The Firearms Forum banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,458 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so I am an imbecile when it comes to searches. I can't find any pressure data for a Schofield revolver, original S&W or otherwise. Does anyone have a source, link or idea?

I'm confident that as the 44-40 case is larger than the 45 S&W/Schofield/Short Colt or whatever one wants to call it, with the same weight bullet, the same velocity can be achieved at lower pressure. I have a pretty decent load at 5.7 grs. of W-231 under the Lee, 200-205 gr. cast bullet but it seems anemic in both report and recoil. Not much more than a 38 wadcutter target load. No, I have yet to chrono the load.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,479 Posts
Sharps, the starting load for W231 or HP-38 (same powders) is 5.5grns, 711fps, at 9800psi. The Max load is 6.5grns, 820fps, at 12,400psi. Uberti built them for factory 44/40 loads. Any load safe in a Colt SAA, is good to go in the S&W. If you use the load data for a Ruger, you're going to have a bad day.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,458 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Can't say I've ever seen Ruger & Contender loads for the 44-40. I did have an inkling the old....and new Schofields weren't/aren't as strong as a Ruger........ :whistle:

I did find in my NRA Handloading book that SAAMI had reduced the 44-40 max pressure to 13,100. I guess that was back in the 70's as my book is from the early 80's.

Where'd you find the pressure for those loads?
 
  • Like
Reactions: TRAP55

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,458 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ahhh...Thanks TRAP!! Found a load for SR-7625, which I have an abundance of.

Never had any such difficulty with my Freedom Arms with a similar load. I'll match it to any Ruger, any time. The Schofield by its very design isn't as strong as any top strap revolver. I knew that a few decades before I bought one.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 45nut

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,458 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ahhh...Thanks TRAP!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
700 Posts
When I'm dealing with a large(ish) capacity black powder cartridge or (original) magnum cartridge, I tend to start with 7.2-8.0/Unique or Herco with a bullet weight that is typical for that cartridge. If I assemble and chronograph a dozen or so rounds, it tells me where I am with that round.
7.2-8.0/Unique or Herco/240 - 260 gr. cast is usually a very moderate load in .45 Colt, which has 4% more case capacity than the .44-40. I would expect 7.2/Unique or Herco/200 gr. cast to be fairly mild in .44-40, and probably no threat to the "non-solid frame" Uberti. If you feel that it is not mild enough, there is room on the lower end for reduction.
If your supply of Unique or Herco is low, I would think that Hodgdon Universal would render similar results. Of course, check the loading data for that powder and don't rely on the charge weights I listed here for Unique/Herco. I say that mainly for my own peace of mind, rather than because I have ANY worries about your reloading technique.

P.S.: Yer not an imbecile. I know an imbecile when I see or hear from one. I speak FLUENT imbecile. You do not fill the criteria by a LONG SHOT, and probably never will. :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,458 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I WANTED to shoot BP in it but, a lot of posts on various boards said the same thing, don't do it. When Uberti chambered the Schofield for the 44-40 and 45 Colt they had to lengthen the cylinder. By doing so a "shield" that prevented BP fouling from migrating around the cylinder had to be removed. By doing so, with the Uberti reproduction, fouling migrates into the cylinder base pin, tying up the revolver. The Schofield, or #3 S&W, don't break down as easy as the '73 Colt or the Remington so I've elected not to shoot BP. I'd still really like to!!

Kosh, my old manuals list a couple Unique and Red Dot loads. Some are warmish for the S&W!! I haven't had any Herco since the 70's but I always have a bit extra Unique. This 3 lb. gift of SR-7625 and another 3 lbs. of SR-4756 has been a boon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,479 Posts
Ahhh...Thanks TRAP!!
As always, you are most welcome sir! I'm slightly surprised you weren't aware of that website. Make it your "go to" for loading data, as it gets updated on a regular basis, and the reloading manuals only once a year.
The first time I shot the 44/40 cartridge, was in my 1873 Winchester, and I had the same reaction you did. This anemic pop gun won the west? I've had a little less recoil with a 22 mag! Guy at the range had his chronograph set up, and let me put a couple rounds over it. Exceeded .45acp ballistics, and the .45acp hasn't lost many arguments.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,458 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I was aware of the site, Trap, I just never noticed the pressures listed and generally it doesn't have data for most of the cartridges I shoot. Can only be ascribed to inattention.

My first experience with the 44-40 was in the mid-80's with the same kind of rifle I have now, a '73 repro and, a Colt Clone in 44-40. My response was as yours....especially as I had been shooting a lot of big bores and magnums for quite a while. The Schofield is fairly front heavy and that 8 inch barrel...I guess it's soaking up quite a bit of recoil. I have some 8 gr., SR-7625 loads to try today....when it warms up!!!! It's 19 degrees as I type this but at least the wind isn't blowing a gale.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,458 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Doggone it I am inconsistent with that revolver. I fired those 5 loads and put 4 into less than 2 inches with one flyer that opened it up to 2 3/4-3 inches at 25 yards. I can't decide whether that is because it was the first shot from a cold barrel or if I pulled it. Loaded 5 more and shot them the next day, 4 inch group, same distance. Tried 5 of the 231 loads, all 5 in 2 1/4.

