LOADS AND HANDLOADS FOR THE .44s
.44 BULLETS, POWDERS, PRIMERS, AND DIES
BY JOHN TAFFIN
When this teenager first ventured into reloading in the mid-1950s, the art, or science if you will, was still considered a mystery by most shooters and bullet casting was almost black magic. There were proponents of both arts to be sure, however, we had not yet entered into the information age and the widespread knowledge we have today was a long time coming. Today's reloader has much excellent information at hand from gun magazines, powder and bullet manufacturers, bullet mold companies, reloading equipment companies, reloading manuals, even videotapes, and if one is quite selective, the Internet.
Where and when did cast bullets begin? We do know the first use of gunpowder as a weapon occurred in the middle of the 14th century. Bullets were actually rounded stones, however men soon discovered it was much easier to mold bullets from iron and lead. The use of lead artistically speaking for artifacts goes back 800 years before Christ, and the Romans even combined tin and lead for catapult projectiles. With the coming of firearms in the mid-15th century it was soon discovered that lead made the best bullets, or at that time, round balls. Even today the round ball is still the most popular shape among those shooting muzzleloaders. However beginning in the first quarter of the 19th century, many experimenters worked to find better shaped projectiles, even bullets that would expand and fill the rifling when fired. Probably the best-known name from this group is Minie who still exists with his name on the “Minie Ball.”
coming of fixed ammunition, that is a brass cartridge case combining primer,
powder, and ball, bullet shapes began to be really important. The first
successful big bore sixgun to use fixed ammunition was the Smith & Wesson
American in 1869. The Russians improved the ammunition by changing to an inside
lubricated bullet. This was the famous .44 Russian in 1870 which became the .44 Special in 1907 which became the .44 Magnum in 1955. Shortly after the
Russians and Smith & Wesson collaborated on the Russian cartridge, Colt
introduced the .45 Colt and
No one knows more about cast bullets than my friend Glen Fryxell. Glen is a virtual walking encyclopedia of bullet design and has a large collection of bullet molds, and is fact working on a book covering everything about cast bullets. I have read much of his text and also was privileged to write the foreword of what will be the defining source on cast bullets. Glen shares the original idea of a SWC bullet came from one C.E. Heath of the Boston Revolver Club more than 100 years ago. It would be Elmer Keith who would refine it and change the Heath bullet into the Keith bullet.
It is difficult today, perhaps impossible, to find a dedicated sixgunner who does not understand what the term Keith bullet means. It has become a household word among handgunners and is a generic term for every bullet that has a certain shape. Although all bullets of this type are referred to as Keith bullets, in actuality most of those so categorized are not Keith bullets. With a writing career that spanned nearly 60 years, Elmer Keith had a great influence on shooting. When he blew an old .45 Colt Single Action he turned to the .44 Special and spent 30 years promoting his special Special loads that would lead to the .44 Magnum in 1955. Not being satisfied with bullet shapes available at the time, the rancher-guide-outfitter began designing his own. His first efforts for the .44 Special were extremely blunt nosed 260 and 280 grain bullets. However although these bullets performed well at short range they were definitely lacking in the long-range accuracy he wanted. In search of a better solution Keith turned to the semi-wadcutter shape. The basic design may not have been original to Elmer Keith, however his contribution was to take the basic idea and greatly improve it.
As said earlier most current designs referred to as Keith bullets are not. A true Keith bullet has four attributes, while those largely offered today as commercial cast SWCs have only one that being the basic semi-wadcutter shape. In addition to shape a true Keith bullet must also have three equal full caliber driving bands, a deep crimping groove, and a large square cornered grease groove. He said of his design: “My bullet is not the first with a flat point and square shoulder. Harry Pope used the same type of flat point and wadcutting forward band many years ago. However, the Keith bullet was the first one to incorporate a flat point; a wide, groove diameter band extending in front of the cartridge case; an adequate crimping groove; a wide, deep lubrication groove; a good and sufficient width of base band; and a dirt scraper-wadcutter, all on the one bullet.”
