I have the exact same barrel, with a Nikon 2X scope on it. Mine hates my cast 250gr SWC, even seated out to an COL of 1.80". I've gotten groups of just under 3" for three shots at 50 meters using Horn 240 gr XTP with 2400 powder and CCI 350 primers. That's the best I've done so far. I got this barrel just this past fall, so I consider it a work in progress.
I have a 10" AA barrel in 357 MAX that will shoot alot better. I used to have a 10" 44 "HotShot" barrel that shot 180 gr. bullet loads into 1.75" groups at 50 yards. It wasn't crazy for my cast bullets either. If I could hunt deer in IL with my 357 Max I never would have bought the 44 barrel.
If it is....they are a little finicky. I have a 45/410 and it has a long bullet jump to the lands and then the choke area at the muzzle...I dont expect MOA out of it, but then I only use it for back-up for close work when I want to go on a hike and want an easy to carry shot barrel for birds and a few 45's in my pocket for defense. Great for a side arm bear hunting when the light is getting low.
It definately does not like certain bullets..especially cast semi-wad cutters. They are all over the place, but 200 gr Speers are great in it as well as 260 gr Speer JHP's.
I dont know if any of this applies, but I would bet....that it is either the bullet....the load...or the scope if you are using one.
Well I'm now an official member, & I believe I'm really going to enjoy this forum. The Armor Alloy barrel I have is designed for the Contender frame I have. The lock-up is tight just like the rest of my barrels, and I have a few. It's the only barrel giving me fits as far as developing a load. So far I've used WW296 which I've had the best luck with in 240 grain Sierra HP, also tried 200 grain Sierra HP and Nevada bullets FN full metal jacket, 240 grain Keith Style hand cast extra hard (linotype), Remington 180 grain HP. Some of the other powders include Unique as a mild plinker, and H110, and 2400. I've probably fired over 750 rounds in 20 round lots, and nothing so far looks promising. I didn't scope this as I intend to use it on a ferral hog hunt, if I get a load worked out, not beyond 75 yards, probably closer to 50 yards. I've used WW brass, RP brass, Fed brass, and just recently bought some Starline brass, but haven't tried it yet. I'm using Fed. Magnum primers. Has anybody used this type of barrel? Appreciate the help. RR
My .44 barrel likes the 200 grain Noslers and 200 grain Speers with the RCBS LIL Dandy #29 rotor dropped H110. It is about 26 grains. By the way H110 and WW 296 are the same powder so pick your label. This was reported by one of the Hodgdons in an Email to a Yahoo list member.
Unfortunately, you are not alone with this problem! I have read several posts about the inaccuracy of the 44 Magnum Contender barrels. Yet, in all fairness, I have heard of great accuracy also. It seems these tales don’t mean much!, especially if your barrel is inaccurate. (The word "accuracy" means different things to different people!!) I also had TERRIBLE PROBLEMS with accuracy and a blued Super 14” barrel in 44 Magnum caliber.
I shot hundreds (more than hundreds!) of assorted combinations of bullets (jacketed and lead), powders (over a dozen varieties) and primers (magnum and non-magnum) and the accuracy was always the same—lousy! I had high hopes for M.O.A. at 100 yards with this caliber and proper reloads. All of my other Contender barrels will do so most of the time. This barrel was lucky to shoot 1” groups at 50 yards let alone 100 yards. The chamber was so long that I could ALMOST chamber a 445 Super Mag round in it!!! So I had it rechambered to 445 Super Mag. Accuracy did improve, but this barrel is still not an M.O.A. shooter by any stretch of the imagination…PERIOD.
With the rechamber job I got it recrowned also. The angle of the start of the rifling is now less steep and that did help—I think. It will actually shoot 44 Magnum rounds now with a bit better accuracy than it did with the original chamber. Who knows why? Good-luck with your 44 Magnum project…BCB
I had the same problem as you.I tried all the powders you mentioned and bullet weights.I found mine likes heavy bullets period.300g hard cast 20.5 to 21.0 ww 296.I have heard 296 and h110 were the same.They didnt tell my gun that same loads with h110 totally diferent groups are should i say patterns.My advice try the heavy weights.One 8lb can 296 perfect with 20.5gr Other 8lb can 21.0gr perfect difference in lots. lee factory crimp very heavy. OAL 1.600 tried out to lands but groups opened up and fps spread went way up.please let us know if you find the perfect load i feel you're flustration.It was around the 1200 round mark when i found the load for mine could have found it sooner but had scope problems.
I have a 10" 44 Mag that will shoot 5 holes touching at 50 yards. I get the best accuracy using IMR 4227 and 240 gr XTP's with a CCI magnum primer. I am currently experimenting with W296 because it burns so much cleaner but the accuracy is not quit as good as the IMR 4227, not bad, just not as good.
I guess the bad news for you is that mine has always shoot fairly good not matter what I feed it, which I know does not give you much hope. You may just have a barrel that is not a shooter. Unfortunately they are out there.
Only other thing is to check the scope and mount good it you are using one.
I thank you folks, think I'll try the 300 grain, then have it re-crowned if that don't work. I did notice the 240 grain grouped or patterned a bit better than the lighter bullets, so hopefully it likes the heavier bullets. I've noticed much better accuracy with the Starline brass in my Ruger .44 Carbine, so hopefully beteen the two I'll com up with a winner. RR AKA Loose Noose
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