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Tar Heel
05-16-2021, 05:00 PM
Having several boxes of Pyrodex pellets on hand for the 44 caliber C&B revolvers, I decided to go ahead and try them out in some BPCR cartridges – namely the 44 WCF. I have read a few articles regarding loading cartridges with the pellets but was hesitant to do so based on the time honored rule of never leaving an airspace when using black powder or Pyrodex propellant. When I used these in the C&B revolvers, the ball was firmly seated onto the pellet and very little airspace was apparent surrounding the pellet. When these pellets are dropped into a cartridge case, the flop around in there and despite the assurances of both Hodgdon and authors like John Taffin and Mike Venturino to name a few, I was still reluctant.

My curiosity got the better of me so I ended up loading up a few test loads for the 44 WCF and fired them off in the Uberti 1873 revolver. As Mike Venturino indicated in his article1, muzzle velocity was respectable with my loads clocking in at 887.7 fps with a SD of 32.6 fps. The report and recoil were stiffer than black powder and muzzle flash was brilliant out of the 4.75” barrel. They all went bang and no issues were detected whatsoever with the load. Case ejection was normal and primers looked fine. Lots of bullet lube is suggested with this load and black powder loads so I think a new Accurate BP mold is in the works for the 44 WCF later this year.

If you have been hesitant about loading the Pyrodex pellets in your revolver cases, it seems that the pellets work just fine. I am still jittery about loading them into 45-70 cases but perhaps in the near future I may test that as well.


https://www.shootingtimes.com/editorial/ammunition_hodgdon_0728/100508

1Mike Venturino, “Using Hodgdon's Pyrodex Pellets For Cowboy Action Handloads”, Shooting Times, Jan 4, 2011

Tar Heel
05-22-2021, 11:07 AM
This thread is amazing! All the replies are stunning! I took a shower this morning......eeesh.

DAVIDMAGNUM
05-22-2021, 12:04 PM
I just saw the post. I think one problem with the lack of replies is the work PYRODEX. There are some passionate opinions about the stuff.
I am glad it worked for you. The 44WCF is easily my favorite cartridge.

Tar Heel
05-22-2021, 01:02 PM
Well there are two of us alive! :-)

Walks
05-22-2021, 01:14 PM
Nope, 2 1/2. I vacillate between .44WCF and .44SPL, even have some SA's with cylinders for both. Depends what's in my hand at the time.
I've tried the Pyrodex 30gr pellets in .44-40 with an OX-Yoke Wonder Wad. Shot fine in a 7 1/2" Revolver and 20"/24" Carbine and Rifle respectively.
Accurate make a nice #44-205C molds that holds plenty of Lube for BP shooting.

Pyrodex is all you can buy in Los Angeles County.

Tar Heel
05-22-2021, 06:39 PM
Nope, 2 1/2. I vacillate between .44WCF and .44SPL, even have some SA's with cylinders for both. Depends what's in my hand at the time.
I've tried the Pyrodex 30gr pellets in .44-40 with an OX-Yoke Wonder Wad. Shot fine in a 7 1/2" Revolver and 20"/24" Carbine and Rifle respectively.
Accurate make a nice #44-205C molds that holds plenty of Lube for BP shooting.

Pyrodex is all you can buy in Los Angeles County.

Accurate has about 4 44-40 BP molds that all look alike. I'll have to pull the spec sheets on them to see the difference among them.

I have never had any problems whatsoever with Pyrodex either in powder form or with the pellets. If you clean your gun like you do with black powder, all is fine. I have several packages of pellets due to working at a large retail store where they were sold. They allowed customers to return the pellets when they discovered they had bought the wrong thing. I got them for a song that way. Now I have a good use for them in the 44 cartridges.

If Pyrodex is all one can get, the answer is simple! Shoot it.