Do 44-40 WCF Cases need case lube for re-sizing?

Discussions covering the components and techniques of reloading for your handgun.

Re: Do 44-40 WCF Cases need case lube for re-sizing?

Postby Royce » 23 Jul 2020 15:04

Well I just got around to making some 44-40 reloads today. One of the things that I learned is that while the Uberti website says my pistol has a barrel with .429" groove depth measurement if I use .429" bullets the finished rounds won't fit the cylinder. It seems the cylinder is sized so that the bullet diameter needs to be .428". So I have an order in at Acme for some .428" sized powder coated 200 grain lead bullets.

The brass that I have is both the fired R-P cases and also Winchester new brass. I plan to order some from Starline eventually.

Which brings up a question - can jacketed .429" bullets be sized to .428"?

Obviously I have not fired any reloads yet. The pistol was quite a tack driver with the factory loaded Winchester Western Remington Peters 200 grain JSP ammo.

BryanAustin wrote:
Royce wrote:Thanks for the comments. I have new Winchester brass and am using powder coated .430" 240 GR SWC's since my Uberti also has .429" throat and barrel size. I also have a box of Remington 200 GR Jacketed Soft Point factory rounds that I intend to use as a source of cases. I bought this box at a gun show in the 1980's as I could not resist several boxes of various odd ball caliber new factory ammo priced at $10 a box.


I was curious if you have loaded up and shot those loads since you posted. How did ya like'm?

The RP brass is the thicker of the three main brass manufactures. Winchester being the thinnest, Starline being in the middle and RP the thickest. On top of that, using a roll crimp or even a Lee FCD, those .430's with the RP brass may not want to chamber very well.

44-40 Web Site


I forgot to add, yes, lubing the case is even found in Winchester's 1870's handloading information.
Last edited by Royce on 11 Jan 2022 18:40, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Do 44-40 WCF Cases need case lube for re-sizing?

Postby BryanAustin » 14 Sep 2020 10:21

Royce wrote:Well I just got around to making some 44-40 reloads today. One of the things that I learned is that while the Uberti website says my pistol has a barrel with .429" groove depth measurement if I use .429" bullets the finished rounds won't fit the cylinder. It seems the cylinder is sized so that the bullet diameter needs to be .428". So I have an order in at Acme for some .428" sized powder coated 200 grain lead bullets.

The brass that I have is both the fired W-W cases and also Winchester new brass. I plan to order some from Starline eventually.

Which brings up a question - can jacketed .429" bullets be sized to .428"?

Obviously I have not fired any reloads yet. The pistol was quite a tack driver with the factory loaded Winchester Western 200 grain JSP ammo.


There is a difference between barrel bore of .429 and a camber dimension of .429". Although the bore could be .429", the camber may be cut tight not allowing a .429 bullet to fit. Some, if not most factories cut the chambers to 44-40 SAAMI specs thus a .429 bullet loaded into a Starline case may not fit. Might fit using thinner Winchester cases and certainly will not fit using thicker Remington brass. Also note that if the bullet is not seated properly, it can slightly bulge one side and not chamber.

There is tons of info here: https://sites.google.com/view/44winchester/handloading
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Re: Do 44-40 WCF Cases need case lube for re-sizing?

Postby Royce » 11 Jan 2022 18:26

Hard to believe it's been nearly two years and I just finished loading a box to take to the range. I originally fired the gun with factory Remington Peters ammo (circa 1962 according to the box art) which was a 220 grain jacketed soft point. Back in 2020 I bought a hundred new W-W cases, so I have both brands. Wish I had ordered Starline back then but it was not available then or now.

Got a crazy work schedule for a couple weeks but will go to the range after that for sure.
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Re: Do 44-40 WCF Cases need case lube for re-sizing?

Postby Royce » 11 Jan 2022 20:32

By the way, I found that the reloading was fairly easy and did not use any case lube with the carbide Lee dies. I did use the Lee FCD and it was marvelous.
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