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Author Topic: Get your kicks on Route '66  (Read 983 times)

Offline Captainkirk

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Re: Get your kicks on Route '66
« Reply #30 on: April 16, 2019, 12:00:29 PM »
Thanks for the info Capt. I'll order the cowboy does as well, since I don't have any yet. It will be great to exchange info. I'll probably go straight for BP in my loadings. Since it's currently what I'm shooting. This is gonna be fun!

I know, right? I feel like a kid getting ready for Christmas...
Just a bit of info...if you are going to buy pre-cast bullets (from Midway, or anyone else) they come available either with SPG lube (for black powder loads) or a different lube, for smokeless. While the SPG can be used on smokeless loads, the other way 'round isn't recommended.

You will find the Cowboy dies a bit pricey...but if you read the customer reviews, most felt they were well worth the extra cash outlay. They sure look good, anyway!


https://www.midwayusa.com/product/414634/rcbs-cowboy-3-die-set

Don't forget your shellholder (#35)

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/446170/rcbs-shellholder-35-38-40-wcf-44-40-wcf
« Last Edit: April 16, 2019, 12:04:14 PM by Captainkirk »
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Offline ShotgunDave

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Re: Get your kicks on Route '66
« Reply #31 on: April 16, 2019, 01:05:25 PM »
Thanks Capt.

I buy my bullets from here for my .45 Colt.

http://www.acmebullet.com/bullets-reloading-brass/44-40-CAL-Lead-Bullets

I'm probably going to try these for the 44-40 as well. The .45's load and shoot nice.

There's also these.

https://bulletsbyscarlett.com/shop?olsPage=products%2F200-grain-44-40-caliber-sized-427


I haven't tried Scarlett's bullets but I know folks that have. They rave about them, so I'll probably be trying them as well.

And you're very correct, it's a lot like Christmas, only better! I never got a gun or gun related gift for Christmas!
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Offline Captainkirk

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Re: Get your kicks on Route '66
« Reply #32 on: April 17, 2019, 06:59:47 AM »
Dave, both bullets look nice, and reasonably priced. You might want to check and see if the lubes are BP compatible, though.

One thing I forgot to mention; if loading for .44-40 and BP, you may want to consider a compression die.

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/978844/montana-precision-swaging-black-powder-compression-die-with-stem-44-caliber

You can also buy the BACO plug to fit your RCBS dies, but not 100% they will fit the Cowboy dies. If I find out for sure I'll let you know.

https://www.buffaloarms.com/44-40-wcf-compression-plug-for-lyman-rcbs-bullet-expander-die-body-van4440rcp
« Last Edit: April 17, 2019, 07:09:03 AM by Captainkirk »
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Offline ShotgunDave

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Re: Get your kicks on Route '66
« Reply #33 on: April 17, 2019, 09:19:57 AM »
Thanks for the links Capt. That's something I didn't think of. A compression die is a good idea. I bet it helps saving the necks on the 44-40 case.
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Offline Captainkirk

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Re: Get your kicks on Route '66
« Reply #34 on: April 17, 2019, 10:29:42 AM »
Thanks for the links Capt. That's something I didn't think of. A compression die is a good idea. I bet it helps saving the necks on the 44-40 case.
What it does is compress the dropped powder in the case to a universal distance in each and every case, as well to a universal amount of compression. This allows you to maximize case space (it's quite a stretch to get 40gr of powder into a .44-40 case, from what I hear, especially 2F) and hence allow you to seat your bullet on a wad over the charge. I'm sure you are well aware that BP needs to be compressed without air space between the bullet and powder (unlike smokeless); doing so in BPCR can have bad (if not disastrous) results. The compression die allows repeatable, exact results with BP. Compressing the powder using the bullet does not work well, if at all, and is highly discouraged. Some get by using a marked dowel rod to compress the powder to a pre-measured mark, but it's nowhere as uniform as using a compression die.
Since I do intend to load and shoot black powder in my Sharps, I will be buying a compression die for that cartridge (.45/70). I did read a few negative reviews on the Montana compression die; one feller said he had to chase the threads on the outside of the die to get it to thread into his press. If the BACO compression plug will fit my .45/70  Cowboy die, I might opt for that one, although I would prefer to have a dedicated comp die without having to disassemble anything and may end up just buying the whole shebang.
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Offline ShotgunDave

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Re: Get your kicks on Route '66
« Reply #35 on: April 17, 2019, 10:58:13 AM »
Oh yes Capt, I'm very aware of the catastrophic results of space between the powder and bullet. When I load my .45's I use a dowel to compress the powder before I seat the bullet. The last thing I want is a hand grenade.

