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joed
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Posted: December 24 2016 at 8:04pm | IP Logged Quote joed

I was watching the outdoor channel the other day and they had a show on the
Winchester 73.   I have heard of the .44-40 before but never realized the
performance it had.   

They went on to mention that it was more popular then the .45 Colt.   And
mentioned that Colt also chambered the SA for the .44-40.

Have any of you tinkered with this cartridge?

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Rifleman 52
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Posted: December 25 2016 at 5:37am | IP Logged Quote Rifleman 52

Hi joed, I have loaded thousands of 44-40, thats what got me
into reloading in the first place. Back in 1997 my buddy and
I came into Ruger Vaquaro pistols. 50 rnds cost $30.00 back
then, so we became reloaders and never looked back. I load
7-gns of Unique, rifle or pistol and they shoot just
fine...chris
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joed
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Posted: December 25 2016 at 10:06am | IP Logged Quote joed

From what they showed on the outdoor channel that .44-40 is capable of
some pretty high velocity for as old as it is.   The specs they gave easily
eclipsed the .44 Spl.   

Is it a hard cartridge to reload?

One of the guns on my list is the Colt SAA.   I was thinking of getting one in .45
Colt but now I'm wondering if .44-40 is a better choice.

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Rifleman 52
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Posted: December 25 2016 at 11:45am | IP Logged Quote Rifleman 52

44-40 reloads just like any other rifle cartridge, you must
lube before you resize so you don't stick in your die. Then
you can shoot them in rifle or pistol. I use Lee Rifle Dies
and have no trouble with them. I use Lyman 49th Edition
Manual and do just fine. The rifle ammo can use a little
more powder than the pistol, getting higher FPS. But I don't
do it because I don't want to get them mixed up. Shooting
rifle ammo in my pistol wouldn't be good for my health or
fingers. The cowboys did this out on the range so they had
ammo for their pistol and rifle..... chris
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STCM(SW)
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Posted: December 25 2016 at 5:04pm | IP Logged Quote STCM(SW)

I have a S&W M544 Texas commemorative from 1986.
Don't shoot hot loads in it and did the Coup de grāce on a buck 6 years ago.
You have to be careful as the shells are rather thin and can be damaged easily.

Just like it's smaller brother, the 38-40 that I also have a S&W revolver chambered in.

   

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REM1875
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Posted: December 26 2016 at 2:06am | IP Logged Quote REM1875

Rifleman 52 wrote:
Hi joed, I have loaded thousands
of 44-40, thats what got me
into reloading in the first place. Back in 1997 my
buddy and
I came into Ruger Vaquaro pistols. 50 rnds cost $30.00
back
then, so we became reloaders and never looked back. I
load
7-gns of Unique, rifle or pistol and they shoot just
fine...chris


LMAO Almost my story too- Almost
I got a Remington 44-40 1875 Replica when I got back
from Korea in 1978 and that is what basically started
me off cause ammo was real expensive and hard to find
and a lot I did find had been on the shelf for 30 plus
years.
I found a lee hand loading tool and a "brand new"
Ideal 427100 (168gr) mold that had been on a shelf
since who knows when. This was out in the El Paso, Tx/
New Mexico area.
Now 1000s of dollars later I can tell ya it was the
most expensive and fun way to save money ever and I
have worked with the 44-40 and 38-40 in all sorts of
actions and and guns an LOVE IT. The 44-40 is my
number 1 cartridge.
Barnes in COTW says: More men good and bad and more
game big and small have been killed with the 44-40....

It sits most comfortable between the 44 Spl and 44
Mag.


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REM1875
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Posted: December 26 2016 at 3:21am | IP Logged Quote REM1875

STCM(SW) wrote:
I have a S&W M544 Texas
commemorative from 1986.
Don't shoot hot loads in it and did the Coup de grāce
on a buck 6 years ago.
You have to be careful as the shells are rather thin
and can be damaged easily.

Just like it's smaller brother, the 38-40 that I also
have a S&W revolver chambered in.

   

Master Chief
I love the TWT M544 and I do not shoot barn burners
out of it either, while it was made out of some of the
same parts as the M-29 I have been told the heat
treating on the cylinders is different.
I have also been told that Ford Pinto and F-900 used
some of the same parts- some nuts, bolts and other
parts (maybe the wipers, radio knobs and an door lock
buttons)

Anyways the 44-40 casing and 44 mag are two entirely
different animals, and the 44 -40 casing and real hot
loads are not all I want standing between me and the
hereafter.
If I may ask the Master Chief what revolver do
you have the 38-40 in?

I like the 38-40 a heck of a lot- when I started off
in the 10mm then 40 S&W I was using the cast bullets
from my 38-40 and they were stellar. ( and yes some of
my brass was cut down 30 rem for in those days 10mm
was rare.)

Edited by REM1875 on December 26 2016 at 4:11am


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REM1875
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Posted: December 26 2016 at 3:55am | IP Logged Quote REM1875

A SIDE NOTE
There were reason why the 45 Colt (long) was not used
in the more popular repeating rifles of the day and it
was not because the round was too powerful.
Narrow rims and black powder had something to do with
it (I believe that was what broke the deal on the
lever actions) but not all and believe me if the
marketing geniuses of the day could have made it work
they sure as heck would have.

The 44-40, 25-20, 32-20 and 38-40 were bottle neck
cartridges where the the 45 Colt, 45 S&W, 44 Russian,
the later 44 Sp and a host of other 38 and 32's were
all straight walls, may of similar power to the
bottleneck rounds.

