacketed bullet, with canelure, that you know of, please fill me in.

OK, I went down to the garage and checked my Lee 2nd Edition. I loaned out my Lyman cast book to a friend and of course he is not home, so I have only one book to go on.

Lee lists 25.0gr as min and max for H110 and a 240gr lead bullet. I looked up the 250gr lead and he lists 23.0gr min/max.

In my experience I think you may have a hard time getting all 25gr in the case and getting the 240gr bullet seated deep enough to crimp at the cannelure, I used to use 24gr of H110 with 240gr lead and I remember it being a tight fit for 1.6" OAL. Pretty sure 23.0gr would also work fine, if you wanted to back off slightly.

I want to reiterate my caution about the cylinder throats on newer Ruger and Smith revolvers. In my experience they are way too tight for shooting lead. If yours are, it will result in a lot of leading, especially with these hot loads. If you decide to go ahead and shoot them anyway before having the throats checked (they should be .001" bigger than your bullets which should be at least .001" bigger than your bore), just keep an eye on the forcing cone and barrel. Dark grey skid marks are no big deal, more lead than that and you need to stop and clean the lead out. Too much lead can result in an over pressure situation. Any lead left behind can be removed with some copper choreboy clipped from the pad and wrapped around a bronze bore brush). Reaming the throats for lead shooting is very straight forward.

Have fun with the big blaster.

WiskyT
04-19-2014, 10:59
Cart before the horse here. I can understand the desire to jump into reloading, but the OP doesn't even have a manual yet.

OP, get a manual first and read it a lot. You will learn more about reloading and ammo from that than you thought existed. The 20-30 Dollars spent on a manual will benefit you even if you never reload. You are looking at hardware when you haven't gotten the software (basic knowledge) yet.

As for which manual, it doesn't much matter because they are all good. I'm partial to the Hornady manual for it's instruction since that is what I started with (Third Edition). They are up to 8th or 9th now, but it's a good book to have. There is nothing wrong, and some might even be better, with the other major ones like Lyman, Speer, Sierra etc.

Check your local library as they may have several different ones to use. In the end, by one because you will be using it the rest of your life.

WeeWilly
04-19-2014, 11:24
Cart before the horse here. I can understand the desire to jump into reloading, but the OP doesn't even have a manual yet.

OP, get a manual first and read it a lot. You will learn more about reloading and ammo from that than you thought existed. The 20-30 Dollars spent on a manual will benefit you even if you never reload. You are looking at hardware when you haven't gotten the software (basic knowledge) yet.

As for which manual, it doesn't much matter because they are all good. I'm partial to the Hornady manual for it's instruction since that is what I started with (Third Edition). They are up to 8th or 9th now, but it's a good book to have. There is nothing wrong, and some might even be better, with the other major ones like Lyman, Speer, Sierra etc.

Check your local library as they may have several different ones to use. In the end, by one because you will be using it the rest of your life.

Great advice right there.

On the best price on jacketed, it has been a while since I bought any jacketed bullets in .429. The last time I did I think the best deal in reasonable quantities were Sierra, I think they called it their sporting line, or something like that. They are JHP with a soft point tip. They worked pretty well, actually loaded for a friend. But yes, in general jacketed will be more than lead. Check out Hornaday XTP as well, sometimes, like the Sierra's they go on sale. Powder Valley, Natchez, Graf and Sons and Cabela's have typically been reliable sources online.

Good luck.

Smooth_squeeze
04-19-2014, 11:37
Cart before the horse here. I can understand the desire to jump into reloading, but the OP doesn't even have a manual yet.

OP, get a manual first and read it a lot. You will learn more about reloading and ammo from that than you thought existed. The 20-30 Dollars spent on a manual will benefit you even if you never reload. You are looking at hardware when you haven't gotten the software (basic knowledge) yet.

As for which manual, it doesn't much matter because they are all good. I'm partial to the Hornady manual for it's instruction since that is what I started with (Third Edition). They are up to 8th or 9th now, but it's a good book to have. There is nothing wrong, and some might even be better, with the other major ones like Lyman, Speer, Sierra etc.

