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Thread: CVA Hunter in 44 Magnum

  1. #41
    Boolit Master

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    Okay, good to know the boolits aren't being sized down. I had that experience in my .303's. The brass is fairly thick and hadn't been annealed and I was full length sizing in RCBS dies that size down for optimistically small bullets of 0.311". My rifles want 0.315" boolits so pushing then into tight and stiff necks was actually sizing them down. I went to a Lee collet die with mandrel to leave case neck insides at 0.313" instead of 0.310" and annealed my brass. Made a huge difference in accuracy.

    I'd guess that blow by occurs in the chamber as the boolit is leaving the brass.

    The pressure is swelling the brass and I bet the neck has expanded before the boolit leaves so gas can start leaking past the boolit. If the throat is tight and short leade then it should seal but if a bit of clearance is there then gas must leak by the boolit before is seals in the bore.

    I don't think you could get melted lead on the case mouth otherwise. I know it surprised me when it happened with my .45-70... but only with that IMR4227 load. I have to think that enough gas blew by to take the sharp edge of the boolit base and leave that on the case mouth. Maybe someone else has a better idea.

    Now since your boolit is gas checked and powder coated it is a little more of a mystery because the lead couldn't come off the bottom driving band as it is copper or aluminum check.

    Have you recovered any boolits to check them for gas cutting?

  2. #42
    Boolit Master newton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by longbow View Post
    Okay, good to know the boolits aren't being sized down. I had that experience in my .303's. The brass is fairly thick and hadn't been annealed and I was full length sizing in RCBS dies that size down for optimistically small bullets of 0.311". My rifles want 0.315" boolits so pushing then into tight and stiff necks was actually sizing them down. I went to a Lee collet die with mandrel to leave case neck insides at 0.313" instead of 0.310" and annealed my brass. Made a huge difference in accuracy.

    I'd guess that blow by occurs in the chamber as the boolit is leaving the brass.

    The pressure is swelling the brass and I bet the neck has expanded before the boolit leaves so gas can start leaking past the boolit. If the throat is tight and short leade then it should seal but if a bit of clearance is there then gas must leak by the boolit before is seals in the bore.

    I don't think you could get melted lead on the case mouth otherwise. I know it surprised me when it happened with my .45-70... but only with that IMR4227 load. I have to think that enough gas blew by to take the sharp edge of the boolit base and leave that on the case mouth. Maybe someone else has a better idea.

    Now since your boolit is gas checked and powder coated it is a little more of a mystery because the lead couldn't come off the bottom driving band as it is copper or aluminum check.

    Have you recovered any boolits to check them for gas cutting?
    There is one other thing that could be happening. I wonder if the gas checks may not be just a hair bigger than the boolit, springing back a small amount after going through the sizer. That might give just enough clearence for a small amount of space for the gasses to leak by before the boolit is totally in the bore. I am going to try and anneal some checks for my next go around. I have never done it, or had to do it before.

    I have my boolit seated out to where it is slighly being engraved by the lands when chambered. I have not chamber cast the gun, but the leade doesnt look too long so it seems that the boolit should be sealing the bore before it is too far out of the case. I am going to have to figure out some way of catching one of these guys just so we can take a look. I have not set up anything to do so yet. I'm not sure what the best way is.

  3. #43
    Boolit Master

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    Try 4 or 5 1 gallon water jugs and maybe a bucket filled with old rags or towels after the last one. If the boolit makes it that far the rags/towels towels should catch it. Its worked for me.

    You may catch some in the water jugs but depending on boolit design they can penetrate quite a ways.

    We have very fine sand in the 100 yard berm at the local range so it isn't bad at stopping boolits for recovery.

    As long as most of the driving bands and base are more or less intact you will see if there is gas cutting.

    Longbow

  4. #44
    Boolit Master newton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by longbow View Post
    Try 4 or 5 1 gallon water jugs and maybe a bucket filled with old rags or towels after the last one. If the boolit makes it that far the rags/towels towels should catch it. Its worked for me.

