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View Full Version : ruger old army can be loaded to 44mag velocity


andrewstorm
October 22, 2009, 09:29 PM
I"ve heard that a ruger old army revolver can be loaded to 44 mag velocitys,with compressed 777 ? I have 190 gr buffalo 457 conicals,and 220 gr lee bullets,and 255 gr hornady cowboy bullets.anybody chronographed these loads with as much 777 as u can fit in a stock cylinder.

B.L.E.
October 22, 2009, 10:39 PM
I dunno, never tried triple 7. I have chronographed .457 roundballs at 1150 fps using all the Goex 4Fg that the chambers will hold but that still does not equal a .44 magnum, either in velocity or bullet weight.

.457 ball = 143 grains

The chrono was about 10 ft away from the muzzle, any closer and I get problems with errors when shooting black powder loads so the actual muzzle velocity may have been around 1200 fps.

"All the powder the chambers will hold"=40 grains

If you want a .44 magnum, buy a .44 magnum.

Aussie Pete
October 22, 2009, 10:49 PM
I wonder what the Colt Walker could do? Reputedly it can push a projectile quite fast.

SigP6Carry
October 23, 2009, 02:36 AM
well, the Walker could push a .44 conical with about 60grn behind it... I don't know the math on that, but it seems pretty massive.

arcticap
October 23, 2009, 04:25 AM
Posted by TFL member mec in a user review about the 190 grain Buffalo Bullets on the Dixie Gun Works website:


...I ordered them for the Ruger Old Army- a revolver set up around .457" balls and bullets. They loaded in a straight line and the optimum load provided a five shot group of 1.8" at 60 feet. Best consistency among loads tested was identical volume of Hodgdon's H777 to 40 grains of black powder.
Chronographed velocity/ calculated energy was:

40Gr./Vol. H 777 1066 fps 51fps spread 479ft/lbs

http://www.dixiegunworks.com/product_reviews_info.php?cPath=22_99_311_313&products_id=3631&reviews_id=566

479 ft/lbs approximates the energy of a .357 Sig which produces 475 ft/lbs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muzzle_energy

CraigC
October 23, 2009, 09:02 AM
The chambers can be safely bored deeper for a little more powder capacity but it will never match .44Mag velocities. Not with blackpowder and not in a percussion pistol.

B.L.E.
October 23, 2009, 11:58 AM
Even if you could match a .44 magnum's velocity, you have to consider that lead bullets have their limits. Full power .44 magnum bullets are jacketed for a reason.

Delmar
October 23, 2009, 03:34 PM
Even if you could match a .44 magnum's velocity, you have to consider that lead bullets have their limits. Full power .44 magnum bullets are jacketed for a reason. I know hunters that push lead awfully fast, by paper patching.

CraigC
October 23, 2009, 04:04 PM
Jacketed bullets have no advantage over cast bullets in the .44Mag. As long as you match the hardness to velocity, cast bullets can be pushed just as hard and the resultant loss of friction yields higher velocities for a given pressure.

Delmar
October 23, 2009, 04:12 PM
...the resultant loss of friction yields higher velocities for a given pressure.You are talking about less friction in the barrel, correct?

CraigC
October 23, 2009, 05:41 PM
Yup, for a given powder charge cast bullets will always yield higher velocities at less pressure.

B.L.E.
October 23, 2009, 07:51 PM
I think the real advantage of jacketed bullets is that it allows the core of the bullet to be soft lead for maximum expansion in game while having a copper skin to engage the rifling. Think of it as a copper patched lead bullet.

I would imagine that hard cast bullets would be very hard to seat in the cylinder of a cap 'n ball revolver with a normal loading lever.

pvt.Long
October 23, 2009, 09:00 PM
Well the walker and the varrients of it weigh 5lbs and it has a massive frame compaired to any 44. I would imagine it would explode or warp the frame if you were lucky. The 60 grains cause a real good kick and causes the loading lever to pop off BP revlvers are not designed to have a copper jacket round put in it becuse of the pressure behind it. If you want to have a jacketed round try sabbots.

Ivan
October 23, 2009, 10:43 PM
I have used 200 grain SWC bullets out of a Lee mould (looks like H&G 68 I believe). They worked fine cast of wheel weights. Does not compare even to a .357 Magnum, but works well.

