Author Topic: SHORTENING THE 44-40 SIZER DIE AND BULLET CHOICE.  (Read 5859 times)

Offline Wolf Killer

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SHORTENING THE 44-40 SIZER DIE AND BULLET CHOICE.
« on: November 23, 2014, 08:31:05 pm »
Hello Lads,
I have read with interest the mentions of shortening the 44-40 sizing die to set the neck back to "correct" or original dimensions.

I have found myself on an unstoppable 44 WCF addiction, with five rifles and six handguns in this 141 year old cartridge.
I have totally given up on using the classic Lyman 427098 with smokeless, as I can't get a bullet larger than .4275 out of the molds I have, and it is useless in lever guns and have found it throwing bullet in revolvers.

Is there any consensus on how much to peel off the die in order to get the longer neck this case needs?
Using this bullet and the RCBS Cowboy die with Starline brass, the finished rounds look like straight wall 44's having almost a loss off the bottle  neck and what there is of it is might short in comparison with early loaded rounds.

My Gunsmith will do just about any stupid thing I ask of him, as he is in the process of turning my Taurus thunderbolt into a 44-40 rifle even though he hates Taurus and metrics.

So is there a hands up for .075 or .100 to shave off the butt of the sizing die to get a correct neck length?

Thanks,

Wolf Killer
Donald Bowman

Offline pony express

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Re: SHORTENING THE 44-40 SIZER DIE AND BULLET CHOICE.
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2014, 10:44:40 pm »
Do the rounds loaded from your dies chamber and function properly, in all your guns? If they do, it seems that shortening the dies to produce a longer case neck area would just result in overworking the brass in the neck/shoulder area. On nearly everything I reload, except .38sp and .45ACP, I only size just enough that they will chamber easily, no need to screw the die down until it contacts the ram. Repeatedly squeezing down the shoulder area and then blowing it back out will just result in shorter case life.

Offline Wolf Killer

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Re: SHORTENING THE 44-40 SIZER DIE AND BULLET CHOICE.
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2014, 12:27:38 am »
Hello,
They chamber, but then they get blown out to a true bottle neck only to get straightened again in resizing so they are getting overworked that way, plus I have a loss of neck tension on the .428 bullets, and the bullet is supported only by the crimp.
Thanks

Offline Cliff Fendley

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Re: SHORTENING THE 44-40 SIZER DIE AND BULLET CHOICE.
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2014, 09:22:44 am »
I would suggest only neck sizing or set the die just so your bumping the shoulder back for cycling reliability if you want to leave the bottleneck in the case. You might have to keep the brass separated between your various guns by doing that. Starline brass comes looking like tapered brass but after it is fired it takes the bottleneck look from the chamber of the gun.

The 44wcf RCBS cowboy dies size the brass so they even chamber fine in original 1873 44wcf rifles and with 427 bullets. I have three different sets of these dies that I use for different loadings for various guns. Maybe there is something wrong with your die.
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Offline Sir Charles deMouton-Black

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Re: SHORTENING THE 44-40 SIZER DIE AND BULLET CHOICE.
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2014, 10:00:27 am »
If'n it ain't broke, don't fix it! If it will hold a bullet firmly and fully chamber you will be OK.

I use LEE .44-40 dies. The only gun that presented a problem was an old Model Vaquero (with a 55- prefix) that required a bit ground off the sizer to allow cases to fully chamber. the other Ruger and a relined original Winchester '73 presented no problems. The RCBS .44-200-FP sized to .428 works like a charm in all 3 guns. (This mold is Mike Venturino's "go-to" cast bullet when testing any .44.  I use it in all my .44s and my reichsrevolver with full satisfaction.)
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Offline Wolf Killer

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Re: SHORTENING THE 44-40 SIZER DIE AND BULLET CHOICE.
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2014, 02:46:46 pm »
Gents,
The original idea of this question was referring to using an original style bullet..
I have good luck with the Laser cast bullet as it is a rather short bullet and is fully contained in the neck of the sized case of the cowboy dies. Moving to The lyman 427098 or the RCBS 44 200, they are much longer bullets than the laser cast, the LC is .604 long, the lyman is.645 and the RCBS comes in  at .714 in length, and the bottom driving band exceeds the the neck and goes into the body of the case and so the full length of the bullet is unsupported by the neck, and is relying on only the crimp to do the job. In some revolvers I wind up with a lot of flyers in a group using these longer bullets, and the Laser cast shoots nice little groups.

