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I have 44 Vaquero's and a 94 Marlin. I've tried different combinations but haven't found the sweet spot. My loads just seem to hot. I have a lot of Magnum brass. I really don't want to switch to Special. Does anyone have a good recipe for 44 Magnum Cowboy loads?

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Bear Creek 240gn moly RNFP and 6.5gn of Unique with firm crimp. That's my SASS load. OLG 

With winter coming, I wouldn't load less than 5.0gn of TG. Use a firm roll crimp. Forget that bunch of crybabies-find a real SASS club. OLG 

I’m hoping this isn’t the closest club to you.  Forget about ‘em, Loco.   If I’m mistaken and you’d like to shoot there again, maybe I’ll ride out for a match.  I’ll bring .44 that’s chrono’

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Absolutely!!  (stolen famous movie line).  13Gr 3f APP, topped with Cream-0-Wheat to the base of the bullet of your choice.  I like 160Gr bullets.  Or, if ya want more smoke and KAPOW just keep filling with APP to the base of the bullet with no filler.

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By your comment that your loads are too hot, I'll take it that you are looking for a low recoil load that would help you get more competitive. 180g bullet with 4.5g Red Dot is a nice soft shooting load. You want a light weight bullet, so you will need a fast powder. Clays, 700x, Bullseye, are other possible choices.

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Howdy Waymore.  I don't shoot 44 mag, but my smokeless load for 45 Colt is the minimum of Clays (4.6gr) with a 200 gr bullet.  It is very pleasant to shoot.  The Clays minimum for 44 mag with 200gr bullet is 4.2gr.  That should also be pleasant.   As Ripsaw mentioned, a lighter bullet will recoil even less.   Booyah Bullets (Dodge City Mike) comes to the Plum Creek matches and he sells a 180gr .44.  The only 200gr bullet he has for .44 is sized .427 for 44-40, but he might be able to size them larger.  

 

Now, having said all that, I am not a marlin shooter but have heard stories and I think lighter loads might give you some blowby in the face, maybe?

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21 minutes ago, Abilene, SASS # 27489 said:

Howdy Waymore.  I don't shoot 44 mag, but my smokeless load for 45 Colt is the minimum of Clays (4.6gr) with a 200 gr bullet.  It is very pleasant to shoot.  The Clays minimum for 44 mag with 200gr bullet is 4.2gr.  That should also be pleasant.   As Ripsaw mentioned, a lighter bullet will recoil even less.   Booyah Bullets (Dodge City Mike) comes to the Plum Creek matches and he sells a 180gr .44.  The only 200gr bullet he has for .44 is sized .427 for 44-40, but he might be able to size them larger.  

 

Now, having said all that, I am not a marlin shooter but have heard stories and I think lighter loads might give you some blowby in the face, maybe?

Hi. Abilene, 

I have Booyah Bullets. I live close to Dodge City Mike. My mistake may have been that I'm trying to shoot a 240 grain SWC. The recoil doesn't bother me. It's actually pretty light. I've used Titegroup, Red Dot, and Trail Boss. The issue is that they hit the target pretty hard. One left a descent ding in the metal. I'm looking to not tear up the targets. So I'm guessing I'm trying to toss to heavy amount of lead. 

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I've used 6.5 grs of Trail Boss under a 180 gr bullet in my Marlin for many years. My experience with Trail Boss is that it works best at medium to max charges.  It's best to avoid the lowest ones.  Never had any recoil issues with this load. I do use Winchester primers or Federal Mag primers. 

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Well, plenty of folks shooting 250gr 45's.  Maybe just try to slow that bullet down. Looking at Hodgdon's data, the minimum of Clays (4.3gr) with the 240 bullet is about the least velocity of any of their powders.  I like Clays for minimums, always burned well for me though I haven't shot much of it in cold weather.

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34 minutes ago, Church Key, SASS # 33713 said:

I've used 6.5 grs of Trail Boss under a 180 gr bullet in my Marlin for many years. My experience with Trail Boss is that it works best at medium to max charges.  It's best to avoid the lowest ones.  Never had any recoil issues with this load. I do use Winchester primers or Federal Mag primers. 

