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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  The Darksider's Den  |  The Dark Arts (Moderator: Lucky Irish Tom)  |  Topic: Primers backing out of .44-40 shells 0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Primers backing out of .44-40 shells  (Read 44879 times)
J.D. Yellowhammer
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« on: August 08, 2009, 04:40:06 pm »


I recently switched from 45 LC to .44-40.  Today I loaded some shells with bp for the 1st time, then went to the range.  Every shot caused the primer to back out and by the time I got to the last round I could barely turn the cylinder (the tolerances are pretty tight on my USFA).  This may be a stupid question, but is it that my charges were too hot? 

I was using Starline brass, LPPs, and soft cast 200g bullets.  I used the 1.9cc Lee dipper, which filled the case pretty well (actually, it looked just a hair low and since I wanted to get a little compression I added a touch, so it may have been 2cc's.)  I used Schuetzen 3F.  I always filled the case with a touch of compression with the 45's but never had this problem.

On the bright side, it was a hoot seeing all the black semi-auto shooters jump when the flame and smoke roared out of the pistol!  Grin
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« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2009, 05:28:20 pm »

In general, and I do mean general here, primers ALL back out.  When the gun goes off, the primers are blown out of their sockets.  Then, as pressure climbs the brass is forced backwards re-seating the primers.  In "general", when pressure is too low the primers stay out to some degree.

Now, that's worth all you paid for it.  But, that is also what I've learned over the years.

DD-DLoS
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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2009, 06:27:57 pm »

Didn't I read somewhere that excess lube on the cases would cause such a thing?
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Noz
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« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2009, 06:41:54 pm »

Primers only back out in this scenario because:

A.  your loads are "cream puff".

B.  your firing pin is a little long which is pulling the primer out a little when you cock after firing.
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J.D. Yellowhammer
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« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2009, 09:02:28 pm »

Thanks, folks. 

Loads too light?  I guess I can try putting more powder in, though the case is already pretty full.  I'll have to compress it a lot more.

This only happens with the bp loads.  I've put a lot of smokeless through the pistol and never had this happen, so I don't think it's the gun.

Anyone have a load they recommend for .44-40?
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« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2009, 09:05:36 pm »

Didn't I read somewhere that excess lube on the cases would cause such a thing?

Nope, that will tie up the gun cause they back out too far, but that also would reseat the primer.
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« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2009, 07:06:57 am »

Howdy

I agree, primers backing out is usually a sign of not enough pressure. Actually, it is a sign of not enough recoil, so the case does not reseat itself over the primer. If you are using the 200 grain Mav-Dutchman bullet, bump up your charge to 2.2CC. There is plenty of room in the 44-40 case with the Mav-Dutchman bullet for 2.2CC, that's what I use, and my compression is relatively light. With 1.9CC and the Mav-Dutchman bullet you are probably not getting any compression at all.
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« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2009, 07:26:58 am »

Thanks, Driftwood. I'll up the powder a couple of tenths. I ain't using the Mavs, but I'll get some and try. I don't think my bullets seat much deeper, so for now I can probably squeeze some more powder in.  I have a couple of pounds of Swiss, too, so I can try the hotter powder.  And maybe if primers ever show up again, I'll get some magnum LPP's for a more thorough burn.

This board is a great resource! Smiley
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Jed Cooper
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« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2009, 05:44:41 am »

Thanks, Driftwood. I'll up the powder a couple of tenths. I ain't using the Mavs, but I'll get some and try. I don't think my bullets seat much deeper, so for now I can probably squeeze some more powder in.  I have a couple of pounds of Swiss, too, so I can try the hotter powder.  And maybe if primers ever show up again, I'll get some magnum LPP's for a more thorough burn.

This board is a great resource! Smiley
JD,44-40 should use large rifle primers. I use the as 44-40 was designed by winchester as a rifle cartridge. I use winchester lrp's in my 44BP loads and have not had that problem.   Hpe this helps,  Jed
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« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2009, 07:21:48 am »

JD,

I load the 44-40 with enough Goex 2F and the 200 grain Mav Dutchman to get about 1/8" compression on the powder.  I use the Lee 141 scoop, which gives me about 33 grains by weight powder.  I load with Winchester LP primers, and have had no problems.  I shoot them in a pair of USFA SAA's.

While it's not a maximum load, I find it greatly amusing to observe folks at our matches.  Many of the light load, small caliber crowd accuse me of knocking down targets with the concussion, and not the bullet!  Grin
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« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2009, 08:50:59 am »

JD,44-40 should use large rifle primers. I use the as 44-40 was designed by winchester as a rifle cartridge. I use winchester lrp's in my 44BP loads and have not had that problem.   Hpe this helps,  Jed

Jed, I had a question about whether the 44-40 should use rifle primers because Richard Lee's book say they should. I called Starline and asked how the primer pockets were cut. They told me that they cut the primer pockets with the intent of the shooter using Large Pistol primers. Some of the OLD brass was indeed cut for rifle primers.
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« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2009, 11:53:39 am »

Jed, I had a question about whether the 44-40 should use rifle primers because Richard Lee's book say they should. I called Starline and asked how the primer pockets were cut. They told me that they cut the primer pockets with the intent of the shooter using Large Pistol primers. Some of the OLD brass was indeed cut for rifle primers.
Noz,
I agree with you, the .44WCF is now a pistol cartridge.  I never use anything but Large Pistol primers.  The cup in the Rifle primers is thicker to resisit high pressure modern rifle loads.  The .44WCF is a a very low pressure cartridge.  "High" pressure loads for CAS are around 13 kpsi, that's nothing.

