Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > >

Reloading All Reloading Topics Go Here


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11-25-2020, 10:24 PM
applefish applefish is offline
Member
Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA?  
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 28
Likes: 8
Liked 20 Times in 10 Posts
Default Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA?

Hi everyone I recently picked up a 1st model DA in .44 Russian. I've been browsing old threads on loading .44 Russian for these old top breaks and have seen some conflicting answers on certain things.


I'm thinking of reloading with black powder (I already muzzleload with black powder), but I had a few questions


1) Are hard cast bullets okay, or should I stick with cowboy cast bullets/what BNH is okay to shoot in these?

2) Does it make a difference in bullet weight (180 gr vs 200 gr vs 240 gr) in terms of how safe the pressure will be for these old antique guns?

3) Has anyone tried shooting 0.433" round balls sized down to 0.430"? I want to try that since 0.433" round balls in soft lead seem to be easier to come by than 0.429/0.430 soft cast bullets

4) When shooting black powder, what kind of lube do you guys use? Grease cookies/lubricated wads? Or just lube the bullet groove and seat on compressed FFFg?

5) Are "light" smokeless loads okay? How about factory light smokeless loads like those Black hills cowboy action rounds?


I know that's a lot of questions but I haven't found a clear answer searching through past threads. Thanks for all your help!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 11-26-2020, 10:34 AM
Books Books is offline
SWCA Member
Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA?  
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Kansas City, Mo
Posts: 107
Likes: 74
Liked 105 Times in 47 Posts
Default

I have shot my DA 44 in Western Action Matches using: 200 grain lead .429 bullets over 18 grains of 3F APP (a black powder sub). (Bullets were tumble lubed for resizing with no other lube per APP recommendations.)

Books
Attached Thumbnails
Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA?-texas-da-jpg  
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #3  
Old 11-26-2020, 01:02 PM
desi2358 desi2358 is offline
Member
Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA?  
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 710
Likes: 14,346
Liked 394 Times in 224 Posts
Default

I generally stick to softer lead for black powder cartridge arms and try to stick with bullet weights that duplicate the original loads. When using black powder I don't think you'll see much of a pressure difference by varying the bullet weight (within reason) but you may see a noticeable difference in point of impact.

As to lube I use a beeswax mix that I make and use for Minie's in my percussion muskets. There are suppliers who sell various formulas for black powder use such as SPG. Some of these also work well with smokeless loads. Many of the popular Alox based smokeless lubes have a reputation for not working very well with black powder, largely from the way they interact with the powder residue.

It is possible to produce low pressure smokeless loads for many of the old black powder era cartridges and I have done so from time to time. Sometimes ran into point of impact issues compared to black as well as larger group sizes (mainly in the larger capacity cases, may not be an issue in a 44 Russian). Over the years I've come to prefer using traditional black powder. Easy to load, simple soap and water cleanup and an enjoyable boom and cloud of smoke!
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #4  
Old 11-26-2020, 01:10 PM
BMur BMur is offline
Member
Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA?  
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,297
Likes: 548
Liked 1,762 Times in 743 Posts
Default Original loading data?

In keeping with the "Original loading data" provided by Smith & Wesson loading tools from 1876 until 1912? The suggested Lead/Tin mix is 16 to 1...Resulting in a BHN( Brinell Hardness Number) of 11. I do not advise increasing this hardness factor for original "BLACK POWDER" type rifling.

