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Thread: 44-77 sharps?

  1. #21
    Boolit Buddy
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    Thanks guys for a very informative thread. I'm only going to be able to oder on rifle made the way I want, so what would be the better caliber 44-77 or 44-90 for buffalo/gong shoot and might be interested in going to Lodi and the Q. I do have Pedersoli in 45-90 that I used for the buffalo matches in Iowa at the NCOWS nationals.
    I'm leaning towards a Hartford, but don't know If I need but do want a 14 lb rifle for either cartridge. I know Don said elsware that it is not needed till you get north of 90gr.

    Again not meaning to Hijack but there is alot of good info.

    Thanks Scott
    Last edited by sac; 01-30-2020 at 08:42 PM.

  2. #22
    Boolit Grand Master Don McDowell's Avatar
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    If you're ordering a Shiloh, they only offer the bottleneck 44's, of the 2 the 44-77 is the better option in my opinion. The Hartford is a nice rifle, but for serious shooting from prone, the #1, roughrider or LRE would be a better choice. The 30 inch heavy barrel is plenty good. Both my #3 and roughrider in 44-77 with 30 inch heavy barrels come in at 12 lbs. The #1 I have on order will have a 32 inch standard weight barrel.
    Your pedersoli might be a good candidate to have rebarreled and chambered to one of the 44 straight cartridges after the Shiloh gets delivered.
    Long range rules, the rest drool.

  3. #23
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    Jim,
    It won't take a month to get that rifle going. I would be willing to say after the first ladder load outing and one follow up of the best load with one below and the other above the best you will know what to use.

  4. #24
    Boolit Master

    Bent Ramrod's Avatar
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    If you use paper patch boolits, itís no problem getting 90 gr of OE 1F into a Buffalo Arms .44-77 case. That, IMHO, should be plenty enough.

    Easier (if ďeasierĒ can be used in a severe oddball-case drought) to get or make cases, also.

  5. #25
    Boolit Buddy Distant Thunder's Avatar
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    I would be happier with 85 grains, if that isn't enough then more isn't necessarily going to make it better. I don't know OE, but 85 grains of 1 1/2 Swiss will get you about 1350-ish fps with a 520 grain bullet and for me that was as good as it gets. I am speaking about Creedmoor matches here and I like 1300 fps to about 1350 for 1000 yards. That velocity range has worked out very well for me over the last 18 years.

    I've loaded as much as 105 grains in my .45-90 with PPB for around 1400 fps, but I can't say that 105 grains was any better than the 83 I use in my .45-70 even through it was 100 fps faster.

    It will be interesting to see what I end up with in my .44-77, but that is still along ways off it seems.
    Jim Kluskens
    aka Distant Thunder

  6. #26
    Boolit Grand Master Don McDowell's Avatar
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    In my roughrider, with a Baldwin front and MVA buffalo soul,while I don't recall the exact velocity, 77 gr of 2f OE gets a 1.3 inch long patched bullet to the 1000 yard target, with 155-160 pts on the slide.
    PS add about 7 pts for the Distant Thunder long range front.
    Long range rules, the rest drool.

  7. #27
    Boolit Buddy Distant Thunder's Avatar
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    Don,

    If I had this debacle to do over again I would have decided to go with the standard Shiloh 19-twist when I decided to have Shiloh put the barrel on instead of my usual gunsmith. I'm sure I could have made the adjustment with some help and encouragement and I'm sure you would have been there for me.

    When I decided on the Green Mountain barrel it was in part at the recommendation of said gunsmith. I should never have sent that barrel to Shiloh and apparently a Krieger barrel is not available at this time. As a result I have ended up with my .44-77 rifle caught in limbo and totally out of my control. I am stuck in a do loop! Every effort I have made to correct the mistake of the GM barrel has only cause things to go deeper into a blackhole and farther from completion.

    I'm sure it will be completed in time but here I am 6 months into it and I'm still waiting on a barrel with no idea when said barrel will be available. It could be months before it is and then the work will still have to be fit into the system and get done.

    I am a bit disappointed but there is nothing I can do other than just let time pass....., slowly pass!
    Jim Kluskens
    aka Distant Thunder

  8. #28
    Boolit Grand Master Don McDowell's Avatar
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    DT I wish there were other places to get 44 barrels, altho from what I've seen in the last few years, I'm not sure there's a better bpcr barrel than the one's that Kirk turns out of the Shiloh shop.
    The GM barrel I had the 44 2.4 put together with sure works well with the 434470 bullet.
    On the bright side tho, good things are worth waiting for, and I suspect you'll be thoroughly happy when that rifle returns home.
    Long range rules, the rest drool.

  9. #29
    Boolit Mold
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    How much powder are you fellas using? I imagine the case will hold more than 77 grains. How about a bullet mold and weight?

    I havenít checked the twist in my barrel, I think itís an older gun serial #76XX.

  10. #30
    Boolit Grand Master Don McDowell's Avatar
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    77 grs. of OE 2f is where I've settled for the most part. I have had good results with 75 gr. of OE 1 1/2.
    Long range rules, the rest drool.

