44-40 Rifle Chamber Casting

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  • Last Post 08 September 2020
Bryan Austin posted this 07 September 2020

Thought I would try this again.

The purpose for this post is not to discuss the chamber casting itself although I am always open to improvements. However, this example was "cast" using a Marlin 1894CB barrel cut to only 4". Lead poured into the case then additional lead inserted and hammered into the case mouth/neck and rifling...expanding the case to it's maximum diameters.

This post is to discuss the differences between some early manufactured and modern manufactured 44-40 rifle chambers. Although this is not a side-by-side examination of two actual castings, this should certainly shed some light on the differences....namely the AOL and Diameters from the case neck to the barrel rifling.

If someone would like a measurement from a location not noted, just let me know.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 08 September 2020

thank you ... i belong to a dozen gunsmithing, reloading,  and other " serious " shooter groups .. where they argue discuss endlessly the exact dimension of guns ... after they consult the manufacturers' specifications ...  

and then give ironclad recommendations for bullet size and over-all-length of seating and trim length ... ...  

but almost never actually measure anything in their specific gun  ...

it seems to me that if you have a rifle you want to load for and shoot well in the coming years it would be worth an hour to do a chamber-throat image ...

*************

.... those numbers on your 44-40  are very interesting ... i wish i had chamber numbers from the old 44-40 peacemaker and 1873 winchester i shot many years ago ...  i remember neither shot that well, i just figured they were  "shot out " ...  hmmmm ..

ken

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Bryan Austin posted this 08 September 2020

Actually Ken, I wonder how many didn't shoot straight because that special load was just not ever found. I have shot so many different loads in each rifle that the results were astounding. Anywhere from not even "on paper" to both getting 4" groups at 100 yards.

 

In particular the cartridge on the left is from my Marlin 1888 made in 1891 and as can be seen, the bullet touches the lands when chambered. I was just talking to a fellow 88' shooter last week and he was explaining to me that he was getting 1,500fps velocities from loads that should only produce 1,300fps. It would appear that he was having the same issues with the driving band touching the lands. Probably causing higher pressures which resulted in higher velocities. Since this is a Model 88', wasn't really concerned about higher pressures as it is a strong action rifle. What I failed to ask him is how his shots grouped.

I think I do remember guys saying that they experienced tight chambers and large bores in some early Colts and even modern Rugers.....which resulted in accuracy issues.

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max503 posted this 08 September 2020

Hopefully this thread motivates me to make chamber castings of my TC pistol and my Rossi rifle.  My brother gave me three ingots of cerrosafe and I put them on my bench.  I just haven't taken the plunge yet.

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Bryan Austin posted this 08 September 2020

I would certainly suggest to anyone with questions about their chambers to check them with cerrosafe at least! I am thinking about using it and comparing the two results.

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