Reloading for 38 special and 44 special Rossi Carbine

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bcraig
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Reloading for 38 special and 44 special Rossi Carbine

Post by bcraig »

I am thinking about getting back into reloading a bit.
will be for Reloading for my Rossi 92 Carbines with 16 inch barrels.

If I do ,Going to be using A Lee Hand press and Lee 3 die set in both the 38 special/357 Mag and the 44/special/44 Magnum
I will be using store bought Lead bullets,either round nose flat point or semi wadcutters,158 gr in 38 and either 200 or 240-250 in the 44.

My goal is if I can get by with just using one powder for both
And to get velocites from about 900 fps up to 1,100 fps just staying below the speed of sound through the 16 inch barrels of the carbines.

If I can't get reliable feeding from the shorter special cases then will use the Magnum cases.

Suggestions for an easy to get powder to accomplish this ??
I used non magnum primes in the past to Load 357 and 44 magnum Pistol and had no problems .
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Re: Reloading for 38 special and 44 special Rossi Carbine

Post by Ray »

https://shootersreference.com/reloadingdata/38-special/

https://shootersreference.com/reloading ... n-special/

HP-38/W-231 is where I'd start if I was starting over. The maximum special loads work just fine in magnum cases if you need the longer cases for proper cycling.
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Re: Reloading for 38 special and 44 special Rossi Carbine

Post by horsesoldier03 »

https://www.hodgdonreloading.com/

I used to be a diehard W231 fan, but during covid it was hard to get, at least where I live. I picked up some CFE Pistol and W244 and they are awesome. Unique is always an option.
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Re: Reloading for 38 special and 44 special Rossi Carbine

Post by JBowen »

I suggest you also use the Lee Factory Crimp Die. If you haven't already purchased your dies get the Lee 4 die sets.

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Re: Reloading for 38 special and 44 special Rossi Carbine

Post by Griff »

While others have, I've never gotten good results from SWC bullets, I recommend getting RFN (round flat nose). You'll want flat nosed bullets in the tube magazine of any lever gun, and the rounded ogive of RFN allow smoother feeding. I tend to use RedDot in the larger calibers, I like TiteGroup, CFEPistol, 231, or Unique. Depending on the Bhn of the bullets, I keep speed down below 1400fps unless I cast them myself and can up the Bhn to keep leading to a minimum.
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Re: Reloading for 38 special and 44 special Rossi Carbine

Post by 44shooter »

Lots of powders will work for both. I like Power Pistol and Unique. Power Pistol seems very efficient with regards to velocity for pressure. Unique is just so versatile across the board.
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Re: Reloading for 38 special and 44 special Rossi Carbine

Post by black river smith »

bcraig,

I had a nice long post nearly finished last night but it was lost. So will try to shorten this one

1. The Lee loader and carbide dies for the listed calibers are good starters.
2. Using a RNFP is the best design for these rifles.
3. The bullet weights you are suggesting to use are probably the best. I have never used the heavy 44 bullet except in 44spec rounds. My loads do function through the 44 Rossi. But I would suggest adding another to the list, a 38 cal in the weight range of 115 to 125 grains. See bullet #7.
4. I would suggest you get ahold of Mike Venturino's book "Shooting Leverguns of the Old West". He covers the Cowboy loads, these can be within the velocities you are looking for or slightly higher.
5. I would suggest starting with the magnum cases that the guns are chambered in, first. Get a working dummy round. Then load and test. After that try to develop a spec casing load with a long enough bullet metplat to function in the action.
6. The most versatile powder that I use the most is 'Unique'. You can get mid-range 357's with 6 grains. See book above for this load. You can get 44/40 equivalent loads with 8 grains in the 44mag and a 240 grain bullets. These velocities may be slightly higher in 24" than your listed 900 to 1000 but I don't know what it will be in your 16". Use the book listed above.
7. Now back to the 38 cal 115 to 125 grain bullet suggested above. There are loads on the internet that state that HP-38 or Bullseye in a 357 Mag casing will make this bullet shoot equivalent to a standard 32-20 velocity. To me that makes a very mild shooting round, coming out of your 357 Mag rifle with no feeding issues. Search the internet for the loads on this, if you are interested.

Hope this helps and the loads I listed in #6 come directly from Mike's book.

PS -- Get a hold of the new Lyman "Reloading Handbook" (I have the 49th Ed) or the LEE manual -- for good starting and max references for the casing you listed.
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Re: Reloading for 38 special and 44 special Rossi Carbine

Post by bcraig »

JBowen wrote: Mon Aug 28, 2023 4:09 pm I suggest you also use the Lee Factory Crimp Die. If you haven't already purchased your dies get the Lee 4 die sets.

