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#13595120 - 02/23/19 Rossi 92 .44-40 load  
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I started shooting a vintage Winchester 1892 .44-40 about 15 years ago, RCBS 200FN .428 cast bullets and 8 grains of Unique work very well.

Received a Rossi 92 .44-40 as a gift in 2011. The RCBS/Unique loads did not shoot to well in the Rossi, 4 inch groups at 50 yards.

Yesterday I tried a ACME .430 225 RNFP with 25.4 RL-7 and got a 10 shot 1 3/4group in one big ragged hole.

The RL-7 is a case filling load that is very accurate. You don't find it in Alliant's data, but they did list 23.5 with a 240 grain RNFP .44-40 1290 FPS / 12,100 CUP load until 2005.

E.C. Harris and John Kort have done more experimenting with 200 - 240 grain bullets in the .44-40 and .44 Magnum rifle loads. Trying RL-7 in the Rossi was based on reading about Mr. Harris' positive results. If you have a .44-40 rifle that is not shooting well you might give this a try.

300 BP

#13600179 - 02/24/19 Re: Rossi 92 .44-40 load [Re: 30Gibbs]  
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CarlsenHighway Offline
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I have done a lot with the .44-40 in three Rossi 92's and also a Uberti '73. I corresponded with John Kort a lot over the .44-40 loads.

As you have written above, a full case of RL7 (25 or 26 grains) is what he was using for a bulk smokeless load that mimics the pressures of the first smokeless Dupont .44-40 load, (which was safe also in the '73 rifles.) and got a velocity of near 1400fps.

I achieved the same result with a full case of H4198 (26 grains with my bullet) and giving me slightly over 1300 fps in a 20 inch barrel. This is an excellent smokeless load, as is the RL7 version. Both are safe in '73 rifles too.

The 8 grain Unique load you mention above, I have tried and I get excellent accuracy - but I use a .430 bullet. The Rossi's are all .430 bores in my experience. I could put ten rounds into an inch and a half at 100 yards with the factory open sights. This load is subsonic though, about 1100 fps.

A significant point may be the alloy my bullets are made from - they were all pure lead with either 1% tin or 2% tin. These bullets are soft enough to bump up with blackpowder even if they were undersized. (This is what Winchester used for the factory lead bullet loads.) I continue to use this alloy with these smokeless RL7 or H4198 loads because that what Winchester used also.

Together with the soft bullet and thin brass of the .44-40, the crimp often becomes a problem with the .44-40 cartridges in a lever action especially when you are hunting, when you may jack the same rounds in and out of the rifle over a few days, risking telescoping the bullets when the crimp fails. These smokeless bulk loads that fill the case hold the bullet in place same as the blackpowder and original smokeless load did, so it solves this issue.

The lube I use is around 3 parts tallow/fat and 1 part beeswax. For these smokeless load I don't believe the lube is too critical (unlike black powder) but softer is better.

I was using the bullet that John Kort helped design for the .44-40 (from Accurate Molds which from memory was called 215C) This has the same nose profile as the original .44 WCF bullet from the 19Century but a larger lube groove.
If one does not cast one's own bullets, then substituting a 200g Hornady XTP will give excellent accuracy.

For those that are interested, I have tried black powder with honestly not as much success accuracy-wise, which me and John found is due to modern black powders being much inferior to 19th century black powder - too dry and too much fouling. Except for Swiss, which is much superior to others and comparable in quality.
But the most accurate black powder load in both '92's and '73 was a target shooters black powder load with a small smokeless priming. 6 grains of H4227 and then a main charge of 32 grains of 3F (compressed about .2 of an inch) would give superlative accuracy in all rifles. The '73 rifle would put five of these rounds into an inch. (This was all with open sights at 100 yards.)
No other combination of smokeless powder (or different amounts of 4227 ) came close. Velocity was not much faster than the full black powder load ( I used 38 grains 3F) and was 1200 fps.
Duplex loads like this were common with target shooters in the first part of the 20th century when smokeless came out. Townsend Whelen loaded his 45-72 with a smokeless priming in his account of travelling through the wilderness in "Red Letter Days in British Columbia", which is what gave me the idea to explore it. John Kort mentioned it to me also when I wrote to him about having only indifferent success with full black powder loads and that I thought the lube was not able to handle the fouling of the locally made powder I had been using.

I think the .44-40 is my favourite cartridge. I have shot several red deer with the .44-40 with these smokeless and black powder loads. As an aside, none of them lived any longer than if I had shot them with a .308.

Last edited by CarlsenHighway; 02/24/19.

