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#13526394 - 02/03/19 Winny 94 .44 mag carbine tumbling bullets  
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SDHNTR Offline
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I’m in CA so need lead free bullets. Have a stash of Barnes Vortx in 225 gr but they tumble pretty badly. Not sure why. I’m not sure what the twist rate is. Any ideas? Any recommendations on lead free factory ammo that might shoot better out of this lil rifle?

Last edited by SDHNTR; 02/03/19.
300 BP

#13530787 - 02/05/19 Re: Winny 94 .44 mag carbine tumbling bullets [Re: SDHNTR]  
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You need to first measure the groove diameter, (commonly known as slugging the bore), Then use bullets the same size or a .001 (one thousandth) oversize. Undersize bullets will usually tumble. I don't know about non-lead bullets, we have no such laws..

Last edited by JBLEDSOE; 02/05/19.
#13548354 - 02/10/19 Re: Winny 94 .44 mag carbine tumbling bullets [Re: SDHNTR]  
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They need to spin properly to stabilize. As JB stated, too small is not good.

There are not a lot of options aside from the x bullet.

Do you handload? Have you tried different velocities?


"The greatest danger to American freedom is a government that ignores the Constitution."
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#13563068 - 02/14/19 Re: Winny 94 .44 mag carbine tumbling bullets [Re: SDHNTR]  
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I don’t shoot this particular rifle often enough to buy dies and gear up for reloading.

I don’t see bullet diameter being an issue. This thing has less than 100 rounds thru it since new. The barrel isn’t worn out and I can’t believe Barnes’ QC would let dramatically undersized bullets out the door.

Help me academically understand what else might be causing this. Improper rifling twist for this weight bullet? Loading intended for a handgun and not a rifle? I don’t even know what factory twist is for this gun. Anybody know? Given that, in theory what bullet weight should I be using to get stable flight?

#13564019 - 02/14/19 Re: Winny 94 .44 mag carbine tumbling bullets [Re: SDHNTR]  
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SAAMI specs for a .44 mag RIFLE groove diameter upper limit is .431 I believe, vs .429 in a handgun. A .429 diameter copper bullet might not be large enough to be accurate in your rifle ...

Alpha

#13572083 - 02/17/19 Re: Winny 94 .44 mag carbine tumbling bullets [Re: 30Gibbs]  
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Hmmm. So there’s a diameter difference between a rifle 44 mag bullet and a pistol bullet? How would one know?

#13572892 - 02/17/19 Re: Winny 94 .44 mag carbine tumbling bullets [Re: SDHNTR]  
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The fact is rifle and handgun bores are not consistent. It is quite possible the bullet is too small for the bore and the rifle was manufactured as intended. Lead bullets tend to obdurate (squish and fill the bore) when put under pressure. A copper bullet will not tend to do that, so you have to make it a tight fit to begin with.

I also theorize that when a bullet is pushed too fast through shallow rifling, it can strip out and not spin properly. I've seen evidence of it on recovered bullets. Bullet that have more surface area in contact with the bore are less prone to do this. Usually that means a heavier bullet. A copper bullet is already less dense and they tend to reduce surface areas in the design to minimize friction. It's problematic. You almost need special cartridges and rifles to address the need for a longer non lead bullet. Have you recovered a bullet? What does the imprint of the lands look like? If it has a good bite, it may need a different twist rate to stabilize the bullet.

I looked for other bullet options when you posed the original question. There just aren't a lot of copper options out there. It is light for the size compared to lead and will behave differently.

In the end, I think they will make the shooting sports so inconvenient and expensive that the majority will lose interest and the sport will die on it's own. A lot of what makes it have such a strong following in Americas is that we just don't like being told we can't do something. The more they push, the more we resist. Our defiant spirit has made us a force to be reckoned with. But the new generation does not perceive the threat the way previous generations have experienced it. Short of a challenge to our freedom in their own personal space, I think they will just text in protest and let it die. A virtual reality is just so much easier to deal with. Can you imagine the outcry if they put a ban on electronics. We lived just fine without them not so long ago ...