Check your local library as they may have several different ones to use. In the end, by one because you will be using it the rest of your life.

Wisky, you don't know me.

I reloaded out the wazoo 40 years ago, and have a decent idea what I'm doing.

Folks here often have an inside track regarding procurement of components. I'm sorry if I don't sound deferential to you, because I am not.

Chill, dude.

Smooth_squeeze
04-19-2014, 11:39
Great advice right there.

On the best price on jacketed, it has been a while since I bought any jacketed bullets in .429. The last time I did I think the best deal in reasonable quantities were Sierra, I think they called it their sporting line, or something like that. They are JHP with a soft point tip. They worked pretty well, actually loaded for a friend. But yes, in general jacketed will be more than lead. Check out Hornaday XTP as well, sometimes, like the Sierra's they go on sale. Powder Valley, Natchez, Graf and Sons and Cabela's have typically been reliable sources online.

Good luck.

Thanks, Willy, much appreciated!

WiskyT
04-19-2014, 12:23
Wisky, you don't know me.

I reloaded out the wazoo 40 years ago, and have a decent idea what I'm doing.

Folks here often have an inside track regarding procurement of components. I'm sorry if I don't sound deferential to you, because I am not.

Chill, dude.

Wow, there is a lot of dumb there. You've been reloading for 40 years and you are asking some elementary questions. Did you suffer a brain injury?

Btw, Willy was agreeing with me and you agreed with him. In the future, don't assume people are going to know that you are the stupid. You could save a lot of trouble by telling everyone up front.

Smooth_squeeze
04-19-2014, 14:02
Wow, there is a lot of dumb there. You've been reloading for 40 years and you are asking some elementary questions. Did you suffer a brain injury?

Btw, Willy was agreeing with me and you agreed with him. In the future, don't assume people are going to know that you are the stupid. You could save a lot of trouble by telling everyone up front.

You obviously fancy yourself to be quite an alpha male.

Have a nice day.

WiskyT
04-19-2014, 14:41
You obviously fancy yourself to be quite an alpha male.

Have a nice day.

You say you came in here because of the GTR braintrust. You might want to look at who the core members of GTR are. There are many of us including me. I have been posting in here for over a decade.

Most of the folks in here have been here the same or longer. Then there are the new ones, or the ones that may have been registered years ago, but are now just posting more frequently. There are most of them, like Willy, who are polite, not DEFENSIVE, and add to the forum. And then about once a month or so there is someone like you. They come in, ask a question, end up starting trouble for no reason, and then disappear.

It's major league dumb to come in here, preface a question by saying you don't possess the single most important piece of equipment involved in reloading, ask for advice, and then insult the people who volunteer to give you an answer.

"Justifying" your actions by saying that you weren't interested in my response because you only want to hear from GTR regulars is just doubling down on stupid.

fredj338
04-19-2014, 16:24
Thank you, sir. I really appreciate your advice.

Here's a different sort of question. Do you know of any jacketed bullets for .44 that are budget priced? Just checking around, it seems jacketed bullets are on the average twice the cost of good quality cast lead bullets. If there's an in between jacketed bullet, with canelure, that you know of, please fill me in.

Haven't bought jacketed 44 in decades, but Winchester & Remington bulk bullets used to be the cheap way to go. Imo, nothing a jacketed does better in a magnum than a good cast lead. Cast lead are also a lot easier on the gun if you shoot a lot, less gas cutting at the forcing cone. I ruined a RSBH shooting a ton of full power jacketed loads back in the 70s..

Smooth_squeeze
04-29-2014, 20:19
Having around 200 reloaded rounds though my Alaskan, I thought I'd report back, and thank all who have helped me.

First of all, my setup. Lee Hand Press. Lee dies, including the factory crimping die. Digital scale. Hornady 180 gr. XTP, Hornady 240 gr. XTP, Magtech 240 SJSP. Hodgdons H110.

