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Thread: Locating a 44-40 starting load 2400 powder

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Locating a 44-40 starting load 2400 powder

    Locating a 44-40 starting load using 2400 powder.

    I want to check my memory and can't find the loading data in my books.
    I think I remember I used to load the Lyman standard bullet (205grs) over 14.7grs of the old 2400 powder. A very mild load that shoot easy in the old Winchester 1892 I have. I think it is so mild it is a starting load for the Winchester 1873. I can't find where I came up with it, and I wonder if one of you might know this load?

    Thanks in advance. -Chill Wills
    Chill Wills

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    Hopefully someone with more experience than I says for sure but everything I've ever read, Dave Scovill writings included, went up to around 16.5 grs. I'd be a little more careful if a 73 is being used. Starting I suppose would a grain or so less.

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    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook 4th Edition (2010) on p. 208 has pressure tested .44-40 rifle data using Alliant #2400 with #427666, 200-grain No.2 alloy:

    Start 13.2 grs. 1035 fps, 7,900 cup_______Max. 16.5 grs. 1232 fps, 12,800 cup

    I did some limited testing in my Marlin 1894S .44-40 made in 1993

    Accurate 43-200Q 1:30 tin-lead, Remington NFP case, 15.4 grs. Alliant #2400 1178 fps, 23 Sd. this should be OK in an 1873. This load used to be listed by Alliant on their web site about ten years ago, but they no longer list #2400 powder in the .44-40.

    I did some additional testing with heavier charges in my Ruger Vaquero and the Marlin rifle, and my experience was that the velocity standard deviations became erratic, over 50 fps on a ten-shot strong, with extreme spreads over 100 fps above 16.5 grains, so I was afraid to use #2400 for high velocity .44-40 loads, although this has frequently been recommended for stronger rifles like the Winchester 92.

    My best results to date in .44-40 loads which are safe to use in older rifles like the 1873 Winchester has been with Alliant RL7, using charges from 24.5-26.0 grains, depending upon bullet weight and case capacity. The objective is to provide a case full of powder which gives base support to the bullet in the same manner in which black powder does. The correct charge is a full case with no airspace, with slight compression, about 1/16" is good. RL7 powder may be further compressed safely, but there is no advantage to doing so.

    RL7 was pressure tested and recommended many years ago by Hercules to provide the full-charge black powder velocity using smokeless powder, closely approximating pre-WW2 factory load ballistics in the .44-40. A "nominal case full" of RL7 provides a safe load with a 240-grain lead bullet using 24.5 grains of powder or with a 200-grain lead bullet loading 26.5 grains of powder.

    You cannot get enough RL7 into a .44-40 case to get into trouble, as with when you load bullets heavier than 200 grains at an overall cartridge length which feeds in the 1873, increased seating depth reduces powder capacity, so the charge is self-limited by available powder capacity. These loads are also safe in revolvers, although they leave unburned powder particles which can be a nuisance.
    Last edited by Outpost75; 07-03-2018 at 12:18 PM.
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    Thanks for the reply. Good info. I did dig back down into my old data and found where I have been loading this 14.7gr load of 2400. So I am on safe ground and will load it some more. It happens to work well in my rifle. Very mild.
    I have a ton of 2400 so I am likely to use it however, I have a happy relationship with reloader-7 and if I feel the need for stronger loads I will be trying it too.

    I am still wondering where I saw my load in the first place. Now I just want to locate it references, .....just because So I know I am not losing my mind.
    Chill Wills

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    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    IIRC that load was in the older Ideal loading handbooks pre-1970 or so. If you have old Hercules powder it should be right on.
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    Ken Waters pushes Unique, 4759 and 4227 in "Pet Loads". His chart shows poor accuracy with 2400.
    A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms *shall not be infringed*.

    "The greatest danger to American freedom is a government that ignores the Constitution."
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    "While the people have property, arms in their hands, and only a spark of noble spirit, the most corrupt Congress must be mad to form any project of tyranny."
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    Boolit Man
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    Someone gave me some Trail boss powder otherwise I would never have tried it. anyway.. 6.4 grains with a powder coat 200 grain CRFN is very mild and fun to shoot.. I imagine it is like 1100 fps from my 1873 rifle and fun and accurate to shoot.

    lazs

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokeywolf View Post
    Ken Waters pushes Unique, 4759 and 4227 in "Pet Loads". His chart shows poor accuracy with 2400.
    I never loaded past the starting load for this old low numbered 1892 Winchester because it was so accurate and so mild. Probably the difference in rifles and barrels from Ken Waters tests. My '92 rifle is a round barreled rifle length which I think is 24 inches on a 1892. I could imagine a Marlin or Winchester carbine hating the same load just because it does not have the same barrel time and exit in the sweetspot in the barrel vibration.

    My 14 year old son and I were camping in a high woods camp here in Colorado last week, about 11,000 feet elevation, and he shot it for the first time. I could not get it away from him. Nor, I did not try very hard. We had some small chunks of firewood set up in front of some large old logging stumps for him to shoot. He enjoyed learning how to at first, hit them and then after he got used to the post and peep, make them hop. It put a smile on my face but now we need to load some for the next outing.
    Last edited by Chill Wills; 07-10-2018 at 08:24 AM. Reason: spelling
    Chill Wills

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chill Wills View Post
    I never loaded past the starting load for this old low numbered 1892 Winchester because it was so accurate and so mild. Probably the difference in rifles and barrels from Ken Waters tests. My '92 rifle is a round barreled rifle length which I think is 24 inches on a 1892. I could imagine a Marlin or Winchester carbine hating the same load just because it does not have the same barrel time and exit in the sweetspot in the barrel vibration.

    My 14 year old son and I were camping in a high woods camp here in Colorado last week, about 11,000 feet elevation, and he shot it for the first time. I could not get it away from him. Nor, I did not try very hard. We had some small chunks of firewood set up in front of some large old logging stumps for him to shoot. He enjoyed learning how to at first, hit them and then after he got used to the post and peep, make them hop. It put a smile on my face but now we need to load some for the next outing.
    When I said "pushes" Unique, 4759 and 4227, I should have used the word, "favors" Unique, 4759 and 4227.

    Taking into consideration the vintage of rifle and the kind of shooting you're doing, were it me I think I'd be trying Unique, as I tend to believe it's one of the better smokeless powders for duplicating the black powder pressure curve.
    A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms *shall not be infringed*.

    "The greatest danger to American freedom is a government that ignores the Constitution."
    - Thomas Jefferson

    "While the people have property, arms in their hands, and only a spark of noble spirit, the most corrupt Congress must be mad to form any project of tyranny."
    - Rev. Nicholas Collin, Fayetteville Gazette (N.C.), October 12, 1789

  10. #10
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    Yes, Unique is a favorite powder of mine and I try to always have some.
    I agree, Unique's burn rate is something like BP in the pressure traces I have seen published. I am not sure but, it could be this starting load of H2400 may just be less peak pressure than Unique but have more area under the curve. If ever I run out of must do's on the list, I can test the two powders, Unique and H 2400 together.
    Chill Wills

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    Where's Kirk D anymore? He did a lot of study on this kind of thing. Helped me out a lot anyway. For my 73 in 38 I ended up using a combo of IMR 4227 and polly shot buffer as a gas check and filler. Some I know don't like to do this but it worked excellent for me.

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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