I have had terrible luck in using .429 bullets and brass loss was becoming too great due to over working the necks and splitting them, so went back to no more than .428 sized and lubed. I know it is only .001, but it makes a difference by the 4th or 5th reload.
I spoke to RCBS about this, and the gent I spoke with was surprised at how short the neck was on their chamber drawings in comparison to the original dimension.

Like I said, I would like to use an original style bullet and not have to load cartridges for 5 different guns.  In some revolvers, a sized and crimped case with no bullet will have to lightly  nudged into some cylinders due to the longer forward shoulder position, hence my original question of shortening the sizer to get back to the original neck length and shoulder position.

Thanks

So if anyone is using an original style bullet and has shortened their die to accomadate it, how much did you need to shave off to achieve the desired results

Offline Sir Charles deMouton-Black

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Re: SHORTENING THE 44-40 SIZER DIE AND BULLET CHOICE.
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2014, 04:51:28 pm »
My RCBS .44-200-FP is .621 long, and the part below the crimp groove is .300 long. That .300 is as close as a kiss in the movies to the neck length on my .44-40 cases. You are over thinking this a bit.

Use name brand dies and almost any 200 grain .428 bullet loaded with the case mouth in the crimp groove, roughly an oal of 1.55, or a bit more, and don't worry about it. You will damage more cases to careless use of dies than you will wear out.

For your original question; "So if anyone is using an original style bullet and has shortened their die to accomodate it, how much did you need to shave off to achieve the desired results". My answer is;- Just enough to fully chamber an empty resized case.  I can't recall what I had to do with that old Vaquero, but your firearms will likely be a bit different than mine.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2014, 06:49:18 pm by Sir Charles deMouton-Black »
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Those who are no longer ignorant of History may relive it,
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Offline Cliff Fendley

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Re: SHORTENING THE 44-40 SIZER DIE AND BULLET CHOICE.
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2014, 05:38:30 pm »
OK here goes. I shoot the accurate 43-215C which is the big lube groove version of the original 42798 profile with a crimp groove added. Because of the crimp groove they measure .660 long, just a little longer than the accurate 43-210B which to my understanding is the exact copy of the 42798 Lyman. I have shot the 43-210B bullets but I don't have any loose ones on hand to measure at this time.

The .660 bullets I'm shooting only appear to go past the neck portion of the casing approximately .020 with them seated at 1.590 COAL. So I suppose shortening the sizing die .020 would give full support on the whole bullet but I don't see the point since my cartridges meet SAAMI specs and will fall right into the chamber of Uberti AND original Winchester rifles. If I were to be using .645 length bullets as you say the 42798 ones are then I would have full support on the bullet so it would be a mute point.

I just checked the SAAMI spec for the 44wcf cartridge and measured my rounds with that bullet and full length sized with the RCBS cowboy dies in brass that has been fired in Uberti rifles. I full length size anything that I will shoot in main match CAS for realiable feeding.

If anything the part of the neck that measures .443 is around .015 longer than the SAAMI specs so I certainly wouldn't want to shorten those dies and push the shoulder back even more.

My RCBS cowboy dies are making ammo as close as your going to get to the original specs except with even more neck length so I don't understand where your coming from at all unless your die is messed up.

Bottom line is as I said I have three sets of these RCBS Cowboy 44-40 dies so if yours are different than my measurements above then I think your die is screwed up. I have no idea what you or the RCBS guy are talking about their neck length being so short unless I have the only three sets of those dies they ever made right.

« Last Edit: November 24, 2014, 06:18:18 pm by Cliff Fendley »
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Offline Cliff Fendley

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Re: SHORTENING THE 44-40 SIZER DIE AND BULLET CHOICE.
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2014, 06:11:51 pm »
On a full length sized case measure from the back of the case to where the .443 measurement stops and the shoulder begins. It should be about 1.002 +/-.001 if your RCBS Cowboy dies are like mine. SAAMI spec calls for 1.0169. If yours is more than either shorten you die the desired amount or better yet get another die that is correct.

Hope this helps
« Last Edit: November 24, 2014, 07:11:38 pm by Cliff Fendley »
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Offline Wolf Killer

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Re: SHORTENING THE 44-40 SIZER DIE AND BULLET CHOICE.
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2014, 05:08:05 pm »
Cliff,
Thanks for the input and the dimensions.
According to your dimension, and the sized cases this die is producing, the neck to shoulder is approximately .075 too short.
This tells me why I have so much trouble with the longer 44 bullets, as the bottom band is unsupported by the neck and in trying to use the Lyman 42798 even with a max crimp from a lee crimp die, just a light tap will send the bullet into the case, or the bullet walks out the case in a revolver from recoil, and the shorter Laser cast shoots like a dream as it is fully contained in the neck as it is the shortest bullet in the lot.