    You may catch some in the water jugs but depending on boolit design they can penetrate quite a ways.

    We have very fine sand in the 100 yard berm at the local range so it isn't bad at stopping boolits for recovery.

    As long as most of the driving bands and base are more or less intact you will see if there is gas cutting.

    Longbow
    I will give it a try. I have heard that the Lee 310 sure is hard to stop. I know sand will stop it for sure, I just don't know if it will also disfigure the boolit enough to not be able to see. I'll try it both ways and post the results. I did make up a new batch of boolits that are harder than the last. I am not sure how much hardness I loose from the powder coating I do though.

  5. #45
    Boolit Master newton's Avatar
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    I got the new scope in and worked on that over the weekend. After taking off the base I am glad I decided to go ahead and bed it to the barrel. The base was only making contact on its two edges, and not the entire edge at that. While I know this is not a 'precision' rifle, there is a lot of unsupported room under the base and the potential for moisture to hide out under there also.

    The next two pictures show the base and where it makes contact on the barrel if you were to flip it over on it.

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    So what I did was to put the base back on, taped off all around it with blue tape, took the base back off and coated the exposed barrel with johnsons paste wax. I also coated most of the base with the wax, but cleaned the very bottom of it off. I did coat the very edges of the underside of the base where it was making contact. That way, I could remove the bedding from that area, leaving the rest of the base to make contact. It should make more sense in the following picture.

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    Now that entire grey area is making contact with the barrel, not just the edges of the base. I put a few small drops of the green locktight(the stuff used for press fits) on the bedding before putting it on the barrel, just to make everything nice and tight.

    I know this is way overkill for the gun, but I had never done this before to any other gun and this was a good way to test it out. It works perfectly though and you can tell that the base is rock solid against the barrel now.

    I mounted the new scope last night using a dab of the scotchcote electrical coating on the rings. I read up on it and it seems to be a really good way of securing a scope without damaging it. I feel that the whole setup is now as solid as it can be. I sure hope so. I wish I had got the burris to begin with and done all of this in the first place. I am not sure how many people have used burris scopes, but you can feel the difference between their quality and that of the cheaper ones. You can also see the difference when you shine a light down the tube and take a look around at the internals. There is no doubt in my mind that this scope will hold up to the recoil.

    So now I am 100% confident in the mechanical side of things, just need to work on the load side. I'll be sorting boolits tonight and getting them ready for shooting either tomorrow or Wednesday. Hopefully I will be posting again with some nice pictures of some beautiful targets.

  6. #46
    Nice job!

  7. #47
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    Another idea is there is no need for crimp on single shot loads. Just make sure you iron out any belling in the case mouth.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  8. #48
    Boolit Master OlDeuce's Avatar
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    Newton ...... Way Cool....Nice job... Your .44 is going to be Your go to Gun when your all done !!!!!! Ol Deuce
    Do the Best with What you have !

  9. #49
    Boolit Master newton's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. I had thought about not using a crimp, but I was not sure if it helps with the powder burn? I might try it just to see what happens.

  10. #50
    Boolit Master OlDeuce's Avatar
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    I have been told a crimp that is used in a single shot is good!.... each loaded round that is crimped will release the same (?) they say! and should help
    for holding a tight group !!! Sounds good , may work better than I think........I try and do the Factory Crimp when I can ...

    Ol Deuce
    Do the Best with What you have !

  11. #51
    Boolit Master
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    At one time someone (elmer keith?) held that cartridges like the .44mag required a heavy crimp for proper burn of the magnum pistol powders. I always crimped revolver rounds just to make sure the heavy recoil did not upset the other rounds in the cylinder.

  12. #52
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    I have enjoyed this thread and compared it to my own experience. I do not have a 44 rifle as my wife is the 44 shooter. I have a single shot 45 Colt, and a Vaquero also chambered 45 Colt. I had remarkable performance with 4227 and the loads were within 45 Colt+P specs. My rifle however has a color case hardened crescent steel but plate, remarkable efficient at transferring energy from the weapon the the shoulder with minimal loss of energy. Most fun load so far has been round ball over a mild charge of Bullseye. 900fps, 22lr quiet, devastating impact from a soft round ball.
    Common sense Gun Safety . . .

