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Special Interests - Groups & Societies => The Winchester Model 1873 => Topic started by: w44wcf on November 15, 2011, 12:35:30 pm

Title: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on November 15, 2011, 12:35:30 pm
I have experimented with b.p. loaded ammunition in the 44-40 for about 10 years now and have a good idea of what works well (good accuracy after many repeated shots without cleaning / blow tubing) and what doesn't ("fouled out" barrels after a dozen rounds with accuracy going downhill soon after).  

Also, I discovered the combination(s) that will replicate the original 1,300 f.p.s. ballistics with very good accuracy.

All of my b.p. cartridges have been handloads, trying different bullet styles, lubes, and powders (Goex, Schuetzen, Diamondback, KIK & Swiss.)

I will go into detail on my findings in another post(s) in a few days.

Based on what I have learned, if I was asked to recommend the best 44-40 black powder ammunition that one could purchase, I would suggest  http://www.buffaloarms.com/Detail.aspx?PROD=158172&CAT=4438

Rowdy Fulcher mentioned that "I plan on taking my NEW 1873 out for a little shooting this weekend . I have a couple boxes of Black Dawge ammo will shoot them and hopefully will run a few over my chronie . Want to get a Deer with the 1873 using a back powder load . We have talked about smokeless loads but we were trying to duplicate the original black powder . Maybe we need to start looking at black powder."

I will be interested to see what velocity they are loaded to and what his comments are. Goex shows a velocity of 735 f.p.s. but that would be in a pistol barrel. Early 44-40 b.p. ammunition was said to develop 950 f.p.s in a pistol so it will be interesting to see how the Black Dawge ammo performs in a rifle barrel.

Awhile back I did purchase some Black Dawge bullets for testing but I'll save my comments until Rowdy posts his evaluation of their ammunition.

w44wcf
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Coal Creek Griff on November 15, 2011, 12:46:13 pm
I'm looking forward to hearing your recommendations.  I'm sorry that I wasn't able to take advantage of the recent group buy bullet mould--I have to budget my modest "reloading" account and that would have pretty much taken all I had at the time.  I would have been left looking fondly at the mould with no funds to actually use it much...  It sounds like it is making some good bullets.

CC Griff
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Rowdy Fulcher on November 20, 2011, 08:17:12 pm
Howdy
Deer season is in and didn't get a chance to work with the Black Dawge ammo . Will shoot and tell after Deer season . The weather has been less than desirable for Hunting . Seems as if the wind isn't blowing 30 mph then it's raining . I have seen a nice Buck ,but he keeps giving me the slip . Season runs until next Sunday , and the weather forecast for next weekend is Rain .
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on November 22, 2011, 04:33:01 pm
Where to start ……

Back in 1875, Doc Pardee fired 30 factory black powder cartridges at a target 110 yards from the muzzle of his then new 1873 Winchester.  He commented that “The firing was done without wiping, which proves the Winchester steady in her performance…”All 30 rounds were inside of a 4” target.  Pretty darn good shooting at that distance. ;D

Fast forward to 2011…

Current black powder ammunition loaded with real black powder, not a substitute.
I find 1 source  on the internet –
  
Buffalo Arms – http://www.buffaloarms.com/Detail.aspx?PROD=158172&CAT=4438

If anyone knows of another source, please post.
 
Buffalo Arms – uses 427098 bullets (edit- it appears that the bullet used may not be the 427098)  and Swiss Black Powder.
This ammunition would be the closest thing to the original 44-40 b.p. cartridge since it uses a copy of the same bullet (see edit) and a premium black powder similar to what was used in early factory b.p. cartridges.  Velocity would likely be close to the original ballistics of 1,300 f.p.s.

Other than that, one would have to reload ……  

Here are currently available black powder 44-40 bullets.  The first three can be purchased but the 43-215C would be a do it yourself casting proposition only using the Accurate Arms mold ….at least at this time. It follows the profile of the 427098 and produces the best results at longer distances like the 427098.

(http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o25/w30wcf/Collector%20Cartridges/44-40bpbullets.jpg)

BULLET SOURCES:
Black Dawge –
http://www.blackdawgecartridge.com/catalog/index.html

427098 -
http://www.buffaloarms.com/Detail.aspx?PROD=157239&CAT=4135

edit - whyte leather works now also offers the 427098
http://www.whyteleatherworks.com/index.html
email for info.
 
Big Lube – http://www.whyteleatherworks.com/BigLube.html

Accurate Molds – www.accuratemolds.com
note: the 427098 shown in the pic was produced from an Accurate 43-210B which is an improved 427098 developed by  "Fairshake".  It has flat bottomed lube grooves that hold a bit more lube and is .429" diameter.

BLACK POWDERS:
Goex is likely the type most carried by most gunshops that carry b.p. ….at least in my area. Other powders are Schuetzen, Swiss, KIK, Diamondback & Olde Enysford.

Goex, Schuetzen, KIK, Diamondback - The “Big Lube” and Accurate 43-215C bullets work the best with these powders due to their larger lube capacity. Subsequently, they will shoot many rounds in a repeating rifle accurately without fouling out (hard ring of fouling starting at the muzzle and extending back into the barrel).

In my experience, the two lube grooved bullets work the best with only Swiss & Olde Enysford because they produce softer fouling. With the other b.p.'s they  will typically “foul out” in a 24” barrel after a dozen rounds with accuracy going downhill after that.   .

Powders can be purchased in smaller qty’s from:
Powder Inc. - http://www.powderinc.com/catalog/order.htm
Back Creek Gun Shop - http://www.blackpowderva.com/
Graf & Sons - http://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/category/categoryId/3501?

ACCURACY is first rate with good b.p. ammunition. In my experience, it can be  more accurate than smokeless.  Best 10 shot group to date at 100 yards has been just a bit over 2”.  ;D

Rowdy,
When you have a chance to test the Black Dawge ammunition we would appreciate hearing about your results.
EDIT - Black Dawge b.p. ammunition has been discontinued.

w44wcf
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Rowdy Fulcher on November 23, 2011, 02:07:12 am
w44wcf
Sorry I haven't tested the Black Dawge , but if we have a decent day during the Thanksgiving Holidays will try it then . I really want to take a Deer using black in my 1873 . I just got the short rifle and haven't shot it much . So I've been Hunting with my half round barrel rifle . It's  a real tack driver .
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on November 23, 2011, 06:33:47 am
Rowdy Fulcher,
Looking forward to seeing your test results.  I found this ballistics chart on Black Dawge cartridges.
http://www.stewartdawge.com/ballistics.htm

They show two powders used - Goex Cowboy and KIK FFG with velocities of 1,025 fps and 1,017 fps respectively.  Based on that data, they must be loading closer to 30 grs rather than 40 (?).

Happy Thanksgiving!
w44wcf
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Sir Charles deMouton-Black on November 23, 2011, 02:13:35 pm
For many years now I have had one "go-to" bullet for all of my .44s.  It is the RCBS bullet for the .44-40, the 44-200-FN.

https://shop.rcbs.com/WebConnect/MainServlet?storeId=webconnect&catalogId=webconnect&langId=en_US&action=ProductDisplay&screenlabel=index&productId=3328&route=C12J059

I leave it unsized for .44 RM and 11.6mm German Ordnance revolver, and sized .427 for my re-lined  Win model '73 and old model Vaqueros.  It doesn't look like it has deep enough grooves, but it has been my experience that it has enough as long as barrels are in pristine condition.  I haven't shot the rifle at 100 yards recently, but my recollection is that 4 inch groups were normal using a Lyman tang sight.  I also noticed that Mike Venturino used this bullet in published tests of various .44 cartridges and generally it was the most accurate bullet or very close to it.  With only two cavities, high volume is not usual, but not a real handicap as I alternate two moulds when casting, and using different moulds still gets you a pile of shiny new bullets pretty quickly.
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: PJ Hardtack on November 23, 2011, 05:30:32 pm
My 44-40 mould is the Lyman 200/427666 (mark of the beast?) double cavity, simply because it was on the shelf at the shop at a fair price. I've been quite happy with it for both 44-40 and .44 Spl. Smokeless or BP, I use SPG when sizing/lubing.

When casting, I use the two moulds method as well. This allows cooling time, prevents overheating a mould and getting 'feathers'; and I get better bullets in the bargain.
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on November 23, 2011, 09:42:42 pm
Sir Charles,
The RCBS 200 is also my favorite smokeless bullet for the 44-40 closely followed by the Magma 200. 

The 427098 works well also but was designed to be supported by a capacity load of black powder since it has no crimp groove.  The Lee FCD (Factory Crimp Die) will put in a crimp groove in the crimping process  which works well but I have pretty much relegated the 427098 to cartridges loaded with black powder or a capacity load of RL7.  ;D
 
(http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o25/w30wcf/44-40bullets.jpg)

For whatever reason, I have not gotten the accuracy with the 429666 that I have with the other bullets. Groups typically run at least 2X to 3X larger (3" vs 1 to 1 1/2" @ 50 yards) and the bullet fits the barrel well.  I have tried a number of powders / charge weights but to no avail. 

PJ Hardtack,  glad to hear that it is working well for you.

Regarding the single lube groove RCBS 200, Magma 200, Lyman 429666, the only powder that works for many repeated rounds in a 24" barrel has been Swiss and possibly the new lot of KIK (more tetsing to be done).  But then again, my quest is for longer range accuracy (100+ yards)  The 427098 really shines there as does the 43-215C. ;D

w44wcf   
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: PJ Hardtack on November 24, 2011, 11:04:31 am
My Lyman 427666 bullets are reserved for BP use due to the PITA of casting and sizing/lubing. I use commercial bullets for all else.
I enjoy shooting a lot more than casting/sizing/lubing. My time is worth more to me.

I was at the range yesterday with my consecutively #'d 44-40 Taylor's Remington conversions. Load was a commercial 'Magma' 205 gr over 6 grs Red Dot. These are big guns that weigh 5 ozs. more than a Remington .44 cap & ball. Recoil is nil, triggers superb.

When I got bored shooting 1-1/2" groups at 15 yds, 2" groups at 25 yds, I started ringing the 100 yd 12" x 18" gong. All off hand.
Often when people report groups, they were fired from the bench. I discount accuracy claims made from the bench as I EXPECT my guns to shoot well from the bench. If they don't, I don't own them.
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on November 25, 2011, 09:35:17 am
I really enjoy shooting the NRA Cowboy Silhouette game. The 100 meter ram target is 6" high, so I am looking for the most accurate black powder load in my rifles.

Most of my shooting is done off hand, but in order to determine which b.p (or smokeless) load groups the best at that distance, I have spent a fair amount of time testing different recipes at the bench.

If ones goal is engaging larger targets, then accuracy standards do not have to be as precise. I enjoy doing that as well and have loads that are not as accurate as the ones I use for NRA Cowboy Silhouette.

w44wcf
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Jubal Wilson on November 26, 2011, 12:35:04 am
w44wcf
I too greatly enjoy the NRA Cowboy Silhouette game and when I lived in the Denver area I shot that game from the time they first started it at the Watkins range. I used my Uberti Winchester 1873 for all but the last couple of years when I used my Uberti Winchester 1876. People laughed at me when I brought my 1873 to the matches but when I could compete with the high power lever rifles they quit laughing. Almost every 55 lb Ram at 200 M that I hit went down. I moved to the Black Hills of South Dakota in 2009 and Cowboy Silhouette is the thing I miss the most along with BPCRS.

I have been following your efforts to design the new Accurate 43-215C and almost bought that mold. However I like the design of the Lyman 427098 so much that I went with the 43-220C (429-220C) which is like the 427098 with bigger lube grooves and a crimp groove. I have the 427098 mold but as you say they reduced the lube grooves so much that it wont due for Black Powder. Anyway I got the mold on Tuesday and loaded up 30 rounds with 37.0 grains of 1.5 Swiss and new bullet sized to .428 and lubed with SPG. I cast these using 1:16 alloy and it weights 219 grains. I was going to test them today but the wind was blowing so hard it would have been a waste of time and effort. We don't have a rifle range here yet so I just go out in the forest and find a spot. If it doesn't snow tonight and the wind slows down I will go out tomorrow and let you know the results.
Jubal
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on November 26, 2011, 08:36:31 am
Jubal,

Glad to hear of your success with your '73 in Cowboy Silhouette. It is inspiring to hear of a vintage cartridge and rifle besting some of the modern rifle shooters. NEAT!  ;D    


Glad to hear that you purchased the Accurate 43-220C mold, and that you are using SWISS powder with it. As you indicated, it follows the same design as the 427098 (original 44-40 bullet) as offered by Accurate Molds (43-210B) which was inspired by "Fairshake" who followed the 427098 design, but with more uniform square bottomed lube grooves and a slightly larger diameter to fit current 44-40 barrels.

