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Makitaman

44-40

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Hi everyone, recently joined up on your forum, I'm new here but not to reloading. I looking in to buying a 44-40 rifle and was curious about the cheapest some of you can reload this caliber . A Powder recommendation would be great. Got a general idea of cost as far as brass, and primers. Factory ammo is not cheap for the 44-40 anywhere from .76 to $1.25 a round. The powder is throwing me off on the cost not knowing what's best or recommended. Anyway if some of you have a idea or suggestions please let me know. I can always say no to buying this rifle.

 

 

 

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My 44-40 load is  6.2gr of titegroup powder. And a 200 gr Oregan Trail Laser Cast RNFP hard cast bullet. This gives me a chrono'd 1117 fps out of a 20" barrel. This is shot out of an original Winchester 1892 rifle. A good, fun load to shoot. And very inexpensive to load, especially compared to factory ammo. I think the cost is less than $11 per box of 50. You can get even cheaper buying bullets other than Oregan trails.

With the 44-40, the brass is the really big expense. But be forewarned, 44-40 brass is very thin in the neck area. You can literally pinch the neck closed with your fingers. So I'm very careful when ejecting brass from my rifle. And remember, its a bottleneck cartridge, so lubing the cases is required. I use Hornady one shot spray. Like said, the brass is very malleable, so the Hornady works well.

And a final note: original 44-40 rifles had a .427 bore. Modern rifles mostly use a .429 bore. The expander ball on most 44-40 dies are made for .427 bullets. As are bullets specifically labeled as 44-40 bullets. So you'll want to know what the bore size is on the rifle you buy. My original Winchesters bore was slugged at .429, mainly because the bore is worn(it's 127 yr old). So I replaced the expander ball in the die set with an expander ball for 44 magnum(.429"). And Oregan trail sells .429" 44-40 bullets, even though on their site, they list only .427" bullets. You have call them and ask for the .429" bullets. With the right bullet and expander to match the rifles bore, I have an extremely accurate rifle.

Edited by Postal Bob

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P.S. I also have a high velocity loading that is equivalent to 44 magnum power. It cannot be used in rifles like the  Winchester 1873 and older guns. And it must be used sparingly as it's a very hot load. I use it for when I go deer hunting, and want to carry a fast handling, lightweight, brush gun. 22.5 gr IMR 4227, with a Hornady 200 gr XTP bullet for about 1425 fps.

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Thanks guys really appreciate it. All my rounds will be just plinking ammo like for them to be accurate but not necessarily hot load. Thanks for the bore specs also. The cost was the main concern. Thanks

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As Postal Bob pointed out, reloading the 44-40 can be touchy to reload, compared to other cartridges.

 

I did not see mention of the gun, with respect to what other cartridges it may be chambered for.  A straight wall case, such as a 45 Colt or 44 Magnum will allow carbide dies that can avoid the need to lube the cases.  Also, brass is likely more available and of stronger construction.

 

 

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honestly if cost is such a concern you are better off with a more common , cheaper, more durable cartridge like a 38/357

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Cost is always a concern. I got several lever action including 38/357 , 44-40 is one I don't have. I agree with you after doing some figuring 44-40 would be the most costly ammo that I would load. Brass prices are terrible pricey. From all I have read plus the information I gotten here on the forum sounds like a pain to load. Why did they change the bore to .429 instead of the earlier models with .427? I've read some rifles still shoot great even with a couple thousands different, but it's got to have some effect on accuracy maybe even wobbly if to small. What I would really like to have is a older Winchester in 44/40 that's a shooter not a showcase piece. I'm open for any suggestions, just always wanted a 44-40 in a rifle and pistol. If you really love lever action and don't have one of those in your collection you don't have a complete collection.

Thanks

 

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44-40 is the perfect black powder cartridge... I can go at least 50-70% more rounds in my SAA before it starts to gum up compared to 45 colt.

 

That’s why it was such a popular cartridge. Smokeless made it obsolete. 

 

In smokeless, it depends on gun. Go with something common like Unique for SAA but for a Rossi I went with IMR 4227 which is a magnum powder. Harder to find loads but they are out there. Just don’t use in SAA. 

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Quote

What I would really like to have is a older Winchester in 44/40 that's a shooter not a showcase piece. I'm open for any suggestions, just always wanted a 44-40 in a rifle and pistol.

That is exactly what my 2 Winchester 1892's are. They are both original Winchesters, but not collectables. One had a hole drilled into the back receiver tang for a peep sight. The other had been refinished in both the stock and metal. They are both excellent shooters, being 125+ yr old. But, due to what was done to them, they are no longer collectables. But, they also only cost me about $900 and less.

They can be found on Gunbroker, which is where I got one of mine.

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OK guys I've got a  Winchester 44/40 and a Taylor  44/40 on the way.  Winchester is 24" barrel,  Taylor's  5.5". I would like a  load that I can be comfortable  shooting from both fairly accurate (at least a starting point)   I'm assuming both have the. 429 bore. I've ordered a couple boxes of different brand factory ammo, if satisfied with one of those I'll try and match up those specs if I have too. I know they'll both shoot different before someone throws that in there, I'm not trying to shoot flies at a 100 yards,  I have firearms for that. If anyone can suggest a safe load data that they use, powder, bullet, brass , primers, would be greatly appreciated. This will save me some time, and materials. I  would really like to load a powder coated bullet and get away from lubing, smoking and leading  as much as possible. I  know their some cowboy shooters out there with tons of information probably with the same setup. 

