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44-40 Pressure Test Results Videos


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Over the past few years I conducted 83 ten shot tests using the PressureTrace II system. Recently I decided to try and open up a comparison chart using overlays in the Gimp editing software and make some videos out of them..

It is not the best but I think it is certainly good enough for discussions.

It took me a while to satisfy myself as to the accuracy, but with the discovery of a few missing links, in general, everything is 100% consistent with reloading manuals and factory ammunition.

Rather than do one video at a time, once or so a week, I decided to dump a few all at one time. Check the website link below for updates.

44-40 Pressure Test Videos Web Page Link

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Ed Harris' 230gr 43-230G has been added to the new Reloder 7 230gr/240gr video...probably the best performing  of the group.

I personally used a Hornady SWC HP for hunting but never tested it.

https://sites.google.com/view/44winchester/chasing-the-44-40/handloading-introduction/pressure-testing/pressure-trace-videos

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1 hour ago, Savvy Jack said:

All eight videos have been posted

 

All of em good, so far.  Just need to watch the last two.

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1 hour ago, Sundog said:

 

All of em good, so far.  Just need to watch the last two.

Thanks for the kinds words. If I could have done them without having to talk, I would have!!!  LOL!!!

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  • 1 month later...
Posted (edited)

The 44-40 Google Docs "Pressure" Page has been updated to reflect the 3 new tests 1A, 2A&2B (re-tests for "control"), and test 90. I also updated a few other items by including the 1917 WRA data and highlighting Lyman's max loads that were previously tested. I will update other items as well as dates etc. the week of the 20th.

44-40 Chamber Pressure Test Results Update

 


 

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Edited by Savvy Jack
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1 hour ago, Sedalia Dave said:

Thanks SJ those are very informative.

 

Any chance you coul do a pressure curve comparison between Trailboss and real BP?

 

Why yes, yes I did :-)

Check Here

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Sedalia Dave said:

 

I can see the page and the text but it says I don't have permission to view the data

 

I need to get this fixed. If I supply the link, you should be able to see it. Any chance you can snap a screen shot?

Edited by Savvy Jack
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10 minutes ago, Savvy Jack said:

 

I need to get this fixed. If I supply the link, you should be able to see it. Any chance you can snap a screen shot?

 

image.thumb.png.3f24ebd9295bdfefc620f148a5732891.png

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

There is just too much information for me to repost it all here, especially since there is only a link for photographs.

For those that are somewhat following the progress, I have updated the Pressure Testing page of the 44-40 website with a large selection of test result charts to compare.

The test results prove that early smokeless powders used by Winchester produced less pressures than original black powder loads. They also prove that the 44-40 ballistics was greatly reduced by the 1970's. 

Black powders of today create less pressure than those of the originals and sends the wrong message about pressure comparisons for modern smokeless loads.

I have created a 44-40 Pressure Time Line for those interested.

I have also updated the 44-40 google docs pages with the Recent Pressure Test Results, also for those interested in understanding the myths of this cartridge's performance of yesteryear vs today.

If you visit the google docs page, make sure you look at all of the data by select all of the tabs at the bottom of the chart window.

 

Edited by Savvy Jack
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Jack,

What pressure test equipment did you use with the strain gages? I did similar tests using a Oehler M43 Personal Ballistics Lab, using a 7-1/2" barreled Ruger Black Hawk in .45 LC, plus a heavy barreled .45-70 Winchester M1886, and another '86 in .33WCF. all with smokeless powder. I was particularly interested in the pressure-time curves, looking for ignition delays that could lead to premature shot start in .45LC, possibly causing high pressure if the bullet stopped in the forcing cone of a revolver.  I would loved to have gotten curves for .44-40 in my Ruger OM Vaqueros that have .425" throats, with which I get very good accuracy using .430" hard cast (BHN 17-22), with 8.0 gr of Hodgdon's Universay behind a commercial 213.5 gr. bullet.  Unfortunately, the range where I had access to 110v AC for the M43 shut down, and the batteries I had at the time wouldn't last long enough to get enough data.  And then came the COVID (which I didn't get, but which lead to the unavailability of the range.  Also, cementing the strain gage to the cylinder required messing up the bluing, as well as removing (temporarily at least) parts so I could rotate the cylinder backwards to place the round with the gage under the hammer. Maybe someday...