What I was referring to before is, the tendency for the neck to crush when loading 44-40. I've read a lot about it and some guys seem to have the problem a lot, and others seldom or never do. I was thinking that if the powder is compressed before seating the bullet, then the bullet will enter the case mouth much easier and neck crushing will be minimized. Does that make sense? I've never loaded bottlenecked cases before.
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Offline Captainkirk

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Re: Get your kicks on Route '66
« Reply #36 on: April 17, 2019, 11:07:50 AM »
Yes, makes sense. I've been reading about that as well. A lot of the problem will likely be alleviated by using the Cowboy dies as the expander die sizes the case to different dimensions than standard .44-40 dies, which are generally intended for jacketed or semi-jacketed bullets. If you read the customer reviews for the RCBS cowboy dies on the Midway site, a lot of customers have commented about this issue...enough for me to order them. I can't imagine having a good compression die could hurt matters any way you look at it.
Have you slugged your barrel yet? I would imagine if you could use the standard .44-40 bullet (.427) that would also help to not crush case necks.
And no, while I've loaded plenty of bottleneck rifle ammo, I would really consider the .44-40 a pistol cartridge rather than a rifle cartridge. It will be a learning experience for me as well.
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Offline ShotgunDave

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Re: Get your kicks on Route '66
« Reply #37 on: April 17, 2019, 11:16:18 AM »
Unfortunately I don't have my rifle in hand yet. It is actually being shipped today to my FFL guy. So once it arrives, it will be another 10 days before I get it, because of wonderful Kalifornia's waiting period. So it will be about the 30th before I have it.
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Offline Captainkirk

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Re: Get your kicks on Route '66
« Reply #38 on: April 17, 2019, 11:19:23 AM »
Unfortunately I don't have my rifle in hand yet. It is actually being shipped today to my FFL guy. So once it arrives, it will be another 10 days before I get it, because of wonderful Kalifornia's waiting period. So it will be about the 30th before I have it.

That is pure torture.
Illinois is trying hard to outdo Kali as being #1 gun-hater haven in the US. I had to fill out background check paperwork to buy the Santa Barbara...a black powder revolver!!!!
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Offline ShotgunDave

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Re: Get your kicks on Route '66
« Reply #39 on: April 17, 2019, 11:38:04 AM »
Unfortunately I don't have my rifle in hand yet. It is actually being shipped today to my FFL guy. So once it arrives, it will be another 10 days before I get it, because of wonderful Kalifornia's waiting period. So it will be about the 30th before I have it.

That is pure torture.
Illinois is trying hard to outdo Kali as being #1 gun-hater haven in the US. I had to fill out background check paperwork to buy the Santa Barbara...a black powder revolver!!!!

Oh man! Even we don't have to do that. Black powder guns are still under the radar. At least for now.......

But you're right, waiting is pure hell!

What makes me the maddest is, they do an instant background check. They know right then if you are eligible to own a firearm. You could walk out with it. But they have the 10 day wait as a "cooling off period". Ridiculous.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2019, 11:40:04 AM by ShotgunDave »
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Offline Captainkirk

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Re: Get your kicks on Route '66
« Reply #40 on: April 17, 2019, 11:52:38 AM »
Legally, I can still buy a BP gun without going through an FFL. But all the FFL shops are forced to play the game, even with BP.
One of the neat features of my LGS is they allow layaways...put your pittance down, they run the BG check right then and there...and when you come to pay off your gun, you can walk right out of the store with it.
"Cooling off period"...how stupid is that, really? Just another gimme brown-nose tactic for the libs showing them how much we are trying to play ball with them.
I wonder how many angry people have actually purchased a gun and used it in anger the same day, seriously? If you are really intent on shooting someone, do they really think three days (or 10, now) will make you change your mind? Not likely.
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Offline ShotgunDave

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Re: Get your kicks on Route '66
« Reply #41 on: April 17, 2019, 01:21:06 PM »
Legally, I can still buy a BP gun without going through an FFL. But all the FFL shops are forced to play the game, even with BP.
One of the neat features of my LGS is they allow layaways...put your pittance down, they run the BG check right then and there...and when you come to pay off your gun, you can walk right out of the store with it.
"Cooling off period"...how stupid is that, really? Just another gimme brown-nose tactic for the libs showing them how much we are trying to play ball with them.
I wonder how many angry people have actually purchased a gun and used it in anger the same day, seriously? If you are really intent on shooting someone, do they really think three days (or 10, now) will make you change your mind? Not likely.

