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Thread: Ruger 77/44 - Cast Boolits - Success!

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Southeast US
    Posts
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    Ruger 77/44 - Cast Boolits - Success!

    Boolit Makers & Gentlemen,

    I've been following this topic regarding the 77/44 it seems like forever. I've got a 77/357 tack driver shooting lead so I decided to get one in a 44. I've corresponded with Crusty Ole Coot and others so I took the bait and came up with good results. So for those still interested or thinking about getting one, here goes:

    Slugged the bore = 0.4295
    Boolit - LBT 280gr LFN Plain Base boolit that drop from the mold at 0.4335 with a WW alloy.
    Gas Check - Pat Marlin's checkmaker using soda cans - these things don't come off and they look cool too!
    Sized - 0.432 with gas check swaged on the plain base and Veral's LBT Blue lube
    Powder - H110 Started with 20.0 gr and went to 22.0
    Primer - CCI 350 Started to flatten at 21.5 grains and they are flat at 22.0. I will stop there.
    Brass - Assorted
    Crimp - Lee Factory Crimp Die
    Velocity - I don't really know but based on data that I've gathered I'm guessing the 1600's.

    Notes: Veral (LBT) builds a top quality mold that has spring roll pins. These may take awhile to break in. At first I thought I had a mold that dropped 0.440 but it was not closing all the way. Veral was very patient with me about my fussing and under close exam - one of the pins was very tight fitting so I fixed that and got perfect boolits - they drop from the mold better than any mold I've ever used. For my alloy I use 9lbs clip-on WW to 1lb of 50/50 bar solder so I can come close to Lyman #2. I may throw in a nugget of Rotometals Super Hard if Im in the mood to harden things up a bit more. I water quench the boolits then size and lube with Pat's gas check that same day. NO leading of the barrel occurred with 35 shots during the test.

    First problems: Rolled a few of these and found they would not fit or cycle well in the factory rotary magazine. There are 2 solutions and I did both. First is trim the 44 mag case to minimum length and they will fit better but there still may be some hang-ups due to the molding/casting of the rotary magazine. Second was to take the mag apart and file just over 1mm of metal from the front of the mag leaving the feed ramp in tact. Then take a few thousands off the left side of the magazine (as it sits in the receiver) where the boolit itself will touch. Be sure to take out any casting edges on the metal and plastic. Be sure to flush up where the plastic meets the metal too. Polish everything off with a Dremel and rouge. Use very fine quality needle files to start with and keep inside corners slightly rounded. Put the mag back together carefully - can be a PITA until you figure it out. Now my cartridges with this 280 LFN cycle and feed very well. There is a 3rd option = When ordering the mold you can get the crimp ring cut slightly higher but that will make the bullet seat deeper in the case.

    I set up at 75 yards to do this. My longer range had swarms of South GA swamp mosquitos that will bleed me out fast.

    First 5 shots at 20 grains just sucked and I thought.. oh no, not another 77/44 dud.
    When I reached the 21 grain load, the group started to tighten up significantly. Then when I got up to 22.0 grains of H110 I had a very nice group and noticed a bit of pressure kicking in. BUT... After the 3rd shot the barrel heats up and my groups start to string vertically. If I let it cool between shots it groups well. Sooo based on that I will lap the bore, then float the barrel. It fits very tight in that factory stock. I also installed some bolt shims previous to getting the load worked up. I did lap my 77/357 barrel and it will almost cloverleaf at 100 yards with cast boolits -gas checked the same way. I use JB Bore compound or superfine Clover brand grinding compound with the felt disks from Brownell's. I lapped the 357 bore with 350 passes with JB's changing the felt every 100 strokes. With Clover I stop at 200 bore passes and test. I do not fire lap. If anyone needs pictures of the magazine work, PM me with your email and I will send what you need to see. Regardless of the stringing, I'm happy with the results and love the 280 grain LBT boolit. I love Pat Marlin's PB gas checks too. They require an extra step compared to others out there but they have been very successful for me. I just bought a Henry All Steel 44 mag carbine and I'm going to see how it works out with this load soon. If anyone is interested in following that let me know and I'll keep you in the loop or if anyone has done this with a Henry, please let me know.

