Author Topic: .40 load help please (update thanks to all great day at range!)  (Read 1561 times)

Online adkmountainken

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finally able to get to the rangle today with a .40 cal i bought from a member here. gun was made some time ago with parts from Golden Age Arms in the 70's i believe and has a Douglas barrel and single stage trigger.  started out with 45 frains fff Goex and  a .395 balls that i cast myself with .018 pillow ticking which i figured out right away was to tight as it went down pretty hard and i am a hunter not a competition shooter. switched to a .010 patch with Mink Oil and went down much smoother.  shooting at 25 yards tended to hit a bit to the right but now bad 5 shot group about 3 inches. next loaded a .380 hand cast rb with 45 grains Goex and a .018pillow ticking patch.  tighted up group a bit but not much under 3 inch 5 shot group at 25 yards. there is no doubt shooting this gun it is capable of MUCH more like a ragged hole at 25 yards. shot around 50 rounds with instant ignition and only cleaned twice. interested in hearing some pet .40 cal loads please and any other helpful info you can give me!
« Last Edit: June 24, 2019, 02:11:29 AM by adkmountainken »

Offline Standing Bear

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Re: .40 load help please
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2019, 12:46:40 AM »
Sounds like your lead may be too hard. I use .395 w .018” patch, 50 fr Goex FFg.  Hunting I use Track’s mink oil.  Range I use same patch wet with windshield washer fluid.   
Nothing is hard if you have the right equipment and know how to use it.  OR have friends who have both.

http://texasyouthhunting.com/

Online adkmountainken

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Re: .40 load help please
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2019, 07:28:20 AM »
well thats something i will look in to thought the lead looked pretty clean when i was casting but will double check!

Offline smylee grouch

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Re: .40 load help please
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2019, 07:43:25 AM »
Check the crown of the muzzle, make sure it is smooth so you can start those tighter loads.

Offline Frank

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Re: .40 load help please
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2019, 07:50:36 AM »
390 ball , .015 patch and 40 grains of 3F.

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: .40 load help please
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2019, 08:20:54 AM »
What twist rate? 1 in 48” or 1 in 66”. It makes a heck of a lot of difference.

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Online adkmountainken

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Re: .40 load help please
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2019, 10:15:32 AM »
i believe it is a slow twist 1:66 for round ball as states in an old catalog.

Offline alacran

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Re: .40 load help please
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2019, 02:59:31 PM »
If it is a 1 in 66 twist in a .40, you may not using enough powder.

Offline bob in the woods

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Re: .40 load help please
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2019, 03:12:33 PM »
I'd check muzzle crown, but you might want to take a look at the sights re your sight picture.I find those common rounded silver front sights impossible to use without filing a flat on them. Sights alone can be the limiting factor re accuracy
At 25 yards, my smoothbore shoots a tighter 5 shot group than what you experienced.

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: .40 load help please
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2019, 04:54:06 PM »
The 1in48’ rate of twist in a .40 cal. Barrel is a round ball twist. The slower 1 in 66” twist in a .40 cal. Barrel is a slow twist for the .40 cal. And will require a larger charge to stabilize it.
 The 1 in 48” twist rate was considered for many years the idea caliber to twist ratio, and held many records in various target matches. The 1in 66” twist in .40 cal. Came about because .40 cal. Is the smallest caliber legal to hunt deer with in many states, and the 1 in 48” twist lost accuracy when the powder charge got much over fifty grains.


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Offline Daryl

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Re: .40 load help please
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2019, 06:38:17 PM »
Crowns of my .32 and .40 bls.  These allow easy loading with bore sized balls, ie: /.320" and .400" with .020" to .0235" patches.
"Lead looks clean when casting" has nothing to do with it's hardness, ADK. Pure lead and 16:1 lead to tin (very hard) look the same in the pot and after casting.
One you can load with a tight combination which is necessary for the best accuracy, and the tin lead mix would be very difficult to impossible to load with a thick patch.
Bobinthewoods was not blowing hot air when he said his smoothbores shoot better than that at 25 yards.





