I grew up reading Skelton and I've always liked his style. So, I started looking through his notes and found out that he likes the .44 Special at about 1000 fps. There is one load there that calls for Unique powder. I keep Unique on my bench. I think it's a wonderful powder for a lot of applications.
As a matter of fact, back years ago I bought several pounds of Unique from someone who was selling-out of the business. It's still in the old carboard container with the pull-up top. It's marked $16.00, but I got it cheaper than that. I've had that Unique a long time. I'm working on the last pound, so I'll have to buy some more soon.
Two of Skeeter's .44 Specials on the left, along with two of yesterday's .44 Magnums on the right, with the obligatory .22 Long Rifle for scale.
I normally don't take reloading information off the web, because it's hard to know your source. Reloading is potentially hazardous, especially if you're listening to every knucklehead with a keyboard. I like getting my recipes from multiple sources, cross checking data to make sure that what I'm doing is safe.
Skeeter tells us in a Shooting Times article dated February 1969:
Because the 429421 plain base has never given me any leading problems in my .44 guns, I choose it over the 429244 and save the trouble and expense incurred by the gascheck. Since the introduction of the .44 Magnum, I have quit using heavy handloads in the .44 Special, and now put together a mild, but hotter-than-factory combination of the Keith bullet, sized .429”, over 7.5 gr. of Unique. Velocity runs around 940 fps, a definite improvement over the cream puff factory round. I use only solid head .44 Special cases, since the old balloon head versions are wont to stretch erratically, making trimming a requisite before a bullet with a crimping groove may be effectively used.And that's good enough for me.
My Unique was probably boxed up within a few years of that article. We'll see on Saturday how Skeeter's load works. I'm betting it'll do just fine.