Author Topic: Black Powder in the 44-40  (Read 75561 times)

Offline wildman1

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #100 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
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Offline w44wcf

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #101 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.

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w44wcf 
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Offline w44wcf

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #102 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
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Offline El Tio Loco

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #103 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






Offline Sir Charles deMouton-Black

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #104 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
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Offline El Tio Loco

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #105 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

Offline Sir Charles deMouton-Black

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #106 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
« Last Edit: April 29, 2013, 09:26:27 am by Sir Charles deMouton-Black »
NCOWS #1154, SCORRS, STORM, BROW, 1860 Henry, Dirty Rat 502, CHINOOK COUNTRY
THE SUBLYME & HOLY ORDER OF THE SOOT (SHOTS)
Those who are no longer ignorant of History may relive it,
without the Blood, Sweat, and Tears.
With apologies to George Santayana & W. S. Churchill

"As Mark Twain once put it, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”

Offline w44wcf

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #107 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.



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
« Last Edit: April 30, 2013, 07:33:33 am by w44wcf »
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Offline El Tio Loco

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #108 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

Offline El Tio Loco

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #109 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

Offline w44wcf

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #110 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  
« Last Edit: May 05, 2013, 07:05:58 am by w44wcf »
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Offline 58cal

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #111 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

Offline Space Cowboy

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #112 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

Offline w44wcf

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #113 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
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Offline Bryan Austin

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #114 on: June 10, 2013, 09:36:16 pm »
As you can tell, I am trying to catch up on this information.

Offline 58cal

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #115 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

Offline Bryan Austin

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #116 on: June 23, 2013, 08:55:10 pm »
Sweet  :D

Offline Coal Creek Griff

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #117 on: June 23, 2013, 09:05:25 pm »
Well done!  No one could complain about that!

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Offline ndnchf

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #118 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?
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Offline King Medallion

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #119 on: April 17, 2014, 07:33:58 am »
One dead deer per shot.  ;D

Offline ndnchf

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #120 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
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Offline dusty texian

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #121 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

Offline w44wcf

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #122 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  

 
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Offline ndnchf

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #123 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.
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Offline Rowdy Fulcher

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #124 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 .

 

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