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Thread: Loads for 44-40 (.44wcf)

  1. #21
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    Patrick, I posted on another of your postings today but I had to add what I know on this one. First I have shot the 44WCF cartridge for several years starting in the 70's. I have shot this caliber in SASS shooting since 2007 in the Frontier Cartridge class because as far as I'm concerned, I feel it's the best cartridge ever designed for shooting the real Black powder that it was designed to shoot.
    This cartridge was never meant to shoot 225 grain bullets, stick with the 200 gr class bullet. The Lee REAL bullet was never meant to be fired in a cartridge case, it was intended to be fired in a muzzle loader from the front of the barrel.
    There also has been a lot of talk about the different sizes on the 44WCF guns, that is not the fault of the cartridge but the gun makers who build guns for it.
    Marlin and Ruger are two great examples of what I'm speaking about. Marlin decided to build all of it's rifles in 44WCF with 44 mag barrels that had .430 bores. As we all know, the standard that was set for the 44WCF is .427. Marlin only had to make one size barrel for all of it's 44 guns, a decision by a bean counter most likely. Ruger has been all over the board on this caliber with some of it's guns being too small and others being too large. They had persons who had Ruger revolvers with cylinders that were .428 and bores that were.430, that does not work well.
    Now for my next little bit of info. The 44WCF was brought out in the 1873 Winchester lever action to be an answer to Colt's 45 Colt in it's SAA. It was never designed to be a high pressure cartridge to get 44 magnum results from. A smokeless load of 8 grains of Unique will give about 950 FPS as will the original load of 40 grains of BP will.
    The best case to purchase is the Starline as it will outlast all the others by many loadings and they are much cheaper than Winchester or Remington.
    I know I can't help you by sending you any cases but I may be able to send you plenty of info on loading for this cartridge. I was a Firearms Instructor and Armorer for a very large Police department and know that since the Twin Towers, all of the rules have changed. I will look into it and see what I'm allowed to send you if you are interested. PM me with your info. Take Care David


    PS Do a search on this forum and the SASS forum for postings on this cartridge. My SASS handle is Fairshake even though I go by Cajun Shooter on this forum.
    Shooter of the "HOLY BLACK" SASS 81802 AKA FAIRSHAKE; NRA ; BOLD; WARTHOG;Deadwood Marshal;Bayou Bounty Hunter; So That his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat; 44 WCF filled to the top, 210 gr. bullet

  2. #22
    I bought the RCBS 210 gr mould because it has a defined crimping groove. The nose is flat too as should all .44-40 boolits be. I cast ww and sized to .427" Alox lube and load 6.0 gr of Alliant American Select. Out of my 3rd generation Colt SAA with 4 3/4" bbl chronographed 844, 835, 840, 736 and 689 fps with CCI 300's and Starline brass. This was all I needed so I stopped any further research. I really don't shoot the .44-40 much, Colt's gave me the second cylinder in .44-40 for my .44 Special. It hits a little low but is very pleasant to shoot.

    Original .44-40 boolits didn't have much of a groove but the boolits didn't recess down into the cases because the compressed black powder provided sufficient resistance against the spring tension in the tubular magazines even under recoil.

    The thing about the .44-40 is the brass is thin and prone to crushing if your ham handed. I have to load the .44-40 on a single stage to protect my brass whereas the .44 Special runs through my progressive no problem. And there is that extra step of having to lube the cases because your running bottle neck cases through steel dies. I'm sure everyone has quit reading this my now because my comments are so elementary.

  3. #23
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Since I started messing around with the 44-40 WCF cartridge about 15 years ago, it has impressed me as a pretty darn capable cartridge in both long arms and side iron. Specific to the revolver, it launches a 200 grain-class bullet at 900-950 FPS. This seems to be the velocity window chosen by all the Facklerite jello-blasters as the Ideal Velocity to prompt Controlled Expansion of properly designed jacketed hollow point bullets. Compare these ballistics to that of the original 44 Special--a 240 grain RN loping along at 700 FPS. One look at the current Bestest And Mostest anti-goblin chambering extant--the 40 S&W--and we see its 180 grain JHP running 925-950 FPS in the real world. This is an exact duplicate of the 38-40 WCF's revolver performance, same weight/velocity/diameter. The late Frank Barnes was absolutely correct when he asserted in his first "Cartridges of the World" that "There really is nothing new under the sun. The 44-40 in a revolver runs a bullet 11% heavier and 4% wider at the same clip produced by the vaunted 40 S&W........what's not to like? It has shown itself to be a decisive stopper of bad guys historically, which the passage of time won't modify--and no slouch as a game fields caliber in a lot of woods or broken country environments. The little '73 Winchester in my gun safe has grassed more game animals than the rest of my rifles all combined, owing to its tenure as a ranch rifle for 30+ years extending into the Great Depression. It more than did its part on muleys and a few black bears over those years.
    I don't paint bullets. I like Black Rifle Coffee. Sacred cows are always fair game. California is to the United States what Syria is to Russia and North Korea is to China/South Korea/Japan--a Hermit Kingdom detached from the real world and led by delusional maniacs, an economic and social basket case sustained by "foreign" aid so as to not lose military bases.

  4. #24
    Boolit Buddy
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    Ok, thank you Larry, I have to search for a can of N32C. I have on the shelf n310,320 and 340 but I have never tried the 32C. N340 works well in my Winchester 65 25-20 and I use it also in my .38spec. Loaded also some 30-30 with it, not to mention my Win 94 in 44magn.

