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MacGyver125

BEST lever ammo, and why?

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Posted (edited)

I am seeking to purchase a Winchester 1892 model carbine with a large loop lever. So far I've only found it available in 45 colt and 44-40. I am interested in the 16" barrel, but can only find it NIB in 20". 

 

My question:

44-40 vs 45 colt. Which performs better in factory loads (regardless of cost or availability), and why? 

 

Note:

I will NOT be reloading, and I don't mind searching for rounds then stocking up. I prefer factory ammo, and I don't care which is less expensive or less available...just which performs better. 

 

Intended use:

I am interested in using the rifle for indoor/outdoor range shooting, possibly hunting, and hopefully SASS in the future once I get my kit together. Again, I'm not going to reload, ever. I prefer to purchase manufactured ammo. I am also aware of LeverEvolution ammo, which looks intriguing.

Edited by MacGyver125

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, MacGyver125 said:

Note:

I will NOT be reloading, ever.

I would opt for the 45 colt given the fact that you have no desire to reload.  The 44-40 is personally my favorite, but the 44-40 really only shines as a black powder round.  45Colt is much more readily available when it comes to factory ammo.

Edited by July Smith
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Never is a long time.

 

 

 

44-40 will feed better. 45 will be able to find loaded ammo easier. If you ever plan to use it in CAS/SASS you'll want at least an 18" barrel. 

 

 

Also, don't wait to get your kit together, go to some matches.

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If you are never going to reload than 357/38 would be a better and cheaper cartridge for you.

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45 colt will be dirtier due to blow back, maybe not as bad with factory ammo compared to reloads at cowboy velocities.

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4 minutes ago, Nickel City Dude said:

If you are never going to reload than 357/38 would be a better and cheaper cartridge for you.

Not to derail the OPs thread, but what brands of factory SASS legal 38 ammo feed well in your 357 levers?  I have had two 357 carbines (both 92s) neither ever fed any 38 factory ammo reliably.  

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34 minutes ago, July Smith said:

I would opt for the 45 colt given the fact that you have no desire to reload.  The 44-40 is personally my favorite, but the 44-40 really only shines as a black powder round.  45Colt is much more readily available when it comes to factory ammo.

What makes 44-40 your favorite? Why do you say it only shines as a black powder round?

 

32 minutes ago, Tyrel Cody said:

44-40 will feed better. 45 will be able to find loaded ammo easier. If you ever plan to use it in CAS/SASS you'll want at least an 18" barrel. 

 

Also, don't wait to get your kit together, go to some matches.

Ah. So Maybe I should get the 20" rifle. Why 18"? I wanted the 16" so I could one hand reload like John Wayne.

 

Feed better? How so?

 

26 minutes ago, Nickel City Dude said:

If you are never going to reload than 357/38 would be a better and cheaper cartridge for you.

Why would 357 be better? I'm not 100% certain I'll be able to find one in 357. 

 

18 minutes ago, Eyesa Horg said:

45 colt will be dirtier due to blow back, maybe not as bad with factory ammo compared to reloads at cowboy velocities.

Would you elaborate on what you mean by dirtier? 

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, July Smith said:

Not to derail the OPs thread, but what brands of factory SASS legal 38 ammo feed well in your 357 levers?  I have had two 357 carbines (both 92s) neither ever fed any 38 factory ammo reliably.  

My Winchester 1873 Deluxe Sporter feeds well with .38 and .357. I use whatever's on the shelf at the range and have never had any issues. 

 

However, my Chiappa Alaskan 1892 takedown won't feed reliably, and when it does, the ejected rounds/shells hit me in the face (I'm left handed). 

Edited by MacGyver125

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I currently shoot a Marlin in 45 colt and the wife shoots a Marlin in 38. The 45 has a rather large chamber due to SAMMI specs and at cowboy velocities the case doesn't expand enough to seal the chamber. Thus you get blowback back into the action and an amount of carbon buildup necessitating more frequent cleaning. When the rifle is clean you can feel the powder bits hit you in the cheek! The 38 on the other hand went 2 seasons without needing cleaning and was still not bad inside, no carbon buildup at all.