I don't have that mold (at least not yet) but an email aquaintance of mine really liked the 43-210B but wanted to use it both with smokeless and black powder and had the crimp groove added. The additional weight is also a nice benefit.  

I have tested SWISS 1 1/2 with the 43-210B and 38 grs. by weight produced a shade over 1,300 f.p.s., so your load of 37 grs would pretty much duplicate original 44-40 ballistics.

The 43-215C was designed to fill a niche for a longer range 44-40 bullet that would work (not foul out) with Goex, Schuetzen and Diamondback. Thankfully, it has proven to do that very well. ;D

Looking forward to your test report........

w44wf
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Jubal Wilson on November 27, 2011, 07:52:22 pm
w44wcf,
Well the wind died down a little so I went out to shoot the new Accurate 429-220C. It was a disaster. I cleaned the barrel real good and finished with Windex /vinegar to be sure all the oil was gone. I started at 100 yards but the weeds were so high I was having a hard time seeing the target. At 50 yards I finally got the Marbles tang sight set and started shooting a string of 10. All over the place. The second set of 10 was the same 6 to 7 inch groups. In all 27 shots with no cleaning or blow tube. I thought maybe something was loose in the rifle so I cleaned the barrel real good and fired some smokeless loads. Two ten shot 1 1/2 inch groups with two different loads so nothing was wrong with the rifle.

The BP load was 37.0 gr Swiss 1.5 compressed .060 while seating the 219 gr Accurate 429-220C cast of 1:16 alloy sized to .428 and lubed with SPG. For this load I used Federal 155 mag primers. The barrel slug mikes .4275.

I will have to keep working on this because I want to get back to BP only in my 1873 and 1876.

I know that you have had success with the 43-210B but have you worked with the 43-215C enough to declare it a resounding success? If so do you know anyone with that mold that would sell me about a 100 so that I could test them as well?

Thanks for all your contributions to this forum and others. I have learned a lot from you.
Jubal
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on November 28, 2011, 08:07:26 am
Jubal,
Sorry to hear of your not so good results with the 43-220C & Black powder.  Since it shoots good with smokeless, one would think that it should do as well with Swiss.....

I have always used the milder CCI 300 or Rem 2 1/2 primers with Swiss since it is moist burning. Perhaps the magnum primer being somewhat hotter is having an affect on the fouling(?).  I know that Mike Venturino uses magnum primers in the 44-40 but with Goex powder.

I have some 43-220C bullets that were sent to me by the fellow that owns the mold. I'll load 10 with your recipe except using the 2 1/2 Remington primer and see what happens. The weather is supposed to be fairly good this Thursday so I plan to try them then and will report back.

The 43-215C has been shooting well for me with Goex and another fellow that has been using it, also with Goex, told me he is getting 2"-3" groups at 100 yards.  I have not tried it with Swiss since the bullet was designed to carry the additional lube needed to run with the heavier fouling Goex.  I'll send you a PM.

w44wcf
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on December 02, 2011, 11:08:32 am
Jubal,
I had a chance to test the 43-220C / 37 Swiss 1 1/2 F combination yesterday. 

Bullets were 12.5 BHN /  lube SPG / Primers - Rem. 2 1/2 / Brass - R-P

Powder was settled into the case by dumping it slowly about 4" above the powder funnel.

Bullets were seated and crimped with an RCBS die.

My club's 50 yard range was closed so I set a couple of targets @ 100 yards.

I fired two groups of 5 shots each. 

100 yards......
Group 1 -  2.38"  (4 in 1.57")
Group 2 -  2.26"

Thankfully, they shot aok.  You might try a milder primer like the Rem 2 1/2 or CCI 300 to see what difference that would make.

Good luck,

w44wcf
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Jubal Wilson on December 02, 2011, 08:13:34 pm
w44wcf,
Good to hear that you had good results with the Accurate 43-220C bullet. I discovered the reason for my dismal results posted above. I accidentally filled my luber-sizer with candle wax instead of SPG. That would definitely explain the poor results. I melted the wax out of the grooves and will relube with SPG and try again. I had a feeling that it was not the bullet that was the problem. I will post again when I get more results.
Jubal
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on December 04, 2011, 10:22:43 am
Jubal,
That pretty much explains the dismal results of your first trial!
SPG will be a group tightener for sure!

w44wcf
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Marshal Deadwood on December 04, 2011, 01:40:44 pm
I like SPG. I've tried some other lubes...and have a recipe for some..but for all it cost I like SPG. Time tested and works good.

Deadwood
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on December 09, 2011, 09:09:18 pm
Just to recap a bit........

Prior to 1894, cartridges were all loaded with black powder. Beginning in late 1894, smokeless powders made their appearance, and even though factory b.p. cartridges were offered with smokeless, the factories continued to offer black powder loadings up until the late 1930's when they were discontinued.

I have found that Swiss is about the closest equivalent we have to the excellent b.p.'s of a century + ago. I had done a bit of research and posted information in this thread a few years back........
http://www.theopenrange.net/forum/index.php?PHPSESSID=9f3ed090e0ef271d9e56e43d2752b86a&topic=13.0

About 10 years ago I had the opportunity to obtain some early W.R.A. CO. 44 W.C.F. cartridges and was able to compare the b.p. contained in those cartridges to the ones we have today.  I dissected the cartridges, annealed the cases, replaced the primers with current ones, placed the powder back into the cases and used bullets from a Lyman 427098 mold (copy of the original bulllet). Lube was SPG.

Long story short, the early b.p. used in those cartridges had the ability, with the 2 lube grooved bullet, to launch many bullets accurately without fouling out the barrel (hard ring of fouling developing at the muzzle and extending back into the barrel).
The only other powder able to do that was SWISS. Cartridges loaded with Goex, Schuetzen and Elephant would foul out the barrel in 12 rounds or less with accuracy degrading rapidly**. By comparison, Swiss would run for 50+ rounds (most fired at one time) with no “foul out” or loss of accuracy.  The current lot of KIK powder appears to have the same ability as Swiss in my limited testing of that powder. More to be done......

These days, 36 grs of Swiss 2F in modern brass with the 427098 replicates the original ballistics and shoots very well. Not much compression is required either.

** (Goex and the other powders work fine with the “big lube” bullet and also the Accurate 43-215C due to their additional lube capacity.) 
http://www.cascity.com/forumhall/index.php/topic,40897.0.html

Rowdy,
I heard from a fellow who had tried the Black Dawge 44-40 b.p. cartridges and he said that they fouled out his rifle barrel in less than 12 rounds and leaded his barrel somewhat.  Hopefully you will have better results.

w44wcf
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: john boy on December 21, 2011, 05:50:52 pm
Original 44-40 load ... might want to try 39gr FFFg and a 200gr bullet.  That will be about 1180 fps
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Rowdy Fulcher on December 31, 2011, 01:05:10 pm
Howdy
The weather was nice today so I was able to shoot my short rifle . I used my Goex ammo . My first 3 round shot group was high but the group size was good about an inch at fifty yards . the next group was about the same . the next group was getting larger ,about a inch and a half .the next group was larger. I had shot 12 rounds and the accuracy was starting to go to crap . I shot a total of 24 rounds with the last group being maybe6 plus inches . When I got home I cleaned my rifle and it was fairly fast clean up . If you are using this for a Hunting round it will be ok AS LONG as you don't shot over 10 rounds . If you are going to shoot lots of ammo you might want to take a rod and a few patches , you will need them . I didn't shoot these over a chronograph but would guess them at about a 1000 fps .
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Coal Creek Griff on December 31, 2011, 03:07:51 pm
Rowdy:

Can you remind me which bullet you're using?

Thanks for the report.

CC Griff
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Rowdy Fulcher on December 31, 2011, 06:16:02 pm
Howdy
The ammo was the Black Dawge . They use a 2 lube ring bullet . They also use SPG lube , I think that was what they told me .
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on January 01, 2012, 06:52:38 am
Rowdy,
Thank you for the range report.  Your experience with the Black Dawge ammo (Goex powder + 2 lube groove bullet) is pretty similar to the results I have gotten with the same combination in reloads using the same components.  Another user of Black Dawge 44-40 b.p. ammunition that I have corresponded with reported similar findings.   

It is indeed unfortunate that Goex / Black Dawge did not use a single lube groove bullet holding more lube in their ammunition in combination with their powder. The performance would be have been much better.  I wonder if Goex / Black Dawge even tested their own ammunition ?. If they did, then their perfmance criteria must have been pretty low, unless, perhaps, they only tested in pistol barrels.......

This ammunition is definitely sub par from what the original b.p. 44-40 factory ammunition provided. In addition to running trouble free with continued fine accuracy for a minimum of 30 rounds (Doc Pardee's target - 1875 Winchester catalog), it produced 1,300 f.p.s. which is 30% greater than the Black Dawge ammo if your estimate of the 1,000 f.p.s. is correct.   

Today, it appears that the closest b.p. factory 44-40 ammo to the original is the ammo sold by Buffalo Arms which uses the correct bullet (427098) and  is loaded with Swiss powder which has similar characteristics of the early black powders.
http://www.buffaloarms.com/Detail.aspx?PROD=158172&CAT=4438
Other than that, one would have to reload his own b.p. ammunition.. 

I have found that, the two lube groove bullet (427098)  run very well when pushed by Swiss (sub 3" groups at 100 yards after 40+ rounds have been fired with no cleaning).  Early testing of the latest lot of KIK powder indicates that it may do as well.....

w44wcf           
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Rowdy Fulcher on January 01, 2012, 11:30:28 am
Howdy
After looking at the results I will contact Powder Inc and see about working on a Vintage Hunting round . The rounds needs to be as the Original ammo was .
   HAPPY NEW YEAR
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on January 03, 2012, 08:00:22 am
Rowdy,
SiInce you do such a nice job of promoting their produucts, hopefully they will work with you on improving the performance of their b.p. ammunition.

I decided to load 30 rounds today using Black Dawge bullets over 36 grs by weight of the newer lot of KIK 3F powder I had ordered from them. Hopefully the weather will cooperate later this week and I'll be able to test them.

Happy 2012! Hurry up spring!
w44wcf  
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Rowdy Fulcher on January 03, 2012, 07:51:37 pm
W44wcf
Hope you have good weather to test the ammo . If the KIK powder is close to the original powder is the BD bullets close to the original bullets ?
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on January 04, 2012, 09:59:51 pm
Rowdy,

Appearance wise, SWISS looks the closest to the black powder contained in some early 44-40 b.p. cartridges in that it has a polished appearance.  By comparison, KIK has a dull appearance but it may work as well. We'll see.

The Black Dawge bullet has two lube grooves like the original but the nose is a bit different. The Black Dawge bullet has a crimp groove and the original did not.  The Lyman 427098 is the bullet that best replicates the original.

w44wcf
Title: Black Dawge bullet test with KIK 3F and SWISS 2F
Post by: w44wcf on January 05, 2012, 09:46:09 pm
Rowdy,
The weather coooperated this afternoon so I went to the range with 70 cartridges  
loaded with the Black Dawge bullets....

35 cartridges - KIK 3F / 36 grs by weight

35 cartridges - SWISS 2F / 36 grs by weight

cases - R-P  44-40
primers - 2 1/2

Velocity with both - 1,300 f.p.s. area  - ballistic replication of the original 44-40 b.p. cartridge

Results:
Fouling.......
KIK 3F - after 20 rounds there was a solid ring of fouling beginning to form at the muzzle and when I cleaned the barrel after round #35 it had extended back into the barrel 4 to 5" :'(.  It took a bit of effort to remove it.

SWISS 2F - flawless performance. ;D ;D No hard ring of fouling was experienced. After 35 rounds, cleaning patches went through the barrel smoothly.

