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Thread: Suggest some molds/bullets for 44-40 with .431 bore

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    Suggest some molds/bullets for 44-40 with .431 bore

    I'm looking for a good bullet mold to use with my New Winchester 92 (Miroku made) in 44-40.

    I have made cerrosafe casts of the chamber and last 3 inches of the barrel and my casts came out at .4285 but were .431 after 1 hour which according to cerrosafe instructions should be the exact size.

    I have been using .429 bullets with mixed results so i wan't to try something that casts a bit bigger than .431 and can be lube sized in a LAM2.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master mehavey's Avatar
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    What alloy/hardness are you currently shooting the .429s ?

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    Make sure you can chamber a round loaded that big - boolit + case - before you invest in a mold.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by mehavey View Post
    What alloy/hardness are you currently shooting the .429s ?
    2% tin, 6% antimony, 92% lead

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    As a suggestion I'd add 50% lead to that and then 2% tin for a 94/3/3 alloy.

    What mould/bullet are you casting for it now?
    Larry Gibson

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  6. #6
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    My experience with modern produced .44-40 rifles such as the Marlin and Rossi has been that they all use barrels of .44 Magnum bore and groove dimensions and that chamber necks are large enough to accept .431" diameter cast bullets which fit properly and shoot well.

    Attachment 220537

    With Starline brass you require a chamber neck diameter of 0.447" to load .430-.431" bullets vs. .444-.445" in older guns suited for .427-.428" bullets.

    IF you have a chamber neck which is too tight to provide safe release clearance with a cast bullet of correct diameter to fit your barrel, the solution is to order the Accurate 43-200QL. This bullet has a reduced diameter shank, which provides safe release clearance in old, tight chamber necks. It also has an enlarged nose flange north of the crimp groove, in the manner of an RWS "stop-ring", which can then be sized to the exact diameter required to fit your barrel, without affecting the driving band diameters.

    The late John Kort worked with Tom Ellis at Accurate and I to design 43-200QL, which John tested with black powder as well as Alliant RL7 smokeless in original Winchester 1873 rifles having barrel groove diameters as large as .435", and it always shot well. The 43-200Q bullet is an earlier design with conventional small lube ring for use with smokeless powder. The 43-200QL as revised by John Kort has adequate lube capacity to prevent foul-out with full charge black powder loads using SPG lube and is the design I now recommend.

    An alloy of 1:30 or 1:40 tin-lead is also recommended with either smokeless or black powder.

    The best technical solution is to MEASURE the NECK of your chamber, by tapping a pure lead .45 cal. round ball into the NECK of the chamber only, then tap it out and measure with a micrometer. Then measure the neck diameter of a DUMMY round assembled with your bullet and compare. The neck diameter of the loaded cartridge must be 0.0015" less than the chamber neck for safe release and springback. If the fit of the cartridge is too tight, you must either ream the chamber neck, or use a bullet with smaller diameter shank to provide safe clearance.

    Attachment 220536
    Last edited by Outpost75; 05-16-2018 at 11:56 AM.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Man
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    Just a thought. You can cast a larger bullet with your current mold if you "Beagle" it. You will have to get a .431 sizing die or hone out the one you have.

    Instructions for Beagling and honing a size die are on this site. Use the search feature.

  8. #8
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    I'll have to disagree with your using the word "ALL" when speaking of the Rossi 44wcf rifles. I've owned at least 6-7 in the past 15 years in that caliber that had bbls that fell into the proper range for the caliber at .427-.428. The one that I have at this time slugged out at .427 I was a good friend of John's and also worked with him on many 44wcf bullets. John was a Marlin man through and through and knew that they used the 44 mag bbls on all of the 44 caliber rifles and that they called for larger bullets.
    John had one Marlin 44wcf that was very accurate with my Accurate bullet,the
    43-210 sized at .429 with BHN 10 alloy.
    A lot of shooters get into trouble today with shooting a bullet that is way too hard and it fails to have any obturation. I've never had any problems with keeping my 44wcf loads with bullets in the BHN 10-12 range. Later David
    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

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Cajun Shooter, what "vintage" are your Rossi rifles?

    Mine is a pre-safety Interarms and is .430", as are both of my Marlins.
    Last edited by Outpost75; 06-26-2018 at 04:33 PM.
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master




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    Quote Originally Posted by CamoWhamo View Post
    2% tin, 6% antimony, 92% lead
    I assume you have a supply of that Magnum Metal. Way harder than necessary, for the 44-40. cut 50/50 w/Pb, and add another 1% Sn. Or go to WW+2%Sn, which is about what my suggestion will give you.
    Echo
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  11. #11
    Boolit Man
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    Larry and Echo,

    I buy clean ready-made alloys from a foundry here (i'm in Australia) and they make several different alloys.
    Hardball which is the aforementioned 2% tin, 6% antimony, 92% lead
    Lyman #2 (5% tin, 5% antimony, 90% lead)
    Tin/Lead mixes in 1:16, 1:20, 1:25, 1:30
    Linotype
    Pure Lead.

