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Imr 4198 in thier 1873 44-40?
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March 12, 2023 - 6:37 pm
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Hi all. Just wondering if anyone has used this powder and what load they used for their original Winchester 1873 44-40? 

I have quite a bit of this powder and see on other forums people using it so just want to confirm if its doable.

Thanks !

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March 12, 2023 - 8:03 pm
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Typically this is rifle powder.  I have no info or idea where you would start???

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March 12, 2023 - 10:50 pm
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I know its a rifle powder but I see some guys using it in their old Marlins but the 73 can’t take the pressures that the Marlins do.

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March 13, 2023 - 6:26 pm
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Are the Marlins chambered in 44 WCF?  If so talk to them about the charge weight.  Loading this type of powder/caliber/gun almost requires that you buy a chronograph so you can start low and work up to a safe FPS.

Here is about the cheapest chrono that works with minimal set up.

https://magnetospeed.com/products-v3-ballistic-chronograph#

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March 15, 2023 - 11:24 pm
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Lyman’s 49th lists nineteen rifles chambered for the 44-40.

Group 1 (weak actions)

  • Winchester Model 1873
  • Whitney Kennedy lever action
  • Colt-Burgess lever action
  • Marlin Model 1888
  • Colt Lightning pump action
  • Replica Model 1873s (And I’d include replica Henry and 1866s in 44-40)
  • Remington No 2 Rolling Block Single Shot
  • Ballard No 2 Single Shot
  • Stevens Model 44 Single Shot

 

Group 2 (Strong Actions)

  • Winchester Model 1892 (& replicas)
  • Marlin Model 1889
  • Marlin Model 1894
  • Remington Keene Bolt Action
  • Remington Model 14 1/2 pump action
  • Winchester Single Shot rifles
  • Remington No 1 Rolling Block single shot
  • Remington “Baby Carbine” single shot
  • Stevens Model 44 1/2 single shot

Yes, the 44-40 is technically the UMC/Marlin’s version of Winchester’s 44 W.C.F.. There was a difference but only with loading components, cartridge dimensions were the same. The bullets were 217gr, and they used Hobb’s patent primers. Winchester used 200gr bullets and Winchester patent primers.

Lyman does not list IMR-4198 for the 44-40 rifle. IMR-4198 is slightly slower burning than Reloder 7.

I personally have used both H4198 and IMR-4198. I prefer to NOT use IMR-4198 for longer distance shots. The following load, IF PUBLISHED, would be considered a “High-Velocity” load.

grains..Powder………..Bullet……………………………..Velocity……….PSI……..est C.U.P…OAT…Target #………..notes

26 IMR4198 200 RNFP Laser Cast 1,512 15,145 17,902 39 233 7″ Groups @ 100 yrds, Fog

 

Vintage rifle data (Sharp’s 1937) shows 16,000cup as max and modern shows 13,000cup as max. 
HOWEVER, if you can find a published lighter load of 1,300fps, it would be fine in the 73′.

All of the factory, low-velocity and high-velocity 44-40 loads were safe for soft steel barrels. However, Winchester warned against using the high-velocity loads in the 73′ and revolvers.

photo ref. Townsend Whelen, 1918

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March 15, 2023 - 11:53 pm
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Oh and yes, the 44-40 is a rifle cartridge and in order to get the most out of it, it is best used with published “rifle” powders. Rifle powders is based on burn rate, etc, not the name on the powder container…hint hint! For use in revolvers, it is best loaded with published pistol powders or published faster burning rifle powders.

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March 16, 2023 - 12:57 am
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Bryan Austin said
Oh and yes, the 44-40 is a rifle cartridge and in order to get the most out of it, it is best used with published “rifle” powders. Rifle powders is based on burn rate, etc, not the name on the powder container…hint hint! For use in revolvers, it is best loaded with published pistol powders or published faster burning rifle powders.

  

Bryan – do you consider Trail Boss a rifle or pistol powder?

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March 16, 2023 - 2:15 am
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Trail Boss is a fast burning “fluffy” pistol powder that some misunderstand as a bulky rifle powder.

It is #23 on IMR’s burn rate chart, while Reloder 7 is #73, IMR-4227 is #65 and IMR-4198 is #75, while 2400 (you know, the scary magnum powder) is #54.

 

Red Dot is #7 and Bullseye is #13

 

Here is my tests with Trail Boss

NOTE: 9.3gr is a case capacity load using the formula for rifles most mis-understand, see link provided. Using such forumula pushed the pressure well above 13,000cup and the velocity is not even to original black powder and smokeless powder velocities of 1,300 fps to 1,325fps. Also notice I tested those loads at 38 degrees outside air temp.

test# grains powder bullet wt. bullet velocity psi cup AOT target# notes
12 6.4 Trailboss 200 LRNFP Acme Magma 1,034 7,224 8,539 38   IMR Website Max Load 12,000 CUP
19 9.3 Trailboss 200 LRNFP Acme Magma 1,250 13,909 16,441 38 https://imrpowder.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/trail-boss-reduced-loads-r_p.pdf
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March 16, 2023 - 3:16 am
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Bryan Austin said

Lyman’s 49th lists nineteen rifles chambered for the 44-40.

Same list (except for the replicas) Ken Waters published in 1974 Handloader. 

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