44-40 Reloading Question

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by The Duke, Nov 12, 2011.

  1. The Duke

    The Duke New Member

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    Ive several modern repos handguns and rifles that are in .44-40...All are boresized for the more common .429 bullet, not in the .426-7 diameter of the originals..

    I cant find lead cast .429 bullets around this area less than 240g...I have an ample stock of these bullets I reload in .44spl...Eventually I will cast some .429-200 grainers, but for now Id like to work up something with the heavy bullets I have in stock.

    Ive not found any reloading data for a 240gr. bullet for .44-40...Max listed is 200gr....Im considering using minimum starting loads in the .44 Spl catagory and try to work up a load in .44-40 and a 240gr bullet...

    I have worked up loads in the past, but not with dissimilar cases...IE...the .44Spl is a straight case vs the .44WCF has a slight bottleneck.. Im sure there will be a change in pressure, and the .44 Spl loads I plan on starting with are within the .44-40 pressure limits but in the .44 Special firearm..I dont know what to expect when the same load is used in the .44-40...My gut feeling is that it will be OK...

    Has anyone done this before or know of load data for the .44-40 and 240 gr bullet?? Thoughts and opinions appreciated.
  2. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Lee #1 book has 44/40 data for 240 bullets. Don't know about Lee #2. Ain't never looked at one.

    What powder you want to use?
  3. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    For what it's worth to you, my 240 grain load is 6.4 of Unique.
  4. cpttango30

    cpttango30 Guest

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2011
  5. The Duke

    The Duke New Member

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    Alpo..I aient paticular about the powder...Whatever works...That 6.4 Unique/240gr is for .44-40.?
  6. The Duke

    The Duke New Member

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    CptTango...Dang....I forgot to check MD Smiths page...Hes got good stuff...Thanks for the reminder...Think I got what I need to go with..
  7. cpttango30

    cpttango30 Guest

    Glad I could be of some help.

    I had a little marlin lever gun in 38-40 It didn't work and was in pieces. A lady I was living with her son got into meth and stole it and my Ruger M77VT in 220 swift.
  8. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    damn

    double tap
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2011
  9. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Yep. 6.4 with 240 and 8.0 with 200. Those are my loads.

    Be advised, though. They shoot higher. One of my guns shot about 8" low, and I did not want to get the file out, so found that load. Heavier so it recoils more, and slower so it stays in the barrel longer, both added up to a 4 to 6" rise in point of impact.
  10. dustydog

    dustydog New Member

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    Good call on the Unique loads.Used the same in an old model P colt that had the black powder heat treating,and it even worked well in that old girl!
  11. muddober

    muddober Active Member

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    Duke: You did not mention what make and models of replicas you have but I might caution you that if they are model 73 Winchesters you may want to go easy. If they are 92 Winchester clones 7 grains of Unique behind a 240 grain bullet would even be fine. I load 2400 in my 38-40 (I won't say how much) and it drives 200 grain 10MM pistol bullets 1800 fps out of my model 92 carbine and turns jackrabbits inside out. Like Alpo said the gun will shoot higher the faster you drive them.

    You also want to keep in mind you are using a case (44-40) that is the same length as the 44 mag and or 45 Colt which is about a hundred thousandths longer than a 44 spcl, meaning they will show less pressure in a like for like load than any load in a 44 spcl case providing you a safety fudge factor if you were to use 44 spcl loading data.

    Ron
  12. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Actually, Ron, I said exactly the opposite. I was speaking of pistols, not rifles.

    A heavier, slower bullet will hit higher than a faster lighter bullet. Here's why.

    The heavier bullet has more recoil, which cause the gun to rise higher from level, meaning the barrel will be pointed higher when the bullet leaves. The slower bullet stays in the barrel longer, which also means that the gun will be farther into its recoil arc, and the barrel will be pointing higher when the bullet leaves.

    With a rifle, you don't have as much difference in the recoil, so the muzzle is closer to the same height-above-ground when the bullet exits. If the two different weights of bullets leave the muzzle at the same height, the faster bullet will get to the target sooner, and since gravity is pulling the two bullets down at the exact same speed, the bullet that gets to the target sooner will strike higher than the slower bullet.
  13. Little Rooster

    Little Rooster New Member

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  14. muddober

    muddober Active Member

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    Alpo, I think we are in complete agreement, I was not talking changing bullet weight from 240 grain to 200 grain. My 200 grain comments were stand alone comments of a 38-40 utilizing Aliant 2400 and not comparing it to a 240 grain 44-40 with anything. Please correct if I am wrong but what I was saying and I thought you were saying until I reread your post is that the faster you drive any bullet of the SAME weight the higher the gun will shoot utilizing the same sighting plane be it a rifle or pistol. Your comments of slow heavy bullet V fast light bullet in my view is 100% correct in all aspects.

    Bottom line what I thought we both were saying though not directly mentioned (remember it was a reloading question) is that utilizing a smokeless progressive burning powder in any gun chambered in a black powder caliber will most likely cause the gun to shoot higher because smokeless powders will safely drive any bullet weight faster than will its black powder counter part.

    I have been blessed to own, reload and shoot every caliber offering in the Winchester 86, the 92 and the 94 with the exception of the 38-56. I am also one of those who thinks if 1200 fps is good, 1500 fps is better and utilizing smokeless powder (I don't do black powder anything) allows me to get higher velocities causing me to having to add to the front sights on the guns I shoot.

    Ron
  15. The Duke

    The Duke New Member

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    I dont think there will be a problem with the .44-40 loads that Alpo recommended...I will be shooting them in a repo Spencer and Repo 92...Cowboy action stuff...Prob wont use them at all in my 73 Colt clone....Even then, there shouldnt be a problem..Side matches for rifles at 100 yards is what Im working on....Only way to find out if 240's will do better than the 200s at 100 yds is to try them...
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