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44-40 Loads in a M92 Win

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Maj Dad, Nov 30, 2012.

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  1. Maj Dad

    Maj Dad Member

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    I am working up loads for the first time since ~1978 or 79, and I used to use the data in the old Lyman 45th Edition that gives hefty loads of 4227, 2400 & Unique. I loaded some really hot numbers as a result of the gun rag articles and other info that suggested the 44-40 case was a tad larger in volume than the 44 Mag, and in a strong M92 could be loaded to near-44 Mag levels. *years pass...* Nowadays, I am not interesed in turning my little Half-magazine carbine into a 44 Mag or a pile of twisted metal, so I am not looking to magnum-ize it, but I am interested in strong and appropriately tailored loads. I have settled on 26 gr of 2400 (max 27.5 in Lyman 45) for the 200 JSP and 10 gr Unique (11.3 max) for the lead 205 RNFP 42798. What do you think? Reasonable? I can't tell you what I used to load in it - I'd be banned from the forum... :eek:
    Thanks,
    George
     
  2. Wil Terry

    Wil Terry Member

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    I THINK THAT 44-40 2400 DATA IS ALL BUT ABSOLUTELY CRAZY !!! Ten grains less [ 10.0GRS !!! ] that that will meet original ballistics with ease and do it at pressures easy on any modern made 44WCF firearm. AND I ran it though a pressure gun.
    THE Unique data you note is 20% higher than that in the new SPEER MANUAL AND the data in that manual exceeds original factory ballistics specs a bit. GET some new loading manuals with modern data.
     
  3. DMH

    DMH Member

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    I have used A2400 in 44-40 and have used from 13gr. to 18.3gr. I use 200 gr. lead rnfp bullets at .430" diameter and some .432" diameter. I think your 26gr. load is too hot! The 18.3 grain loads of A2400 will be about 1300 - 1500 fps if I remember correctly. when I get home I can look in my shooting log book. Your m92 is most likely stronger in the receiver than my Marlin 1894 made in 1895. I sometimes use shot buffer in my reloads, but reduce the powder charge when I do. I prefer to use a light weight filler material like polyethylene shot buffer. Adding about 1cc over 16 grains of A2400 will give a slightly compressed load and keep velocities below 1500 fps.

    DMH
     
  4. Float Pilot

    Float Pilot Member

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    The brass for the 44 Winchester Center Fire (aka 44-40) is not nearly as strong as the modern cases.
    Mine likes 6.5 to 6.7 grains of W-231 (HP-38 is the same thing) and that load will push a 200 grain bullet at 1,100 fps from my 20 inch carbine barrel. It is nice and easy on the brass and fairly accurate.
     
  5. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    That's a hell of a lot of 2400 for the .44-40. Although I use 10.0gr Unique all the time in the .38-40 with 180's.
     
  6. JLDickmon

    JLDickmon Member

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    jeezus.. 26 grains of 2400 is still a 44 mag level load..
    my Lyman 47 lists 20 grains as MAX with that combo..

    you're 30% overcharged..

    if you just want to shoot the rifle,
    I'd say a 100% load of Tin Star or Trail Boss under the cast boolit, will leave your gun, and your ears, wanting to play another day
     
  7. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Pressure tested .44-40 loads top out at 20 gr 2400 + 200 gr.

    Old books giving 25-27 grains of powder were based on what a strong gun could stand for a short trial run. It won't blow up a 92 but it will loosen it up with regular use. It might even bulge the chamber. The design has a pretty small barrel shank and therefore a thin wall over the .44-40 chamber.

    It is comparable to shooting .38 +P+ in an Airweight revolver.
     
  8. 30Cal

    30Cal Member

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    Geeze! I shoot 16.0grs 2400 with a 175gr cast bullet in 30-06.


    My go-to 44-40 load is 7.2gr Win231 with a 215gr cast SWC.
     
  9. Maj Dad

    Maj Dad Member

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    Thanks!

    I'm aware of all these things, but sometime's it's good to have reality presented to you by others. Guess I'll pull the bullets from the 10 hot-loaded rounds (couldn't wait :eek: ) & tame the hot ones down to 18-20 gr 2400. I'll leave the 10 gr Unique loads & add some 231 - John Taffin loads 8 gr for his newly made pistols (no breaktops), and that sounds mild enough for the 92.