Interestingly, a look through the bore after every 10 rounds revealed that the fouling from both powders was light except that with the KIK powder, that nasty hard ring of fouling eventually started forming at the muzzle end of the barrel.

accuracy..........
KIK 3F - 1st grioups were 2+ times larger than those produced by SWISS and accuracy really went downhill from about the 21st round onward.  :'(

SWISS 2F - accuracy maintained throughout all 35 rounds. Last 5 shot group was as good as the first five shot group.  ;D

Conclusion.....
I would  suggest that Black Dawge load their b.p. rifle ammunition (could use "Rifle" to designate it as adapted to rifles) with SWISS 2F.  It has definitely proven itself vastly superior with their bullet that holds .7 grs of lube. They could charge a slight premium for their "Rifle" b.p. ammunition to make up for the cost difference in using Swiss (approx 2.50- 3.00/box).   THEIR CUSTOMERS WOULD BE MUCH HAPPIER. ;D  MORE REPEAT BUSINESS TOO! ;D  

I would also suggest that the .428" bullet diameter be increased to .429-.430 which would be a better fit in current .44 barrels. I had bumped up the bullet to .430" prior to loading them.  One user reported leading using this ammunition. I did not have any with the larger diameter bullets.

w44wcf
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Rowdy Fulcher on January 06, 2012, 05:39:13 pm
w44wcf
Thank you for the test results . Sounds like we  ( I)  need to order some SWISS powder . This is the load I plan on Hunting with ,provided it works the same for me .
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on January 08, 2012, 08:05:25 am
Rowdy,
A couple of other things.......
SWISS is a more dense powder meaning that it takes up a bit less room in the case which = less compression as this pic shows.
(http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o25/w30wcf/Collector%20Cartridges/44-40powderheight.jpg)

To settle the powder, I just pour it slowly through a funnel. I find that works as well as using a drop tube.

For a hunting bullet, I would prefer a softer alloy for a bit of expansion. The early factory produced ammunition used plain lead (5 BHN)bullets. The Black Dawge bullets (at least the ones I bought) were 16 BHN (lead/tin/antimony) so they are not going to expand (not that they need to for harvesting deer).

Currently produced softer bullets (lead/tin) for reloading .....
http://www.buffaloarms.com/Detail.aspx?PROD=157239&CAT=4135
Bullet is the Ideal/Lyman 427098 which is a copy of the original .44-40 bullet.
That appears to be the same bullet that is used in their 44-40 ammo loaded with Swiss BP.
http://www.buffaloarms.com/Detail.aspx?PROD=158172&CAT=4438

Black Dawge ammo would certainly work of for hunting, especially when loaded with 36/Swiss FFFG. That would increase the velocity 200-300 fps  over what it is currently to match the original 44-40 ammuntion. A plus would be to offer a softer bullet as well for hunting.

w44wcf
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Jubal Wilson on January 10, 2012, 09:00:43 pm
Good news for the Accurate 43-220C bullet mold. ;D I finely got out to shoot my Uberti Winchester 1873 in 44 WCF today. It wasn't real warm and the wind was gusting (a cold front was coming through) so I only shot at 50 yards. The load was 37.0 gr Swiss 1.5, a Fed 155 primer and the 219 gr Accurate bullet.

(http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj151/epaulb/Winchester%201873%20Uberti/1873-43-220C2.jpg)

My rifle has a Marbles tang sight on it and I forgot to put in the 50 yard setting. I put a Lyman 17A front sight on it with a Lee Shaver insert that has four bars pointing to the center. I fired two fouling shots then these six shots. It was suppose to be five but I can't count.

This is the same bullet that I lubed with candle wax by mistake and was shooting 5 and 6 inch groups at 50 yards. ???

I am very pleased with this bullet. It is similar to the 427098 but has bigger lube grooves and a crimping groove. I shot 10 more rounds but the accuracy began to deteriorate so I stopped and cleaned the barrel. There was hard fouling in the first half of the barrel which is very unusual. ??? This is not like the fouling near the muzzle from running out of lube. More things to work on.
Jubal
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Marshal Deadwood on January 10, 2012, 09:45:07 pm
Thats a mighty tight group. Good shooting there.

Deadwood
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on January 11, 2012, 07:14:12 am
Jubal,
Very nice group! Regarding the fouling, it is a possibility that the magnum primer could be causing it. I would suggest switching to a non magnum milder primer (I like the CCI 300). I have shot 50 rounds in a row using Swiss / CCI 300 combination and the original 427098 which holds a bit less lube and did not experience any heavy fouling anywhere in the barrel.

w44wcf
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Jubal Wilson on January 13, 2012, 11:38:11 pm
w44wcf,
I had some of the same load but with CCI 300 primers with me but by the time I had shot up the ones with the Fed 155 primers the wind was blowing so hard that it would have been a waste of time and effort to keep shooting. Will try them next time the wind dies down and the temp is above freezing. I also loaded some with the CCI 300, 40.0 gr GOEX FFFg and the Accurate 43-220C bullet. Lots of compression there.
Jubal
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: David Battersby on January 15, 2012, 02:23:10 pm
I need help, but that is a long story so lets talk guns !!

 My 25year old son got an 1858 Remington for Christmas and we have been shooting it, my Colt Navy and muzzle loader alot lately.  I am afraid we have become addicted to boom-smoke-stink. Junior soot lords  you might say.  I have tried BP in my Uberti 1873 44wcf a few times now. This has been ALOT of fun, but accuracy has not been good.
 First I guess info on my rifle. Three years old Uberti, new springs from The Smith Shop in Rhode Island but no action job or short stroke kit. I have shot this rifle alot, and developed two loads that it likes. The first is a 200gr .430 20-1 alloy Desperado Cowboy Bullet over a published weight of Trailboss. The second is a 240gr .430 20-1 alloy Desperado Cowboy Bullet over a published weight of Reloader 7. Both are accurate, can be shot all day with no visible leading on cleaning patches after a good scrubbing. The light load is good for pistol caliber silhouette and the heavy load is good for the rifle caliber sihouette game. So.........I believe the rifle is not the issue.
 Now the black powder loads/shooting.  The first load was 200gr .430 Mav Dutch from Whyte Leather works, CCI#300 primer, Starline brass and Goex FFFG. The powder was not drop tubed but loaded right from a powder dispenser. The powder was compressed maybe .1in . Poor accuracy, no lube star at the muzzle and the fouling seemed dry near the muzzle. Two more tries with Goex FFFG compressed more each time brought about softer wetter fouling but no lube star and still poor accuracy. The best being 8 to 10 inch groups at 100 yards. I obtained some Swiss FFFG from a friend who is a NSSA member. He sang the praises of Swiss , so I try it. The difference is very noticable even to this BPC newbie. The sound, the amount of smoke and spark and the fouling are all different. I get a greasy lube star on the muzzle and fouling appears wet and thin compaired to a Goex sooted chimney. The accuracy is better but still not good enough. I now get 4 to 6 inch groups at 100 yards, but as i compress the charge more and more ( read more powder same bullet seating depth ) I am getting leading in the bore starting just ahead of the chamber.
  Could the Swiss FFFG be creating two much pressure for the soft cast bullets ?  Should I try two .030 Walters Wads under the bullet to get compression but with less powder ? Should I try Swiss 1.5 or 2F ?
  I am humbled, as my ancesters figured this out but did not have the internet, comercial cast Big Lube Bullets, spring kits, chronographs, cnc machining.....................
   Thank You in advance for any help.
    David
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on January 15, 2012, 10:52:25 pm
David,
Welcome to the forum! Thank you for the report of your experiences so far.  

With SWISS FFFG, I would suggest using 34 grs., by weight, settled.  A settled charge (dumped slowly.... 4-5 seconds  through a powder funnel from a height of about 4" - 5") will yeild about .03" of compression with the MAV which will be good. Less compression is best with SWISS.

That will pretty much replicate the 1,300 f.p.s. generated by the original 44-40 cartridge.

The CCI 300 primer is an excellent choice.

For the very best 44-40 accuracy at 100 + yards, the 427098 has proven to be the best in my experience using SWISS.

Where do you shoot Cowboy Silhouette?

w44wcf
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: David Battersby on January 16, 2012, 06:06:21 pm


......Where do you shoot Cowboy Silhouette?


      During the cold weather months I shoot at Delmarva Sportsman Association in Sudlersville Maryland. We only shoot small bore and pistol cartridge there. Good folks, but the turn out is usually low. We wind up shooting lever action and hunters pistol at the same time so the firing line will be at least half full. During the warm weather I travel to the Atglen Sportsmen's Club near Atglen Pennsylvania. A much bigger crowd and some stiff competition in PA. They are good folks, alot of fun and more than a couple antique rifles being used at those matches ( very cool ). We shoot on their high power silhouette range which goes out to 500some meters. There have been times when after the match is over a few of us would break out the Sharps and 1885's to ring the 500some meter swinging sighter.
 I must make it to the PA state championship at least once. I would love to shoot at Ridgway , maybe at the Lever Action Jubilee . In the not too distant future I will go to Quinton Sportsmen's Club in Salem NJ as their shoot is Black Powder Only .
 My kids are grown up, my job is doing well and it is time to indulge in this wonderful hobby.

   Will post a hello, stats and a picture or to in the ( Town Hall? ) after I recover from yet another Monday.

Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Jubal Wilson on January 16, 2012, 11:57:54 pm
David, what kind of bullet lube are you using? I didn't see it mentioned in your load description. You need a good BP lube to make BP work. I don't know if Whyte Leather Works sent you the Big Lube bullets pre-lubed or not. If not get some good BP lube and try again. And pay attention to what w44wcf tells you. He is the Guru of the 44 WCF using Holy Black.
Jubal
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: David Battersby on January 17, 2012, 05:36:13 am
Mav Dutch Big Lube from Whyte Leather Works.
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on January 20, 2012, 07:46:24 am
David,
Thank you for the info. I know a couple of fellows that shoot at Atglen. "Sixgun", as he is called, shoots the old Winchesters. Haven't been able to talk him into b.p. ...... at least not yet. I originally met him and "Gunny" who use to run the Atglen Matches several years ago at a State Match in Bradford, PA.

The 2012 PA State Cowboy Silhouette Championship will be held in Ridgway, PA on Sept 1 & 2. I am planning on attending.
We had a handful of levergun enthusiasts at the Jubilee last year. A bunch of fun was had by all.
http://www.marlinowners.com/forum/organize-your-hunt-shoot-get-together/72084-lever-action-jubilee-oct-15-16-2011-a-3.html

Please let us know how your testing goes with the 34/Swiss FFFG if you try it.

Jubal,
Thank you for the kind words. I have tried a number of different b.p. recipies in the 44 WCF / 44-40, trying to replicate the ammunition that the factories produced back in the 1800's and am happy to share what I have learned.

w44wcf   
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: David Battersby on February 05, 2012, 08:01:51 am


  Please let us know how your testing goes with the 34/Swiss FFFG if you try it.

  I finally got the time to load a box of fifty and go to the range.

  The results were not good. Poor accuracy, 8 inch groups/patterns/flyers at 100 yards. I did not have any lube on the muzzle, which I did with more compressed loads of FFFG Swiss. The fouling was what I would describe as dry and hard compared to previous attempts . I also had moderate leading that came out easily with the fouling as I cleaned the bore.  The loads were 34 grains of Swiss FFFG loaded by volume and trickled into the cases thru a six inch long one quarter inch I.D. tube, CCI #300 primers and unresized Starline cases.  The base of the bullet would just touch the powder collumn with this load.
  Could the leading be due to the hard fouling ? Again I am using the same size and alloy bullets in smoless loads with no leading and good accuracy.
  I need to make one correction about my loads. I found as going thru my stuff that I was not using the Whyte Leather Bullets but some bullets from Dash Caliber that were given to me. They are both BIG LUBE bullets but there are a few differences. The Dash Caliber bullets have a yellow/brown lube that almost looks like a dryed out crusted over SPG. I know thats not what it is, just a description of the appearance. The Whyte Leather Works bullets have a lube that looks just like the pictures on Dick Dastardly's web site. The lube grooves are also not as tall but are deeper, creating more bearing surface. I guess these are a 2nd generation/improved Big Lube design???
  I think I will try the Whyte Leather Works bullets with a slightly larger charge of powder as 34 grains seemed to burn dirtier.

  Any input is very much appreciated.

  A very humbled soot lord in training.

  David
 
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on February 05, 2012, 08:21:19 am
 "I was not using the Whyte Leather Bullets but some bullets from Dash Caliber that were given to me. They are both BIG LUBE bullets but there are a few differences. The Dash Caliber bullets have a yellow/brown lube that almost looks like a dryed out crusted over SPG."

David,
I think that the lube in the Dash Caliber bullets is the problem. It may not be a b.p. lube at all.  
I would definitely suggest using the Mav D Whyte Leatherworks bullet which has the correct lube. 34-35 grs of Swiss 3F should work out just fine with the right bullet.   Personally, I would load 20 and give them a try to start with.

"Could the leading be due to the hard fouling ?" 
If the leading was just forward of the chamber, I would think no.  If it was toward the muzzle, that is a possibility.

What smokeless powder and charge wt are you using for your smokeless loads?

Good luck. Please keep us informed.

w44wcf
  
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Sir Charles deMouton-Black on February 05, 2012, 09:48:35 am
"I was not using the Whyte Leather Bullets but some bullets from Dash Caliber that were given to me. They are both BIG LUBE bullets but there are a few differences. The Dash Caliber bullets have a yellow/brown lube that almost looks like a dryed out crusted over SPG."