  5. #25
    Boolit Buddy Savvy Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick56 View Post
    Hi, I am adding a Uberti Remington 1875 to my arsenal of odd calibers. I tried to search for threads about the 44-40 but could not find any? Would like to hear if somebody has used Vihtavuori powders in that caliber. Ordered Starline cases from Germany and reloading and sizing dies from Titan. I am going to use Lee .429 bullets in the 240gr range. Have to check the real diameter of the bore and throats when I get the gun.
    UMC Manufactured a lead hollow point for Remington's 1875 and 1890 SA Revolvers and called them "44 Remingtons"
    http://www.oldammo.com/january06.htm

  6. #26
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    This is timely as I have a 44 WCF project in the works. Published "scary" loads can be found in the back of the 1970s Lyman manual. 200 gr jsp around 2000 fps scary..........! No thanks; I tried some in my Rossi lever long ago and the magazine crept forward on recoil. My new rifle will be fed around 1100 fps with a 200ish boolit.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  7. #27
    Pat - MY Uberti throats are ~.430. I size bullets to that size. Recommend you size to the throats. Using Starline brass/Lee dies. Started with WW+2%tin cast/~12bhn. Plan to move to 20:1 alloy/10 bhn. using a Lee 44-200 mold that drops 215 for me (WW alloy). Traditional 44 WCF load data

    44 WCF 205-215 grn Bullet 840-950 fps
    Powder grns fps
    HP 38/W231 7.1 (7.3 is traditional) 850-875 7.1 accurate in mine. exoect 7.3 same
    Unique 8.0-9.0 840-950 8-8.5 accurate in mine. 8.0 is very pleasant
    Power Pistol 8.0-8.5 (Taffin 8.8) 865
    Bullseye 6.0-6.5 850
    2400 13.0-14.0 850-900

  8. #28
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    I had a smith DA and a ruger Blackhawk. both shot real well with a 200 rf lee and 9.5 grains of herco. Unique and power pistol worked well to at that level but both guns did there best with herco.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  9. #29
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    Lloyd--

    What do ya know, ANOTHER place where Herco does good work. I have used Herco for years in 1-1/4 oz 12 gauge and 28 gauge shotshells, and it does well in mid-level magnum revolver rounds (900-1100 FPS/plain-base castings). I have used it in place of now-obsolete SR-4756 in the 32/20 WCF revolvers. I need to try these loads (9.5 grains) under SAECO #446 in my 44/40s.
    I don't paint bullets. I like Black Rifle Coffee. Sacred cows are always fair game. California is to the United States what Syria is to Russia and North Korea is to China/South Korea/Japan--a Hermit Kingdom detached from the real world and led by delusional maniacs, an economic and social basket case sustained by "foreign" aid so as to not lose military bases.

  10. #30
    Boolit Master Reverend Al's Avatar
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    I've loaded for an original '73 Winchester, four '92 Winchesters, plus a Remington pump all in .44-40 and all have responded very well to the RCBS bullet cast medium hard (about 200 grains), sized big at .430" (to fill up and seal those big old original rifle bores), and loaded with 7.5 to 9.0 grains of Unique depending on the personal preferences of each rifle. I've used the same loads in a pair of Uberti SAA 5 1/2" revolvers in .44-40 too. These were all used for CAS so high performance / high velocity loads were never needed or wanted.
    I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't reached my "Expiry" date!

  11. #31
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    Yup it always made me shake my head. Ive about allways got better accuracy with unique in the 41s and 44s but the 4440 and the 45 colt have allways seemed to like herco better.
    Quote Originally Posted by 9.3X62AL View Post
    Lloyd--

    What do ya know, ANOTHER place where Herco does good work. I have used Herco for years in 1-1/4 oz 12 gauge and 28 gauge shotshells, and it does well in mid-level magnum revolver rounds (900-1100 FPS/plain-base castings). I have used it in place of now-obsolete SR-4756 in the 32/20 WCF revolvers. I need to try these loads (9.5 grains) under SAECO #446 in my 44/40s.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  12. #32
    Boolit Buddy Savvy Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas by God View Post
    This is timely as I have a 44 WCF project in the works. Published "scary" loads can be found in the back of the 1970s Lyman manual. 200 gr jsp around 2000 fps scary..........! No thanks; I tried some in my Rossi lever long ago and the magazine crept forward on recoil. My new rifle will be fed around 1100 fps with a 200ish boolit.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
    Tex, Buffalo Bore is now manufacturing 44-40 ammunition that replicates original black powder velocities of 1,300+ fps and remain under the SAAMI max chamber pressures of 13,000cup/11,000psi

    I load my own ammo but I did purchase a box and I am very pleased with the ammunition they offer. I got extremely good groups at 100 yards.

    Here is the link to the thread: http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...avy-quot-44-40

    And here is the link to the 44 website write-up: https://www.44winchestercenterfireca...m/buffalo-bore

  13. #33
    Boolit Buddy Savvy Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lloyd Smale View Post
    Yup it always made me shake my head. Ive about allways got better accuracy with unique in the 41s and 44s but the 4440 and the 45 colt have allways seemed to like herco better.
    lloyd, take a look at this powder. I dont think it's Herco but...
    http://www.marlinowners.com/forum/te...ml#post7024713

  14. #34
    Sorry, can't help with the hard to find VV powders. My favorite powder for full power loads was SR-4756, but it's out of production. Alliant Herco works great too!

    Bullet: Suterís Choice 200 gr. RNFP (.428)
    Powder: Alliant Herco 8.6 grs.
    Primer: Federal 150
    Case: Starline 44-40
    Average Velocity: 990.45 fps
    Gun: 7 1/2 inch USFA Single Action

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check