"A person that carries a cat home by the tail will receive information that will always be useful to him." Mark Twain
#13600589 - 02/25/19 Re: Rossi 92 .44-40 load [Re: 30Gibbs]  
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Thank you Carlson Highway:
You were the third internet source that I gained extensive insight regarding loading the .44-40, and have expanded and clarified what I was trying to say in my original post.
The .44-40 can be challenging to load but is worth the effort.

#13600643 - 02/25/19 Re: Rossi 92 .44-40 load [Re: 30Gibbs]  
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Parts unknown...
You're aware that the failure of the first load in the Rossi was very possibly due to its .428" diameter rattling down the newer gun's bigger bore than the old Winchester's, as opposed to any other components, right?

#13600661 - 02/25/19 Re: Rossi 92 .44-40 load [Re: 30Gibbs]  
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CarlsenHighway Offline
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I am sure he is aware of that.

30Gibbs, I didn't mean to ride over your post at all, I just like trying to keep the .44-40 alive! Too often nowadays people only regard the 44 WCF in the light of the low-powered cowboy-action loads.Even with black powder, the Winchester tests in 1903 had a 200 grain bullet at 1300 fps.
I have loaded it up with H4227 and a 200 grain bullet to 1790 fps as well, with good accuracy.


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

#13601438 - 02/25/19 Re: Rossi 92 .44-40 load [Re: CarlsenHighway]  
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Originally Posted by CarlsenHighway
I am sure he is aware of that.

30Gibbs, I didn't mean to ride over your post at all, I just like trying to keep the .44-40 alive! Too often nowadays people only regard the 44 WCF in the light of the low-powered cowboy-action loads.Even with black powder, the Winchester tests in 1903 had a 200 grain bullet at 1300 fps.
I have loaded it up with H4227 and a 200 grain bullet to 1790 fps as well, with good accuracy.


You did not ride over my post. I can be long winded and attempted to condense my original post. I originally loaded factory Winchester .44-40 jacketed bullets in the Rossi but they set back into the cases occasionally. That is what led me to looking at case capacity RL-7 & IMR 4198 loads.

I should have said that I found a great accuracy load for my Rossi and left it that way. Appreciate all of your posts too .....

Last edited by 30Gibbs; 02/25/19.
#13602727 - 02/25/19 Re: Rossi 92 .44-40 load [Re: 30Gibbs]  
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CarlsenHighway Offline
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You've got me in the spirit of things now. The .44 WCF still works as well as it ever did...

[Linked Image]


"A person that carries a cat home by the tail will receive information that will always be useful to him." Mark Twain
#13603269 - 02/25/19 Re: Rossi 92 .44-40 load [Re: 30Gibbs]  
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It doesn't surprise me that .428s were not accurate. Cast bullets work best for me when .001 over bore.

.429s work ok in mine, but it likes .430s better.


"The greatest danger to American freedom is a government that ignores the Constitution."
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#13604319 - 02/25/19 Re: Rossi 92 .44-40 load [Re: 30Gibbs]  
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CarlsenHighway Offline
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With a hard alloy you have to load to match or go over by .001.
You can load undersized cast bullets and get them to shoot well, but they have to be soft. Pure lead bullets as small as .427, or 1-2% tin with pure lead, will bump up and shoot well in a .4730 or .431 bore if used with black powder - since the "kick" is sharper with BP. Rifle manufacturers prior to smokeless powder were not overly fussed with bore sizes, hence the variety of bore sizes in old lever guns. If you have an undersized mold or an oversized bore, this is the answer.

I have wondered at the utility of hard alloys, since I have fired a 220 grain .44 bullet of pure lead through 9 water jugs and still didn't get it back. This will catch a .270 bullet but not a soft lead bullet going slow. Sometimes things aren't what you think. Likewise the red deer I shot with the .44-40 were all pass-throughs except for one that stopped in a spinal column. The wound channels were narrow, she just punches a hole through, but the hole does go right through.


"A person that carries a cat home by the tail will receive information that will always be useful to him." Mark Twain
#13605892 - 02/26/19 Re: Rossi 92 .44-40 load [Re: EthanEdwards]  
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Originally Posted by EthanEdwards
You're aware that the failure of the first load in the Rossi was very possibly due to its .428" diameter rattling down the newer gun's bigger bore than the old Winchester's, as opposed to any other components, right?


Yes, I tried not sizing the RCBS 44-RNFP and lubing by hand, some came out at .4295 but did not shoot well. Will stick with .430 from now on.

Bravo

#13606090 - 02/26/19 Re: Rossi 92 .44-40 load [Re: 30Gibbs]  
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CarlsenHighway Offline
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Are you buying your bullets or casting them yourself?


"A person that carries a cat home by the tail will receive information that will always be useful to him." Mark Twain
#13606594 - 02/26/19 Re: Rossi 92 .44-40 load [Re: CarlsenHighway]  
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I mostly cast, but bought the .430 225's from ACME to try. I also acquired an Ideal 42798 that will be tried out soon with RL-7. The as cast diameter for this mold varies a bit.