My typical load is 18-20 grains of GOEX behind either a 230 grain round nose, a 200 grain flat nose or a 180 grain lead wadcutter with a soft lubricant applied to the bullet before firing at the range. Bullet size depends on what my bore mic's at. I have some that mic at .429 and others at .431. I generally stay at .430 casting size and toss any that cast higher or lower back into the pot.
I've also used Swiss Black powder and it's much stronger than GOEX. I've never used smokeless and never will. I don't care what people suggest on this forum. I like the original black powder loads for my antique shooters. I'm sure the old Black powder vs Smokeless argument will start on this thread so I'm checking out before it does. Turns my stomach.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Murph

Last edited by BMur; 11-26-2020 at 01:14 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #5  
Old 11-26-2020, 08:40 PM
rct269 rct269 is offline
SWCA Member
Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA?  
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Pikeville, Tennessee
Posts: 3,910
Likes: 274
Liked 5,324 Times in 2,112 Posts
Default

-------and remember glowe's message about compressing the powder---------

("A black powder load with air space is the definition of a pipe bomb.")

Ralph Tremaine
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #6  
Old 11-26-2020, 09:15 PM
Oyeboteb Oyeboteb is offline
SWCA Member
Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA?  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,378
Likes: 1
Liked 591 Times in 291 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by applefish View Post
Hi everyone I recently picked up a 1st model DA in .44 Russian. I've been browsing old threads on loading .44 Russian for these old top breaks and have seen some conflicting answers on certain things.


I'm thinking of reloading with black powder (I already muzzleload with black powder), but I had a few questions
Stay with Swiss Powder or Olde Eynesford, 3F...they burn clean and have more power than 'Goex'.

Quote:
1) Are hard cast bullets okay, or should I stick with cowboy cast bullets/what BNH is okay to shoot in these?
Better to cast your own than to buy over-hard ones.

All the original Bullets were pure Lead and Swaged, and this is what the old Guns were made for. Cast is fine, just keep it Pure Lead or Pure Lead with a little bit of Tin, to fill out the mold better.

Quote:

2) Does it make a difference in bullet weight (180 gr vs 200 gr vs 240 gr) in terms of how safe the pressure will be for these old antique guns?
.44 Russian, Original Loading and standard Load, was and is, a 246 Grain Bullet.

Lighter Bullets are fine, just be sure no Air Gap in the Cartridge Case...and also, always have some decent compression of the Black Powder Charge...right Seating Die, and one can do this when seating the Bullet, with no meaningful deformation.

Quote:
3) Has anyone tried shooting 0.433" round balls sized down to 0.430"? I want to try that since 0.433" round balls in soft lead seem to be easier to come by than 0.429/0.430 soft cast bullets
That is what used to be called "Gallery Loads" and commercial Cartridges having a single Ball, or, Home Loads with a single Ball, were popular in the latter 1800s, early 1900s...so, "Yes" it is fun to do, and, usually, it is done with a light Powder Charge, and the Ball seats deeply in to the Case.

Measure your Cylinder Bores and Barrel's 'Groove-to-Groove' to find what diameter to elect for your Projectiles, and ideally, this will be a few thousandths over Groove to Groove.

Cases may need to be Fire-formed or expanded a little to have things right, lest the case itself squeeze the Projectile diameter down to be smaller.



Quote:

4) When shooting black powder, what kind of lube do you guys use? Grease cookies/lubricated wads? Or just lube the bullet groove and seat on compressed FFFg?
No aspect of all this is fraught with worse concoctions than "usual" Lube advice for Black Powder Revolver.

Wads are for Shot Guns.

A Thin Beeswax Disc ( or Beeswax impregnated Paper Towel disc ) between Powder and Projectile, and which is a little larger in diameter than the Case ID is, so it goes in tightly like a little shallow 'Cup' ( gets flattened out when the Bullet is seated, or, goes more Cup like if a Ball ) is the perfect Lube, and it eliminates all fouling and build up also.

Lube put in to the lube-grooves of Bullets has never been as efficient or as good as this is.

The Beeswax disc vaporizes and some of the initial Vapor goes around and past the Projectile as 'early' Gasses, providing the Lube for that shot, and the rest of it lubes things then also for the next round.

Gun stays cleaner than if using 'Unique', Hands stay clean, etc, no stench or dribbling goo of horrid Crisco or Hair Tonic mixed with Transmission Fluid, etc. Will not effect Powder if left sitting loaded for 100 years etc.

