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Reloading for 12.7x44R (CF) - Cast and Jacketed
Old 03-05-2018, 01:22 AM
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Default Reloading for 12.7x44R (CF) - Cast and Jacketed

Here a while back, sakorick gave me a Husqvarna rolling block chambered in 12.7x44r (CF). I'm finally getting around to reloading for it and shooting it. The cartridge isn't too weird, and can be made CORRECTLY from .50-70, .50-90, etc. cartridges. It can also be made from .348 Win cases and those cartridges derived from the .348 Win, like the .50 Alaskan. However, the .348 Win cartridge head diameter is a little small. As is the .348 Win rim diameter. However, the .348 Win case and its derivatives WILL work. I'm making cases from both .50-90 and .50 Alaskan cases.

This cartridge is essentially ballistically identical to the .500 S&W. The 12.7x44r is 3mm longer and the Swedish cartridge case has a slightly bigger head. Of course the .500 S&W can be loaded to MUCH higher pressures (61,931 PSI), than the 12.7x44r can in rifles that are 150 years old like this rolling block. However, the two cartridges use exactly the same bullets. And that's a 'good thing'.

In TRUE .50 caliber, (as opposed to what numbskulls CALL 50 caliber, namely the FIFTY_ONE caliber of the .50 Alaskan and .50-70, ,50-90, etc. bunch), I have the following bullets available to try:

1) Lee Cast 500-440-RF (440 grains nominal),
2) Lee Cast 500-354-M (345 grains nominal),
3) Rainier Plated Hollow Points (335 grains),
4) Speer #4491 Deep Curl (350 grains),
5) Barnes Original (300 grains), and
6) Hornady FTX (300 grains)

Here are pictures of the Lee cast bullets and the jacketed bullets:

As you can see, I was casting, so I also cast some .62 caliber and .75 caliber (10 ga) round ball.


I have test-fired the rifle with the Lee 500-44-RF. "All is well." So, I worked up some loads in QuickLOAD that develop about 25 to 28 thousand PSI. Nice mild loads that will not beat up the old rolling block. These loads are by no means "anemic". They generate muzzle energies just under 3000 ft-lb, and carry 1000 ft-lb of that energy out to between 225 and 275 yards. And the trajectories aren't too bad considering the muzzle velocities (1950 to 2100 f/s depending on bullet weight). None are farther than 36" low at 300 yd. At least theoretically.

Turns out, that I can use the .500 S&W dies for resizing and bullet seating. I am going to order a custom Lee "Factory Crimp" die for it. ($25 - Sheesh! How could you not get one for that price!) But... the .51 caliber bullet swaging die that I made to make jacketed bullets for my .50 Alaskan works pretty darn good as a crimping die.

I've loaded 5 each of the two Lee cast bullets, and 5 each of the Speer and Rainier bullets. (When I get the Factory Crimp die, I'll load the Hornady FTXs and the Barnes Originals.) As soon as it's not @#$%^&*ing WINTER, I'll get to the range and give a range report.

Be nicer than necessary.
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