I tried 6 grains of Trail Boss with the 240 gn SWC. The casing was full. I use Federal primers. It left a big bulge in my metal target. 

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33 minutes ago, Abilene, SASS # 27489 said:

Well, plenty of folks shooting 250gr 45's.  Maybe just try to slow that bullet down. Looking at Hodgdon's data, the minimum of Clays (4.3gr) with the 240 bullet is about the least velocity of any of their powders.  I like Clays for minimums, always burned well for me though I haven't shot much of it in cold weather.

I don't have any Clays but I'll try to find some and give it a shot.

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Hodgdon's data on Trail Boss is weird sometimes.  They list 6 gr as minimum and 7.3 as max for Trailboss with that bullet.  So if the minimum filled the case, what's the max gonna do?  If TB is what you have, I'd try backing off.  Or maybe check you scale calibration ;)  But there's plenty of other 44 mag shooters, some will chime in.

 

Do you know if your rifle will digest 44 Spcl?

Edited by Abilene, SASS # 27489
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I load bear creek moly lead 205 RNFP atop 5 grns of Titegroup for my .44 magnum cowboy loads.  They clang the targets, but have never cratered one.

 

These remaining magnum cases are a hold-over from when Betty-Lou used to shoot with (her 94 never liked .44spl consistently).

 

My .44spl load is the same minus a quarter-half grain.

Edited by WOLFY
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Wife shoots these in her 44 SBH's.  44 Mag brass, 4gr's Trailboss, 160 Gr bullet.  Alternate load is 3.9 gr of Shooters World Cleanshot, brass will be a little dirty yet, but cleans right up in the tumbler.

 

 

Edited by Farmer Brown
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I load my .44 with 4.4 gr of Shooters World Cleanshot under a 200 gr RNFP. Plenty of power to take down SH knockdowns in JW and easy to shoot. Minimal dirty.

 

Imis

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7 hours ago, Abilene, SASS # 27489 said:

Hodgdon's data on Trail Boss is weird sometimes.  They list 6 gr as minimum and 7.3 as max for Trailboss with that bullet.  So if the minimum filled the case, what's the max gonna do?  If TB is what you have, I'd try backing off.  Or maybe check you scale calibration ;)  But there's plenty of other 44 mag shooters, some will chime in.

 

Do you know if your rifle will digest 44 Spcl?

I have a few Specials. They run through the Marlin just fine. I can't really tell a difference. Using the same bullet, they have about the same recoil. Happy Thanksgiving to y'all!

Edited by Waymore Loco
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7 hours ago, Waymore Loco said:

I tried 6 grains of Trail Boss with the 240 gn SWC. The casing was full. I use Federal primers. It left a big bulge in my metal target. 

 

I use 6.0 grains of Trail boss with either 200 gr or 240 gr bullets at matches with no problems, most of our plates are AR500 steel.  If that load is denting your target, the metal isn't hard enough.

Edited by Chantry
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7 hours ago, Waymore Loco said:

I tried 6 grains of Trail Boss with the 240 gn SWC. The casing was full. I use Federal primers. It left a big bulge in my metal target. 

What's the details on your targets, like alloy and thickness? 

The load I posted, I have used for the last 18yrs.  It runs about 830fps out of my 5.5"bbl Rugers and around 950fps out of my 20" bbl Marlin.

Has never damaged a steel target.

OLG 

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26 minutes ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

What's the details on your targets, like alloy and thickness? 

The load I posted, I have used for the last 18yrs.  It runs about 830fps out of my 5.5"bbl Rugers and around 950fps out of my 20" bbl Marlin.

Has never damaged a steel target.

OLG 

I just grabbed a thick piece of mild steel of the scrap and leaned it up at 7 yards. 

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1 hour ago, Waymore Loco said:

I just grabbed a thick piece of mild steel of the scrap and leaned it up at 7 yards. 

Yeah , I think the problem isn't your loads , but the target. A club's targets shouldn't dent with even a fairly heavy load. Somehow I doubt your present loads are crowding the 1000 fps max. limit, although you didn't say exactly what they were.