 

I also agree with above comments that 45 colt will be easier to find.

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7 minutes ago, MacGyver125 said:

Ah. So Maybe I should get the 20" rifle. Why 18"? I wanted the 16" so I could one hand reload like John Wayne.

 

Feed better? How so?

 

44-40 and 45 cartridges are 1.580 overall length. you can't get 10 in a 16" gun. That's why I said at least 18".

 

44-40 is a bottleneck cartridge, meaning the bullet and neck are smaller diameter than the base. Bigger hole to feed the bullet into, means it'll feed smoother and better.

 

Please don't try to load like JW in the presence of others.

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Posted (edited)

If your are NEVER going to reload, then this game will cost you at least twice as much to shoot as the other pards on the range.  Most everyone reloads.

Reloaded ammo can run 25% to 33% of the cost of factory ammo.  And, you never have to hunt through several shops to find your favorite load.

 

.38 Special is about as cheap and easy as you can find Cowboy ammo.   85% or more shoot a .357 chambered rifle and run .38 specials through it.   38 factory loads are half the cost of .45 Colt loads, and usually easier to find.  But .44-40 factory loads - hard on wallet and your search abilities.

 

Really - GO TO A MATCH OR TWO and see what pards are using.  Ask questions, and then more questions.  You will be quickly and beneficially enlightened.  This is not a game where you either need to nor want to make all the mistakes folks have made before, by yourself.

 

Good luck, GJ

 

 

 

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708
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Posted (edited)

If you never want to reload-Any gun game not using .22RF will steer you to the poor house.

Also, IIRC-16 1/2" bbl will not hold 10 rnds in the mag tube that you need for SASS/CAS play.

Lot easier to find .45 Colt than .44 WCF.

Remember that you can only use all lead bullets in SASS.

Why won't you reload??:huh:

The gasoline in your car's tank is more dangerous than primers or powder.;)

OLG

 

Edited by The Original Lumpy Gritz
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If you think that you might hunt then you really need the .45 Colt.  Lots of loaded ammo options that will stop most anything in the lower 48 within the limited range of the cartridge.

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31 minutes ago, MacGyver125 said:

Ah. So Maybe I should get the 20" rifle. Why 18"? I wanted the 16" so I could one hand reload like John Wayne.

 

 

You'll change your mind about the John Wayne reload spin after you smack yourself a time or two with the carbine.  Besides, you can never do that in a SASS match.

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1 hour ago, Marshal Hangtree said:

 

You'll change your mind about the John Wayne reload spin after you smack yourself a time or two with the carbine.  Besides, you can never do that in a SASS match.

Well, you could do it once!

 

Mac, as others have said, 45 more readily available. But reloading isn’t hard, and most of us rather enjoy it. I reload 38sp for about .10 each. Factory runs .40 minimum. 

 

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.44 WCF ( .44-40 ) like .38WCF ( 38-40 ) are both far better Cartridges for use with Black powder than the .45 Colt ...

The .45 Colt is cheaper to buy than either of the above ....

The .45 colt can be loaded to have more power than the the .44-40 or .38-40 ( which is really a .40 caliber )...

 

Having a half Gallon of Gas around for your Lawnmower is far more dangerous than reloading ....

 

Jabez Cowboy

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Posted (edited)

I appreciate all the replies.

 

To sum up what I've read:

44-40 chambers better due to the bottle neck, non factory 45 ammo gets the rifle dirty faster, reloading is much cheaper, and most SASS shooters use as low of recoil as possible. (I've often heard the term "rabbit fart" rounds). 

 

I might not be communicating what I'm trying to ask very well. 

 

What I'm asking is) which round performs better, regardless of cost, availability, or anything else? Performance only. 

 

Which round between 44-40 or 45 colt performs better in factory loads for fun shooting, cowboy shooting, hunting, and anything else. I won't be hunting larger than a deer or pig. 

 

 

Edited by MacGyver125

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, MacGyver125 said:

All I'm asking is which round performs better, regardless of cost, availability, or anything else?

