I'm looking to make a low base plinker load for my 444. Looking threw my speer manual it lists the 300 grain bullet with a start charge of imr 4198 @ 35 grains for 1724. I was thinking about using h4198 instead. Looked on the hodgdon burn rate chart and they are one right after the other. I have lots of h4198 in the garage as well 300 speer bullets. No imr. What do you think, ok, not ok? Open to any suggestions. Not into using cast yet but maby in the future. Wanted to try a low base jacketed load first. Thanks. Scott
Have a look at Hogdon's website loading data. Starting charge of 38.5 gr H4198 for 1917 fps, with "a" 300 gr bullet. H4198 may be the most popular all around powder for the .444.
Cartridge Loads - Hodgdon Reloading Data Center - data.hodgdon.com
All I burn in my Marlin big bores is H4198. Mild to wild. I don't load cast in em so I haven't dropped below the 38gr load but I have crept right up to max.
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You won't have any issues using the H4198 in place of the IMR powder at the starting load level. However, I don't think you will find the 300gr bullet at over 1700fps to be a 'plinker load'. You would be better off picking up some 240gr JHP's and using a reduced charge of Alliant 2400.
If for budgetary reasons you have to stay with the 300gr bullet you can reduce the 35grs of 4198 down to 30grs and still be okay, but I wouldn't go lower it'd be safer to go with a faster powder in small charges.
If you want a plinker with less punishment dealt at the buttstock you may want to check out the Trail Boss load information.
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First off don't waste the 4198 and those 300gr Speers on plinking loads, go get some cheap 240gr/270gr/300gr Hardcast bullets, no gas check and load with either 2400 or unique, those are plinking loads.
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HECK! I guess there is a wide spectrum of what can be defined as a plinking load. A 300 uni pushed with H4198 is a hunting load. I have heard people mentioning similar numbers for hogs at close range. Now, that doesn't mean you cant plink with um. Heck! Speer calls the 300 Uni a plinking bullet, but like Starbow said, it is hard to think of the combo as a plinking load. Maybe I am just getting more of a cheap-skate as I get older, but once again I would second Starbow's suggestion of a 240 gr cast in bulk and a faster powder. You might be amazed at how tame a 444 can become with lighter bullets and faster powders.
I have bee loading Trail Boss with 240 gr hard cast bullets. Started off with 12 gr and went up to 16. All loads seemed to be accurate but I am going back to the range with a better scope to get a better idea as to which is most accurate. Recoil was very mild compared to full blown deer loads. Speaking of deer loads, I shot a deer with my 444 with 265 gr Hornady. Deer crashed down, kicked twice and that was it. Great performance.
I've got a plinking load for the double 30 that's 5 grains og tite group and a 165 gr cast, shoots and reports like a 22. I wonder what 7 or 8 grs of tite group and a 200 to 220 cast would do in the triple 4.
I guess a plinking load means different things to different people. Most reloading manuals list a starting load for various powders and bullet weights. These however are starting loads for hunting rounds. If you have access to a chronograph velocities in the range of the 44 magnum would be a logical place to start. Recoil would be tame in a rifle chambered for the triple 4. These are my thoughts on a PLINKING load.