In addition, according to SAAMI, the depth for  large pistol primer pockets are .118" to .122" (it so happens this is also the depth for small pistol and small rifle), while large rifle primer pocket depths are .128" to .132". Large rifle and large pistol primers are nominally the same diameter .210".  Large Pistol Primers run from .109-113 tall, Large Rifle Primers run from .117-125 tall.  Using Large rifle primers could leave the primers high.  The recommended seating depth from all manuals is usually .003 -.005" below the surface.  Any residue in the pocket could lead to a high primer if a Large Rifle Primer is used in a Large Pistol pocket.

Like Noz said, modern brass has the pockets cut to pistol dimensions not the deeper rifle pockets.  I have both Winchester and Starline Brass,  both have pockets that are not deep enough to meet the SAAMI specification for a Large Rifle primer pocket.

Regards,
Mako
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« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2009, 07:07:15 pm »

I wish they would make 44-40 with rifle primer pockets again. N-SSA has had a lot of trouble with 44-40 Henrys and high primers. All it takes is a slightly high pistol primer and someone throwing cartridges down the tube on the clock, and off she goes. A few have blown magazines on the line. The current regulation is no reloading the magazine once the clock starts, which takes a lot of the fun out of repeater. (Although honestly, if you have to reload, you aren't competitive anyway.) I'll never forget having this exact conversation with Val Forgett at an N-SSA shoot. He said that he had never heard of one of his Henrys bowing a magazine, and at that very moment, one went off about 15 positions down!

Besides, black powder likes hot primers, so rifle primers should be a good thing.
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« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2009, 07:51:30 pm »

Arizona Trooper, you should be able to recut them with a large rifle primer uniforming tool.  Might want to firgure out some power for it.  That's what is nice about the small primers, they are the same depth and one can use the primer suitable for what you are doing.  (And don't if you are not sure what you are doing.) Wink
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« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2009, 08:40:12 pm »

Besides, black powder likes hot primers, so rifle primers should be a good thing.
Trooper,
Please take this as it is intended, Im just trying to determine how certain ideas get started.

I have never intentionally used anything other than regular pistol primers in many different BP cartridges from .25-20 to .45 Colt (I'm not counting cartridges longer than a .44WCF)and I have never had a problem with ignition.  I normally use Federal, Winchester and Remington primers. I have used CCI regulars and Magnums when I couldn't get anything else.  You don't need a "hot" primer, BP is easy to set off. 

I have heard people say that so it must have made the rounds on the internet or someplace, but it's not supported by empirical testing.  BP doesnt need the brisance of hotter or more powerful primers to ignite the charge.  Smokeless Powder is more difficult to ignite than BP.  I believe John Boy is one of the many who have conducted experiments with different primers to determine consistency and standard deviation in MV using different primers.  Many Long Range and Precision Shooters have moved to lower brisance Pistol Primers with cartridges such as the .45-70 I order to get consistency.  If there was any problem with ignition they would be the first to squawk about it.

This is just curiosity on my part, where did you hear that you needed hotter primers to set of BP?

Best Regards,
Mako
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J.D. Yellowhammer
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« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2009, 10:35:03 pm »

JD,

I load the 44-40 with enough Goex 2F and the 200 grain Mav Dutchman to get about 1/8" compression on the powder.  I use the Lee 141 scoop, which gives me about 33 grains by weight powder.  I load with Winchester LP primers, and have had no problems.  I shoot them in a pair of USFA SAA's.

While it's not a maximum load, I find it greatly amusing to observe folks at our matches.  Many of the light load, small caliber crowd accuse me of knocking down targets with the concussion, and not the bullet!  Grin

Aggie,
I'll try the load and compression, thanks.  Which scoop is that? I have Lee dippers and they're marked in cc's.  I used the 1.9 on the bullets I posted about here.

I know what you mean about the reactions--when I shot these at the range, the whole line went quiet for a minute. hehe  Grin
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« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2009, 12:46:38 am »

 Another thing to try, Brother Yellowhammer, if the higher charge doesn't work for you is to drill out the primer flash holes a tiny bit. A couple three decades ago when I wore a revolver to work every day I  practiced getting it out of the holster and making loud noises, fast. Wax bullets were the thing and primers were the power. Unless we drilled the flash holes out to .125 inch the primers would back out and tie up the gun. Perhaps if you drill those out, less than that .125 you would solve the problem.

