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Thread: .44 Magnum Cowboy Loads Are Sooooo Tame



  1. #1
    Gun Wizard
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    .44 Magnum Cowboy Loads Are Sooooo Tame

    I went to the range yesterday and shot some of the .44 Magnum COWBOY LOADS I purchased recently. I thought I was shooting a .22Magnum and not a .44Mag. Then shot some of the regular factory Remington cartridges and got my respect back for a .44 Mag!!!

    Those Cowboy mags were so weak they would only PING on the steel plates and barely move them on the range. When I shot the regular .44Mags the steel plate GONGED loudly and flew back and swung around wildly. . . . . I won't be buying any more of those weak things . .
    I know they are shooting against a time clock and the ping just indicates they are hitting the target but I think they should be required to shoot the REAL STUFF in competition.......



    GB45
    "The beauty of the second amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it away."
    "Now that Obama won again we shall see if this statement becomes reality" GB45

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  2. #2
    Distinguished Master
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    I used to buy Cowboy loads because they were cheap for plinking and I needed to build up my brass collection.
    Marlins in 44-40. Whacking varmits since 1888

    Team 44-40
    Team 1894

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    Hey there GB45 -- SASS has a speed limit on pistol ammunition legal for match use. They also require lead bullets only. It's a safety related issue. Hope this helps. Best regards. Wind

  4. #4
    Marlin Marksman
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    What about the .44 specials, are they like the cowboy loads ? always wondered.

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    Hey there Ballplayer -- Try to find yourself any books by Elmer Keith. He was probably the .44 Specials biggest fan. No girlie-boy loads there!! It's fun reading and a great learning curve elevation. Best regards. Wind

  6. #6
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    Cowboy competition, (Cowboy Action Shooting), in SASS (Single Action Shooting Society), has maximum velocity limits for reasons.

    After you purchase upwards of 50 target plates and 20-25 shotgun type targets at $100 a piece, you're not to eager to blow holes in em or create dimples from over powered loads.....which serve no purpose in Cowboy competition.

    And dimpling a target plate creates safety issues and causes splatter back and and bad 'bounce backs'.

    Most of your Cowboy Action Shooters are not in the sport/game to impress others with their manlyhood. They shoot for the fun of using pre-1900 firearms OR clones thereof. And although there are a few firearms used that aren't clones, like the Ruger Single actions, they are allowed because their functions of Single Action is like those pistols designs back in 1873.

    I might add that a good number of Cowboy Action shooters are Law Enforcement Officers and Military Vets, retirees, etc.....and they just want to enjoy a good Saturday shooting some of our favorite firearms from yesteryear.

    Hope this info helps others understand alittle more about Cowboy Action Shooting.

    P.S. visit youtube and type in 'Widowmaker Shotgun' and watch me run 6 shots out of an 1897 pump...each shot is singly loaded. And then go to the website for the Cowboy World Records Page and check out speed with these firearms that you would never imagine possible. I hold the Cowboy World Record for Gunfighter style shooting with a draw and 10 shots from two Single Action pistols in 1.81 seconds. The pistols are Ruger Vaqueros shooting .38 specials. They are not 'lightly' loaded but the sound has been muffled by the carmera microphone.
    The Cowboy World Record website is:
    jspublications.net/records/records.html

    I hope you enjoy!

    ..........Widder

  7. #7
    Gun Wizard
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    I started the thread stating that the .44 Magnum Cowboy loads I bought and first time shot were very light and had very little hitting power. I was not belittling COWBOY SHOOTING itself. Sorry if it was taken that way. We are all Friends here.

    GB45
    "The beauty of the second amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it away."
    "Now that Obama won again we shall see if this statement becomes reality" GB45

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  8. #8
    DWB
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    I enjoy shooting the lighter loads, though I am no cowboy action shooter. To me, trigger time is time well spent. If I can spend a morning banging away with lighter loads, have a good supply of loads my Wife doesn't mind shooting, and still have the feel of a larger framed handgun (complete with a trigger pull), it is a good day. I still enjoy shooting full-snort loads through my Ruger SBH, but it isn't something I want to spend the entire morning or afternoon doing - - just enough to stay proficient... Usually, at the end of a shooting session means three cylinders full of the full-snort ammo.

    Not being a cowboy action or SASS shooter, what are the limits of velocity? Are there also limits as to bullet weight?

  9. #9
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    Hey there DWB -- There are no limitations to bullet weight and some of these guys are using downright girlie-boy bullets (editor's note: just my opinion!!) Here is some information from the SASS rules handbook.

    "AMMUNITION

    The minimum standard for center-fire ammunition used in all smokless categories in all SASS matches State, Regional, National, International, and World Championship Competitions is not less than a minimum power factor of 60 and no velocity may be less than 400 fps. The maximum velocity standard for revolvers is 1000 fps. The maximum velocity standard for rifles is 1400 fps. Pocket pistols, derringers, and long-range rifles are exempt from the power factor and velocity requirements.

    Power factors are simply calculated by multiplying the bullet weight times the velocity and then the resulting number is divided by 1000. Some examples are as follows:
    100 gr bullet traveling at 600 fps has a power factor of 60: (100x600)/1000=60.00
    77 gr bullet traveling at 800 fps has a power factor of 61.6 (77x800)/1000=61.60
    200 gr bullet traveling at 400 fps has a power factor of 80 (200x400)/1000=80.00

    Shooters may be held responsible for damage caused to a target or injury to personnel due to “bounce back” because of inappropriate ammunition. This major safety violation is grounds for “instant disqualification” and ejection from the match.

    Revolver and rifle ammunition may not be jacketed, semi-jacketed, plated, gas checked, or copper washed. It must be all lead. Molydisulfide coated bullets or equivalent are acceptable."


    Hope this helps. Best regards. Wind

  10. #10
    DWB
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    Wind, thanks for the info...

    For a while there, I was getting worried about my "girlie-boy" plinking ammo... My 200 gr RNFP plinking ammo for the .44 Mag is running a power factor of 195 and my 240 gr SWC plinking ammo is running a power factor of ~230 - - based on their formula. It would still qualify for SASS shooting though, since I am keeping velocities below their 1,000 fps limit. My preferred full-snort load (240 gr SWC-GC running 1,300 fps) in my Ruger SBH is running a power factor of 312 though.


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