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CAS TOPICS => The Powder Room - CAS reloading => Topic started by: M113A3 on May 14, 2017, 07:37:52 pm

Title: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: M113A3 on May 14, 2017, 07:37:52 pm
Hi All,

Some time ago I wanted to start reloading which was put on hold until recently. I am just starting to go step by step through the process and wanted to check in with some of you old hands.

Cases areMagtech (once fired)
Dies are RCBS Cowboy Dies
Bullets are Badman 44-40 RNFP .428

Here are the steps so far for 5 test cases.
1) decap with Lee universal die
2) clean
3) size (they measure 1.293 except for one which is closer to 1.292)
4) expand

The photo shows how the bullet seats by hand with each one of the five fitting exactly the same way. In looking back at the LYMAN manual I am using which says trim to length 1.295. My question is that only information for their test cartridges or is my brass too short?

I know this likely sounds a bit silly to so of you but I am just taking small steps to learn the process and have fun while doing so.

BTW is this the correct for the bullet to seat that this depth to get it started correctly?

(http://i66.tinypic.com/166lqa8.jpg)
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: August on May 14, 2017, 08:22:18 pm
Absolutely not.  The ring near the front end of the bullet is the crimp groove.  You MUST put the case mouth into that groove with a solid roll crimp.  The bullet is designed to work in period correct firearms with it seated and crimped to that point.  

Most of the bullet will be down, inside the case when properly seated.  

If you don't seat to the designed crimp groove, the round will not work in your guns -- heck, you won't even be able to get it into your chambers.

All the Winchester Center Fire calibers (44'40, 38/40, and 32-20) must be loaded this way.

The case mouth will "taper" down into that groove and have a solid mating with the forward edge of the groove when properly seated and crimped.  It is called roll-crimp precisely because the case mouth is rolled into the groove on the bullet.  This crimp achieves a solid connection between the bullet and the case which will prevent movement when using the rounds in a firearm in the field.  It is the only thing holding the bullet in proper relationship to the case as neck tension is practically non-existent in this round.  If the bullet should move back, into the case inadvertently, it can jamb the gun and/or cause serious over-pressure issues with the round (i.e. kaboom).

p.s. no trimming of the cases is typically needed to achieve correct results.  The belling operation is very important for getting bullets properly seated in this caliber.  And, adjusting the seating/crimp die to make a good crimp without shaving lead off the bullet is tricky -- but possible.  Some guys separate seating and crimping in this caliber.  But, my experience is that its possible to do both operations at one station by making very precise adjustments to the seating/crimping die.

(https://www.mikedudleyweapons.com/s/cc_images/cache_942199231.jpg?t=1423611435)

(http://www.oldmissourihillbilly.com/images/Roll%20Crimp.jpg)
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: Baltimore Ed on May 14, 2017, 08:30:49 pm
Good start, don't worry about the case headstamp or case length. It's cas, targets are way big and way close. The small differences in the brass won't really matter, the overall loaded cartridge length is whats important. And that is dependent upon the particular rifle you're using. Some are case length sensitive and others not so much. Just be sure to get a good crimp into the crimp groove to keep the bullet from being pushed back into the case during recoil and your magazine tube is loaded with 10 rds. This event will wreck a stage if not the match. It won't hurt your rifle but is a pita to fix. Never happened to me but I've seen it happen to others. Good luck.
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: Back Roads on May 14, 2017, 09:43:23 pm
If your bullet starts the way the picture shows then your good to go. Go ahead and finish seating the bullet to the crimp groove. Make sure you drop the powder before seating. Keep the bullet straight. A 44-40 case mouth is pretty thin and will deform easily. Just make sure your case is seated in the shell holder completely and take your time and everything should go well.

Back Roads
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: wildman1 on May 14, 2017, 09:49:58 pm
If you find your bullet goes a little crooked or shaves lead off one side you may want to bell the case mouth a little more so it seats a little easier.
wM1
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: M113A3 on May 14, 2017, 10:00:22 pm
Thanks guys! Like I said small steps as I learn the process...

August - thanks for the cautionary note and pictures. The example I posted was just the test fit of the bullet in the case to get it started.

I have not put in a primer nor powder at this point. Those will me next steps...

