Author Topic: 44-40 Help Needed  (Read 806 times)

Offline MikeM.

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44-40 Help Needed
« on: June 14, 2019, 06:58:06 pm »
Got a new Cimarron 44-40 revolver today and ,to my disappointment , my reloads won?t chamber all the way into the cylinder. They shoot fine from my Cimarron 1873 SRC. Do you guys have any tips to maybe fix this so both guns will shoot my hand loads? I sized and loaded these with Lee dies but have since acquired a set of RCBS ones too. Could that make a difference? Can you guys help me with this please??

Offline wildman1

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Re: 44-40 Help Needed
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2019, 08:13:51 pm »
Mill the end of the sizer/decapper die so the shoulder is moved farther down on the case. This is a common problem with the dash calibers.
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Offline Abilene

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Re: 44-40 Help Needed
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2019, 08:24:49 pm »
What wildman said.  I had to grind a bit off the bottom of my Lee sizer die to push the shoulder back a bit.  When you say they work in your carbine, have you checked to see if they actually will drop freely into the chamber?  Sometimes with a rifle a round that is a tad tight will chamber because you have mechanical advantage with the lever and it shoves it in.

Having said that about the sizer die, it could also be other things.  I don't know how much you've read on this site and elsewhere but there is a lot of info on 44-40 loading.  Basically, Uberti chambers are tight, and your brass / bullet combo just might not fit.  What are you loading?  .428 or .427 bullets aren't as particular about brass size, but go to a .429 and you may need to stick with Winchester or Starline brass which have the thinnest necks.  A .429 bullet in a R-P case will not chamber in my pistol regardless of where the shoulder is!

Offline MikeM.

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Re: 44-40 Help Needed
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2019, 08:44:43 pm »
Thanks Guys , so do I mill/lathe about the amount that won?t go into my cylinder from the sizer die body then ? I can do that!! I would have to say a mixture of once fired brass a friend Gave me and a cast .429 bullet from Missouri Bullet Co. I have some .428 bullets I may try also. Thanks for the help guys . At least I have a starting point now....

Offline Abilene

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Re: 44-40 Help Needed
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2019, 10:03:46 pm »
If the shoulder is the problem, you might check the RCBS die first, it might not need any trimming.  And if you do trim the Lee, then chamfer and smooth the opening because you are grinding that smooth opening away.  I'm not sure how much I trimmed, but it wasn't much.

I think painting a round with a sharpie and then trying to chamber it might show you where it is tight.

Offline MikeM.

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Re: 44-40 Help Needed
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2019, 10:11:27 pm »
Will do , thanks

Offline Navy Six

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Re: 44-40 Help Needed
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2019, 09:09:19 am »
Mike, don't forget to try the .428 sized bullets. I have four Uberti  44-40 revolvers and they all chamber .428 bullets without a problem with mixed brass.
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Offline MikeM.

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Re: 44-40 Help Needed
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2019, 10:45:29 am »
Well, my problem isn?t my die. I guess the bullet is too big. I have .430s sized down to .429 . Some
will chamber fine but others have a slight bulge in the neck when loaded and these are the ones that won?t chamber. Bullets are all .429 so what am I doing wrong? Case trimming maybe? Advise please? I suppose a .428 bullet would cure the problem for sure . Does anybody make a .428 sizing die because I have a load of .430 bullets and hate to have to order bullets for just this gun .

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: 44-40 Help Needed
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2019, 11:09:15 am »

Check around for a Gunsmith or hobbyist with a 44-40 finishing reamer.  Or give a call to "Manson Reamers" buy a 44-40 reamer.  If you don't damage it, you can sell it when you "finish"  ;D

Offline Jubal Starbuck

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Re: 44-40 Help Needed
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2019, 11:33:52 am »
    I shortened my RCBS sizer die and switched to .428" diameter bullets and they worked in all of my . 44-40's (4 rifles and 5 revolvers).

Offline MikeM.

