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Bulged cases in a .44 magnum lever action
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Picture of DPollard
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I am new to the .44 mag cartridge and new to lever actions. Today I went to the range to test out some loads I worked up for my Henry Lever action chambered in .44 Mag.

I am shooting 300 grain Leatherhead cast bullets and Accurate #9 powder. Lee 2nd edition manual showed 15.4-17.2 grains and Lyman #49 showed 15.3-18.0 grains of Accurate #9. I loaded up 5 each of 16.3, 16.6, 16.9, 17.2, 17.5, 17.8. For the first 4 powder increments I would shoot then check the primer for any pressure signs, seeing none, I moved on to the next charge. On my 5th shot of the 17.5 gr load there was a very noticeable bulge at the base of the case that caught my eye. I then proceeded to check the other 4 and noticed the same bulge. At this time I decided to check each case of each charge and each had a bulge, which was slightly less and less as the powder charge decreased, but still noticeable. I did forget my chrono today so I do not have velocity data, unfortunately. I worked up my loads as I have for the last 8 years and have never run into buldding cases before, other than in my Glock pistols.

Is this normal with Henry lever guns and the .44 mag cartridge much like the "Glock Bulge" with Glock handguns?
 
Posts: 209 | Registered: 10 January 2011Reply With Quote
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no.
send it back.

it was also common with some marlins and they got a reputation for having pregnant chambers.
had they been sent back they would have stopped making them that way.
 
Posts: 2501 | Location: soda springs,id | Registered: 02 April 2008Reply With Quote
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No you rifle has a head space problem.

Send back with a couple of the fire cases taped to it.
 
Posts: 15495 | Location: wis | Registered: 21 April 2001Reply With Quote
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send it back, chambering issue


opinions vary band of bubbas and STC hunting Club

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Posts: 34088 | Location: Conroe, TX | Registered: 01 June 2002Reply With Quote
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Thank you. I'll be reaching out to Henry.
 
Posts: 209 | Registered: 10 January 2011Reply With Quote
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It is not a head space issue.
Max chamber is allowed to be .4629.
Min brass is allowed to be .4519.
Do some math and you will see a bulge. .011.
Measure your fired brass and see if it is within spec.
Having a "very noticeable bulge" may, or may not, be an issue.
 
Posts: 11306 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by dpcd:
It is not a head space issue.
Max chamber is allowed to be .4629.
Min brass is allowed to be .4519.
Do some math and you will see a bulge. .011.
Measure your fired brass and see if it is within spec.
Having a "very noticeable bulge" may, or may not, be an issue.


Good answer. We all want a gun with a minimum chamber but as DPCD pointed out, chamber dimensions are often allowed to be a good bit larger than we'd hope for. Couple that with a batch of brass that is sized to the minimum and you see where that bulge can result.

Got pics?




Aut vincere aut mori
 
Posts: 4611 | Location: Lakewood, CO | Registered: 07 February 2002Reply With Quote
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And I forgot to add; All SAAMI specs are Voluntary. NO one is bound to them in any way. Each maker is free to do whatever he wants.
The only reason they follow any guidelines at all is so most ammo/reloading dies, will fit most rifles.
This isn't Europe and you do not want it to be.
 
Posts: 11306 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With Quote
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I measured where the case bulged and I get between .456-.457". Pictures are below.

Bulged cases
 
Posts: 209 | Registered: 10 January 2011Reply With Quote
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That is normal for this type of rifle and nothing to be concerned about. Your measurement is well within spec too. Maybe you got a chamber from a new reamer, made to the top of the tolerance; that way they can sharpen it more....Yes it might look untidy.....
 
Posts: 11306 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With Quote
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Normal. When sizing the brass, there is no need to go all the way down.

I keep a thickness of a nickel between the RCBS die and shell holder.

As long as the sized brass chambers, your good to go.
 
Posts: 1268 | Location: USA | Registered: 21 May 2001Reply With Quote
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The problem is a bulge makes for stress on the brass when resizing and it will limit the life of brass..I would send it back and ask them to rebarrel it with a proper chamber..Some may be OK with a bulge as its not a safety issue, Im just not one of them, its an oversize chamber, end of story. Partial resizing is not acceptable IMO it can cause chambering problems in some cases...Its a problem that's best to fix IMO..


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 35347 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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If it is within the very generous SAAMI spec for 44 mags, they will tell you to pound sand. And definitely not to reload; no rifle is warranted for such activity.
All they are responsible for, is that it will safely shoot factory ammo, once.
 
Posts: 11306 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by dpcd:
If it is within the very generous SAAMI spec for 44 mags, they will tell you to pound sand. And definitely not to reload; no rifle is warranted for such activity.
All they are responsible for, is that it will safely shoot factory ammo, once.

sad but true


learning to play well with others
 
Posts: 712 | Location: south texas | Registered: 25 November 2011Reply With Quote
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I've been shooting 300 gr. Bear Creek Supply cast over 17.0 gr of AA#9 through my Model 629 6" and my Super Blackhawk 7 1/2" for quite a while. The empties nearly fall out of my 629 when I open the cylinder. I'm taking that as no over pressure issues.
 
Posts: 5145 | Location: Peoples Republic Of California | Registered: 13 October 2009Reply With Quote
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Well any repair is dependent on the company, I hope no company tells me to pound sand, it wouln;t be smart, Ihave some lawyer friends that do me favors in such cases, fortunately only one time that I recall..The firearms companies always bent over backwards to satisfy me..


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 35347 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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It's either within saami spec, or it is not. If it is, it is yours. Lawyers would have no case; get it?
 
Posts: 11306 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With Quote
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