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Fireforming .44-77 brass?
12-16-2019, 01:46 PM
Post: #1
Fireforming .44-77 brass?
With my new .44-77 project nearing delivery I have been wondering what would be a good way to fireform the brass I have waiting.

I don't plan to load anything until I have the rifle in hand, but I'd like to have a plan in place once I do.

Since this rifle will have the standard Shiloh grease groove chamber a lot of options are open to me I'm sure, but what have the rest of you done for fireforming your new brass in the cartridge?

I have 300 cases to fireform. I would rather not burn through 3 1/2 lbs. of my good black powder and match quality bullets to get this done. If I'm thinking wrong on this let me know.

If this was just a .45 caliber straight case I would not worry about it at all. I'd just buy some inexpensive bullets, use enough powder to get the job done and use as generous a wad stack if needed. This being a bottleneck case may require a different approach, I don't know but likely.

I could cast a bunch of lighter paper patch bullets and load them as deep as possible in the case to reduce the powder and lead used.

I have a few hundred grease groove bullets left over from years ago and just sitting around since cast. I could lube those up and seat them deep, which I'd have to do with this long shank bullet. I don't think ant kind of filler is useable here, or is it? COW?

I also have some miscellaneous powders that are really sort of orphaned and not used in any of my match loads. Odds and ends of leftover lots or powders that didn't work out for match loads. That is probably the best choice powder wise so I can conserve my good stock for match shooting.

Is there a source for reasonably priced .44 caliber bullets either PP or GG that I could use for fireforming?

So have you .44-77 shooter done for fireforming? Thanks!

Jim Kluskens
aka Distant Thunder
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12-16-2019, 01:49 PM
Post: #2
RE: Fireforming .44-77 brass?
Unless you're gonna do a whole lot of shooting why not just do a 100 to start with?
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12-16-2019, 02:10 PM
Post: #3
RE: Fireforming .44-77 brass?
Here's what I did for fireforming the 44. One word of caution be prepared to eject a case that will make you think,,, whoa an Ackley 44? lol
Anyway take what ever 1,1 1/2, 2 f powder you have, fill the case to about half way up the neck compress the powder to the point the base of the wad will be even with the base of the case, seat the bullet, and fire.

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12-16-2019, 02:17 PM
Post: #4
RE: Fireforming .44-77 brass?
Picture showing the difference between new and fired
[Image: 002.jpg]


Here's one showing how deep this 1.35 in. long postel bullet had to be seated to chamber.
[Image: Shooting2011.jpg]

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12-16-2019, 02:30 PM
Post: #5
RE: Fireforming .44-77 brass?
Jim,

I use spilled powder swept off the bench or take all of the partial cans of different powder I accumulate and put it case tumbler for a few minutes to blend it. and this is what I use instead of the good stuff for forming the bottle necked shoulders.
I formed a lot of cases for the .44-77 and the .44-90 bn using Bell .44 /3-1/4 brass. I annealed the cases clear down to the base, they will harden after a couple shots fired again, and I used a wad stack with cork and filled the neck with candle wax. It worked just fine for me and you can load and shoot 100 rounds in short order with out wiping between shots.
I read in one of the old 1890's book where they used 3 grains of wood dust for reduced loads. I think it was saw dust? on the bottom of the case under the powder and they mentioned that it helps cleaning the fouling.
I never tried it but I think I just might to see if it does help to control the fouling.

The reason a dog has so many friends is because he wags his tail instead of his tongue.
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12-16-2019, 02:35 PM
Post: #6
RE: Fireforming .44-77 brass?
I don't plan to sit down and fireform 300 cases in one session, but if the rifle works out as I hope, and it will, I'll need 200 cases minimum to shoot the matches I will eventually shoot with it.

Don,

Yes, you are right about this as I knew you would be. I was in part thinking out loud when I wrote that and also wanting to confirm my thinking is on track. Tapping into the vast experiences of other shooters here is a good thing and often reveals something I hadn't come up with on my own. Especially with a cartridge which is a deviation from the usual straight case.

Besides it just seems this forum needs a little KICK start once in awhile. Big Grin A friendly discussion of ideas is a great winter sport!

I'm probably go to go with those GG bullets, they are of any other use to me, and some of that orphan powder. That's about the least amount of effort and expense I can think of that will still get the job done well the first time. Thanks!

Jim Kluskens
aka Distant Thunder
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12-16-2019, 02:43 PM
Post: #7
RE: Fireforming .44-77 brass?
Oh, Don, I like the nose on that bullet, but what are those grooves for? Big Grin

Kurt,

I wondered about wax. I have read of that method, but also that is doesn't work to completely form the cases.
Never saw anything about saw dust being used, interesting.

Jim Kluskens
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12-16-2019, 03:20 PM
Post: #8
RE: Fireforming .44-77 brass?
The nose on that bullet is what Brooks calls his original postel nose.
Thinking real serious about having him build me one or more of his sharps style dual diameter bullets with that nose, and in proper diameters for 44 and 45. After the way that one I had him do in 40 turned out, I just have to wonder can I go 3 for 3 with it? LOL

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12-16-2019, 06:23 PM
Post: #9
RE: Fireforming .44-77 brass?
Gary sent me the mould for the .44-77 I/m getting from him and I loaded some for the 19 ROT .44-90 BN and man they put them in pretty tight. I wad to use some .55Y paper with them and ran them through a Lee push through so they fit the bore. But if the .44-77 shoots them as well as they do in the .44-90 bn I think that it will put a smile on my face.
This is a mould that came from Sage and it has a well made large block body.
I like the bullets with a .250 or larger ball nose.
   

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12-16-2019, 09:17 PM
Post: #10
RE: Fireforming .44-77 brass?
So many good looking bullets and so little time! It's a darn good thing I'm retiring so I can shoot full time! My .44-77 is going to make a great retirement rifle! Life is good!

Kurt, sign me up for a handful of those to try please.

Don,

So if I went to Brooks and told him to cut a paper patch mold in .44 caliber with his original Postell nose it would look like that one but without the grooves?

Jim Kluskens
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