velocity for 44 bullets

  • Last Post 12 October 2019
2frogs posted this 05 October 2019

I hate to try too much power so im concerened about the velocity

I should have for 255 gr hard cast bullets..Need some advice on this as our 

senior 3 day season is fast approaching..Thanks..And also not sure if I want to use the special or the mag loads...Maybe I read to damn much into it..But I really doubt anything will

be over 75 yards if that..

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Brodie posted this 06 October 2019


If you drive a 255gr. 44 cal hard cast bullet anywhere near a 1000fps the bullet will pass through any deer in the western hemisphere.  Deer lost their armor plating (actually they never had any) a long time ago shortly after the dinosaurs left.  Seriously way too much is made about "energy".  Energy is of little value unless you are a gun writer or you are using a laser.


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Shopdog posted this 06 October 2019

Just some data points 2frogs. General rambling really.

Have killed about 10 deer with a 44,none over 50 yds. Of those,3 were inside 10 yards. Those 3,were all solid VG shot placements,2 with 429421,and 1 with a 180g JHP. But they all ran further than the deer shot at 20-50 yds. All I can figure is the amount of shock from the report and "blast" at that close of range sent their systems into hyperdrive?

Only a cpl were shot with wide open,2400 loads. I started backing off the heavy doses of powder,concentrating more on pinpoint acc. 629 Smith,744 DW,Super Blackhawk. I also had VG success with the 180 JHP going for dbl lung broadside shots. Started using this in the Smith as a somewhat milder,easier on the gun load.

If I was headed out tomorrow would probably go with that 180 in the Smith or the 429421 @11-1200 fps in the 744. Good luck with your hunt.

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SavvyJack posted this 06 October 2019

Hornady factory swaged 240gr SWC HP
44-40, Marlin 1894CB @ 65-75 yards, 2017 hunting season South Carolina swamp deer.

Meesly 1,371fps, bullet entered at the shoulder broadside. Turned 90deg and obliterating the spinal cord until it came to rest in the hind quarter. Deer never took a step, dropped straight down where it was eating.


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2frogs posted this 11 October 2019

while looking thru some old articals on 44 special I notice a lot of the loads for cast bullets

are quite a bit more than loads in  my manuals..?? Why is this..I have a pretty good load worked up now but you know how it is,you have to keep playing with it..

My Taurus is a rugged revolver and I know it will handle hotter loads.So why do they post loads that are more than the reloading manuals..If I decide to use the special for hunting I would think that the 225 SWC should be at least 900 to 1000 FPS for 50 to 75 yards..

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45 2.1 posted this 11 October 2019

So why do they post loads that are more than the reloading manuals.

There used to be a group of men known as the 44 Associates before the 44 Mag was introduced. The 44 Special was loaded to about 1200 fps by Elmer Keith among others then. There are also quite a few smaller weaker revolvers introduced after that time in 44 Special that brought the load levels down somewhat.

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Larry Gibson posted this 11 October 2019

So why do they post loads that are more than the reloading manuals.

Older manuals have higher loads listed than todays manuals.  Individuals post higher loads today because they still use loads developed before the advent of several litigations where SAAMI standards were used to "prove" libelous conditions.  Also the means through the use of transducer/strain gauges made pressure measurement faster and gives more knowledge than with a CUP measurement.  Thus the major loading manuals started about 20 years ago with loads that were at or under SAAMI standards.  Yes there are some exceptions but those are based on the industry specifically making firearms for higher pressure loads in certain cartridges or +P loads.  Those cartridge higher load level are industry acceptable standards.  The loads you and I or other non-industry people develop are not.

In the case of the 44 SPL the SAAMI MAP is 15,500 psi (peizo-transducer/strain gauge) which is fairly low.  Because there is a 44 magnum there aren't any industry +P loads for the 44 SPL thus most load data as of late adheres to the 15,500 psi MAP.