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42 minutes ago, Trailrider #896 said:

Jack,

What pressure test equipment did you use with the strain gages? I did similar tests using a Oehler M43 Personal Ballistics Lab, using a 7-1/2" barreled Ruger Black Hawk in .45 LC, plus a heavy barreled .45-70 Winchester M1886, and another '86 in .33WCF. all with smokeless powder. I was particularly interested in the pressure-time curves, looking for ignition delays that could lead to premature shot start in .45LC, possibly causing high pressure if the bullet stopped in the forcing cone of a revolver.  I would loved to have gotten curves for .44-40 in my Ruger OM Vaqueros that have .425" throats, with which I get very good accuracy using .430" hard cast (BHN 17-22), with 8.0 gr of Hodgdon's Universay behind a commercial 213.5 gr. bullet.  Unfortunately, the range where I had access to 110v AC for the M43 shut down, and the batteries I had at the time wouldn't last long enough to get enough data.  And then came the COVID (which I didn't get, but which lead to the unavailability of the range.  Also, cementing the strain gage to the cylinder required messing up the bluing, as well as removing (temporarily at least) parts so I could rotate the cylinder backwards to place the round with the gage under the hammer. Maybe someday...


Trailrider.
What I am using is the Pressuretrace II from RSI here: https://www.shootingsoftware.com/pressure.htm

I am using it on a 1 1/4" diameter barrel from MGM, of which I made my own platform. Then the platform is mounted on a Hyskore rifle rest.

The slow ignition can be from a few things to include bad primers or even a weak firing pin. I feel most of my ignition problems are due to my firing pin design. I dont think it is weak but it is a bit big and I don't always get it lined up properly when I tighten down the barrel in the clamps. A bit of a pain....

 

pressurebarrel.jpg

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Posted (edited)

The bad news is that I was not precise with my aim while performing the tests. The good news is that, even so....look what we got with 100 year old powder, .4255" JSP bullets in a 20" barrel, .429" bore with a 1:20" twist @ 50 yards

3.4", 10 shot group

 

288992571_752318039137325_961418004955200697_n.jpg

Edited by Savvy Jack
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A while back I acquired two boxes of these 44-40 cartridges. Both boxes were in the same group, both dated 1914 but I doubt they were from the same batch. I wanted to try and get a pressure reading as to compare such early smokeless pressures with black powder pressures of the day.

239321395_1870250503155524_4254142587512841653_n

The cartridges in these two boxes contain Lead bullets (and advertised as such on the label), rather than the soft point bullets that were also offered (first offered in 1895). These cartridges also contained 15gr of Dupont No. 2 “Bulk” smokeless rifle powder that was claimed to produce less pressures then black powder. Winchester used this powder in the 44-40 from it’s first offering in 1895 (with soft point bullets) and was used until the powder was replaced by Sharpshooter smokeless powder in 1926 (31 years). Although it has been said that Winchester used 17gr of this powder, the dissected cartridges only contained 15gr. Winchester advertised this offering at 1,300fps.
dupontNo2

This is a copy of the Dupont Powder Can "Wrapper", but found in Ideal's (1906?) Handbook No. 17.
Details here: 
Powder Can Wrapper

 

811194720_1906IdealHandbookNo_17.thumb.jpg.c325b1c29868542e26bfeeb1621bb555.jpg

 

The below is the same as the above, but clipped from the Dupont No. 1 powder can wrapper sheet.
Dupont1Sheetcrop.jpg.ab98f7befe0c671666a9f7add7a7eac5.jpg

I decided to test ten cartridges for chamber pressures using RSI’s Pressuretrace II strain gage testing hardware and software. I used a standard production 44-40 barrel from MGM barrels. This barrel remained at 1 1/4" diameter and 20" long. It has a .429 bore with a 1:20 twist. I made a platform and clamped the barrel to it, as well as manufactured a blast plate. The firing pin is also custom made and fires through a 1/4" plate that slides between the breech and blast plate. The gap is adjusted to be about the same as a revolver, or just enough to be able to remove the firing pin plate after each round is fired. The platform was then mounted to a Hyskore rifle recoil rest and a scope also added to aid in accurate test shots, although it took a bit between each shot to aim the scope.

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I dissected 13 cartridges in order to be able to fill ten of them with 17gr. I wanted to test the max rather than a reduced load. It is safer to estimate a reduced load rather than a max load. I did not resize the cases which could have led to the slower than expected velocities. I removed and replaced the lead bullets, which I think were .426", with .4255" Win soft points. I replaced the 1W primers with modern primers. The canular remained in the case and the bullets crimped with the Redding 44-40 Profile die. A very nice snug tight crimp.

