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Old May 26, 2022, 03:23 PM   #1
ciwsguy
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Henry Single shot 44 magnum

Just bought one with brass receiver to see if it shot any better than my Marlin 1894 levergun. Mounted a 2-7x32 scope and was surprised by the range results today. 44 magnums didn’t shoot that well, but 44 special handloads shot quite well with impacts touching at 75 yds. 44 magnums were tough groups, about 4 inches at 75 yds.
The Henry twist rate is 1:20.
The Marlin twist rate is 1:36.
180 grain bullets weren’t much different than 240 grain in either gun.
I’m disappointed in 44 magnum. Maybe I should just stick to 44 specials.
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Old May 26, 2022, 03:57 PM   #2
stinkeypete
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What you’re seeing is why lots of us hand load- accuracy.

Now, you have two different twist rates there. Maybe the aspect ratio of the bullets comes into play, the Henry has a faster twist so it will like shorter-stubbier bullets… and “not much different” in accuracy… well, add a few of those up and then it’s “wow.”

So maybe your factory .44 Mag ammo is using 22 grains of Unobtanium gunpowder, while the .44 Special uses 14 grains of that powder.

When the gun goes “bang”, the barrel rings and wobbles in waves. If the bullet exits at a good point in the wave cycle (usually a maximum deviation) then you can get repeatable hits on paper.

Well, maybe the factory picked 22 grains because it gives great speed and good consistent velocities… but your gun might vibrate such that it’s not a good “fit.”

So… we load up 5 at 21, 5 at 20, 5 at 19, 5 at 18…. And see I’d we can find a sweet spot in accuracy.

Say 18 grains is better than 22 but not as good as 12…
So now we test in fractions of grains around 18.

When you find the sweet spot of right bullet, right powder, primer and even case… you can get amazing results. You’ve learned the rifle is capable! Now make the perfect ammo for it.

That said, we’re all waiting for the supply chain to clear… so we can try some different powders: unobtanium, bullstale, 24nickles, lil’boots, etc.

It’s fun. The good news… your new rifle seems to shoot accurately!
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Last edited by stinkeypete; May 26, 2022 at 04:05 PM.
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Old May 26, 2022, 05:31 PM   #3
ciwsguy
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Except these were all my reloads. No factory ammo was used. What works well in the Marlin 1894 isn’t working that great in the Henry SS. I was using 265 grain SWC in the 44 special loads. 180 and 240 in the 44 mag. The Henry has a heavy barrel, the Marlin is thinner. I’ve been reloading about 4-1/2 years, not being a heavy shooter. I was in hopes that one load would work for both, but clearly that isn’t the case. I really like the SWC bullet. Cuts a nice clean hole in the paper
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Old May 26, 2022, 08:30 PM   #4
bamaranger
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opposite

Faster twist rates should stabilized, HEAVIER, LONGER bullets, one reason the 265's may have done better. I've always contended the 1:38 carbine twists were too slow, and am inclined to believe Henry got it right with 1:20.

Muzzleloading rifles intended for roudballs use twist rates that are incredibly slow, 1:66 as an example. A roundball is about the "shortest-stubbiest" projectile one can launch. As projectiles became conical, twist rates increased. My own 1:38 carbines shoot light for caliber .44 slugs much better than traditional 240gr plus bullets.

For me the .44 mag from a carbine has always been a challenge to reload for and obtain great accuracy, which is contrary to the results that many folks obtain. And .44 mag revolvers have a reputation as great shooters. I attribute that difference to the slow twist rates found in carbines.
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Old May 26, 2022, 08:37 PM   #5
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I'll add that neither of my 1:38 carbines shoot 265's worth a hoot!
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