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Range Report for 106 year-old Winchester 1892 Carbine 44 W.C.F. (photos)
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December 23, 2019 - 9:33 pm
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A month or so ago I received in the mail an original Winchester Model 1892 Saddle Ring Carbine 44-40 from northern British Columbia. The photos showed a carbine that had been up the creek and over the river …. a lot. It was probably a trapper’s rifle, judging from all the history silently spoken in its appearance. It was made in 1913. I figured the bore would look like a corroded sewer pipe, nevertheless I liked the look of the old 44-40; it had never been refinished or messed with. Imagine my shock when it arrived and I cleaned the bore only to discover that it had sharp rifling the entire length of the barrel, with only very slight pitting just forward of the chamber. To help out my 65 year-old eyes, I mounted an original Marbles tang peep sight. Today I finally got to try it out at 100 yards. Photos of my vintage carbine and target are below.

Load: 20 grains of 5744 under a 207 grain Accurate 431200B cast bullet sized to .429″. Velocity is about 1,310 fps.

Results at 100 yards: Resting my carbine on my shooting bag, I got a 5-shot group at 100 yards of 2 & 3/8″ with Winchester brass. I shot a total of 3 groups, two 5-shot groups and one 3-shot group. Measuring the 13 bullet holes on the paper backing, I got a 13-shot group at 100 yards of 2 & 5/8″. For you fellows with modern scoped rifles, this is nothing special at all. But for a 106 year-old 44-40 carbine shooting soft cast bullets, this is outstanding!

The old saddle ring carbine is definitely a keeper. I love it’s history and it’s accuracy.

Carbine-44-40.jpgImage EnlargerCarbine-100-Target.jpgImage Enlarger

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December 23, 2019 - 9:49 pm
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Kirk-

Good shooting! Good job on the load, too. Tom makes an excellent mould, I like the profile of that one. Anything special for lube? 

 

Mike

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December 23, 2019 - 10:01 pm
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Mike, I use SPG for all my cast bullets.

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December 24, 2019 - 2:10 am
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Funny how many people don’t think to use SPG on smokeless loads, one sizer stays full of it. I keep the other sizer full of BAC for rifle loads and such.

 

Mike

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December 24, 2019 - 4:06 am
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I even use SPG for my 30-30 loads and it seems to work just fine with no leading …. and those bullets are coming out between 2,000 fps and 2,100 fps.

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December 24, 2019 - 11:58 am
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Kirk Durston said
I even use SPG for my 30-30 loads and it seems to work just fine with no leading …. and those bullets are coming out between 2,000 fps and 2,100 fps.  

Just curious, but are those 30-30 bullets have a gas check installed?

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December 24, 2019 - 6:44 pm
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Great shooting.  I love it when I can put all shots in the black and close together like this gun did. 

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December 24, 2019 - 6:55 pm
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Chuck said
Great shooting.  I love it when I can put all shots in the black and close together like this gun did.   

That’s another thing that some folks aren’t aware of; these old Winchesters shoot! Almost every old Winchester that I’ve taken the time to develop loads for, even those with less than perfect bores, have been remarkably good shooters. They’d shoot even better if it wasn’t for the loose nut behind the butt.Wink

 

Mike

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December 24, 2019 - 7:41 pm
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TXGunNut said

That’s another thing that some folks aren’t aware of; these old Winchesters shoot! Almost every old Winchester that I’ve taken the time to develop loads for, even those with less than perfect bores, have been remarkably good shooters. They’d shoot even better if it wasn’t for the loose nut behind the butt.Wink

 

Mike  

Hey, I resemble that remark.  If it has rifling it will shoot.  Then it is up to the nut to make it hit where he wants it.

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December 24, 2019 - 8:05 pm
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TXGunNut said

That’s another thing that some folks aren’t aware of; these old Winchesters shoot! Almost every old Winchester that I’ve taken the time to develop loads for, even those with less than perfect bores, have been remarkably good shooters. They’d shoot even better if it wasn’t for the loose nut behind the butt.Wink

 

Mike  

I don’t know about this. When I was a kid hunting in the clear cuts of Western Washington, and those deer were bounding across the landscape, I could lever those rounds off like The Rifleman without knocking a hair off them. As I got older, the accuracy of my Winchesters improved greatly.

Shoot low boys. They're riding Shetland Ponies.

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January 4, 2020 - 3:31 am
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Davetm said

Just curious, but are those 30-30 bullets have a gas check installed?  

Yes. Gas check plus pure wheel weights, water cooled (making them quite hard), then SPG.

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January 13, 2020 - 11:03 pm
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Kirk Durston said
A month or so ago I received in the mail an original Winchester Model 1892 Saddle Ring Carbine 44-40 from northern British Columbia. The photos showed a carbine that had been up the creek and over the river …. a lot. It was probably a trapper’s rifle, judging from all the history silently spoken in its appearance. It was made in 1913. I figured the bore would look like a corroded sewer pipe, nevertheless I liked the look of the old 44-40; it had never been refinished or messed with. Imagine my shock when it arrived and I cleaned the bore only to discover that it had sharp rifling the entire length of the barrel, with only very slight pitting just forward of the chamber. To help out my 65 year-old eyes, I mounted an original Marbles tang peep sight. Today I finally got to try it out at 100 yards. Photos of my vintage carbine and target are below.

Load: 20 grains of 5744 under a 207 grain Accurate 431200B cast bullet sized to .429″. Velocity is about 1,310 fps.

