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Nickel City Dude

Pistol cylinder jamming on 44-40 light load

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I have been working up a load for my 44-40 Uberti revolvers.  I am using Alliant Promo (red Dot).  I started with 5.5 gr. and am down to 3.5 gr.  I like the load but I am having problems with the cylinder jamming and I think it is the primers not staying seated or maybe the brass is swelling up.  Some of them go in a little tight so I am going to reload some more and see if resizing them after loading will solve the problem.  Any thoughts on this?  They all work fine in my 1873 carbine.

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Not enough powder     GW

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Too light of a powder charge will not re-seat the primers. When the round goes off the primer backs out a bit, but is forced back in by the recoil. Too little recoil and the primers won't re-seat.

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What does the manual say the min chg is?

DON'T GO BEL0W IT.....

OLG 

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Hi, I can't find  an Alliant Promo or Red Dot load for the 44-40. I think Lumpy Gritz has some good advice. If your shells are sometimes hard to chamber in your revolver. I would check you resizing of your cases. You have a rifle and pistol so you should full length resize each case.  I found this on Alliant Promo.......

 

"www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?t=257182

Red dot is a canister powder, hence will throw the same from lot to lot (pretty much, but you still need to weigh your throws anyways when getting into a new jug). Promo is not a canister powder (not blended to be the same weight/volume from lot to lot), so every lot you need to check and adjust your bushing to throw what you need." 

 

 I would go to a different powder, (Unique ? ) and use Lumpy's advice, Regards, Mike

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I load Red Dot in my 44-40 Winchester, I use 4.2 gr with a 200 gr bullet in my Winchester for SASS and 6.5 for SASS Long Range, I don't shoot revolvers in 44-40.

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Going lighter reaches a point where there is not enough back pressure on the case to reset the primer.

Up your charge a little until it seats the primer back in to the pocket.

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Resizing "after loading" is the wrong time to be resizing.  Your brass should be resized after every firing and before loading.  

 

As has been mentioned, you load is too light.  The case doesn't have enough back thrust to re-seat the primer at firing.  MORE POWDER.

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Similar problem with my Model P 44-40s resolved by more powder and a 200 gr bullet.  The revolvers are very load sensitive.  My rifles have, so far, run well with anything.

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2 hours ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

What does the manual say the min chg is?

DON'T GO BEL0W IT.....

OLG 

The manual only has a max load.

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1 hour ago, Cliff Hanger #3720LR said:

Going lighter reaches a point where there is not enough back pressure on the case to reset the primer.

Up your charge a little until it seats the primer back in to the pocket.

 

+1

 

I’ve loaded 44-40 for 2 pistols and 3 rifles for over 15 years with Promo and Red Dot. Never loaded below 5.0 grains of either. Never had

primers back out and not reseat either. Up your load   to at least 4.5 grains by weight not volume.

 

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Gee, I have NEVER had a mini charge problem!!!   :D

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51 minutes ago, Nickel City Dude said:

The manual only has a max load.

 

Get a better manual.  The Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook has starting and max loads, with pressures.

 

Good luck, GJ

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1 hour ago, Nickel City Dude said:

The manual only has a max load.

Alliant loads show the maximum.  Starting loads are the maximum reduced by 10%.  For example, a 5.5 grain charge would, therefore, have a beginning charge of 4.95 grains.

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Alliant’s load for 44 WCF IN COWBOY LOADS which are already reduced loads is 5.9 grains . 90% of that = 5.3 grains. I’ve always read that 80% is max reduction so that = 4.7 grains. 3.5 grains = 59%! That just might be close to squib territory!

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4 hours ago, Nickel City Dude said:

The manual only has a max load.

Find another manual. ;)

OLG 

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5af2dd0a64774_shotgunprimerMay2018.jpg.b6edd27a16c760bbc6c904f13b475c97.jpg

 

Primed hulls fired off in old double with excess headspace. 