Good luck ,

Rex :D

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2 hours ago, Rex M Rugers #6621 said:

Yeah , I think the problem isn't your loads , but the target. A club's targets shouldn't dent with even a fairly heavy load. Somehow I doubt your present loads are crowding the 1000 fps max. limit, although you didn't say exactly what they were.

Good luck ,

Rex :D

The load I had been using was 4.8 grains of Titegroup with a 240 gn swc  Starline 44 Mag casing with a regular Federal large pistol primer.

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4 hours ago, Waymore Loco said:

I just grabbed a thick piece of mild steel of the scrap and leaned it up at 7 yards. 

The problem is NOT with your loads; it is with the mild steel "target".  Virtually ALL club targets are hardened steel, even if only surface-hardened!  I shoot 7.5 gr Universal behind a 213.5 gr. hard (17-22 BHN) cast commercial bullet out of .44 Magnum Remington brass in my OM Vaquero.  From a 7.5" barrel, MV = 950 ft/sec at 72 deg. F., and I haven't seen a ding in any of the targets used by two different clubs I've shot at over the years.

 

As a point of possible interest, about 50 years ago, I was involved in testing jacketed softpoint hunting bullets on various pieces of armor plate, simulating 100 yd impact velocities of .30-06 ammo (loading down from nominal muzzle velocities as the defense industry company I worked for had only a 100 inch range to do the testing. The tests were to find out the lightest type of steel or aluminum that could be used to protect ordnance items from being struck by idiots or sabateurs during rail transit.  While the bullets would damage most of the test pieces, it was generally in the form of penetration with metal spalling off the back side of the plates. Impact velocities were around 2,000 ft/sec.  Interestingly, in those instances where pointed softpoint bullets would cause surface damage, the round nose soft point would partially penetrate, with the bullet sticking half-way through the plate! :o I don't remember what was finally chosen, if any of the armor plates, as I was only temporarily assigned to the program, with my task being to download the ammo to simulate the 100 yd velocities, collect the velocity data, using an Oehler M10 chronograph of my own (this large defense outfit didn't even have one of their own!!!), and record the results.

 

So, I'm afraid you need to re-think the material of your targets.

Best of luck. Stay well and safe! Happy Thanksgiving!

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If your bullets are hitting Point of Aim,  you’re recipe is good.  

 

What’s your OAL, if you don’t mind my asking?

 

Anything is gonna dent mild steel.

Edited by WOLFY
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27 minutes ago, Trailrider #896 said:

The problem is NOT with your loads; it is with the mild steel "target".  Virtually ALL club targets are hardened steel, even if only surface-hardened!  I shoot 7.5 gr Universal behind a 213.5 gr. hard (17-22 BHN) cast commercial bullet out of .44 Magnum Remington brass in my OM Vaquero.  From a 7.5" barrel, MV = 950 ft/sec at 72 deg. F., and I haven't seen a ding in any of the targets used by two different clubs I've shot at over the years.

 

As a point of possible interest, about 50 years ago, I was involved in testing jacketed softpoint hunting bullets on various pieces of armor plate, simulating 100 yd impact velocities of .30-06 ammo (loading down from nominal muzzle velocities as the defense industry company I worked for had only a 100 inch range to do the testing. The tests were to find out the lightest type of steel or aluminum that could be used to protect ordnance items from being struck by idiots or sabateurs during rail transit.  While the bullets would damage most of the test pieces, it was generally in the form of penetration with metal spalling off the back side of the plates. Impact velocities were around 2,000 ft/sec.  Interestingly, in those instances where pointed softpoint bullets would cause surface damage, the round nose soft point would partially penetrate, with the bullet sticking half-way through the plate! :o I don't remember what was finally chosen, if any of the armor plates, as I was only temporarily assigned to the program, with my task being to download the ammo to simulate the 100 yd velocities, collect the velocity data, using an Oehler M10 chronograph of my own (this large defense outfit didn't even have one of their own!!!), and record the results.

 

So, I'm afraid you need to re-think the material of your targets.

Best of luck. Stay well and safe! Happy Thanksgiving!