It is not easy to find current molds that drop true Keith bullets. The reason is simple. Because of the three wide driving bands and especially the square corners of the grease groove, they are difficult to cast. Keith always complained about the fact that the mold makers changed his designs: “To the detriment of the bullet, many mould manufacturers have changed my bullet design. They have cut down both the width and diameter of the front band and changed the square-cornered lubrication groove to one of rounded design. This cutting down of diameter and width of the front band defeats the very purpose for which I designed it and the rounded grease groove increases the weight of the bullet and custom loaders tell me the lube often falls out when loading.” He also wrote at that time in Guns & Ammo in 1974 that Hensley & Gibbs was the only manufacturer still cutting molds to his original design. Today if one wants Keith designs, original Keith designs, the best bet is to find an old Ideal mold. I currently use Hensley & Gibbs #503, Lyman #429421, NEI #260.429, RCBS #44-250KT, and Saeco #260429 to cast Keith bullets and all are great shooting bullets.
Keith’s basic original design from the 1920s and 1930s was cataloged and offered by Ideal as #429421 with a weight of 250 grains for the .44 Special; Keith’s standard loads for use in his heavy framed sixguns were , for the .44 Special, 17.0 grains of #2400, and when the .44 Magnum came along, same powder and bullet with 22.0 grains in Magnum cases. The only source I know of for true Keith bullets already cast is Beartooth Bullets. They have both .44 and .45 versions.
Every sixgunner who has ever shot cast bullets knows that leading can be a serious problem. There are so many variables involved such as bullet hardness, bullet diameter, bullet lube, barrel condition, powder used, pressures involved, etc,etc,etc, that there are no easy answers to combating leading. However, one of the best solutions is the gas check bullet. As this is written the gas check is 100 years old having been conceived by a Capt. Hudson, who was a noted rifle shooter at the beginning of the 20th century, and J.H. Barlow of the Ideal Manufacturing Co. Their idea was a copper base on rifle bullets to cut down on leading. It worked and in the first decade of the 1900s, Ideal offered more than a dozen rifle bullet molds designed for gas checks. The modern gas check is a small copper or brass cup that fits on the base of a cast bullet, and in sixguns it was brought to perfection in the 1950s.
Elmer Keith was not the only proponent of heavy loaded .44 Specials from the 1920s through the 1950s. The .44 Associates was an organization of several hundred members who freely exchanged .44 loading information. One of those Associates who carried experiments with the .44 Special even farther than Elmer Keith was noted gun writer John LaChuk. LaChuk started with the .44 Special but soon made custom cylinders for his Colt Single Action Armies that would accept his wildcat .44 brass made from .405 Winchester and .30-40 Krag rifle cases. In 1949, LaChuk was using his wildcat .44 with brass and loads that were virtually identical to what appeared as the .44 Magnum in 1955.
LaChuk says of Ray Thompson: “One
person who helped fuel the renaissance of the .44 Special was Ray C.Thompson of
Thompson’s full-time occupation was that of a forest ranger which gave him plenty of opportunity to test his bullet designs. In 1952, four of Thompson's semi-wadcutter bullets were added to the Lyman catalog. LaChuk mentioned his two .44 designs, and the others were #358156 for the .38 and .357 Magnum, and #452490 for the .45 Colt and .45 Auto Rim. Thompson’s .38 bullet has two crimping grooves, the top one for use in .357 Magnum brass and the lower one for .38 Special brass. Skeeter Skelton’s most used load was probably Thompson’s #358156 loaded over 13.5 grains of #2400 in .38 Special brass and fired in a 5” S&W Model 27 or 4” Model 19 Combat Magnum.
To check or not to check? That is the question. Whether it is better to shoot plain-based or gas-checked bullets is something that only each individual sixgun and sixgunner can decide. Thompson said: “Using these gas-check bullets one can't go wrong, no matter what you use them for, plus eliminating of leading when using hot loads.” Keith’s position was: “I use a heavy crimp in loads in the beveled crimp groove on my bullets. These bullets eliminate the need for a gas check, cut down bullet jump from case to throat, give maximum accurate range for any sixgun, cut full caliber holes like a wadcutter in game or target, and are the most accurate yet produced for long-range shooting. Properly cast, sized, and lubricated they give no leading in any caliber." So as the wise man once said, you pays your money, and you takes your choice. Personally I use all of Keith’s and Thompson's bullets and like them all, however, there are definitely some sixguns that do perform much better with gas checked bullets. All four of Thompson’s designs are still available from Lyman as #358156, #429215, #429244, and #452490.
Gordon Boser was a
To complement his #401452 .401 Special bullet, Boser came up with a companion .44 bullet, #429360. This bullet was also cataloged until recently by Lyman. Cast from my alloy it weighs 232 grains and can be driven a little faster using the same amount of powder as Keith’s 250 grain bullet. It is also quite temperamental and requires some experimenting to find a truly accurate load. Both designs are worth seeking out at gun shows.