Last edited by Frontiersman; 02/17/19.

"The greatest danger to American freedom is a government that ignores the Constitution."
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#13573131 - 02/17/19 Re: Winny 94 .44 mag carbine tumbling bullets [Re: SDHNTR]  
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Winny, eh, should have got a Marly, then you could have put a Leupy on it.


You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end – which you can never afford to lose – with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.

Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale
#13573384 - 02/17/19 Re: Winny 94 .44 mag carbine tumbling bullets [Re: SDHNTR]  
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I have two recovered bullets from a pig I killed with the gun. The first I shot from about 30 yards. The front is visibly skewed to the side. It obviously impacted at an angle and barely opened. After tracking the sucker through the brush the second shot was from 5 yards and it mushroomed perfectly. Rifling marks are clearly visible on both bullets, so it was engaged with the barell. Still scratching my head. Wish there was something else out there to try.

#13574206 - 02/17/19 Re: Winny 94 .44 mag carbine tumbling bullets [Re: SDHNTR]  
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Well, tumbling at 30 yards is not a good sign. If it's engaging the rifling that well, then I'd say you would need a different rate of twist to stabilize that bullet.

If you don't reload, and that is the only factory ammo available, then you will have to switch rifles.

I would be curious to see what it would do out of a Marlin microgroove..


"The greatest danger to American freedom is a government that ignores the Constitution."
Thomas Jefferson
Bravo

#13574271 - 02/17/19 Re: Winny 94 .44 mag carbine tumbling bullets [Re: SDHNTR]  
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Well I suppose I could hand load, I’d just have to buy dies and stuff. Not sure it’s worth it unless I start shooting the gun more. And even at that, with limited lead free bullet options, I’m just not sure it’s worth it.

#13575172 - 02/18/19 Re: Winny 94 .44 mag carbine tumbling bullets [Re: SDHNTR]  
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The 225 gr Barnes is a fairly long 44 bullet at 0.89" in length. When it comes to stabilizing a bullet it's the bullet length that is the determining factor. By way of comparison my 44 cal 310gr cast slugs are 0.85" long and they are stable in a 1 in 38" twist barrel, but just stable. The length of the Barnes copper bullet may be at the limit of stability.

Have you tried firing a group at 50 and 100 yards? The bullet stability will be quite obvious then.

#13576210 - 02/18/19 Re: Winny 94 .44 mag carbine tumbling bullets [Re: JFE]  
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Originally Posted by JFE
The 225 gr Barnes is a fairly long 44 bullet at 0.89" in length. When it comes to stabilizing a bullet it's the bullet length that is the determining factor. By way of comparison my 44 cal 310gr cast slugs are 0.85" long and they are stable in a 1 in 38" twist barrel, but just stable. The length of the Barnes copper bullet may be at the limit of stability.

Have you tried firing a group at 50 and 100 yards? The bullet stability will be quite obvious then.

I haven’t. I shot at 25 yds at the range and didn’t notice anything odd. I will have to try it farther. 50 maybe. It has open, ghost ring sights. 100yards ain’t gonna happen.

#13576213 - 02/18/19 Re: Winny 94 .44 mag carbine tumbling bullets [Re: SDHNTR]  
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Still no one has really answered my question. What is my barrel twist and is that appropriate for this bullet? That may answer everything.

#13576389 - 02/18/19 Re: Winny 94 .44 mag carbine tumbling bullets [Re: SDHNTR]  
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I had an older 94 in 44mag (made in the 70's) and its barrel was 1 in 38", the twist rate specified in SAAMI. When Winchester released the 92's in 44mag I thought the twist was faster, I believe around 1 in 24 or 26".

More than likely it's a 1 in 38" twist. You could try Winchester, provide them your serial number and ask them. Alternatively, you could work it out yourself by using a tight patch on a cleaning rod with a spinning handle.