My target is for my own tests and denting it isn't the problem. I have no control over the targets at our local matches which I did damage. I'm sure the guy who yelled at me for damaging their targets thinks I should shoot a 38 Special like he does. I just need to know that I have my 44 loads correct. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

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17 minutes ago, Waymore Loco said:

My target is for my own tests and denting it isn't the problem. I have no control over the targets at our local matches which I did damage. I'm sure the guy who yelled at me for damaging their targets thinks I should shoot a 38 Special like he does. I just need to know that I have my 44 loads correct. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have never damaged a properly alloyed steel target with my SASS loads.

Remember that our targets are free swinging, that goes a long way to reduce marking the plate.

OLG 

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Sounds to me like the targets at the local match are the problem, not your load.  As I stated in my post above, my loads are fairly still, but haven't caused any target damage at the two clubs I've shot at for years. I shoot similar loads using 8.0 gr of Universal in .44-40 (the difference being in the capacity of the brass) with the same terminal ballistics and the same bullets, with no difference in target condition. 

Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving!

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56 minutes ago, Waymore Loco said:

My target is for my own tests and denting it isn't the problem. I have no control over the targets at our local matches which I did damage. I'm sure the guy who yelled at me for damaging their targets thinks I should shoot a 38 Special like he does. I just need to know that I have my 44 loads correct. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have used my 44 Mag a few times and with 200 gr and close to Hodgdon minimum of Trailboss. Since a heavier bullet imparts more recoil, I avoid 240 gr and just use my 44 Special bullets (but magnum data). The loads are under the max allowed of 1000 fps and aren't marking targets any worse than 45 Colt, especially those with black powder, so I would ignore any comments about damaging targets and encourage use of harder steel like other clubs use. 

That said, I have witnessed a new shooter step up and fire store bought 44 Magnum, and everyone knew immediately that was not going to work or be allowed on further stages.

 

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Well Waymore I was there, and I do recall overhearing somebody talking about heavy loads damaging the targets at one stage, however I wasn't hearing much as I was busy picking the brass.  But just being on your posse my recollection is that your loads were fairly heavy, but they did not give me the impression of being warthog loads which I have gotten from some others.   I have no idea what the quality of the steel is there, though I think it is pretty good.

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21 hours ago, Waymore Loco said:

I have 44 Vaquero's and a 94 Marlin. I've tried different combinations but haven't found the sweet spot. My loads just seem to hot. I have a lot of Magnum brass. I really don't want to switch to Special. Does anyone have a good recipe for 44 Magnum Cowboy loads?

 

6.5 grains of Trailboss behind a 200 grain RNFP bullet.   Not all that much more potent than a warm Special.   Works well for me.  

 

For pistols I've got a Uberti SAA clone, and an original Great Western revolver.   For Rifles I have a pre-safety Rossi 92 and a real Winchester that someone rebarrelled to this caliber.   The Rossi was my first SASS type rifle, and I started out using Specials, but they had a tendency to not cycle properly.  Same problem with the Winchester, so I switched to the Magnums, and the problems went away.

Oh, I've also got a Mare's Leg in this caliber.

Now if only I could get a Lightning in that caliber.  Or at least in Special...

 

By the way, the listed minimum charge for TB with a 200 grain bullet is 6.1 grains.   Everything I've ever read about this powder is to not go below the published minimum.

Edited by H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619
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Waymore Loco,

 

You can drop another 30fps by loading Titegroup at their minimum recommended amount of 4.7grns.  Just re-read and noticed that’s a powder you’ve used before.

I use 205grn bullets but when I started out I was loading 240grn and even at over 900fps no one ever thought I was “loading too heavy” (shooting with three different SASS clubs).

 

 

Edited by WOLFY
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4 hours ago, Abilene, SASS # 27489 said:

Well Waymore I was there, and I do recall overhearing somebody talking about heavy loads damaging the targets at one stage, however I wasn't hearing much as I was busy picking the brass.  But just being on your posse my recollection is that your loads were fairly heavy, but they did not give me the impression of being warthog loads which I have gotten from some others.   I have no idea what the quality of the steel is there, though I think it is pretty good.

I used the same loads at Plum Creek and it wasn't a problem. 

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