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Old November 22, 2018, 05:33 PM   #21
Senior Member
Join Date: May 10, 2006
Location: Weekend cowboy
Posts: 540
If you load real fffG black powder in your 44-40, packed in and compressed with no filler wads,
I shoot .45 Long Colt a lot and load all of my own cartridges. My favorite hunting load is 42 grains of Olde Eynsford and a 200-grain Buffalo conical. Out of a standard 8" barrel New Model 1858, I have gotten 1300+ feet/sec. as a max reading. Average output is around 1250 feet/sec.

Now THAT is a lot of gun right there. That is more than .357 Mag performance if you are also counting the stopping power of that .45 caliber slug's massive cross-section. The above is my main load for dropping them big hogs and I seem to never have a problem taking down even the heavyweights. The recoil from the old warhorse is never as extreme as the .44 or .357 light frames but at these velocity and power levels, it definitely kicks and you do feel it pretty heavily. The combined CRACK of the bullet going supersonic and the regular roar of a martial-caliber black powder revolver firing has got to be one of the most satisfying things an old-fashioned and simple man like me can ever enjoy It is not a wrist-breaker, but if ye' ain't used to shooting big bore handguns, the recoil from a full-powered .45 LC black powder loading is stout and will give ya' a waking call.

Some fellas seem to think that old time cartridges were weak and underpowered probably because they base their knowledge off of those Cowboy Action loads that are sold commercially. Well, the one thing that makes 'em different is that these modern Cowboy loads are meant for competition only. Ain't gon' need too much power to ring up some steel. When yer' tryin' to live as close to the cowboy way as possible, now that's another story I use 42 grains for hunting and defense against bear/large predators. Same bullet but 38 grain loading is for carrying and home protection. They don't feel that much different and they are interchangeable for either purpose. For shooting paper I use about 18 grains with filler. Saves up on powder by a big margin and I still get to enjoy shooting the big cartridges.
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