lets hear your .40 cal loads!

Help Support Muzzle Loading Forum:

adkmountainken

40 Cal.
Joined
Sep 11, 2004
Messages
424
Reaction score
126
i have a custom .40 flinter due tomorrow with a rice swamped barrel and Siler lock. 44 inch barrel. planning on starting at 35 grains 3F Goex with a mink oil patch, hand cast .395 round ball and a .018 patch. would love to hear what everyone is running through their .40
 

Ridge

45 Cal.
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
795
Reaction score
19
For accuracy I use 50 grains of 3F Goex, a .395 ball and .015 pillow ticking. Lube is olive oil/bees wax.

It loads tight, but it shoots straight.
 

tnlonghunter

40 Cal.
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
628
Reaction score
230
Location
Maryland
I hope I'm not hi jacking, but I'm also about to start working a load for a new .40. However, my barrel is 10" shorter than the OP's (a 34" barrel). So, I'll ask my question this way:

How much does barrel length affect the general size of a charge? That is, if two barrels are the same bore size but significantly different lengths, do you take that into consideration when starting out or just ignore that variable?
 

Bob McBride

54 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Apr 23, 2020
Messages
1,715
Reaction score
3,211
Location
Short Mountain, TN
The charge should be completely burned off (read: max pressure reached) by the time the ball leaves the muzzle. So, the maximum useful charge is less in the shorter barrel. That said, switching to a faster burning powder such as 3f if you were using 2f is a way of backing the peak pressure curve up a bit. My Mike Brooks .58 deer gun had a 28” barrel, and anything over about 70g 2f threw a shower of sparks of unburned powder. I don’t take it into consideration for a starting point but I know I’m going to end up with a lighter load on a short gun. Typically.
 
Last edited:

GANGGREEN

45 Cal.
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
1,155
Reaction score
374
Location
Coudersport, PA
I'm not an expert, but I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that you ignore the barrel length when it comes to this equation. I'd also suggest that each gun is different and they like what they like, so you'll have to experiment some. I've heard lots of folks suggest that a shorter barrel can't burn all of the powder before it gets to the muzzle, but I think that's mostly balderdash for a normal length barrel (say anything between 28 and 48") and for anything less than magnum loads, which most of us don't shoot anyway. (Edit: I see that Bob McBride was typing while I was and he's suggesting that he's seen unburnt powder from a 28" barrel and 70 grain load of FFg in a .58. He almost surely shoots more than I do, so I'll concede the point, but I still think it's not much of an issue for a standard length barrel and a "normal shot load" that most of us would use in a .40 rifle).

I have a Kibler SMR in .40 and admit that I haven't monkeyed around with it too much, but I've found it to shoot reasonably accurately with 3FG loads of 35-60 grains of powder. I think that I've only shot .390 balls and .015 pre-lubed patches out of it, so I clearly have some work to do myself.


I hope I'm not hi jacking, but I'm also about to start working a load for a new .40. However, my barrel is 10" shorter than the OP's (a 34" barrel). So, I'll ask my question this way:

How much does barrel length affect the general size of a charge? That is, if two barrels are the same bore size but significantly different lengths, do you take that into consideration when starting out or just ignore that variable?
 

Bob McBride

54 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Apr 23, 2020
Messages
1,715
Reaction score
3,211
Location
Short Mountain, TN
I would agree it’s a non issue outside the extremes of barrel length and charge. Guys who would shoot 80g+ in a 40 will have to deal with this but guys who shoot charges closer to caliber typically won’t.
 

Billy Boy

40 Cal
Joined
Apr 15, 2014
Messages
412
Reaction score
388
Location
Northern Minnesota
i have a custom .40 flinter due tomorrow with a rice swamped barrel and Siler lock. 44 inch barrel. planning on starting at 35 grains 3F Goex with a mink oil patch, hand cast .395 round ball and a .018 patch. would love to hear what everyone is running through their .40
GM barrel, 40”, 50 gr of 3f or pyro p, 390 ball, 18 thou. pillow ticking patch, beeswax and grape seed oil lube. I’d tell you how accurate it is but i would be thrown off the forum for lying....
 

hanshi

Cannon
Joined
May 7, 2009
Messages
11,009
Reaction score
2,613
Location
New England
Barrel length isn't a big issue as far as accuracy & velocity are concerned. It will take developing your rifle's own load for best results. My .40 has a swamped "B" wgt 38" barrel. MY favorite loads are:
1. A .390" ball, 60 grains of 3F and a .024" canvas patch lubed with Hoppes or mink oil.
velocity is well over 2100 fps in the 38" tube. This load is actually for deer.
2. The same .390" ball and same patch over 40 grains of 3F for around 1700 fps. This is my everyday
and everything load.
3. If I hunt small game with my .40 I use the same ball and patch over 30 grns of 3F. Velocity
is in the 1400 fps vicinity.
 

Barry Strickland

40 Cal
MLF Supporter
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
180
Reaction score
152
Location
Fort Payne, AL
I have two 40 cal rifles. Both are used for target competition. One is a underhammer buggy rifle with a 20" barrel with a 48" twist. it likes a ball diameter of .390 or .395 diameter and a load from 25 to 40 grains of 3f Goex powder. The other one is a 11 pound scheutzen match rifle with a 36" tapered false muzzle barrel by Hoppy Hopkins. The twist is 48" It likes a ball size from .395" to .400" and anyplace between 35 and 50 grains of powder. These are not hunting rifles and I only use the most accurate loads not high velocity loads.
 

Col. Batguano

69 Cal.
Joined
Feb 10, 2011
Messages
4,467
Reaction score
674
I like target loads around 20-25 grains that give me velocities in the 1250 fps range (flint).
 

Mulebrain

62 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
3,508
Reaction score
902
Location
Summerville, SC
I run 40 in my 40 fff, and .390 ball. However the .395 ball really turns it into a tack driver.
 
Joined
Aug 21, 2020
Messages
210
Reaction score
95
i have a custom .40 flinter due tomorrow with a rice swamped barrel and Siler lock. 44 inch barrel. planning on starting at 35 grains 3F Goex with a mink oil patch, hand cast .395 round ball and a .018 patch. would love to hear what everyone is running through their .40
Your right in there. A.390 ball is too small. I've shot .323 with .018 patching. Little hard going down. Mostly shoot .395 or .400 with a canvas from Joann Fabrics. .022 uncompressed. Buy yourself a pair of digital vernier calipers $40. My flinter has a Douglas barrel built in late 60's or early. 70"s I use beef tallow and bees wax lube 3:1.5 for summer 3:1 for winter .I like to cut my patched at the barrel with a straight razor. Use a.short ball starter to get the ball just below the crown and cut it off. Wash and dry your bulk ticking. When you buy it hold it up to the light . You don't want to see little holes of light. You want tight weave. Well so much for loading 101. Just saved you 55 yrs of learning. Good luck keep your flint sharp and your powder dry.
 

hanshi

Cannon
Joined
May 7, 2009
Messages
11,009
Reaction score
2,613
Location
New England
I have a Lyman dbl cavity mold that throws a .400" ball from one cavity and a little under that for the other cavity. I really need to do some more casting.
 
Top