Jim Harvey of Lakeville Arms in
Take a good look at any high-performance, factory-loaded big bore sixgun loads offered today and you will see the influence of Veral Smith and Lead Bullet Technology. The Keith bullet and its copies use the semi-wadcutter shape with most of the weight of the bullet inside the case. LBT bullets are quite different. Most of the weight of the bullet is outside the case with only enough inside to allow for solid crimping and lubrication. This results in much greater powder capacity and for sixguns that can handle extra pressure such as those made by Freedom Arms and Ruger, increased muzzle velocity and power.
The second attribute of the LBT bullet design is nose shape. LBT bullets are either LFN (Long Flat Nose) or WFN (Wide Flat Nose). There is no semi-wadcutter shape, nor a sharp shoulder. Until recently it was believed that the sharp cutting full caliber shoulder of the semi-wadcutter Keith bullet delivered the shocking power. In truth it is not the shoulder but the nose, or meplat, that delivers both the initial and ultimate shock.
LBT bullets are full caliber at the mouth of the brass case and then taper ever so slightly to provide either the LFN or WFN shape. The WFN is for up close and personal while the LFN design gives better accuracy at longer ranges. With the weight in the nose, penetration is superb and at the same pressure levels heavier bullets can be driven at the same muzzle velocities as standard weight bullets. LBT offers quality mold blocks for all weights of .44 bullets and they are available in all calibers, already cast, with or without gas checks, from Cast Performance Bullet Co.
In the 1970’s J.D. Jones founder of SSK Industries and Handgun Hunters International was looking for a better way. At this time the Keith bullet was still king but J.D. wanted better performance and his answer was the JDJ line of heavyweight bullets in .38, .41, .44, and .45 calibers. Using the basic truncated cone design, Jones’ bullets all have the weight forward in the nose with a wide flat point, a crimping groove, and grease grooves numbering two or more depending upon the weight of the bullet.
Jones has used the .44 especially
for hunting with reports of astounding penetration with the 310 grain .44
bullets in critters as tough as Cape buffalo.
For many years my favorite big bore hunting load was the 310 JDJ over
23.5 grains of WW680 for 1350 fps from a 10 ½” Ruger Super Blackhawk. When
Why heavyweight bullets in the .44 Magnum? Accuracy is one reason. The longer a bullet is in relation to its diameter, the more accurate it normally is. It is a rare .44 Magnum sixgun that does not shoot 300-320 grain bullets more accurately than it does 240-250 grain bullets. Big game hunting is the other. To be successful as a handgun hunter, everyone must have the four “P’s” in place. Those P’s are Placement, Power, Performance, and Penetration. Placement refers to where the bullet hits the target; Power, the muzzle energy; Performance, whether it expands or not; and Penetration, just how deeply into the animal we can expect the bullet to go. The latter is extremely important when hunting large and/or dangerous animals. And the simple fact is that heavy bullets simply penetrate deeper.
Let us look
at some of the heavyweight bullets used in the .44 Magnum beginning with 10
cast bullets. All loads were assembled using Starline’s excellent and durable
.44 Magnum brass, CCI #350 Magnum Large Pistol primers, and using
The 290 grain Gas Checked Keith-style bullet is my most used heavyweight .44 bullet. I have the NEI double cavity bullet mold for this bullet and also BRP supplies excellent ready cast bullets of this design that actually weigh 290 grains. I have two favorite loads for this bullet, 21.5 grains of H110 for 1350-1400 fps, and 10.0 grains of Unique for 1100-1150 fps. The former is used in currently manufactured heavy-duty .44 Magnums, while the latter mostly sees service in .44 Magnums built in the 1950s, namely the original Smith & Wesson and Ruger's .44 Blackhawk, the Flat-Top model.
Cast Performance Bullet Co. offers many bullet weights for all sixguns including the .44 Magnum. For this testing I chose two of their offerings, a 300 LBT-GC weighing 298 grains, and the 320 LBT-GC at 321 grains. Both of these bullets are gas checked designs with two grease grooves, and the former is the WFN (Wide Flat Nose) while the latter is an LFN (Long Flat Nose). The former offers the greatest meplat, or nose diameter, while the longer design promises greater accuracy.