Quote:

5) Are "light" smokeless loads okay? How about factory light smokeless loads like those Black hills cowboy action rounds?
In theory "yes", in practice, it is only as good as who does the loading, and, even though I love to load Smokeless for Revolvers intended for it, I myself never do it for Black Powder era Revolvers, and I would not advise anyone else to do it.

For me anyway, .44 Russian is a Black Powder Cartridge, and designed to be that way, and it is at it's best and most fun that way.

Black Powder substitutes, bulky smokeless, other smokeless, etc, are not the same experience, and to me, they do not belong with these Guns...and also, people using them to load their own, do sometimes go wrong and damage the Guns.


Quote:
I know that's a lot of questions but I haven't found a clear answer searching through past threads. Thanks for all your help!
Original spec Loads of .44 Russian, you would think you are firing .45 colt, it is no slouch!

Last edited by Oyeboteb; 11-26-2020 at 09:20 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #7  
Old 11-26-2020, 09:17 PM
merl67 merl67 is offline
Member
Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA?  
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Northern Middle Tennessee
Posts: 2,143
Likes: 2,370
Liked 2,689 Times in 968 Posts
Default

Turner Kirkland in his Dixie Gunworks catalog had a section on reloading obsolete black powder cartridges using a round lead ball that could be hand pressed into the case. I would imagine for plinking it would work just fine.
__________________
Randy
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-26-2020, 09:31 PM
applefish applefish is offline
Member
Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA?  
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 28
Likes: 8
Liked 20 Times in 10 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMur View Post
In keeping with the "Original loading data" provided by Smith & Wesson loading tools from 1876 until 1912? The suggested Lead/Tin mix is 16 to 1...Resulting in a BHN( Brinell Hardness Number) of 11.
That is super helpful, I don't cast myself so I'll be sticking with "cowboy load" soft cast bullets. That's what I love about this forum, I hadn't been able to get a clear answer from my own research.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rct269 View Post
-------and remember glowe's message about compressing the powder---------

("A black powder load with air space is the definition of a pipe bomb.")

Ralph Tremaine
the muzzleloader guys at my range made that very clear when I got my first ML


Quote:
Originally Posted by merl67 View Post
Turner Kirkland in his Dixie Gunworks catalog had a section on reloading obsolete black powder cartridges using a round lead ball that could be hand pressed into the case. I would imagine for plinking it would work just fine.
I've heard people having good luck loading 32S&W Shorts and Longs with .315" or .320"round ball / #0 buckshot, and 38 specials with #000 (.360") buckshot. Shame there's no .433" buckshot equivalent for cheap soft lead plinking ammo!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-27-2020, 01:07 AM
BMur BMur is offline
Member
Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA?  
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,297
Likes: 548
Liked 1,762 Times in 743 Posts
Default 429 ball mold

Ideal/Lyman made a Single cavity .429 iron ball mold in 108grain. Or custom ordered Double and even 4 cavity gang molds in .429 ball. The old molds show up on Ebay now and again. If you can find one Smith and Wesson made a Peanut mold in 44 Russian that has a conical and ball mold. "Good luck"... There are always custom molds that can be made at a relatively cheap price if done in an aluminum mold for under $50 from various custom mold makers. So you actually have a lot of options.


