Author Topic: Black Powder in the 44-40  (Read 78334 times)

Offline john boy

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #20 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
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Offline Rowdy Fulcher

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #21 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 .

Offline Coal Creek Griff

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #22 on: December 31, 2011, 03:07:51 PM »
Rowdy:

Can you remind me which bullet you're using?

Thanks for the report.

CC Griff
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Offline Rowdy Fulcher

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #23 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 .

Offline w44wcf

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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #24 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           
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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #25 on: Today at 01:40:29 PM »

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!
w44wcf  
aka Jack Christian SASS 11993 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
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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.

w44wcf
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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.

w44wcf
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Re: Black Powder in the 44-40
« Reply #30 on: Today at 01:40:29 PM »

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
aka Jack Christian SASS 11993 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
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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.

w44wcf
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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
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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.

John Moses Browning and Teddy Roosevelt, we need you again !
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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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