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  #1  
Old 09-16-2011, 04:22 AM
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200gr XTP in M92 44/40


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My daughter hunts with her great-grandfather's Winchester Model 92 in 44/40. It's a great old gun and she got her first deer with it 2 years ago.

I use the 200gr Hornady XTP bullet and started out loading IMR4227 for a muzzle velocity of ~1750fps. This is a snappy load, but recoil is still mild and the bullet performance was excellent at 70 yards, with her deer.

Since then, I have loaded a milder, 10 grain charge of Unique, under the same bullet. It gets closer to 1500fps, with a little less kick. This is a fun load to shoot and has my kids pretty excited about how "cool" lever-action rifles are!

The interesting thing is that both loadings have the same POI, at 50 yards, and the difference in drop at 100 yards isn't significant. So, my question is: Do you think it's worth having the extra 250fps out of this cartridge, when used for deer hunting at 75 yards or less? Would you go to the trouble of keeping the heavier loads separated from the plinkers, or just stick with one or the other, for everything?

EDIT: I have also noticed that H110/W296 or Li'l Gun could be used to get the 200gr XTP up around 1800fps, with pressures still under 25,000psi (only safe in certain guns), but I don't like the idea of driving the XTP that hard, in case a very close shot presents itself.
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Last edited by broom_jm; 09-16-2011 at 04:39 AM.
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Old 09-16-2011, 05:12 AM
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Jason, While I don't have an old Winchester Model 92 in .44-40 WCF; I do have a .44-40 Rossi Puma lever action which is very accurate. I use Hornady's 200 grain XTP bullets with 24.0 grains of IMR-4227, which is accurate in my Rossi Puma Carbine. The only time I use Unique (10 grains) is when I use Cast Lead bullets of 205 grainers mainly for just plinking. I'd stick with your loading using IMR-4227 & 200 grain Hornady XTP. Recoil is mild much less than a .44 Magnum and is accurate. I am assuming your Model '92 has a bore diameter of .427" so you might want to resize the Hornadys from .429" to .427". I use a Lee cast bullet sizer for that. I also think the Hornady XTP 200 grainer will hold-up to velocities of 1,800 FPS with the use of other powder types..
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Old 09-16-2011, 05:48 AM
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The original barrel on this gun was pretty much trashed, so it was replaced with a Green Mountain barrel, which has the .429" groove. I use almost the exact same load of IMR-4227 and will probably stick with the souped up rounds for hunting, but I sure do like the lighter charge of Unique for fun loads.

Whose cast lead bullets do you use? Marshall's, I presume? Would you consider using the cast lead bullets, at 1500fps, vs. the jacketed at 1800, for hunting deer?
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Old 09-16-2011, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broom_jm View Post
The original barrel on this gun was pretty much trashed, so it was replaced with a Green Mountain barrel, which has the .429" groove. I use almost the exact same load of IMR-4227 and will probably stick with the souped up rounds for hunting, but I sure do like the lighter charge of Unique for fun loads.

Whose cast lead bullets do you use? Marshall's, I presume? Would you consider using the cast lead bullets, at 1500fps, vs. the jacketed at 1800, for hunting deer?
I have a Lyman Bullet Mold for my .44-40. Right now I bet I have around 150 rounds loaded up with 10.0 grains of Unique, which some are 15 years old. I haven't cast any bullets for years now. Can't see why you couldn't use cast bullets for Deer up to 75 yards as it should bring them down with a carefully placed shot. Is the cast bullet you use a hollow point? Mine are solid as cast.
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Old 09-16-2011, 08:45 AM
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I haven't used any cast bullets with my 44/40 yet, because I've never loaded cast bullets in anything and haven't taken the time to look into what all is involved with it. The XTP's work well and are not too expensive, so I'm happy to use them, for now.
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Old 09-16-2011, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by broom_jm View Post
I haven't used any cast bullets with my 44/40 yet, because I've never loaded cast bullets in anything and haven't taken the time to look into what all is involved with it. The XTP's work well and are not too expensive, so I'm happy to use them, for now.
I'd stick with Hornady's XTP bullets for hunting.
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Old 09-16-2011, 10:08 AM
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Cast bullets work great, but so does what you have right now. I wouldn't feel any great urgency to change.
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