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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just for fun, I thought I'd show you guys a cartridge comparison for my Ballard .44XL vs. a .44 Spl. Win. Silvertip. I made the .44XL cartridges up by turning down a .444 case. I took diameter off the .444 cases from rim to about 1/2" up, then trimmed them to 2", and reamed the inside the necks. The bullet is a 230 grain cast.
The old XL kinda dwarfs the .44 Spl, but is less powerful!

 

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Good show on the 'custom' ammo!
My 1892 WRA Co. catalog shows a 250 grain pure lead bullet over 48 grains of powder. This is the Wesson loading with the 2 groove bullet. One source lists the Remington load for the Ballard as 50 grains of powder and a 265 grain bullet. I wonder how either of these stack up as short range white-tail cartridges?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Supposedly that original Ballard XL load with the 265 grain bullet, was rated 1340 fps, and over 1000 ft lbs. of energy. That would put it equal to the .44-40, and below the .44 Magnum.
Ballard actually removed this caliber after a couple years, in favor of the .44-40, which was far more popular.
I shot the 20 rounds I built up, and they gave excellent accuracy, with 14.0 grs of 4759, which should be close to the original fps with black. I didn't chronograph them, as someone had the chronograph tied up at the range.
The .444 worked out to be a great base case to make these. Pretty minor changes, and no annealing, as it might have taken with smaller bottleneck cases.
 

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Pretty slick....what did you end up with for bore diameter?

I suspect you'll be turning those 44-77 Sharps / Remingtons out of solid brass next. :D

max
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Cartridges of the World said it was a .439" bullet, and a couple other sources siad they could be .429"-.439", so I was unsure until I slugged it. It actually came out to be .429", so bullets were much easier to find than I originally thought! I loaded up some .44 magnum cases first, with the bullets seated as far out as I could get them. They shot OK, and at 50 yds, groups were about 1.5", but after making up these correct length cases, I was able to get groups of just under 2" at 100 yds.
I'm really happy with it, and it's a blast to shoot! I'm starting to wonder if it might just be enough for mule deer, if I bumped the loading up to original 44XL specs? Don't want to push the cast action with smokeless, but I might load some full loads of black powder, and see what they chronograph.
 
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