Seating depth for 44mag/44spec

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HIKayaker

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Messages
3
I'm just getting into Cowboy Action Shooting. My lever action is a Win 92 clone in 44 spec/ 44 mag. I tried it out Saturday with the 44 mags and I could tell right away that I will be shooting it only with the 44 spec from now on. Ouch! Those crescent butt plates are just for looks.

I've got quite a few 44 mag cases, but only a few 44 special cases, and brass is quite pricey now.

What if I were to use a 44 spec load in a 44 mag case--and seat the bullet depth to the overall length of a 44 special? After all, 38 special 148gr wadcutters are seated deep and loaded level with the case mouth.

This would seem to address several issues of the 44 mag cases:

Greater relative power filling of the case than with the 44 mag reduced load.
OAL same as a 44 special for better feeding in the 92.
Visual differentiation between the full power and reduced loads in the 44 mag cases--reduced power round is shorter.
Able to use my 44 mag empties.

Or is this a bad idea?

Thanks.

 

I_Like_Pie

Blackhawk
Joined
Aug 24, 2006
Messages
659
Location
Chattanooga, TN
The problem with this is that you will overshoot the crimp groove and you may drive the bullet farther in the barrel under recoil...

You can trim 44mag brass to 44special size very easily....0.125 is the difference. Any of the case trimmers will do this.

Just make sure to file a notch in the 44 mag rim to visually note that it has been modified.
 

Sharp Shooter

Single-Sixer
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Nov 24, 2005
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MCCammon,Idaho,USA
That's not quite enough info HIKayaker. Is there any way to crimp the bullets you're wanting to use in place after you've seated them in your .44 Magnum cases so deep that your cartridge overall lengths (COALs) are the same as .44 Specials?
I suspect not. And if there isn't, there's a pretty good chance those bullets are going to be driven even deeper into their cases while the cartridges stacked end-to-end in your Model 92's tubular magazine, under spring tension, and subject to recoil, small though it may be.
It's not quite the same as seating .38 Special wadcutters flush with the case mouths. I mean yeah, if all you're worried about is pressure when using .44 Special loads in .44 Magnum cases if you seat the bullets to .44 Special COALs, you're good to go. But you should also be thinking about how you're going to crimp those bullets in place to stop your COALs from changing - reguardless of whether you're using those cartridges in a revolver or a carbine. Without some way of crimping those bullets in place, a revolver's recoil will cause them to be pulled out of their cases. But in a tubular magazine carbine, the remaining bullets in the magazine might be driven further into their cases. That could cause you some problems.
 

Rclark

Hunter
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Jan 1, 2009
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Butte, MT
Just reload your .44 mag cases to .44 Special velocities. No big deal to 'go down' in pressure and speed. Something like 8g of Unique pushing a 240g bullet. No need to 'fuss' over .44 special cases...
 

HIKayaker

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Messages
3
I'll have to check the bullets, of course to make sure there's enough bearing surface to crimp onto. But since I will be loading only flat point lead bullets, I should be able to crimp anywhere before the ogive starts.

Another benefit to keeping the 44 mag case full length would be the avoidance of the lead ring and residue build up in the distal chamber.

I'll have to make up a few rounds tonight and see if the bullet is long enough to seat deeper.

I'll repost to this thread once I find out.

Thanks.
 

DGW1949

Hunter
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Apr 10, 2005
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Dixie
You'll get better results if ya trim them cases to 44 Spl length and use the factory crimp-groove on the bullet.
Of course, that is ASSUMING that the AOL of your bullet-brass combo lends itself to reliable feeding.

Hope this helps.

DGW
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
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Location
Lake Lure NC USA
Or, you could use "TrailBoss" powder in the 44 mag cases, loading the ammo to 44 spl specs. It'll help fill the cases, and give good results.
 

HIKayaker

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Messages
3
If anyone is still interested, I finally measured the cases with my available bullets.

The answer is that the additional 0.125 length of the magnum brass does not allow for crimping any of my bullets before the ogive starts.

Oh well, another good idea that won't work.

Thanks to all who responded.
 

kimberguy2004

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 20, 2004
Messages
23
I load .44 Spc in magnum cases and have never trimmed a case. It's not rocket science. Seat the bullet so the crimp will crimp into the cannelure of the bullet. If it's a jacketed bullet without a cannelure, seat it to 1.6" and use a medium crimp. Seat lead bullets so that aproxx 1/32" of the shoulder is above the case neck. That 1/8" of extra brass isn't going to make a nickle's worth of difference and you won't have to clean lead shavings out of the chamber from shooting short loads.
 

Driftwood Johnson

Blackhawk
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Sep 25, 2007
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Land of the Pilgrims
Ouch! Those crescent butt plates are just for looks.

No, crescent butt plates are not just for looks, you were not using it correctly. Crescent butt plates were very common and very popular in the 19th Century. But they are not meant to be shouldered on the meaty part of the shoulder, the way we tend to shoot a rifle today. Place the points on the meaty part of your shoulder and you are asking for pain. Try hiking the rifle out a little bit farther, so the crescent encircles the socket of your shoulder. The points will be above and below the joint, the center of the crescent will be centered on the joint. This way, the points keep the butt from sliding up or down. You may have to alter your stance slightly to properly shoulder a crescent butt plate this way. Do not stand face on to the target, stand at more of an angle, with the rifle slightly across your chest. Raising the right elbow (if you are a righty) will also help, as this will raise the gun to your face, instead of lowering your face to the gun. I have 4 lever guns with crescent shaped butt plates, and that's the way they are meant to be shot.

Regarding the amount of recoil with 44 Mag loads, there is a maximum velocity limit in CAS, 1000 fps for pistols, 1400 fps for rifles. I suspect your 44 Mag loads do more than 1400 fps out of your rifle, which makes them ilegal loads anyway.
 
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