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Old September 27, 2011, 04:02 PM   #1
Magnum Wheel Man
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44 Bulldog / 44 American... anyone tried reloading

I've got one of these on a solid frame revolver, & been looking at what I'd need to do a load up for these...

... I think I can trim down to length 44 special cases ??? & I'll use a light loading of Trailboss to start... just curious if anyone else has played in this area ???
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Old September 27, 2011, 04:44 PM   #2
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Those are black powder era pistols, should you not be using black powder for those things?
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Old September 27, 2011, 04:58 PM   #3
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I've had good luck using light charges of Trailboss in my black powder era 32 & 38 S&W's
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Old September 27, 2011, 04:59 PM   #4
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Hello, Magnum Wheel Man..Do you mean you have two revolvers..each chambered for one of the cartridges? If not..they are two distinct cartridges..not the same! I know the .44 American itakes a "heeled" bullet..constructed like a .22 rimfire..rebated section inside case..bullet body same dia. as outside case. Not sure about the .44 Bulldog.
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Old September 27, 2011, 05:03 PM   #5
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I'm not positive right now... I'm assuming it's a bulldog chamber... I'll have to do a casting & compare to my Cartridges of the World book... this is why I haven;t loaded for it yet...

... but expect I could use shortened 44 special cases, & if I have to, lead round balls like I use for my gun test loads in 32 & 38 S&W...

just curious if anyone has already "been there, done that" ???
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Old September 27, 2011, 06:35 PM   #6
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While a light load of any smokeless powder won't cause a catastrophic blowup, it will over time stretch the frame. Black Powder is your best bet.
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Old September 27, 2011, 07:10 PM   #7
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The 44 American is very close to the 44 Russian.
The following is some history. They both use the same bullet as the 44 special which is .429

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m.../ai_n31877364/
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Old September 27, 2011, 10:13 PM   #8
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Hello MWM. Buffalo Arms Co. has S&W American brass. I wonder if you could use a hollow-based bullet? Otherwise if you try a .429 dia., it will probably fall right thru that oversize bore!
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Old September 28, 2011, 02:04 PM   #9
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My loading mentor ( retired tool & die guy ) has given me an original 44 Bulldog cartridge... a look see with a caliper looks like unless the chambers are tight, the shortened 44 special cases should work... a soft lead round ball looks like the projectile needed, as the bullet is heel seated, or maybe a gas check lead bullet without a gas check I load soft lead round balls in both my 32 & 38 S&W for my light loads even if the round ball 44 is loose in the bore, being a round ball it'll fly straight enough at belly gun distances
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Old September 28, 2011, 05:24 PM   #10
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the gun... I'd been wanting one for quite a while, & with the loading gate, & reciently was able to get this one off Gun Broker for a couple $100.00 less than others have been selling for...

Attached Images
File Type: jpg 44 bulldog.jpg (107.2 KB, 2016 views)
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Old October 5, 2011, 02:26 PM   #11
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picked up the revolver today... it's in beautyful condition... ( though the cylinder pin is stuck ) the cylinder is stepped, I tried a 44 special cartridge, & it fits nicely ( or would ) if I trimmed off 1/4" off the case length... bullet was tight enough fit in the bore to get belly gun accuracy... now looking for a very light cast bullet or mold to load in the cartridge... should be interesting... the hole in the end of the barrel is impressive, since the gun is about the same size as a 3" barrel J frame
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Old October 5, 2011, 02:58 PM   #12
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my machinist buddy has some extra 44 special cases, he's knurling the head stamps, & shortening 100 of them for me

these bullets aught to work nicely... should be pretty cool...

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct...ber=2046845752

maybe I'll just call it 44 extra special
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Old October 5, 2011, 08:00 PM   #13
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I, also, have a pistol, a British Bulldog, chambered for the .44 Bulldog. The proper bullet is, indeed, a heeled bullet...so the diameter of the bullet is the same as the outside diameter of the case. Both bullets and loaded ammo are available from GAD Custom Cartridges. I have had success with cut down .44 spl cases into which I seat lead round balls of .445 diameter over nine grs of FFFg black. The act of seating shaves off a ring of lead and the fit is tight.
In addition, the .44 Bulldog is a shortened version of the .44 Webley. Chances are that your gun may also chamber the slightly longer cartridge. The difference is powder capacity.
It is also possible that using .44 Spl case will require that the rims be thinned a bit so as to avoid binding the cylinder. Maybe.
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Old October 5, 2011, 08:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
The 44 American is very close to the 44 Russian.
I just gave away some .44 Russian and .44 American brass. The latter is .10" longer than the former, and .10" shorter than .44Spl brass.
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Old October 6, 2011, 05:48 AM   #15
Magnum Wheel Man
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measured my cylinder throats last night... they come out at .428"... so I think the light weight 160 grain 44 bullets will work...

these are .427"

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct...ber=2046845752

... the others I posted were .430"... will probably slug the barrel once I get the cylinder pin freed up before I decide which bullet to try loading

hmm... didn't think about the rim thickness
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Old October 7, 2011, 01:02 PM   #16
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.44

You can also make cases from .303 British brass - they require a bit more work as the inside of the mouth of the case needs to be reamed. Very strong case.
The one of the left is made from .303; the scratched up case on the right is a .44 Mag case.