Thanks all!
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: PJ Hardtack on May 15, 2017, 11:51:55 am
Most bullets have a slight bevel to the base. If you can just get the bottom of your bullet started in the case mouth, you have sufficient belling. More will just accellerate case wear. Your picture shows you have that.

You didn't mention your reloading press. Whether it's a progressive or single stage press, you are well advised to crimp as a separate step.
Some use a Lee "factory crimp" die as well, particularly for 44-40 revolvers, some of which have tight chambers. Rifles tend to eat anything.

I lube and size/deprime all my 44-40 brass before running it through my Dillon. Bit of a chore, but I get the ammo quality I want.
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: Coffinmaker on May 15, 2017, 03:54:00 pm
Wait a minute there PJ, ......
You Lube, Size, and De-Prime ....... BEFORE?? ...... running it through your Dillon???  I mean it's really none of my business, but ................ Isn't that what the first position on a Dillion is for??  Well, to resize and De-Prime.  Squirt the lube on prior of course.  Well, anyway, 44-40 or 38-40 or 32-20 can be a challenge to load.  After a little trial and error ..... easy peasy. 

I do fully agree with, recommend, confirm, suggest, and put fourth "crimp as a separate step."  It may be found the RCBS Cowboy "seat it, crimp it, spit it out, die will crush a bunch of 44-40 cases.  Personally, I like "Redding Profile Crimp" dies.  Doesn't mean they are the Be All, End All, worlds best, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera (famous movie line), just that I like em.  Lee "Factory Crimp" is pretty good too (I have heard) although I have never own'd one.

Take your time.  Don't use CCI primers for anything and if your not sure ....... ask.

Coffinmaker
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: Baltimore Ed on May 15, 2017, 04:04:05 pm
Coffinmaker, What's wrong with CCI primers? They're the only ones that I ever use. Except when I couldn't find them and have had to use Winchesters. And my other question as I also have recently started loading 44-40 for my 73 musket is why aren't there carbide dies for 44-40?
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: Coffinmaker on May 15, 2017, 04:22:52 pm
Ah, happy that you should ask Padawan..........

First.  I happen to be opinionated (no, really, it's true) and spent many lustrum building competition guns just for CAS activity.  Many of my victims er .. Customers, request the lightest possible function in a never ending quest for ......... SPEED.  It was found, CCI, having the hardest cup material were the hardest primers to ignite with the the feather light springs usually requested.  Federals were the easiest.
Therefore, guns were built to be "Federal Primer" specific.  Now, before we start throwing cream pies, that's actually pretty STUPID.  But, what Lola wants, Lola gets ('nother famous line from something). SO:

If your running anything other than OEM Main Springs, don't run CCI primers.  Well, lightly massaged Main Springs would be OK too.

Next up for bids .........

44-40 is a tapered case.  It's smaller at the mouth than the base.  Or target at the base than the mouth, depending on whether your looking up .... or down.  The KEY is ...... tapered.  Tungsten Carbide dies only have a small "ring" of actual TC at the base of the die.  That small ring only works on STRAIGHT wall cases.  Nobody makes an entire Die out of TC and I'm not sure it would work if they did and I know we couldn't afford a solid TC die.  Burma Shave.

Coffinmaker

Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: Baltimore Ed on May 15, 2017, 05:20:14 pm
Thanks for 'splaning about the carbide die. They are a definite labor saver, shame they won't work on bottleneck cartridges. As to the primers I'm not a gamer so I didn't know that gamer primer stuff. I will admit that I have cut a coil or two from a mainspring but in my defense I am and have always shot duelist. And finally and most important, how do you know my wife Lola, sir! I've been married to her for almost 40 years and shes never mentioned dating any carpenters/ undertakers who construct coffins. Do we need to meet at high noon in CAS City's Main St so that I can defend her honor? Name your weapon and second.
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: Baltimore Ed on May 15, 2017, 05:39:49 pm
Here's Lola and my grandson Ethan in their fancy duds at the Wyoming State shoot about 10 yrs ago. My apologies to the op for getting off subject here. And you are certainly right 'whatever Lola wants, Lola gets' . It's from the film 'Damn Yankees'.
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: M113A3 on May 16, 2017, 11:20:30 pm
Thanks for all the replies even those off topic as they add a bit of flavor  ;D

PJ I am using a Rock Chucker and I do have a Lee factory die to do the crimp as a separate step. When I first started researching reloading the 44WCF\44-40 the rational made sense to me.