  11. #31
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    Jim these are the bullets I use for long range in my .44's 16-17 twist and the .44-90 BN 19 twist. They all shoot very well except the far right it was supposed to be a prolate but it did not make that grade. it looses it at the ram line if the winds are playing around.
    #1 the far left is a swaged Medford stile and it is the most stable and best average shooter for long range.
    #2, is from a Sage mould and it has a .250" nose. This one I haven't had a chance to use past 200 yards but the way it's shooting at 200 It will make the 1K I'm sure. This mould came with my .44-77 Farmer I should have in my hands in a week and it will get some serious work when I get it.
    #3 is a bullet from the elliptical KAL mould and it is a very good shooter. It has earned me dust collectors in the 19 twist .44-90 BN. At first I had a problem with the mould and I had Rick make me a sprue plate with a .100" hole and problems we're solved. This has a longer shank compared to the ogive that makes it a fine shooter.
    #4 will make a fine catfish slip sinker if with more work with it don't pan out.
    #1 is 1.4" long 509 gr
    #2 is 1.454" long 509 gr
    #3 is 1.459" long 500 gr
    #4 is 1.455" long 479 gr
    I shoot these in the .44-75 Ballard 16 twist, .44-100 Rem st 17 twist, .44-90 bn 19 and 16 twist.
    I have used the KAL #3 in the .44-77 19 twist and it will put the turkeys down and miss some rams.
    I use 74 grains of 2F OE 75 gr 1.5 Swiss in the .44-77 19 twist but it favors the OE load.
    I pulled the 19 twist .44-90 BN barrel off the Shiloh and had Kirk put a 17 twist Krieger 1.3X35" finishes untapped round barrel on it but I'm going to put the 19 back on it. It shoots very good but it's too heavy.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  12. #32
    Boolit Buddy Distant Thunder's Avatar
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    Kurt, those are shooters for sure. Of the four I like the #1 Medford style best, that is a nose shape I know will hold up well in almost any wind condition to 1000 yards. #2 is very similar to my .45 caliber Lodi bullet and it has done very well for me.

    Just figuring 1300 fps the various twists would look like this for maximum bullet length with good stability:

    .446 groove dia. @ 1300 fps

    Twist Length

    19 1.320"

    18 1.390"

    17 1.470"

    16 1.560"

    A 16-twist might be too much of a good thing. A 17-twist should easily allow for a 500+ grain bullet that will be well stabilized to 1000 yards. The 19-twist would be interesting in that it is close the 20-twist that the original Sharps rifles had and would make an excellent silhouette/hunting rifle. And with the right design bullet would make it to 1000 yards well too. That of course is all just my opinion, but it is based on over twenty years of shooting BPCRs.

    The longer I've been shooting the more I am moving away from the sleeker nose shapes like a prolate and money designs and more I like the Medford design and even an old round nose design like my .40 caliber bullet. Again I am speaking of Creedmoor matches. In silhouette the ranges are much more forgiving even if the targets are not.

    I think the reason is that velocities remain fairly high, even above the speed of sound to 550 yards in some cases. (pun) In Creedmoor you transition from above the speed of sound at the muzzle to truly subsonic for the majority of the flight. A bullet like the Medford design handles the subsonic part better. No matter what cartridge you choose or how much BP you stuff in the case you can not escape the fact that we are operating in the TRANSONIC ZONE (1346-897 fps). Your bullet design needs to reflect that fact.

    In the end I believe the 17-twist Krieger barrel that will be on my .44-77 will work very well for the full range of BPCR shooting. Even if not, I will still look my very best shooting those .44 caliber paper patch bullets in that sexy bottleneck case!
    Last edited by Distant Thunder; 02-20-2020 at 09:19 PM.
    Jim Kluskens
    aka Distant Thunder

  13. #33
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    For the 19 twist .44-77 I use the #1 type nose in the Brooks adjustable mould set at 1.325" and it drops a bullet at 485 grains with my alloy. I don't even try the #3 or the #4 in the ..44-77 with the 19 twist. It does not push the bullet fast enough to hold the rpm at extended range. Now in the 19 twist .44-90BN #3 does very well past the 1K. I shot that rifle and bullet at the White Buffalo at Raton and the one on the Shiloh range both are past a 1000 yards.
    The Swaged Medford I can swage to just short of 2" long but I swage them 1.4" long for the .44-90 and they make NRA pit weight. But I don't use it often because the base punch is a cup base and I heed to use a twisted PP tail to fill the cup to protect the skirts and keep the wad from getting pushed into the cup and leaks gas. I don't have a lathe anymore to turn the base punch down flat to get rid of it.

  14. #34
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Jim- Excellent Post, Thanks
    Regards
    John

  15. #35
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    Jim,
    That Metford bullet I have shot past 1500 yards, 1585, with my 19 twist in the .44-77 with the bullet at 1.325" and I will say that it will connect with a Buffalo in the vitals and put him down if you do your thing.
    I used my Shiloh Hartford hunting rifle you shot at Harris with the barrel sights in some very hard wind that I had to hold off almost full sized iron Buffalo target. That bullet put a fine round splat point first. I know that Lawrence sight on that rifle had enough elevation left to surpass one mile.
    I have shot this rifle on 1K irons with the tang sight and I did not have to crank in two points in over bullet #3 and I suspect maybe recoil barrel jump between 485 grains and 500 had something do do with that.

  16. #36
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    John, are you going to Ridgeway in July?

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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