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Discussion Starter #1
Several yearsago I noticed that a Hercules powder pamphlet dated 1995 had data for a 240 gr.lead alloy bullet in the .44-40. The data indicated 23.5 grs. of RL-7 pushing the 240 gr. bullet to 1,290 f.p.s. ina 24" barrel, producing 12,100 C.U.P., which is well inside the SAMMI pressure limit for the .44-40 (13,000 C.U.P.)

I loaded some cartridges using that recipe. I used a Magma 240 gr. cast bullets that I purchased from a vendor. I used my Marlin Cowboy Limited (24” barrel). In testing, I found the accuracy to be pretty good and the averagev elocity came in at 1,266 f.p.s. Interestingly, the slower burning RL-7 powder had the capability to push the heavier bullet to almost equal the original ballistics made with the lighter 200 gr bullet and withslightly lower pressures.


Then, about three years ago I found a Lyman 429434 which was supposed to cast a 220 gr g.c.bullet for the .44-40. As it turned out, the actual weight in w.w. alloy was 238 grs. I used the same RL-7 recipe with very good results. Since it was a gas checked bullet, I also tried some higher velocity loads using 4227 and 5744 which worked pretty well also.

Fast forward to late 2012. I had learned, in correspondence with a fellow that shoots in NSSA (North SouthSkirmish Association), that some competitors are using the Lyman 429667 (240gr.) bullet in their replication Henry rifles pushed by black powder and are having good success with it. In addition, I saw a you tube video where the 429667 bullet pushed by black powder was used successfully on a steel plate at 165 yards.

Since I shoot.44-40 black powder cartridges using the traditional 200-217 gr. bullets and now after learning that some folks are having successes with heavier 240 gr.bullets pushed by black powder, I had to give it a try.

I made some Lyman 429667 bullets with a mold that a fellow b.p. enthusiast had loaned to me.
They weighed 248 grs. in w.w. equivalent alloy. Using Swiss 2F & 3F powder, I tried several different loads and found that the accuracy was suprisingly good at 100 yards with groups in the 1 ½ - 2 ½” range.Velocities ranged from 1,170 to 1,250 f.p.s. depending on the load used.

This past week I spent a few days at Ridgway, PA with a college buddy of mine.We spent some time at the Ridgway Rifle Club’s high power silhouette range. Iwas anxious to try the 429667’s on the 300 meter (327 yards) steel javelina tosee if the accuracy at 100 yards would extend to the further distance. (In the past I have found that the accuracy potential at 100 yards for certain loads /cartridges sometimes doesn’t hold up at extended ranges.)

I had a 10X scope on the rifle so that I could see the distant target clearly to get the best accuracy possible with the 248 gr. 44-40 b.p. cartridge. It took several rounds to get the correct sightsetting. Once the trigger broke, it took .98 seconds for the bullet to arrive on target….just enough time to get the scope back on target and see the bullet impact.

Longer story short, there were 6 hits on the steel javelina “swinger” in about a 5” group with 4 rounds in about 3”.There were a few shots that hit just below the belly so the total group size discounting one shot was in about 6”-7”…pretty darn good I’d say. Very similar accuracy to the 427098 and 43-215C at that distance.

I’ll add pics in a day or so.

What fun!

30wcf
 

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good info John,

I've been wondering about the 240gr bullets because they are far easier to find here
 

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Hi John--

Excellent info. --as always--thanks for sharing. Kind of puts more "new life" into an old cartridge-------yahooooooooo. Great video also.

Man---I sure covet that S&W Schofield--------beautiful firearm.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Here's a few pics





bullets - will add pic later

w30wcf
 

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All of a sudden---------------I feel really inadequate------------very nice. So much for having "just" a 100 yd. cartridge.

Steve
 

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Nice shooting John! Thanks for all the information and guidance that you provide, which is much appreciated.

Best Wishes, David
 

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30 wcf -- how did your lube do? Is the 667 mould got big enough grooves for black powder, or did you add grease cookies, or?

For everyone - I loaded a lot of 245gr SWCs in 44-40 back in the 80s, because it was the only .430" mould I had! :) I found that in my fixed-sight handgun, hitting required much more than a bit of Kentucky windage (actually Kentucky depression, as the bullets hit way high. If you have non-adjustable irons, or irons with only a limited amount of elevation adjustment, these may not be ideal...
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Guys,
Thank you for the kind words.

Here is a pic of the 429667 as compared to other 44-40 bullets. It is listed by Lyman as a 240 gr. bullet which is based on a harder alloy. In w.w., they weigh 248 grs.



The Magma 200 gr and 240 gr are from a commercial manufacturer. The crimp groove on those bullets are in the right location to meet the standard .44-40 cartridge o.a.l. The 427098 is a copy of the original .44-40 two lube grooved b.p. bullet.

If the 429667 is crimped in the crimp groove, the .44-40 cartridge o.a.l. is 1.65 which cycles fine in my Marlin but since it exceeds the o.a.l. of the standard .44-40 cartridge, it will not function in my '73 Winchester since it is too long.

