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  1. #1
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    Default Henry Big Boy (.44mag) problem

    I've got a Henry BigBoy (.44mag/spl) that is giving problems with the round elevator and rounds jamming on the chamber mouth while feeding. I've tried cleaning (and re-cleaning, and re-cleaning...) everything from the round elevator to the the chamber and am still having problems. It seems that the sharp edge of the chamber mouth is catching on the front edge of SWC and WC design cast lead bullets. I'm really up a creek without a paddle on this one, and am waiting to hear back from Henry with their advice. Deer season is coming, and I need this rifle in working order. Any suggestions?

    -thomas

  2. #2
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    Do not use wadcutters or semi wadcutters, use a rounded profile instead. Hollow or soft points may work OK as long as they start with a smooth rounded profile.
    And many actions that use a carrier or round elevator are sensitive to round length and will hang up if is too short or too long. Try 44 mag cases and an LOA that'll fit on the carrier OK.
    I swear by Jupiter Optimus Maximus .... in the army of the consul Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus and for 10 miles around it I will not steal anything worth more than a sestertius in any one day.

  3. #3
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    Check for wear on the hinge pins of the elevator, if worn they will give intermittant feed, as the plate drops a fraction low, causing misalighnment.

  4. #4
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    Thanks... I'll check the elevator hinge pin. In the meantime, I'll see about finding a new cast bullet design to shoot.

    -thomas

  5. #5
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    If it is really catching on the chamber mouth a light champher could do it.

  6. #6
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    If you're deer hunting with 44 mag cast bullets you probably want to use a soft lead. I first used hard cast 44 semi-wadcutters in my Ruger 44 mag revolver when hog hunting. The first one i shot was hit in the ham when running away and the bullet went the full length of a 150 + pound boar and exited the mouth breaking a tusk. And it kept staggering on! I figure at least 2 feet of overpenetration and so I switched to soft lead, then jacketed hollowpoints after that because of leading on the revolver bore and forcing cone.
    I swear by Jupiter Optimus Maximus .... in the army of the consul Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus and for 10 miles around it I will not steal anything worth more than a sestertius in any one day.

  7. #7
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    Wheel weights sounds about right, jjjk308? Is it okay to use the load data for the harder alloy leads when shooting something softer like the wheel weights?

    -thomas

  8. #8
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    Softer lead will lower the pressure so it's on the safe side. Usually the load tables are made up with commercial bullets and most of those seem to be in a competition to be the hardest.
    I swear by Jupiter Optimus Maximus .... in the army of the consul Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus and for 10 miles around it I will not steal anything worth more than a sestertius in any one day.

  9. #9
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    There are a number of great commercial lead soft nose or semi-jacketed or whatever the right word for it hunting loads for the .44 mag. Not saying to do that forever if you prefer to make your own, but you can try a few bullet designs to see if the commercial ammo will feed properly and if it does, you can use that to hunt until you resolve the issue.

  10. #10
    Clyde's Avatar
    Clyde is offline Gold Bullet Member and Noted Curmudgeon
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjk308 View Post
    Softer lead will lower the pressure so it's on the safe side. Usually the load tables are made up with commercial bullets and most of those seem to be in a competition to be the hardest.
    Harder bullets typically do not lead as much (or strip rifling) when pushed, and the bullet makers reasonably expect folks to push the envelope and don't want a lot of complaints about "I bought your bullets and they lead worse than anything I ever used or heard of" or "Boy, your bullets don't shoot accurately. Liiks like they jump the rifling and I am only loading for (here name velocity that exceeds factory JHP or JSP hunting loads significantly and probably approaches Blue Pill pressures)".
    Absent comrades (sound of breaking glass)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clyde View Post
    Liiks like they jump the rifling and I am only loading for (here name velocity that exceeds factory JHP or JSP hunting loads significantly and probably approaches Blue Pill pressures)".
    I've met a few people like that... And they wonder why they get such severe fouling...

  12. #12
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    Though it is for the winchester 92 and copies, steve at stevesgunz.com has a great video that details any and everything you could want to do to these rifles. It is a must have with leverguns. My 357/38 will not shoot any version of wadcutter or semiwadcutter. OAL is a big thing in these types of rifles in feeding both from the magazine and into the chamber. Short rounds and rounds with sharp edges refuse to feed regularly. Mine will try to double feed if too short, and the elevator cant rise, and if there is a sharp edge, then it will hang up. LRN, JHP, HP, and JSP feed and shoot great. I love my rifle, and as long as I shoot round nosed bullets of the right length, it shoots great.

    Hope that helps.
    "A gun is a tool, Marian; no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that." -- Shane




    Who is John Galt?

  13. #13
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    Your'e right, I probably 'ought to switch to a round-nose or flat-point type of bullet to fix my feeding problems. I really expect a Henry to work without those sorts of problems, but I don't suppose there is much to do about it except find a new bullet mould.

    -thomas

  14. #14
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    I had the exact same problem as you. I tryed every kind of bullet that I could find for it and none of them fed at all. I ended up sending my rifle back to henery and they replaced what I believe was the follower for the shell lifter. I will look at my paperwork if you would like and I can tell you what the name of the part actually was. They sent me a shipper and shipped it back for free. Just call them up and tell them you problem.
    Hope this helps,
    Rambo1913

  15. #15
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    Yep. Henry is sending me a mailing label to ship the rifle to them for inspection/repair. I really hope that Henry is able to fix the problem, because I would simply prefer not buy another bullet mould right now and it looks like a simple problem to fix.

    -thomas

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