I have found that if I lube bullets with SPG and then put them in storage too long the lube goes grey and dirty looking.  Perhaps those bullets have been kickin' around way too long.  I haven't tested the performance of those aged bullets.

Now, when I cast a bunch I store them un-lubed in re-cycled ammo packs wrapped in sandwich bags.  I try to lube a short time before loading.
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: David Battersby on February 05, 2012, 02:59:19 pm
What smokeless powder and charge wt are you using for your smokeless loads?

Good luck. Please keep us informed.    w44wcf


  
 The two loads are both with Starline Brass and Desperado Cowboy Bullets.
  #1 is 200gr bullets, published load of Trailboss and CCI#300 primers
  #2 is 240gr bullets, published load of Reloader 7 and CCI#350 primers
  I can shoot a couple hundred rounds of either and not get any Galena on cleaning patches. I use Double Tuff brushes from brownels and I know the bore gets scrubbed clean.

     I will post the next test results.

    David
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Jubal Wilson on February 06, 2012, 01:16:36 am
     More good news for the Accurate 43-220C bullet mold. ;D My rifle is a 1873 Winchester by Uberti in 44 WCF with a 24 inch barrel. It has a Marble's tang sight and a Lyman 17A front sight with a Lee Shaver insert (see picture in previous post). Again the target was at 50 yards because of the swirling winds. The temperature was in the high 30's. I was shooting off a portable bench.
     I shot the same load as the load in a previous post but with CCI 300 primers instead of the Fed 155 mag primers. The load is 37.0 gr Swiss 1.5, CCI 300 Primers, R-P cases and the 43-220C bullet with SPG lube. This bullet is shaped like the Lyman 427098 but has bigger lube grooves and a crimping groove. I compress the powder slightly before seating the bullet. I crimp after seating.
     I believe that the accuracy is as good as I got from the Fed 155 primers and there is no hard fouling in the first part of the barrel. I shot 17 rounds (all that I had loaded) on three target (two foulers and three groups of 5) with no cleaning. The groups were 1.5 to 2 inches and the third group was the same size as the first. Cleaning was very easy, three wet patches and two dry patches and I was done. No hard fouling. W44wc suggested that the hard fouling I got previously may be from using the magnum primers and it seems to be so.
     Next I shot 19 rounds of 40.0 gr GOEX FFFg, CCI 300 primers, Starline cases and the Accurate 43-220C bullet with SPG lube. This load required 0.375 inches of compression which I consider too much. I just wanted to see what 40 grains felt like. Did not chrono this load. The load shot very accurately and clean up was the same as previously described. No cleaning, blow tubing or anything for the 19 shots and no deterioration in accuracy.
     I am really liking this bullet. ;D ;D ;D
Jubal
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on February 07, 2012, 08:56:27 pm
What smokeless powder and charge wt are you using for your smokeless loads?
Good luck. Please keep us informed.    w44wcf

 The two loads are both with Starline Brass and Desperado Cowboy Bullets.
  #1 is 200gr bullets, published load of Trailboss and CCI#300 primers
  #2 is 240gr bullets, published load of Reloader 7 and CCI#350 primers
  I can shoot a couple hundred rounds of either and not get any Galena on cleaning patches. I use Double Tuff brushes from brownels and I know the bore gets scrubbed clean.

     I will post the next test results.

    David

David,
Thank you for the info. I sent you a PM. It would be informative to test the Dash Caliber and maybe the and Big Lube bullets with your smokeless loads to see how well they grop as compared to the Desparado results. That would also set a baseline for the accuracy of your  b.p. loads.

I loaded 25 rounds of SWISS FFFG in settled 34 gr charges under the Accurate 43-210B (Fairhake improved version of the 427098) bullet (.429" diameter) bhn - 12.

Results were as follows:
Velocity – average 1,364 f.p.s. so I would not recommend exceeding 34 grs.
Fouling – light for the full length of the barrel (no hard fouling)
Lube star - yes
Leading – none
Accuracy –  last 5 shots (21-25) grouped into a little over 3” @ 100 yards.

Based on those results, you should have no trouble using SWISS FFFG and the big lube bullet with the proper lube since it holds  50% more lube than the 43-210B two lube grooved bullet.

As I mentioned I would not recommend exceeding 34 grs though because of the higher velocity generated. If you were to purchase some SWISS powder I would recommend FFG instead of FFFG. I have gotten a bit better results accuracy wise with FFG and at 36 grs. by weight, it can be compressed a bit more.

w44wcf
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on February 07, 2012, 09:02:30 pm
Jubal,
Nice to hear of your continuing great results with the Accurate 43-220C bullet and that your switch to the CCI 300 primer eliminated the bit of central hard fouling you were getting with the 155's. ;D Wow! That is quite a bit of compression with Goex. I would think with 40 grs of FFFG, you are knocking on 1,400 f.p.s.......

40 grs of SWISS 1 1/2 would require less compression and according to my records, turned up 1,338 f.p.s. average (210 gr. 43-210B) in my rifle's 24" barrel with good accuracy.

Thank you for the report.

w44wcf
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: David Battersby on February 19, 2012, 10:21:03 am
 Finally got back to the range and here are the results.

   All are: Starline cases not resized  CCI#300 primers and Whyte Leather Big Lube  "Mav D" Bullets fired from the bench with a sandbag front rest

 Load #1  34gr of Swiss FFFG trickled thru a 6in long 1/4in I.D. tube.  The accuracy is a little better and consistent. After a few fouling shots I went to a paper target at 100 yards. The groups were 6in but shots 1-5 and 41-45 were were to the same point of aim and same group size. Grease on the muzzle and I could run a dry patch thru the bore with reasonable effort. Pushing a dry patch thru the bore felt very rough to this black powder newbie, but there were no tight or hard spots.

 Load#2   32gr of Swiss FFFG trickled thru a 6in long 1/4 I.D. tube and one .060 Walters Wad.  Same results as above with 8in groups at 100 yards.

  If I attached a picture correctly you can see a likely cause of poor accuracy. The nose of the bullets are muchroomed as if pushed thru the sizer/lubricater with excessive force.
  If I can not find the Accurate bullet types in .429 or .430 from a commercial caster I may have to try my hand at casting. I really want to avoid casting as time is my most valuable commodity and is in short supply.
  I will try to get my hands on some Swiss 1.5f and try try again.
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Fox Creek Kid on February 19, 2012, 10:30:55 pm
6" is not enough of a drop to get the best BP stacking. Minimum is 18" and anything over 3' is a waste. There was a test years ago on this on another forum and this was the conclusion drawn. I think if you re-do your loads you might get better results.  ;)
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on February 20, 2012, 07:20:28 am
David,
Thank you for the range report.  The most accurate bullet for me shooting b.p. in the 44-40 with Swiss powder is  the 427098.
Montana Bullet Works offers the 427098 in .429" diameter with b.p. lube (specify at the time of order)
It is the 2nd one down this page.....
http://www.montanabulletworks.com/44_40.html

With Swiss, the lesser lube capacity is not an issue, I've run 50+ rounds with accuracy being maintained throughout and the muzzle has a lube ring.

(http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o25/w30wcf/Leverguns/44-40Marlinmuzzle1jpg.jpg)

If you send me a PM  with your address, I could send you 20 or so bullets to try to see how they would work before you ordered any.

Here's a couple of targets.....
(http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o25/w30wcf/Leverguns/target44-40bp100yds.jpg)

(http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o25/w30wcf/Leverguns/44-40shots31-40a.jpg)

w44wcf
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: David Battersby on February 22, 2012, 04:59:40 pm
   John
      I have ordered the 42798 bullets and an RCBS design that looks similar. I will shoot both and let you know. I need to get my hands on a pound of Swiss FFG. What are your thoughts on Walters Wads under the bullet for a reduced charge of Swiss FFFG ?
Just an idea to try if I get the bullets before the powder.

      Thanks
      David
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on February 24, 2012, 07:56:47 am
David,
I have never used a base wad but I think that since it is used as a bullet extension to compress a lesser powder charge it would work aok.

Regarding Swiss, the Back Creek Gun Shop  http://blackpowderva.com/  does not have a minimum purchase as far a I know but there is a hazmat fee of $25 per order.

Hope that it all comes together for you.

w44wcf
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Kinchafoonee Kid on May 09, 2012, 09:01:32 pm
Good evening, everyone. I have an Uberti 1873 44 WCF 30 in barrel. I load using Starline brass, cci magnum primers, 35 gr Schuetzen 2f, Accurate mould bullet in .428' no wad, using homemade DanT lube recipe.  I recently shot two CAS matches 50 rounds each, hitting all rifle targets with no misses.  No cleaning during the match.  A greasy ring on my muzzle.  I look forward to reporting some actual testing at the range, will post further experimentation.  Thanks to 44wcf for suggesting the accurate mould.

KK
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on May 10, 2012, 04:36:24 pm
Kinchafoonee Kid,
Thank you for the report. Nice shooting!  ;D ;D  
Glad to hear that the 43-215C is working well in your 30" barrel.  ;D

w44wcf
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Kinchafoonee Kid on May 11, 2012, 11:38:43 pm
W44wcf, thanks agai for your age advice and wisdom.

KK
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: David Battersby on June 11, 2012, 10:30:40 am

          W44wcf
               I know it has been a while, spring and summer are crazy busy for me, so here is an update. If I attached the image correctly you will see my best result of my first Swiss/427098 test. I was shooting at 100 yards on a warm dry day, front sandbag rest holding rear of rifle. This was the Montanna Bullet works 427098 with 2.18cc of Swiss 1.5F.  Two other loads of more powder and two with the RCBS 200gr bullet were larger groups. I did get leading just ahead of the chamber when I shot this load Saturday @ Atglen. With the match, sighting in and playing that was sixty rounds. I did clean the rifle after the first twnty rounds, just to see and feel the fouling. I noticed that when sitting while the other relay was shooting the bore near the muzzle would start to appear "dry". I began using a blow tube before and after each relay without cleaning. The dry/chalky area would moisten very quickly. ( Using the blow tube amused Jack and Gunny , ALOT ) My score was close to what I average in the Pistol Caliber game and it was alot of fun. I will get more bullets and work on fine tuning a load, as I also got a couple pounds of Swiss 2F.
  A couple things I noticed. The loads with more powder had heavier thicker fouling. Again, even the most accurate load is leading just ahead of the chamber. The leading I believe is do to bullet fit and alloy. The bullets are .429 and the bore is .429 plus the bullets are Lyman#2 Alloy, not 20-1. Just a little too small and too hard to seal the bore . At least that is my guess. 
  I will post new results, just don't hold your breath. This is the wrong time of the year for load developement. I will say this though, not matter how busy I am, silhouette matches are on the calender. Like a doctor's appointment they can not be missed.

           David

           P.S. If you talk to them, give Jack and Gunny my love!! ;D
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on June 12, 2012, 08:58:20 am
David,
Thank you for the range report.  Glad to see that you are making good progress!   
Looks like the majority of the bullets impacted in 3" with almost all in 4" @ 100.  ;D ;D

If the bullets are 15 BHN as advertised and they were .002" over groove diameter, the throat leading should cease.

My normal b.p. bullets are 10-12 bhn but I have fired 16 BHN bullets that were .002" over groove and they shot very well with no leading. ;D

I could "bump up" some of your bullets to .431" if you send me some.  I'll send you an email about that.

Hopefully, I'll see Sixgun & Gunny at the Regional Cowboy Silhouette Championship in Bradford.......

w44wcf

 
Title: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: David Battersby on July 01, 2012, 08:19:56 am
    
    John
       Again, summer is a crazy busy time for me . Here is an update.
       The attached photo is of two bullet designs I just received. They are at bore diameter as the last bullets tried , BUT are cast with a 30-to-1 alloy . They are from Mt Badly Bullets. They are not listed on the web site but are available. I e-mailed them and as advertised Frank called me back and let me know what they had and could do. If the bullets are half as good as their customer service then X-rings are in my future.  I am going to load some trial ammo with Swiss 1.5F and 2F.  On the Lyman 427098 I will try crimping lightly just ahead of the first driving band. The idea is to have the bullet seated on the powder and have a crimp that will not distort the bullet in any way.  I tried seating the bullet with the first drive band flush with the case mouth, but the O.A.L. is too long for my rifle. I will post a range report when I get the time to go to the range.

                David

P.S. As much as I wanted too there was no way to make the Eastern Regional match. Next year I will plan for it much sooner.
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on July 02, 2012, 07:39:39 am
David,
Thank you for the update. For the very best performance (groups), I would shoot only those bullets that had no visible defects, especially on the base, and that did not vary more than + - .3 grs. in weight.