If the bullet is unstable in your twist, shooting a group at 50 yards should visibly show the bullet instability on your target.

FWIW Barnes also make a 200gr copper 44bullet but it looks like it's only available as a component.

#13576842 - 02/18/19 Re: Winny 94 .44 mag carbine tumbling bullets [Re: SDHNTR]  
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The 44 mag was designed around a 1:38 twist and a 240 gr bullet. Technically that should be an issue with heavier bullets not lighter bullets, but I've seen stranger things. I would give the bore a thorough scrubbing as there could be copper build up. Also check the crown for damage. Either or both can cause bullets to tumble.

Last edited by 450fan; 02/18/19.
#13578849 - 02/18/19 Re: Winny 94 .44 mag carbine tumbling bullets [Re: SDHNTR]  
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My Winchester M92 in .357 Magnum loved fast bullets and not slow ones. Super Vel 110 grain ammo made it shoot like a target rifle - one ragged 5 shot group out to 50 yards. As the bullets grew in weight and slowed down, group size grew.

Super Vel .38 ammo was OK at 110 and 125 grains, but always key holed at weights of 158 grains and above.

This was years ago before I knew about twist and such, so I just bought and/or hand loaded bullets that approached or exceeded 2000 fps and all was well. I had some real smoking 125 and 140 grain loads that shot flat and were accurate. smile

I hope this helps to figure out your issues.


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#13578924 - 02/18/19 Re: Winny 94 .44 mag carbine tumbling bullets [Re: 4570fan]  
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Originally Posted by 450fan
The 44 mag was designed around a 1:38 twist and a 240 gr bullet. Technically that should be an issue with heavier bullets not lighter bullets, but I've seen stranger things. I would give the bore a thorough scrubbing as there could be copper build up. Also check the crown for damage. Either or both can cause bullets to tumble.

Crown is pristine, as is the bore. It’s a model 94 Trapper. Not a 92.

#13632697 - 03/07/19 Re: Winny 94 .44 mag carbine tumbling bullets [Re: SDHNTR]  
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Originally Posted by SDHNTR
Still no one has really answered my question. What is my barrel twist and is that appropriate for this bullet? That may answer everything.


Take a tightly patched cleaning rod and shove it down the bore. Rod must have a free turning handle. Mark the rod using tape or such and count the turns it makes over a measured travel. Do some math and get your "twist" or turns per inch.

If the barrel is not some how fubar, the main factors I am aware of here are velocity and length of the bullet. Faster, slower, longer, shorter. That's about all you can play with and is most easily done of you reload. You can stablize just about anything if you get those right, out to 30 yards. When the bullet eventually slows down in flight the stability would change.

I've fired bullets meant for a 380 ACP out of a 38 special that shot just fine, and they were .003" smaller than the correct .357" of a 38 special. They shot just fine. I found that surprising, but they did.

At that's my understanding and it has worked to solve many poor grouping issues for me. But again, if the barrel is fubar somehow, not sure anything will fix it.

#13632702 - 03/07/19 Re: Winny 94 .44 mag carbine tumbling bullets [Re: SDHNTR]  
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Originally Posted by SDHNTR
Originally Posted by 450fan
The 44 mag was designed around a 1:38 twist and a 240 gr bullet. Technically that should be an issue with heavier bullets not lighter bullets, but I've seen stranger things. I would give the bore a thorough scrubbing as there could be copper build up. Also check the crown for damage. Either or both can cause bullets to tumble.

Crown is pristine, as is the bore. It’s a model 94 Trapper. Not a 92.


I have that exact rifle. It shoots everything I feed it just fine. Commercial or hand load. 44 Special or full house 44 mag. And several weights, which I can't recall. No tumbling. All shoot to a different point of impact, but no tumbling. But they all have lead in them. I'm wondering if that changes things, and it might. I wish i could help you.

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