Murph
Attached Thumbnails
Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA?-ba1c076b-32d7-4723-8836-c5dba5850045-jpeg  

Last edited by BMur; 11-27-2020 at 01:30 AM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #10  
Old 11-27-2020, 01:15 AM
Kinman's Avatar
Kinman Kinman is offline
Member
Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA?  
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Spokantucky
Posts: 2,961
Likes: 7,441
Liked 4,397 Times in 1,582 Posts
Default

Pre-cast lubed bullets are readily available from any number of sources. I find just about all of my black powder cartridge needs from Buffalo Arms in Ponderay, Id. (just north of Sandpoint).
I use vegetable wads of varying thickness in order to get the best possible amount of compression with nearly every cartridge I load whether that be .44 Russian, 44/40, 38/55, 45/70, 45/90.
Some powders perform better with more compression (1/4"), some less (-1/8") Regular Goex performs better with compression, Swiss not so much. I much prefer using Swiss in cartridges, I have substituted Goex Old Eynesford as it is Goex's answer to Swiss with the addition of graphite to coat each grain of powder. Nothing comes close to Swiss for consistency lot to lot, Goex is all over the place by comparison if your getting down to real accuracy. For pistol use the only reason I prefer to use Swiss is that it does not foul between shots to the degree that Goex does. You would have to be interested in shooting more than a couple of shots to really understand what I'm talking about but for example: I shoot my .44 D.A. in .44 Russian and even after about a couple dozen shots it starts to foul to the point where the cylinder binds slightly as I pull the hammer back to full cock, I simply unload and wipe the face of the cylinder as well as the area above the forcing cone and I'm back in business. On those early black powder era Smiths that small concave area above and slightly to the rear of the forcing cone is called the "fouling cup", even the 1917's have it. It was to provide a place for the fouling to gather without binding the cylinder, at least that makes sense to me...I welcome anyone to straighten me out.
If your going to go to the trouble of firing these old revolvers, use the best powder there is....Swiss, the Colonel would approve.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 11-27-2020, 12:29 PM
Driftwood Johnson Driftwood Johnson is offline
SWCA Member
Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA?  
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Posts: 789
Likes: 0
Liked 918 Times in 208 Posts
Default

Howdy

I have been loading Black Powder cartridges for probably about 20 years. 45 Colt, 45 Schofield, 44-40, 44 Russian, 38-40 and 45-70. 12 gauge shotgun too.

I shoot 44 Russian in a pair of New Model Number Threes, a pair of Double Action 44s, and a 2nd Model Russian. One of the NM3s is missing from this photo, and the Schofield in the upper left corner is a 45, not a 44.






When shooting Black Powder you need a bullet lube that is soft and gooey, to keep the fouling in the bore soft. That way, each succeeding bullet pushes most of the fouling in the bore out in front of it, leaving the bore relatively clean for the next bullet. If you use modern hard bullet lubes the fouling will form a hard crust in the bore which can fill up the rifling grooves, ruining accuracy, and it is difficult to remove when cleaning up after shooting.

Years ago I used to pan lube regular hard cast bullets with a 50/50 mixture of Crisco and Beeswax. Just one of many home made BP bullet lube recipes. I had no problem with the hardness of the lead, but pan lubing is a pain. Also, most modern bullets do not have a large enough lube groove to carry enough lube to keep the bore coated with lube, so I was adding a soft lube cookie between the bullet and the powder. Then I found the lube cookie was gluing itself to the base of the bullet, causing it to fly like a lopsided dart, and ruining accuracy. So I was dumping in my powder, adding a card wad over the powder to keep the cookie from adulterating the powder, adding the lube cookie, and adding another card wad over the lube cookie so it did not glue itself to the base of the bullet.

Way too much work.

Then I discovered Big Lube bullets. These bullets are designed with a huge lube groove to hold enough lube to keep a rifle bore lubed with soft lube its entire length. Plenty of lube for a revolver.

I was casting my own Big Lube bullets at the time. You can buy the molds from Dick Dastardly's big Lube website.

Welcome to BigLube.com

I was casting with pure lead for some of my bullets, I was adding tin, about 25 lead/1 tin to the lead to help fill out the molds. No idea what the Brinell hardness was.

I had to stop casting under doctor's orders because of too much lead in my blood, so for a number of years now I have been buying all my Big Lube bullets from Whyte Leather Works.