For pressure issues, keep in mind that all that is sealing the breech is a little copper cup being mashed by a hammer. Don't try to make this into a gun that it is not.

- Ivan.

Delmar
October 24, 2009, 10:37 AM
...For pressure issues, keep in mind that all that is sealing the breech is a little copper cup being mashed by a hammer... The same is true of my .50 cal inline rifle

CraigC
October 24, 2009, 11:05 AM
I think the real advantage of jacketed bullets is that it allows the core of the bullet to be soft lead for maximum expansion in game while having a copper skin to engage the rifling.
Many don't see that as an advantage, rather a disadvantage because a jacketed bullet tender enough to expand usually does not exit. With a big bore sixgun, expansion is unnecessary but an exit wound is quite beneficial.


I would imagine that hard cast bullets would be very hard to seat in the cylinder of a cap 'n ball revolver with a normal loading lever.
Indeed but that is not the debate. The debate is over your statement that "full power magnum bullets are jacketed for a reason". Which is hogwash. Elmer Keith wrote of the effectiveness of his hardcast semi-wadcutter nearly a generation ago yet lots of folks still believe you need a jacketed bullet to take big game or reach "magnum" velocities. Like your post suggested.

B.L.E.
October 25, 2009, 11:24 AM
OK Craig, I'll take your word for it.

For pressure issues, keep in mind that all that is sealing the breech is a little copper cup being mashed by a hammer. Don't try to make this into a gun that it is not.

- Ivan.

A percussion nipple simply is not sealed, even with black powder pressures gasses blow back through the nipple, that's why so much powder fouling gets into the hammer channel of a ROA.
Modern revolvers aren't sealed either, there is still that cylinder to barrel gap.

Raider2000
October 25, 2009, 09:20 PM
A percussion nipple simply is not sealed, even with black powder pressures gasses blow back through the nipple, that's why so much powder fouling gets into the hammer channel of a ROA.
Modern revolvers aren't sealed either, there is still that cylinder to barrel gap.

The cylinder to barrel gap is inevitable unless you have a Nagant Revolver that is a fact from the earliest revolving cylinder weapons with a separate barrel.

The modern cartridge apaun firing will seal it's self in the chamber due to heating up & expansion at firing which helps keep much of the pressures contained within the chamber & as long as the cylinder is made of the right material & of the right temper can withstand an enormous ammount of pressure along with the cartridge.
With the Percussion cone you are right the pressure does come out through there as well as throught the chamber opening as the projectile but the discussion is to weather or not the ROA is capable of .44 S&W Magnum power & that is quite simply no because to achieve that the weapon would need a slightly longer chamber to handle more powder & use a projectile of approximatly 200 + grains in weight as it is the ROA is capable of approximating the power of a .357 Magnum round.

pvt.Long
October 26, 2009, 10:48 PM
Caution to the experimental. the gun is designed to shoot a 44 regular load is not ment to hold any more then what its designed to hold. Try a modern 44 mag round in a 44 regular. You will get the same result.

B.L.E.
October 27, 2009, 05:52 AM
Try a modern 44 mag round in a 44 regular. You will get the same result.

A .44 magnum round won't chamber in a .44 special. The .44 magnum shell was purposely made 1/10 inch longer than the .44 special shell on purpose just so no one could shoot it in an older .44 special.
But yea, if you want a .44 magnum, buy a .44 magnum, they still sell em.

The Ruger Old Army is actually a .45, it uses the same barrel that Ruger uses for .45 colt. They just call it a .44 because in the old days, the caliber of a barrel was the diameter before the rifling grooves were cut. For that matter, the .44 special and magnum is really a .429, long story behind that.

andrewstorm
November 23, 2009, 01:34 AM
ive since seen balistic info that claimed,1200 fps 255 grain bullit 800fpe with 40 gr 777.

robhof
November 23, 2009, 08:43 PM
I've got a pair of the Ballistix after market cylinders for my ROA and they are tapped deeper, they hold 45gr of 3F under a Lee conical, but best accuracy is achieved with 40 gr and filler.

Malamute
November 25, 2009, 10:11 PM
"ive since seen balistic info that claimed,1200 fps 255 grain bullit 800fpe with 40 gr 777..."

I'd be curious to see the particulars of the ballistic info. That sounds pretty high, both the powder charge and velocity for a 255 grain bullet. I may be mistaken, but am intersted to see the info.