Lyman has offered bullet casters two heavyweight .44's, #429650GC, a Keith-style with one large grease groove and a gas check with a hard cast weight of 306 grains. Bullet #429649GC is heavier at 331 grains. It basically offers the same case capacity as the Keith-style bullet with a much heavier nose of the RNFP, or round-nosed flat point design. From RCBS comes another Keith-style heavyweight .44 bullet, #44-300SWC that weighs out at 298 grains with my hard alloy. It is very similar to the Lyman design with slightly more case capacity and a slightly longer nose. From Oregon Trail Bullet Company we have a 300 grain TC (Truncated Cone), or flat point that weighs out at 299 grains. This bullet puts most of the weight in the body with a very short nose and may be the choice if one has a lever action that is reluctant to feed the longer bullets.
Finally we come to the heavyweight bullets designed by J.D. Jones of SSK Industries. Bullet #285.429 FP weighs in at 281 grains with one very large grease groove and two crimping grooves for use in short or long cylindered revolvers. All loads assembled herein used the top groove for use in any cylinder length or lever action rifle. Last, but certainly not least, is the bullet that started it all, SSK’s #310.429, another flat point that with my hard alloy weighs 302 grains. This bullet has a full caliber shoulder in front of the crimping grooves, a plain base and three grease grooves. It has a great reputation for taking big game with a .44 Magnum.
At least five companies now offer excellent jacketed heavyweight bullets for the .44 Magnum. Those companies and the bullets used are Hornady, a 300 grain XTP-JHP; Northern Precision with a 280 and 310 grain; Nosler, 300 JHP; Sierra 300 JHC; and Speer, 300 JFP. You will note that of the four major manufacturers, three provide hollow point versions of their 300 grain bullets, while Speer goes with a flat point. Northern Precision custom tailors their bullets for each individual's needs and they can be ordered with different jacket thicknesses for the game that is going to be hunted.
Two sixguns and one levergun were used for chronographing these loads, an 8” Dan Wesson .44 Magnum, a Freedom Arms 10” .44 Magnum, and a Winchester Model 94 Trapper .44 Magnum with a 16 ½” barrel.
BULLET: BRP 290 GC MV-8” DW MV-10” FA MV/FPS-16 ½” M94
9.0 gr. Unique 1058 fps 1122 fps 1240 fps
10.0 gr. Unique 1109 fps 1173 fps 1279 fps
21.0 gr. H4227 1200 fps 1301 fps 1474 fps
18.5 gr. AA#9 1274 fps 1345 fps 1478 fps
19.5 gr. Lil’ Gun 1232 fps 1326 fps 1527 fps
18.5 gr. #2400 1289 fps 1367 fps 1560 fps
21.5 gr. H110 1306 fps 1372 fps 1563 fps
21.5 gr. WW296 1313 fps 1383 fps 1576 fps
BULLET: Cast Performance Bullet Co. 300LBT-GC
21.0 gr. H4227 1252 fps 1314 fps 1478 fps
18.5 gr. AA#9 1296 fps 1349 fps 1523 fps
19.5 gr. Lil’ Gun 1254 fps 1346 fps 1534 fps
18.5 gr. #2400 1308 fps 1410 fps 1549 fps
21.5 gr. H110 1363 fps 1426 fps 1584 fps
21.5 gr. WW296 1335 fps 1401 fps 1612 fps
BULLET: Cast Performance Bullet Co. 320 LBT-GC
9.0 gr. Unique 938 fps 1021 fps 1111 fps
20.0 gr. H4227 1148 fps 1195 fps 1382 fps
17.5 gr. AA#9 1198 fps 1256 fps 1412 fps
18.5 gr. Lil’ Gun 1155 fps 1237 fps 1453 fps
17.5 gr. #2400 1213 fps 1285 fps 1456 fps
20.5 gr. H110 1231 fps 1301 fps 1471 fps