As for the primers and the reason why not to use them I would agree. I learned that from a guy not all that long ago at Clarks Custom Guns. Federal seem to be the better choice for a race gun.

I will keep you all posted on my progress... I hope to have time this weekend to take a few more step down the reloading road.

Cheers!
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: Jake C on May 17, 2017, 10:43:55 am
So dumb question here, but say one is using the RCBS cowboy dies for .44-40. How would one go about seating the bullet but not crimping it? If I recall, the cowboy dies do both in the same step. I'm assuming one would have to adjust the die a bit, get it to seat but no more?

Not an issue for me yet, since I don't have a .44-40, but one day I will, so I figure it doesn't hurt to ask.
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: Coal Creek Griff on May 17, 2017, 11:04:42 am
That is a simple die adjustment. The die body is simply not screwed down far enough to crimp, but the seating stem is adjusted to properly seat the bullet.

CC Griff
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: Trailrider on May 17, 2017, 11:10:30 am
Just MHO, but I have been loading .44-40 for at least 20 years, using an RCBS Model B, Junior press that is about 55 years old.  I use regular RCBS dies, which sizes the case down enough for .427" bullets behind where the base of the bullet comes. However, since I use .430" bullets, I have substituted the expander plug from .44 Magnum dies (the plug body has the same threads as the main die body, and I use double locking rings to maintain the adjustment in case I want to go back to the original expander plug for smaller bullets). I seat and crimp in one step using the RCBS die adjusted to put a visible roll crimp of the case mouth into the crimp groove in the bullet, but not so much crimp to collapse the thin Winchester brass case.  I use Winchester Large Pistol Primers exclusively.

It takes a little patience to get your dies adjusted properly, but once done loading .44-40 is pretty easy.
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: M113A3 on May 17, 2017, 07:47:16 pm
Ok I ran into my first issue and need some advice. I decided to check to see if the case with a chamber checker from EGW and discovered that the last 20% stops. I wanted to check before I started to prime the cases.

So did I not set up the resizing die correctly  ???
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: mehavey on May 18, 2017, 12:23:13 am
SIZING:
Screw the die down to firmly contact the shellholder.*  Lock it.  You will be good-to-go w/ a full-length resize.

SEATING:


1.  A case just flared enough that about a dime's worth of straight shank will start is perfect.  Your pic is good-to-go.

2.  You can (and I do) seat/crimp in one step.  A cast bullet's crimp groove (as in the one shown) is designed for that.
     - For the first bullet, seat the bullet to cover about 90% of the groove without any crimp.
     - Unscrew the seating stem 2-3 full turns, and then screw the die body down to where you get a decent crimp. Lock the die.
     - With the cartridge still fully rammed up into the seater/crimp die, screw the seating stem down to make firm (not gorilla)
       contact with the bullet.  Lock the stem.

3.  You may now seat/crimp all remaining bullets in one step w/o any fear of collapsing the case.



* (The 44-40 case is not stiff enough to spring the press.  Firm shellholder contact is all that's needed.)
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: M113A3 on May 18, 2017, 10:44:07 pm
Thanks mehavey for the tip. I rechecked the sizing die and it only needed a slight adjustment so that all the cases drop in perfectly into the chamber checker.

BUT... it turns out my issue is with the expanding die.  I took the first resized case and checked to see if the bullet would seat and found I needed to use the expander. Once done I rechecked the case in the chamber checker and was back to where I started. 