If I get lucky and add tin the 42798 might cast large enough to use in the 1892 and Rossi. If it casts under .430 I will use these bullets just in the 1892.

Rain forecast says rain for the next 3 days so I will hunker down and cast bullets .....


Last edited by 30Gibbs; 02/26/19.
#13607757 - 02/27/19 Re: Rossi 92 .44-40 load [Re: 30Gibbs]  
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CarlsenHighway Offline
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What kind of alloy are you using?

Yes, adding some tin might do the trick. I find if I go from pure lead to about 5% tin, it will increase the bullet size from .430 to .433

Just talking about molds, I cant recommend Accurate Molds highly enough. I got two traditional .44-40 bullet designs in the one two cavity mold, and it works and cast excellently. They had it to me in less than ten days as well, and I am a long way away from Utah.


"A person that carries a cat home by the tail will receive information that will always be useful to him." Mark Twain
#13639588 - 03/09/19 Re: Rossi 92 .44-40 load [Re: 30Gibbs]  
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I just got a used Rossi 92 in 357 mag. Do they still make these?


The gauge of the gun is an index to the ability of the man to prove his manhood…If it is a 12-gauge, he is so-so. If it is a 16, he is pretty good. If it’s a 20-gauge, he is excellent, and if it a .410 he is bragging. -Robert Ruark
#13640963 - 03/09/19 Re: Rossi 92 .44-40 load [Re: 30Gibbs]  
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SavvyJack Offline
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Originally Posted by 30Gibbs
I started shooting a vintage Winchester 1892 .44-40 about 15 years ago, RCBS 200FN .428 cast bullets and 8 grains of Unique work very well.

Received a Rossi 92 .44-40 as a gift in 2011. The RCBS/Unique loads did not shoot to well in the Rossi, 4 inch groups at 50 yards.

Yesterday I tried a ACME .430 225 RNFP with 25.4 RL-7 and got a 10 shot 1 3/4group in one big ragged hole.

The RL-7 is a case filling load that is very accurate. You don't find it in Alliant's data, but they did list 23.5 with a 240 grain RNFP .44-40 1290 FPS / 12,100 CUP load until 2005.

E.C. Harris and John Kort have done more experimenting with 200 - 240 grain bullets in the .44-40 and .44 Magnum rifle loads. Trying RL-7 in the Rossi was based on reading about Mr. Harris' positive results. If you have a .44-40 rifle that is not shooting well you might give this a try.



30Gibbs,

Reloder 7 is my go-to powder with everything that can fit down the barrel up to 240gr. It's good medicine! Your reported 1 3/4" 10 shot group at 100 yards is by far the best I have ever herd of...SWEET....awesome shooting!! The best I can get is 10-20 shot 4" groups @ 100 yards.

Back in 1895 when Winchester first offered smokeless powder, it was specifically offered for the Winchester 73" but was not to be used in pistols. The 92' was of course no concern. What many folks argue over is that in 1903, Winchester came out with the High Velocity loads specifically for the 92', not to be used in the 73' or pistols...old black powder frames nor modern steel. The H.V. loads produced at least 22,000cup which should be close to 19,000psi. The most RL7 I can pack into a case (no compression), even with a 240gr bullet.....the highest pressure I have achieved is 16,743psi.....maybe 19,000cup.

As CarlsenHighway mentioned, and to add....the 44-40 is the most under rated cartridge known to man kind. People fail to understand the full history of the cartridge and why it appeared to be neutered late in life.

Here is my latest page added to the 44-40 website:44-40 "Early Smokeless Powders" https://curtisshawk21.wixsite.com/44centerfire/early-smokeless-powders

I post all of my load data, also downloadable from the website: https://curtisshawk21.wixsite.com/44centerfire/pressure-testing (scroll to the bottom).

Just my results could be inaccurate....but you may soon discover if so, they are at least "consistently" inaccurate :-)

Best I can do with open sites @ 100 yards...had to use Hyscore shooting glasses with the hole in them.
[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]
13,500psi

[Linked Image]
16,500psi

[Linked Image]
9,761psi

[Linked Image]
This morning's target, open sites @ 75 yards.


Pressure Testing



Last edited by SavvyJack; 03/09/19.
#13655902 - 03/14/19 Re: Rossi 92 .44-40 load [Re: 30Gibbs]  
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Thanks Savvy Jack.

My groups were at 50 yards not 100, sorry about that.

I have cast about 300 bullets from the new / old 42798 mold, as cast they measure between .4315 - .432. Awesome.