    Funny how things have changed - we are (rightly) shocked by those old loads and find their use incomprehensible, but back then, they were accepted and bandied about in the gun rags (which is why I started using them). I have half a dozen current loading manuals, but the loads for the 44-40 are all pistol oriented and lawyer approved, so I have to look at them as on the low-ball side (rightly or wrongly). Taffin lists these loads for strong rifles in his "Book of the 44" (groups are 50 yd):

    Remington 200 JSP/9.0 gr. Unique 1241 fps 2 1/2"
    Remington 200 JSP/20.0 gr. #2400 1833 fps 3"
    Hornady 200 JHP/20.0 gr. IMR4227 1374 fps 1 1/4"
    Hornady 200 JHP/18.5 gr. #2400 1316 fps 2 1/2"
    Lyman #42798/10.0 gr. Unique 1421 fps 1 1/8"
    Oregon Trail 200/10.0 gr. Unique 1440 fps 1 1/2"
    Oregon Trail 225/10.0 gr. Unique 1399 fps 1 1/4"

    Thanks for your comments & suggestions - I value your input and appreciate your time in replying.
    Cheers and regards,
    George J.
     
  10. 30Cal

    30Cal Member

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    Yeah, Waters shows the 200gr Win JSP, 24.0gr 2400-->1741fps and the note:
    DANGER--DO NOT USE. He calls 21.0gr max at 1582fps.


    I have to wonder if some of your data is from balloon-head cases. Sure sounds like it.
     
  11. Maj Dad

    Maj Dad Member

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    30Cal, no, there are caveats on the data page against using balloon head cases and that they are for strong actions (92 Win et al.). I think these are just old loads based on what the individual testers could devine about pressures from case appearance (primer, case head diameter a lá Ken Watters, etc.) and whether the gun didn't blow up :what:
     
  12. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    And yet the modern replicas are safe to 50,000psi???
     
  13. Maj Dad

    Maj Dad Member

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    Good question. The quick & simple answer is "newer, stronger steel" but is that factual or just conventional wisdom? Winchester made 94s in 44 mag and that action isn't particularly strong (though the 30-30 is 42k psi & the 44 mag is 36k per SAAMI - 44-40 is ~13-16k cup depending on your source). I'm sure the new 92s are safe with 44 mags, but it does beg the question...:scrutiny:
     
  14. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    There is no question. The modern 1892 is the strongest of the pistol cartridge leverguns. The Marlins are okay to about 40,000psi. The 1892 is good for a full 10,000psi higher pressure.
     
  15. Maj Dad

    Maj Dad Member

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    The question I see is are the Pumas/Chiappas/Rossi/Browning Miroku Japanese 92s stronger than the Winchester originals? If not, and the Winnies are as strong, are all the Winnie originals the same steel? Mine was made in 1906, and though it looks and feels solid as rock, I have to wonder if the 1906 vintage steel was equal to the laters years of production (ended ca. 1941). It may all be academic, but I do wonder... :scrutiny:
     
  16. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    All Winchester 92's were made for smokeless powder.

    And some of the 44-40 HV loads back then would rival the .44 Magnum today.

    The Browning Miroku Japanese 92s probably are stronger then an orginial Winchester 92 just due to steel quality and heat treating is much better today then it was in 1900.

    I would not care to speculate on how strong the Italian clones are, as they are only proofed to "cowboy load" pressures in Italy.

    rc
     
  17. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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  18. Maj Dad

    Maj Dad Member

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    I think the take-home from all this is that original Winchester 92s should be treated as the old soldiers that they are, and not try to turn them into magnums. They may hold up to high pressures, or they may not, but lower pressures will ensure they outlast us...:cool:
    Good thread - thanks to all.
    George J.

    P.S. I pulled all those 26 gr 2400 loads & reloaded with 20 gr (they pull very easily - I guess from the thin case neck). We'll see how it goes this weekend.
     
  19. Maj Dad

    Maj Dad Member

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    Late Update

    Solved the problem: giving the Winchester to a little boy (~6'2" now) I took hunting ~1979 when his parents were divorcing and he was having a tough time. With it he killed a nice >250 lb 8 pt (southern reckoning ;)) - made a difference in his life without realizing it. To compensate, I bought a Rossi M92 44mag today. Gonna load it to 44mag levels, too :cool:
     
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