Author Topic: Black Powder in the 44-40  (Read 75573 times)

Offline Rowdy Fulcher

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #25 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

Offline w44wcf

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #26 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!
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« Last Edit: January 03, 2012, 08:02:13 am by w44wcf »
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Offline Rowdy Fulcher

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #27 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 ?

Offline w44wcf

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #28 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.

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Offline w44wcf

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Black Dawge bullet test with KIK 3F and SWISS 2F
« Reply #29 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.

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« Last Edit: January 06, 2012, 05:33:36 am by w44wcf »
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Offline Rowdy Fulcher

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #30 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 .

Offline w44wcf

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #31 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.


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
« Last Edit: January 08, 2012, 08:34:56 am by w44wcf »
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Offline Jubal Wilson

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #32 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.



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
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Offline Marshal Deadwood

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #33 on: January 10, 2012, 09:45:07 pm »
Thats a mighty tight group. Good shooting there.

Deadwood

Offline w44wcf

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #34 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.

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Offline Jubal Wilson

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #35 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
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Offline David Battersby

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #36 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
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Offline w44wcf

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #37 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
« Last Edit: January 20, 2012, 09:50:35 am by w44wcf »
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Offline David Battersby

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #38 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.

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Offline Jubal Wilson

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #39 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
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Offline David Battersby

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #40 on: January 17, 2012, 05:36:13 am »
Mav Dutch Big Lube from Whyte Leather Works.
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Offline w44wcf

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #41 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   
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Offline David Battersby

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #42 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
 
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Offline w44wcf

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #43 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
  
« Last Edit: February 05, 2012, 08:37:32 am by w44wcf »
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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #44 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.
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Offline David Battersby

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #45 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
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Offline Jubal Wilson

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #46 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
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Offline w44wcf

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #47 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
« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 07:12:21 am by w44wcf »
aka Jack Christian SASS 11993 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
aka John Kort
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.22 W.C.F., .30 W.C.F., .44 W.C.F., .45 Colt Cartridge Historian

Offline w44wcf

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #48 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
« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 07:21:19 am by w44wcf »
aka Jack Christian SASS 11993 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
aka John Kort
aka w30wcf (smokeless)
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Offline David Battersby

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #49 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.
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