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Powder Test - Win231 in .44 Mag


doc540
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Goal: low powered (.44 Special) accuracy for 50 yd silhouette matches

Why .44 Mag and not .44 Special? Brass is more available around here

Loaded up Win231 last night and tested it this morning.

60 degrees, light wind

Disclaimer: Limited marksmanship skills :)

Revolver: 629 Classic with top port

Optics: Matchdot w/Leupold quick release rings

Mount: Warne Maxima Multi-Sight System (modified front sight for irons)

b256ee87-6149-4450-abb8-ea81111ef680_zps1fbc7a4c.jpg

(sighted in using 7.0gr Unique...shot 10 test shots)

Second round of targets

5524ff4f-e7f4-4a41-9097-507e5276bc3a_zps0661bc9d.jpg

Conclusions:

1. All loads would work ok for 50yd silhouette shooting

2. Better shooting skills would tighten all the groups

3. Reloading and testing bullets and powder is fun

4. Old pro's will soon set straight a rookie like myself ;)

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If you want better accuracy then use a 240 GR XTP bullet with 10.5 gr unique. You'll get about 1150 fps and very tight groups. I don't use 231 in 44mag so I can't say how well it would work.I might give it a try. (insert normal legal disclaimer BS here).

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I'm hoping these chrono well. I am looking for a new hunting load for my 44 :)

I don't think a LSWC would make the best hunting bullet.

Elmer Keith and a lot of Buffalo hunters would disagree with you the big flat meplat is pretty disruptive to soft tissue and they penetrate very well.

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I will likely continue to use the XTP's I am using now, but I am interested in seeing the performance of 231. I use 231 for my 45 and H110 for 44s and would like to be able to consolidate powder if possible.

I'm hoping these chrono well. I am looking for a new hunting load for my 44 :)

I don't think a LSWC would make the best hunting bullet.

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I'm hoping these chrono well. I am looking for a new hunting load for my 44 :)

I don't think a LSWC would make the best hunting bullet.

Elmer Keith and a lot of Buffalo hunters would disagree with you the big flat meplat is pretty disruptive to soft tissue and they penetrate very well.

After further study I find that you are correct, Sir. Thanks for the catch. :)

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Factoring in my limited shooting skills, I couldn't determine a significant accuracy difference in several loads I tried from 5.0 to 8.0.

So, it doesn't make sense to me to waste extra (hard-to-find) powder for higher velocities when 5.5 appears to do the job of shooting accurately and knocking down the plates.

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Sure looks like fun shooting. If you are trying to kill that piece of paper I would use that very accurate load of w231. Why beat up the gun with target practice, I think bullet placement is very important. I have a Classic Dx in 44 mag with 8 3/8 inch barrel that I have shot mostly low practice/target loads. It shoots great. When up in the mountains I use my 4 inch S&W model 29 loaded with hand loaded 310 grain lead bullets loaded hot to mag velocity and 240 grain molly bullets loaded with 6.7 grains unique for target and practice. I shot league with both a 45acp and a 44 mag both using w231 as powder and it was excellent. If I remember correctly my 44 mag load was just a little more stout than yours and used bear creek molly bullets mostly. That load was extremely accurate. Keep having fun and when needed use the heavier loads for the 44 mag. But just for fun and training I think it's kinder on your guns to use the lighter loads.

keep shooting

Nevada Ron

"An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it."

Jeff Cooper

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  • 3 months later...

Any advantages using 44spl cases over the 44 mag?

I'm not experienced enough to answer that.

I use 44mag brass because it was more plentiful and the cylinder chambers are easier to keep clean.

Maybe a veteran reloader can add more info.

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Any advantages using 44spl cases over the 44 mag?

I'm not experienced enough to answer that.

I use 44mag brass because it was more plentiful and the cylinder chambers are easier to keep clean.

Maybe a veteran reloader can add more info.

That's what I use as well. I read somewhere it has something to do with the way the powder fills the case. I hear some guys add a little cornmeal to fill the case.

Edited by Rockets
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Using a Lyman 429421, I have found a load recommended on the Cast Boolit forum to be delightful. Seven point five grains produces excellent results. I only shoot Bowling Pins with it, but when I hit a pin, even when I don't hit the center of mass, it goes off the table.

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