I would be willing to bet money I don't have, that not one single "crime of passion" has ever been prevented by a waiting period. If someone is hell bent on shooting someone, the last place they're going to go is a gun shop.
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Offline Captainkirk

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Re: Get your kicks on Route '66
« Reply #42 on: April 17, 2019, 01:25:03 PM »
I would be willing to bet money I don't have, that not one single "crime of passion" has ever been prevented by a waiting period. If someone is hell bent on shooting someone, the last place they're going to go is a gun shop.

Amen!
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Offline scooby

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Re: Get your kicks on Route '66
« Reply #43 on: April 30, 2019, 09:37:34 PM »
I have long since belonged to the group that has had success with not compressing black powder. Learned that from some of the scribes that were writing for the Single Shot Exchange. Instead, the powder is only settled and then the bullet, or wad and bullet combo are seated onto the the powder column. Same concept as loading a muzzle loader or paper cartridge in a Sharps percussion breech loader.

I still compress several different calibers, but that is simply because I never made new powder chargers for those rounds after I started bypassing the compression step, or the fact that I wanted a few extra grains for small capacity cases.

If one is crushing the necks on a 44-40 case, two of the reasons are from not belling the mouth properly, or stuffing too large of a diameter bullet into a case that was expanded by too small of an expander plug. Same thing can happen with near any brass. As you say Capt., the Cowboy dies give you an additional option to assist with an often chosen larger diameter cast bullet.

The worst scenerio I ever witnessed was using the Lyman 310 dies for 45-70. The expander plug proved to be useless with a cast bullet. However, every original Winchester reloading tool that I have works like a charm.

Some of the info pertaining to the weakness of the 44-40 comes from a long time ago when fellers were first starting out reloading for it once again. Most knowledge for black powder reloading was lost over time. And now it has had so much experimentation from so many different modern shooters that it is the same as trying to decide on what kind of micro brew to buy when one starts searching for what method to use when loading black powder cartridges.

But in the end, if the method you choose works and gives suitible results, then it is a sound method. And over time, many black powder cartridge shooters find out through expermentation that most all of the methods work. Even the often forgotten original methods.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2019, 08:44:20 AM by scooby »

Offline scooby

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Re: Get your kicks on Route '66
« Reply #44 on: April 30, 2019, 10:13:03 PM »
Oh yes Capt, I'm very aware of the catastrophic results of space between the powder and bullet. When I load my .45's I use a dowel to compress the powder before I seat the bullet. The last thing I want is a hand grenade.

What I was referring to before is, the tendency for the neck to crush when loading 44-40. I've read a lot about it and some guys seem to have the problem a lot, and others seldom or never do. I was thinking that if the powder is compressed before seating the bullet, then the bullet will enter the case mouth much easier and neck crushing will be minimized. Does that make sense? I've never loaded bottlenecked cases before.

Say Dave, you will not likely have too much powder in the neck portion of the 44-40 case to begin with if you settle the powder when charging the case and are shooting an original profiled bullet. The biggest benefit of pre-compressing is not deforming the nose of a soft bullet at the end of the seating operation.

You will likely find that 36 or 37 grains is about right and will need some slight compression with an original profiled bullet. I doubt you will get 40 grains. Is was doable in the old balloon head cases. Perhaps it is possible with some of the modern designed cowboy bullets, but I have no experience there.

Also I will note that I do not weigh any powder charge for small capacity cases. I simply use a pre made bulk volume charger. Some of my 44-40 cases likely get 35 grains by weight while others could get 38. It is the same for all of us when we shoot our percussion revolvers and load them with a flask and spout. A flask will vary because of the variables, but dang, those Colt repros shoot good without an exact weighed charge in each chamber and the lead ball seated to various degrees with an un regulated load lever and plunger.