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#11986401 - 04/20/17 Re: .44/40 or 45LC.......? [Re: sharpsguy]  
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 586
CarlsenHighway Offline
Campfire Regular
CarlsenHighway  Offline
Campfire Regular

Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 586
Port Chalmers, New Zealand
Originally Posted by sharpsguy
I have a Marlin 1894 Cowboy in 45 Colt, and a iron framed Uberti Henry in 44-40. Both are accurate and pleasant to shoot, the Henry will easily cut playing cards edgewise offhand at 25 yards. I have in fact killed two crows at 200 yards with the Henry.

On the other hand, if I were to hunt deer and had to choose between the two rifles, I would take the Marlin in 45 colt. Loaded with a 250 grain Keith style bullet and 8.5 grains of Unique, it is a really reliable killer, and will shoot through and through the shoulders of a deer at 100 yards. The other side of the coin is that I once shot a coyote on the shoulder with the 44-40 Henry, and it didn't go all the way through. I just think the 45 Colt is a much more effective cartridge.

Your .44-40 didnt go all the way through a coyote? What kind of load do you use?

This month I shot two red deer hinds with my .44-40 at 75 yards with pure lead bullets over black powder, and didnt get either of the bullets back.

The first thing to solve with a .44-40 is the crimp, and that is best done with a Lee Factory crimp die.

One of the main issues I have had with reloading the .44-40 is regarding the crimp in a levergun. With smokeless loads I couldnt gaurantee that I could keep jacketed or lead bullets from telescoping int he magazine in a Rossi 92, and in a Winchester 73, the lead bullets will do it straight away, as the bullet sI use in that are pure lead soft.

I fixed that by loading bulk load of H4198, and I recommend this load to anyone having the same issues, as it is accruate in both my .44 WCF rifles too, and acheives an appropriate velocity (1350fps)while being safe in a '73 action also.

The other problem I had was bullet seating - for rifles with .429 - .430 size bores (most modern rifles) it is better to use the expander die from a .44 Magnum in order to seat bullets straight.

Also, the thin case mouths of the .44-40 brass can get work hardened and get small splits over time, from the expanding and the Lee factory crimp die. (and especially if your case mouths get dinted on ejection sometimes) Annealing them helps somewhat.

After solving these issues which are particular to the cartridge, loading it is straight forward as any other. Solving the problems was a labour of love really, but I find the .44-40 very rewarding expecially with black powder.

As for cleaning up black powder with a .44-40 - no residue at all in the action. None. Thats with both a '92 action and a '73.

I would like to have a .45 Colt levergun also. I would load it with heavy bullets and push them hard, and turn it into a short version of a .45-75.

"A person that carries a cat home by the tail will receive information that will always be useful to him." Mark Twain
CMG 300 BP

#12129921 - 07/06/17 Re: .44/40 or 45LC.......? [Re: 16gauge]  
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 230
rogn Offline
rogn  Offline

Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 230
ES of MD more of the RED PART ...
The 44-40 seems to be a good cartridge for most useage and as stated the case does a good job sealing the action from smoke and powder residue. The 45C has it all over the 44 since the bullet supply is nearly endless, the brass is fairly inexpensive and readily available. It will work with black if you insist and case sealing will be improved if you anneal the case mouths and use fairly heavy loads. Case sealing in rifles is a bit of an issue since the chamber specs for the round are truly overgenerous. This just calls for more case expansion and working of the brass. I have a Rossi 20" carbine and it will shoot well with certain loads- mostly on the heavier end of the spectrum. The '92 is incredibly strong for a 120 year old design. Thw chambering in the 454 Casul bears witness to that. My carbine likes Hornady's XTP bullets and H110 powder. Using the loads near but not max the carbine will group 1 1/2" at 100 yds off the bench (3shot) with either bullet. The 300 gr XTP yields 1700 FPS with a heavy load of H110. This is in the 30-30 horsepower class out of and incredibly light carriable rifle. Deer and wild pigs dont survive. he drawback is the skinny little steel cresent butplate which bites hard with hunting loads.

precision is group shooting, accuracy is hitting your intended target.
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