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10 hours ago, Nickel City Dude said:

I have been working up a load for my 44-40 Uberti revolvers.  I am using Alliant Promo (red Dot).  I started with 5.5 gr. and am down to 3.5 gr.  I like the load but I am having problems with the cylinder jamming and I think it is the primers not staying seated or maybe the brass is swelling up.  Some of them go in a little tight so I am going to reload some more and see if resizing them after loading will solve the problem.  Any thoughts on this?  They all work fine in my 1873 carbine.

Sounds like a primer problem, but you didn't say if you've verified that by examining the primer height in actual rounds that jambed.  Have you done that? The unseated primers should be fairly visible, and if rounds are set head down on a flat table they should not rock or tilt.  

 

If you can't verify popped primers, consider if it is a timing problem.  Does the gun cycle properly unloaded, without sticking? How about with other hotter loads? Does it always stop in the same cylinder position?  

Just a few "rule-outs" 

 

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Dude, what size bullet and what brand brass?  Uberti chambers can be tight, less noticeable in the rifle.  .429 bullets tend to need Winchester or Starline brass, most others too thick.  

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5 hours ago, Dusty Devil Dale said:

Sounds like a primer problem, but you didn't say if you've verified that by examining the primer height in actual rounds that jambed.  Have you done that? The unseated primers should be fairly visible, and if rounds are set head down on a flat table they should not rock or tilt.  

 

If you can't verify popped primers, consider if it is a timing problem.  Does the gun cycle properly unloaded, without sticking? How about with other hotter loads? Does it always stop in the same cylinder position?  

Just a few "rule-outs" 

 

It's just low powder.......not a primer issue. If you just put an empty case in with a live primer and fire it the gun will lock up every time.......like clockwork. If you don't have enough recoil to reseat the primer it will do the same thing. 

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I was using my experience in Bulls eye shooting with my 9mm.  I was able to come up with a nice easy target load for my 1911.  This is what I am trying to do with my 44-40 revolver.  I may have to bring my powder charge back up if I can’t get the revolver to stop jamming with these lighter loads.  I can see that if a primer backs out a little in a 1911 it is not as big a deal as with a revolver.

Once the weather gets better I am going to try the resized cartridges and also some hotter loads.  I will pay closer attention to the primers after they have been fired.  I will report back after I have tried this.

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Revolver works sort of like your 1911.

If you load your 1911 too light the slide will not operate to load the next round.

It equires enough recoil to do that job.

 

Revolver needs the primer pushed back in to the case to clear the recoil shield to rotate properly.

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3 hours ago, Cowboy Junky said:

It's just low powder.......not a primer issue. If you just put an empty case in with a live primer and fire it the gun will lock up every time.......like clockwork. If you don't have enough recoil to reseat the primer it will do the same thing. 

Agree, and that's the first thing I would try, at least to get by.  But I would also want to visually verify that those underfired primers are in fact popped out and making frame contact and are therefore the whole reason for the lock-up.  Lock-up can and does occur for other reasons, and there could be more than one cause, like excess cylinder end-play.  If there's an underlying fit or timing problem, lock-up is likely to reccur some inconvenient time, regardless of heavier loads.  I like to verify the cause of a problem, where possible, before taking curative steps that could just be superficial band aids. 

But that's just me.  I'm pretty O.C.

about gun performance.  Others are certainly free to do things differently. 

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42 minutes ago, Cliff Hanger #3720LR said:

Revolver works sort of like your 1911.

If you load your 1911 too light the slide will not operate to load the next round.

It equires enough recoil to do that job.

 

Revolver needs the primer pushed back in to the case to clear the recoil shield to rotate properly.

With the 1911 I was able to overcome that problem of the slide by changing the recoil spring to a lighter one.

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Question for Nickel City Dude.

 

Is your 44WCF ammo made sized, right sized bullets and crimped so they fall all the way into the chamber with no forcing?   And will fall out freely if tipped up? Basically so loose they rattle. 

 

If you have to push some into the chambers,  even if the gate closes and you can spin the cylinder,  you may not be good to go. My opinion is, upon firing,  those tight seating cartridges will back back out under recoil and thus drag on the recoil face.

 

The Uberti have a step in the recoil face on the left side by the hand slot.  I always make this step into a polished ramp.  

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7 minutes ago, Warden Callaway said:

Question for Nickel City Dude.

