Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Nice Looking .44-40 Bullet

A couple weeks ago I placed an order for 500 .430" 215 grain RNFP bullets from Matt's Bullets. They arrived today.

L - R in the pics below: Matt’s .430 215 grain RNFP, Accurate Molds 43-215C 219 grain RNFP, Desperado Cowboy Bullets 200 grain RNFP.

You can see that the bullet from Matt's has a shorter ogive with a wider meplat than the 43-215C. This may improve performance on game.

The lube on the Matt's bullet is Carnauba Red. This works great with smokeless powder but as far as I know isn't suitable for black powder. The 43-215C is lubed with my homebrew 50/50 beeswax/mutton tallow mix. It's outstanding for black powder and smokeless (at least at mild velocities). The DCB bullet on the right appears to be cast from a Magma mold commonly used by commercial casters. It supposedly has a black powder compatible lube, but it doesn't carry enough of it for use in a rifle.

All three bullets are soft, around 11 - 12 BHN. This allows them to bump up and fill the bore on my guns as long as they aren't sized too small. They don't cause leading in my guns with my loads.

I loaded 50 of the Matt's bullets in virgin Starline .44 WCF brass on top of 8.3 grains of Alliant Unique tonight. I'm looking forward to seeing how they shoot.

Assuming they shoot well, I will probably reach out to Matt to see if I can purchase a batch as-cast, with no lube and not sized. I'll then size them to .430" and lube them with SPG so I can shoot them on top of black powder. It would be nice to have a commercial alternative to the AM 43-215C that I can load on top of BP, for when I don't feel like casting to replenish my supply.


Paul said...

I'm looking forward to your range report. Some have reported issues with wider meplat bullets in leverguns, but I doubt you'll have problems with this one. Looks quite good in fact. The proof is in the shooting so we'll just have to wait for that part.

Dave Markowitz said...

I made a couple functioning dummies and tested feeding in my Rossi 92. Feeds fine in that gun.

I don't anticipate problems in the 1860 Henry or 1873 Sporting Rifle, since they feed the round straight into the chamber rather than on an angle as with the 92.