Individuals are most often free to post what they want on the internet whether actually tested or not.

That is why.



Concealment is not cover.........

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Larry Gibson posted this 11 October 2019

Note savvyjack is shooting the swaged bullets at a higher velocity with accuracy and no leading.  He is doing that out of a rifle which is why.  Out of a revolver with it's attendant long cylinder throat, the cylinder/barrel gap and then swaging down in the forcing cone will not allow such higher end performance w/o leading.


Concealment is not cover.........

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Ed Harris posted this 12 October 2019

+1 on what Larry said.  I commonly shoot the same cast bullets and powder charges in both revolver and cowboy rifle in both the .44-40 and .44 Magnum.  Here are some comparisons of revolver and rifle velocity with the same loads.  All handloads are plainbased bullets which shoot well:

.44-40 Test Data

Ammunition_________S&W 544, 5”____Colt SAA 5-1/2”_____El Tigre 22”

Description__________0.006” cyl. gap__0.012” cyl. Gap_____solid barrel


Old Western_________958 fps__________916 fps____________1273 fps

200 JSP_____________36 ES, 13 Sd____75  ES, 35 Sd________32 ES, 12 Sd

“Bullseye Box” Solid Head case

Rem-UMC___________923 fps_________893 fps____________1252 fps

200 JSP_____________94 ES, 36 Sd____93 ES, 31 Sd________76 ES, 29 Sd_

“Dog Bone Box” Balloon Head case


Modern W-W________866 fps__________826 fps____________1218 fps

200 JSP_____________73 ES, 30 Sd____45 ES, 15 Sd________76 ES, 29 Sd

Solid Head case

Avg. Factory Load Vel.__916 fps________878 fps____________1248 fps


#42798 wheelwts_____771 fps__________769 fps____________1133 fps

W-W case, WLP______119 ES, 46 Sd____104 ES, 36 Sd_______52 ES, 17 Sd

35 grs. Goex 2Fg, 1/8" compression, solid-head case


#42798_____________887 fps__________854 fps____________1079 fps

6.5 grs. 452-AA_______94 ES, 39 Sd_____75 ES, 28 Sd________68 ES, 24 Sd

W-W case, WLP, Solid Head case


#42798_____________970 fps__________953 fps____________1364 fps

18.5 IMR4227________96 ES, 37 Sd_____108 ES, 37 Sd_______89 ES, 26 Sd

Rem-UMC factory primed balloon-head case, REDUCE  1 FULL GRAIN FOR SOLID HEAD 

Side-by-Side Revolver-Rifle comparisons in .44 Magnum “Medium Velocity” 

Ammunition assembled in Remington New Factory Primed brass with Remington 2-1/2 primers.

Load Description_________Ruger 5-1/2"______Marlin 20”__Remarks

----------------------------------------Cyl.Gap 0.008"--------Solid barrel

43-230G 1to30Sn/Pb 7.2BE___978, 18Sd________1178, 7Sd___1.59” OAL cr. top groove

43-230G 1to30Sn/Pb 24.5RL7_1022, 18Sd_______1432, 26Sd__1.59”OAL

Saeco#441-WW 16#2400___1137, 40Sd________1363, 24Sd__1.66” OAL 265-gr. Keith


73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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2frogs posted this 12 October 2019

Interesting information indeed

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SavvyJack posted this 12 October 2019


I meant to followup and forgot.

Back to the 44 Special and 44 Magnum....

What I was getting at is that a 44 bullet doesn't care what it shot from, my point was for the impact velocity for hunting, which is what I thought your post was about. What I meant is that 1,400fps 44 cal bullet is a bit overkill.

225gr @ 950fps to 1,100fps should be absolute plenty from a revolver, special or magnum, for 50 yards or so.

Leading should be non-existing at those low velocities.

The reason I want 1,400fps from a rifle, is to get at least 900fps impact velocity at 150 yards in my 44-40 rifle.

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