Cast bullets in my Henry big boy 44 mag

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by savagelover, Nov 6, 2021.

  1. savagelover

    savagelover Member

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    Bought this rifle new a few months ago. Now it shoots jacketed bullets pretty but as for cast, really bad. Twist is 1 in 20. The cast bullets I have are hard cast. The bore slugs at .429 dia. My commercial cast are ,.430 and .431 dia. Have some softer bullets on order. I don't think the hard cast are bumping up enough to seal the bore. There appears to be very little leading. I was going to powder coat a few to see if the hard cast would shoot any better,but didn't think they would. Any suggestions. Thanks
     
  2. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    I'd try a softer alloy, powder coat, and try working up a load fresh.
     
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  3. Mk-211

    Mk-211 Member

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    What about using a gas check? It might help getting you where you want to be.
     
  4. savagelover

    savagelover Member

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    I don't have a gas check mold. These are store bought bullets
     
  5. savagelover

    savagelover Member

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    Have got softer on order to try.if they don't work the rifle goes bye bye..
     
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  6. bcook4321

    bcook4321 Member

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    I’ll soon be in a similar spot with my 357 lever coming next week. Who’s a good supplier for gas checked bullets for those of us who aren’t casting our own? Plenty of hard cast companies with reasonable pricing , but I haven’t sent too many with checks…
     
  7. Lnf Crzr

    Lnf Crzr member

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    If They are store bought, You can powder coat and perhaps that will help? Or buy a mold and start casting. That’s the best way to do it . My 788 44 mag has a Tight bore compared to my Marlin. With different alloy, Sizing dies…. I can make what I need
     

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  8. kidneyboy

    kidneyboy Member

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    I shoot Acme Bullets in my Henry 45colt and 357 with no issues. Maybe give them a try.
     
  9. Mk-211

    Mk-211 Member

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    bcook4321,
    You'll need a mold that allows you to cast for gas checks. Then you'll have to buy the correct GC's.

    Look on ebay, you can probably find the mold(s) that will work for your gun. Also look around for GC's while you're there, you'd be surprised at the stuff you can find.

    Midway, Brunos, Midsouth... should all have them if you can't find them on ebay.
     
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  10. Seedy Character

    Seedy Character Member

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    Powder Coating should help

    My .44 shoots jacketed bullets great
    Started shooting Cowboy Action. Using Hornady LSWC, groups were awful. Switched to Powder Coated and groups tightened back up.

    Got a .45 Colt and same thing, all over again
     
  11. 41 Mag

    41 Mag Member

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    I'm trying to find a profile that will function reliably in mine. The JHP'S group around 2" at 100yds and hopefully the cast will as well.

    I contacted Accurate Molds and Tom recommended that he uses the 43-240A(G) in his Henry and 92 rifles. I have several of his molds and if that's what he thinks will work I'm all in. Well soon as I save my allowance anyway. :D

    Most of the jacketed bullets have measured around .429" so I'm going to try some .430 before I order the mold. I can size up to .432 right now but most of the time I use the .430 in my Redhawk's.

    Please post up what you end up doing.

    Thanks
     
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  12. forrest r

    forrest r member

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    That bullet 41mag (43-240A) talked about is a keeper.

    You don't need no stinking gc's or gc molds. Hard alloys need to be driven hard to perform at a high level. The bevel bases on the commercial bullets aren't doing you any favors.

    There's a huge difference between shooting dirt clods at 25yds and trying for 2" groups @ 100yds. Was playing around with these 2 bullet designs in a 10" bbl'd contender. The bullet on the left is a gc design, on the right a plain based 640 series 245gr hp.
    bMDc2PH.jpg

    Sold the mold that cast the bullets on the left. The rfn (640) bullet on the right shoots well enough in everything I tried it in I sold 6 or 7 different 44cal molds because of it. I had found good loads with the other molds/bullet designs but the accuracy window was extremely small. That 245gr rfn hp (270gr solid nosed rfn) shoots accurately with loads from mind to wild. Accuracy means different things to different people. I don't take much stock in 3-shot groups but I was sighting a plinking load in using that 640 bullet & a 10" bbl'd contender that I put a reddot/burris fast fire III on. Was sighting it in to bang on steel @ 100yds.

    Showed this junk before, was initally using the top target to sight the reddot in. After it was close and I figured out how much 1 click move the poi I started shooting targets on the bottom row (nra 50yd smallbore rifle targets). Shot the left target (3 1/2" group) and decided to turn the brightness down 1 click, the dot was a little fuzzy/jagged edges. Turning the dot down gave me clear round edges that were a lot easier to pair with the round targets. Put 3 shots on the right target, a lot better!!!
    wLHw6OR.jpg

    A close-up of that bottom right target.
    7KMGHIm.jpg

    Gave the reddot a couple clicks down and 1 click over and eat the snot out of some steel for awhile.

