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Author Topic: .44-40 WCF brass  (Read 249 times)

Offline Captainkirk

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.44-40 WCF brass
« on: April 08, 2019, 11:32:22 AM »
Seems like the only major brass manufacturer out there that has any brass available in .44-40 WCF is Starline. A number of folks buying Starline have complained it is too hard for bottleneck cartridges such as the .44-40 and recommend Remington or Winchester brass. However, suppliers that normally carry those brands and others appear to be out of stock with no availability on the radar.
Suggestions? Other sources I might not know about?
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Offline mike116

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Re: .44-40 WCF brass
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2019, 12:24:35 PM »
I've never had any trouble with Starline or any other head stamp in 44 WCF.    I hear the complaining but I've never experienced the problems others say they have.   
While some say Starline is too hard and requires annealing before loading others complain that Winchester and R P cases have thin walls and the necks collapse when sizing or seating bullets.  None of this has happened to me.   I have about 300 Starline cases and 250 in both Winchester and RP cases.  Some of each have been fired up to 3 times with no problems yet.   
I think maybe the dies that some guys use are what causes the problems and not the brass.   I use RCBS carbide dies,   the Lee dies I have just don't work as good on 44 WCF.    Also...  I use an 1882 Winchester Loading Tool just for fun on about half of the cartridges I make.   The antique loading tool also works with any brass I put into it.

I would start with 100 new Starline brass if were starting up.

Offline Captainkirk

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Re: .44-40 WCF brass
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2019, 12:39:51 PM »
I've never had any trouble with Starline or any other head stamp in 44 WCF.    I hear the complaining but I've never experienced the problems others say they have.   
While some say Starline is too hard and requires annealing before loading others complain that Winchester and R P cases have thin walls and the necks collapse when sizing or seating bullets.  None of this has happened to me.   I have about 300 Starline cases and 250 in both Winchester and RP cases.  Some of each have been fired up to 3 times with no problems yet.   
I think maybe the dies that some guys use are what causes the problems and not the brass.   I use RCBS carbide dies,   the Lee dies I have just don't work as good on 44 WCF.    Also...  I use an 1882 Winchester Loading Tool just for fun on about half of the cartridges I make.   The antique loading tool also works with any brass I put into it.

I would start with 100 new Starline brass if were starting up.
I wasn't aware that RCBS made carbide dies for the .44-40. Most loading manuals treat it as a rifle cartridge. I was thinking on the lines of buying some RCBS Cowboy dies, but I don't believe those are carbide.

EDIT: Just checked Midway, both the Cowboy and standard 3 die sets are NOT carbide.

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

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/583927/rcbs-3-die-set
« Last Edit: April 08, 2019, 12:47:31 PM by Captainkirk »
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Offline mike116

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Re: .44-40 WCF brass
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2019, 12:50:44 PM »
You are right Capt.,   my RCBS 44 WCF sizing die is standard steel not carbide.   I checked,  only my RCBS 44 mag sizing die is carbide.   At any rate I still have no trouble with Starline brass.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2019, 01:24:12 PM by mike116 »

Offline Hawg

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Re: .44-40 WCF brass
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2019, 03:01:55 PM »
I use Starline 44-40 brass and have no problem. I have crushed a few cases trying to use a standard RCBS seating die without adding some extra bell in the case mouth. Cowboy dies size to .429 and standard dies size to .427. Most modern guns need .429. No bottleneck cartridge die is going to be carbide.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2019, 03:05:20 PM by Hawg »
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Offline scooby

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Re: .44-40 WCF brass
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2019, 09:48:18 PM »
I have never had any trouble with any brand of 44 WCF cases. However, a modle 1892 can put a dent in the mouth edge at times. The ejector on an 1892 is mighty powerfull by design. I have had a couple of necks split over time because of the dents. It is never an issue in an 1873 or Henry though.

Offline Fingers McGee

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Re: .44-40 WCF brass
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2019, 10:59:01 AM »
I've used Starline brass for more than ten years in SASS/CAS competition.  I use nickel as well as brass for my reloading of BP rounds with .428 RNFP big lube bullets.  I use them in Uberti Cattlemen revolvers, '73 Winchester short rifle, '66 Winchester carbine and AWA Lightning Carbine.  I lose more cases on the range than crack or split in either the brass or nickel, and cant tell you the last time I crunched one on the press.  I load on a Lock-n-load progressive using RCBS dies. 
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Offline Hawg

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Re: .44-40 WCF brass
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2019, 12:54:01 PM »
What size bullets do you use Fingers?
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Offline Fingers McGee

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Re: .44-40 WCF brass
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2019, 09:41:02 AM »
.428 Big Lube. 
Fingers (Show Me MO smoke) McGee - AKA Man of Many Colts; SASS 28564-L-TG, rangemaster and stage writer extraordinaire; Frontiersman/Pistoleer, NRA Endowment Life, Central Ozarks Western Shooters
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Offline Hawg

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Re: .44-40 WCF brass
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2019, 11:56:47 AM »
I use .430 so I need the extra room.
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Offline tljack

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Re: .44-40 WCF brass
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2019, 08:32:39 PM »
I used to have some trouble with crushing the cases of 44-40. A few years ago there was a very concise article in "Guns of the Old West" about loading this ammo. The article stressed that the 44=40 WCF case is a bottle neck case. once I thought of it in that sense, I rarely have had any issues.

Of course being a purist snob, I only load with BLACK!  Ha!!
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