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Old November 13, 2013, 07:10 AM   #1
bigbuck007
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Reloading hints for 44-40 El Tigre Winchester clone 1894

Dear all,

I am now a happy owner of such an old biest..

- Serial no. is A 21345 Any ideas about manufacturing date ?

- What BP loads can you recommend (type of bullets, brass etc.) I only use Swiss BP ?

- What nitro loads can you recommend (type of bullets, brass, powder etc.)

- Anything else i should know shooting an El Tigre???

Shooting range is 50 and 100 yards

Thank you for your kind help

Tom
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Old November 13, 2013, 07:24 AM   #2
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Bigbuck

Will you be casting your own bullets?

The hardness will need to be considered when you choose your Black powder load. (Harder for faster)

In 44-40 from a 94 (which to me is a surprising match) you should get speeds of around 1200 fps give or take with a full load and reasonable sized bullets. You can cast lead bullets for these speeds. You may find that a full load causes a decline in accuracy but you won't know until you shoot it.

When I say "full load" I mean put enough powder in the case to get the right compression for the powder you are using. I don't know about compression in Schutzen. Others will be helpful here (KWHI...What is the common wisdom?)

If you down load the powder make sure to use a filler to take up the air gap in the case.

I do very little smokeless shooting so I don't know about nitro loads and the others may have experienced different BPCR speeds that those I mentioned above.

I am assuming about a 16 inch barrel. I have a 92 from Rossi in that length and get 1250 fps from .45LC loaded heavy. Higher speeds from a Henry in .45LC with a 20 Inch barrel.
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Last edited by Doc Hoy; November 13, 2013 at 07:32 AM.
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Old November 13, 2013, 08:26 AM   #3
BillM
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I've never seen a El Tigre that was a 1894 copy. You sure
it isn't a 1892? I've heard they were not as well heat treated as a
genuine Winchester. I would keep the smokeless loads pretty light.
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Old November 13, 2013, 09:34 AM   #4
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First, you need bullets. They should be cast lead, not too hard - I use 20:1 Lead:Tin in .38-55 and the old factory loads were as soft as 40:1.

They should have large lube grooves and carry plenty of lubricant chosen to keep the black powder fouling soft. There are commercial products like SPG and DGL available in the US. You can make your own, there are many formulae. Beeswax and olive oil will work.

Black powder should be loaded without airspace but Swiss does not need as much compression as Goex. If you used whatever amount of powder that settled into the cartridge and let the bullet compress it by one or two millimeters, it would be enough. You can probably compress the powder by that much by seating the bullet, more would require a compression die to keep from distorting the lead bullet.
Mike Venturino uses a compression die and a card wad just as for a big single shot rifle and says it lets him shoot longer without cleaning, as in a CAS match. Most casual shooters do not bother.

I use Swiss 1 1/2 Fg, No 4 from the factory in single shot rifles for long rifle cartridges like .38-55 and .40-65. For a short cartridge like .44 WCF, you could use a finer granulation, No 3/FFg or even No 2/FFFg for higher velocity.


Nitro for black loads need not be more powerful than black for the sort of shooting most people do with .44-40 now.
I do not know what powder you have there, but Unique is popular in the US for these old guns. Look for something similar and load it to give 1100 fps in the rifle, no more.
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Old November 13, 2013, 10:13 AM   #5
bigbuck007
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Dear all,

Sorry you are right it is a 1892 :-( I should better know.. all these '66, 73, 92, 94...)

Thanks a lot for your hints so far.

LEE offers such a breech lock hand press kit. Is this sufficant enough for reloading maybe max 50 rounds a month??



regards

Bigbuck
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Old November 13, 2013, 06:52 PM   #6
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Loading the 44-40 is a learning experience. original 44-40's were sized to .427. Modern 44-40's are sized to .429. Most dies still size to .427. Trying to stuff a .430 bullet into those thin case necks results in a crushed case. RCBS makes cowboy dies that size to .429 or you can use a .44 mag expander plug.
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Old November 13, 2013, 07:18 PM   #7
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.

Tom - You need to slug the bore, and find out the correct-sized boolits, for best accuracy & less leading.

I wouldn't use J-word boolits in it, nor smokeless powder - and take care when re-sizing the empty cases, as the .44-40 has thin case walls @ the neck, and will readily crush (ruining the case).