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Old October 7, 2011, 01:30 PM   #17
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I used cut down 44 mag cases and made some wax bullets for mine. mine isn't in that good of shape and I wouldn't trust it with real ammo.
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Old July 30, 2012, 02:19 AM   #18
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trying an experiment

Cut down wome .444 Marlin grass....inside diameter was way too small for a
.44 bullet. So, loaded them up with 5-8 grams of black rifle powder for blanks. Recently used a tubing cutter to cut .44 special ammo to the proper length according to Wikipedia....loaded with 6, 7, and 8 grams of the same rifle powder....specs called for .97 grams, but that filled up my brass to the point that I could not get a .44 round ball to seat, so I cut back on the load. I figure the base of .44 Special brass may be a little bit on the thick side...If this experiment works I may cut down some more .44 special brass, but make it a little bit longer....I shoot black powder cap and ball Remington and Colt replicas and will try some conical bullets from those guns at a later date...gotta find them first....my pistol is a .44 Belgian made "British" Bulldog....similar to a Webley Metropolitian Police....mechanically in fine shape, but not sure I trust the metallurgy....therefore light loads with rifle powder....
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Old July 30, 2012, 09:20 PM   #19
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.44 Bulldog

Quote:
.loaded with 6, 7, and 8 grams of the same rifle powder....specs called for .97 grams, but that
Not sure what you mean by black rifle powder. There is no BP that is specifically for rifles. The two granulations commonly used in both rifles and pistols are FFg and FFFg.
Wikipedia is not a reliable source for load data. Powder charges are normally stated in grains, not grams. Nine to eleven grains of either FFg or FFFg will work.
Have you slugged the bore to determine the size bullet needed?
Pete
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Old July 30, 2012, 10:26 PM   #20
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Hello, 455webley..your last post said.."black rifle powder for blanks". Are you using salvaged rifle blank ctg. powder? If so..it is not real black powder..in fact this stuff has been written up in several handloading books warning of not using for bulleted loads.
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Old August 11, 2012, 10:42 PM   #21
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easy .44 Bulldog Reloads

Been experimenting for the last few months on reloading ammo of my Belgian made .44 "British" Bulldog, probably at least 125 years old....my first experiment involved cut down .444 Marlin brass....it fits, with a slight thinning of the base, but the casing is so thick, you could probably only load a .38 caliber, bullet, so I made some blanks using .6 to .9 grams of Dupont Rifle Powder. My second experiment involved cut down .44 special cartridges, using my tubing cutter, cut the cartridges to the appropriated length and discarded the smokeless powder. According to Wikipedia, an appropriate load of black powder would be equal to .97 grams. Round balls from my cap and ball .44 Remington replica could not be seated with a .9 gram powder charge, so I made three rounds with .6, .7, and .8 grams of Dupont rifle powder. In order to seat the balls, I reamed the rims slightly with a tapered steel rod that just happened to be the right size and pressed the balls in using my drill press vise, protecting the primer with a washer in the vice. The results were quite impressive. At a distance of 15 feet or there abouts the ball from each cartridge completely penetrated a piece of 3/4 inch wafer board and produced lots of lovely smoke. Future experiments will include cutting my .44 special brass to a slightly longer length to facilitate a full load of black powder, and also the use of 180 grain conical bullets produced by the Buffalo Bullet Company, specifically designed for my .44 Colt and Remington replicas. Also, I think a slight thinning of the base just enough to remove .44 Special is justified. there is a slight clearance problem I ran into today at the range, similar to what I found originally using .444 Marlin brass, easily remidied by placing the brass on an appropriately sized dowel in a drill press and turning it on medium grit sand paper or emery cloth. by the way used the same drill press vise to seat primers...worked great. I may also try finer grained pistol black powder and Pyrodex....but I like the smoke and safety margin the rifle powder provides
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Old August 12, 2012, 05:28 AM   #22
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Quote:
6, .7, and .8 grams of Dupont rifle powder
What are you actually loading? A gram is a unit of weight equivalent to 27 grains. You are not loading 16, 18.9, and 21.6 grains of powder into that little case.
What are you using to weigh and to dispense the powder?

Quote:
think a slight thinning of the base just enough to remove .44 Special
You might try thinning the rim from the other side. The problem with thinning from the head stamp side is that you also change the depth of the primer pocket.
It might also be helpful if you would stop thinking in terms of "pistol" black powder.....there is no "pistol" black. There are two granulations commonly used for both rifles and pistols, FFFg and FFg. FFg is frequently used in BP shotgun loads also. Whatever the DuPont powder you are using is, I am not familiar with it.
Did you slug the bore yet?
The proper bullet for the .44 Bulldog and it's longer brother, the .44 Webley, is a heeled bullet (.22 Rimfire bullets are heeled).
Pete
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Old August 12, 2012, 07:17 AM   #23
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Any plans on You-tubing at the range with that .44 American Jack Russ...I mean .44 American Bulldog Revolver?
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Old August 13, 2012, 07:30 AM   #24
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Quote:
According to Wikipedia, an appropriate load of black powder...
As has been mentioned, that may well be the worst possible way to obtain load data.
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