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Thread: H&R, break action in .44XL

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

    Pepe Ray's Avatar
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    H&R, break action in .44XL

    This little beauty caught my eye at a recent gun show & came home. Research in GOTW found it in both the rifle and shotgun categories.
    Now I've got to make some rounds to try it out. I have 44.40 brass on the way. Will be looking for .44-40 dies as I type this.

    Does anyone have insight to loading for this, particularly the shot shells? Even a WAG will be welcome.
    Pepe Ray
    The way is ONLY through HIM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    No insight, but sounds like a great project.

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    I have one of these and load .44 shot in the Starline 5 in 1 blank cases.

    Guns stays behind kitchen door to dispatch garden varmints.

    Info on loading .44-40 Game Getter Shot: https://www.midwayusa.com/product/10...-bulk-packaged

    5 in 1 Revolver and Rifle Shot
    Submitted 3 years ago

    From West Virginia Verified Buyer

    The Starline 5 in 1 Blank cases work well to assemble handgun shotshells useable in the .44 Special, .44 Magnum, .38-40, .44-40 and .45 Colt revolvers. Powder charges must be kept mild due to the enlarged flash hole. I use 5 grains of Alliant Bullseye or 6 grains of WST or 231 and a Winchester Large Pistol primer. A Buffalo Arms .45 card wad must be inserted over the powder charge, first inserting the card sideways with tweezers, pushing it about halfway into the case, before rotating it to bridge across the interior case wall and then aligning and pressing it down against the powder using a 3/8" dowel. Next a Federal 410SC shot cup is inserted firmly against the card, seated with the dowel and its protruding wad fingers trimmed off with a sharp knife. It is absolutely necessary to use the .45 card under the plastic shot cup because it is not of sufficient diameter to prevent powder from otherwise leaking around it, which will cause bloopers. Load about 1/3 oz. of fine shot not larger than 7-1/2, to maintain adequate pellet count, within 1/8" of the case mouth. Insert a .38 cal. Buffalo Arms card wad over the shot and then crimp the shell using either a .44 Long Shot, .45 ACP Shot or Lee .308 Winchester seating die which has been shortened by 1" and a blank RCBS sizer-lubricator top punch positioned and adjusted in the seating stem collar to hold the top card at the mid point of the die shoulder, while the case mouth is bumped against the shoulder to form a nice, professional looking crimp. Waterproof the shell by painting the top wad with clear urethane or varnish. These produce rabbit and grouse killing patterns patterns at 20 feet with No.8s and burn rattlers to "snakeburgers" at 15 feet. More effective than the Speer factory shot and useable in a variety of guns. I pack 20 of these in each vehicle or aircraft survival kit.

    See also: http://www.hensleygibbs.com/edharris...n%20a%2044.htm
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    Thanks Outpost and all. Seams like I've got a lot to think about before I do something stupid.
    Pepe Ray
    The way is ONLY through HIM.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I have a regestered H&R 410/ handy gun choked which originally was acceptable to fire game getter 44-40 round ball ammo. Unfortunately it appears someone might have fired a 44-40 200 grain bullet that put a slight bulge prior to the choke before I bought it and it wasn’t disclosed.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    SMKummer; Re the bulge [ahead of the choke]. The implicatipn here. is that the choke was NOT affected. Correct? Have you measured the muzzle to confirm this? I've been wondering "how has it been that my piece has not been abused so?" Mine pin gauges at .425". I may learn more after I give the bore a good cleaning.
    A bulge ahead of the choke describes a particular kind of choke known by shot-gunners by a name ?I can't recall? Supposedly to improve patterning.
    Pepe Ray
    The way is ONLY through HIM.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    A grade school class mate had a small falling block in 44XL about 55 years ago. He just fired .410 shot shells in it.
    EDG

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    One of my H&R garden guns is marked .410/.44 had a 2-inch chamber to fit the original Eley shells, which I later had rechambered to take 3" .410s after I cut it off to remove a burst muzzle... As a kid I burst the muzzle by shooting .44-40s in it. The muzzle split and spread out like the hood of a cobra. I don't recommend the practice.

    To salvage the barrel I cut it off behind where the choke was, crowned it and put on a new bead sight. Its cylinder bore is now .425" diameter all the way. It shoots .425" soft lead balls "OK", but groups high. Blackpowder .44-40 bulleted rounds keyhole and barely stay on a standard American pistol target paper at 25 yards. Its cylinder bore patterns like a skeet bore and is fine on garden varmints inside 25 yards.

    Another H&R of the same period I have is marked .410/12mm and still has its 2" chamber, which I use with .44 shot loaded in the Starline 5 in 1 cases. It is still has its original full choke because with its barrel making nobody ever tried to shoot .44-40s in it! It patterns the tiny shot charge wonderfully and I am leaving it original!

    Attachment 241943Attachment 241944Attachment 241945Attachment 241946
    Last edited by Outpost75; 05-18-2019 at 11:24 AM.
    The ENEMY is listening.
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  9. #9
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pepe Ray View Post
    SMKummer; Re the bulge [ahead of the choke]. The implicatipn here. is that the choke was NOT affected. Correct? Have you measured the muzzle to confirm this? I've been wondering "how has it been that my piece has not been abused so?" Mine pin gauges at .425". I may learn more after I give the bore a good cleaning.
    A bulge ahead of the choke describes a particular kind of choke known by shot-gunners by a name ?I can't recall? Supposedly to improve patterning.
    Pepe Ray
    That maybe described as a "jug" choke.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    It’s not a factory application because the very slight bulge is on one side, although it appears it was hammered back so as to almost be unnoticed. My barrel is marked “410-12mm choked”. It measures .390 at the muzzle. Period advertising stated it was OK for 44-40 ball but I won’t do that.
    Would anyone have a spare tall front sight for the H&R?

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    On my cut-off .410 I used a Bradley pedestal bead front sight to adjust point of impact.

    https://bradleygunsight.com/products...4-b9e0ba2efd02

    The different bead sizes and colors available afford the serious shooter a convenient means of altering the impact area of his shots without resorting to costly gun modifications. A smaller sight and dull bead will cause a raising of the impact area, while a slight lowering effect can usually be achieved through use of a larger, brighter bead.
    The ENEMY is listening.
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  12. #12
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    I had a little shotgun branded Monarch and stamped 44xl & 410, never shot anything but 2 1/2" 410s in it. I did load some 44XL for a Marbels Game Getter. I used 44/40 brass and plastic capsules that were made by TC for their Contender. I don't know if these are still made but you should beable to use Speer capsules. The TC capsules had a habit of not opening up until they struck. I haven't had that trouble with Speers in 44 pistols.

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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