Results at 100 yards: Resting my carbine on my shooting bag, I got a 5-shot group at 100 yards of 2 & 3/8″ with Winchester brass. I shot a total of 3 groups, two 5-shot groups and one 3-shot group. Measuring the 13 bullet holes on the paper backing, I got a 13-shot group at 100 yards of 2 & 5/8″. For you fellows with modern scoped rifles, this is nothing special at all. But for a 106 year-old 44-40 carbine shooting soft cast bullets, this is outstanding!

The old saddle ring carbine is definitely a keeper. I love it’s history and it’s accuracy.

Carbine-44-40.jpgImage EnlargerCarbine-100-Target.jpgImage Enlarger  

100% Outstanding!!!!!

There are nine powders listed in burn rate between IMR-4227 and Reloder 7. I have already tried IMR and H-4198 with okay results. Have yet to run across H-4227. 5744 was one I wanted to try but never really pursued it. I may have to try and locate some.

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February 15, 2020 - 4:18 pm
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SavvyJack said

100% Outstanding!!!!!
There are nine powders listed in burn rate between IMR-4227 and Reloder 7. I have already tried IMR and H-4198 with okay results. Have yet to run across H-4227. 5744 was one I wanted to try but never really pursued it. I may have to try and locate some.  

I find 4198 just a little too slow (i.e., pressure spike is too low to bump up the soft cast lead bullet to seal the bore). If you don’t have access to 5744, IMR SR4759 gives almost the same ballistics for the same load, and maybe a slightly higher peak pressure. Either 5744 or 4759 will be a good powder to use with 44-40 and 38-40, from my experience with a variety of original Winchesters in those calibers.

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Kirk Durston said

SavvyJack said

100% Outstanding!!!!!
There are nine powders listed in burn rate between IMR-4227 and Reloder 7. I have already tried IMR and H-4198 with okay results. Have yet to run across H-4227. 5744 was one I wanted to try but never really pursued it. I may have to try and locate some.  

I find 4198 just a little too slow (i.e., pressure spike is too low to bump up the soft cast lead bullet to seal the bore). If you don’t have access to 5744, IMR SR4759 gives almost the same ballistics for the same load, and maybe a slightly higher peak pressure. Either 5744 or 4759 will be a good powder to use with 44-40 and 38-40, from my experience with a variety of original Winchesters in those calibers.  

During my testing, H4198 gave me near or at original smokeless powder ballistics of 1,300fps. Using both 200gr bullets, the XTP and Magma, the results were repectfully…1,247fps @ 11,641psi and 1,380fps @ 11,707psi. However accuracy desired was not achieved. 6″ to 7″ groups at 100 yards. One load of 27.5gr with a 200gr Magma resulted in 1,380fps @ 13,387psi of which accuracy was not tested, only pressures with no target.

One load of IMR-4198 was tested. 26gr with a 200gr Magma resulted in 1,512fps @ 15,145psi aslo 7″ groups at 100 yards. Further testing of those two powders was halted due to accuracy issues at those velocities and resulting pressures higher than desired for such velocities. With Reloader 7, I was getting 2,000 to 3,000psi less pressures for those velocities….even with a certain load of 2400.

As far as bullet diameter, it works fine with correct diameter bullets. For a .427 barrel, use .428 bullets…problem solved. Most of my tests used .429 to .430 bullets in a .429 bore. I had no issues with .427 type lead bullets and accuracy using normal pressures in the .429 bore.

Ironically in some cases, the smaller diameter bullets were more accurate and faster with less pressures than standard bore/bullet differences.

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September 30, 2021 - 11:50 am
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Hi Bryan, what do you use to measure pressures for your hand loads?

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September 30, 2021 - 12:34 pm
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[email protected] said
Hi Bryan, what do you use to measure pressures for your hand loads?  

I used the Pressuretrace II strain gauge equipment and software form RSI

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

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Bryan Austin said

I used the Pressuretrace II strain gauge equipment and software form RSI
https://sites.google.com/view/44winchester/chasing-the-44-40/handloading/pressure-testing  

How do you attach the strain gauge?  Some leave marks where they are attached.  Is there an adhesive that will hold during testing and then release when done?

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September 30, 2021 - 7:57 pm
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Chuck said

Bryan Austin said

I used the Pressuretrace II strain gauge equipment and software form RSI
https://sites.google.com/view/44winchester/chasing-the-44-40/handloading/pressure-testing  

How do you attach the strain gauge?  Some leave marks where they are attached.  Is there an adhesive that will hold during testing and then release when done?  

There is a special glue from the RSI. When I get home I may have some detailed photos.

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October 1, 2021 - 12:54 am
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Great post Kirk. Enjoyed reading it. Keeper for sure.

RickC

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Chuck said

Bryan Austin said

I used the Pressuretrace II strain gauge equipment and software form RSI
https://sites.google.com/view/44winchester/chasing-the-44-40/handloading/pressure-testing  

How do you attach the strain gauge?  Some leave marks where they are attached.  Is there an adhesive that will hold during testing and then release when done?  

Thats all I could find, I will dig deeper

50625366_1096334217213827_8650990902187130880_n-1-1.jpgImage Enlargerpressuretest-1.pngImage Enlarger49742792_1091100384403877_4393857187118579712_n.jpgImage Enlarger50020358_1092340760946506_1535875670779887616_n.jpgImage Enlarger

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