I have a .44 mag Lyman "M" die coming from Ebay. Need to find a .430 H & I sizer and will be set. Hoping that .430 sized 42798 and RL - 7 will shoot as well as the 225 ACME bullets.


Last edited by 30Gibbs; 03/14/19.
#13816139 - 05/13/19 Re: Rossi 92 .44-40 load [Re: SavvyJack]  
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CarlsenHighway Offline
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Originally Posted by SavvyJack
Originally Posted by 30Gibbs
I started shooting a vintage Winchester 1892 .44-40 about 15 years ago, RCBS 200FN .428 cast bullets and 8 grains of Unique work very well.

Received a Rossi 92 .44-40 as a gift in 2011. The RCBS/Unique loads did not shoot to well in the Rossi, 4 inch groups at 50 yards.

Yesterday I tried a ACME .430 225 RNFP with 25.4 RL-7 and got a 10 shot 1 3/4group in one big ragged hole.

The RL-7 is a case filling load that is very accurate. You don't find it in Alliant's data, but they did list 23.5 with a 240 grain RNFP .44-40 1290 FPS / 12,100 CUP load until 2005.

E.C. Harris and John Kort have done more experimenting with 200 - 240 grain bullets in the .44-40 and .44 Magnum rifle loads. Trying RL-7 in the Rossi was based on reading about Mr. Harris' positive results. If you have a .44-40 rifle that is not shooting well you might give this a try.



30Gibbs,

Reloder 7 is my go-to powder with everything that can fit down the barrel up to 240gr. It's good medicine! Your reported 1 3/4" 10 shot group at 100 yards is by far the best I have ever herd of...SWEET....awesome shooting!! The best I can get is 10-20 shot 4" groups @ 100 yards.

Back in 1895 when Winchester first offered smokeless powder, it was specifically offered for the Winchester 73" but was not to be used in pistols. The 92' was of course no concern. What many folks argue over is that in 1903, Winchester came out with the High Velocity loads specifically for the 92', not to be used in the 73' or pistols...old black powder frames nor modern steel. The H.V. loads produced at least 22,000cup which should be close to 19,000psi. The most RL7 I can pack into a case (no compression), even with a 240gr bullet.....the highest pressure I have achieved is 16,743psi.....maybe 19,000cup.

As CarlsenHighway mentioned, and to add....the 44-40 is the most under rated cartridge known to man kind. People fail to understand the full history of the cartridge and why it appeared to be neutered late in life.

Here is my latest page added to the 44-40 website:44-40 "Early Smokeless Powders" https://curtisshawk21.wixsite.com/44centerfire/early-smokeless-powders

I post all of my load data, also downloadable from the website: https://curtisshawk21.wixsite.com/44centerfire/pressure-testing (scroll to the bottom).

Just my results could be inaccurate....but you may soon discover if so, they are at least "consistently" inaccurate :-)

Best I can do with open sites @ 100 yards...had to use Hyscore shooting glasses with the hole in them.
[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]
13,500psi

[Linked Image]
16,500psi

[Linked Image]
9,761psi

[Linked Image]
This morning's target, open sites @ 75 yards.


Pressure Testing





Great info -

My high velocity load is similar to yours in your video - I load 24 grains of H4227 with a Hornady 200 grain XTP, and get 1650 fps.
But I do have problems with bullet set back sometimes with smokeless loads and the weak .44-40 cases not holding a crimp. It's okay for target shooting where you just load and fire, but not for hunting.

I have also tried duplex loads attempting to fill the case with smokeless to stop the bullet set back, using between 2 - 3 grains of Universal as a priming under 23-25 grains of H4198 and getting velocity of 1620fps to 1678 fps.
I have not shot these loads for accuracy yet though, just ran them over the chronograph.


"A person that carries a cat home by the tail will receive information that will always be useful to him." Mark Twain
#14059123 - Yesterday at 09:42 AM Re: Rossi 92 .44-40 load [Re: 30Gibbs]  
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SavvyJack Offline
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Thought I would throw in an update. Finally achieved my goal of replicating Doc Pardee's 100 yrd groups but with smokeless powder. John Kort already replicated his groups with black powder.

For a full explanation and photos, visit my blog: https://curtisshawk21.wixsite.com/44centerfire/post/replicating-doc-pardee-s-110-yard-4-groups

I shot 30 consecutive shots that fit inside a 4" circle. 40 shots if I add my first group on a separate target. I fired 50 consecutive shots.

Target -1, 1-10 - shots to adjust scope for POA
Target -2, 11-20 - 1 14" 10 shot group just right of POA
Target -3, 21-30, 31-40 and 41-50

Targets -2 and -3 combined (-3 with corrected POA)
[Linked Image]

Last edited by SavvyJack; Yesterday at 09:42 AM.

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