Here's a 28yard, 5-shot group with my .20 bore, smoothbore with no rear sight. Even with the "flier", it's under 2" for 5 shots.

You've work to do - the guys here will help.


Daryl

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Online adkmountainken

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Re: .40 load help please
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2019, 02:54:35 AM »
i agree i have work to do with THIS rifle, not my first rodeo burning powder.  also agree that the sights on this rifle leave a LOT to be desired might look in to fresh sights but elevation is right on and windage is not bad just wish sights were better.  going to order some .595 Hornady rb's so i can get back to the range and will also look for some good plumbers lead.  please keep all the info and help coming i'll take a few pic's of the rifle shortly.

Offline Leatherbark

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Re: .40 load help please
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2019, 04:35:29 AM »
Ken that rifle was a tackdriver when I used .395 Hornady balls and the Jo-Ann's No. 40 cotton drill cloth and 45 grains of 3f Goex.  The .395 Hornady balls shot much better than the .395 Lee's but that might have been my casting technique.  I wish I still had an old video my buddy took of me dropping squirrels out of a tall hickory with that little 40.

Bob

Online adkmountainken

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Re: .40 load help please
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2019, 05:05:16 AM »
Bob do you recall if that Douglass barrel is indeed a 1:60 twist? i love the rifle i'm thinking the problem is the lead i was using to cast.  how easy did the .395's load for you and what lube were you using?

Offline Curt Lyles

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Re: .40 load help please
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2019, 05:24:57 AM »
adkmountainken,

Here's some targets I shot with two of my .40 cal. rifles.  Number 89 has a gang twist Bobby Hoyt barrel.  Load is 30 grains of 3F, .380 swaged roundball, .025 denim patch lubed with coconut oil.



The next rifle is number 97.  It will shoot 30 or 40 grains of 3F, the same .380 swage ball, .025 denim patch and coconut oil lube. Colerain barrel
for swaged round balls   You might try weighing them and doing a roll test to see if they are round ,if theres an air pocket inside she wont fly straight and if its out of round well there goes accurracy out the door too. Curt



« Last Edit: June 04, 2019, 05:43:39 AM by Curt Lyles »

Offline Dennis Glazener

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Re: .40 load help please
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2019, 05:49:57 AM »
What distance Curt?
Dennis


adkmountainken,

Here's some targets I shot with two of my .40 cal. rifles.  Number 89 has a gang twist Bobby Hoyt barrel.  Load is 30 grains of 3F, .380 swaged roundball, .025 denim patch lubed with coconut oil.



The next rifle is number 97.  It will shoot 30 or 40 grains of 3F, the same .380 swage ball, .025 denim patch and coconut oil lube. Colerain barrel
for swaged round balls   You might try weighing them and doing a roll test to see if they are round ,if theres an air pocket inside she wont fly straight and if its out of round well there goes accurracy out the door too. Curt



"I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend" - Thomas Jefferson

Offline Curt Lyles

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Re: .40 load help please
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2019, 06:04:31 AM »
Dennis I sight my sq rifles in at 25 yards because thats about all the farther i like too shoot them.Curt

Offline alacran

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Re: .40 load help please
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2019, 02:18:25 PM »
Bob do you recall if that Douglas barrel is indeed a 1:60 twist? i love the rifle i'm thinking the problem is the lead i was using to cast.  how easy did the .395's load for you and what lube were you using?
You can figure out the twist rate in your barrel yourself.  Use a cleaning jag on your ram rod with a tight fitting cleaning patch. Double the patch if need be.  Push the rod down to the breech plug. put a mark with a felt marker on the rod and a corresponding mark on the barrel. Pull out the rod slowly , mark the rod again when you are almost out of the barrel even with the mark you put on the barrel. The rest is simple math. If the rod made a half turn in 30 inches lets say , Then it would make one full turn in 60 inches.
Douglas made most of their barrels 1 turn in 66 inches, except those that were made for Golden Age Arms. I've never had a .40 Douglas barrel, but I've had a .54.  and  two .45s all were marked 1 in 66.
If your barrel is one in 66 you are going to need more powder. Establish what your twist rate is , that will guide you as far as your loads.