So the expanding die needs adjustment. The problem is I am not exactly sure what since I followed the instructions exactly i.e. the die touches the shell holder at the top of the stroke. It belled the case mouth perfectly yet some how is causing the problem

Thoughts anyone ???
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: Baltimore Ed on May 18, 2017, 11:23:35 pm
The case probably won't go into your gauge expanded but once you've seated and crimped the bullet should go in your gauge again. Maybe your expander die is set too low and is deforming the brass. There is no set depth on the expander die body as you simply screw your expander plug in enough to slightly bell the mouth of the case. Sounds like the die maybe is set too deep. Only the sizer die and crimping/seater die have to be at the exact correct depth to do the jobs they do. The crimp/seat die is sometimes difficult to get right as the bullet gets pushed down while the case is raised and at the top of the rams stroke the case is at the step of the die that crimps the brass and the bullet is pushed deep enough for the case crimp to go into the bullets crimp groove. Hope this helps.
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: PJ Hardtack on May 19, 2017, 10:05:12 am
Old habit. I used to fastidiously wipe off the spray on lube before proceeding to avoid primer contamination. I've since cut the lube with alcohol so it dries PDQ. I could start off with the first position on the Dillon.


Wait a minute there PJ, ......
You Lube, Size, and De-Prime ....... BEFORE?? ...... running it through your Dillon???  I mean it's really none of my business, but ................ Isn't that what the first position on a Dillion is for??  Well, to resize and De-Prime.  Squirt the lube on prior of course.  Well, anyway, 44-40 or 38-40 or 32-20 can be a challenge to load.  After a little trial and error ..... easy peasy. 

Coffinmaker
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: Coffinmaker on May 19, 2017, 05:12:23 pm
Well Heck PJ.

I admit I'm lazy.  I don't like extra steps.  At'z why a run two progressive presses.  One for small primers and one for biggies.  Just move my stool.  I digress.  Only a little.  Extra steps.  Nada.  None.  Zero.  Piffit.  I dump all my cases inna box wid a lid (shoe box), squirt the lube lightly, close the lid and shake ..... dump inna collimator (case feeder) and go.  After the turret fills, every cycle of the handle pops out a loaded round.  Once properly adjusted, even 44-40.

Coffinmaker
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: M113A3 on May 19, 2017, 10:45:09 pm
Thanks Baltimore Ed.

One more question I ordered the wrong primers Fed #155 vs. 150 which is what the manual says... since there are no returns should I just order the correct ones or is it safe to use them?

Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: Baltimore Ed on May 19, 2017, 11:31:06 pm
Federal 155 primers are magnum primers. The only time I've used magnums was during the primer shortage when they were all I could find. I had to tweek my recipes until they were gone and then I went back to my usual. The 150s are standard. Find some standard primers until you get more comfortable reloading. You don't need extra variables in whatever load you are working up. I've been using CCI or Winchester large pistol primers in my .44-40 with no issues. When you start attending shoots you should be able to sell or swap the mags for standards with no problems.
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: mehavey on May 19, 2017, 11:39:30 pm
You're not going to run into pressure problems using mag primers
if you're loading anywhere near standard 44-40 loadouts.  Use`em.

BTW: What powder/load are you contemplating ?
         (200gr bullet/8.0gr UNIQUE is a standard)

BTW#2:  I note Badaman advertises "hard-cast", but doesn't specify
             just "what" hardness that is.  FWIW, soft is good is
             future buys.  (Remember http://i67.tinypic.com/ny8qva.jpg.
             That 30-1 alloy is not much harder than pure lead.)
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: PJ Hardtack on May 20, 2017, 02:47:13 pm
I've got a pair of Dillons as well; one older model without removable tool head and a 550B that does. The older model is dedicated to .38 Spl. but I have extra tool heads for 9mm, .45 ACP, .44 Russian, .44 Spl. .45 Colt and 44-40 c/w powders measusres .

I'm thinking that I  need at least one more Dillon .....

I may try your squirt lube method using a plastic bag.


Well Heck PJ.

I admit I'm lazy.  I don't like extra steps.  At'z why a run two progressive presses.  One for small primers and one for biggies.  Just move my stool.  I digress.  Only a little.  Extra steps.  Nada.  None.  Zero.  Piffit.  I dump all my cases inna box wid a lid (shoe box), squirt the lube lightly, close the lid and shake ..... dump inna collimator (case feeder) and go.  After the turret fills, every cycle of the handle pops out a loaded round.  Once properly adjusted, even 44-40.

Coffinmaker
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: M113A3 on May 20, 2017, 09:22:42 pm
Mehavey - I am starting from the beginning so 6.9gr Unique and 15.0gr IMR-4227 which are the two I currently have.