Big Lube

For both 44-40 and 44 Russian I use the 200 grain Mav-Dutchaman bullet. He just calls it Mav 44 200 grain.

I standardized on Schuetzen FFg a long time ago for all my Black Powder cartridge loading. Schuetzen uses a better grade of charcoal than Goex, and leaves a little bit less fouling behind, and both Schuetzen and Goex cost about the same.

You can go with Swiss, or Old E if you want, I don't see the sense in spending the money on Swiss for revolver loads. A friend and I usually buy 25 pounds together from Maine Powder House. We both only shoot Black Powder in Cowboy Action and 25 pounds will last us a year or two. I see Maine Powder House is actually charging a little bit less for Schuetzen than Goex.

mainepowderhouse.com |


A word about powders. They do not all weigh the same. Some weigh more than others. I made up this chart a long time ago to illustrate how much my various standard powder charges actually weigh across different brands and granulations. The chart compares the weight of different volumes of powder in Cubic Centimeters, which happens to be how Lee Dippers are labeled.






The point is, it can be misleading when somebody says XX.X grains of powder, because they do not all weigh the same. You will get a different amount of compression if the powder is lighter than if the powder is heavier.

Anyway, I discovered a long time ago that no matter what powder or granulation I was using, the best strategy was to add enough powder so that when the bullet was seated it would compress the powder between 1/16" - 1/8". That's all there is to it. The 1.3CC charge that equals about 19.5 grains of FFg Schuetzen is what I use in my Big Lube 44 Russian cartridges. It is not a bad idea to invest in a set of Lee dippers if you plan on doing much BP loading. Here is a hint on the proper way to dip BP: Pour about 1/2 pound into a ceramic cup and use the dipper like an ice cream scoop to scoop powder into the dipper. Lift it up vertically. Do not shake it or try to compress the over flow of powder. Use a piece of card stock to scrape the extra powder back into the cup. Use a consistent motion every time with your dipper to give you consistent loads.

If you want, once you have determined the correct amount of powder for your loads, you can always weigh it for reference.



Here are the components for my 44 Russian cartridges. Notice I have scraped all the lube out of the bullet on the right to show how big the lube groove is.





I buy 44 Russian brass from Starline, they almost always have it in stock. Notice you have to buy 500 or 1000 pieces from Starline.

44 Russian Brass - Large Pistol - Brass Cases


Midway USA usually carries 44 Russian brass in smaller lots. The cost per round is more, but you don't have to buy 500 pieces.

Reloading Brass |308 Brass | Brass Cases for Reloading



I actually load all my Black Powder rounds on a progressive press, and have lots of photos, but this should get you started.

P.S. Good luck measuring the groove diameter of a S&W revolver. They usually have five grooves, which makes it a bit of a guessing game trying to get a good measurement on a slug that has been run through the bore. It's easy with an even number of grooves, you just measure from high point to high point on the slug, which will represent measuring across the grooves. With an odd number of grooves you will be measuring from groove to land. The you have to add in the depth of a groove to get a proper measurement across the grooves. Easier said than done when trying to get an accurate measurement. For what it's worth, I buy all my Big Lube 44 caliber bullets sized to .428. This is a good compromise for the different groove diameters of a whole bunch of 44-40 rifles. 44 Mav-Dutchman bullets sized to .428 have been working fine in all my #3 Top Break S&W revolvers for some time now.

Last edited by Driftwood Johnson; 11-27-2020 at 12:37 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #12  
Old 11-27-2020, 12:56 PM
glowe's Avatar
glowe glowe is offline
US Veteran

Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA?  
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Michigan Western UP
Posts: 10,114
Likes: 1,431
Liked 7,971 Times in 3,530 Posts
Default

Once again I will state that it is the owners personal choice on whether to use BP or smokeless, but I can emphatically state that I shoot smokeless in BP guns that are lower pressure than original BP loads. Forget the pressure curve conspiracy theories and concentrate on lowering felt recoil by running 200 grain soft lead bullets at speeds under 700 fps and you can shoot all day, every day if you want without regards to over-pressuring your 44 Russian. You can clean the gun in a few minutes without worry about where the BP residue might be. It can be difficult to thoroughly clean a BP revolver without getting it wet, so moisture left in crevices and inner workings can become a problem over time. While thorough cleaning can be accomplished, it will become burdensome with frequent trips to the range.

