can 44-40 be loaded heavy in modern levers?

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mickbr
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can 44-40 be loaded heavy in modern levers?

#1 Post by mickbr » Mon May 13, 2019 9:27 am

My gut instinct says similar to 45 colt , yes?

By heavy I mean greatly exceeding the power levels of the orginals, as long as it stays within the actions limits.

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Re: can 44-40 be loaded heavy in modern levers?

#2 Post by Pete44ru » Mon May 13, 2019 10:04 am

.

IMO, it depends upon the brass/cases used.

If you use balloon head cases, I wouldn't advise heavy loads; but might be OK with solid head cases.

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Re: can 44-40 be loaded heavy in modern levers?

#3 Post by jeepnik » Mon May 13, 2019 1:27 pm

I would not exceed loading manual recommendations. If you think you need more energy switch to 44 mag or 444 Marlin
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Re: can 44-40 be loaded heavy in modern levers?

#4 Post by JimT » Mon May 13, 2019 2:57 pm

From John Taffin

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Re: can 44-40 be loaded heavy in modern levers?

#5 Post by ollogger » Mon May 13, 2019 3:38 pm

Lyman has loads up to 20000 cup with a 200 gr, jacketed with 2400 & other powders ( in strong actions only) for about 1600 fps
I have used the max load of 2400 in a newer Marlin 44-40 with no problems & very accurate, new starline brass is what I used
how much more pressure will the brass hold up too, I have no idea? I am sure its been loaded a lot hotter & I know the gun will take it



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Re: can 44-40 be loaded heavy in modern levers?

#6 Post by Griff » Mon May 13, 2019 5:24 pm

If by "modern levers", you're referring to the 1892 Winchester or 1894 Marlin, I'd say yes, use your "Googlefu" to look up .44WCF HV (Hi-velocity) loads... I simply wouldn't in toggle link actions.
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Re: can 44-40 be loaded heavy in modern levers?

#7 Post by SAVVY_JACK » Tue May 14, 2019 4:50 pm

Why yes, yes you can! Lyman 49th list modern and vintage strong action rifles that can be loaded to 22,000cup!

Here is a sneaky link!
https://curtisshawk21.wixsite.com/44cen ... aami-specs

Lyman 49th page 300 lists 8gr of Red Dot with a Lyman 427098 that results in 1,290fps @ 21,900cup.
Lyman 49th page 299 lists 20gr of 2400 with Speer's 200gr JHP that results in 1,638fps @ 19,000cup

I have tested several other powders that get greater velocities with less pressures that I use in my Marlin 1894CB. Back in the 1930's, well before the 44 Magnum, the 44-40 (rifle) was loaded to 33,000cup @ 2,100fps with a Winchester 200gr JSP from a hefty load of 2400.

Back in the 1930's, Revolvers used a load of Unique that produced 15,000cup with 200gr bullets as well as 244gr bullets and 250gr (955fps) bullets. Things that would blow modern day snowflakes minds!!

Powder formula's may change over time but pressures are pressures!

The following is MY results and could blow up the universe....use at own risk!
My favorite loads for strong action rifles are:
25gr Reloder 7 with a 200gr commercial cast Magma bullet sized .429, CCI 300 primers, 1,350fps @ 11,300psi
Case capacity (about 28gr) Reloder 7 with the same bullet, 1,570fps @ 13,600psi
Same 25gr load (Revolver) 44 Magnum Frame Uberti Buckhorn, 858fps
20gr IMR-4227, 200gr commercial Magma CCI-300 primers, 1,350fps @ 12,250psi

For my 265 yard golfball shots in my Marlin 1894CB;
26gr IMR-4227, CCI-300 primers, 200gr .429 commercial Magma bullet, 1,733fps @ 20,900psi (NOT CUP). This MIGHT be about 25,000cup AND IS NOT FUN TO SHOOT....except watching that little golfball get plastered!

For 44WCF (44-40) history, visit https://curtisshawk21.wixsite.com/44centerfire If it's a lie, the internet told it!!!
Last edited by SAVVY_JACK on Tue May 14, 2019 9:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: can 44-40 be loaded heavy in modern levers?

#8 Post by SAVVY_JACK » Tue May 14, 2019 5:29 pm

Ah heck, here are the rifles, both Group I and Group II

Lyman lists nineteen rifles chambered for the 44-40.



