Author Topic: .44 American  (Read 2564 times)

Offline Dave Fox

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.44 American
« on: May 05, 2020, 10:44:17 AM »
Am shooting (on occasion) an 1871-delivered S&W .44 American in .44 American, using trimmed .41 Magnum brass and an original style heeled bullet. The heeled bullet is a pain. Anyone use a hollow base bullet in .44s they can recommend? Slightly compressed FFFg loads are rather anemic, which is fine, but may not open up too thick a hollow-base's skirt.

Offline Drydock

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Re: .44 American
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2020, 01:18:17 PM »
Are you crimping?  Old West Bullet Molds makes a fine crimper for the .44 American, I know it made a great difference in my heel base loadings.  I doubt a hollow base is going to improve things much.

I've never found Heel Base loadings to be particularly more difficult than regular BP loadings myself.  I dip lube the bullets after completing the round. 

https://oldwestbulletmoulds.com/shop/ols/products/44-sw-american-crimp-die
Civilize them with a Krag . . .

Offline AntiqueSledMan

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Re: .44 American
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2020, 05:15:17 AM »
Hello Dave,

I've heard mixed results with hollow based bullets, what powder you shooting?
I'm loading my 44 Colt Original heeled bullet with Black MZ, no need for lube.
Not sure what part of loading heeled bullets is the pain.
I first lubed with my cylinder press & a homemade lubricator,
and still crimp with a modified LEE Factory Crimp Die.
Let me know what's trouble you & I'll try and help you out.

AntiqueSledMan.

Offline pony express

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Re: .44 American
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2020, 09:08:55 AM »
I'll second what Drydock said. I've used the OWS crimp die for .38 Colt, and it works great. I just hand seat the bullets by pushing them against the edge of the loading bench, then run them through the crimp die. The mold for the heel base bullets also came from them. Unfortunately, the Colt 1892 Army I was shooting them was only marginally functional at the time. Maybe I need to convert a .36 C&B, just so I can use those dies again.

Offline Dave Fox

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Re: .44 American
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2020, 06:25:11 PM »
Am shooting the Old West mould's heeled bullet. Beautiful mould. And, yes, the crimping is what has me stymied. I'll surely look into their crimper. Using FFFg and SPG. Thanks.

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Re: .44 American
« Reply #5 on: Today at 05:08:02 AM »

Offline AntiqueSledMan

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Re: .44 American
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2020, 11:38:56 AM »
Hello Dave,

Yes, after one has it down it's just another step.
If your loading on a progressive press it might be different but I'm using a single stage press.
I've put together a PDF showing what I did & how others have overcome this issue.


AntiqueSledMan.

Offline bear tooth billy

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Re: .44 American
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2020, 08:34:20 AM »
I use the old west mould and crimp die for 38 long colt in a Kirst
conversion 51 navy. It works well, I have the cylinder on my bench
and test fit every round until you're confident. I shoot in the NCOWS
originals class and most people don't know what a heeled bullet is.
Even though they have shot thousands  .22s

           BTB
Born 110 years too late

Offline ndnchf

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Re: .44 American
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2020, 08:43:50 AM »
I have a #2 Remington rolling block that was originally 44 rimfire. Chamber measurements revealed that it was nearly identical to 44 S&W American. I load for it using the BACO 44 S&W American bullet, the Old West bullet and a Lyman 427098 bullet that I lathe turn a heel on.  I have Bernie's 44 collet crimp die, it works great. It is a surprisingly accurate rifle.  Loaded with 23 gr of Old Eynsford 3F, I'm averaging 1124fps.  Not too shabby, and not far below a good 44-40 load.   

"We're all travelers in this world.  From the sweet grass to the packing house, birth till death, we travel between the eternities"  Prentiss Ritter, Broken Trail

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: .44 American
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2020, 10:41:45 AM »

ndnchf,

Where you be getting yer 44 S&W 'Merican Brass pray tell??  Don't find it at Starline.