.
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Old November 14, 2013, 04:59 AM   #8
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Yes...Model 92

Makes more sense.

These rifles seem to command fairly high prices. (At least the prices seem to start high.)
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Old November 14, 2013, 11:42 AM   #9
bigbuck007
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Reloading hints for 44-40 El Tigre Winchester clone 1894

Thank you for your help

What is an average price momtarely for an el tigre?

Bigbuck
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Old November 14, 2013, 11:57 AM   #10
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I have seen them listed recently in the

1,000.00 price range.

I did not look extensively and so I may be somewhat off on that price.

Rossi new are under 500.00.
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Old November 14, 2013, 12:47 PM   #11
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According to the George Madis book on Winchesters the El Tigre's were made of pot metal, but I have one and I like it. I use 10 grains of Herco behind an RCBS 173 grain bullet cast from wheel weights and sized to .427. At 25 yards it will put all of the bullets in a ragged hole, which is about as good as I can hope to do with a carbine.

Maybe I should put my ownership of the El Tigre in the past. The last I heard of mine, my niece was using it in her saddle scabbard. I just couldn't bear to hand her an original Winchester carbine because I don't think she has any real reverence for rifles.
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Old November 14, 2013, 06:26 PM   #12
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I dunno. Almost everything I've found says they were well made almost identical copies of the Winchester. I know from some of the pics I've seen they were not made from pot metal.
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Old November 15, 2013, 08:59 AM   #13
bigbuck007
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Thank you again for your kind help.

Yesterday i did barrel cleaning and the rifling looks promissing not bad for such an old battle horse...

The action works fin but i think the hammer spring is a bit to strong and the fricton stud spring for the friction stud is much to strong. It is a real pain to open the lever..

Any hints what i could do here? weaker springs? adjusting the head of the friction stud??

Can you help me what is the age of the box 44-40?

Thank you for your support

bigbuck
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Old November 18, 2013, 04:57 AM   #14
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Dear all,

I fixed the strong friction stud with a weaker spring (spring from a Biro ;-))

Works just fine.


Any ideas about the age of these 44-40?




bigbuck
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Old November 18, 2013, 05:09 AM   #15
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1915-1938
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Old November 18, 2013, 06:26 AM   #16
bigbuck007
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Hello Hawq,

Really so old is this munition ? ?

I used this Sunday 15 rounds with no problems at all with my El Tigre!!

regards

Bigbuck
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Old November 18, 2013, 05:57 PM   #17
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My bad. I misread your post. I thought you were asking how old was the rifle.
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Old November 18, 2013, 09:23 PM   #18
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I wouldn't shoot jacketed ammo in that rifle. Every though it worked fine once, I wouldn't make it a habit.

TK
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Old November 18, 2013, 10:59 PM   #19
44 Dave
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I am now loading .429 lead for my 3 different .44/40s but I shot up a lot of jacketed .427s.
The best thing is to slug the barrel.
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Old November 19, 2013, 12:23 AM   #20
bigbuck007
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Reloading hints for 44-40 El Tigre Winchester clone 1894

Thanks for your hints

I do not intend to shoot a lot jacketed my aim is for pure lead

Btw is it realy true that after lets say some hundred lead rounds a jacketed round will "clean" the barrel?? What is your experience

Regards

Bigbuck
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Old November 19, 2013, 05:18 AM   #21
Hawg
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I won't say it will damage your gun but it might. If you're using pure lead with bp and a good bore there won't be any leading.
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Old November 22, 2013, 05:08 PM   #22
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I've actually been wrong quite a few times, but I was under the impression that the Spanish 44 long cartridge wouldn't interchange with the 44-40.
Can the 44-40 cartridge actually be used in the El Tigre chambered for "44 Long" ?
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Old November 22, 2013, 05:57 PM   #23
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All of them were chambered in 44-40, known as the .44 Largo in Spain.
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Old December 26, 2013, 06:25 PM   #24
bigbuck007
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Dear all

Last weekend i was able to find. My load for the tigre

30 grain ffg and a .428 lead bullet. Or 6.5 grain trailboss with rhe same bullet worked quite well on 50 ysrds
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Old December 26, 2013, 06:35 PM   #25
44 Dave
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Glad you found a load you like.
I have been using 5.5 of Trailboss for cowboy shooting in pistol and rifle.
Had to put a few rounds through the rifle today.
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