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Re: 44-40 Help Needed
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2019, 11:46:32 am »
Just ordered a custom .428 bullet sizing kit from Lee, I think this will do the trick for me. I have a few .428 billets that I am going to load today and will post my results on here later.Looked at chamber finishing readers and wow they are expensive!!!... thanks everybody

Online Coal Creek Griff

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Re: 44-40 Help Needed
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2019, 12:04:56 pm »
The smaller bullets may solve your problem, but there are a number of potential factors. One would be the style of bullet that you were using. Does it have a crimp groove? If you are crimping into a crimp groove, the case lengths need to be very close to the same. If not, it can create some bulging at the crimp, which can affect chambering. All of that ties into whether you were using smokeless or blackpowder.

Most of us who have reloaded 44 WCF for very long have wrestled with all of these issues. There are a lot of interlinking factors, but once resolved, I think it is an excellent cartridge.

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Offline MikeM.

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Re: 44-40 Help Needed
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2019, 12:19:28 pm »
It is smokeless and I think I will resolve
My issue and enjoy loading for my guns. This is my very favorite old west caliber for sure.... thanks

Offline MikeM.

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Re: 44-40 Help Needed
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2019, 01:45:32 pm »
.428s are much better but still not like I would like for them to be. I can take one loaded round and it might fit great in 2 chambers and tight in the other 4. I think it?s time to try a finishing reamer. Anybody have one I could borrow or where do you guys recommend getting one that is good but won?t break my bank account??

Offline Abilene

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Re: 44-40 Help Needed
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2019, 03:18:23 pm »
Again, if you stick with Winchester or Starline brass (BHA too), it will minimize the issue as far as the brass factor goes.  When I was loading .429 with my Lee dies, occasionally the bullet didn't seat perfectly straight, leaving a noticeable bulge on one side only.  Not sure if it is the seating stem or what.  I use a .44 mag belling insert as recommended.  I kept my 44-40 cylinder on the bench to check every round.  If they fit that, no problem in the carbine.  Anyways, I switched to .427 bullets (easy to get locally as I don't cast) and all chambering problems went away.  For CAS this is fine.  I haven't compared loads at 50 yards for best accuracy!

Offline MikeM.

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Re: 44-40 Help Needed
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2019, 03:37:32 pm »
I. Thought about going to a .427 bullet but Uberti states that these guns have a .429 bore so I didn?t want to sacrifice accuracy and lead the hell out of my barrels . May have to go that route though if I want both guns to use the same ammo.

Offline MikeM.

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Re: 44-40 Help Needed
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2019, 10:26:39 pm »
Is running .430 bullets through a .427 sizing die too much??

Offline Professor Marvel

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Re: 44-40 Help Needed
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2019, 01:33:07 pm »
My Good MikeM

Before one gets drastic with reamers and grinders and removing metal that cannot be replaced,
I like to recommend making labeled  castings of each chamber and measuring them with a micrometer ( not caliper ) , and measuring all the chamber throats with pin gauges.

It never hurts to take measurements!

And, if ? only some? rounds do not seat, and one can see or feel or measure slight bulges, the issue may be a step in the loading process itself ( which it appears you have already discerned... )
;)

I have similar problems with ?some? of my .45 Colt loads, and after weeks of measurements and copious notes and etc, I finally did like Abilene and keep my tightest cylinder handy as a ?try gauge?.

Then I  took the ?drastic step ? of gently sizing (again) the loaded rounds that did not fit and ?bobs yer uncle? they all fit and shoot accurately!

Sometimes, a lead bullet just won?t seat correctly or crimp quite right, but a gentle application of the sizing die does the trick for me for straight wall cases .

As always, your mileage may vary,
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« Last Edit: June 17, 2019, 01:37:36 pm by Professor Marvel »
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Offline Professor Marvel

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Re: 44-40 Help Needed
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2019, 01:35:41 pm »

I think painting a round with a sharpie and then trying to chamber it might show you where it is tight.

Oh my yes, Abilene, that is even easier than chamber castings!
One does need to see exactly where the round is hanging up first...