I'll look forward to your future range report(s).

I did not make it to the Eastern Regional match either ...... family doings.  So, I am looking forward to the PA State Match Sep1 and Sep2 in Ridgway......

w44wcf

Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Jubal Wilson on December 13, 2012, 11:57:20 pm
w44wcf/John, it has been a bad year for me as far as shooting. Since we had such a dry year I haven't been able to get out to the forest (closed because of extreme fire danger) since my last post on this thread. Anyway I have a question for you. Have you tried a side by side comparison of the accuracy of the 427098 and the 43-215C using the same load of Swiss? It seems to me that the wide lube groove would effect the streamlining of the bullet when it spun off the lube. I am talking about 200 to 300 yards.
We are still waiting on our new rifle range but the Game, Fish and Parks which took over the project says maybe by summer. It sure will be nice.
Jubal/Paul
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: 58cal on December 14, 2012, 05:34:48 am
Good morning....I really appreciate this forum. I'm learning a lot.

In the North-South Skirmish Association, we have a breech loading rifle competition.
Most competitors use Uberti Henry rifles in mostly 44WCF. Spencer's are less common.
A commonly used bullet that isn't discussed much in this forum is the Lyman 429667,
weighing close to 250 grains(in hardball)...715 inches long.

Happy Holidays!

58cal
Charleston, SC



Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: David Battersby on December 29, 2012, 01:08:27 pm
 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

   I have been working on my black powder loads for my Uberti 1873 in 44-40 and I guess there is progress to share and a question or two.
 I had some encouraging results from the last batch of cast bullets purchased, but they were also the most expensive cast bullets purchased. So now I am a bullet casting...um...uh..fellow.  I have a Lee 20lb bottom pour pot with basic accessories. I chose the Accurate 43-220C as it follows the original Lyman nose profile, is flat based and with smokeless loads my rifle has done better with 240 grain bullets.
 My first and only batch of bullets so far were not perfect. Many have wrinkled lines in the noses. I cleaned the mold with denatured alcohol, smoked the cavities with a butane lighter and lubed the alignment pins with graphite. I believe I simply did not get the mold hot enough . I have since recleaned the mold with brake cleaner. Should I smoke the cavities ? Should I hold the sprue plate against the spout when pouring, or leave a small air gap ?  I will try again and report back.
  As of right now I am casting 30-to-1 alloy. The bullets that look good are round, uniform in weight and are .431in diameter as cast, which is what I requested.  The bore is .429 just ahead of the chamber. The bullets have good neck tension in unresized fired cases. The cartridge loads into the rifle chamber with no problems.
 I also have a powder compression die now. Compressing the powder with bullet seating most definitely squashes those soft bullets. I am using DGL bullet lube. It is a soft black powder lube similar to SPG but more oily. Pan lubed not sized.
 The combination of the above has been impressive. After 50 rounds fired there is a substantial grease ring on the muzzel and the thinnest softest fouling I have experienced in the bore. Today I shot one of the best 100 yard groups ever with this rifle, with ANY load.
 My best black powder load so far has been with Swiss 1.5f, which gave me a couple surprises and raised a few questions. I have tried 2.45cc of Swiss 2f which weighs 35.2 grains and is compressed 1/8 inch. The seated bullet touching the compressed powder. The accuracy was good but I loaded another box of 50 to compare with any other combinations I might try. While all the equipment and components were out I loaded a box with 2.45cc of 1.5f . I was surprised as this weighs 37 grains. I was expecting a bulkier powder of the same volume to weigh less . As I fired this load I observed more "sparks/flares" falling out of the muzzel as compared to the 2f load. I was sure this was due to inefficient combustion and would be an inaccurate load. Well look at the picture and you tell me. The seventeen holes are the first 10 after fouling shots and then the last seven out of a box of 50. The target is torn up because it was wet when I pulled it down, as it started raining. Visibility went south , I could hardly see the bright white bullseye and yet....wow !
 I will try again compairing 1.5f and 2f Swiss before I order a case, but I am curious. Has anyone else compaired them and found one better in the 44-40 ? I know every rifle is a creature to itself, just curious. As I stated the loads were compressed about 1/8in, would more or less powder be better ?
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: wildman1 on December 30, 2012, 06:22:35 am
I also have a 20 lb Lee pot. When I pour the larger bullets I use a Lyman ladle because I also had trouble with imperfect bullets from the bottom spout on the Lee pot, doesn't get the lead in the mold fast enough. Same temp using the Lyman Ladle but the bullets come out perfect. The Lee bottom pour works great on the smaller bullets. WM
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on December 30, 2012, 10:07:59 am
........Have you tried a side by side comparison of the accuracy of the 427098 and the 43-215C using the same load of Swiss? It seems to me that the wide lube groove would effect the streamlining of the bullet when it spun off the lube. I am talking about 200 to 300 yards.  Jubal/Paul

Jubal, I have fired both bullets out to 300 meters (327 yards) and I will say that accuracy seems to be very close to the same. Paper targets @ 200 yards - showed almost the same group size for 10 shots - 427098 - 8 of the 10 shots inside 4", 43-215C - 8 of 10 shots inside 4". All 20 shots were inside 6".

58cal,
Welcome to the forum!  Thank you for the information.

David,
Thank you for the report. Nice shooting!  Excellent!   Much, much improved as compared to your first tests. ;D
Welcome to the world of making your own bullets!  ;D

The Accurate 43-220C is a very good choice for the 44-40 in combination with Swiss powder. It follows the same design as the 427098 (Accurate 43-210B - Fairshake) but with the crimp groove added which lengthens the bullet the width of the crimp groove (.04") and increases the weight.

I would agree that the alloy was not hot enough. I would suggest to try running the 30/1 alloy at 800F - 850F . You could preheat the mold in a toaster oven to bring it up to temp so that you will eliminate most of the rejects from a cold mold start up.  I use a toaster oven set at 450F to do that. Before placing the mold into the oven I remove the screws that are used to retain the handles. I turn on the pot and oven at the same time and let them warm up for a minimum of 1/2 - 3/4 hr.

Once up to temp, I use the mold handles to remove the mold from the oven then align the holes and insert the retaining screws.
I don't have the Lee 20# pot (I have the RCBS) but I looks like it has an adjustment to control the flow. Set it so that there is a fast drip then open it slightly so that it is a solid stream. As the alloy in the pot gets lower, adjustments will need to be made to keep the stream constant.  

I have had very good luck in making very good bullets with a bottom pour pot - on bullets up to 350 gr in weight. Over that and the dipper makes better bullets. As WM indicated, if you are still having a bit of trouble, you might want to try getting and using dipper.

If the mold is clean you should not need to smoke the cavities. If you do smoke the cavities, use wooden matches rather than a lighter.

I prefer to make mold contact with the spout which I find makes the base edges nice and sharp. I do have a few molds that seem to work better if I drop pour (mold below the spout by 1/2" or so.   I do find that spout contact has worked the best for me with the Accurate molds I have. 

Regarding Swiss 1 1/2 vs 2F, I have tried both and find them to be pretty equal accuracy wise. Since I like to = original factory ballistics (1,300 f.p.s.) I use mostly Swiss 2f.  Using standard large pistol primers 35 grs = 1,309 f.p.s..  It takes 38 grs of Swiss 1 1/2 to = 1,300 f.p.s. which requires more compression, but accuracy seems to be pretty much the same. Charges are by weight.

The same volume of 1 1/2 weighs just 1/2 gr less than the 2F in the lots that I have.

Happy new year!
w44wcf
  

    
  
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: David Battersby on December 30, 2012, 12:30:33 pm

      I cast some 600 bullets yesterday afternoon and am now in the midst of pan lubing. I ran the pot at 800 degrees and preheated the mold more aggressively . Them is some purdy boolits !
 I will experiment with more 2f loads, up to at least 37 grains.
 I will post a picture of my Lee Turret Press with the modified Pro Auto Disc, the plastic hopper has been replaced with copper. It's not pretty but it works.

  The advice is very appreciated.

   David
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: wildman1 on December 30, 2012, 07:41:47 pm
w44wcf is correct. I just weighed 30gs by measure of Swiss 1.5 and it weighed 33gs. WM
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on December 31, 2012, 09:29:47 am
David,
Thank you for the update. Glad to hear that your latest casting session went better than the one previous.
"Them is some purdy bullets!"   Yes indeed! Better than store bought cast bullets. Quality can be much better too.

F.Y.I.
Chip Mate won the NRA Cowboy Silhouette Arizona State Champ with a score of 75x80 using a 44-40 Henry and 35 grs of Swiss 1 1/2 powder under a 200 gr RCBS bullet.  He does have to wipe after every 10 shots to maintain accuracy partially due to the less lube capacity of the RCBS bullet and partially because of the low humidity in the south.

Later he shot a perfect 40x40!
http://www.cascity.com/forumhall/index.php/topic,42343.0.html

Awesome shooting!
w44wcf 
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Space Cowboy on January 28, 2013, 12:28:27 am
Howdy,

Yesterday I shot my 44-40 Uberti 1873 to 100 m. I shot several 5 shot groups from a sandbag rest, the worst group was 5.7", the best was 3,3", but 4 shots from the best groups were in a 2.3" circle. I fired 25 shots with the rifle, and the best group was the 4th 5 shots. I did not clean the bore between shots, and did not use a blow tube.

(http://www.kapszli.hu/documents/wingroup.jpg)

Load: starline cases, 35gr 3Fg Swiss, Lyman 240 grain bullet sized to .427", primer: CCI 250 large pistol
Lube: mixed from 0W40 engine oil, beeswax and tallow

I am sure that this group can be improved with a better rest and diopeter sight.

I love this rifle.

cheers,
SC
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Space Cowboy on January 28, 2013, 12:31:49 am
One more thing. my rifle is sighted to 50 ms, so if I aim at the bottom of the black are the bullets fly into the ten ring. At 100 m the bullets hit the target just where I aim so trhe bullet drop between 100 and 50 m is cca 5".
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Rowdy Fulcher on January 28, 2013, 12:50:33 pm
Space Cowboy
Thanks for sharing your shooting results . Have you had a chance to try them over a chronograph . The 35 grains of 3F Swiss is a hot load .
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on January 29, 2013, 10:23:05 am
SC,
Thank you for the range report. ;D    I wonder if you sized the bullet to...say .429 or .430 (if it is large enough) if the average group size could be reduced.   I don't have a Uberti '73, but I have read that the groove diameters of those rifles are likely closer to .429" from those that have slugged their rifles.

w44wcf
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Rowdy Fulcher on January 29, 2013, 11:29:18 am
Howdy
I switched to the .429 and it printed smaller groups . The .427 worked but the .429 was better .Uberti rifles have a larger bore .
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Space Cowboy on January 29, 2013, 12:45:03 pm
Yes, the bore is .428 so theoreticall 429 bullets work better. With this load I tried the 429 bullets, but they were hard to chamber in the rifle, and sometimes impossible to chamber in my revolvers. The bullet seemd to push out the brass.

Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: griswold on January 29, 2013, 05:05:57 pm
Howdy,
Been reading all the above comments and really enjoy the testimonys and learning about everyone's testing and results concerning BP loads.

I don't know if I missed the point or what, but I noticed that most successes were with the Swiss BP loads and most were around 35grs. some were a bit higher at 37.

And I have come to learn that the magic number for velocity is around 1300 fps.

Then one fellow mentioned he loaded 40 grs highly compressed into a starline (?) case and W44wcf I believe said his notes showed this load was around 1338 fps but he noted some could be closer to 1400 fps.

Now I am confused.
One: I understood that it was difficult to impossible to load 40 grs. of BP in today's 44wcf cases. (I have loaded 40 grains in a Colt .45 case, but there is a little more room and it is quite stout with a pistol) ((Ruger Blackhawk)) I also think a heavy compression effort is a little dangerous.
Two: the original ballistics for the 1873 was around 1300 fps with 40 grs. Is this correct or just for Cowboy events?
Three: Many shooters writing here are stating their 35-37 grain loads are producing close to around 1300 fps. Is this correct?
Four: I remember, again from a old NRA article, the consensus was at that time, the old BP cartridges were heavy compressed loads. But I never read any further confirming literature.

Loading for Cowboy events I understand the 1300 limit, but what is the actual velocity limit for 44-40 BP loads?