The cartridges used in this test had an o.a.l. of 1.59" with the crimp applied by the Lee FCD above the crimp groove. I'll add a cartridge pic later. I did fire some cartridges with the bullet crimped in the groove at the 1.65" o.a.l. and the accuracy was pretty much the same.

w30wcf
 

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Discussion Starter #10
30 wcf -- how did your lube do? Is the 667 mould got big enough grooves for black powder, or did you add grease cookies, or?
I have found that the brand of black powder used is very important for fouling control when used with standard bullets in repeating rifles using cartridges of up to 40 gr. capacity. In previous testing that I have done, I found that only SWISS brand powder will not "foul out" (hard ring of fouling formed at the muzzle and extending back into the barrel) when used with standard lube capacity bullets such as the 429667 is.

I used SPG lube and I had fired about 10 shots in sighting in prior to putting bullets on the steel javelina. I did not use a lube cookie since it is not needed with SWISS and I did not clean the rifle until all of the shots were fired.

That being said, there are bullets designed for the .44-40 that have larger lube capacities that will run fine for many shots (no foul out) with all the other black powder brands. They are in the 200-215 gr. weight.



w30wcf
 

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Thanks 30wcf, that answers a lot and the photos are excellent too.

I was in on the very first group buy by mavDutchman for a 44 big lube mould over at the SassWire. Still use that mould, but interestingly, never got those bullets to cross paths with my 44-40 before I sold it. I'll have to find some Swiss powder. I've read somewhere that it is made more according to the black powder of the old west also.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
MMA10mm,
Thank you for the kind words. The MavD is a good b.p. design for close in targets but it doesn't group as well as the original 44-40 bullet (427098) at 100 yards and beyond.
The Accurate 43-215C carries the additional lube required like the MavD for many repeat shots using b.p. and has the down range accuarcy similar to the 427098.:biggrin:

Saavy Jack,
Welcome to the forum! Please join team 44-40 (see http://www.marlinowners.com/forum/team-44-40/114502-team-44-40-a.html

w30wcf
 

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MMA10mm,
Thank you for the kind words. The MavD is a good b.p. design for close in targets but it doesn't group as well as the original 44-40 bullet (427098) at 100 yards and beyond.
The Accurate 43-215C carries the additional lube required like the MavD for many repeat shots using b.p. and has the down range accuarcy similar to the 427098.:biggrin:

Saavy Jack,
Welcome to the forum! Please join team 44-40 (see http://www.marlinowners.com/forum/team-44-40/114502-team-44-40-a.html

w30wcf
Very interesting. I'll have to go to Accurate's site and look that one over. After doing some research and thinking things over, I decided a few years back (like about 10-12...) that I really wanted to play an early 1870s plains civilian Scout, with a lot of firepower. :D To be more historically accurate, I started toying with the idea of a 44 Henry round which I could reload. I discovered the MavD boolit could be loaded to 44 Henry OAL in the 44 Russian case, and that up-ended my affair with the 44WCF (though I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for that sexy, bottle-necked round). I've now got an 1872 Open Top and 1866 Yellowboy set up for my "imitation" 44 Henry round. I want a S&W #3 for my other pistol, but everyone makes a Russian Model or a Schofield. Nobody makes the 1869-1874 timeframe first or second model 3s (American model). It's been quite a bit of work, expense, and time to get here, but my pappy said frequently that I often liked taking the hard way to get somewhere. :)
 
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Discussion Starter #15
MMA10mm,
Ahh....the good old .44 Henry cartridge. I Know that it was originally loaded with 216 gr bullets, then a bit later, 200 gr. bullets and somewhere along the line, 225 gr. bullets were offered.





The actual powder capacity is closer to the .44 Special as this pic shows.


Interestingly, a cartridge with a reduced powder charge was offered for a time.
The powder charge was the same as used in the .44 Russian.




The nose profile of the Henry Flat 200 gr bullet closely matches the 43-215C which has the same nose profile as the original .44-40 bullet (427098 )



w30wcf
 
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:)

I think I "know" you from CASCity forums, don't I?

I don't want to hi-jack your excellent thread here, but I'm hoping to get in touch with Mako and get a mould made. I'll let you know what happens. (Probably PM you a link to the thread at CAS City, if we get it going...)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
MMA10mm,
My handle there is w44wcf. I remember the two lube grooved bullet Mako designed for the .44 Russian which had 2 lube grooves, 1 inside and 1 outside the case. I did save a copy of his drawing. Accurate Molds could make the mold for you.
I'll be out of touch for the next few days. Heading to a cast bullet Silhouette match.:biggrin:

w30wcf
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Here's a pic of the Lyman 429667 250 gr. bullets as compared to the standard 200 - 215 gr. smokeless bullets. Seated to crimp in the crimp groove (1.65" oal), they feed fine in my '94 Marlin but are too long for my Winchester '73. They do work fine when deep seated to the standard 44-40 OAL (1.58-1.59").

Lyman lists the 429667 as 240 grs. but in w.w. alloy they weigh 250 grs.



w30wcf
 

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I shorten the brass to get the crimp on bullet in the correct groove and the OAL is correct too . Been do that for 30 plus yrs in my wheel guns and level guns too .
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
I thought about doing that but then decided to not have different lengths of 44-40 brass. I used the Lee FCD which worked well for the few times I have used the heavier bullet in my '73.

As can be seen in the pic the Magma 240 gr. bullet has the crimp groove in the proper location for the standard 44-40 OAL.

w30wcf
 
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