In terms of what is factory available the 45 Colt preforms better. 

In 45 Colt you literally have dozens of options and a model 92 can even handle the +P stuff Buffalo Bore offers. 

 

44-40 ammo selection is pretty limited and in my experience very anemic.

 

As a reloader the 44-40 and 45colt preform similar as smokeless rounds.  The 45colt has the advantage of a wider weight range of bullet weights and the straight thick cases are very easy to load. 

 

As a black powder round the 44-40 has the advantage because the thin bottle necked case seals the chamber perfectly resulting in very little fouling in the action. 

 

 

 

Edited by July Smith
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If you are not going to reload, 38 special is best for CAS, but is too wimpy for hunting anything but rats. Hunting is best done with 45 Colt. I reload and shoot 44/40 in the rifle. Hand loaded 44/40 will do anything 45 colt can do and do it a lot cleaner in both smokeless and BP. I SUSPECT IF YOU GET INTO SASS YOU WILL CHANGE YOUR MIND ON RELOADING.

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So, I just spent an hour with my press. Loaded right at 500 rounds of 38 sp. saved a minimum of $100 over buying even factory reloads. Probably 150 for new factory loads. Plus. I get to taylor my loads to what I want for pistol and rifle. Plus I get the satisfaction of shooting a match with ammo I made. And lastly, I kinda enjoy reloading. In my work I don’t “make” anything. This lets me see the fruits of my labor. 

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6 hours ago, Marshal Hangtree said:

 

You'll change your mind about the John Wayne reload spin after you smack yourself a time or two with the carbine.  Besides, you can never do that in a SASS match.

Proper technique and a 16 inch gun works great...……….lol. Mine is a 94 with no action work and it still spins like a top...….probably freak people out at a match if you break the 360. 

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5 hours ago, MacGyver125 said:

Which round between 44-40 or 45 colt performs better in factory loads for fun shooting, cowboy shooting, hunting, and anything else. I won't be hunting larger than a deer or pig. 

 

If you are not going to shoot Black Powder or a sub then get a 44 Magnum.  You can shoot 44 specials for plinking and fun then switch to 44 Magnums for hunting.

 

If you a dead set on not reloading them buy from a commercial reloader. Some will even load to your specifications as long as you buy a minumum number of rounds.

 

 

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Not going to reload..you've lost half the fun right there !..IMHO

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5 hours ago, July Smith said:

As a black powder round the 44-40 has the advantage because the thin bottle necked case seals the chamber perfectly resulting in very little fouling in the action. 

Several of y'all have mentioned black powder loads, but why would you want to use that today, when other options are available?

 

what did you mean when you said that commercially available 44-40 ammo was anemic?

 

3 hours ago, Bull Skinner said:

I SUSPECT IF YOU GET INTO SASS YOU WILL CHANGE YOUR MIND ON RELOADING.

I work almost 60 hours a week, so the last thing I want to do is make something I can buy. Besides, every time I've had to send a gun back to the manufacturer, they've asked me if I used reloaded ammo. I'm not willing to risk my warranty by using reloaded ammo. Factory ammo only. 

 

1 hour ago, Cowboy Junky said:

Proper technique and a 16 inch gun works great...……….lol. Mine is a 94 with no action work and it still spins like a top...….probably freak people out at a match if you break the 360. 

Exactly. John Wayne's 20" rifle was deliberately shortened to 18" or 19" so he could perform the technique without injuring himself. In later movies, he used a 16" carbine. Performed correctly, it's perfectly safe.

As far as "flagging risk", the rifle is a single action. It is mechanically impossible to fire unless the lever is closed, and I'm VERY disciplined at keeping my finger off the trigger until I am prepared to fire at my target. 

However, field rules apply, of course. 

2 minutes ago, Sedalia Dave said:

If you are not going to shoot Black Powder or a sub then get a 44 Magnum.  You can shoot 44 specials for plinking and fun then switch to 44 Magnums for hunting.

I considered that, but as I said. I've only managed to find the rifle in 44-40 and 45 colt. I haven't found it in 44 mag or 357 mag. 