Offline ndnchf

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Re: .44 American
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2020, 10:57:07 AM »
Initially, I made it from 303 Savage brass. But that took a bit of lathe work.  Now I use shortened 41 Magnum brass.  The rim is a little small.  It extracts fine, but every once in a while one will slip past the extractor going in.  But as long as I pay attention, it works fine.   
"We're all travelers in this world.  From the sweet grass to the packing house, birth till death, we travel between the eternities"  Prentiss Ritter, Broken Trail

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Re: .44 American
« Reply #10 on: Today at 05:08:02 AM »

Offline ndnchf

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Re: .44 American
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2020, 11:06:04 AM »
I'll add that I've been experimenting with an old time factory heel bullet lube.  The bullets are dipped in the lube after loading. This lube was recounted in an interview with a retired ammunition factory worker in a 1943 issue of The American Rifleman.  It is 1 part paraffin, 1 part mutton tallow, 1/2 part beeswax. It dries to a non-sticky coating, yet is soft enough to chamber without interference.  So far, I'm very happy with its performance with both smokeless and black powder.  The bore stays quite clean and I get a nice lube star at the muzzle.



"We're all travelers in this world.  From the sweet grass to the packing house, birth till death, we travel between the eternities"  Prentiss Ritter, Broken Trail

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: .44 American
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2020, 12:37:47 PM »

Thank You!!

Offline Drydock

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Re: .44 American
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2020, 03:50:45 PM »
Starline makes a .41 Special brass now, it's a bit shorter, less brass to cut back.  https://www.starlinebrass.com/41-special

I use it to load .440 Argentine, which is simply .44 American with a different name.
Civilize them with a Krag . . .

Offline ndnchf

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Re: .44 American
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2020, 10:28:44 AM »
I meant to follow up earlier, but forgot.  Here are four 50 yard targets shooting .44 S&W American in my #2 Remington rolling block.  This is with just barrel sights and my aging eyes.  But it shows good potential, and no keyholing.  My best accuracy was with 6.0gr of Unique.  One target shows this as I kept adjusting the sights.  Its a lot of fun to shoot.  This rifle was converted from rimfire to centerfire.  But I have found in Roy Marcot's book on Remington sporting rifles, that .44 S&W American was a  factory chambering for some rifles. 

"We're all travelers in this world.  From the sweet grass to the packing house, birth till death, we travel between the eternities"  Prentiss Ritter, Broken Trail

Offline swampman

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Re: .44 American
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2020, 08:23:20 AM »
ndnchf,

Where you be getting yer 44 S&W 'Merican Brass pray tell??  Don't find it at Starline.

 Buffalo Arms stocks ready formed .44 American cases.

  https://www.buffaloarms.com/44-american-cases-44american
A lot of what is taken for engineering fact, if you dig into it far enough, is often just someone's opinion.

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: .44 American
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2020, 11:06:25 AM »

Buffalo Arms be right proud of their 44 American.  Of course, since it is a obsolete cartridge with a very small market base, and limited production cost is higher, probably not all that bad.  I'd personally substitute 44 Russian (already do) which is readily available and a whole LOT more frugal (Cheaper).

Stay Safe

Offline Drydock

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Re: .44 American
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2020, 01:08:46 PM »
?  How do you do that?  Swage the whole case down ?
Civilize them with a Krag . . .

Offline ndnchf

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Re: .44 American
« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2020, 04:22:17 AM »
I'm using shortened 41 magnum brass. The rim is a tad smaller, but it works fine.
"We're all travelers in this world.  From the sweet grass to the packing house, birth till death, we travel between the eternities"  Prentiss Ritter, Broken Trail

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: .44 American
« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2020, 04:40:54 PM »

 :)  Drydock   ;)

Ah fitzwilly.  Poor choice of phrase, or syntax, or confusion, or well dagnebbit anyway.

What I meant was, Rather than 44 American, I substitute with guns chambered in 44 Special or 44 Colt and then further substitute 44 Russian Cases and then further substitute APP as a substitute propellant.

So as one can plainly see, my substitutions allow me to substitute guns and cartridges to circumvent the non availability of suitably chambered gun and an almost complete lack of suitable munitions for said non available arms.  As it twer.  I also substitute C45S for ............... oh nevermind

Offline Drydock

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Re: .44 American
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2020, 06:53:14 PM »
I have been led astray by both sins and taxs.  When you puts them together like that it makes for hard living amongst the ballistic unbelievers.   :P
Civilize them with a Krag . . .

 

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