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Thread: That Round Sounded Kinda Funny

  1. #1

    That Round Sounded Kinda Funny

    I tried a new load in my fairly new ‘73 Miroku 24” bbl. RCBS 44-200-CM over 15 gr. of slow burning IMR-4227. I was looking for a low velocity load for cowboy action shooting. This load showered my face with unburnt powder granules.

    Next I pulled out about 5 Colt’s SAA’s and put them on the bench in front of me. One was a .44-40. I thought I’d try the unsuccessful rifle load in the Colt’s, expecting it to be even more unsatisfactory. When I fired it the report made me question if the boolit even made it out the barrel. I checked the bore and found it clear. I fired the other four (4) rounds out of it anyway. Later I picked up my trusty .45 SAA and started to load it with my favorite load of 454190 over 8.5 gr. of Unique. Huh, a lot of unburnt powder granules in the chambers. How could this be? The unburnt powder granules should be in my .44-40, not my .45. I didn’t. No! I checked the spent .44-40 brass and found the mouths were belled to .45. Yep, I loaded and fired the wrong gun.

    How did this happen? First, matching guns in different calibers all laying out on the bench next to each other. Second, over confidence in my 454190 over Unique load, and no confidence in my IMR-4227 load. My attention was focused on handling ammo I didn’t like, but neglected to give attention to which firearm I was picking up.

    IMR-4227 would have potential as a .44-40 powder if it were loaded to a higher pressure to achieve a cleaner burn, but I was trying a load for cowboy so the load was light.

    The .44-40 brass is Winchester and they all re-sized nicely back to proper spec with lube in RCBS steel dies.

    Trail Boss works fine in the 24” .44-40 with 44-200-CM.

    I have a lot more time and experience with the .44 Special and .45 Colt than I do with the .44-40. My .44-40 Colt’s is going to be re-calibrated to .45 Colt and would be done by now except Covid has held up delivery of my new Colt .45 barrel which I have ordered. Numrich Arms took my order but held up delivered.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    Something similar has happened to many of us at one time or another. It's very loud, and you experience a lot of recoil when you fire a clip full of 7.62mm Nato rounds through an M1 Garand chambered in .30-06. The resulting empties look like .45-70. Accuracy is poor. Shoulder is sore.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
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    Once had a .41 mag. Case sneak in with the .44's. Loaded it with a medium load and it fired. Sure looked funny afterwards.

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  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I've shot .30 Herrett in a .30-30. At the third shot I happened to look at the brass. Looked like a .38-55. Well there's the problem.
    The only amendment the Democrats support is the 5th.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thumbcocker View Post
    Once had a .41 mag. Case sneak in with the .44's. Loaded it with a medium load and it fired. Sure looked funny afterwards.

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
    I’ve done this before as well a few decades ago. Makes for interesting looking brass

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    A friend got distracted and put a 308 in a smaller caliber rifle, l forgot what, and it exploded, shattering the rifle and causing personal injury...be careful out there.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Luber View Post
    A friend got distracted and put a 308 in a smaller caliber rifle, l forgot what, and it exploded, shattering the rifle and causing personal injury...be careful out there.
    Suprising it chambered, but it definitely would make for a catastrophic event.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    I had my Marlin 1895 and my Marlin 39A on the table at the same time .
    Luckily I kept my ammo straight.

    Just be diligent out there! Be safe

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    Had buddy get a 270 in 3006. Rem 742, made hollow bang, split neck across shoulder. Gun jammed with bolt about 1” into recoil stroke, with 270 in bolt.

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master


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    How did this happen?

    15 gr of 4227 under a 200 gr bullet is how..... much too low bullet mass and much too low of a powder charge for consistent ignition and consistent powder burn. You got gas in the face because, in the rifle, there was not enough psi to obturate the case to seal the chamber.

    In a revolver the long cylinder throats [essentially free-bore] can create a very hazardous situation.....the primer alone can force the short, 200 gr bullet into the forcing cone far enough the cylinder turns. A "clink" nothing and you might think a squib or you miss-aligned the empty chamber, then thumb back the hammer and fire again. You then have a bore obstruction and with the second bullet slamming into the first you have a 400 gr stuck bullet. If the powder was smoldering and then ignites......it won't be pretty...…

    Be safe, use a correct powder of the correct burn rate for the bullet in use. I been there, done that, hoping to save you from the experience is all.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
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  11. #11
    Larry, I found this load in the current Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook and thought I’d try it. I haven’t used IMR-4227 in years. Like I said, I could work up a good load with this boolit powder, but I’d have no use for it so I’ll be sticking with Trail Boss.