Group 1 (weak actions)
Winchester Model 1873
Whitney Kennedy lever action
Colt-Burgess lever action
Marlin Model 1888
Colt Lightning pump action
Replica Model 1873s (And I'd include replica Henry and 1866s in 44-40)
Remington No 2 Rolling Block Single Shot
Ballard No 2 Single Shot
Stevens Model 44 Single Shot

Group 2 (Strong Actions)
Winchester Model 1892 (& replicas)
Marlin Model 1889
Marlin Model 1894
Remington Keene Bolt Action
Remington Model 14 1/2 pump action
Winchester Single Shot rifles
Remington No 1 Rolling Block single shot
Remington "Baby Carbine" single shot
Stevens Model 44 1/2 single shot

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Re: can 44-40 be loaded heavy in modern levers?

#9 Post by SAVVY_JACK » Tue May 14, 2019 5:36 pm

I no longer use photobucket!!

Photos, Marlin Model 1889 Manufactured in 1891. I added the tang sight.

https://www.marlinowners.com/forum/team ... ost7837695

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Re: can 44-40 be loaded heavy in modern levers?

#10 Post by SAVVY_JACK » Tue May 14, 2019 5:40 pm

265 yard shots at a golfball. All four shots grouped at least 4"-5". Once in a lifetime shots? Probably.....but I did it!

High Velocity Load

https://www.marlinowners.com/forum/team ... ost7822253

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Re: can 44-40 be loaded heavy in modern levers?

#11 Post by Carlsen Highway » Wed May 15, 2019 12:39 am

OK - Savvy Jack has given excellent direction. I will add my own experiences just for some color.

Standard loads that produce the velocity that the .44-40 always did in factory ammunition (both blackpowder and smokeless) before SAAMI nuetered the .44-40 and theyinvented CAS shooting:
(All with Starline brass.)

26 grains of H4198 and a 200 grain bullet - 1340 fps and excellent accuracy in three rifles. My .44 WCF solution for everything.
Reloader 7 will do the same job as well, as Savvy Jack has been using above, with 25 grains.

These are bulk loads of smokeless that fill the case so they can support the bullet and crimp is only required to hold the bullet on - ie, bullets wont telescope in the magazine. These loads replicate the original bulk smokeless Dupont load. They are low pressure and also are safe in '73 & '66 rifles.
This really is all you need for everything a .44-40 might need to do, in any design of rifle, and they will kill deer both large and small.
However...

We are talking heavy loads - so -

26 grains of H4198 and a 250 grain Sierra match FPJ will give 1200 fps and 2 inch groups (at only 50 yards)

24 grains of H4227 will give 1650 - 1700 fps with a 200 grain Hornady XTP, depending on barrel length and decent accuracy of 3 inches at 100 yards

(This is a starter load for the .44 MAgnum, so any modern Winchester 92 Rossi 92 or Marlin will handle this. It's is harder on .44-40 brass of course, but the worse than happens when the brass gets old is that small splits develop in the case mouth after a few loadings.)

10 grains of Unique or Universal and a 200 grain bullet will give 1360fps and four inch groups at 100 yards.

Duplex loads:
2 grains of Unique or Universal as a priming under a compressed load of 24 grains of H4198 with a 240 grain Hornady XTP will give 1556 fps
3 grains of Unique or Universal under 23 grains of H4198 and a 240 grain bullet will give 1680 fps.

these will give reasonable accuracy, which for me is three inches at 100 yards.


Now - I can't fail to mention my most accurate .44-40 load here, although it is not a ""heavy" load. It performs as well in three different rifles:

6 grains of H4227 as a smokeless priming under 32 grains of 3F blackpowder, and a 215 grain (dropping 220 grains for my alloy) bullet, with a mix of 20:1 lead/tin.
Using the 43-215C bullet from the mold sold by Accurate Molds and designed by John Kort after the 19th century factory Winchester bullet design, but with a larger lube groove. Lube is very soft 1:4 beeswax and lard.
Starline brass is unsized. Primer used was CCI large pistol
This soft bullet is seated after the powder has already been compressed with a jacketed bullet and then pulled out, and the cast bullet seated in its place, This is so the cast bullet is not deformed in seating.
Crimped only lightly.

This will give 1180-1266 fps depending on the rifle, and honest 1 inch - 1.5 groups at 100 yards for five rounds. Will do it over and over.

This duplex with smokeless priming under blackpowder is an old target shooters type load from the early years of the 20th century. I have experimented with every variation of the charge weights for this load and different ideas - but found any variation from this recipe results in abysmal accuracy. So the load is very strict.

