Ruger .44 Carbine question


October 23, 2008, 12:44 PM
I have an old Ruger .44 carbine that was my father's. I was the last to shoot this rifle, probably 20 years ago. I have recently cleaned and lubed it up nicely and I want to get this thing back on the range. Eventually, I think it might make a good pig gun.

Anyway, when I last put a box of rounds through it, I noticed that the spent brass had a pretty good dent about 2/3 the way up from the base. Put next to each other, the dents all look the same.

Anyone have a similar issue? Any suggestions? It fed and cycled well way back then.

I'll probably have to dig up a reputable gunsmith around to take a look at it.

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October 23, 2008, 02:24 PM
This sounds like the case is hitting the bolt handle, the rear edge or the top of the ejection port.
Next time you shoot the gun put a small dab of white grease on the tip of the bolt handle, If the cases are hitting and being dented it will show on the case right at the dent. If not put a small amount on the edge of the ejection port and try again. If you have a thing called Prussian Blue you can use that but most folks have some gun grease.
The is probably being driven back to fast by to large of a gas port opening.
This is common in Remington 740 to 7400 guns.

I. R. a gunsmith

October 23, 2008, 07:20 PM
Semi and full autos are hell on brass. It's nothing to worry about - just accept it.

October 24, 2008, 01:52 AM
I don't mean to sound like a jerk but what exactly is the problem? Is the gun failing to fire? Failing to eject? Does it fail to cycle? You mention seeing a gunsmith, why, what is failing?

I understand that you are unhappy with the dinged brass but most guns aren't designed to be reloader friendly, they are designed to function and function well.

Dinged brass isn't a sign of a malfunction but rather just a byproduct of how the gun works.

October 24, 2008, 03:18 AM
It's fairly likely the brass will cycle through the resizer dye and come out fine.

I'm envious you inherited a useful carbine from your father. Regards!

October 24, 2008, 08:08 AM
Thanks Norsecat. I'll try the grease trick.

I would not say that I am "unhappy" about the dented brass. This is the only rifle I own and one of the few I have shot ever. I did not realize that this could be a normal or at least usual outcome. Back from when it was last out on the range, it did work very well. I don't expect that to be much different when I am out next.

Thank you everyone.

October 24, 2008, 08:37 AM
Could it be possible that its scoped and the brass is hitting a scope base?

Al Thompson
October 24, 2008, 10:02 AM
Well, from a different perspective, it may be a weak spring or springs. That old, it would not hurt to replace what ever the rifle uses for a recoil spring. I've never been in one, so I'm not sure what the correct name for the recoil spring system would be. :)

October 24, 2008, 10:23 AM
save that brass.

even with the dent, you'll likely be able to reload it. And if not, you can sell it.

after buying a few more boxes of .44 mag ammo., you'll appreciate this advise.

October 24, 2008, 12:32 PM
It is not currently scoped. It will be eventually.

SSN, you got that right! I bought a box of soft points just to have "something" and at $1 a shot, things can get expensive.

I don't do reloading now, but I might get into it. I know it can ultimately save money and/or give you much better ammo.

October 26, 2008, 12:39 AM
Advice on reloading for the Ruger .44 Carbine -

It likes the equivalent of 240gr JSP Remington ammo. I believe you can come pretty close to this with Speer bullets (#4457) and 23.5gr of H110 powder, CCI 350 primers, and bullets seated for a 1.575" COL. Of course, you should confirm this with a current reloading manual...

It does not like lead bullets. The lead gets into the gas mechanism and fouls things up.

It also does not like light loads. You have to have enough pressure to operate the gas mechanism.

It also does not like cartridge lengths much longer than 1.600", though Hornady data for their #44200 240gr XTP shows 1.610" for a COL and these seem to feed just fine. The thing you are going to have trouble with is "long" bullets which are typically used in a revolver.

Speer makes a 300gr bullet that might work in the Ruger Carbine, as it has two cannelures. The manual says you need to use the front cannelure for proper feeding. (Their test rifle was a Marlin 1894 lever-action, which also has a tubular magazine.) Using this cannelure results in a 1.585" COL.

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