To avoid the heat, but test in hot weather, I shot these loads in early 7am in S.C. @ 74 degrees at 81% humidity with an altimeter setting of 30.17…pretty warm for 74 degrees.

The results were promising, If the velocities should be increased to 1,300fps, then the pressures too will increase to near 13,000cup.
1,282fps @ 12,045cup/10,190psi
Not bad for 100 year old powder

As compared to early black powder tests results below, which proves the early Dupont No. 2 loads produced lower pressures.
1,373fps @ 16,550cup/14,000psi

1930's Western headstamped case

280505593_1316469565527997_1464678342756552099_n.thumb.jpg.c0e6ef5dee75a2203bcddba35c5f82cf.jpg


Eventually as the balloon pockets resided, so did the pressures when used with black powder loads...see details here: Details

Considering Winchester advertised their loads at 1,300fps, we can only speculate as to why, since they were only loaded with 15gr., and 16gr achieved a lower velocity. If the velocity has to be higher, then the pressures would also have to be higher. This was also accomplished using .4255" JSP bullets in a .429" bore with the MGM barrel.
This (aside from not taking precise aim), also produced a 3.4" 10 shot group @ 50 yards

288992571_752318039137325_961418004955200697_n

I also did the same thing with some Sharpshooter loads to replicate 1926 thru 1950 15gr cartridges as well as 1903 to 1942 19.6gr 44 WHV cartridges with great results.

15gr 44 WCF Sharpshooter - 1,300fps advertised, 1,222fps achieved @ 10,846cup/9,176psi
19.6gr 44 WHV Sharpshooter - 1,564fps advertised, 1,568 achieved @ 18,450cup/15,583psi


Data from the WRA Cartridge Engineering Office dated Feb 14, 1917 shows the following
44 Winchester 73 loads - 13,000cup service pressures
44 WHV 92 loads - 18,000cup service pressures


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This also indicated that some of Lyman’s “Group II” 44-40 loads exceed Winchester’s 44 WHV load max service pressures.
All of this information, as well as the pressure curve charts can be found here:
44-40 Pressure Testing

Once again, putting bad 44-40 Myths to rest, one at a time.

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Posted (edited)

Simply reposted from the website here That Evil 44-40 Website Link, I decided to repost some here.

Lets take a look at pressures and pressure curves from the early black powder loads and early smokeless powder loads. All black powder loads loaded 40gr by WEIGHT and compressed as needed to seat the bullet. Typically between .17" and .21" pending cartridge case used for a particular test.

You can reference the test number for details on the loads here:  44-40 Pressure Tests Details

 


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Test 92 shows the position sensitive IMR-4227

Shots 1, 2 and 3 are shot normal. Shot 5, the powder positioned to the back and shot 6, the powder positioned to the front.

The delayed ignition in all tests are more than likely an issue with my firing pin set-up.

767870661_Test92small.jpg.5e6cc601feb9da52289bd1adbab152e3.jpg

 

Edited by Savvy Jack
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Posted (edited)

I took the best shot, from each recent thirteen 10 shot groups, that best represents the average pressure of that group and made a gif. The only "pressure spikes" observed with any of the 96 total tests over-all were the high power loads of fast burning pistol powders. There were no "pressure spikes" for any normal loads regardless of using pistol powders or rifle powder. Early black powder loads had the same pressure curves as several of the pistol powder loads used.

There are slower burning loads which have a shallow initial burn which the pressures drop by 1 millisecond. The loads that dropped pressure faster were typically the fast burning pistol powders near the Bullseye/Titewad/Red Dot/Clays/700X/Titegroup/WST/Trail Boss powder burn rates that drop down faster, giving the "pressure spike" appearance. Even then, the peak pressures from those particular charges exceed or would exceed 13,000cup/11,000psi MAP set for Winchester 73' and revolver use, only to be used in the Model 92' or Marlin type actions

All 96 tests results can be seen here

Some Pressure Test Curve Charts can be seen here

 

 

Smokeless Powder Pressure Curves Chart, "Pressure Spikes"?

Smokeless Powder Curves.png

 

 

Smokeless Powder Pressure Curve .gif

Smokeless Powder Curves1.gif

 

 

Black Powder Pressure Curve Chart, "Pressure Spikes"?

Black Powder Curves.png

 

 

Black Powder Pressure Curve .gif

Black Powder gif.gif

Edited by Savvy Jack
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