20.5 gr. WW296 1249 fps 1318 fps 1521 fps
BULLET: Lyman #429650GC
9.0 gr. Unique 1060 fps 1118 fps 1225 fps
20.0 gr. H4227 1179 fps 1263 fps 1389 fps
17.5 gr. AA#9 1217 fps 1297 fps 1421 fps
18.5 gr. Lil’ Gun 1189 fps 1283 fps 1490 fps
17.5 gr. #2400 1281 fps 1332 fps 1501 fps
20.5 gr. H110 1304 fps 1367 fps 1515 fps
20.5 gr. WW296 1307 fps 1376 fps 1553 fps
BULLET: Lyman #429649GC
9.0 gr. Unique 983 fps 1033 fps 1114 fps
20.0 gr. H4227 1191 fps 1324 fps 1409 fps
17.5 gr. AA#9 1187 fps 1265 fps 1390 fps
18.5 gr. Lil’ Gun 1157 fps 1247 fps 1472 fps
17.5 gr. #2400 1235 fps 1289 fps 1466 fps
20.5 gr. H110 1255 fps 1338 fps 1499 fps
20.5 gr. WW296 1252 fps 1370 fps 1526 fps
BULLET: RCBS #44-300GC
9.0 gr. Unique 1041 fps 1127 fps 1222 fps
21.0 gr. H4227 1234 fps 1320 fps 1460 fps
18.5 gr. AA#9 1291 fps 1372 fps 1507 fps
19.5 gr. Lil’ Gun 1206 fps 1300 fps 1534 fps
18.5 gr. #2400 1307 fps 1365 fps 1552 fps
21.5 gr. H110 1302 fps 1343 fps 1561 fps
21.5 gr. WW296 1306 fps 1369 fps 1592 fps
9.0 gr. Unique 1004 fps 1078 fps 1179 fps
20.0 gr. H4227 1228 fps 1275 fps 1428 fps
17.5 gr. AA#9 1269 fps 1334 fps 1428 fps
18.5 gr. Lil’ Gun 1216 fps 1306 fps 1482 fps
17.5 gr. #2400 1288 fps 1342 fps 1513 fps
20.5 gr. H110 1307 fps 1396 fps 1540 fps
20.5 gr. W296 1343 fps 1409 fps 1582 fps
BULLET: SSK #285.429FP
9.0 gr. Unique 1069 fps 1153 fps 1285 fps
22.0 gr. H4227 1244 fps 1389 fps 1563 fps
19.5 gr. AA#9 1368 fps 1439 fps 1602 fps
20.5 gr. Lil’ Gun 1312 fps 1351 fps 1606 fps
19.5 gr. #2400 1355 fps 1435 fps 1632 fps
22.5 gr. H110 1375 fps 1438 fps 1657 fps
22.5 gr. WW296 1390 fps 1490 fps 1685 fps
BULLET: SSK #310.429FP
21.0 gr. H4227 1245 fps 1331 fps 1485 fps
18.5 gr. AA#9 1327 fps 1372 fps 1511 fps
19.5 gr. Lil’ Gun 1252 fps 1341 fps 1574 fps
18.5 gr. #2400 1298 fps 1314 fps 1567 fps
21.5 gr. H110 1332 fps 1345 fps 1587 fps
21.5 gr. WW296 1339 fps 1359 fps 1612 fps
HEAVYWEIGHT JACKETED BULLETS
BULLET/LOAD MV-8” DW MV- 10” FA MV-16 ½” M94
Hornady 300 XTP-HP/18.0 gr. AA#9 1242 fps 1277 fps 1447 fps
Hornady 300 XTP-HP/20.5 gr. H110 1207 fps 1270 fps 1438 fps
Northern Precision 280/19.0 gr. AA#9 1245 fps 1301 fps 1508 fps
Northern Precision 280/21.5 gr. H110 1227 fps 1270 fps 1495 fps
Northern Precision 310/18.0 gr. AA#9 1185 fps 1257 fps 1419 fps
Northern Precision 310/20.5 gr. H110 1175 fps 1229 fps 1434 fps
Nosler 300 JHP/18.0 gr. AA#9 1229 fps 1251 fps 1461 fps
Nosler 300 JHP/20.5 gr. H110 1199 fps 1241 fps 1439 fps
Sierra 300 JFP/19.0 gr. AA#9 1233 fps 1239 fps 1481 fps
Sierra 300 JFP/21.5 gr. H110 1225 fps 1240 fps 1455 fps
Speer 300 JFP/18.5 gr. AA#9 1148 fps 1145 fps 1465 fps
Speer 300 JFP/21.5 gr. H110 1183 fps 1237 fps 1515 fps
Many .44 Magnum sixgunners also
like to use the same loads in a companion levergun. The .44 Magnum can be found
in leverguns from Marlin,
1894 1894 M92 M92
BRP 290GC Y Y N N
Bull-X 300 N Y N N
CPBC 300GC Y Y Y N
CPBC 320GC Y Y N N
Lyman 429650 Y Y N N
Lyman #429649 Y Y N N
RCBS #44-300 Y Y N N
SSK 285 Y Y N N
SSK 310 Y Y N N
Hornady 300 Y Y Y Y
Sierra 300 N Y N N
Speer 300 Y Y Y Y
NP 280 Y Y Y N
NP 310 Y Y Y Y
NP 325 N N N N
Neither cast nor traditional
jacketed is the Belt Mountain Punch .44 Magnum 300 grain bullet; a bronze
bullet with a flat solid nose, a lead core and built for maximum penetration.