As for hardness I found on the website it is 15 BHN is the stat provided. This is something I have not considered... is this to hard for current production 1873 and a Schofield?

Since I will not be casting my own I am open to suggestions for who to buy bullets from.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: mehavey on May 20, 2017, 10:53:08 pm
#2 will likely serve ... but I recommend you work your way up to the 8gr/Unique standard "quickly" before making follow-on decisions.  The faster/higher pressure rise will help ensure best bump-up to fill the bore.

... ditto for the Schofield.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Try http://cowboybullets.com/44-Caliber_c_10.html for softer bullets downstream and see how they work for you (8-9 Brinnel). 
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: M113A3 on May 21, 2017, 12:19:46 am
Thanks - for the link. As for the bump up I hope there will not be too much leading in my future due to the pressure being too low for the hardness of the bullets I have.

I will order a sample to test from Desperado.

Thanks Again.
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: Baltimore Ed on May 21, 2017, 08:11:38 am
We think alike Coffinmaker, my bench has 3 progressive presses, a Dillon for .45 acp/ar, a modified Lyman turret for .45 LC and another Lyman for .38/.357 mag and anything else. I also load .44-40 on the .45 LC press and use the same powder set up, 5.2 grs of clays or clay dot. I just swap dies. I use a Dillon powder measure on my turret so all I do is raise the ram and dump the powder. Easy.

I admit I'm lazy.  I don't like extra steps.  At'z why a run two progressive presses.  One for small primers and one for biggies.  Just move my stool.  I digress.  Only a little.  Extra steps.  Nada.  None.  Zero.  Piffit.  I dump all my cases inna box wid a lid (shoe box), squirt the lube lightly, close the lid and shake ..... dump inna collimator (case feeder) and go.  After the turret fills, every cycle of the handle pops out a loaded round.  Once properly adjusted, even 44-40.

Coffinmaker
[/quote]
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: M113A3 on May 29, 2017, 05:11:15 pm
My order came in for the bullets and set up my first load for 6.9 gn Unique. Being new to all this the amount that weighs in at 6.9 gn seems rather small when poured into the case. It is only the bottom 1/3rd or maybe less using the MK1 eyeball.

I guess my concern is under loading... maybe bit over cautious but just being safe. I noticed on the Alliant site they suggest what Lyman considers the max load of 8.6gn for CAS 44-40

Thoughts?
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: mehavey on May 29, 2017, 05:48:54 pm
See https://thefiringline.com/forums/showpost.php?p=6065580&postcount=7

Suggest a classic 8.0gr/Unique
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: jthbjr on May 29, 2017, 07:56:33 pm
I load a fair amount of 44-40. I load with a single stage press and Lee dies. I use Starline brass, Standard CCI primers and Laser-cast 44-40 200g bullets sized .427. My standard load is 8 grains of Unique. The guns I load for all like this load. It is a good load full power load for pistols and a good load in an original 1892 rifle.
I have found that with the thin case necks and Lee dies I don't have to lube the cases to deprime and resize. I also seat the bullet and crimp all in one motion. I have a Lee factory crimp die but don't use it any more.
I prime with an RCBS hand primer. (I am lazy too. I have one set up for large primers and one for small primers.)
I use a Little Dandy powder measure for all smokeless powder pistol reloading. You are right there is some extra space in the case. Before I seat the bullets I do a visual inspection of the powder level with a flashlight.
I generally get a formula that I like for a particular cartridge and stick with it.
What I do that is different from the advice I was given when I started on the 44-40 is: I don't use case lube with Starline cases and Lee dies and I can seat and crimp in one motion. Others may have different results.
John in beautiful Art, Texas
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: Coal Creek Griff on May 29, 2017, 11:09:17 pm
M113A3:

I don't recall the bullet weight that you're using, but for most standard 44-40 weights (say, 200-220 grains), I don't think that a charge of 6.9 grains of Unique is unreasonable.  Yes, the powder kind of gets lost in the case, but that is not unusual for smokeless loads in blackpowder cases.  You might find it to be a bit position-sensitive (higher velocity when the powder is settled back in the case and lower velocity when the powder is settled forward), but it likely won't make enough difference to really matter.

