Good .44 mag plinking round? (and any advice for a general intro to reloading)

My Mom Is DeadMy Mom Is Dead Regular
edited May 2011 in Man Cave
I have just ordered a Lee Breech Lock reloading kit (specific kit) in addition to dies and a bullet puller.
My gun is a Smith and Wesson 629-6 with a ported 6 1/2in barrel.

I have absolutely no experience with reloading, but have been avidly reading up on the subject for about a month and a half.
I am particularly looking for a good plinking round. I will probably get my bullets off gunbroker, unless a better option is suggested. My brass will be once fired factory ammo (the brand will depend on what's cheapest, but winchester is what I have been shooting).

I guess what I'm missing is which bullets, powder, and primers?
What do you guys think is a good recipe to get acquainted with reloading?
My main priority is keeping this beginner friendly. I would prefer to not have anything get lodged in my barrel, or explode on me.
Secondary would be keeping costs down--So this will hopefully be a versatile grained bullet and powder that won't mind being pushed to higher levels when I'm more experienced.
I am aware that there are differences between "Large Pistol Primers" and "Magnum Primers," but not real sure what that difference is. I'd like to know.

Also, feel free to comment on anything I might be overlooking. I am new to this, and am fully willing to hear out anyone's input on the subject (whether it makes me look like an idiot or not :P).

--I have posted this on Zoklet and Calguns to maximize any help I can get--


  • My Mom Is DeadMy Mom Is Dead Regular
    edited April 2011
    Definitely know the importance of weighing my powder. I'm very likely going to weigh out each charge until I get used to the powder measure system, and then weigh out every tenth load.
    Until I run into a large sum of money, I'll probably stay away from electric scales. From what I hear, they come with a slew of their own problems. Until I get used to the whole ordeal in general, I won't mind a manual scale.
  • 5.56 SS1095.56 SS109 Regular
    edited May 2011
    Large Pistol and Large Pistol Magnum primers differ mainly in the fact that the Magnum primers produce a hotter spark and lead to more reliable ignition of the powder in very cold temperatures, Magnum primers are also to be used if you are loading ammunition with "ball" or "spherical" shaped gunpowder, as ball powder sits differently in the casings and Magnum primers cause the powder to burn better.

    For .44 Magnum Hodgdon H110 is a pretty good powder for medium to "hot" loads. And you absolutely need a good reloading manual (Hodgdon makes a great manual as well) to get the exact reloading recipe you would need.

    I never loaded for .44, so I can't recommend any bullets, but you pretty much need a manual first anyways, as they list the bullet and powder combinations that would work properly.

    Also, for a scale I would recommend the Dillon Eliminator balance beam scale. It is around $50 and is better than pretty much any of the other balance beams costing 3x as much. It's what I use and I have had great success with it so far loading .223 Remingtion.

    I would also recommend spending $10-$15 on a powder trickler so you can measure out very small amounts of powder accurately. As and example, say you need to use 14.8 grains of powder in a loading, you would "bulk measure" 13-14 grains with something like a Lee Powder Scoop and use the trickler to precisely feed out the remaining .8 grains of powder. Youtube has videos on powder trickler usage so you can see exactly what I mean.

    One more thing, using powder measures to charge your cases with powder can be safe and reliable IF you use a good powder measure (any of the RCBS, Hornady, or Redding units would be fine) and it is best to use ball/spherical type powder as it flows much better though the measure tube than "stick" type powder.
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