Is the Swiss BP superior to the old time BP's? If not, what is the reasons for the discrepancy's in Velocity and powder loads? Old 44-40 data to todays loadings?
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on January 29, 2013, 08:58:44 pm
SC,
Thank you for the update. So, if the brass was a little thinner, then it would work with the .429/ .430" bullets.
Recently I ran some accuracy tests on soft, undersized bullets (.003") (50/1  lead/tin alloy) with b.p. to see how the accuracy compared with harder, .001" over groove diameter bullets. I found the accuracy to be pretty much the same (very good). ;D

The issue with the softer bullets though, is if the load requires much compression, the compression needs to be done before the bullet is seated or the bullet will be distorted.

mossback,
To help clear things up....
1,300 f.p.s. was the original cataloged velocity of the 44-40 b.p. carrtidge

Early 44-40 factory cartridges that I have dissected had .20"-.24" of compression.

It is possible to load a settled charge of 40 grs in modern brass and it will need to be compressed to at least to the above amount.
Different powders do have different densities though, so powders like Swiss and Diamondback being the most dense would be compressed less than Goex, etc. when measured by weight.

Swiss definitely works the best with the original 2 lube grooved bullet (427098) but Goex, Schuetzen, Diamondback, KIK do just fine with the Accurate 43-215C and DD's "Big Lube".

Swiss is a higher energy powder and thus it takes less than 40 grs. to reach 1,300 f.p.s. with FFG. 35 grs by weight will do it in modern brass while 37 grs. in older REM-UMC (balloon head) cases gives a bit more. (The REM-UMC cases hold 2 grs. more b.p.).

I would say that Swiss is the equal of some of the old time "Sporting" grade b.p.'s but is likely not really superior.
All had the ability to keep the fouling soft since they were moist burning. not so with Goex and similar powders.

w44wcf   

   
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Space Cowboy on January 30, 2013, 02:13:35 am
w44wcf,

I strongly beleiwe that the kick of the 35 grains Swiss BP is enoughj to upset the bullet into the rifling. I recovered some of my fired bullet and they show a complete fill. My alloy is pretty hard: 1:20 tin:lead.

SC
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: griswold on January 30, 2013, 06:23:46 pm
SC,

mossback,
To help clear things up....
1,300 f.p.s. was the original cataloged velocity of the 44-40 b.p. carrtidge

Early 44-40 factory cartridges that I have dissected had .20"-.24" of compression.

It is possible to load a settled charge of 40 grs in modern brass and it will need to be compressed to at least to the above amount.


I would say that Swiss is the equal of some of the old time "Sporting" grade b.p.'s but is likely not really superior.
All had the ability to keep the fouling soft since they were moist burning. not so with Goex and similar powders.

w44wcf   
   

W44wcf
Thanks for the education. I really like this site, mucho information.
Mossback
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on January 31, 2013, 08:48:24 pm
w44wcf,

I strongly beleiwe that the kick of the 35 grains Swiss BP is enoughj to upset the bullet into the rifling. I recovered some of my fired bullet and they show a complete fill. My alloy is pretty hard: 1:20 tin:lead.

SC

SC, Thank you for that information.  I have only experimented with softer 1 & 2 percent tin / lead bullets and have gotten complete upsets and accurate shooting with bullets that are .006" undersized so it stands to reason that a 5 percent tin / lead bullet would expand .002" and give accurate shooting. ;D

w44wcf
Title: Black Powder in the 44-40 Range Report
Post by: David Battersby on March 14, 2013, 06:31:27 pm
 I and my son shot lever action silhouette this past saturday at Atglen Sportsman Club. We both used the same rifle and ammunition trading back and forth between relays 1 and 2. I must say that at least with this rifle I have found the Holy Grail, or as my son said "this isn't a good load for this rifle, this is THE load for this rifle" Impresive would be an understatement.
 First let me say the rifle and load performed well, my score was low average for me, but when the trigger broke the bullet hit where the sights were aimed.
 The rifle is a Uberti 1873 24" straight stock rifle. Marbles tang, and 3/32 ivory bead front, sights.
 The load: Starline brass, CCI#300 primers, hand cast bullets from Accurate Molds 43-220 in 30-to1 alloy, DGL lube and Swiss FFG powder. The powder charge is 2.55cc compressed about .2 inches with a powder compression die to where the bullet base will make solid contact when seated. Bullets are then crimped with a Lee Factory Crimp Die.
 I need to/want to chronograph this load. Chickens were landing on top of the berm or imbedded into the berm. Chickens, pigs and turkeys were jumping and ringing like bells. When a neck shot on a turkey caused it to spin end-over-end I couldn't believe it. We went down range with the target setters and saw that the targets were not being damaged . They did however have large bullet splatters on them. WOW!  I can only guess the slightly heavier bullet, good velocity and soft alloy makes for high energy transfer???
 After practice, two fourty round matches and some playing around we put 120 rounds thru the rifle. I did blow from breach to bore a few times as the barrel was getting hot, but no cleaning. When all was said and done the bore looked like maybe some old RED DOT loads were fired thru it, or maybe some cheaper 22lr ammo. Very visible rifling, very thin fouling and very easy clean up. Before I put the rifle in a case I ran a very loose patch soaked with Balistol thru the bore. Four hours later at home a black slurry was easily pushed out with a tight patch. 
 Accurate, powerfull, shoots all day and easy cleanup.....thats it I'm hooked. This rifle will never see smokeless powder again ! The dirty looks and odd comments from other shooters is just icing on the cake. " hey who is shooting the howitzer down there"

     Thanks to John Kort
     Your advice and information was very helpfull and I gave you the credit to the good folks at the match, and Jack too. ;D

     Does anyone have info for the Eastern Regional Match ? I was told it is at McKean County out side of Bradford but can not find info on the web.

          Thanks to all
          David
     
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on March 16, 2013, 06:42:16 am
David,
Thank you for the great report!  ;D  Glad to hear that you are getting excellent results with the Accurate 43-220C / Swiss combination.
To date, the most rounds I have fired in a row with the 44-40 & Swiss has been about 70 or so with flawless performance throughout, soft fouling and no foul out. I suspected that many more rounds could be fired accurately and you have confirmed that.
Thank you. ;D

Bradford is holding the PA State Championship on Aug 31 (smallbore & pistol ctg.) & Sept 1 (Cowboy Rifle). They normally hold the Eastern Regional around July 4 but I have not rec'd and inormation on that yet.

w44wcf 
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Space Cowboy on March 17, 2013, 01:12:06 pm
Howdy Shooters!

I've got a new video for you about the 44-40 Ideal tool. I wonder why the bullet was so small.. Do you have any idea?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_rQNj1V1YY&feature=youtu.be[/youtube]

cheers,
SC
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Lefty Dude on March 17, 2013, 02:30:56 pm
Are you sure you have a 44WCF tool ?  The dimension suggest a 38WCF (38-40) Ideal tool .
Both calibers were chambered in the 73 at the tools time period.

However the original bore groove was tighter than the clones that are made now. I have an early mid 1980's Navy Arms (Uberti) 44WCF Carbine and the barrel is very tight, . 4245" - .425". This Rifle barrel leads very quickly if I shoot bullets sized .428". The size that is very accurate in this piece is .427".

When I received this Rifle the chamber Leade was very leaded, indicating the previous owner was using .428"-.429" sized projectiles.
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Space Cowboy on March 17, 2013, 03:25:00 pm
Are you sure you have a 44WCF tool ?  The dimension suggest a 38WCF (38-40) Ideal tool .
Both calibers were chambered in the 73 at the tools time period.

However the original bore groove was tighter than the clones that are made now. I have an early mid 1980's Navy Arms (Uberti) 44WCF Carbine and the barrel is very tight, . 4245" - .425". This Rifle barrel leads very quickly if I shoot bullets sized .428". The size that is very accurate in this piece is .427".

When I received this Rifle the chamber Leade was very leaded, indicating the previous owner was using .428"-.429" sized projectiles.

Hi Lefty!
100% sure that it is a 44-40 tool.
SC
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on March 17, 2013, 04:38:20 pm
Howdy Space Cowboy,
Thank you for that neat video using a vintage Ideal Reloading tool. ;D
I currently have an original Winchester .44 WCF mold and reloading tool along with a vintage Ideal .44-40 mold.

.424" lead bullets
Most folks probably don't realize this, but initially the lead bullet diameter for the .44-40 was .424".  
It wasn't until around 1920 when the spec was changed to.427".

Last year I tested some .424" pure lead bullets in my rifle's .428" groove diameter with Swiss FFG powder and 5 rounds went into a 1/2" group at 25 yards. ;D  In my original '73's oversized .434" barrel, they grouped into around 1".

On that occasion the  bullets were ones that I pulled from early factory b.p. cartridges.  Bullets from my vintage Winchester and Ideal tools measure closer to .426" and I was curious about the accuracy of the slightly smaller bullets in the early factory cartridges. I'll be testing them at 100 yards when the weather breaks.
 
Those were pure lead bullets and did bump up nicely to fill the larger groove diameters.

The dimensions of your tool are a bit undersized at .421". Probably not unheard of due to tool wear and the cutting cherry being resharpened.  The sizing hole is definitely way undersized so if it were me, I would try the bullets as cast only and made from a very soft alloy like 50/1 or pure lead to achieve the best bump up possible if your initial tests are not satisfactory.

w44wcf
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Space Cowboy on March 18, 2013, 02:31:12 am
Howdy Space Cowboy,
Thank you for that neat video using a vintage Ideal Reloading tool. ;D
I currently have an original Winchester .44 WCF mold and reloading tool along with a vintage Ideal .44-40 mold.

.424" lead bullets
Most folks probably don't realize this, but initially the lead bullet diameter for the .44-40 was .424".  
It wasn't until around 1920 when the spec was changed to.427".

Last year I tested some .424" pure lead bullets in my rifle's .428" groove diameter with Swiss FFG powder and 5 rounds went into a 1/2" group at 25 yards. ;D  In my original '73's oversized .434" barrel, they grouped into around 1".

On that occasion the  bullets were ones that I pulled from early factory b.p. cartridges.  Bullets from my vintage Winchester and Ideal tools measure closer to .426" and I was curious about the accuracy of the slightly smaller bullets in the early factory cartridges. I'll be testing them at 100 yards when the weather breaks.
 
Those were pure lead bullets and did bump up nicely to fill the larger groove diameters.

The dimensions of your tool are a bit undersized at .421". Probably not unheard of due to tool wear and the cutting cherry being resharpened.  The sizing hole is definitely way undersized so if it were me, I would try the bullets as cast only and made from a very soft alloy like 50/1 or pure lead to achieve the best bump up possible if your initial tests are not satisfactory.

w44wcf

Hi w44wcf,

I'll try that. The cavity in the mold is not in the best shape for sure. I made some testing again, and you were right. The bullets cast with the tool are too small, but the sizing hole is ok. I pushed thru my regular Lyman 429 bullets, and it clearly read .424!!

So the tool is good afterall, just the mold is too worn out.

Cheers,
SC
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on March 18, 2013, 08:31:57 am
Hi Space Cowboy,
Thank you or the update. Glad to hear that the sizing hole is .424".  I wonder if the bullet is .421" all around or if it is a bit out of round(?). Earlier Ideal tools did not have an alignment pin in the mold portion. Later ones did to help keep the halves in the correct alignment.

I have an Ideal tool like yours in .25-20 that did not have an alignment pin and there was a bit of looseness between the two halves, resulting in a mismatched mold. I had an alignment pin installed with the blocks accurately aligned which trued everything up.

You could add a .003" shim between the two halves and increase the bullet size to .424" at 90 degrees to the parting line. Since it looks like you drop pour, you should not get any flashing (excess lead) between the blocks.

Another thing that you could do or have done is to lap the mold to increase the bullet diameter.

Looking forward to your test results.

w44wcf


  
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Space Cowboy on March 18, 2013, 10:11:04 am
Hi Space Cowboy,
Thank you or the update. Glad to hear that the sizing hole is .424".  I wonder if the bullet is .421" all around or if it is a bit out of round(?). Earlier Ideal tools did not have an alignment pin in the mold portion. Later ones did to help keep the halves in the correct alignment.

I have an Ideal tool like yours in .25-20 that did not have an alignment pin and there was a bit of looseness between the two halves, resulting in a mismatched mold. I had an alignment pin installed with the blocks accurately aligned which trued everything up.

You could add a .003" shim between the two halves and increase the bullet size to .424" at 90 degrees to the parting line. Since it looks like you drop pour, you should not get any flashing (excess lead) between the blocks.

Another thing that you could do or have done is to lap the mold to increase the bullet diameter.

Looking forward to your test results.

w44wcf


  

Howdy w44wcf,

I think it is out of round as you said. First I will try to heat it up more and cast some bullets. Maybe the mold was not hot enough, and maybe it will be as oversized so I do not need to modify it. If not, than I will surely have to make some work on it.

