Author Topic: Reloading the .44WCF .44-40  (Read 1497 times)

Offline Slamfire

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Re: Reloading the .44WCF .44-40
« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2022, 07:17:12 AM »
 Bryan Austin, made a good point about the amount of crimp used. I did just that this last week, loaded up 10 rds. of 44-40, 5ea. w/ same powder same bullets & same primers but w/ a different amount of crimp.

 5 rds. w/ tighter crimp= 1386fps. to 1421fps.
 5 rds. w/ lite      crimp= 1335fps. to 1346fps. The lite crimp was (is) more than enough to keep the bullets from pushing back into the case.  When using RL 7, i like a little tighter crimp. (YMMV).

 more coffee & more testing,  Hootmix.

Offline Bryan Austin

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Re: Reloading the .44WCF .44-40
« Reply #21 on: October 10, 2022, 07:59:09 AM »
Just Saturday I added to my Trajectory graph. I re-zeroed the Winchester 73's 6x Malcom scope for 265 yards. Reduced the Reloder 7 powder charge from 25.8gr down to 25.3gr and crimped for at least 1,325fps. I did not chronograph the shots this time (forgot to take it with me). Reloder 7, using a 215gr lead bullet, is the one powder were the shooter should be able to load for 1,350fps velocity and not have to worry about over pressures as long as the bore and bullet match up.

In the graph below you can see the difference between modern Winchester factory hunting loads (1,190fps) (teal) and the 1,350fps 215gr Reloder 7 loads (red). I have yet to fill in other ranges not noted. In general we are looking at the 22" trajectory vs a 28" trajectory. 6" can be a lot when comparing modern high power rifles like the 308, 30-06, 270 types but not the 44-40. What counts is impact velocity and accuracy.

Bullet Lobbing is a myth...the chart is not to scale...the bottom is yards and the right side is inches....makes for a funky looking trajectory curve when in reality, at 265 yards....the trajectory is nearly flat in comparison with the range distance.

The second photo is a 1:250 scale chart of a 265 yard range, 24" barrel and a trajectory less than the length of the barrel.

The deer target shows hit placement from said ranges.
50 yards (black), 75 yards (black) and 100 yards (black) which are all in less than a 4" circle. 200 yards is noted in blue at nearly a 10" circle...all 100% hit probability. The 265 yards is a bit different but results in an 81% hit probability with over 70% hits inside the 14" circle (red). The POA's in order to make such placement hits is noted on the negative scale. THIS is why most hunters/shooters claim the 44-40 is not ethical when used over 100 yards. However, with most of those guys, their groups are more like the 14" circle at 100 yards!!!

All of this is done with Reloder 7, Starline brass, the 215gr 43-214A lead bullet and the Redding profile crimp to maintain 1,325fps to 1,350fps velocity.

Offline greyhawk

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Re: Reloading the .44WCF .44-40
« Reply #22 on: October 12, 2022, 08:03:12 PM »
Bryan and all
thanks for the info - kind of spurred me back to check some stuff

First the RCBS boolit I had been calling 200grains - weighs 215

so with that boolit and
40 grains of my secret squirrel black I got 1355FPS average
39 grains ..............................................1339FPS
Those are pretty heavy compression loads - I was not specially diligent and got ES of 37 and 31FPS
36.5 grains ...........................................1288FPS
This our normal plinker load and I proly weighed one for the record and eyeballed the rest filling from a powder horn - got a 49 ES there (need to tidy that up some!)

Using a CBE 225 grain boolit
some old 5FA goex loads .......................1165FPS
likely 35-36 grains (eyball measure again)
same day same boolit
37 grains Wano PPP .............................1050FPS ----yup that stuff is weak!!!!!

Somewhere in all this, I also did a comparison test Dominion semi balloon head against R P normal brass
36 grains weighed
Dominion   1273 FPS .........18 ES
Remington 1260 FPS .........28 ES
only 5 shots each (assume thats the 215 grain RCBS - NOT their cowboy mold, its the other one) 

The message??? pretty much any old blackpowder load (except Wano) will beat the modern factory smokeless loadings by a decent margin

For whatever reason I am getting much better ES numbers (single digits) with my bigger guns (45/75 and 45/70) than we see here - more careful maybe? - also I use a good tight poly wad over powder on the 45's and none with the 44/40 - if I really wanted to tidy this up I think a decent wad would be first thing to try


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Re: Reloading the .44WCF .44-40
« Reply #23 on: Today at 01:50:23 PM »


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