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3 minutes ago, Painted Mohawk SASS 77785 said:

Not going to reload..you've lost half the fun right there !..IMHO

Lol. Not for me. I have plenty of other hobbies that let me use my creativity. When I want to load myself, I will use my black powder rifle. 

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18 minutes ago, MacGyver125 said:

 

 

what did you mean when you said that commercially available 44-40 ammo was anemic?

Much of todays 'factory" 44-40 ammo is downloaded to very low power levels due to the vast number of old / antique firearms still being used.

 

 

 

Exactly. John Wayne's 20" rifle was deliberately shortened to 18" or 19" so he could perform the technique without injuring himself. In later movies, he used a 16" carbine. Performed correctly, it's perfectly safe.

No its not really......movie stunts with movie blanks and real life are totally irrevelant

 

18 minutes ago, MacGyver125 said:

As far as "flagging risk", the rifle is a single action. It is mechanically impossible to fire unless the lever is closed, and I'm VERY disciplined at keeping my finger off the trigger until I am prepared to fire at my target. 

However, field rules apply, of course. 

Discipline and trigger control are hard to maintain when your spinning a rifle by the lever, no matter whether your prepared to fire or whatnot.

It is possible to have an AD whether the lever is open or closed, been there and done that. Its called an OOB and they aren't ever planned!

I'm not knocking you having some fun, but remember that's its all fun and games......until someone bleeds;)

 

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MacGyver125 you probably picked the wrong group to ask these questions. (based on your response to the answers you have been given here).

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, MacGyver125 said:

 

I considered that, but as I said. I've only managed to find the rifle in 44-40 and 45 colt. I haven't found it in 44 mag or 357 mag

 

Found 5 in 44 Magnum on Gunbroker in less than 30 seconds

Edited by Sedalia Dave

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Posted (edited)

Let me clear things up...….I do the spin cocking as a parlor trick with an empty gun. Never done it with live ammo. I'm kinda' old school about muzzle control with live ammo. 

Edited by Cowboy Junky

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8 hours ago, MacGyver125 said:

Several of y'all have mentioned black powder loads, but why would you want to use that today, when other options are available?

Why would one want a lever action or single action when AR15s and Glocks exist?  Same reason some people still enjoy riding horses or driving classic cars.  Sure there are more modern things available, but SASS is all about having fun and to me black powder = big fun. 

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10 hours ago, MacGyver125 said:

 

 

I work almost 60 hours a week, so the last thing I want to do is make something I can buy. Besides, every time I've had to send a gun back to the manufacturer, they've asked me if I used reloaded ammo. I'm not willing to risk my warranty by using reloaded ammo. Factory ammo only. 

 

 

 

I have never had a factory service rep ask that-They have asked what type ammo I was using, and told the the bullet type and weight.

99.99999% of SASS folks use reloaded ammo. 

How many SASS events have you attended so far?

OLG

 

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Just now, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

 

 

How many SASS events have you attended so far?

OLG

 

I can answer that for him! ZERO!!

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Posted (edited)

The OP asked for advice and received lots of replies.  He doesn't seem to like any of them.

 

MacGyver125, if all you want is to know is which round performs better as a factory load, .44-40 or .45C, simply google up the various manufacturers' websites and look at their ballistic data.  You can answer your own question that way.

 

Otherwise, please let us know which range you will be at when spin-cocking your '92 so we can avoid the area.

Edited by Marshal Hangtree
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Go to events, talk to folks, see what they're doing. Chances are, you'll change some of your desires for what you want.

I have a 20" Rossi '92 in 45 Colt. Love the gun! Yes, I have tried the spin-cock thing. With an EMPTY rifle, at the house.

NEVER try this with a loaded gun and NEVER at a SASS match... you will go home shortly afterward.

If you're set on a '92 in 44-40 or 45 Colt, you will be able to find one and factory ammo, if you are patient. Not cheap, but available.

For punching paper, who cares about performance? Maybe accuracy, but not velocity or expansion. Hunting is another issue and performance for hunting is based on many factors, mostly bullet choice. best of luck

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