    I got powder granules, not gas in the face from the 24” bbl. And yes, like you said, the cartridges had soot on them from the failure of the under powdered load to form a gas seal.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Uh, shooting a 22 TCM in the 9mm barrel is definitely not a very good idea because it is REALLY hard on brass!
    There are 550 million arms in worldwide circulation. This is 1 firearm for every 12 people on the planet. The only question is , HOW DO WE ARM THE OTHER !!? The Lord of War.

  13. #13
    Larry, I didn’t fully grasp your post before I last replied. Good point, the powder granules in my face could have been from the breech due to a lack of a gas seal on the case mouth because of a lack of pressure from too light a charge.

    Today I took the same rifle boolit powder to the range. I laid a white 8 1/2” x 11” piece of paper over the breech. After several shots there was no sign of gas or powder granules on the paper.

    I put the white piece of paper down on the bench in front of the muzzle and found there was a lot of powder granules on the paper.

    The wind was in my face the other day when I felt powder granules in my face.

    Today the wind was not in my face and I didn’t feel any powder granules.

    I’m still going to abandon this load. If I use IMR-4227 again I’ll increase the load to get a cleaner burn.

  14. #14
    Boolit Man lawdog941's Avatar
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    I've found that 4227 likes to be near the top of loads and a heavy crimp to help with the slow powder to ignite. Trail Boss sounds like a winner for low velocity full case loads.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy

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    I’ve done this as well, but the case never got past the sizing die..
    Quote Originally Posted by osteodoc08 View Post
    I’ve done this before as well a few decades ago. Makes for interesting looking brass

  16. #16
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    A 45 Colt snuck into a bunch of 44 special brass, which was promptly turned into a funky looking 44-40 sort of thing. A friend of mine fired a cylinder full of 44 spl's from his SW 45 colt. I kidded him about fire forming brass for his Asperly Aimless.
    _________________________________________________It's not that I can't spell: it is that I can't type.

  17. #17
    I found a brass marked 270 with my .30-06 rounds. I thought ha! The brass manufacturer screwed up and miss marked this one. I’m sure I ran a spent .270 brass through the .30-06 re-sizer.

  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by Silver Jack Hammer View Post
    Larry, I didn’t fully grasp your post before I last replied. Good point, the powder granules in my face could have been from the breech due to a lack of a gas seal on the case mouth because of a lack of pressure from too light a charge.

    Today I took the same rifle boolit powder to the range. I laid a white 8 1/2” x 11” piece of paper over the breech. After several shots there was no sign of gas or powder granules on the paper.

    I put the white piece of paper down on the bench in front of the muzzle and found there was a lot of powder granules on the paper.

    The wind was in my face the other day when I felt powder granules in my face.

    Today the wind was not in my face and I didn’t feel any powder granules.

    I’m still going to abandon this load. If I use IMR-4227 again I’ll increase the load to get a cleaner burn.
    Most often we just think we need to approach the "max" listed loads with caution and the low end "start" loads are always good to go. You've just found out it isn't always the case. Also that start load of 4227 has been in Lyman manuals for a long time. Note the very low C.U.P. pressure which was measured in a minimal spec chambered test barrel in a Universal Receiver. Back when tested the technicians probably did not notice any of the attendant problems you have. BTW; the lower pressures of the other 'start" loads are probably ok as those powders are of a different type, ignite more readily and burn more efficiently at low end pressure. That's why I prefer the faster powders in my own 44-40s even though I use that cartridge in very strong actioned (for the cartridge) guns [Ruger OM Vaquero and a M92 carbine). Abandoning that load is an excellent idea.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  19. #19
    Boolit Master Harter66's Avatar
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    I read once of an Editor for a major gun mag going to a manufacturer show and shoot event and complaining to one of his writers of the poor accuracy of this brand new 44 mag and the lame brass that had split nearly every case . ......
    Appearently that happens with 41 mag ammo in a 44 mag chamber .

    Knock on wood , I've not had that particular experience , outside of a 3" 20 ga in a 2-3/4" chamber once . No harm done . Shortened the case a little . It was only a 3/4 oz game load .
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  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    I know a guy that put the wrong powder in a .308 Win. Firing pin went thru his eye and around the back of his head (on the inside). He lived to tell.
    The only amendment the Democrats support is the 5th.

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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