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Discussion Starter #1
I have a single action 44 mag Ruger Vaquero old model and am wondering if I am able shoot 44-40 out of it? I have read alot that I can do 44 special but I would like to double check that as well.

Thanks in advance for any help.
 

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The answer is NO. Don't be confused by the fact that each are labeled "44". There are other significant differences in the two cartridges. If you have access to a reloading manual that shows the dimensions of the two cases you will see numerous differences. One is actually bottle shaped and the other is a straight walled case. Read the barrel on your revolver. I think it states on the rolled engraving 44mag and 44spl ONLY. The 44mag uses a .430 bullet and I believe the 44-40 uses a .427 bullet if I remember correctly. I'm sure someone will come along soon and add some other pertinent advice or comments here.
 

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welcome to the shooter's forum.

If you could get the 44-40 to chamber in a 44, I doubt accuracy would be that good. If shooting cast bullets the bore is sure to lead up. Better to use the correct ammo for you and your gun's sake.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Won't fit in the chamber at all. Base of the .44-40 is too large.

.44 Special in a .44 mag is fine.
 

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If you're shooting factory ammo, the 44/40 would be a lot more expensive. For reduced recoil, stick with the 44 Special loads, or take up the hobby of reloading and you can make your own 44 Magnum loads that are easy on the wrists. :)

Welcome to the forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys I got to looking and your right nsb the brass is definitely different. I do reload for the 44 mag already but am wanting to find something with lighter recoil although admittedly I have only loaded cast 240gr bullets so before I start reloading for an all new caliber I'm going to try a lighter bullet. I found some really light 160gr cast that I think I'll try. I just want to do some plinking but with my 240gr's shooting any more than 8-10 rounds was plenty.
 

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You should be able to tame down the recoil with some 200 or 180 grain bullets. Look to a milder powder charge, in addition to the lighter bullet weights.
 

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If you're looking for some loads that are pleasant to shoot, get some 200g cast bullets and load them up to around 800fps. They're cheap and soft to shoot. I use light charges of both 231 and Unique and find I can actually enjoy an afternoon of "plinking" at swingers and paper punching.
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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This an Xray of what used to be in my right wrist. I STILL shoot 240 grain loads out of both of my 44 magnums (Redhawk and SBH Hunter) but I wear this:



I cast my own 429421's (250 grain Kieth bullet) and although the Vaquero is a lot lighter framed than either of the pistols I shoot, these IMO would work very well in your revolver if loaded to less than 1000 fps.

There is no way I'd shoot full throttle loads in that Vaquero.

RJ
 

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Thanks guys I got to looking and your right nsb the brass is definitely different. I do reload for the 44 mag already but am wanting to find something with lighter recoil although admittedly I have only loaded cast 240gr bullets so before I start reloading for an all new caliber I'm going to try a lighter bullet. I found some really light 160gr cast that I think I'll try. I just want to do some plinking but with my 240gr's shooting any more than 8-10 rounds was plenty.
This is my all around target load for my 44 mag's: 240 gr lead bullet over 9 grs of Unique primed with a std large pistol primer. these clock around 1000 fps out of a 5.5" bbl. Cheap and easy on the eears and hands.
 

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I've found that a 240 gr lead SWC over 8 gr of WW231 produces a mild recoiling but superbly accurate load running around 980 fps (8 3/8 barrel).
 

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Just to add other options, my plinker is a 200gr. RNFP(cast) and 6gr. of Trail Boss. Burns clean and virtually impossible to double charge the case
 
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