Using a 7 1/2” .44 Magnum Redhawk and this bullet over 20.0 grains of H110 give
a muzzle velocity of 1287 fps with five shots in 11/4” at 25 yards. By the time
you read this
When I started reloading 50 years
ago components and equipment were not all that easy to come by. In fact I don’t
recall seeing anything as far as bullet molds, dies, and presses are concerned
except from Lyman. Yes, there were others but that is all I had access to;
today we have so many wonderful choices. I started loading with a Lyman #310
hand tool and then switched to a Lyman All American single-stage press. With
the move to
Not only do we have a vast array of
equipment at our fingertips, the same is true of powder and primers. Most of my
primer needs are supplied by either regular or magnum primers from CCI or
41-1) Taffin's most used bullets for the .44 Special are the 250 Keith, the
255 Thompson GC, and the Speer 3/4 Jacketed 240 with lead core.
41-2) Early experiments with super penetrating bullets were carried out with KTW
and tungsten cored lightweight bullets; 200 grain .44 bullets could be driven at
1800+ fps from a Ruger .44 Magnum
41-3) Excellent cast bullet choices for the .44 Special or .44 Magnum include
LBT’s 270 LFN and 255 Keith, NEI’s 260 Keith, and RCBS’s 240 Keith.
41-4) Hard cast 300 grain .44 bullets include BRP’s 295 GC and 325 GC and
Oregon Trails’ 310 GC.
41-5) Cast Performance Bullet Company offers, among others, the 255 WFN and
270 LFN; they are especially suited to the .44 Special.
41-6) Taffin's most used Hodgdon's powders for .44 Special and/or .44 Magnum
loads are Universal, H4227, H110, and Lil’ Gun
41-7) #2400 and been around for more than three-fourths of the century; it is still an
excellent powder for heavy loads in either the .44 Special or .44 Magnum.
41-8) These four powders, TiteGroup, Unique, AA#9, and IMR4227 cover the
full spectrum of loads for the .44 Special and .44 Magnum.
41-9) We are indeed fortunate in this day to have the choice of excellent reloading
dies for all the .44s from Lyman, Redding, and RCBS.
41-10) This one goes way back; it is the Himmelwright WC originally designed
for the .44 Russian and it also works fine in the .44 Special.
Photo courtesy of Glen Fryxell.
41-11) Even before Keith designed his bullet this Ideal #429336 target bullet,
dating before WWI, was in use.
Photo courtesy of Glen Fryxell.
41-12) This is THE .44 bullet! Keith’s #429421, here shown in both solid and
hollow point version and loaded in the .44 Special.
Photo courtesy of Glen Fryxell.
41-13) Hollow point bullets are cast in a single block with a steel rod inserted
which determines the width and depth of the cavity. The two bullets are
#429421HP and #429640HP; the latter is known as the Devastator.
Photo courtesy of Glen Fryxell.
41-14) This Keith bullet from an old Cramer mold has a slightly thicker base
band and about 10 grains more weight than #429421.
Photo courtesy of Glen Fryxell.
41-15) Before Redding there was SAECO who bought Cramer in 1951.
This 205 grain RNFP Cramer bullet is perfect for the .44-40 and also excellent
for the .44 Special. Notice its similarity to commercially produced RNFPs today.
Photo courtesy of Glen Fryxell.
41-16) Need a lot of bullets quickly? Hensley & Gibbs offered gang loads such as
#239WC for the .44 Special.
Photo courtesy of Glen Fryxell.
41-17) This is Lachmiller’s version of the Keith bullet with a rounded grease groove
and smaller forward driving band.
Photo courtesy of Glen Fryxell.
41-18) The first of the truly modern heavyweight .44 Bullets is this SSK 310FN
designed by J.D. Jones
41-19) Two of the greatest bullets ever designed for the .44 Special and .44 Magnum
are Ray Thompson’s #431244 and #429215 gas checked SWCs here shown in
both solid and hollow point version.
41-20) Lyman's #429251 originally designed for the .44 Russian made the
transition to both .44 Special and .44 Magnum quite well.
41-21) Three standard bullet designs for the .44 Magnum include jacketed
flat nosed, LBT-style flat nosed, and the Keith.
41-22) Hornady, Speer, and Sierra cover all the bases for loading the
.44 Magnum with bullet weights from 180 to 300 grains.