Wolfe Publishing printed a special titled "The Legacy of Leverguns" about 8 years ago. Both Mike Venturino and Ken Waters had articles on reloading the oldtimers. I did an OCR scan on the Venturino article.
Case length: 1.88 inches
Cast bullet diameter: .406 to .408 inch
The .40-60 WCF should be awarded a prize for the weakest cartridge to be chambered in the largest rifle. Standard Model 1876 rifles weigh at least 10 pounds, but this round won't beat the ballistics of a hot loaded .41 Magnum revolver! Original factory loads carried 62 grains of powder, but my cut-down Winchester .45-70 cases would only hold 55 to 57 grains.
No company makes a bullet mould specifically for .40-60 caliber. I first tried Lyman's 403169 for a 240-grain flatnose (FN), but since Model 1876s in this caliber were cut with a one-in-40-inch rifling twist for 210-grain bullets, the longer bullets only keyholed. Therefore, I did my next loading with cast .41 Magnum bullets from Lyman mould 410660, a 215-grain gas check semiwadcutter. They were sized .408 inch, and loaded cartridge length was 2.158 inches. This combination aver*aged about 4 inches at 100 yards for five-shot groups.
A friend loaned me a beautiful, old deluxe Model 1876 of 1884 vintage for this shooting. Its bore measured right at .406 inch and was still in fine condition. The barrel is 28 inches; the original Winchester factory load was fired in a 30-inch barrel.
bullet powder charge velocity spread
(grains) (grains) (fps) (fps)
210 Winchester factory 1,475 -
GOEX FFg 55.0 1,480 67
GOEX Cartridge 57.0 1,467 62
The Waters article is in the attached jpg.