    Anyway your rifle will easily do 2" groups @ 100yds. Pick out a good bullet design and keep the es's down on your reloads. You're not shooting dirt clods/4" groups @ 25yds, everything matters.
     
  13. Ohen Cepel
    • Contributing Member

    Ohen Cepel Contributing Member

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    I have had issues with my .44 rifles also. IIRC they usually are not the same bore diameter of the revolvers which can be an issue shooting lead. Can be frustrating, my 240gr MBC LSWC loads were not at all good out of my rifles. Some Penn Truncated Cone Plain Base, did well out of both rifles tested though. The plain base is likely part of the help there.

    The rifles will shoot, but not always the same load as your revolver as well. Or, go with jacketed if you want a load that works in both as well. Depends a lot on what one wants the loads to do and perform in well.
     
  14. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    If your bore is truly 429 and the bullets are 431 it isn't likely that they aren't obturating. Might just need a little more or less speed.
     
  15. Jack Ryan

    Jack Ryan Member

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    MORE POWER! You need MORE POWER! Up the powder charge a little.
     
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  16. forrest r

    forrest r member

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    Yup More powder makes them rock hard bullets More better
     
  17. mdi

    mdi Member

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    If your .431" bullets aren't sealing the .429" bore, something is wrong. Even jacketed bullets obturate some. Are your cases shaving lead? Pull a loaded bullet and measure it, with mics. I may have loaded more 44 Magnums, most with cast bullets, than any other cartridge except for maybe the 38 Special. Slug the barrel of your Henry to make sure you're correct with .429". SAAMI specs for 44 Magnum rifle is .431". Off the top of my head I'd suggest; slug the barrel and use bullets that are about .002" larger than groove diameter, check a pulled bullet's diameter to make sure cases aren't shaving, use/find some "normal" BHN bullets, Lyman #2 is a good choice (BHN 15), use a slower powder in the 2400, Blue Dot, AA#9 area and start with min. book loads and work up. I have no idea how many Lyman 420421 SWC, plain base I've cast from wheel weight alloy and fired (in my 5, 44 Magnums) quite successfully, accurately and clean, no leading...

    I had a few "getting used to" problems with my Puma. BBL slugged .431"-.432" and I looked for a good feeding bullet that was able to be sized to .433"+. I found Ranch Dog's design 265 gr RNFP gas checked bullet to give me excellent results, even when cast with range lead. I soon got the same mold in 240 gr. Both shot accurately in my revolvers, fed well in my Puma, and my Dam Wesson 44H liked the 265 enough to give me occasional sub 2" groups @ 25+ yards, with very few over 2 1/2" when I did my part...

    Go slow. Double check everything. Most important, have fun.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2021
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  18. savagelover

    savagelover Member

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    Thanks for all the replies.. ok I slugged the bore again..still .429.. I really don't think my commercial bullets are bumping up.. I have no lead tester. I had all that stuff years ago but got rid of it all. So I kind of hate to buy it all again. I have some bullets on order from pennsbullets, been over a month now.. Also I have 100 soft lead on order from Desperado to try..one problem is some of my loads wouldn't feed thru the Henry action. They will is loaded in 44 special,but you can't get the muzzle velocity that high. I'll get working on it.
    I thought about powder coating a few,but doubt that will do anything.. johnny
     
  19. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    If I didn't cast, I would order some RNFP powder coated bullets from Missouri. 12 BHN would be my best bet.
     
  20. savagelover

    savagelover Member

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    I know
     
  21. Jack Ryan

    Jack Ryan Member

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    You don't need to buy any special soft lead, that lead is for muzzle loaders not modern cartridges.

    IF you want to cast, get a Lee, 6 cavity, 240 grain gas check mold. You can still shoot those with or with out gas checks, either way you want. I load super hot full power loads with the gas check and Blue Dot powder for hunting in my rifle but I shoot those out of any of my revolvers to during hunting season. Never a problem.

    Lighter loads with out gas checks to practice with hand guns or plink with the rifle and let the kids shoot, same bullet, no gas check and a middle of the page load from the Hornady manual. Green Dot usually but I've use any of a dozen other powders with that and the same results.

    My lead is usually pretty hard with any where from 100% wheel weights to 25% wheel weights and pure lead.

    Get a set of artist pencils to check hardness. More than good enough for these projects.
     
  22. sparkyv

    sparkyv Member

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    I have a Rem 788 in 6mm Rem, but I didn't know they were ever chambered in 44RM. That's so cool!

    And yes, mine also has a tight chamber.

     
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  23. Lnf Crzr

    Lnf Crzr member

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    The 44s are very uncommon and only made a short time. Extremely accurate. I’ll be using it this year for deer
     
  24. mdi

    mdi Member

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    If your barrel slugs out at .429" and your bullets are .431", I'd look for another reason.
     
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  25. savagelover

    savagelover Member

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    Any ideas? I wish I still had my hardness tester. I'm thinking the bullets are to hard. Maybe I will try to push them harder,and see if that helps. Worst it could do was lead the barrel..
     
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