 

Is your 44WCF ammo made sized, right sized bullets and crimped so they fall all the way into the chamber with no forcing?   And will fall out freely if tipped up? Basically so loose they rattle. 

 

If you have to push some into the chambers,  even if the gate closes and you can spin the cylinder,  you may not be good to go. My opinion is, upon firing,  those tight seating cartridges will back back out under recoil and thus drag on the recoil face.

 

The Uberti have a step in the recoil face on the left side by the hand slot.  I always make this step into a polished ramp.  

 

Warden

I was wondering about that myself.  Since some of my cartridges need to be pushed in the last 1/8 inch, they may need too be resized after they have been made.  I resized a bunch of them and when I get some decent weather so I can get out to the range I will try them out along with some of the ones that have a heavier powder charge.  I will post once I have tried them.

NCD

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2 hours ago, Nickel City Dude said:

 

Warden

I was wondering about that myself.  Since some of my cartridges need to be pushed in the last 1/8 inch, they may need too be resized after they have been made.  I resized a bunch of them and when I get some decent weather so I can get out to the range I will try them out along with some of the ones that have a heavier powder charge.  I will post once I have tried them.

NCD

Is there an available go/no-go gauge available from anybody?  Somebody with a lathe could easily make one for you.  

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I have a chamber gauge, but sometimes I just get to lazy to use it.

12 minutes ago, Dusty Devil Dale said:

Is there an available go/no-go gauge available from anybody?  Somebody with a lathe could easily make one for you.  

 

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11 minutes ago, Dusty Devil Dale said:

Is there an available go/no-go gauge available from anybody?  Somebody with a lathe could easily make one for you.  


honestly you can just pull the cylinder out of the gun and use it , sounds like he is having to push some in right now 

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Why are you reducing loads anyway? Medical reasons or gaming? If you’re fighting recoil or getting over an injury use a lighter bullet or get guns in a smaller caliber.  A last resort would be to open up the primer holes for your mousephart loads. I’ve done that for rubber bullets that were primer powered, it’s also how wax bullets can be shot BUT, there’s always that but. If you load a full powered load in a modified case you can blow the primer. Stay safe. Shoot real loads. 

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Sawmill Mary has a pair of Smokewagons that have tight chambers and throats.  It wants 427 bullets but will take 428 if round flat and loaded just perfectly.  I took maybe 040 off the bottom of the sizing die to make sure shoulder of case was pushed down enough. Dillon 550b shell holder is thicker.   After loading,  I roll the cylinder out of one of her Smokewagons and makeing sure it's clean,  I drop loaded round in and out.  Those that stick,  I check for lead slivers or bad crimp, etc

 Then correct any that don't pass.

 

If they fit in her Smokewagons, they will work in anything else.  I tell her at the loading table to load her pistols first. If any went fall right in, don't use it.  Leave it for the Marlin instead. 

 

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Quote

some of my cartridges need to be pushed in the last 1/8 inch,

 

With .44-40, that is either the shoulder needing to be set down farther, or the neck is bulging when you crimp the bullet.   If ALL rounds were tight, I'd bet shoulder.    With some tight, it could be the neck bulging.   A stripe painted on the tight round with black marker, then chambered again, will usually tell you where the problem is.

 

I load my .44-40 rounds on a turret press, so don't have to worry that the shoulder is too high, and fixed the crimp bulging by crimping with a Redding Profile Crimp die (best thing I EVER bought for a .44-40 crimper!).

 

Good luck, GJ

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GJ

Does the Redding profile crimp die adjust the bottle neck and crimp the cartridge?  Presently I am using the Lee factory crimp die.

NCD

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I have to agree with Garrison Joe on the Redding crimp die for 44-40 I was also using the Lee fcd but but had issues with collapsing bullets when loading smokeless. Loading with a full case of Goex never a problem. The Redding die solved the problem for the smokeless.

 

 

Hochbauer

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Hochbauer

Does the Redding crimp die also profile the 44-40 bottle neck case if so do you know anyone that has one for sale?  I checked all my regular suppliers and no one has one in stock.

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