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Thread: 44-40 loads with SR 4759

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    44-40 loads with SR 4759

    Hi fellas,
    I have a Uberti 1873 Winchester in 44-40 caliber. I am reloading for it and I have found only one recipe for SR 4759 in this caliber in the book, Cartridges of the World. That book lists 14 grs. of SR 4759 as a load.
    My question is, how much higher can I go without hurting the link in this rifle or blowing cases? The 14 grs. charge with the Oregon Trail Lazer Cast bullets seems a bit puny and is not real accurate.
    Anybody else shooting this powder in a 44 WCF?
    Thanks for your help,
    Don

  2. #2
    Boolit Master August's Avatar
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    That I could be wrong is an eventuality that has not escaped me. I just painted the pictures as I saw them. I do not know how to do anything else. (Saint Elmer, 1955)

  3. #3
    Boolit Master



    atr's Avatar
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    44-40 information

    My Lyman 1958 Handbook of cast bullets is listing 16 grains of 4759 in 44-40 with a 206 gr. Lyman #42798 boolit......this was being shot in a model 92 Winchester

    the attached table is from the same handbook....NOTE: the * indicates maximum load

    I hope this help
    atr
    Last edited by atr; 09-08-2009 at 08:08 PM.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

    MtGun44's Avatar
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    Watch out for Win 92 loads in Win 73 - not even close in strength.

    Bill
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master w30wcf's Avatar
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    Don,
    This is not a recommendation, but I will share what has worked in my original '73 Winchester .44 W.C.F. made in 1882.

    With a 200 gr. cast bullet the early smokeless .44 W.C.F. / .44-40 cartridges were cataloged at from 1,250 f.p.s. - 1,301 f.p.s.

    17 grs. of my lot of 4759 chronographs between those two velocities and thus is the equivalent to the early smokeless loadings for use in both '73 and '92 Winchester rifles. Now, because different lots of powder can have slightly different burning rates, I would strongly suggest the use of a chronograph to make sure that original velocities are not being exceeded.



    w30wcf
    aka w44wcf
    aka Jack Christian SASS 11993 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
    aka John Kort
    NRA Life Member
    .22 W.C.F., .30 W.C.F., .44 W.C.F. Cartridge Historian

  6. #6
    Boolit Mold
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    Thanks for the replies gentlemen.
    August, I saw that thread and that is why I started this one. Although the cases are similar they are two different cartridges.
    I appreciate the additional recipes for the SR 4759 in the 44-40. I am interested in these early smokeless powders in the early cases.
    I tried the 15 grs. load in the revolver and the rifle and it didn't show any signs of excessive pressure on the case or the primer. My big concern is possible damage to the guns and there by damage to myself in the process. I intend to use caution with these smokeless powders. The additional information you fellas have shared today has been helpful.
    Many thanks,
    Don

  7. #7
    Boolit Mold
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    Can we assume that 38-40 recipes can be used for 44-40 loads? I am a newbie to reloading and I want to get this right.
    Thanks fellas,
    Don

  8. #8
    Boolit Master



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    Good morning
    I have been launching from my 92 Winny 44-40 for many years.. All I have here is Unique which I salvaged from some 12 guage shotshells. I do know Unique makes one FINE powder for 44-40. I also shoot it in my 38-40īs up in Illinois and have no need to play with other powders.
    In my 1873(1887 vintage) 7 grains with a 200 grain. My Marlin handles 8-9 just fine and heavier boolits when desired.
    Still hunting a 1892 38-40 ---
    "Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
    Home built Matchlock similar to what an early 1600 Colonial soldier might have.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    In my own experience, SR4759 seems to have a very similar pressure curve to FFg for the same bullet and the same velocity. For this reason, a load using SR4759 that gives original black powder velocities for the same bullet, should give about the same peak pressure as FFg. As w30wcf strongly recommends, however, a chronograph should be used to ensure that original velocities are not exceeded with this powder. SR4759 has a Dupont Index of 210 and a Relative Quickness of 30.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master



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    I really think this tread was about loading for the 44-40,,,,,,lets not thrown in another caliber as it only confuses the issue OK ??......

