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Thread: Where to ask about hand loads

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    Where to ask about hand loads

    Hello everyone!
    I would like to ask about loading CBs for both a vintage rifle and late model Italian copy of a pistol in 44-40 but looking at the different forums I am a little confused.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    For the 44-40 Pistol..Wheelguns, Pistols and Handcannons.
    Vintage Rifle??? Is it a Military surplus arm??Typical Factory arm?? Maybe it is a Special Project??

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    First you need to slug the rifle barrel to determine groove diameter and on the Italian revolver measure cylinder throat or ball seat diameter. The Accurate 43-215C bullet is a well proven design which works well with either black powder or smokeless.

    Cast bullets soft 8-10 BHN using 50-50 plumber's lead and Wheelweights with 1% tin added. If not set up to cast yet buy the bullets in .430 diameter from Matt's. Get the RCBS cowboy dies and a Redding Profile Crimp die. A charge of 6 grains of Bullseye or TiteGroup is safe in the Winchester 1873 and shoots well in revolvers.

    If you have further questions plese ask.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Welcome to the forum!

    At least you are trying to post questions in the proper place. A lot of people post everything in the cast boolit section regardless of what it is. Shooting full auto comes to mind for example...

    Just jump on in and enjoy. Most of us won’t rib you too much at first.

  5. #5
    Boolit Mold
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    I have a set of Lyman dies, I assume they are set up to size for .427 but have not measured them yet, the 1892 Winchester is a 1902 build IIRC, I FINALLY got notice that Starline is going to ship me some brass
    The pistol is the "new" style Uberti cowboy with a 7 1/2 barrel.
    I have plenty of "serious" weapons so I just want to plink some with these.
    I have several powders available that seem to possibly be applicable to this cartridge, 4227, Unique, Trail Boss and also Hodgdon P and Goex FFF.
    And a supply of Win, WLR primers.
    So the thought was to just load some cast 200gr .427 with "mild" loads, certainly not going to get serious enough to cast my own or want to stress the Win.
    I figured .427 would be safe enough for the Win. but not sure what the down side would be to shooting .427 in a barrel that may be .429 in the pistol other than loss of accuracy, I would not be against two different loads but would like to keep things as simple as possible.
    You may "have at me" now

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Okay I’ll start. Lyman dies you assume will size to 0.427? What kind of dies? Reloading dies? Lube/sizer dies should be marked with the size.

    Personally, I’d rather shoot lead boolits 0.002” oversized than undersized. If you ever get the pleasure of scrubbing lead out of a barrel, you will remember it a long time.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry54 View Post
    Okay I’ll start. Lyman dies you assume will size to 0.427? What kind of dies? Reloading dies? Lube/sizer dies should be marked with the size.

    Personally, I’d rather shoot lead boolits 0.002” oversized than undersized. If you ever get the pleasure of scrubbing lead out of a barrel, you will remember it a long time.
    In case you didn't "get it" Undersize cast projectiles tend to lead the Bore...Badly

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    You really want to measure barrel groove diameter on the Winchester '92 as dimensions vary.
    I have seen original barrels as large as .435". My Pietta and Uberti revolvers have .430 cylinder throats and .429 barrels. My 1905 Colt Single Action has a .428 barrel and .431 cylinder throats.

    Best results are usually with the largest bullet diameter which chambers without force. In Starline brass .429-.430 should work.

    With the powders you have 8 grains of Unique, or 18.5 of 4227 are standard pressure loads which shoot well.

    You want to always use large pistol primers in the .44-40 because WLRs have a higher sidewall and will stand proud, causing a risk of slamfires in rifles, or impairing cylinder rotation in revolvers.
    Last edited by Outpost75; 05-29-2024 at 06:59 PM.
    The ENEMY is listening.
    HE wants to know what YOU know.
    Keep it to yourself.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    And you will need large pistol primers. Large Rifle primers are like gold these days. You might find someone local close to you to trade.

    Maybe that person could help you get started too?