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Last edited by Carlsen Highway on Wed May 15, 2019 5:24 am, edited 3 times in total.
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mickbr
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Re: can 44-40 be loaded heavy in modern levers?

#12 Post by mickbr » Wed May 15, 2019 3:54 am

Great information thanks fellas, always a pleasure to read when folks are enthused about the subject. I also liked the action strength groups. I knew 92, 1894 were strong and slide actions and toggle links were not. The rest I am glad you filled in for me.

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Re: can 44-40 be loaded heavy in modern levers?

#13 Post by SAVVY_JACK » Wed May 15, 2019 4:16 pm

Most Excellent post Carlsen Highway!!!

I never messed with duplex loads...

I did test some H-4198 loads but limited.

26gr, 200gr Magma, CCI-300, Starline - 1,380fps @ 11,707psi...notes say 6 3/8" 10 shot group @ 100 yards
27.5gr...1,424fps @ 13,387psi

My testings of original early unheadstamped brass with Swiss FFG and Lyman's 427098 produced 14,285psi while the same load in modern starline brass with greater powder compression produced only 8,953psi.

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Re: can 44-40 be loaded heavy in modern levers?

#14 Post by SAVVY_JACK » Wed May 15, 2019 4:34 pm

This might be of some interest in understanding pressures in the 44-40 early cartridges.
https://curtisshawk21.wixsite.com/44cen ... ss-powders

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Re: can 44-40 be loaded heavy in modern levers?

#15 Post by bikerbeans » Wed May 15, 2019 5:25 pm

FWIW, i bought 1894 marlin 44-40 barrel from Numrich and installed it on a glenfield 30 action (same action as a marlin 336). The barrel had a groove of 0.4295". I used 44 mag data for h110 and 240g jhp. I went up to the max load per the hodgdon website. No signsofpressure issue but i don't think the brass would have lasted more than 2 or 3 firings.

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Re: can 44-40 be loaded heavy in modern levers?

#16 Post by Carlsen Highway » Wed May 15, 2019 9:01 pm

SAVVY_JACK wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 4:34 pm
This might be of some interest in understanding pressures in the 44-40 early cartridges.
https://curtisshawk21.wixsite.com/44cen ... ss-powders
That is an excellent website. I would like to contribute material to it some time.
A person who carries a cat home by the tail, will receive information that will always be useful to them.
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Re: can 44-40 be loaded heavy in modern levers?

#17 Post by SAVVY_JACK » Thu May 16, 2019 6:25 am

Carlsen Highway wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 9:01 pm
SAVVY_JACK wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 4:34 pm
This might be of some interest in understanding pressures in the 44-40 early cartridges.
https://curtisshawk21.wixsite.com/44cen ... ss-powders
That is an excellent website. I would like to contribute material to it some time.
I can do that.....
Just let me know...email or message me your content and I will add it to the blog pages. (now visible) I forgot to make them visible after some editing of the site.
Menu/other/old blog (or new blog)
https://curtisshawk21.wixsite.com/44centerfire/blog

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Re: can 44-40 be loaded heavy in modern levers?

#18 Post by SAVVY_JACK » Thu May 16, 2019 6:40 am

bikerbeans wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 5:25 pm
FWIW, i bought 1894 marlin 44-40 barrel from Numrich and installed it on a glenfield 30 action (same action as a marlin 336). The barrel had a groove of 0.4295". I used 44 mag data for h110 and 240g jhp. I went up to the max load per the hodgdon website. No signsofpressure issue but i don't think the brass would have lasted more than 2 or 3 firings.

BB
Excellent information bikerbeans!!! Thanks for sharing.

The highest I loaded for my MGM barrel was 21,000psi. Could be somewhere around 26,000cup but really no way to know for sure. Even Winchester said "no reloading" of their High Velocity loads. Personally I have had no problems after reloading some several thousand rounds of high pressure loads using Starline brass.

Technically (in my book) the 44 Magnum is a 240gr bullet cartridge....however, pressures are pressures and 200gr 44 magnum loads do create some high pressures.

One tricky area that some folks forget is that even the Marlin model 1889 has a chamber cut for a 44-40 bullet profile rather than the 44 special/magnums. The readily available extremely popular 44-40 Magma bullet by Oregon Trail "Laser Cast" and most all other manufactures is not a 44-40 profile bullet although the diameter can be sized small. Loading this bullet to 44-40 AOL lengths....the bullet can still touch the lands and create even higher pressures. Not to mention if the bore is smaller than .429.

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