Author Topic: How powerful is .44-40 in a rifle? Is it obsolete? (No)  (Read 1257 times)

Offline greyhawk

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Re: How powerful is .44-40 in a rifle? Is it obsolete? (No)
« Reply #25 on: March 31, 2019, 10:07:41 pm »
Looking back at my old 2010 data....

Revolver, all modern brass.
Grains by Weight with compression

Mav Dutch 200gr Big Lube

Swiss FFG 40gr @ 960fps
Swiss FFG 38gr @ 935fps


Bryan  test results Dominion semi balloon head  vs RP modern cases
found there is very little difference in case capacity here maybe half a grain
Used 39 grains of my homemade powder - a coarse-ish FFFg grade - 200grain RCBS boolit (Not the Cowboy mold) Large Rifle primers in both cases
five shots of each fired alternately over my RCBS chrony
Fouler shot first then go for it, fouler clocked 1081 and I think I messed up it was likely a smokeless .
Dominion               Remington Peters
1277                              1251
1263                              1252
1281                              1263
1271                              1279
1274                              1259
av 1273 ES 18              av 1260 ES 28

I was thinking maybe the cone shape bottom of the Dominion shells may have given better/ more consistent ignition (was looking at that almost +100fps and solid increase in pressure you got) dont know that +13fps average and ten points less ES really says much with this small number of shots. No big deal going on here I think!   


« Last Edit: March 31, 2019, 10:12:45 pm by greyhawk »

Offline Bryan Austin

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Re: How powerful is .44-40 in a rifle? Is it obsolete? (No)
« Reply #26 on: April 01, 2019, 11:04:23 am »
Greyhawk, thanks for that report.

Although I do not have any Dominion cases, I do know that some of my later Western and WRA solid-head, semi-balloonhead cases have a smaller "balloon pocket" design than the real early cases. These later cases give me near identical results as modern brass.

1,250fps is consistent with early reported velocities. It has been said though that early smokeless increased velocities 50fps @ 1,300fps. It has also been said that early velocimeters...or whatever they were called back then, were not as accurate as later equipment. Thus, 1,300fps may be consistent for both black and smokeless.

Don't have a clue about home made black powder but it looks like you are the boss with those consistent velocities!!!!!!!

NICE!

Offline Bryan Austin

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Re: How powerful is .44-40 in a rifle? Is it obsolete? (No)
« Reply #27 on: April 01, 2019, 11:07:36 am »
Shot these this morning. He is a recap from another forum...

I never thought in a million years I would even be attempting to shoot at long distances with the 44-40. One reason is that I never had the opportunity, lacking a range long enough. Another reason is that I just didn't think I could do it...not that I can now!

After I got deeply involved in the history of the cartridge, it's myths and legends, so I decided to give it a shot with smokeless powders. I did well with a scope so it was time to try the open sights with both the Marlin flip up sight and the Winchester 73' Buckhorn sight.

Since I can't see where I hit unless the target moves or I stop recording and review each shot...I decided to just shoot ten shot group barrages and just see where they grouped. Sometimes, as in the last video, the flip up sight began to bump up one notch after each shot or so. Gotta keep it tight I guess.

I also decided to fill the mag tube with ten rather than one at a time as I had been doing.

I again decided to try different bullets and sizes. I figured I'd start off with ACME's 44-40 .427 that went very well. I would like to try a barrage of these later: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndcpdnUSmFc

Then on to ACME's 44 Magnum .431 resized to .429, not much difference but could be a tad more accurate. Don't forget this is me shooting and I am using open sights....a bit to be desired!! The flip up sight bumped up from the recoil after the forth shot I think it was. I did see some dirt splatter so I aimed a bit lower not knowing what had happened until after I watched the video.
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-nAQiNvFhM

I also tried some 431, resized to .429 powder coated bullets as well as some 431 resized to .429 44 Magnum 240gr SWC powder coated. Both did well but those two need to be revisited. The 240gr SWC did better than expected for a 1/36 twist.

Fell free to give opinions about bullet sizes, bullet hardness, powder coating, twist rate...and even my poor marksmanship!!

Online Oregon Bill

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Re: How powerful is .44-40 in a rifle? Is it obsolete? (No)
« Reply #28 on: April 01, 2019, 11:18:16 am »
I'd sure as heck hate to be hanging out 265 yards away from you thinking "He can't touch me with that little old .44WCF way out here ..."

 :D

Offline Bryan Austin

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Offline greyhawk

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Re: How powerful is .44-40 in a rifle? Is it obsolete? (No)
« Reply #30 on: April 01, 2019, 04:56:37 pm »
Greyhawk, thanks for that report.

Although I do not have any Dominion cases, I do know that some of my later Western and WRA solid-head, semi-balloonhead cases have a smaller "balloon pocket" design than the real early cases. These later cases give me near identical results as modern brass.

1,250fps is consistent with early reported velocities. It has been said though that early smokeless increased velocities 50fps @ 1,300fps. It has also been said that early velocimeters...or whatever they were called back then, were not as accurate as later equipment. Thus, 1,300fps may be consistent for both black and smokeless.

Don't have a clue about home made black powder but it looks like you are the boss with those consistent velocities!!!!!!!

NICE!

Bryan
A little bit more care in loading and an overpowder wad I think I could shrink the spread some in those 44/40 loads - getting single digit ES in my 45/75 and 45/70 loads - using a 45 thou HDPE wad in those.
 I shot a lot of blackpowder without an overpowder wad (stubborn I guess - thought it was a waste of good powder space) but the further I go the more convinced I get that a decent wad is a crucial part of an accurate blackpowder round - less so in smaller cases for sure - but then we tend to expect less from the "pistol calibre" guns too (and we shouldnt) .

Further to my test I fired a fouler at the start and another of the same loads at the end of the string - I think they were smokeless loads - 1012 and 1081 FPS - they were 225 grain CBE boolits (big wide flat point) both went sideways through the target at 125 yards - my rifle will not shoot that heavier boolit accurately at longer distances - thats a big part of Why I dont like Wano powder - I lose about 150 fps velocity with Wano in the 44/40 vs GoEx or my stuff (the GoEx is 25 yrs old stuff and 5FA ungraphited grade - it was about 5% to 10% quicker than their FFFg back then) 
Rifle is an early (1975 or so) Uberti 1866 - the model with the 73 style trigger block/ lever safety

Offline Bryan Austin

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Re: How powerful is .44-40 in a rifle? Is it obsolete? (No)
« Reply #31 on: April 01, 2019, 05:14:17 pm »
Great update....thanks for that information!