“Full Power” .44 Magnum Loads

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“Full Power” .44 Magnum Loads

#1 Post by bajajoaquin » Thu Jan 23, 2020 9:47 am

As I’m sure everyone on the internet knows, I just bought a Ruger .44 carbine. It will be paired with a S&W 629 at some point (less likely a Redhawk).

The Carbine is said to be designed for “full power” loads and works best with them. My question is, what is a full power load? I’d like to shoot the same ammo in both, and I’m not interested in 300gr 1500fps max loads. I’m not interested in punishing myself (or the guns). But the loads seem to be all over the place.

If I stick with 240gr JSP or JHP, what should I be looking for in advertised muzzle velocity?

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Re: “Full Power” .44 Magnum Loads

#2 Post by Mason » Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:07 am

This would be easier if you already had the Revolver. Then you could find a load that you like to shoot in that that and assess how it works in the rifle for accuracy and operating the action. Tweak from there.

The beauty of .44 mag is the ability to load from mild to wild. Generally a bullet in the 240 gr range around 1100 fps is relatively comfortable in my 6" Smith 29-2. I also really enjoy 200 gr "Cowboy' loads at around 800 fps but I'm not sure what it takes to cycle the action on the carbine.
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Re: “Full Power” .44 Magnum Loads

#3 Post by senorgrand » Thu Jan 23, 2020 11:02 am

If you aren't rolling your own, Federal tends to make the hottest range fodder for .357 -- check them out for .44
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Re: “Full Power” .44 Magnum Loads

#4 Post by Mason » Thu Jan 23, 2020 11:08 am

I buy most of my pre loaded .44 ammo at the gun show from Georgia Arms. They sell online, too, not sure about shipping. They load in Starline brass so it's a great way to accumulate it for starting to reload, which is where .44 shines.
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Re: “Full Power” .44 Magnum Loads

#5 Post by wooglin » Thu Jan 23, 2020 1:12 pm

I'd think anything you buy over the counter, that doesn't advertise itself as the ne plus ultra of power (like Buffalo Bore for example), would be full power. Less than full power would be advertised as a cowboy load or something you loaded yourself.

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Re: “Full Power” .44 Magnum Loads

#6 Post by eelj » Fri Jan 24, 2020 8:41 am

I'm assuming your carbine is an auto loader, they can have problems with certain bullet profiles like semi wadcutters or bullets with very wide flat meplats. If you are buying factory ammo you should concentrate on what works best in the rifle and hope it will work well in the revolver for accuracy. And like Mason says reloading is where it's at.

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Re: “Full Power” .44 Magnum Loads

#7 Post by CDFingers » Fri Jan 24, 2020 8:48 am

Mason wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:07 am
The beauty of .44 mag is the ability to load from mild to wild.
That's it right there. We get to choose the load to the weapon, revolver or rifle. Love reloading. I aspire to become a handloader.

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Re: “Full Power” .44 Magnum Loads

#8 Post by NuJudge » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:52 pm

There used to be some reduced power Commercial .44 Magnum ammo for sale. Some commercial reloads for sale may still be reduced power. Most anything you buy commercially is going to be full power.

I have no experience with Ruger .44 Magnum carbines. I do have experience with .44 Magnum lever actions, and they don't like anything with bullets that protrude a long way out of the case like Semi-Wad Cutters (SWCs). I would not be surprised if the Ruger carbines were the same way.

In your .44 Magnum revolvers, you will find that down-loaded .44 Magnums, or .44 Specials, are much more pleasant. If you handload, you can load down, and come away from a lengthy shooting session without a headache.

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Re: “Full Power” .44 Magnum Loads

#9 Post by senorgrand » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:24 pm

also, since you are feeding from a tube, hornady leverlotion or rnfp would be good. I would avoid lswc and rn
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Re: “Full Power” .44 Magnum Loads

#10 Post by Marlene » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:49 pm

lswc are fine
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Re: “Full Power” .44 Magnum Loads

#11 Post by senorgrand » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:51 pm

don't lswc have a hard time feeeing from a tube? I thought the shoulders caused problems
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Re: “Full Power” .44 Magnum Loads

#12 Post by Marlene » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:19 pm

depends on the lifter
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Re: “Full Power” .44 Magnum Loads

#13 Post by senorgrand » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:22 pm

Gotchya!
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Re: “Full Power” .44 Magnum Loads

#14 Post by bajajoaquin » Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:08 pm

Lswc? Something semi wadcutter?

As mentioned elsewhere, I bought some bulk 240gr flat nose fmj ammo. The guy at LAX ammo said it cycled in his Desert Eagle, so I took a chance, given that I plan in buying a 629 at some
point, and that will certainly “cycle” it.

I also bought some Fiocchi 240gr SJHP rated at 1350 fps which should work as well. I don’t think I’ll get to the range next week, but I will soon.

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Re: “Full Power” .44 Magnum Loads

#15 Post by Marlene » Sat Feb 15, 2020 12:01 am

lead semi wadcutter=lswc
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Re: “Full Power” .44 Magnum Loads

#16 Post by bajajoaquin » Sat Feb 15, 2020 9:43 am

I’ll be using jacketed bullets only. Lead fouls the gas port

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Re: “Full Power” .44 Magnum Loads

#17 Post by TrueTexan » Sat Feb 15, 2020 11:35 am

I reload 44 mag with Keith profile LSWC loads and have no problems with them in my Henry Big Boy lever action.
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Re: “Full Power” .44 Magnum Loads

#18 Post by bajajoaquin » Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:36 pm

There’s no gas port in a lever action. Hard cast bullets may be ok, but I’ll stick with jackets to be sure

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“Full Power” .44 Magnum Loads

#19 Post by Rickoshay » Sat Feb 15, 2020 9:50 pm

bajajoaquin wrote:There’s no gas port in a lever action. Hard cast bullets may be ok, but I’ll stick with jackets to be sure
+1 on this.

Do not run lead through the Ruger carbine. Even hard cast will give trouble from the lube used. Had a buddy with one years ago. He could not shoot any of my lead gas checks without the gas port gumming up.


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Re: “Full Power” .44 Magnum Loads

#20 Post by bajajoaquin » Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:24 pm

Perhaps a comment I should make in my thread on the rifle, but I wish it had more than 4 rounds. I get it. It’s a hunting rifle and nobody says an A-Bolt should hold 10 rounds. But I don’t hunt, so I just want to make loud bangs and see sh!t blow up.

I’m never going to undertake a custom gunsmithing project, but I do actively fantasize. I fantasize about moving the gas port out to the muzzle a la Garand, and making room for a longer magazine tube.

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