Of course whenever you're shooting, especially when working up a load, be aware of the sound and recoil of the gun.  If either seems light, pause and check that the bullet has left the barrel.  That is a common safety practice--you certainly don't want to fire a round when there's a bullet stuck in the barrel.

I say, "Good job in asking questions and thinking this all through carefully."  Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.

CC Griff
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: M113A3 on May 30, 2017, 12:48:53 am
Thanks CC Griff - I am sticking with a slow work up process. Thanks for the info on the positioning of the powder I was doing a bit of research and found that information informative.

BTW the safety tip is much appreciated.

Cheers
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: w44wcf on June 05, 2017, 06:46:31 pm
Welcome to the world of 44-40 reloading!

a couple of things...
Does a sized case fit the chamber OK.
If so, the bullet will expand the case neck once the  case mouth has been belled  in your pic..

Magtech brass has thicker case neck walls than Starline... actually up to .002 on a side!

So it  could be that the cartridge neck od might be a tad large for your chamber in Magtech brass

In my 44-40, .428"' is the maximum bullet diameter in Magtech brass and  Starline will accept .431"
Cartridge neck od for both is .446"  

Interestingly, Magtech factory ammo contains .426" diameter bullets. At least the ones I took apart did.

w44wcf


W44wcf
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: Tuolumne Lawman on June 11, 2017, 12:41:15 pm
I use 7.0 grains TRAIL BOSS, 7.0 grains UNIQUE, or 9.0 grains of Unique (Taffin's .44-40 factory duplication load) if I want more pizzaz.  My main load in the Trail Boss 7.0 grains.  No chance of a double load to blow up my 1860 Henry, plenty of pizzaz for CAS, ands even a fair amount of smoke, compared to Unique.  My LEE auto disk throws 7.0 + or - .05 every time.
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: M113A3 on June 11, 2017, 08:08:01 pm
Sorry for the late reply guys I have been super busy with life... So I finally completed my first round but have and issue which I want to run past you all.

Recap:
Magtech brass
200gr RNFP .428 (Desperado Bullet)
6.9 grains Unique

Here is the finished product - How does the crimp look? I seated the bullet so you can just barely see the top edge of the crimp groove. It measures 1.579

(http://i67.tinypic.com/2qjjfuo.jpg)


Here is the Bullet for reference

(http://i66.tinypic.com/rlhkk4.jpg)

Now for the problem the round will fit the chamber of my Schofield but not the EGW chamber checker. I actually matched up a Magtech factory round to my reloaded round in the Schofield chamber you cant tell the difference between them.

BTW at w44wcf - the resized case fit my wilson case gauge but I don't recall if I tried it in my chamber... something to remember next time.

It is my understanding the EGW chamber checker is SAAMI spec so maybe my Uberti is a bit off..?

Not sure what I need to do to fix this issue.

(http://i66.tinypic.com/n3puno.jpg)
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: Coal Creek Griff on June 11, 2017, 08:35:44 pm
A bit of an educated guess here, but I imagine that the chamber checker is SAAMI minimum--if the cartridge fits, it will fit any SAAMI-spec chamber. If it freely chambers in your gun, I'd say that you're good to go (shooting).

CC Griff
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: Tuolumne Lawman on June 11, 2017, 10:04:00 pm
I seem to remember hearing that the EGW chamber checker is set for tapered 44-40s like Black Hills factory.  If it chambers in your weapons, it is good to go.. Have fun!
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: Baltimore Ed on June 12, 2017, 08:25:12 am
Been making straight wall pistol ammo for many years but I've only been reloading .44-40 (for my 73 musket) for a short time and just started building .38-40 for my new service. It looks to me that you're way over crimping especially for a revolver. My understanding of either old WCF loadings is that as long as the loads fit into the chamber of your gun you're good to go. But do the least amount of crimping and belling that you can get away with to preserve the brass. Don't worry about using a checker for WCF due to the various shoulder locations encountered between modern and antique firearms from various manufacturers.
Here's a pix of my .44-40 and .38-40 loads. Unless you're loading hot hunting loads or jacketed bullets you don't need a super crimp, the only caveat is if you're loading for a tubular mag rifle where recoil and a strong mag spring might shove your bullets back into the case. Hope this helps. Check my thread on .38-40 shoulder location, good responses from seasoned WCF reloaders there.
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: M113A3 on June 14, 2017, 07:21:11 pm
Thanks ED.