These old revolvers are never going to win many Bullseye shoots, but are great fun to shoot with either powder. They are as accurate as any standard 38 M&P revolver, but I just cannot find any advantages shooting BP. Smokeless powder reloading can offer less pressure and far easier cleaning, yet give ample accuracy, so I cannot see any advantages of shooting BP other than the smoke is missing with smokeless.

I have shot lots of BP revolver loads, but now do it in reproduction S&Ws and Colt revolvers for effect, not any other reason. Also, I just drop these images below that show three early 44 Russian boxes and they are all smokeless. How many million rounds of these commercial 44 Russian loads were shot in the early 1900s is unknown, but no horror stories about doing so have ever surfaced. I also show a chrome plated 44 DA that I shot countless times with my reloads and, while it was certainly no safe queen, I sold it looking the same as the day I got it. It was a fun gun to shoot and rarely did it see BP.

I know what BP can do to firearms that were improperly cleaned, having bought and shot dozens of fine flintlock Pennsylvania contemporary guns. Have run across my share of rusted locks because previous owners rarely removed the lock to properly clean them with soap and water. Have also worked on rusted barrels, likely not because they did not clean them, but rather because they did not protect them after cleaning.

Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA?-44-da2-jpg
Attached Thumbnails
Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA?-44-da2-jpg   Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA?-p1010001-jpg  
__________________
Gary
SWCA 2515

Last edited by glowe; 11-27-2020 at 01:12 PM. Reason: enlarge image
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #13  
Old 11-27-2020, 01:51 PM
Driftwood Johnson Driftwood Johnson is offline
SWCA Member
Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA?  
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Posts: 789
Likes: 0
Liked 918 Times in 208 Posts
Default

Once again, I will state that I do not have pressure measuring equipment, so I do not feel comfortable developing loads that will have lower pressure than Black Powder loads and be safe to shoot in my antique S&W Top Break revolvers.

And cleaning up after shooting Black Powder does not have to be the huge chore so many think it is. I have posted before about my method of cleaning up after shooting Black Powder. It takes about 10 minutes to clean a revolver that has been fired with Black Powder, I leave no water behind, and water based Black Powder solvents are not as nasty and foul smelling as Smokeless powder cleaning solvents.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 11-27-2020, 02:41 PM
glowe's Avatar
glowe glowe is offline
US Veteran

Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA?  
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Michigan Western UP
Posts: 10,114
Likes: 1,431
Liked 7,971 Times in 3,530 Posts
Default

For people experienced in shooting handguns, felt recoil is certainly a gauge of the pressure generated by shooting any caliber ammunition. It is real and not difficult to judge. A case full of 3F and pushing a 246 grain LRN produces significantly more recoil than a 650 fps 200 grain LRN with smokeless. I can also state that Trail Boss loaded right up to the base of the bullet will produce less recoil than full load of BP.

If one does some research online, it is generally found that original 44 Russian rounds produced 12,000 psi pressure. Looking at 200 grain loads on Hodgdons, it is easy to produce a 650 fps load with Trail Boss with pressures of 7900 psi which is a 40% drop in chamber pressure. There is no way that that load puts anywhere near the pressure or stress that BP produces.
__________________
Gary
SWCA 2515
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #15  
Old 11-27-2020, 06:12 PM
Warren Sear's Avatar
Warren Sear Warren Sear is offline
Member
Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA?  
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Twin Cites, Minnesota
Posts: 4,722
Likes: 10,008
Liked 9,839 Times in 2,964 Posts
Default

My grandfather somehow brought his Model 1883 Reichsrevolver and original German cross-draw holster with him when he emigrated to the United States before the war. He eventually gave it to my dad. My mother gave it to me after my dad died.