I think I am going to ask my gunsmith to take off  .100 from bottom of the die, then adjust as needed to get a correct neck length.

Thanks,
Donald Bowman

Offline Cliff Fendley

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Re: SHORTENING THE 44-40 SIZER DIE AND BULLET CHOICE.
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2014, 09:00:05 pm »
The one thing I would be careful with is to check and see if shortening the die is going to make the rest of the case too small below the shoulder. Check SAAMI specs and compare with what you have. It's a little tricky to measure since the rest of the case is tapered below the shoulder.

Something seems odd when you say it makes your cases look straight walled after sizing. It could be that the die was bored too deep. Maybe taking some off of the bottom will fix it. Since it obviously isn't any good the way it is I guess you have nothing to loose. Good luck.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2014, 09:04:49 pm by Cliff Fendley »
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Offline Sir Charles deMouton-Black

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Re: SHORTENING THE 44-40 SIZER DIE AND BULLET CHOICE.
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2014, 09:48:16 am »
It's been said before in this thread. Your die may not be correct. If it isn't, someone owes you a new one.

P.S: I re-read your initial post. If your 427098 mould drops .4275 max diameter, try a harder alloy to get a larger as-cast size. Or try a mould in another design. If you can't get good results from an RCBS .44-200-FN then you are truly ...

P.P.S: You could try to "Beagle" your existing mould. See the link below, use snips of aluminum foil tape between the mould blocks to obtain a larger bullet;

http://castboolits.gunloads.com/archive/index.php/t-117331.html
« Last Edit: November 27, 2014, 09:58:22 am by Sir Charles deMouton-Black »
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THE SUBLYME & HOLY ORDER OF THE SOOT (SHOTS)
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With apologies to George Santayana & W. S. Churchill

"As Mark Twain once put it, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”

Offline Trailrider

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Re: SHORTENING THE 44-40 SIZER DIE AND BULLET CHOICE.
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2014, 05:27:37 pm »
I have been using Master Craft's 210gr .44-40 bullet, ordered sized .429-.430" which are hard cast (BHN 17-22) for years (including the same bullet from their predecessos). I use Winchester brass. Initially, I had problems with my #55-xxxxx series Old Model Vaqueros chambering about anything, and sent it back to Ruger for a new cylinder. They still cut the throats .425" until just before they discontinued the caliber. Because I have had great accuracy (1-5/8" groups shooting from the bench, at 25yds), I never had the throat opened up. (The compressive stresses in the bullet matrix caused by the bullets being swaged down as they pass through the throats for a very short dwell time, apparently cause the bullets to re-expand after exiting the throats.)

I have always use RCBS regular dies, NOT the Cowboy dies, for .44-40. I use a .44 Magnum expander plug which is good to prevent collapsing the case on seatin the .429+ bullets. The sizing die reduces the diameter of the neck of the cases, and the expander plug opens the neck, but NOT as far down as the sized area. The result is a "wasp-waist" behind the bullet base. But doesn't this overwork the case? I don't know...I've only reloaded the same cases for the past 25 years or about 20 reloads, and the only brass I've lost was some that caught the mouth on the sharp edge of my Rossi M92 (sinced fixed with a file), and ones lost in the tall grass at some matches (or at "no-pickup matches)! My loads run 950 ft/sec from the 7-1/2" barrel OMV using Hodgdon's Universal
Don't know what the difference is between the RCBS regular sizer and the Cowboy sizer die. My regular on was made about 1980, according to the number stamped on the die.
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Offline w44wcf

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Re: SHORTENING THE 44-40 SIZER DIE AND BULLET CHOICE.
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2014, 06:55:15 am »
Hello Lads,
I have read with interest the mentions of shortening the 44-40 sizing die to set the neck back to "correct" or original dimensions.

I have found myself on an unstoppable 44 WCF addiction, with five rifles and six handguns in this 141 year old cartridge.
I have totally given up on using the classic Lyman 427098 with smokeless, as I can't get a bullet larger than .4275 out of the molds I have, and it is useless in lever guns and have found it throwing bullet in revolvers.

Is there any consensus on how much to peel off the die in order to get the longer neck this case needs?
Using this bullet and the RCBS Cowboy die with Starline brass, the finished rounds look like straight wall 44's having almost a loss off the bottle  neck and what there is of it is might short in comparison with early loaded rounds.

