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Thread: Alliant 2400 loads for .44 Mag?

  1. #1
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    Alliant 2400 loads for .44 Mag?

    I have a pound of Alliant 2400 laying around, and I want to load up some .44 mag. I know it's a great powder, typically for heavy-hitting loads.

    My problem is that I'm shooting pretty lightweight pistols, a 4 inch 629 and a 329, so I wanted to load up some light loads, ~1000 fps with a cast 240 grain bullet. I also want to go slow to avoid leading my barrels. Looking at the Lyman data in the .44 mag loadbook, they show a starting load (for a 245 gr cast bullet) of 18.2 grains of 2400 that will push the bullet 915 fps. Perfect.

    However, the speer data in the same book shows the 250 gr LSWC over 18.0 gr of 2400 travelling 1290 fps, close to full power. I really don't want to touch one of those off in my scandium 329!

    So what's the right answer? What kind of velocity will 18.0 gr of 2400 behind a 240 cast lead bullet will I get? Is 2400 the wrong powder to try and load light loads with? If so, I have other powders to use. No sense in trying to use a porshe to pull a horse trailer.

    Thanks,

    -John

  2. #2
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    I'd opine that 2400 isn't the right powder for your light loads. Starting charge weights tend to burn poorly and leave a lot of debris in the chambers and barrel.

    For lighter kind of loads, Unique or even WW231 would work much better. The 231 meters well and starting @5.5grns should get you in the low/mid 800's with a 240 LSWC. You can go to 11grns if you wish but your hand will tell you to stop way before you get there. I wouldn't worry so much about the velocity and load them until they felt right.

  3. #3
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    I agree with what RecoilRob is saying, but if you have lemons make lemonade.

    So I'll say this: You could use magnum primers to get a better burn and reduce the loads to around 15 grains and work up from there.

    I feel that 2400 is a very good powder and yes it is dirty if not burned well but here is the deal in a 4 inch barrel you are going to have a pretty good flame in front of you. Blind you at night time shooting So some of the powder is never going to be helping you.

    Regards

  4. #4
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    2400 is good for heavy loads, but the inefficiency of a lighter charge works against ignition.

    I'd go for 2400 in the steel gun and I'd take the suggestion to buy some W231 for the intermediate loads.

    My own favorite for intermediate loads for a 240 ~ 250 grain LSWC is to use a magnum case and 7g of W231 with a WLP standard primer. This produces something in the 900fps range.

  5. #5
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    7.5 to 8 grains of Red Dot. Save the 2400 for barn-burner loads.
    "Nobody wins in a Dairy Challenge" —Kenny Rogers

  6. #6
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    18 grains of 2400 under a 240 swc has been my favorite 44 load for 35years. It chronographs out of my 329PD at 1150 fps and really packs quite a kick, out of a steel gun it's fairly mild.
    For my lighter 44 loads, I use 6-7.5 grains of Unique with excellent results.

  7. #7
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    Thanks, everyone, for your thoughtful replies. Your responses were kind of what I expected; 2400 is for heavy loads.

    However, I've been looking at other loads, and the Alliant website shows what I presume is a max load for the .45 colt (250 gr LSWC) at 15.2 gr 2400 pushing 972 fps. Now, the .45 colt has a larger case size than the .44 mag, and the bullet weights are similar. This gives me confidence that 2400 WILL go lower for slower velocities. I may not WANT to, given the potential for unburnt powder, etc. I'm not broke or poor, thank God, so if push comes to shove I can just buy some other powder.

    Thanks!

    -John

  8. #8
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    2400 is one of my two go-to powders for all my handgun rounds...the other one being Unique. I've gotten along quite well with those two for years, and rarely use any other.

    The older Lyman manuals show charges of 2400 that seem to be excessive, and they probably are, since 2400 seems to have changed in the last few years. I have about 7 pounds of the old Hercules stuff left, and hoard it jealously...using the new Alliant 2400 for most of my loading. The new 2400 is a bit quicker, and that should be kept in mind when looking at older data.

    It's a marvelous powder for heavy magnum loads, and unlike 296 or H110...it can be reduced a bit for most applications.

    For .45 Colt with a 250-grain cast bullet, 14-14.5 grains produces good velocities and safe pressures. As with anything else...reduce it by 5% and work up to it. If you're loading in a New Model Ruger Blackhawk or old model Vaquero...you can bump that up quite a bit. New Vaqueros are NOT the same as the Blackhawks, and can't handle the really heavy stuff...so be advised.

    For reduced velocities, stick with Unique. I've loaded some of my best stuff, accuracy-wise with Unique...and the velocities aren't exactly anemic with the ones that shoot bughole groups. 2400 has a penchant for opening groups in heavier charges once the best one is found...even though the gun can handle more. It becomes a question of trading maybe 50-60 fps for sterling accuracy...or going for maximum power in exchange for less 50-yard accuracy.

    The .44 Magnum responds to 2400 in similar fashion, though it tolerates higher pressures while still providing good accuracy. The difference is there...but not to the extent of the .45 Colt round. The gap is narrower.

    Unique is a top choice for reduced velocities in the .44 Magnum, especially with cast bullets. I used to have an early M29 that I used to win heavy bets on distant targets with...up to 200 yards. Unique was the driving force behind it.
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  9. #9
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    The Desert Eagle 44 Mag will not function with the wimpy loads of today's ammo makers. (some load it hot, most don't)

    If you are shooting a real 44 Mag auto, then you need to go back to the loads of yester-year or else stay with single shot or revolver shooting. The only way to find out is to load and shoot.

    Just look at the loads for a 44 special in the books and mags and start there.
    You are not going to have any problems, try the mag primers or not

    Unique is a dirty powder, 2400 is not. Just look at the texture it tells the story


  10. #10
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    I've loaded 17gr of 2400 behind a 245gr plated bullet (WLP primers), and thought it worked rather well, and wasn't nearly as stout as H110, and maybe a little cleaner than Unique. I've settled on 17.5gr as a nice load.
    Of course, YMMV

  11. #11
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    Smile

    Unique, at about 8 to 8.5 grains behine a 240 t0 245 grain pill, nice mid range load.

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