Offline Dennis Glazener

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Re: .40 load help please
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2019, 04:48:39 PM »
Dennis I sight my sq rifles in at 25 yards because thats about all the farther i like too shoot them.Curt

Figured that was the range but thought others would like to know.
Dennis
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Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: .40 load help please
« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2019, 06:11:17 PM »
Douglas barrels are marked at the muzzle with caliber, and twist rate. But, as mentioned, they did make special barrels for other companies that had different twists, and weren’t marked on the muzzle.   
 Cast bullets cast from lead alloyed with other metals will be a bit larger than one cast from pure lead, so they will be harder to load.
  Voids in cast bullet is an old wives tale as related to accuracy, perpetuated by the companies that make swedged bullets. An old boy that had been shooting muzzleloaders since his childhood, regularly took young nimrods rejected bullets, and shot rings around them with their own rejects ( me being one of those nimrods).
 The point of a GAIN twist is that you can shoot heavier charges than a fast twist. IMO, shooting a GAIN twist with the same charge as your fast twist is a waste of an expensive barrel.
 I have heard good accuracy can be had from a slow twist .40 cal. But the slow twist is more finicky about the charge, and the patching.

  Hungry Horse

Offline hanshi

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Re: .40 load help please
« Reply #20 on: June 04, 2019, 11:22:14 PM »
The .40 flinter in my stable has a GM 1-48" "B" or maybe "C" wgt barrel - measured it but still can't be sure.  It shoots 5 shot, one hole groups at 25 yards with 30 grains of 3F, a .390" ball and a .024" canvas patch.  Practice lube is Hoppes and mink oil for the bush.  At 50 yards 40 grains of 3F shoots better than I can hold.  At 100 yards and 60 grains of 3F it will stay under 4".

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Offline Leatherbark

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Re: .40 load help please
« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2019, 03:38:14 AM »
Bob do you recall if that Douglass barrel is indeed a 1:60 twist? i love the rifle i'm thinking the problem is the lead i was using to cast.  how easy did the .395's load for you and what lube were you using?


Never thought about the twist.  The barrel says on the bottom flat "made for Golden Age Arms by Douglas" or something like that.  I"m sure its a round ball barrel.  I do believe I used LeHigh lube for general range shooting and Tracks Mink oil when hunting.  Loading with the No. 40 cotton drill was not very hard with the .395 Hornady round balls.   
Bob
« Last Edit: June 05, 2019, 03:41:26 AM by Leatherbark »

Offline Gordy

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Re: .40 load help please
« Reply #22 on: June 05, 2019, 04:18:41 AM »
Golden Age Arms was a black powder shop in Delaware Ohio back in the 70's, they relocated to Ashley ,Ohio around 1980 before going out of business. I have several of the Douglas barrels that were made for them. They are stamped Douglas GAA. I still have one of there catalogs from the 70's, I can look up there barrels and send you a picture of the info listed with them if you would like.
Gordy

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: .40 load help please
« Reply #23 on: June 05, 2019, 06:17:11 PM »
As far as I know Douglas never made a 40 caliber 1 in 60” twist barrel, they were either 1 in 48” or 1 in 66”. Their standard barrel in.40 caliber were 1 in 66”  marked on the muzzle, and those made for Golden Age Arms were 1 in 48” unmarked for twist, but marked GAA.
 I am surprised how often I hear on this forum, experienced shooters saying they never check the twist rate of a barrel. IMO, it is the most important factor in developing an optimum load. I quite honestly don’t know where you would start if you didn’t know the rate of twist.

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Offline Huntschool

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Re: .40 load help please
« Reply #24 on: June 05, 2019, 06:50:59 PM »
I have a .40 with an old Getz Golden Age profile barrel that I ordered with 1:66 twist.  It shoots one hole groups at 25 yards with 30 gr 3fffg GOEX.  I can jump the loads 30 gr at a time and at 100 yards with 90 gr 3fffg it will hold under 2" off a rest. I assume it would do better except for the shooter.  That 90 gr load will kill a deer DEAD.....
Bruce A. Hering
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