The gun has a significant intrinsic value, but an enormous sentimental value to me. I would not want any damage to come to this gun. This gun is chambered in 10.6 mm German Ordnance/10.55 mm German cartridge, which is interchangeable with the .44 Russian. I have shot this gun hundreds and hundreds of times, and never once fired a black powder cartridge in it, but only my own hand loads using smokeless powder and my home cast bullets of 153 grain wad cutter or a 205 grain flat point bullet designed for the .44 WCF. I use whatever lead alloy which happens to be handy, and am not in the least concerned that the bullets might be too hard.

I use a very light charge of Bullseye powder, or more recently, Trail Boss. Both powders have provided excellent results. I load my ammo for velocities of 550 to 700 fps.

I do not use Black Powder because I do not want to deal with the lengthy complete disassembly and soap and water cleanup. I have Black Powder muzzle loading guns which require this, and it takes a lot of time, and definitely puts more wear on the gun than shooting does.

There is a mountain of misinformation and superstition out there about using smokeless powder in old Black Powder guns. I researched it thoroughly before I started loading for it, starting about 25 years ago. The bottom line is that pressure is pressure, regardless of the type of propellant used. As long as the pressure does not exceed the original specs (and my loads are well below that) the load is safe to use.
Attached Thumbnails
Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA?-100_6868-jpg   Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA?-100_6869-jpg   Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA?-100_6870-jpg   Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA?-100_6871-jpg   Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA?-100_6872-jpg  


Last edited by Warren Sear; 11-27-2020 at 06:24 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #16  
Old 11-27-2020, 06:12 PM
Warren Sear's Avatar
Warren Sear Warren Sear is offline
Member
Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA?  
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Twin Cites, Minnesota
Posts: 4,722
Likes: 10,008
Liked 9,839 Times in 2,964 Posts
Default

More pictures...
Attached Thumbnails
Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA?-100_6874-jpg   Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA?-100_2621-jpg   Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA?-100_3015-jpg  

Last edited by Warren Sear; 11-27-2020 at 06:14 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #17  
Old 11-27-2020, 09:15 PM
Exmilcop's Avatar
Exmilcop Exmilcop is offline
Member
Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA? Loading 44 Russian for 1st model DA?  
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 86
Likes: 81
Liked 156 Times in 36 Posts
Default

I've been gathering information on reloading for exactly the same pistol. Both this thread and the other ones have given me a lot of wonderful information that, to be honest, I'm still sifting through. Though I appreciate the intent of the purists who prefer black powder, I'm personally leaning toward smokeless. My intent is to have a pistol that I can load down for plinking and fun, but load hot enough to do lethal damage to predators, either urban or rural. Thus far, I'm leaning toward Jet Bullets soft cast 240 gr. HP for the projectiles. I bought a Lee die set for the .44 Russian and they're loading data give HP38 (4.0-4.8) as producing the highest FPS (842 @ 4.8gr.) and Trail Boss as the lowest, the others being Universal, Titegroup, & Clays. In all the input you guys have so generously shared, I haven't yet seen HP38 mentioned. Have any of you used that propellant?
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hand Loading for 44 Russian sw44russ Reloading 12 08-26-2016 10:15 AM
Loading .45 LC in a model 25 1sailor Reloading 19 06-18-2014 08:09 AM
* SPF *.44 Double Action Frontier (1891) || FS: Model 3 Russian Second Model (1875) John M GUNS - For Sale or Trade 8 07-26-2013 05:59 PM
LOOKING For a Stock for a S&W Russian model 44 Russian Revolver dinguss S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 9 12-28-2007 01:23 PM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:06 AM.


Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO v2.0.42 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2021 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)