Author Topic: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.  (Read 15262 times)

Offline Baltimore Ed

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Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
« Reply #40 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.
"Give'em hell, Pike"
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Offline M113A3

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Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
« Reply #41 on: June 14, 2017, 07:21:11 pm »
Thanks ED.

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



Cheers

Offline Baltimore Ed

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Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
« Reply #42 on: June 14, 2017, 09:41:00 pm »
Looks good to me. Nice load. Now, what's your group look like?
"Give'em hell, Pike"
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Offline M113A3

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Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
« Reply #43 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

Offline Baltimore Ed

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Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
« Reply #44 on: June 14, 2017, 10:34:12 pm »
Must have missed it but what are you reloading these for?
"Give'em hell, Pike"
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Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
« Reply #45 on: Today at 12:05:20 am »

Offline M113A3

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Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
« Reply #45 on: June 15, 2017, 10:44:45 pm »
Hi Ed,

A schofield and an 1873 lever gun.


Offline Baltimore Ed

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Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
« Reply #46 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.
"Give'em hell, Pike"
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Offline Silver_Rings

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Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
« Reply #47 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
Gunfighter, SASS 27466, NRA Life, GOFWG, BOSS, RO 1, RO 2

Offline M113A3

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Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
« Reply #48 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

Offline Baltimore Ed

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Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
« Reply #49 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.
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Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
« Reply #50 on: Today at 12:05:20 am »

Offline M113A3

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Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
« Reply #50 on: June 17, 2017, 08:15:08 pm »
In the schofield... I am only working on loads for the pistol first.

Offline M113A3

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Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
« Reply #51 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?



Offline M113A3

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Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
« Reply #52 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.



Offline Baltimore Ed

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Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
« Reply #53 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.
"Give'em hell, Pike"
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Offline M113A3

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Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
« Reply #54 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.

Offline M113A3

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Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
« Reply #55 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

Offline Cholla Hill Tirador

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Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
« Reply #56 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

Offline PJ Hardtack

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Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
« Reply #57 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.
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Offline Baltimore Ed

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Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
« Reply #58 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.
"Give'em hell, Pike"
 There is no horse so dead that you cannot continue to beat it.

Offline M113A3

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Re: Starting my 44-40 reloading adventure but I have a question.
« Reply #59 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

 

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