A blog by Bob Rich. Squirrel Hunting, Henry Rifles, Reloading, Range Shooting and More!


Friday, May 8, 2009

RELOADING: A new load: Sierra 210gr w/ AA #9

Ammo is getting increasingly more difficult to find thanks to the surge in firearm and ammo sales since the election of Obama. Today was the first time I have ever seen the shelves cleaned out of 17HMR ammo of all kinds. Hornady bullets were non-existent in 44 cal. and Accurate #9 was gone. It's not easy to get stuck in a reloading rut these days since what you load today will likely not be available tomorrow and we must make due with what's we can get our hands on. I did find quite a few boxes of 44 bullets in various brands that I had never tried, including the box of Sierra that I bought. I was please to see that I was able to find lighter grain bullets in the available brands, including the 210 gr Sierra's I bought today. They had a Sierra reloading manual, so I flipped through it an saw that they had load data for Accurate #9, which I have plenty of thanks to Accurate, which sent me 2 lbs last week. When I got home, I located the same load chart in that $6 reloading book I have with the charts from all the brands in the one book for the single caliber. I suggest everyone get this and you can pick it up on Amazon or at your local gun shop. It's called, 'The Complete Reloading Manual for the .44 Magnum'. It really is a 'must have' unless you're loaded and have the full reloading manuals from each of the bullet manufacturers.

I wanted to develope a light load for the range, staying above the minimum on the chart. Since I'm loading these by hand, one at a time, I needed to come up with a load that I could measure easily and quickly with my Lee scoop set. That wasn't easy. The minimum load with AA #9 is 19.1gr and the maximum 22.7. The closest I could get was to use a slightly heaping 1.3cc spoon, which gave me 19.7 gr. I checked it on the scale multiple times, and it came out 19.5, 19.7, etc. That's over the 19.1 minimum and just under the 20 gr, which would bring the velocity to 1300 FPS. My thinking is that the smaller bullet with the light load should do a job on a coyote between 50-100 yards without ripping it to pieces like I expect the 265 gr bullet to do.

(Left- casing damage during crimping) Tonight I loaded 100 rounds and discovered one problem that I want to give you a heads up on. For some reason (likely because of the smaller bullet), when crimping, the die has a tendancy to shift slightly to one side and when this happens, if you hammer on the case like you can with the 265 bullet, you could get a crease in your case. This happened to me 3 times out of the 100 rounds. One round didn't look too bad so I kept it but the other 2 ended up the the oil bath where my bad cartridges are put to rest.

I'm expecting the range to open in a week or so, and as soon as it does I'll give you a report on how well these cartridges perform. Until next time, have fun and stay safe.

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