What's the weight of the Lee conical?

The old standard 44 mag load was a 240-250 gr bullet @ 1450 fps velocity in a 6" barrel, perhaps more in the early days.

andrewstorm
December 1, 2009, 11:47 PM
classic ballisttics,among others,load the r o a to near mag performance,I can stuff about 45 gr 777 under a255 gr hornady cowboy boolit,it kicks like a 44 mag i dont have a chornograph,but it shoots with a crack that sounds like a rifle.

darkgael
December 2, 2009, 07:39 AM
Ruger made a fine gun when they made the ROA. Shooters are continually trying to make it something that, maybe, it's not.
I'm in the "want a .44 mag, buy a .44 mag" school.

About 777 -
1200 fps 255 grain bullit 800fpe with 40 gr 777

In these types of discussions, it is frequently unclear what people mean exactly when they refer to load data involving BP subs like 777. Not necessarily unsafe, just not clear.
Is that 40 grains volume equivalent of BP (this would be the standard recommendation) or is that 40 grains actual charge weight?
A Lee dipper designed to throw 40 grains (39.8 really) of FFFg will throw just over 30 of 777. A full 40 grains of 777 is equivalent to about 51-52 grains of FFFg. 45 would equal 60 of BP.
In recent years, I'm never quite sure which reference to expect.
Despite the "school" I'm in about .44s, it really would be kinda neat to have a BP revolver that would have that kind of power and not weigh 4 or five pounds.

Pete

mykeal
December 2, 2009, 08:20 AM
Yep.

Is that 40 grains volume equivalent of BP (this would be the standard recommendation) or is that 40 grains actual charge weight?
A Lee dipper designed to throw 40 grains (39.8 really) -by volume, presumeably - of FFFg will throw just over 30 - again, grains by volume I presume -of 777. A full 40 grains - by weight or volume? -of 777 is equivalent to about 51-52 grains - by weight or volume? -of FFFg. 45 would equal 60 of BP.

darkgael
December 2, 2009, 11:59 AM
Tarnation!
Grumble. Grumble.

Quote:
Is that 40 grains volume equivalent of BP (this would be the standard recommendation) or is that 40 grains actual charge weight?
A Lee dipper designed to throw 40 grains (39.8 really)actual weight of the 2.5cc volume -by volume, presumeably - of FFFg will throw just over 30 grains actual weight- again, grains by volume I presume -of 777. A full 40 grains - by weight or volume? by weight -of 777 is equivalent to about 51-52 grains - by weight or volume? Yes. -of FFFg. 45 grains of 777 by weight would equal 60 grains by weight of FFFg BP.
Gettin' hard to read, ain't it?
Maybe we could complicate it a bit more?
The 3.4 CC dipper throws an actual weight of 50 grains of FFg BP. It throws an actual weight of 38 grains of FFg 777. 45 grains by weight of FFg 777 without being shook down fills a 4.0CC Lee dipper which throws 58 grains of FFg BP.
So...when someone says that they loaded 40 grains of 777, are they reading the 40 off the side of a powder measure or off the balance beam of a scale? It's not always clear. Like this post.
Pete

B.L.E.
December 2, 2009, 08:17 PM
40 grains by volume is about all a ROA chamber will hold and still leave enough room to seat a roundball, let alone a bullet. I don't think there is any way you could get 40 grains by weight of 777 into a ROA and still seat a bullet.

Erich
December 2, 2009, 08:39 PM
I've got a friend who's done very interesting things with a ROA. I'm quite impressed with the gun - think I'll stick with that. ;)

arcticap
December 2, 2009, 08:57 PM
Here's a Dixie Gun Works review of 190 grain .457 Buffalo Ballets by TFL's own author in residence mec who states that they can reach 1066 FPS when fired from a Ruger Old Army loaded with the volume equivalent of 40 grains of 777.
Maybe that's not equivalent to the .44 mag. but it certainly rivals and exceeds some .44 special loadings.

http://www.dixiegunworks.com/images/BT1201.JPG

This is a 190 grain swaged bullet with cupped base and a hatch-mark bullet retention pattern on the bearing surface. They are coated with some sort of lubricant- probably moly. The nose is rounded like a ball to gain optimum fit to loading rams the base is rebated to allow the bullets to seat in the chambers. Seating is in a straight line with no more distortion than desirable and the same for all bullets.