I backed off the crimp here is the example. Thoughts.

(http://i67.tinypic.com/3rjvo.jpg)

Cheers
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: Baltimore Ed on June 14, 2017, 09:41:00 pm
Looks good to me. Nice load. Now, what's your group look like?
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: M113A3 on June 14, 2017, 10:10:22 pm
I hope to be able to test this load out this weekend - starting at the min level and working up. I will post results.

Thanks
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: Baltimore Ed on June 14, 2017, 10:34:12 pm
Must have missed it but what are you reloading these for?
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: M113A3 on June 15, 2017, 10:44:45 pm
Hi Ed,

A schofield and an 1873 lever gun.

Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: Baltimore Ed on June 16, 2017, 05:40:40 pm
I looked real hard at a used Schofield revolver at the NE Regional years ago but didn't think that I could run the gun as I shoot duelist. I've always liked top breaks though, got a bunch of Webleys. I decided to stick with my Vaqueros then.
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: Silver_Rings on June 16, 2017, 08:55:29 pm
I shot Scholfields, a pair, gunfighter for 26 years.  They are harder to shoot one handed.  When I wore them out, I tried a Colt 1871 and boy are they a dream to shoot one handed.

Silver Rings
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: M113A3 on June 17, 2017, 07:11:49 pm
So here my next issue. Although I used the exact process & die settings two of the initial test rounds will not chamber. Not sure why or what to do?

Thanks
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: Baltimore Ed on June 17, 2017, 07:17:10 pm
Won't chamber in what? You've got 7 chambers, one in the 73 and 6 in the Schofield.
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: M113A3 on June 17, 2017, 08:15:08 pm
In the schofield... I am only working on loads for the pistol first.
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: M113A3 on July 02, 2017, 07:40:19 pm
Ok I went back a step and figured it was the crimp so I restarted and worked a bit with the Lee factory crimp fixed my issue as all round will now chamber. I loaded up five more round so my first test will be 10 rounds.

Here is what the new crimp looks like.

Thoughts?

(http://i63.tinypic.com/6id7di.jpg)
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: M113A3 on July 09, 2017, 09:38:08 pm
Ok here are the results for my first test rounds.  Four of the shots were not to bad and one flyer.

BTW the recoil seemed to be a bit more than the factory magtech rounds.

8 inch target at 10 yards.

(http://i67.tinypic.com/2vxhxsk.jpg)
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: Baltimore Ed on July 09, 2017, 10:42:07 pm
Looks good. Always use a solid rest during load development. A smaller target is better than a larger target. Dead on with a small target is more accurate than a 6:0 clock hold on a bigger target. You're trying for groups not ten rings, it doesn't matter where the group is just that it's a good group.You want to test the accuracy and consistency of your reloads not your ability to shoot. Be consistent. Once you find the right combination of powder, bullet and crimp then you can shoot offhand to see what the pistol's recoil actually does to your group, high, low, left, right. Don't forget to write down the components of your load right on the target that you just shot. Nothing more aggravating than to find a good load but not know what it was. If you change powders then you've got to start over, bullets and primers not so much. SASS targets are close and big so you have to decide just how small of a group you want or need vs the work involved in creating that small group. Some folks really enjoy developing loads others not as much. I'd rather shoot than develop loads. I used to work with a guy who was anal about creating the most accurate load that he could for the 1911 that he currently owned but he would trade it off at the next big gunshow he went to if the price was right, and then buy another brand of 1911 and do it again. Even if he found a super accurate gun he'd sell it in a second to make a buck. Never made any sense to me. Good luck.
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: M113A3 on July 09, 2017, 11:53:02 pm
Thanks for the advice. I actually number the photo to match it to what I write down in my data log.
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: M113A3 on August 31, 2017, 09:05:17 pm
Hi All,

It has been some time since I last updated this thread but wanted to let you all know I am still tinkering.  So far 7.5 grains of Unique seems to be the most accurate so far but I am having too much fun to stop tinkering at this point.

