Black Powder Loads For The 44

I have had some e-mail asking me if I had any BP loads for 44, especially .44Mag.

That is a little difficult. 44mag has no place in the Old West. Therefore many clubs that want to keep their CA shooting pure tend to reject this calibre as a genuine calibre for competitions.

However as we are in the UK, under the screwed up firearms law, that will allow a long barrel 454 Casull, but not a single action 44-40 with considerable less power, we have to make the best of a "Dogs Breakfast" of legislation. 

1873 Cattleman Made By Uberti (Now this is what we really want)
 
Many modern lever actions are chambered in .44mag but of course can fire the slightly shorter .44 Special.  

I have tried No 4 Swiss 11/2 fg, using 24grains (by volume) under a 240grain RNFP bullet. This was essentially the same load as for the .44 Special, and for me made no discernible difference. Both were very accurate at 25m. I then made up a load using 777 FFFG same bullet but lowered the charge to 20grains by volume.

(Warning, 777 has about 20% more power than black powder so never just use the same load as you would for black powder, and always consult you loading manuals. Better still visit the Hodgdon web page where you will find comparison load data).

Hornady make a cowboy bullet in 180grains, this also seams to work very well allowing me to reduce the load further to 18grains in a .44 Special case. All the bullets bellow performed excellently at 25m. The Range Master is a little harder, and has given good results with higher pressure Nitro loads using 2400, H4227, H110 and Accurate No 9. 

     

   Hornady 240gr Magtech                         MagTech 250gr         Range Master Made for WSS 185gr

I have got to say that over 25m I could see no real advantage to using a magnum case, sure if we were in the wilderness I would pick the .44mag every time over the .44 Special, but I think the Normans killed off all the bear, bore and wolves a long time ago.