 Note, please, if you try this, make sure you don't use these cases for smokeless loads.
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« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2009, 07:23:05 am »

JD,

I have a very old set of Lee dippers, which are not marked in cc's.  The dipper I use holds about 33 grains by weight of black powder.  I'd try various dippers and weigh the charges until you find the correct one.  The bottom line is to put enough powder in the case to obtain a slight compression on the powder.

When you and your clothes come home covered in soot, you know you've had a good day.  Grin
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« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2009, 08:01:59 am »

Thanks, Pete and Aggie!  Duly noted, good advice!  I'm about to head to the shed out back to load up summa those little smoke 'n fire bombs!  Cheesy
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« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2009, 08:26:08 am »

The correct Lee dipper for the 44-40, IMHO, is the 2.2 cc.
Mine really likes FFg KIK
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« Reply #20 on: August 11, 2009, 09:44:45 pm »

Mako,
  I'm not talking ignition problems with hotter primers, just consistency. Actually, the reason I would like to load 44-40 with rifle primers is because of the greatly reduced sensitivity, not any performance advantage. In tube magazine rifles, rifle primers are a lot safer because they are so much less sensitive. A slightly high primer is less likely to go off in the magazine.

  As far as consistency, the tests I've run have been with Spencer 56-56, 56-50, 50-70 Govt. and 45-80 Long Range Springfield. The Spencer rounds have about the same capacity as 44-40. When shooting black powder, a switch from regular LR primers to magnums almost always results in lower Std. Dev. in my limited experience.  I haven't tested a 44-40 with large pistol and LP mag. The only one I own at the moment is a Whitney Kennedy, and it's a tack driver with pretty much whatever you put in it, so I haven't done a lot of load development on it, but I am very careful to check proper primer seating. 

  That's just my experience, for what it's worth.

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« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2009, 09:53:17 pm »

Mako,
  I'm not talking ignition problems with hotter primers, just consistency. The tests I've run myself have been with Spencer 56-56, 56-50, 50-70 Govt. and 45-80 Long Range Springfield. The Spencer rounds have about the same capacity as 44-40. When shooting black powder, a switch from regular LR primers to magnums almost always results in lower Std. Dev. in my limited experience.  I haven't tested a 44-40. The only one I own at the moment is a Whitney Kennedy, and it's a tack driver with whatever you put in it.

  That's just my experience, for what it's worth.

Testing and experimentation will show what one gun likes, might not be what another one likes.  My 45-70 Pedersoli Sharps likes Federal 215M's, it also likes a tight taper crimp.  Will yours like that best?  Don't know, you have to experiment.  Same goes for any rifle, shotgun or handgun, I've always found they work best when you feed them what they like.  Others mileage may vary. Wink
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« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2009, 09:11:44 pm »

I had this problem after adjusting my dies such that I was setting the shoulder back excessively.
Properly setting the dies (for me) is to use the tightest chambered firearm to determine the die setting to allow easy chambering without setting the shoulder too far. This may not be your problem, but it had an effect on my primers backing out slightly.

Regards,
Slim
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« Reply #23 on: August 15, 2009, 08:21:53 pm »

JD,

I load the 44-40 with enough Goex 2F and the 200 grain Mav Dutchman to get about 1/8" compression on the powder.  I use the Lee 141 scoop, which gives me about 33 grains by weight powder.  I load with Winchester LP primers, and have had no problems.  I shoot them in a pair of USFA SAA's.

While it's not a maximum load, I find it greatly amusing to observe folks at our matches.  Many of the light load, small caliber crowd accuse me of knocking down targets with the concussion, and not the bullet!  Grin

Well it could be worse.  I was using 777 and some HARD Cast .44 RCBS cowboy boolits and was accused of using depleted uranium after leaving 10 craters on the Buffalo target we were supposed to dump into.  It had been my fault and I made it right.  I had loaded the 777 like I loaded the Goex.  Fill the case and compress, then seat the boolit.  I have on occassion knocked targets over with that load as well.

I no longer use 777.
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« Reply #24 on: August 15, 2009, 08:27:31 pm »

I recently switched from 45 LC to .44-40.  Today I loaded some shells with bp for the 1st time, then went to the range.  Every shot caused the primer to back out and by the time I got to the last round I could barely turn the cylinder (the tolerances are pretty tight on my USFA).  This may be a stupid question, but is it that my charges were too hot? 

I was using Starline brass, LPPs, and soft cast 200g bullets.  I used the 1.9cc Lee dipper, which filled the case pretty well (actually, it looked just a hair low and since I wanted to get a little compression I added a touch, so it may have been 2cc's.)  I used Schuetzen 3F.  I always filled the case with a touch of compression with the 45's but never had this problem.

On the bright side, it was a hoot seeing all the black semi-auto shooters jump when the flame and smoke roared out of the pistol!  Grin


I read about that problem years ago in an article in one of the gun mags about a shoot  out between a Texas Ranger and some desperado.  He was able to free up his Colt and win the fight, but he then got rid of the .44-40 and bought a Colt .45.








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