Thanks 

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Go with 6 gr Titegroup, Starline brass, Winchester large pistol primers, and these 200 gr Missouri Bullets, https://missouribullet.com/details.php?prodId=340&category=20&secondary=12 because your rifle bores will be .429". Crimp into the crimping groove. This will be a fun, and accurate load to shoot, with little smoke and no leading. And cost will be minimal. 

Titegroup works extremely well when small amounts are used in a large capacity case like the 44-40.

But your'e still going to ned to lube the brass as it's a bottleneck cartridge. But that is why I use Hornady One Shot, and I don't wipe off the lube after resizing. No need to as once it's dry, it will not affect the powder.

 

And don't forget, you'll need a .429" expander ball instead of the .427" that comes with most 44-40 dies.

Edited by Postal Bob

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Thanks  Postal Bob. 

 Tech support got back with me on the  Winchester. Bore diameter of .4225 and groves .4285.

Haven't heard anything from Back from Uberti so I  might have to slug the barrel on that one.  I would really like to get a load that works  fair in both firearms. I'll check out the one you sent and the bullets you recommend. Got another question for you " why are their not any powder coated 44-40?" All the research I have done so far no one seems to coat them. Appreciate the information from your post thank you so much. That points me in the right direction. 

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Missouri Bullets does have a powder coated 44-4- bullet https://missouribullet.com/details.php?prodId=389&category=20&secondary=40 , but they are sized for original 44-40 rifles with a .427" bore.  That's why you need to use 44 cal bullets which are sized to .430" for use in your rifles. And your Uberti rifle is probably sized to .429 also.

 

Btw, like I said in my first post, my goto bullet is the Oregan Trails 44-40 bullet in .429 size. It is an extremely hard cast bullet. Perfect in rifle loads, very accurate, no leading, but they are expensive. So the Missouri bullets are a cheaper alternative.

Edited by Postal Bob

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Hey guys,  quick question.  Hornady Cowboy Handgun Ammunition 9075, 44-40 ,  205 gr anyone use this factory ammo. I need it to shoot in both rifle  and revolver. Then what about the brass is it worth fooling with to reload. Found a good price on it so thought about buy bulk of 500. I did pick up some magtech loaded ammo, those cases look like a challenge to reload. The crimp low down on the case it's their mark?

 Might be easier to remove the bullet dump powder run the brass back through sizer replace powder  and try to save the bullet. Let me know on the hornady ammo it looks like they done it right. 

Thanks 

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Cowboy ammo is usually loaded to lower velocities, so it should be fine. On the Magtech ammo, are you referering to the crimp line that is below the base of the bullet? If so, that won't effect the reloading of it. All brass should be made to 44-40 specs.

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Bought a few boxes of Magtech and it'll be my last. Ammo won't even chamber in the cylinder on the revolver I'm sure its going to fit the same in 73 Winchester not even going to try. Ammo fits too tight, brass has got to have a headspace issue. I got several pieces of brass on the way so I'll have everything to load my own by first of the year. I've got to figure out what dies to use. Any recommendations on die set would be greatly appreciated. I  want a roll crimp and expander die, and of course the full sizing /decap die. Let me hear from y'all on the recommended die set.

Thanks for all your help! 

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I use the Lee 3 die and the additional Lee FCD. And like stated earlier, I replaced the stock 44-40 expander plug, with one for 44spl/44 mag.

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Thanks Bob.  Is their a personal choice of casting moulds you prefer. The Uberti slugged at .428 and the Winchester at. .4285. Hoping to get by accuracy wise with .429 really only want to cast one size for both, Winchester at  .429 will be a little sloppy.  Think maybe I can cast at  .430 and size it down to  .429? Trying to get all this figured out before I order the moulds and resize dies. Lee dies are reasonable those steel ones ain't cheap. I don't have anything for 44 caliber just .30 and 9mm.

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Thanks Bob.   The Uberti slugged at .428 and the Winchester at. .4285. Hoping to get by accuracy wise with .429 really only want to cast one size for both, Winchester at  .429 will be a little sloppy.  Think maybe I can cast at  .430 and size it down to  .429? Trying to get all this figured out before I order the moulds and resize dies. Lee dies are reasonable those steel ones ain't cheap. I don't have anything for 44 caliber just .30 and 9mm.

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I don't cast bullets. I use the Oregan Trails laser cast 44-40 bullet at .429". They only list the.427", but have them in .429" if you call them and ask. And I think .429" will work fine in both guns. They are very hard cast, so no leading. And at rifle velocities, the base of the bullet will obturate(expand) and seal completely against the rifling. And if you want a powder coated bullet, get the Missouri bullet .44 stalker bullet, at .430". https://missouribullet.com/details.php?prodId=340&category=20&secondary=12. You want this, not the Cowboy #5 bullet, which is softer.

Unless you are already casting bullets, it's not worth the time, or health danger to cast lead bullets.

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Thanks Bob, yeah I've got everything for casting except 44-40 molds.  I have also got some bullets ordered from about three different places. I plan on buying what I shoot,  but wanted to have the gear if I had to cast. I'm hoping  .429 will be good for both. 

 

Thanks 

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