.44 Special Blackhawk

AmbroseAmbrose Member Posts: 2,719 ✭✭✭
I bought one of these after reading a magazine article by Rocky Raab. It's built on the smaller frame and has the smaller dia. cylinder like the older 3-screw .357. It also has the grip frame size of the early flat tops (XR3). There were quite a few guys who had junker 3-screws rebuilt to .44 Special--this gun fills that niche.

I dug through my loading books for data on the Spec. and found quite a spread! I have Lyman moulds #429421 and #429244GC and thought I'd load the #429421 with Unique and the GC with 2400. My Lyman book #38 of 1951 lists 7.8 gr. of Unique with the #429421, edition #44 (1967) lists 8 gr., and edition #48 (2002) 6.9 gr. With 2400, the books list 18.5, 17.7, and 13.2 gr. respectively. Before the .44 mag., Elmer reportedly loaded his Specials with 17.5 or 18 gr. of 2400 and shot them in S&W triple locks and Colt SA's. Now Elmer was never known to be conservative in thought word or deed so I'm not going there! This gun has got to be at least the equal of the old triple locks so, while I have .44 magnums for the top ends, I'd like to get into the .45 Colt range of 850 fps or so with these bullets. I know what I need to do--just looking for comments.


  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,348 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I think the anything around 1000 fps and 230 grain bullet is an effective load. If you enjoy shooting them go for it.

    I'm always happier to see people load 357 at 38 levels than the other way around.
  • Hawk CarseHawk Carse Member Posts: 4,296 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    As I recall, a 240-250 gr SWC and 7.5 gr Unique is in the range used by Elmer Keith and also known as the Skeeter Skelton Load.

    Elmer loaded a 250 and 18.5 gr of 2400 in balloon head cases, 17.5 in solid head.
    I wouldn't normally reduce loads with 2400 so much but Ken Waters found 13.5 gr of 2400 to be his most accurate load with a 238 gr SWC. Velocity was 858 fps in a 5.5" Colt.
  • AmbroseAmbrose Member Posts: 2,719 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I tried the 7.5 gr. Unique with the cast Lyman #429421. The batch I have weigh 251 gr. Got an average velocity for 5 shots over the Oehler 35P of 911 fps. That's good enough for me! (Another way to call 9 1 1?)
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