  11. #11
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by atr View Post
    I really think this tread was about loading for the 44-40,,,,,,lets not thrown in another caliber as it only confuses the issue OK ??......
    atr,
    I tend to agree with you but the post by August got me to thinking. Since the 38-40 thread has been introduced into this thread...maybe we need to clear it up. When discussing 38-40 reloads are we discussing 44-40 reloads as well? Can one use 38-40 information to reload 44-40 cartridges?
    Thank you all for your patience with me, being the new guy on the block........
    Don

  12. #12
    Boolit Master August's Avatar
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    Same cartridge. Same volume.
    That I could be wrong is an eventuality that has not escaped me. I just painted the pictures as I saw them. I do not know how to do anything else. (Saint Elmer, 1955)

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Rick459's Avatar
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    Don S
    keep in mind that the 1873 winchester is a toggle link action and is no where as strong as the 1892. the Lyman #46 reloading manual says not to exceed 13,700 CUP in the toggle actions as compared to 22,000 CUP in the 1892. the only powders that they list for the 1873 are Red Dot/Green Dot/and Unique. in my 1866 i use 8.0 grns. of Unique with the Lyman #427098 bullet for about 1210 fps. this load is very accurate in my winchester. HTH

    Rick

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by August View Post
    Same cartridge. Same volume.
    I would hesitate before using 38-40 and 44-40 data interchangeably. It is true that they have almost the same case capacity and the bullet diameter is very close as well (.401 for the 38-40 and .429 for the 44-40). The main difference, however, is that the average bullet weight for the 44-40 is 200 grains and it is 180 grains for the 38-40. So the 44-40 bullet is 11% heavier, which for the same 38-40 load will raise pressures accordingly. In the case of these two cartridges, and given the low pressures people tend to use, it will not likely make a difference unless a person is playing around with near max loads. But there is always the fellow who likes to load has cartridge right up to the max and if we say that he can use 38-40 data in his 44-40 loads, that extra 11% bullet weight may cause him problems.

    Now with regard to using pistol powders such as Unique in the model '73 or any other original antique firearm .... there is a way to get an idea of how different powders compare when it comes to the pressure spike, or peak pressure, portion of their burning curve. Fast powders have a much more pronounced spike than slow powders. There is a way to compare powders in their burn rate by looking at their Dupont Index (DPI) and their Relative Quickness (RQ). As near as I've been able to determine, FFFg has a DPI and RQ very close to Blue Dot and FFg has a DPI and RQ very close to IMR SR4759 or 2400. With that in mind, let us compare Red Dot, Unique, Blue Dot and SR4759 ....

    Red Dot: DPI = 659, RQ = 94.1
    Unique: DPI = 431, RQ = 61.6
    Blue Dot: DPI = 265, RQ = 37.8
    SR4759: DPI = 210, RQ = 30
    2400: DPI = 189, RQ = 27

    What this all means is that for the same bullet and the same velocity, approximately the same amount of gas will be produced by the combusting powder. However, for the powders with the higher DPI and RQ, that volume of gas will be produced a lot faster, producing a much higher pressure spike. I don't know how different companies come up with their pressure values, but it makes a big difference if they are taking an average pressure over a short time interval, or stating the pressure at the tip of the spike. I've seen a lot of results that suggest that some of those pressure values stated in reloading tables are not the tip of the spike, but perhaps an average over a very short interval of time.

    The bottom line is that it may very well not make a large difference for the model '73 44-40 if a person uses Unique or 2400 for the same velocity, provided those velocities are kept fairly tame. But if a person wants to jack up the velocity, and I know plenty of fellows who do that with Unique, they need to know what is going on with the pressure spike. I do not think this is a matter of blowing up ones rifle. Rather, I'm concerned about the long term, cumulative effect of using fast pistol powders with sharp pressure spikes in their burning curves.

