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Old April 7, 2002, 07:51 PM   #1
Patrick Graham
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Join Date: January 18, 1999
Location: Kokomo, Indiana USA
Posts: 674
Reloading 44-40

Jeeze, 44-40 is a real pain.

I've been reloading it for 3 years now, for my brother's Ruger Vaqaro (SP? ).

I really like shooting 44-40 in that Ruger though, or I wouldn't do it.

The brass is real thin and it's real easy to crumple.

The first time I reloaded 44-40 less than 1/2 the rounds would fit in the chamber, even after using the Lee Factory Crimp Rifle Die. (Do they make a Lee Factory Crimp Pistol Die in 44-40? )

I bought a SAMMI gauge for 44-40 and it confirmed that most of my loads were discombobulated. However, I found a little secret... Imperial Sizing Wax. This stuff is real slick an I recommend it to everyone who needs to do any small run case lubing. Anyway, I take the depriming guts out of a Lee Sizing die, rub a little Imperial sizing wax on one of my discombobulated loads and run it most of the way up into the sizing die. That straightens the whole bullet right up. Then the bullet fits in the SAMMI guage.

Reloading 44-40 is still a pain but at least I get to shoot all my reloads now.
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Old April 7, 2002, 08:13 PM   #2
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Join Date: August 8, 2001
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works great in theory, but

look out for neck tension, when you resize loaded rounds, the brass and lead are both sized down, the brass will spring back more than the lead, this can lead to loose bullets in the brass,

Just something to look out for, it may not be a problem for you, god luck, and let us know how they shoot after that.
The Forty-Four spoke and it sent lead and smoke
And seventeen inches of flame. -Marty Robbins

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Old April 8, 2002, 10:29 PM   #3
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A friend just puts the Imperial Sizing Wax next to his empty brass, touches the wax, then picks up a piece of brass and rolls it in his fingers as he slides it into position on his RL550B.
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Old April 11, 2002, 07:46 PM   #4
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Mr. Graham, I feel your pain.....

about .44-40 reloading.

I do NOT understand how they made that brass soooooo thin in the neck!

Anyway. The resizing and re-priming goes pretty much normally. But then,
segregate cases by length.
Seat bullets and crimp in different steps.
Charge with powder and seat bullets, using longest cases first. That way, if you didn't fully crimp something, you don't have to undo it, just adjust the die and crimp properly.

The .44-40 is a real good arguement for trimming cases. Even factory unfired cases aren't all the same length.
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