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Offline Navy Six

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Re: 44-40 Help Needed
« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2019, 03:33:41 pm »
Mike, if the case neck bulge is on one side only, as mentioned by Abilene, that is certainly an issue. 44-40 and 38-40 have thin case necks and if you don't start the bullet in the case case straight, it will seat crookedly and you can visually detect the one-sided bulge. Thicker cases like 45 Colt tend to self correct this tendency. Be careful and take your time on the initial seating, but The Redding Competition Bullet Seating Die is the complete solution to that problem. It has a spring loaded seating stem that keeps the bullet straight while seating. It has no crimp feature and is a bit expensive, but I don't reload the 44-40 or 38-40(even worse for that problem) without that die.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2019, 03:40:45 pm by Navy Six »
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Offline Fingers McGee

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Re: 44-40 Help Needed
« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2019, 04:10:30 pm »
I've got an Uberti Cattleman that would not chamber 44-40s loaded in Starline brass with .428 bullets.  Tried the sizing die trick with limited help. I was also having similar chambering problems in a 44-40 AWA Lightning; light hits and failure to chamber the next round.  Someone on one of the forums (this was 10+ years or so ago so I cant remember who or which forum) suggested using a Redding profile crimp die. That cured the chambering problems in both the Cattleman and lightning.   
« Last Edit: June 17, 2019, 04:13:02 pm by Fingers McGee »
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Offline MikeM.

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Re: 44-40 Help Needed
« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2019, 08:18:54 pm »
Thanks for all the info guys , I appreciate all of you

Offline Abilene

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Re: 44-40 Help Needed
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2019, 09:06:25 pm »
Fingers, that is very interesting.  What crimp die were you using before?  I might consider that one (I'm using the Lee collet-style FCD now), except my main issue with the larger bullets is the occasional slightly crooked seating and the crimp die won't help that.  I do make sure to place the bullet straight on the mouth of the case.  If I decide to go back to .429's I'll have to revisit the seating die and or stem.

When I started loading the 44-40 I did take the problem rounds and resize them again after loading as the Perfessor mentioned (removing the decapping pin first from the sizer die).  It worked, those rounds would then chamber.  Other folks come along and say that's the wrong way to do it and you are just sizing the bullet to a smaller size during that step as well.  That may be, but I only did it for those problem rounds. 

Offline Fingers McGee

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Re: 44-40 Help Needed
« Reply #23 on: June 18, 2019, 04:35:16 pm »
I'm using a set of plain old RCBS dies.  Before I found out about the profile crimp die, I tried the Lee Factory crimp die, with limited success.  I've neve had a problem with rounds that were finished off with the Redding die.  The only inconvenience is the case kicker on my L-N-L can't be used because of the extra die.  I'm not loading thousands of rounds so who cares
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Offline russ1943

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Re: 44-40 Help Needed
« Reply #24 on: June 18, 2019, 10:07:52 pm »
I have been reloading 44-40 since 1971. I have done all the above except anything that has to do with any metal removing or reaming. As you said, the cylinder only 2 chambers will load, the other 4 will not. The cylinder chambers are not the same, that is a defect. Check the cylinder with as factory round to see if they fit, drops into all the chambers, and drops out, if not send the gun back. I had an Uberti that even factory Remington 44-40 JSP (.427) won't chamber in all the chambers, without pushing them in, and using ejector rod to remove the ones pushed in.

I use a second generation cylinder I got from Dixie Gun works in 1972 as my test cylinder.

If I were you I would size 1 brass, check to see if it fits in all the chamber, do six, check all, do 12 check the last six, if all fit, do 50 check the last 6, then even 6 out of 50, or until you are sure sizing is done correctly.
 
Make a dummy load with bullet size you going to use, the dummy load should drop into each chamber and drop out, if not try the next size down, .429, .428, .427 until it does. If .427 doesn't work it is the gun. 

I have old reloading equipment a Lyman ALL American Turret Press, and RCBS dies, all purchased new in 1972, and I check first several loaded rounds and then 6 out of 50 for size. Sometimes I have to a adjust the press, usually I can load 80-90 an hour, checking the powder weight every six round on a electronic scale.

I hope this helps you.