  10. #10
    Boolit Mold
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    Got it, oversize better than undersize, I have no experience with CB or non standard size barrels, I have loaded thousands of rounds of 45 ACP, 44 mag, 357, 40 super, 7.62, 5.56 etc, but of course all were jacketed and there were not these variables involved.
    I do not have the reloading dies in hand yet so I do not know how they are marked.
    I have plenty of WLP primers, I was just going off of what Starline had listed.
    With all the work and variables involved I wonder how anyone gets away with simply buying 44-40 ammo and shooting it?
    I have not been able to find the RCBS "cowboy" dies. for 44-40, several other calibers but not the 44-40
    I guess I will need to get youtube certified on slugging a barrel
    I do understand the 44-40 can be a very challenging round to load
    Last edited by Unimogman; 05-22-2024 at 08:18 PM.

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    If you cannot find the cowboy dies the regular RCBS .44-40 dies will work OK if you replace the expander plug with a larger one which actually measures .428-.429 diameter and NOT .425 like regular .44-40 dies.
    The ENEMY is listening.
    HE wants to know what YOU know.
    Keep it to yourself.

  12. #12
    Boolit Mold
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    Once I got the part number RCBS 18851 I did find some cowboy dies.

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy Kai's Avatar
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    The 44wcf is a very straight forward cartridge to cast and load for. Slugging the bore is not difficult. Use a pure lead slug or round ball of 45 or so caliber. You want the slug/ball to leave a ring of lead as it is hammered into the bore. Use 6" sections of wooden dowel rod just big enough diameter to fit into the bore to hammer the slug through the bore. Having cast for several Winchester 1892s and 73s I am sure you will find that a bullet sized to .429 will work nicely. If you go with .427 accuracy will suffer and leading may be an issue. As for dies, any 44-40 dies will work. i gave up on the expander included with the dies long ago and use a Lee universal expander that only expands the case mouth and not the entire neck. As for powders, others have already listed several. Clays is another that works well. One thing to keep in mind is bullet design. Some bullets, due to nose length, may require trimming cases in order to get rounds to feed in you 92. You are going to enjoy plinking with your 92!!
    Last edited by Kai; 05-24-2024 at 02:35 PM.

  14. #14
    Boolit Mold
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    Yep! .427 would have been a big mistake as the 1892 barrel slugs at .430, (I found a #8 Meister slugging kit) the bore is also somewhat rough so I suspect using lead would lead to fouling.
    I do not see anything that I would think would be a safety issue but the entire length of the bore has some pitting.
    Maybe I could get away with some .430 coated bullets?
    I see many that suggest bullets that are .001-.002" over size but I only see sources of .430
    Or maybe this is just a wall hanger now....

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    I’d shoot it and see. I’ve shot pitted barrels before, and they shoot surprisingly well considering how terrible they looked. It may be a shoot 15 rounds and clean again before it fouls badly routine, but I’d have to try it.

  16. #16
    Boolit Mold
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    I found one load for a 200gr bullet, 8 gr Unique gives about 900 fps, that seems mild enough.
    I also have tons of 3Fg, if I will be cleaning it so often why not let out some smoke??, I read the Starline brass would not take a full 40gr load but I cannot find any data on this brass and 3Fg.nor am I looking for max loads.
    I do understand black powder likes to be compressed.
    Last edited by Unimogman; 05-29-2024 at 05:32 PM.

  17. #17
    Boolit Mold
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    I thought taking it apart to clean was going to be a PITA but turns out not to be too bad, I did notice the extractor collar has some damage, so I am going to order a new one along with the extractor spring.
    I have some "factory" rounds around here somewhere I guess I should see if it will chamber and extract unfired rounds before moving forward now that it is clean, it was DIRTY!!!

  18. #18
    Boolit Master slim1836's Avatar
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    Welcome to the best cast boolit site around. Just curious, what part of Texas do you live in?

    Slim
    JUST GOTTA LOVE THIS JOINT.

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy Tall's Avatar
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    Two years ago I bought a Uberti 44 WCF copy of a Colt single action. I read on internet forums that the barrel size was .430" and those projectiles should be used. So first I had to shoot a box of factory Remington 44 WCF ammo to get the brass. It was very accurate with semi - jacketed bullets measuring .427" diameter.

    Then I loaded 50 rounds (I used IMR 4227) with an eye to COAL - verifying it was exactly right. Turns out the .430" rounds would not chamber - the internet was wrong as it turned out. The revolver was (and is) phenomenally accurate with .427" diameter lead bullets KWC style 210 grain.

  20. #20
    Boolit Mold
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    Papalote, TX
    Just 330 miles or so down the road from you.
    Last edited by Unimogman; 05-29-2024 at 06:43 PM.

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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