    As you can see in the picture, the group will start to spread a bit when the bbl heats up, but overall - not bad considering what everyone has been through with these particular 44's.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    280 LFN LBT w/ Pat Marlin gas checks
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    Modified Rotary Magazine
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    Last edited by Doubleg; 08-12-2018 at 09:06 PM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    14
    pictures or it didn't happen

  3. #3
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Southeast US
    Posts
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    Rickys2 I'm looking at the target picture reading this..... Dunno whats going on??

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Apr 2017
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    Southwest, Wisconsin
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    Sweet! Check some of my old posts and photos on my home page. You can check out pics I have of my test groups there. I've been playing with my 77/44 since I bought it new last year. Best group I was getting with cast was 2" at a 100 yards. I was getting stringing as well and then I discovered my barrel wasn't floated and rubbing on the synthetic stock. I floated it, acraglassed the action, and polished n lightened the trigger group, removed a coil or two from the firing spring and installed a vortquatsen trigger kit. I tried the bolt schims but my bolt tollerance was too tight and didn't need them. After all the tweeking I've shot sub MOA with two different alloys and load combos at a 100 yards with it. The last trip to the range I shot a .6" 100 yard group using Lyman devastators and 21.1 gr of lil gun. I've worked up almost a dozen loads with it that shoot .8" to 1.6" at a 100 yards. Second best was 21 gr of h110 (chronied at 1675fps) and the third best was 1.24" with 23.8 gr of w296...that's a kicker! The longest I can load the devastators so they feed is 1.640". Any longer and I had feeding issues like your having. The first thing I have been doing when using cast boolits is to seat the boolits in dummy rounds at various lengths and cycle them. What ever the longest length I can get away with that feeds and cycles I go with. My devastator boolits are seated deeper than the crimp groove and I crimp it with a Lee factory crimp collet die. Makes a nice firm even crimp. Never had to polish my magazine or feeding ramp. I'm guessing if you seated you boolits a hair deeper you would not have had feeding issues. I was going to trim my brass a hair shorter as well but I tried the collet crimp die first and liked the results. Lee 310's I haven't tried to shoot groups with but they feed and function great loaded to the second crimp groove. Nice to see someone else is have good results with the 77/44. I've never lapped a barrel and would like to give it ago on this rifle. I would guess I've put a good couple hundred cast boolits through it by now...no jacketed rounds to date.

    Here's one of posts from the other day...

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...man-devastator

    I had a couple other posts showing how I acraglassed the stock and how it improved accuracy from a few months back. I can tell you when shooting for groups with this light little rifle I have to have a firm grip on the stock while it's being fired from a lead sled or my groups will open up and be all over the place. My stringing stopped after I floated the barrel but the group's got tighter and rounder after bedding it.

    I think the reason most shooters have been having poor groups with these rifles is they haven't put in the time to do some accuracy tweeking and just been removing a brand new 77/44 out of the factory box, mounting an optic, and heading to the range to test loads out of stock firearm. Before I started messing with mine I did the same and had 2.5 to 4" plus groups using cast boolits along with stringers and flyers when I first started out last year and thought I had a "dud" rifle as well till I started playing with it.

    IMO the 77/44's will shoot but you have to put a little more time in than most rifles with some tweaking it to get it there. It's an accurate rifle...just not the way ruger sends it out of the box.lol

    I see you have listed assorted brass. I used Winchester casings for my loads and trim them every loading. If your tring to wring out the best accuracy stick with all the same brand casings and trim to equal lengths before every firing.

    Please let me know how your rifle dose after lapping it.



    I found my post with pics of how I bedded it.....

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...my-ruger-77-44
    Last edited by Tripplebeards; 08-27-2018 at 11:13 AM.

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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