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Old 02-26-2019, 05:41   #1
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need to choose

My problem,a good friend is giving me the choce to pick one of his levers [fr a really low price]A marlin 45-70,stainless,big lever not a remlin and a navy arms 44-40 lever[pre rossi] a really beautiful rifle.I have other levers I reload for,[45 colt,and 44 mag].I really prefer the 44-40 BUT have heard its problematic to reload for and that is scareing me off.Whats your take on loading 44-40?
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Old 03-01-2019, 15:23   #2
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The .44-40 is close enough in Cal to your other 2 that it seems like an unnecessary duplication. The Marlin is desirable for its pre remlin quality. Do you have use for .45/70 power? I would choose the Marlin.
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Old 08-09-2019, 13:54   #3
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Which one did you choose?
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:18   #4
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neither,picked up an older oct bbl rossi 45 colt
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Old 09-13-2019, 04:38   #5
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.44/40 isn't bad at all to load for, you just have to go slower.
Run the case up into the sizing die slowly, if it's a little off you'll crunch the case.
And when you seat bullets, seat and crimp separately.
If you try to crimp and seat in the same step, you can crunch the case mouth.
.44/40 brass is a little more thin and fragile up top, so just go slow.

If you want to load hotter in a strong gun like the 1892 or Marlin, cases won't last as long as other calibers like the .44 Mag or .45 Colt.
Most of my levers have been .45 Colt, as I have had better luck with .45 Colt in a handgun than .44/40.

But the .44/40, besides being historically correct, feeds like butter due to the tapered and bottlenecked case, and that same taper and bottleneck seals the chamber well even with lighter loads.
With .45 Colt. unless you are running hotter loads, the brass will come out blackened from powder gases on one side.
.44/40's will come out of the chamber clean as a whistle even with very light loads.
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Old 09-13-2019, 09:46   #6
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Funny you mentioned "With .45 Colt. unless you are running hotter loads, the brass will come out blackened from powder gases on one side.". I get that more on some rifles than others. I do have four in 45 Colt, plus my dad's Henry.

Which also means to wear glasses. You can get particles from ignition coming out the back at you. Especially with the lowest power loads.
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