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Thread: looking for load data for a 320gr lead .44 mag....

  1. #11
    Super Moderator handcaster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Kirkland, WA
    Here are some personal data surrounding the bullet weight/caliber you've selected...

    I had a standard Redhawk back in the 80s. 7-1/2" bbl, fitted with Ruger gold bead front sight for super refinement. Also had a CJ-5 Jeep.
    I'd sit on the hood of the Jeep with my back to the windshield, draw up my knees to support my wrists and hit coffee cans regularly at 100 yards with 330gr quench-cast bullets from an NEI mould, propelled with AA9. That was before I needed glasses. :( The Chrony registered thrilling MV data similar to 1911's.
    I let a buddy shoot his Ruger Blackhawk .45Colt over it; bye-bye Chrony.

    There was no accepted data then so I started at a calculated reasonable load and worked up very slowly.
    Things progressed nicely... the only signs of pressure I had were inceasingly spread primers. When I got to sticking
    cases in the cylinder I cleaned the gun and tried again. No sticking, so I kept pushing. Still no smearing of primers, no particular cratering around the firing pin dent, etc. When I stuck cases in a clean cylinder I backed off 2/10ths gr. and called it a standard load.

    My revolver might have had different head space than yours (even within spec) and powders may have drifted in character - but most important, when published data arrived it was somewhere south of my pet load... therefore I won't publish it.

    When the Super RHs came out there was a general drift toward unfluted cylinders. I think we determined it was cosmetic as there was no thickening of the area surrounding the chambers. That, too, may have changed over time. People are always coming up with new info.

    When I sold my Redhawk, IIRC, I didn't much like the guy who bought it and I think I pulled the gold bead sight kit... might even still have it. If you want it I'll go look through my dusty old parts bins for it.

    I have data Wes and I developed over the 2nd iteration Chrony just a few years ago, using a Ruger Blackhawk 5-1/2" SS revolver. We pushed beyond, then settled back to 20gr of AA9 under a 350gr Keith quench-cast bullet sized .452". Avg. MV 1141'/s with no problems except we had to constantly tighten the frame screws and most particularly the extractor housing screw. Maybe the screws in our wrists, too. :(

    I tried all the appropriate powders in a Ruger Blackhawk .45Colt 4-5/8" bbl revolver with 350gr Keith QC slugs. Wound up using 21gr #7 powder and achieving great accuracy at 1130'/s.
    But the gas checked 405gr QC slugs in that gun preferred 18gr #9 powder... 1050'/s. This slug looks like a beer can and it torques your wrist in an alloy framed gun like that. I once tried to relax and let the muzzle flip like the SA action is supposed to do... sight blade left a dent in my skull through 2 layers of my wool felt hat.

    All above loads are three to thirty years old and should be approached from below maximum charges.
    And keep a screwdriver in your range bag. :(

    Last edited by handcaster; 12-25-2013 at 10:43 AM.

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