I decided to simplify things by going with jacketed bullets, as researching Glocktalk for recommendations regarding copper plated bullets, or lead bullets, or laser cast bullets, I realized there were a number of extra variables regarding crimping and leading and so on with some of those bullets and given the stout recoil of the rounds that I planned to load, I thought that at least for now I'd leave that for the future. Even though years ago my father and I cast our own bullets and reloaded them for 38 special, I opted for jacketed ones to KISS (keep it simple, stupid.)

Started off with the 180 grain XTPs, following the Hodgdon prescription, starting with 29 gr of H110, then progressing by .5 grain, until I reached the maximum of 31.5 grains. Loaded 6 of each, and watched for signs of excessive pressure. They all shot well for my purposes. Then did that with the 240 gr. XTP, starting with 23 gr. of H110, increasing by .5 grain to 24 grains. That is a pretty narrow window, at least in my book. Ditto for the Magtech 240 gr., but I only loaded 23 gr. for it.

Here's what I found. I found that a good roll crimp is necessary for rounds of this type, for when I started up the ladder with the 180 gr. XTP, at a certain point, at the 30.5 grain load, the bullets started shifting in the cases. When that happened, I stopped shooting those loads, and then put a serious crimp on the bullets. Due to the shifting of the bullets, I figured that factory crimp was a necessity. So that has become SOP for me with these loads.

As for fun shooting, I think the Alaskan is now my favorite handgun, at least at the range. It's awesome, but you probably already knew that.

The Hogue Tamer grips on it work quite well, and the doggone gun's a hoot to shoot.



So now, I have another question for you all. How accurate are the powder measures that are commercially available? I've read they almost never throw a perfect load. Is that true? What I'm doing now is weighing each and every load. What sort of load tolerances are acceptable for pistol loads in 44 mag? Does each and every round really need to be spot on, to 1/10th of a grain? I'm not planning on loading to the max, in any case.

PCJim
04-29-2014, 21:39
<trimmed> So now, I have another question for you all. How accurate are the powder measures that are commercially available? I've read they almost never throw a perfect load. Is that true? What I'm doing now is weighing each and every load. What sort of load tolerances are acceptable for pistol loads in 44 mag? Does each and every round really need to be spot on, to 1/10th of a grain? I'm not planning on loading to the max, in any case.

A lot depends upon the powder being used. Spherical powder will meter with great accuracy in a reliable throw, flake not quite as good and extruded following up the rear. Even so, a good throw will still drop extruded within +/-0.1 gr, or at least mine have. Spherical in a Dillon throw will be spot on until the very last drop from the hopper.

In a 44mag case, you've quite a bit of room comparatively speaking, and 0.1gr isn't going to be noticeable, especially since you've indicated you're not pushing the envelope.

I used to weigh 10 throws to get an average of an individual throw. While statistics will prove that each of those throws could be off +/-.2 and still balance the opposites out, I still relied on it and still have all my digits.

Weigh 3 or 4 throws, get some confidence in what your throw will do, and load 'em up.

WeeWilly
04-29-2014, 21:47
I have a number of powder drops from various manufacturers, they all drop accurate enough for handgun use. A simple Lee Perfect Powder Measure should work fine (+/- .1gr) for H110.

fredj338
04-29-2014, 22:21
So now, I have another question for you all. How accurate are the powder measures that are commercially available? I've read they almost never throw a perfect load. Is that true? What I'm doing now is weighing each and every load. What sort of load tolerances are acceptable for pistol loads in 44 mag? Does each and every round really need to be spot on, to 1/10th of a grain? I'm not planning on loading to the max, in any case.

Consider other variables, chasing the "perfect" powder charge, just not worth the effort. A 1/10gr accuracy, most good measures can do this with most powders, plenty accurate enough,especially with slower powders.

Smooth_squeeze
04-30-2014, 06:53
I have a number of powder drops from various manufacturers, they all drop accurate enough for handgun use. A simple Lee Perfect Powder Measure should work fine (+/- .1gr) for H110.

Thanks, Bill. Just ordered one.

Smooth_squeeze
04-30-2014, 06:54
Consider other variables, chasing the "perfect" powder charge, just not worth the effort. A 1/10gr accuracy, most good measures can do this with most powders, plenty accurate enough,especially with slower powders.

Very helpful. Thanks much.