JBowen
It has been a long time since I reloaded any
I haven't bought any die's yet.

What will the 4 die set do for me that the 3 die set wont ?
bcraig
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Re: Reloading for 38 special and 44 special Rossi Carbine

Post by bcraig »

black river smith wrote: Tue Aug 29, 2023 3:57 pm bcraig,

I had a nice long post nearly finished last night but it was lost. So will try to shorten this one

1. The Lee loader and carbide dies for the listed calibers are good starters.
2. Using a RNFP is the best design for these rifles.
3. The bullet weights you are suggesting to use are probably the best. I have never used the heavy 44 bullet except in 44spec rounds. My loads do function through the 44 Rossi. But I would suggest adding another to the list, a 38 cal in the weight range of 115 to 125 grains. See bullet #7.
4. I would suggest you get ahold of Mike Venturino's book "Shooting Leverguns of the Old West". He covers the Cowboy loads, these can be within the velocities you are looking for or slightly higher.
5. I would suggest starting with the magnum cases that the guns are chambered in, first. Get a working dummy round. Then load and test. After that try to develop a spec casing load with a long enough bullet metplat to function in the action.
6. The most versatile powder that I use the most is 'Unique'. You can get mid-range 357's with 6 grains. See book above for this load. You can get 44/40 equivalent loads with 8 grains in the 44mag and a 240 grain bullets. These velocities may be slightly higher in 24" than your listed 900 to 1000 but I don't know what it will be in your 16". Use the book listed above.
7. Now back to the 38 cal 115 to 125 grain bullet suggested above. There are loads on the internet that state that HP-38 or Bullseye in a 357 Mag casing will make this bullet shoot equivalent to a standard 32-20 velocity. To me that makes a very mild shooting round, coming out of your 357 Mag rifle with no feeding issues. Search the internet for the loads on this, if you are interested.

Hope this helps and the loads I listed in #6 come directly from Mike's book.

PS -- Get a hold of the new Lyman "Reloading Handbook" (I have the 49th Ed) or the LEE manual -- for good starting and max references for the casing you listed.
Thank's
bcraig
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Re: Reloading for 38 special and 44 special Rossi Carbine

Post by bcraig »

44shooter wrote: Mon Aug 28, 2023 5:11 pm Lots of powders will work for both. I like Power Pistol and Unique. Power Pistol seems very efficient with regards to velocity for pressure. Unique is just so versatile across the board.
I always used Unique in Low velocity 44Mag and 357 Mag pistols Bout 1,000 fps loads and 296 for the firebreathing loads but from what I have found I figure that about 6 grains of Unique will be about the max I can load with a 240-250 Cast bullet before I get over the speed of sound ,I dont really know if that low volume of the unique powder is the best powder for the criteria I am wanting.
bcraig
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Re: Reloading for 38 special and 44 special Rossi Carbine

Post by bcraig »

Griff wrote: Mon Aug 28, 2023 4:59 pm While others have, I've never gotten good results from SWC bullets, I recommend getting RFN (round flat nose). You'll want flat nosed bullets in the tube magazine of any lever gun, and the rounded ogive of RFN allow smoother feeding. I tend to use RedDot in the larger calibers, I like TiteGroup, CFEPistol, 231, or Unique. Depending on the Bhn of the bullets, I keep speed down below 1400fps unless I cast them myself and can up the Bhn to keep leading to a minimum.
Yea, I would prefer the RNFP if I can find them store bought ,Ideally I want a brinell hardness of 7-9 for the bullets so I can get some expansion or t least some significant bullet deformation at less than subsonic velocities.

i want any load that Put together to be less than subsonic and figure that if loaded with unique my max than I can use it is going to be 6 grains or lower to keep it less than subsonic,from the 44 and I dont know if that is the best powder for what I want ,which is low velocity,low recoil,low blast loads for a little plinking and to keep loaded in
the rifles for Home defense.
bcraig
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Re: Reloading for 38 special and 44 special Rossi Carbine

Post by bcraig »

Ray wrote: Mon Aug 28, 2023 1:02 am https://shootersreference.com/reloadingdata/38-special/

https://shootersreference.com/reloading ... n-special/

HP-38/W-231 is where I'd start if I was starting over. The maximum special loads work just fine in magnum cases if you need the longer cases for proper cycling.
Thanks
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Re: Reloading for 38 special and 44 special Rossi Carbine

Post by JBowen »

bcraig wrote: Wed Aug 30, 2023 11:35 pm
JBowen wrote: Mon Aug 28, 2023 4:09 pm I suggest you also use the Lee Factory Crimp Die. If you haven't already purchased your dies get the Lee 4 die sets.

JBowen
It has been a long time since I reloaded any
I haven't bought any die's yet.

