44-40 Gallery Loads


Range Officer
Staff member
Oct 30, 2004
For those who know me well know that I get really bored in the cold and very windy (yuk) Wyoming winters.
I have a new version Winchester 1873 in 44-40. I have been interested in using soft lead cast bullet for a super light plinking load. I'm talking barely getting out of the barrel, very silent load. Thinking maybe 400 to 500 ft. per second. Well I tried something different today. I took a Hornady 44 lead ball and sat it in the case at it's max diameter point. Used 2.5 grains of Winchester 231. Work like a charm. I shot it in my snail bullet trap in my back yard. Distance was like 15 feet. Believe it or not there was a pop and a few milliseconds later dong! My BB gun takes about the same amount of time to travel that distance and make the distinct hitting sound. No hearing protection needed. Like a CB cal. One of these days I'm going to chronograph the load but I'm guessing about 500 feet per second.

Excellent Fotis. That's pretty inexpensive fun. Maybe you can reclaim the lead and recast for additional boolits. At 2.5 grs charge weight, a pound of W231 would yield 2800 rounds.
Very cool buddy.

I load these for my brother in an original 1892.
I size the to .427 in a Lee sizer and load over 8grs of Universal with a velocity of 1100fps. Couple years ago I load some with Trailboss (don’t remember grs loaded). I believe he told me low 900s in speed department. Boy 400-500 that mighty slow for you 😂
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What a cool gun and a fun idea!!

We shoot .22 rimfires at 50 feet indoors around here twice a month, lots of fun!!
Oh, that is neat! Sounds like more fun than shooting the old Crossman. Know what you mean about the winter weather. Dont have the wind, but here in the big city in MN, feeols like winter is never going away. CL
That's very cool Fotis. At 2.0 grs, that's 3500 rounds of plinking fun per pound of powder. What kind of speed are you getting? I'm guessing the clank of the ball hitting the snail trap is louder than the shot.
Good stuff buddy.

You're correct. Was too cold to set up the chrono. Maybe 400-500 fps. I will let you know