This one is sized .457 and should work in Ubert Chambers-Possibly a bit large for pietta but will likely work in those too. I ordered them for the Ruger Old Army- a revolver set up around .457" balls and bullets. They loaded in a straight line and the optimum load provided a five shot group of 1.8" at 60 feet. Best consistency among loads tested was identical volume of Hodgdon's H777 to 40 grains of black powder.
Chronographed velocity/ calculated energy was:

40Gr./Vol. H 777 1066 fps 51fps spread 479ft/lbs

Other combinations provided good accuracy but larger extreme spreads. These bullets in both this diameter and 36 are as accurate or almost as accurate as round ball and provide optimum downrange energy

http://www.dixiegunworks.com/product_reviews_info.php?products_id=3631&reviews_id=566

CraigC
December 2, 2009, 09:59 PM
Methinks a 190gr .45 at 1066fps is still a far cry from Skeeter's 7.5gr Unique under a 250gr Keith bullet for 950fps.

Malamute
December 5, 2009, 11:04 PM
So, how much 777 can be crammed into the Ruger chambers with a conical bullet? Whats the top velocity? I've been curious since seeing this thread.


I looked up the old 44 mag factory info, I was mistaken, it's 1570 FPS w/ 240 gr bullet. That's likely shot in an 8 3/8" barrel, but I didnt look it up, it may be a 6 1/2".

B.L.E.
December 6, 2009, 09:40 AM
My ROA chambers hold 48.8 grains of water/44.9 grains of Goex fffg completely filled to the top.
A bullet that weighs 240 grains would most probably allow only 30, maybe 35 grains of black powder max.

The only way I can possibly see a ROA equalling a .44 Magnum would be if smokeless powder was used with a cartridge conversion cylinder and you loaded "Ruger only" .45 long colt loads for it.
Smokeless powder does not behave well with percussion caps for ignition.

andrewstorm
December 10, 2009, 02:05 AM
my roa will hold 37 gr of 777 and a 255 gr hornady cowboy bullet,compressed,and about 47 grains 777 and a 190 gr buffalo bullet,kicks like hell,sounds like thunder,I use the fff 777 fresh as i can find,I dont know if my gun had the chambers deepend,here In michigan,alot of people hunt with R O A durin the muzzy season,im goin tomory evnin,well however fast the led is flyin,it drops these michigan thumb deer out to 60 yrds or so.

andrewstorm
December 12, 2009, 12:13 AM
ive just read a thread about a roa that produces a 1350fps and 900 fpe now thats factory 44 mag teritory aint it?,go to the hi road r o a heavy load.classic ballistics,devoleped the data.;)

Raider2000
December 12, 2009, 06:16 AM
From http://www.clementscustomguns.com/rugerrevolvers.html

.50 Cal. Ruger Old Army: This is a 5-shot conversion of the Old Army to .50 caliber. Gun will shoot .490" round balls @ 1250 fps "616 fpe" and a 250 gr. .488" dia. bullet @ 1150 fps "733 fpe" using Hodgdon's Triple 7 powder. Standard features include an oversize 5 shot cyl. made to fit your individual gun, 6 3/4" straight taper bull barrel made from a Kreiger blank with pinned blade front sight base, (fixed sight conversions will have a dovetailed front sight), action job, and reliability modifications. Load data furnished. We pioneered this conversion and it is only available from us. Cylinders are linebored for accuracy. $995 on your gun. Extra .50 cal. cyl. furnished with conversion $500
For 6 3/4" octagon barrel with integral front sight base and dovetailed blade add $300.
Fixed or adjustable sight guns are suitable for this conversion.
The 6 3/4" barrel is the only length available for this conversion.
Ruger has recently discontinued the Old Army. Conversion is only available on customer supplied guns.

Complete bullet mold dimensions are furnished with each gun.

Riot Earp
December 12, 2009, 02:11 PM
Ruger has recently discontinued the Old Army.

Well, sort of.

http://www.rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=54066
http://www.rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=53121&highlight=ruger+army
http://www.rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=64820&highlight=armys
http://www.rugerforum.org/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=56275&highlight=army&sid=be49543abefc5ac350b58cf9d2a222e3