    I was corresponding with David Chicoine, a well known gunsmith in the US, author of several gunsmithing books for antique guns, and a specialist with antique six guns. He told me that he has seen "hundreds' of antique sixguns that have had their frames badly stretched by using supposedly 'light' loads of smokeless powder. As you can see above, not all smokeless powder is created equal. He did not know exactly what type of smokeless powder was being used. However, I do know a lot of fellows who use smokeless powder in antique sixguns and almost all of them use Unique and swear by it. I infer from this that the smokeless powder most likely to have been used in the "hundreds' of antique six guns that Mr. Chicoine has worked on or examined is most likely to be Unique. I typically use powders like 2400 or 5744 in my antique sixguns and I have found that I am the extreme rare exception. I much prefer a lower, longer pressure curve. I have measured some of my antiques over a period of time (cylinder gap and end shake) to see if any stretching is happening and have been able to detect none, so I'm fairly confident that powders like 2400, 5744, 4227 and SR4759 will not cause long term problems with the '73, if original ballistics are kept to. I think w30wcf's suggestion for the 44-40 is a good one.

    All this to say that although I know that many published loads recommend Unique (although they almost always state that it is for modern firearms in good condition), I tend to prefer to use a medium speed powder in old firearms. My powders of choice are SR4759, 2400, 5744 and 4227. These tend to give near capacity loads in cartridges like the 44-40 and have less than half the DPI and RQ of the faster pistol powders. Maybe I'm just overly cautious.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master



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    THANK YOU KIRKD !!!! my point exactly

    here is a comparison chart from same manual
    Last edited by atr; 09-08-2009 at 08:08 PM.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    "Quickness" of powder burn rates varies depending upon who is doing the rating and which cartridges they're used in, but I would rank 4759 as a tick slower than 2400 given the actual performance in the cartridges I've tried it in. It's a bit faster than 4227.

    In addition, those burn rate charts I have access to rank 2400 as faster than 4759, which my real world experience in various cartridges bears out.

    YMMV.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    The DPI and the RQ are results obtained in a lab where the similar results are obtained each time (within the normal variation of individual batches of powder). However, those burn rates are not measured inside cartridges, so things will be a bit different once that powder is poured into a case. Variables will be primer type, bullet weight, case volume, etc.

    I'm only beginning to experiment with SR4759 and have not yet tried it in my 44-40. In my 38-55, 4579 was quite a bit faster than IMR 4227, with 19 grains of each, under the same bullet, giving me 1,581 fps with 4759 and only 1,324 with IMR 4227. I've started trying it out in my 38-40 and it does give slower velocities than 2400, but seems to bump the soft cast lead bullet up better than 2400, giving better accuracy than 2400. I'm not sure what it going on here and have loaded up some more cartridges in both 4759 and 2400 to put across my chronograph sometime next week.

    Even though the lab results for the DPI and RQ may differ a bit from real life, they still illustrate a very useful comparison between fast pistol powders like Red Dot or Unique and the medium powders such as 4759, 2400, 4227 and 5744.

  18. #18
    Boolit Mold
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    This has given me quite a bit to digest. Thanks for putting me in school.
    KirkD, I don't have access to a chronograph so if you get around to playing with SR 4759 in your 44-40 with the 200 gr. cast boolits, I would be very interested in your findings.
    Don

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Don s,

    Is there any reason you are stuck on 4759? Or is it that you're looking for higher speeds?

    I got the most speed in my Uberti '73 using Swiss 3F/Saeco 446/.060 veggie wads.

    For smokeless I like the 8 gr/Unique load. The 44-40 case is not the strongest and I prefer to keep the pressure low. I tried to pump the load up using 2400, 4227, Unique. I was not happy with results I got with smokeless.

    I did have a little difficulty finding a boolit to fit my Uberti because the groove diameter (breech end) was .431, pressure was not a problem for the gun, but case life is a problem. I also found that when the cases got weak the accuracy was greatly effected.

    So, I guess what I'm trying to say is fit the boolit to the gun, and try all combinations..........the gun will tell you what it likes.

    Good Luck & Have Fun Shooting,
    Jon
    Col 2:13-17

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Jon brings up a good point about case life. If you see your cases lasting 3 reloads, (ring at web of case) you know your pressure is too high. Snooky had some published loads using 2400 that put a 210 grain cast bullet out the barrel at 1,832 fps. However, his cases failed after 3 loads.

    Don, I've done a lot of reloading for the 44-40 using 2400. As soon as I get done working up a load for my 38-40 using 4759, I plan to do the same for my 44-40. I don't go for max loads. I'm happy with staying just below Winchester's original High Velocity load for the model 92, which is 1,565 fps. 16 grains of 2400 under a 200 grain cast bullet gave 1,318 fps, and my most accurate load.

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