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Thread: Loads for original 44 1/2 in 38-55?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Loads for original 44 1/2 in 38-55?

    I've had this 44 1/2 in 38-55 for a while, but I haven't had a chance to do anything with it, but I'm hoping to get the time over the summer. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with the rifles and has info on good loads so I've got a place to start.
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I have a 52 in 38-55 (44 action) and shot a lot of commercial cast bullets in it. I don't know the mould number but it was a 242g flat nose intended for lever rifles. I got some really good groups with 19gr of H4198. I chose the 4198 because it had the lowest pressures in the manual I was using. The 44 is weaker than the 44 1/2 so you might be able to step that up a tad. I had started at 16 gr and worked it up until I got decent groups. The 16gr load was way too light and strung vertically 6" and sooted the cases about half way down. The 19gr load only sooted a tiny bit and was getting some 1 1/2" groups at 100 yds off a bench.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    The 44 1/2 is a very strong action. It was the only one of the single shots that was made for smokeless powder. I like 4759 because it does a better job of filling the older cases. The Hi Wall and the Borchardt are also very strong. The bullet I use for casual shooting is the Lee 250 38-55 bullet. I load 18 grains of 4759 behind it and it shoots very well.
    A GUN THAT'S COCKED AND UNLOADED AIN'T GOOD FOR NUTHIN'........... ROOSTER COGBURN

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks! I should have mentioned that I intend to shoot smokeless in this gun, at least to start.

    I've got some 4759 tucked on the shelf I think. I'll try that out.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    You might look in the loading manuals for 4227 loads... they work well in the 44 1/2 action with lead bullets.

    Froggie
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  6. #6
    Boolit Man
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    I have had excellent results with IMR 4198 that was Ken Waters Pet Loads for weak actions as I shoot a Stevens 44. Very accurate.
    Bob
    Last edited by 50target; 05-26-2018 at 10:22 PM.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    Considering how strong a 44 1/2 is any midrange load or even a bit hotter is fine. Cast bullet loads should be no issue for a 44 1/2.

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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