 
So is there a hands up for .075 or .100 to shave off the butt of the sizing die to get a correct neck length?

Thanks,

Wolf Killer
Donald Bowman

Don,
Being a big fan of the .44 W.C.F. / .44-40 and of their history, I have sought and found early factory cartridges for examination.
As we know, the 427098 is a copy of the original black powder bullet and thus is supported by the powder (The same is true using a capacity load of Alliant RL-7 smokeless).

427098 AVAILABLE IN LARGER DIAMETERS
Thanks to our own "Fairshake", a 427098 clone is now offered by Accurate Molds (43-210B), the advantages being that one can order a mold in the diameter of one's choosing and the lube grooves are flat bottomed and hold a bit more lube.

NECK LENGTHS:
Neck lengths on the original rounds I checked were typically .33-.35" long depending on the type (smokeless or b.p.) and manufacturer. Fast forward to the 1990's and the birth of .44-40 Cowboy ammunition by Winchester. Those rounds had a .40" long neck as did their brass cases for reloading.

Knowing that the seating depth of the 427098 was .36", I found that the Winchester brass worked well with the 427098 with the added .04" of neck length supporting the base of the bullet.

So......I had .10" removed from the bottom of my sizing die which would then allow me to size the case necks to the lengths of my choosing...... .40" for the 427098 using smokeless / .35" - 427098 using b.p. or RL-7 /  .30" for the 200 gr. Magma with a crimp groove.

427098 WITH A CRIMP GROOVE
Accurate Molds now offers a 427098 with a crimp groove. It is their 43-220C. The added .04" for the groove width makes the bullet a
bit heavier.  



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« Last Edit: December 01, 2014, 09:39:20 am by w44wcf »
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Offline Dirty Dick

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Re: SHORTENING THE 44-40 SIZER DIE AND BULLET CHOICE.
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2020, 07:14:20 pm »
Shortening the sizer die was the idea of Dave Scovill in order to prevent bullets from telescoping into the case while in the tubular rifle magazine. Factory ammo (not all, perhaps) have a case cannelure at the base of the bullet to prevent this from happening with smokeless powder. Black powder loads that fill the case with the bullet seated firmly on the powder don't have this problem.

Online Bryan Austin

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Re: SHORTENING THE 44-40 SIZER DIE AND BULLET CHOICE.
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2020, 12:42:59 pm »
I have mine set up just for this. When I get home I can give exact measurements.

Modern Loading.....​

Modern factory 200-grain soft point smokeless loads have a deep cannelure at the case / bullet base juncture to support the bullet base, having a case neck length of about  .33 " Winchester and Magtech Cowboy loads have a longer neck to support the 225-grain bullet then-used, whereas  Winchester component brass has the common .33? SAAMI neck with rolled cannelure at the base of the bullet.

  John Kort (whose assistance in providing historical research for this article is appreciated) recommends that case necks be sized .03" longer than bullet seating depth to give needed base support in addition to the crimp.  This is consistent with industry practice in loading lead bullet ammunition in other calibers, such as the .38 Special, and is necessary when using smokeless powder due to increased free airspace in the case. The common .33" SAAMI length neck does not work well with smokeless powder when loading ?historically correct? black powder bullets, such as #427098, which lack a crimp groove, requiring that they be crimped over the ogive or front band, if the bullet has one. This is because the unsupported bullet base yields under magazine spring compression, increasing seating depth, which can cause a steep pressure rise with fast-burning smokeless pistol powders!

Mouth of Resizing die was ground down .10" to achieve desired neck depth

 For more information -
https://sites.google.com/view/44winchester/handloading/ancient-history-part-1
https://sites.google.com/view/44winchester/handloading/ancient-history-part-2
https://sites.google.com/view/44winchester/handloading/redding-profile-crimp-die
« Last Edit: January 17, 2020, 12:46:01 pm by Bryan Austin »

Online Bryan Austin

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Re: SHORTENING THE 44-40 SIZER DIE AND BULLET CHOICE.
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2020, 12:49:00 pm »
Shortening the sizer die was the idea of Dave Scovill in order to prevent bullets from telescoping into the case while in the tubular rifle magazine. Factory ammo (not all, perhaps) have a case cannelure at the base of the bullet to prevent this from happening with smokeless powder. Black powder loads that fill the case with the bullet seated firmly on the powder don't have this problem.

Some bullets seat deeper than most modern 200gr bullets. I think some modern Winchester brass still has the longer neck.

https://sites.google.com/view/44winchester/handloading/redding-profile-crimp-die


 

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