A BIG Thanks to Yeso Bill!

Cheers
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: Cholla Hill Tirador on August 31, 2017, 10:06:25 pm
 I started a couple of years ago reloading the 38-40 in a two OLD '73 Winchesters and three OLD Colt SA's, as well as the 44-40 in an 1866 Uberti Sporting Rifle and an 1873 Uberti revolver. I found out pretty quick that despite all the predicted gloom, doom and problems associated with reloading these cartridges, they're really quite simple to reload.

 First, if they chamber in your gun(s) once, then they'll do so again. As such, I only neck size and smear a little Hornady Unique case lube on every 4th or 5th case.

 Second, a crimp is important, but don't overdo it. Too much crimp will cause a bulge that makes chambering difficult.

  Third, our firearms, especially the modern ones, aren't made of paper mache'. Your load of 7.5 grs. of Unique is well below any dangerous levels. I've shot many, many 9.0 grs. of Unique loads under a 220 gr. cast bullet and they're fine, and still below maximum according to some sources. WAY more than needed for CAS, but still safe.

  Fourth, primers. When I began dabbling in CAS, one of my buddies waxed eloquently over how I needed to lighten my springs so I could run my guns faster. Not only did this limit me to Federal primers, which are eternally as scarce as hens teeth, it also lowered the lock time of my firearms to ridiculously slow speeds. So I reinstalled original springs that I slightly lightened and now I can use any primer I damn well please, and no longer wait impatiently for the hammers to fall!

  Finally, there's nothing wrong at all with seating and crimping in one step. Accuracy is of paramount importance for me and I get very nice accuracy from my revolvers all the way out to 50 yds. even though I crimp and seat in one step.

  CHT
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: PJ Hardtack on September 01, 2017, 10:44:33 am

  Third, our firearms, especially the modern ones, aren't made of paper mache'. Your load of 7.5 grs. of Unique is well below any dangerous levels. I've shot many, many 9.0 grs. of Unique loads under a 220 gr. cast bullet and they're fine, and still below maximum according to some sources. WAY more than needed for CAS, but still safe.

  Fourth, primers. When I began dabbling in CAS, one of my buddies waxed eloquently over how I needed to lighten my springs so I could run my guns faster. Not only did this limit me to Federal primers, which are eternally as scarce as hens teeth, it also lowered the lock time of my firearms to ridiculously slow speeds. So I reinstalled original springs that I slightly lightened and now I can use any primer I damn well please, and no longer wait impatiently for the hammers to fall!

Thanks for this! Answered a few questions I asked elsewhere. But, I have learned that if I seat and crimp in one operation with 44-40, I get more case bulges than if I do it in two separate operations.

I agree re: the springs issue. First time I handled a "tuned" '73, I could watch the hammer fall in what seemed like slo-mo and my first question was - "Does this thing actually pop primers?"

I like a snappy hammer fall and the feel of leaf springs as opposed to wire springs in my guns.
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: Baltimore Ed on September 01, 2017, 11:58:09 am
I read all the horror stories about .38-40 and .44-40 and was worried but have not had any issues. I did bump and wreck a 44 case where it wasn't all the way in the shellholder. Loading the 44wcf for my Winchester 1873 30 inch musket and 38wcf for my  7.5 inch new service. I've always seated and lightly crimped all my reloads at the same time using RCBS dies.
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: M113A3 on September 01, 2017, 10:07:40 pm
I have to say I heard\read the same thing about reloading 44-40 being tough but I have to say it has been fairly straight forward thinks to you all here.

Cheers
Title: Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
Post by: Bryan Austin on March 08, 2019, 10:57:48 am
Ok here are the results for my first test rounds.  Four of the shots were not to bad and one flyer.

BTW the recoil seemed to be a bit more than the factory magtech rounds.

8 inch target at 10 yards.

(http://i67.tinypic.com/2vxhxsk.jpg)


I know this is an old topic, sometimes I miss lots of posts and I can't keep track of them all.

Looks like you got it going on M113A3

The bullet you are using is a typical Magma bullet from commercial magma molds
http://www.magmaengineering.com/magma-custom-bullet-molds/

Magma 44-200 RNFP BB "Cowboy"