Cheers,
SC
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Space Cowboy on March 18, 2013, 11:09:49 am
I heated up the mold, so I could not hold it without gloves. I think this was the best fill I could make. The bullets are oval. Seems like some material is missing from the the two mold halves. The biggest diameter I could measure was .4245 with pure lead. The smallest .4175.

Biut I'll try the bullets anyway, just for fun. :)
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on March 18, 2013, 09:28:01 pm
If the smallest diameter is measured 90 degrees from the parting line, it is very likely that when the mold was cut with the cherry, the handles were not closed completely. Thus, the cherry did not cut at its complete depth, which is unfortunate.

With the mold that out of round, lapping would not be the way to go. A good machinist could use a lathe or turntable on a mill to remove material from the mold to drop a truely round and up to spec bullet.

With the upset of b.p.,  the pure lead bullet will likely bump up to fill the grooves and may just shoot aok the way it is.

w44wcf      
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Space Cowboy on March 19, 2013, 03:37:36 pm
If the smallest diameter is measured 90 degrees from the parting line, it is very likely that when the mold was cut with the cherry, the handles were not closed completely. Thus, the cherry did not cut at its complete depth, which is unfortunate.

With the mold that out of round, lapping would not be the way to go. A good machinist could use a lathe or turntable on a mill to remove material from the mold to drop a truely round and up to spec bullet.

With the upset of b.p.,  the pure lead bullet will likely bump up to fill the grooves and may just shoot aok the way it is.

w44wcf      

Hi w44wcf,

I am not sure if I cand find someone to take care of that mold... I think I'll just use other bullets with it, and then it is fine.
By the way, I tested the cartridges compared to my target shooting BPCR ammo.- Here is range report:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_1dxTkIUHg[/youtube]

Cheers,
SC
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on March 20, 2013, 08:18:15 am
Howdy Space Cowboy,

Thank you for the excellent video comparing the results between the two bullets. As you indicated, for a bullet being oval and up to .011" undersized, they didn't group too bad at all, especially if the 1st shot which fouled the bore was discounted.

I wonder if the bullet from the Ideal tool was orientated in the chamber so that the smallest diameter was always at, say, 12:00, if they would group more consistantly(?).  That would probably close the group up some.

Nice shooting with the 240 gr. bullet. ;D  A friend has loaned me his 429667 mold to test in my .44-40 just to see how it compares, accuracy wise, to the 427098* (original .44-40 bullet) at 100 - 330 yards.  It will be a couple of months before I am able to do that.

*Fairshake version - Accurate Molds 43-210B
http://www.accuratemolds.com/bullet_detail.php?bullet=43-210B-D.png

w44wcf
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Space Cowboy on March 21, 2013, 04:39:41 am
Howdy Space Cowboy,

Thank you for the excellent video comparing the results between the two bullets. As you indicated, for a bullet being oval and up to .011" undersized, they didn't group too bad at all, especially if the 1st shot which fouled the bore was discounted.

I wonder if the bullet from the Ideal tool was orientated in the chamber so that the smallest diameter was always at, say, 12:00, if they would group more consistantly(?).  That would probably close the group up some.

Nice shooting with the 240 gr. bullet. ;D  A friend has loaned me his 429667 mold to test in my .44-40 just to see how it compares, accuracy wise, to the 427098* (original .44-40 bullet) at 100 - 330 yards.  It will be a couple of months before I am able to do that.

*Fairshake version - Accurate Molds 43-210B
http://www.accuratemolds.com/bullet_detail.php?bullet=43-210B-D.png

w44wcf

Howdy w44wcf,

We'll it worths a try but I ma not suire it will improve the group too much. The 429667 is the mold I use. I am really happy with it I have to say.

Cheers,
SC
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Dakota Ike on March 21, 2013, 09:47:58 am
Space Cowboy
Two great and informative videos.  Thanks for posting.

w44wcf
John.  Really enjoy your posts and the knowledge you share.
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Space Cowboy on April 27, 2013, 01:04:21 am
Howdy Cowboys!

I know that I am a bit of offtipic here, but I need your help. I have a Pedersoli 44-40 Lightning rifle on hand - a beautiful piece of art - and I want to reload some cartridges for accuracy for further testing. I already assembled some dummy cartridges to check what the action likes, and it seems that my standard OAL, bullet and brass for the 1873 will fit this rifle as well,. However I had to put a harder crimp on with a factory crimp die to help the cartridge chamber easily.

So to cut is short: if you have any suggestions on BP load for the Pedersoli gun, I will be thankful!

Cheers,
SC
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: El Tio Loco on April 27, 2013, 01:01:39 pm
This is a great thread if one is searching for a black powder load in the .44 wfc.  Let me add to it.

My 1873 Winchester was built in 1893.  The bore mics to .431 and has a little pitting throughout the bore.  The bore is dark but the rifling is sharp and I was hoping that it would shoot.
The cases are Remington with cci large pistol primers with 37 grains of swiss 1 1/2.  The bullet is a lyman 427098 that comes out of the mold at .428.  I sized it .428 and used SPG lube.
(http://i586.photobucket.com/albums/ss308/kennyclaverie/L1010647.jpg)
I fired a couple of shots at 25 yards to make sure that I was going to hit the target at 100 yards and then shot a five shot group at 100 yards.
The group measured 2 3/4 inches X 3 inches.  That seems really good.  Is that about right out of a 1873?  Or am I not giving these old guns enough credit.
(http://i586.photobucket.com/albums/ss308/kennyclaverie/L1010648.jpg)
Then I hit a gong with it 5 times, the gong is 10 X 8 inches.  After it cooled I shot another group and it was all over the target.  So I guess the barrel fowled with black powder residue on the pits in the barrel?
(http://i586.photobucket.com/albums/ss308/kennyclaverie/L1010649.jpg)

The bottom line is that this is so much fun.  The recoil, smoke, and clang of a target being hit with a black powder round is such a rush.  Thanks to all who contribute to this board and sharing all they know.
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: pony express on April 27, 2013, 01:14:08 pm
I wouldn't complain about 3" at 100 yards with open sights. But you could always experiment and try to do better. Maybe different sizing or bullet alloys.
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Blair on April 27, 2013, 04:35:05 pm
Space Cowboy.

I can't offer you any help on the DP Lighting Pump Action Rifles.
I did some experimenting with an original in 44-40 Colt Lighting Rifle.
I will be more than please to share what I found with you if you would like to contact me by e-mail.
Pierangelo, as you know has that contact info if you wish to contact me, or you may PM me on this web site and I will send my e-mail address to you.

As a side note here; you have provided some marvelous firearms vidios. I truly hope everybody can access these vidios.
My best,
  Blair
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: El Tio Loco on April 27, 2013, 07:35:05 pm
I am very happy with a 3" group @ 100 yards, but I wished it stayed together for more shots.  Maybe if I used softer lead instead of wheel weight lead or a bullet with more lube.

Ken
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: wildman1 on April 27, 2013, 09:49:06 pm
WW bullets should be fine. You could try a blowtube if you wait a while between groups or just run a wet patch down the bore. Swiss powder also works very well. WM
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on April 27, 2013, 10:40:48 pm
Space Cowboy,
I have no experience with the Colt Lightning but I do know that early on, cartridges were headstamped .44-40 CLMR. THey contained a 217 gr bullet over 40 grs of b.p.  The Lyman 427098 is a replication of that bullet so if I had a Lightning rifle, I would use that bullet to replicate history (being the history "nut" that I am).

Dimensionally, the standard .44-40 and .44-40 CLMR cartridges were the same. I guess that U.M.C. decided to headstamp cartridges specifically for the rifle intended.

Cheers,
w44wcf 
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on April 27, 2013, 10:57:21 pm
El Tio Loco,
Yes indeed, a 3" group at 100 yards is very good...for a vintage Winchester with less than a perfect bore shooting b.p. ;D

My original '73 Winchester (1882 mfg) has an oversized barrel as well (.435" avg). With 427098 bullets at .436" diameter, using Swiss 2F / CCI 300 primers / SPG, it will shoot about 16 rounds before accuracy starts to deteriorate.

Perhaps the fact that your bullets are made from w.w. and are .003" under groove diameter, may cause the earlier loss of accuracy.
For me, at least, w.w. are a bit too hard to bump up adequately. I would suggest mixing w.w. with lead (if you have some) 50/50 or trying some bullets from pure lead, but you would have to pre compress the powder before seating the pure lead  bullets. You could use your neck expander for that.

The other option is to acquire a mold that would make bullets of at least .431" (.432" would be better) if the chanber would accept a cartridge with a bullet of that diameter. I am lucky in that my '73 will accept a cartridge with a bullet large enough to fill the groove.

I did try the 43-215C bullet which holds additional lube in my '73 and that extended the accurate shooting to 30+ rounds in the rough barrel with Swiss powder.

w44wcf
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: El Tio Loco on April 28, 2013, 03:52:51 pm
w44wcf,

Thanks for the reply and the advice. 

I was hoping that the ww bullets would bump up enough to fill in the rifling, apparently thats not happening.  The next step for me is to cast some softer bullets.  Because I am trying to find a load that will work in all my .44's, I am shying away from casting a bigger bullet (My two pistols and my Uberti carbine have .428 bores). 

Ken





Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Sir Charles deMouton-Black on April 28, 2013, 04:18:01 pm
Here is an article with several tips, including advice on how to BEAGLE a mould. You use heat resistant tape to keep the mould from completely closing.  This results in larger bullets of a desired size.

http://www.lasc.us/Brennan_4-0_ModifyCastBullets.htm
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: El Tio Loco on April 28, 2013, 10:44:05 pm
Sir Charles deMouton-Black,

Thanks for the article.  I didn't know you could BEAGLE a mold.

I will try the softer lead first and see how that goes and if I have no improvement I will try a bigger bullet.  If I make a bunch of changes at the same time I won't know which one worked.

Ken
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Sir Charles deMouton-Black on April 29, 2013, 09:14:24 am
The originator of this technique is John Goins, aka Beagle.  Here is his article also linked in The open range, in the Casting and Reloading Library;

http://hgmould.gunloads.com/casting/bulletdiameterenlargement.htm

If you haven't visited our sister board, yet, you owe it to yourself; 

www.theopenrange.net
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on April 30, 2013, 07:31:26 am
El Tio Loco,

Here is a target, although at a shorter distance, that illustrates the accuracy of an undersized pure lead bullet and b.p.
The cartridges were early .44-40 b.p. rounds.  I needed to replace the mercuric primers since they were dead, so I dissected the cartridges, replaced the primers, then reassembled the cartridges after replacing the dried out lube with SPG.

Interestingly, early .44-40 bullets were cataloged at .424" diameter so .423" is pretty close and were possibly sized down a bit in the original loading process when seated in the cases.  It wasn't until the 1920's when I found reference to the bullet size being changed to .427".
  
The rifle indicated does have a very good bore.

(http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o25/w30wcf/Leverguns/bp1894M423bullet.jpg)

Prior to the advent of smokeless powder and jacketed bullets, barrel groove diameters were known to be less consistant because the factories knew that soft lead bullets and black powder would shoot accurately pretty much regardless of the groove / bore diameter, which as this target indicates, they do. ;D

w44wcf
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: El Tio Loco on May 01, 2013, 08:50:37 pm
Sir Charles deMouten-black,

Thanks for the link to the Open Range board.  I didn't know about that one. 

This week I will be casting some bullets and will try to BEAGLE my mold.  I hope I am not barking up the wrong tree. (sorry)

Ken
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: El Tio Loco on May 01, 2013, 09:04:49 pm
w44wcf,

A few days ago I shot a 20 shot string with my 1873 with the same load to see what it would do.  It might not mean anything but the first 4 shots spread out into a 8 inch group and then clustered 6 shots into a 2 1/2" group at 3 o'clock and then walked the other shots down, the last 5 or 6 shots grouping into 3" at 6 o'clock.  

This week I will be casting some pure lead bullets and give that a go.  I also bought some aluminum adhesive tape and will try and BEAGLE my mold to make a larger bullet.

That's a really nice target that you shot with your Marlin.  It's to bad Marlin quite making their 1894 in .44 wcf.  Why wouldn't everyone want one.

Ken
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on May 05, 2013, 06:48:05 am
El Tio Loco,
Thank you for the update. Sounds like things have improved. I wonder if some of the bullets in the first 4 shots were less than good (?) or the bore was being normalized from the cleaning solvent left in it (?).

For the best group results I visually inspect every bullet all over and weigh each one, using only those that weigh + - .3 grs. to determine a particular recipe's accuracy.

Regarding the different grouping locations,  perhaps barrel heat might have played a role.  I would try waiting at least 1 minute between shots and see what happens.