    Working with what is available to me what alloy should i buy to cut my existing stock of the hardball (i have about 30 pounds of it here) and in future what should i be buying.

    I might be able to buy pure tin. I need to ask the foundry if they have it.

    Is your suggestion for softer alloy specific to the .44-40 or is it across the board? I'm also casting for .30-30, .303 Brit, .357, .375, .38-55 and .44-40.

    Thanks

  12. #12
    Boolit Master mehavey's Avatar
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    When running traditional BP velocities/pressures, soft is your friend along w/ fast(er) powders when possibly undersize. (30-1/BN: 6-8)

    - This works up to 1,200fps or so (rifle barrel velocities) and using Lyman 50/50 lube

    - Between 1250-1500, #2(BN:15) (and/or Hardball) using Lyman 50/50

    - Getting into the 1,700-2,200 regime (i.e.the 30 calibers), #2/Hardball and ALOX



    Rules of beginning-thumb only: (No plan survives 1st contact)
    Last edited by mehavey; 05-17-2018 at 07:35 AM.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by CamoWhamo View Post
    Larry and Echo,

    I buy clean ready-made alloys from a foundry here (i'm in Australia) and they make several different alloys.
    Hardball which is the aforementioned 2% tin, 6% antimony, 92% lead
    Lyman #2 (5% tin, 5% antimony, 90% lead)
    Tin/Lead mixes in 1:16, 1:20, 1:25, 1:30
    Linotype
    Pure Lead.

    Working with what is available to me what alloy should i buy to cut my existing stock of the hardball (i have about 30 pounds of it here) and in future what should i be buying.

    I might be able to buy pure tin. I need to ask the foundry if they have it.

    Is your suggestion for softer alloy specific to the .44-40 or is it across the board? I'm also casting for .30-30, .303 Brit, .357, .375, .38-55 and .44-40.

    Thanks
    If you can get the tin then my suggestion for the alloy you have to make 94/3/3 alloy remains.

    Next purchase get the Lyman #2 alloy and lead. Then just mix the #2 with 40% lead for the 94/3/3 alloy and you won't need any additional tin. That alloy will work very well "across the board" with the cartridges you mention. The alloy will be well balanced in antimony and tin, will cast well, will have an Ac'd BHN of 14- 16 and if WQ'd will have a BHN of 18 - 22. It's an excellent alloy for smokeless powder loads in all those cartridges. You can also simply add more lead for a softer alloy if wanted.

    Of course for excellent quality match capable rifle bullets the #2 alloy is excellent, it's what I use.

    Also a 1-16 alloy will do very nicely in all those cartridges also up through 1800 fps +/-.
    Larry Gibson

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  14. #14
    Boolit Master Reverend Al's Avatar
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    I've been shooting a number of different .44-40's over the years, mostly original Winchester '92's and a '73 and have had very good success with the RCBS 200 grain mould. I load them at .430" in all of my .44-40's and that old '73 rifle would keep 10 out of 10 rounds on the 200 yard gong at our local range with 7.5 to 8.0 grains of Unique under that RCBS boolit.
    I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't reached my "Expiry" date!

  15. #15
    Boolit Man
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    Thanks Larry,

    I drained my pot and checked how much alloy I have here. All up I’ve got 22kg (48lb) of the hardball.
    I did the maths and worked out I can cut that 50:50 with the 1:25 tin:lead and the end alloy will be 3:3:94 (actually 2.92% tin and antimony so close enough).

    I look forward to see what the results will be.

  16. #16
    Boolit Man
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    A bit of an update.

    I mixed 10kg (22lb) of my Hardball with an identical quantity of 1:25 to get my alloy at your suggested 3:3:94 ratios.

    Today i received a .432 200gn mold from Accurate Molds and i got right into casting some.

    They dropped from the mold at between .433 & .434 and sized I sized them down to .431 in the LAM II with some LBT soft blue lube.

    I also used the Lee lead hardness tool to check the BHN of a couple and i got 12.5 (air cooled) 8 hours after casting them. Do they harden as they mature?

    Having .431 boolits opened another can of worms as they won't won't fit in the seating dies properly.
    I used a .433 flex hone on my Lee seating die and honed it out until the sized boolits are a sliding fit through the die.

    Using winchester brass and the NOE expanders for the lee universal die i tried both .431-.427 and a .433-.429 expanders.
    Both chambered ok but the larger one was a snug fit and the last 1/8" needed a slight push to chamber fully.

    I'm going to load up some tommorrow and will visit the range this coming weekend for some testing.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outpost75 View Post
    Cajun Shooter, what "vintage" are your Rossi rifles?
    I'm sorry that it took so long for me to answer this posting. I failed to look back and my feeble mind forgot. I guess I should of had a follow request in.
    I've owned several of the Rossi rifles as I stated,although only one with the safety and it still had a bore of .428 My early Navy models all came in at .427 I myself never purchased any 92 that was manufactured by Rossi under different names have any bbl's that were not in line with the correct dimensions. The Navy models were the best rifles in the 92.
    I did hear that they had a run of rifles that were made with out of specs bbls that hurt them until it was corrected. Take Care David
    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

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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