    Is taught at the Range!

  13. #53
    My pap had this as a truth in my manual I got from him.

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by fcvan View Post
    ...My rifle however has a color case hardened crescent steel but plate, remarkable efficient at transferring energy from the weapon the the shoulder with minimal loss of energy....
    ROFLMAO Nice description, but, you forgot about the blood trail from the shoulder when not mounted quite right. Kinda messes up tracking game. Is the blood mine or from the deer?

  15. #55
    Boolit Master newton's Avatar
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    I got to shoot yesterday. Not much time to play. Here are the peliminary results.

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    I first shot 3 of the 20 grain loads. They were way low on the target board(not shown), of course, because they were the first shots with the new scope. They did not really group as well as I would have liked, maybe 3"-4", so I decided to adjust the scope and try 21 grains.

    The first two shots were the ones almost touching, with that third out of the group. It was getting darker, and so I started to rush myself. I wanted to try some jacketed 240 grain that zero bullets sent me, so those were the group up high. With light running out even faster I tried 21.5 grains and went back to the Lee boolit. I did adjust the scope to bring the groups to center, but was intrigued by how much lower they shot than just a half grain lower charge.

    Light nearly gone at this point I rushed in and loaded up 3 with 22 grains. I had not been seeing any pressure signs, and 22 grains is listed as a max charge on Hodgdons website for a 325 grain BTB cast boolit. I hurried back out to the table, got the crosshairs on the target, and pulled the trigger.

    I felt a slight sting, then realized that I had not really settled in behind the gun, and with the failing light I was more focused on trying to see the target than I was on proper stance behind the gun - and I got bit by the burris. I really wanted to shoot the other two rounds, but I figured I should stop and stop the bleeding before continuing. I have never been bitten by a scope before, and I hope after this I have learned my lesson. Needless to say it was too dark to continue, and my pride was crushed enough that I was not sure if I could have continued successfully.

    I can say that I think I was actually starting to see pressure signs with that one shot though. The primer is somewhat flattened, and I almost remember it being a little sticky coming out of the chamber. I was kind of in one of those stupidity shocks so I did not pay enough attention. I will take a picture of the case tonight, and I should have enough time after work to shoot the other two rounds - at least one more - to see what it is doing again.

    I think that 22 will be too high though. I have never liked ridding the edge of pressures. It just seemed to be tightening up as I increased the charge. The 21.5 grain load is not that bad I guess. Just over 2" @ 100 yards. Maybe I was hoping that I could get closer to the 1" mark. Is that too much to ask for this gun and a cast boolit?

    I was not seeing any lead on the case mouth though. So the harder boolits seem to be working better. I have a few more of the 240gr jacketed bullets to play with, but I want to hunt with the Lee boolits so thats what I am going to focus on. I only plan to hunt with this gun at a max, and I do mean absolute max in VERY limited circumstance, of 150 yards. Most of my shots are well under 100 yards.

    Its my first big bore rifle, so I guess I could think my expectations might be too high.

    Here are a few pictures of the gun. That is also the shooting table I have, which contributed to my new scar from the scope. I have told myself that I need to raise the level higher, and to scoot the board back some because of the way I have to sit to shoot - but I keep neglecting to do those things which really hurt with proper form.

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  16. #56
    Boolit Master newton's Avatar
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    Well, after doing some reading I guess 2" might not be too bad for the gun at 100 yards.

    I think I will sight the scope in at 1"-1.5" high at 50 yards. I am willing to bet at 50yd I will be holes touching. I guess most people start at the 50yd mark, then move out to 100 yards.

  17. #57
    Boolit Master newton's Avatar
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    Ok, I'm stumped. Not entirely, but enough to make me scratch my head. I got home yesterday and worked on my bench to make it better for getting in a proper position behind the gun. I really didn't move it much, but it was enough to make a difference in how it feels. I only mention it like this because I am trying to think of all the different changes from the night before.