My older eyes don't give me the capability of shooting the best groups over open sights anymore so my leverguns are mostly equiped with tang or receiver sights. On the couple that do have open sights I find that if I place a pressure sensitive label with a 1/16" hole over the rear sight, I can do almost as well as with aperature sights,

Yes, it is too bad that Marlin no longers offers their 1894 Cowboy Rifle and the ones being sold are bringing 2+x what they sold for originally.

w44wcf  
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: 58cal on May 05, 2013, 01:16:59 pm
Hi John. Read your post about labels. I use gorilla tape but  am not that happy with it

Which pressure sensitive labels do you recommend?

Thanks

Mike
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Space Cowboy on May 28, 2013, 12:06:15 pm
Howdy Folks!

In have some presentation for you. Ok it is not an 1873 Winchester, but a Lightning, but the cartridge is loaded with BP as usual. Here is some fun and reloading:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qGvs3u6esc[/youtube]

I tried the Lyman heavy bullet + 30 grains of 3Fg Swiss load. Promissing, very promissing!

Cheers,
SC
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on May 30, 2013, 10:04:36 pm
SC,
Nicely done!  ;D  Very informative.  ;D Thank you. 

I did try the 429667 at 300 meters  recently and it shot well with bullets impacting in 6-7"  ;D

I used a Marlin though and with a 10X scope for the best possible results.
I used 30/Swiss FFFG and also tried 32 Swiss FFG. I also tried 35/ Swiss FFG but with the bllet seated to crimp in the crimp groove which feeds fine in the marlin but is too long to feed in a '73.  They grouped well also but the impact was just ove the top of the Javelinas back. 
http://www.marlinowners.com/forum/team-44-40/118717-240-gr-bullets-44-40-a.html

fun, fun, fun!

w44wcf
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Bryan Austin on June 10, 2013, 09:36:16 pm
As you can tell, I am trying to catch up on this information.
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: 58cal on June 23, 2013, 08:26:19 pm
With a lot of guidance from John, I shot this group today

Thanks
58cal
Mike Arthur
N-SSA
Charleston, SC
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Bryan Austin on June 23, 2013, 08:55:10 pm
Sweet  :D
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Coal Creek Griff on June 23, 2013, 09:05:25 pm
Well done!  No one could complain about that!

CC Griff
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: ndnchf on April 17, 2014, 06:59:28 am
Now that I have my 1892 vintage '73 carbine back from John Taylor with a new barrel, I decided to re-read this outstanding thread.  The information and experience shared by w44wcf and others is nothing short of incredible.  This really ought to be a "sticky" and a must read for anyone shooting the .44WCF. 

I have some 427098 bullets in 20-1, sized to .428".  The bore of my rebarreled carbine is .4295".  I was thinking these would be too small and not worth the bother of loading.  But after re-reading this thread, I'll load them with 35gr of Swiss 2F and see if they will bump up enough to shoot accurately.

One question I didn't see in this thread (but I could have missed it) is what is the expected velocity difference between a 24" rifle barrel vs a 20" carbine barrel?  1300fps seems to to be the original BP rifle velocity. All things being equal, what can be expected with the same load in a carbine?
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: King Medallion on April 17, 2014, 07:33:58 am
One dead deer per shot.  ;D
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: ndnchf on April 17, 2014, 05:30:47 pm
One dead deer per shot.  ;D

You got that right pard!  I'm just thinking that with a carbine, it would take a couple milliseconds longer to do the job compared to a 24" barreled rifle.  I'm not an overly patient man, but I think I can stand the wait ;D
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: dusty texian on April 17, 2014, 06:24:36 pm
Glad Y'all fired this one back up. I should be through with the stock work on my 1873SRC 44/40 soon and get it on the bench . ndnchf lookin forward to a range report on that re-barreled SRC . Hope it shoot's good as it look's,,,,,,,,Dusty
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on April 17, 2014, 06:46:57 pm
..........I have some 427098 bullets in 20-1, sized to .428".  The bore of my rebarreled carbine is .4295".  I was thinking these would be too small and not worth the bother of loading.  But after re-reading this thread, I'll load them with 35gr of Swiss 2F and see if they will bump up enough to shoot accurately.

One question I didn't see in this thread (but I could have missed it) is what is the expected velocity difference between a 24" rifle barrel vs a 20" carbine barrel?  1300fps seems to to be the original BP rifle velocity. All things being equal, what can be expected with the same load in a carbine?

ndnchf,
The difference in velocity between my '73 Short Rifle (21" barrel) and my 24" barrel was, surprisingly,  only 19 f.p.s. when I did the comparison several years ago (1,334 vs 1,315). That was with a full charge of 40 grs. of Swiss FFG (purchased in 2000) in vintage Rem-Umc SHBP (Solid Head Button Pocket aka balloon head) cases with Remington  2 1/2 primers.  

Based on that, a 20" barrel should only be about 25 - 30 f.p.s. less than a 24".  Of course, different rifles, different results.....

It will be interesting to see if the 20/1 alloy bumps up aok.   I did try 20/1 years ago but the difference between the bullet and groove diameter was greater at close to .005".  In that instance I did find that 50/1 did work better, producing better groups.

PLease let us know how your testing goes.

Thank you,
w44wcf  

 
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: ndnchf on April 17, 2014, 07:32:39 pm
Thanks guys. These are old 427098 bullets I've had laying around.  The SPG was pretty dry, so I freshened up the lube and loaded up 20 rounds with 35gr of Swiss 2F with CCI LP primers in Starline cases.  Due to an Easter family gathering, I won't get to the range until next week.  But I wanted to get some loaded before my loading room changes over to the buffet room for 30 people  ;)    I'd prefer a .430" bullet, but it will be interesting to see how these do.
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Rowdy Fulcher on April 17, 2014, 08:47:44 pm
Howdy
The Swiss is clean burning powder , for black powder . If your wanting a good Vintage Hunting round the Swiss is the way to go .
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on April 22, 2014, 07:14:34 am
Thanks guys. These are old 427098 bullets I've had laying around.  The SPG was pretty dry, so I freshened up the lube and loaded up 20 rounds with 35gr of Swiss 2F with CCI LP primers in Starline cases.  Due to an Easter family gathering, I won't get to the range until next week.  But I wanted to get some loaded before my loading room changes over to the buffet room for 30 people  ;)    I'd prefer a .430" bullet, but it will be interesting to see how these do.

ndnchf,
Since they are "old", it would be interesting to see what the actual BHN is since Lead/Tin alloys soften over time.  In other words, it might be that the "old" bullets may have softened to the equivalent of freshly cast 40/1 or 50/1 bullets ......

Happy Easter
He has risen!

w44wcf
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: ndnchf on April 22, 2014, 12:05:33 pm
ndnchf,
Since they are "old", it would be interesting to see what the actual BHN is since Lead/Tin alloys soften over time.  In other words, it might be that the "old" bullets may have softened to the equivalent of freshly cast 40/1 or 50/1 bullets ......

Happy Easter
He has risen!

w44wcf

Well "old" is a relative term, but in this case they are aorund 8 years old I think.  Is that enough time to soften up?  Unfortunately I don't have a hardness tester, but hope to get to the range later in the week and try them out.
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on April 23, 2014, 07:13:27 am
ndnchf,
If you have a pure lead bullet or some other form of pure  lead that has a flat surface, and a steel ball 1/4"-3/8" in size. place the steel ball between the 20/1 bullet flat nose and the pure lead.  Press them together so the the indent diameter in the pure lead is at least .200".  Then measure the indent diameter in the bullet.  Based on that diameter, I can let you know what the BHN is.

Are those bullets that you had cast or ones you purchased?

w44wcf 
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: ndnchf on April 23, 2014, 09:45:32 am
w44wcf - I've not heard of doing a comparison like that, but I'll  see what I can come up with and let you know.  I think I bought these bullets from Buffalo Arms, since I didn't have this mold.
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: ndnchf on April 24, 2014, 06:09:53 pm
I took my newly rebarreled 1873 carbine to the range today and tried out 20 rounds of 44wcf loaded with 35 gr of Swiss 2F, and Lyman 427098 bullets lubed with SPG.  I shot over the chrono as I was curious of the velocity.  The average velocity was 1235 fps out of my 20" barrel.  These bullets were sized to .428" previously and my groove size is around .4295", so they are a bit undersized.  They averaged about 1.5" groups @25 yards.  Nothing special, but I'm sure it can do better with .430" bullets.  I'm spoiled having tang sights on most of my rifles, except this one.  The original rear sight has a very small V notch that makes it difficult to sight with my aging eyes.  But I figure this to be for close range use anyway, and it will do fine for that.

Here's a better photo of it wearing it's new barrel by John Taylor.

   (http://i1277.photobucket.com/albums/y493/ndnchf/BPCR/rebarreled1873carbine_zpsa47a207f.jpg) (http://s1277.photobucket.com/user/ndnchf/media/BPCR/rebarreled1873carbine_zpsa47a207f.jpg.html)

The rifles functions flawlessly, is smooth and is easy on the eyes ;D
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: dusty texian on April 24, 2014, 06:15:52 pm
Very Cool ndnchf. The SRC range day has been long awaited. Good to see it ,Look's Mighty Good,,,,,,Dusty
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: Cliff Fendley on April 24, 2014, 07:07:45 pm
Nice rifle
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: w44wcf on April 24, 2014, 08:57:52 pm
ndnchf,
Thank you for the range report.  Very neat looking piece of Winchester history you have.  ;D

Based on your sight set up and older eyes, I would say that 1 1/2" groups at 25 yards is very good. My '73 wears a tang sight and definitely groups better with my older eyes than when it had the same narrow sights as yours.

Original factory .44 W.C.F. ammunition available at the time your rifle was made was loaded with .424" pure lead bullets and shot well in a variety of bores since the soft elastic bullet would form a perfect fit to the barrel upon ignition of the b.p.

(http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o25/w30wcf/Leverguns/bp1894M423bullet.jpg)

Consider the 30 shot target illustrated in the 1875 Winchester Catalog.  All rounds inside of 4" at 110 yards using factory ammunition. "Doc" Pardee said that the Winchester was steady in her performace........

For the best grouping results with cast bullets (The Winchester & UMC lead bullets were swaged.) I set any aside with visual defects and weigh within + 0 -  1/2 gr on a 200 gr. bullet.  That's as close as one can get to the swaged Winchester & UMC bullets.  Alloy shuld be no harder than 50/1.

Otherwise, the best groups will not be realized even with the proper sized bullets.

If you wanted to try larger bullets you could add another  2 grs or so of  powder and compress it with the bullet, which, if soft enough, will increase in diameter. A measure of the diameter of the outside of the case neck as compared to current will tell if the bullet diameter has increased.  Once you get it to the right diameter make sure that the increased neck diameter will still fit the chamber before loading a quantity.

I would say, though, that based on your results, the  bullet is bumping up to be a snug fit in the barrel.  Loading the best bullets (no flaws, weight variance heaviest - 1/2 grs. will improve the grouping ...... better sights would also help.

w44wcf

    

  
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: ndnchf on April 25, 2014, 06:49:15 am
If the tang were drilled and tapped for a tang sight, I'd put one on it.  But its not and I don't want to alter it.  The new barrel has a new front sight that looks fine, but John left it as is so I could file it as needed.  Its a square profile and trying to fit that into the tiny V notch in the rear is hard.  I'm going to look close at the original front sight and try to contour the new one similar to it.  I use a Merit Optical attachment for my eyegasses, that helps somewhat.  Its about the closest thing to a tang sight I can get.

I don't have a 427098 mold, but I do have a 44 Mav Dutch mold that throws a .433" bullet that I can size down to .430".  This is what I will work with next.  While perhaps not as accurate at long range as the 427098, for the ranges I'll be shooting the carbine I think it will be just fine and carry plenty of lube for shooting any kind of BP.  I'll make some of a softer alloy, maybe 40:1 and see how they do. 

I've got Winchester, Starline and RP brass.  Which typically has the thinnest necks?  With the larger bullet, I may need to use the thinnest brass available to chamber.
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: King Medallion on April 25, 2014, 06:07:01 pm
Winchester brass will be the thinnest.
Title: Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
Post by: ndnchf on April 26, 2014, 06:38:47 pm
It was a nice day so I set up my lead pot and cast a batch of 44 Mav bullets in 40:1.  They came out at .431" and I sized them to .430".  I lubed them with SPG and loaded them with 33gr of Goex 2F in Winchester cases. At .430 they were a close fit in the cases, but after running them through a Redding profile crimp die, they chamber freely. Maybe the next batch I'll try sizing to .429". With the soft alloy, I think they will still work well.
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