What will the 4 die set do for me that the 3 die set wont ?

It includes the Factory Crimp Die and will save you a few dollars. I like the FCD because it not as picky about trim length and you are less likely to bulge the case.
Plus it just looks better.

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Re: Reloading for 38 special and 44 special Rossi Carbine

Post by COSteve »

horsesoldier03 wrote: Mon Aug 28, 2023 1:21 am Unique is always an option.
Yep
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Re: Reloading for 38 special and 44 special Rossi Carbine

Post by mickbr »

Youre basically shooting stout-ish cowboy action loads and those guys mostly use the fastest pistol and shotguns powders.

Loads with any of the following like Clays, Bullseye, WST, Trailboss, Red Dot and win-231 are all going to get you there more or less the same way.

As some of the folks above suggest, you can go with slightly larger loads of slower burning powders like Unique, International, CFE Pistol etc but you might find it harder to get down to 900fps in the carbine, not sure as I havent used them that low. The faster powders would seem a better fit for purpose imo
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Re: Reloading for 38 special and 44 special Rossi Carbine

Post by bcraig »

mickbr wrote: Tue Sep 05, 2023 8:16 am Youre basically shooting stout-ish cowboy action loads and those guys mostly use the fastest pistol and shotguns powders.

Loads with any of the following like Clays, Bullseye, WST, Trailboss, Red Dot and win-231 are all going to get you there more or less the same way.

As some of the folks above suggest, you can go with slightly larger loads of slower burning powders like Unique, International, CFE Pistol etc but you might find it harder to get down to 900fps in the carbine, not sure as I havent used them that low. The faster powders would seem a better fit for purpose imo
Doesn't have to get down to 900 FPS,any Velocity between 900 FPS and 1,100 will be fine.
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Re: Reloading for 38 special and 44 special Rossi Carbine

Post by mickbr »

bcraig wrote: Fri Sep 08, 2023 12:57 am
mickbr wrote: Tue Sep 05, 2023 8:16 am Youre basically shooting stout-ish cowboy action loads and those guys mostly use the fastest pistol and shotguns powders.

Loads with any of the following like Clays, Bullseye, WST, Trailboss, Red Dot and win-231 are all going to get you there more or less the same way.

As some of the folks above suggest, you can go with slightly larger loads of slower burning powders like Unique, International, CFE Pistol etc but you might find it harder to get down to 900fps in the carbine, not sure as I havent used them that low. The faster powders would seem a better fit for purpose imo
Doesn't have to get down to 900 FPS,any Velocity between 900 FPS and 1,100 will be fine.
my comment holds the lower end might be more difficult with usable loads of the medium burners.
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Re: Reloading for 38 special and 44 special Rossi Carbine

Post by Nate Kiowa Jones »

The thing to keep in mind is these modern straight wall pistol caliber ammo leverguns (all, not just the 92’s) are a lot like semi-auto handguns. There’s just some ammo they aren’t going to work well with.
All leveraction, pump action and semi-auto guns (long guns or handguns) are ammo length and bullet shape sensitive. Some more than other. For example, you don't think about it much if you are dealing with a rifle cal. like 3006, 308 or 223 and even 30-30. Those are bottleneck calibers. Bottlenecks always feed better than straightwall ammo, whether it is a rifle cal or a pistol cal. That's because you have a small diameter bullet going into a really big hole by comparison, the bottleneck chamber being much like a funnel.
The original Winchester 92's were designed to work with bottleneck ammo in the 1.5" to 1.6" OAL with round nose flat point bullets. Ammo like 44-40, 38-40, 32-20 and 25-20.
What that means is they may not work well with really long 357’s or really short 38’s.. The really long 357’s are too long to clear the cart stop coming up or they tend to hit the top inside of the chamber before they make the turn into the chamber.
The most common problem with the shorter 38's is the gun will throw out, flip or stovepipe live rounds with the empty's. This is because the shorter 38 coming on to the carrier from the tube can bounce forward enough that the rim is too close to the rim slots in the guides and when you lever it fast the carrier just catapults them up and out with the empty. (One of the things Rossi did years ago was redesign the cart guides by changing the angle of the rim slots so the back end comes up sooner. So they tend to be less ammo sensitive than other pistol cal 92 leverguns)
Also, bullet shapes can make a difference. Bullets other than the round nosed flat point profile they were designed for can cause issues. The truncated cone or TC style bullets will work but can end up too long for some guns. As for SWC, the cutter bands tend to hang going in the chamber.

For 38’s, this is what I have found to cycle best. A 158gr elongated round nose flat point seated above the crimp groove and just crimped into the side of the bullet just above the lube groove. This allows them to be loaded to a 1.5” OAL. You can do the same with the 44 spec. too.


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