    After fixing the bench, I decided I might as well shoot those other two rounds I had loaded. So I sat down, made sure the gun was against my shoulder......and shot. Here is what I found when I went to look at the target.

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    Here are the changes from the night before:
    Bench sitting position
    Temperature

    I've seen POI changes before from holding the rifle different and temp changes, but this was an 11" POI change - straight up. To me that is incredible.

    I suppose about the only thing I can think of is that I was holding it much tighter against my shoulder than the night before. Making sure it would not come back and hit me again.

    The night before, as the powder charge increased, the POI started going lower. I contemplated that yesterday and came up with the reasoning that the boolit was leaving the barrel sooner, which meant a lower muzzle rise due to recoil. I have seen this happen before with shooting big bore pistols - albiet it was always at shorter ranges.

    I normally try to let a rifle recoil naturally without holding it down. I learned this lesson from when I used to use a led sled type rest. I struggled for a while with oddball groups, then one day realized that the rifle was recoiling different from one group/day to another. Once I started using bags the odd groups stopped. However, while they might have been odd, they were not 11" apart.....

    With that said, I do think it might be the 'big bore' nature of this gun which compounded things. Couple that with it being a really lightweight gun, and I can see all kinds of things going on. All the other rifles I have played with max of 30 caliber, max projectile of 200gr, and speeds are much faster. In the end, I am not going to put much stock in it. I would love to hear others idea's about it though.

    The load is definitely too hot for my taste anyway. The last round opened the action. I am not sure if I did not have it locked in place fully or what, but to have the action open up after a shot was not something I would consider a good thing. I think I will stick with 21gr to 21.5gr of W296. It really seems like that is about what everyone else uses anyways, so there has to be something about it I would think. I think that I was seeing the 20gr load do better before because I was using softer boolits.

    I think the take away with this is, once I find the load I am going to use to hunt with, I need to only practice/shoot from the types of positions I would in the field.

  18. #58
    I love shooting hot loads... Once in a while. For a good 44 mag hunting load, you don't need to be at max. I'm pretty sure I was right in the middle of the start and max charge of h110 on my last batch of bullets for my 1894 Marlin. They shot perfectly and chronoed right where they said they would. No need to shoot it to bits.

    I've loved this thread and I'm pretty sure this will be my next rifle.

  19. #59
    Boolit Master newton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wagnerwerks View Post
    I love shooting hot loads... Once in a while. For a good 44 mag hunting load, you don't need to be at max. I'm pretty sure I was right in the middle of the start and max charge of h110 on my last batch of bullets for my 1894 Marlin. They shot perfectly and chronoed right where they said they would. No need to shoot it to bits.

    I've loved this thread and I'm pretty sure this will be my next rifle.
    I would highly recommend the gun, and I’ll be getting more in other calibers.

    I honestly probably should not have pushed it up to 22 grains. I don’t like hot rod loads much. Maybe like you, just one here and there.

    I think that I’ll start back at the 20gr load and carefully work from there. I know it will give me the velocity I want.

    Now that my accuracy expectations are reasonable I think I have a better idea of what I’m looking for. Eventually I’m gonna get some 300gr xtp to try. I’ve heard it’s the bullet for this gun.

    I might try some regular lube boolits too. Never know if the powder coat is hurting, helping, or indifferent.
    Last edited by newton; 01-16-2018 at 09:48 AM.

  20. #60
    Boolit Master newton's Avatar
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    Update from over the weekend. I have to say I am honestly back on the fence about this gun at this point. I still think its a good deal for what it is, but before someone rushes into it they should know what to expect from it. I read all the reviews, researched and looked for hours online, and convinced myself that I could make it an honest 1" @ 100yd gun - as if all the others were not doing something right. I just do not think that it is possible at this point. I feel(fickle feelings) frustrated that I cannot get it there.

    We had a brutal cold snap come through over the weekend, but I did get out and did some testing at 50yds.