Ok....so I'm convinced the rudimentary sights on the Schofield are the reason for the inconsistency. So, I got out my 696 and Freedom arms. Two groups with each revolver, all under 3 inches and one from the FA under 2 inches at 25 yards, rested. I'm beginning to think it might be candles on the cake..... :unsure:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
700 Posts
Doggone it I am inconsistent with that revolver. I fired those 5 loads and put 4 into less than 2 inches with one flyer that opened it up to 2 3/4-3 inches at 25 yards. I can't decide whether that is because it was the first shot from a cold barrel or if I pulled it. Loaded 5 more and shot them the next day, 4 inch group, same distance. Tried 5 231 loads, all 5 in 2 1/4.
Ok...so I'm convinced the rudimentary sights on the Schofield are the reason for the inconsistency. I got out my 696 and Freedom arms. Two groups with each revolver, all under 3 inches and one from the FA under 2 inches at 25 yards, rested. I'm beginning to think it might be candles on the cake...:unsure:
Okay, the 8.0/SR-7625/ charge fills 32% of the case's total powder capacity (IGNORING the volume occupied by the projectile, when bullet base is seated to case neck base). You don't specify the charge weight for your W231, but I did a little interpolation on they it MIGHT be, if very proportional to the SR-7625. Ignoring (again) the case volume removed by seating a bullet, case fill by propellant is ~21%. You are a skilled shooter and reloader (if currently hobbled by narrower propellant selection), so "candles on the cake" MAY be A part but only A part (if ANY) of the entire "inconsistency" associated with the revolver's use. I'D be more inclined attribute the revolver's "working in" problems to the (let's face it) somewhat inferior rear sight in your new (to you) revolver, its (possibly) less-than-optimal trigger squeeze (too heavy? not crisp?), and (understandably) mild loads, which lower loading density, and introduce concerns about where the propellant list in the case, when ignited.
You may have already tried this, but you might consider shooting 2 groups, 1 of 6 RESTED shots (of whatever reload), raising the muzzle to vertical before the first shot but keeping the muzzle horizontal for the next 5. Then, shot 6 other shots at a clean target, but turn the barrel vertical after each shot. When I get significantly tighter groups from the latter strategy, I try to go for better loading density.
Do you have any VV "Tin Star" or "TRAIL BOSS" that you can use? Maybe a friend would loan you some?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,203 Posts
I'm beginning to think it might be the excessive number of candles on the cake..... :unsure:
Fixed that for ya!! :D

I bought a Allen Firearms 73 SRC Winchester copy in the early 90''s before they made them for SASS and it was in 44-40. I liked it and I took it to AZ to visit some friends and we shot it at the 300 yard target, 18" 1/4" metal plate. I actually started hitting it pretty good. The copy had the original style ladder rear site which helped a lot.

If you think the 44-40 is a "pop" gun in a carbine, look at the ballistics for the 44 Rimfire (Henry's & 1866 Winchesters) THAT was a anemic round, yet, it killed a lot of men & game.

I still contend the 1866 Winchester was the gun that won the west and not the 73. but, and that's a big hairy but, that is just my humble opinion.
 
  • Haha
Reactions: sharps4590

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,458 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Okay, the 8.0/SR-7625/ charge fills 32% of the case's total powder capacity (IGNORING the volume occupied by the projectile, when bullet base is seated to case neck base). You don't specify the charge weight for your W231, but I did a little interpolation on they it MIGHT be, if very proportional to the SR-7625. Ignoring (again) the case volume removed by seating a bullet, case fill by propellant is ~21%. You are a skilled shooter and reloader (if currently hobbled by narrower propellant selection), so "candles on the cake" MAY be A part but only A part (if ANY) of the entire "inconsistency" associated with the revolver's use. I'D be more inclined attribute the revolver's "working in" problems to the (let's face it) somewhat inferior rear sight in your new (to you) revolver, its (possibly) less-than-optimal trigger squeeze (too heavy? not crisp?), and (understandably) mild loads, which lower loading density, and introduce concerns about where the propellant list in the case, when ignited.
You may have already tried this, but you might consider shooting 2 groups, 1 of 6 RESTED shots (of whatever reload), raising the muzzle to vertical before the first shot but keeping the muzzle horizontal for the next 5. Then, shot 6 other shots at a clean target, but turn the barrel vertical after each shot. When I get significantly tighter groups from the latter strategy, I try to go for better loading density.
Do you have any VV "Tin Star" or "TRAIL BOSS" that you can use? Maybe a friend would loan you some?
Interesting post, Kosh and could well have some solutions in it. I worked over the rear sights a LOT and have the rear opened up enough that I can get an actual sight picture. I was even able to move the notch to the right enough that it's only a couple inches left with the group. They aren't good but they're one heck of a lot better!!!!

I think I'm loading 5.7 grs. of 231.....I think.... :unsure:

The trigger.....reminds me of a Ruger. Too much creep and rough. Feels a lot like dragging a chain down a gravel road. It IS NOT my Freedom Arms but it's also just a bit more than 1/3 the cost as well. Doesn't match the Smith 696 either. But, that's to be expected.

I do have Trail Boss and have considered it. Just haven't got there yet. Tin Star? That's a new one to me!

Edit: Reading back through the posts, yes, I did mention 5.7 grs. of 231 in my first post. I'm caught up with Christmas decorating for a while so I'm gonna go load a few rounds of Trail Boss fer grins an' giggles. I've had some good results with that powder. 3 grs. under a 75 gr. cast bullet of about #12 BHN shots minute of squirrel eye out of my Rook rifle at 25 yards.

45, I still think it was the Hawken and other Plains Rifles that really won the west.... :giggle:
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top