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    I was not sure about where my scope would be at 50 yards, so I started with the lowest target for shooting. Used 21gr as the load. Turns out it hit the second target from the bottom. Decent group, I guess. A little under 1 1/2" for 4 shots. So I adjusted the scope, and loaded up some with 20gr just to rule it out. I shot the bottom target with that load. Obviously, it hated that. That is a horrible group at 50yds I would think.

    So then I think let's try 21.5gr, just to see if it does a little better. The second target from the top was that group. It was a little bigger than the 21gr group, so I thought hey I am on to something lets just play this 21gr group out and see whats up.

    So I go and load up some more 21gr and shoot the top target. I am not sure if you can read my numbers I wrote, stating what shot was what, but what happened is I started seeing the verticle stringing with shots 1-5, and then full bore open group shot 6-9. I decided to stop there and do some research. My scope is good and tight to the gun. The rounds 'seem' fine, loaded with care and making sure things are uniform. So it made me think gun.

    I took the gun apart that night and it did turn out that when you set the forearm on the barrel you could rock it back and forth over a significant hump in the plastic. While barrel pressure usually only effects lightweight barrels, and more so when they heat up, I figured it might also effect this gun because of different ammounts of pressure being applied if you do not rest the gun the exact way each and every time you shoot. If it is just making contact with the pillars of the forearm, then the pressure from the shooting bag should not effect it as much. My theory anyways. So I spent the night and next morning opening up the forearm to where it just sits on the two pillars and nothing else.

    During my research, I found that there are a few things that can make the verticle stringing. Forearm being the main one, but inconsistent headspace being another. I began to wonder if it was a good thing to use seat the boolit long and force it into the grooves with the closing of the action. I'm undecided about that aspect to tell you the truth. But what I did, while I had the barrel off and the extractor was loose, was to test the fit of the round and find an COAL that did not use the closeing of the action to seat the cartridge all the way. Of course, this does mean that there could be some inconsistency of boolit pressure against the lands - depending on how much powder coating is on the nose.

    I had a few moments yesterday afternoon, even though it was brutally cold, to try out the new 'floating' stock and COAL. Since I was seating deeper, by around .03" I decided to drop my charge down some.

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    I did load one round at the 21gr level before I thought that I might drop it down some. I shot it first and it ended up way high and left of the POA. Then I shot the 20.5gr load and got the two touching with one right of them an 1.5". I was somewhat disapointed that I had that one flier like that after all the work I did with the stock. I wanted to see what they did at 100 yards so I shot some and it was way open, like over 3" or so and just very dissapointing. I did not take a picture. I also decided to see if I could hit a steel plate out at 125yd with them, and while I did, the groups were even wider and sporadic - not to mention the drop......

    However, I was not trying to have a really tight 125yd gun in the first place. So I put that behind me and had a little time left so I decided to play with some 240gr jacketed bullets I have. I loaded them up with 23.5gr and shot that little group you see above the lower right diamond. Blew me away, hair over 1/2" at 50 yards. That is the kind of thing I am looking for. So I decided to see what 100yds was like with them. I got right at 2", with the first two being 3/4" apart and the third kind of horizontaly off to the left. That could of deffinitely been me, as by this time I had been in the cold for a little while and the sun was going down fast.

    No pictures, sorry, but I am going to test those again and I will take pictures for sure. Point is, now I am beginning to really question the 300gr boolit. Is it me? Is it the gun not liking the boolit? I have been casting and shooting cast for a while. I have NEVER had this hard of a time working up a good load for a gun with a boolit. I have worked on some seemingly tough to do rounds, .223 being one, and never failed to be able to produce a good shooter. This one is really getting me. Is it the nature of a big bore rifle?

    I like working up loads for guns, but at the same time, I like to be progressing when doing so. With this gun, it just seems like I do the whole one step forward two steps back. It is so erratic. I am gonna pull my hair out if I go to test those jacketed bullets again and they fly all over the place. Sorry for the long rant, I'll stop here for now.
    Last edited by newton; 01-16-2018 at 02:32 PM.

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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