Take a look at all the problems Rossi and other had
trying to make a pump actions (ala the Colt Lightning)
in 45 Colt, 44 Mag and 357 and their well deserved
history of problems (not sure if the quickly here and
then gone IMI Timberwolf suffered the same problems)
Those Colt Lightning replicas made in the original
bottleneck cartridges were rarely a problem, The
others were not able to duplicate that. Most have even
stopped trying.

Maybe those old guys knew what they were doing?


Edited by REM1875 on December 26 2016 at 4:10am


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joed
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Posted: December 26 2016 at 6:28am | IP Logged Quote joed

STCM(SW) wrote:
I have a S&W M544 Texas commemorative
from 1986.
Don't shoot hot loads in it and did the Coup de grāce on a buck 6
years ago.
You have to be careful as the shells are rather thin and can be
damaged easily.

Just like it's smaller brother, the 38-40 that I also have a S&W
revolver chambered in.

   

I thought I was pretty good with S&W models but I had never
heard of that one in .44-40.   

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richhodg66
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Posted: December 26 2016 at 7:15am | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

Doesn't the .44-40 use an undersized bullet by modern standards? I believe it was a .427 bore instead of .429 or .430.

Funny how it was a perfectly adequate deer caliber 120 years ago, but a guy somehow needs a 7mm magnum nowadays, guess those deer evolved somehow.

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STCM(SW)
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Posted: December 26 2016 at 9:41am | IP Logged Quote STCM(SW)

"If I may ask the Master Chief what revolver do
you have the 38-40 in?"

It's one I had made from a S&W M 28-2 when they were cheap.
The gunsmith took one year nine months to do it and cost was not cheap....

"I thought I was pretty good with S&W models but I had never heard of that one in .44-40."

They only made them that one year, 1986, for the 150 year
of Texas war with Mexico.
Do a search on Gun Broker and they come up for sale every once in a while. Fancy wood box.

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joed
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Posted: December 26 2016 at 10:02am | IP Logged Quote joed

I did look that up on the internet earlier, very interesting gun.    I had no idea
that S&W ever did anything like that.

I'm intrigued by this cartridge, had no idea that anything like this was
produced so long ago.   According to the show I watched this cartridge was
hotter then the .44 Spl and very much in demand.

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Old Ranger
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Posted: December 26 2016 at 10:30am | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

richhodg66 wrote:
Doesn't the .44-40 use an undersized bullet by modern standards? I believe it was a .427 bore instead of .429 or .430.

Funny how it was a perfectly adequate deer caliber 120 years ago, but a guy somehow needs a 7mm magnum nowadays, guess those deer evolved somehow.


Depends on the gunmaker. Winchester will run close to or at .429" most of the time. Early Colt SAA around .427", but have been as big as .430". Most newer guns (Uberti) are right around .429" to take advantage of the same barrel as their .44Spl and the one .44Mag they make. And by the way, the Uberti weapons are top drawer quality in my opinion.

And as to the stopping power of a .44-40 just look at the numbers of those killed in gun battles in the 1880's through the 1900's. It's a very capable round.
And to those who think they "need" a 7mm mag, I've killed 4 whitetail deer with an 1851 Colt Navy in .36cal with a round ball. And a few more with a 2nd Mod Colt Dragoon in .44 with a round ball. Close quarters yes, but when the "monster magnum gunners" hear this they say stupid things and I simply smile at their ignorance.

The .44-40 has a thin case, as do many from that era, and is a little fickle when loading, but done right its a grand shooter worthy of having.

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joed
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Posted: December 26 2016 at 11:40am | IP Logged Quote joed

Looks like the weak link to the cartridge is the bore sizes.    Seems a shame
that this round is not more popular.

It was mentioned that it was more popular then the .45 Colt on the gun show.
From what they showed I could see why.

Edited by joed on December 26 2016 at 2:42pm


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REM1875
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Posted: December 26 2016 at 8:34pm | IP Logged Quote REM1875

STCM(SW) wrote:
"If I may ask the Master Chief what
revolver do
you have the 38-40 in?"

It's one I had made from a S&W M 28-2 when they were
cheap.
The gunsmith took one year nine months to do it and
cost was not cheap....

"I thought I was pretty good with S&W models but I had
never heard of that one in .44-40."

They only made them that one year, 1986, for the 150
year
of Texas war with Mexico.
Do a search on Gun Broker and they come up for sale
every once in a while. Fancy wood box.



Dang it Master Chief You had me all excited and
searching the web for 38-40 S&W And it was a
fruitless search.

There was several version of the Texas Wagon Train
(TWT) S&W 544 (44-40) 150th year commemorative 1836-
1986 made- kinda expensive, real expensive and holy
cow !!! expensive with corresponding work done within
each price range. The most expensive ones are truly a
piece of art work.
I still see the lower priced ones for under 900 bucks
with or with the box occasionally.
4782 appear to have been made and shipped.
Most of us who bought them as a shooter real do enjoy
them. A real nice accurate N-Frame and a beauty.

There was an earlier top break S&W No 3 model in 44-40
also - similar to the Schofield and Russian.

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Posted: December 27 2016 at 11:10am | IP Logged Quote RT58

joed wrote:
Looks like the weak link to the cartridge is the bore sizes.    Seems a shame
that this round is not more popular.

It was mentioned that it was more popular then the .45 Colt on the gun show.
From what they showed I could see why.

It pre-dates SAAMI and is used to having a variety of bore sizes, like every other cartridge of the era. But with their soft lead bullets it wasn't an issue, and that is also what made them so effective, a concept that is lost on our modern gun writers that only know what Elmer Keith taught them or what they learned on the range.

I have heard that the 544s barrels are actually made from model 29 stock while the chambers were made using reamers for the .44-40 with .427-ish throats, making the throats smaller than the bores. Some guys have their throats opened up, but using standard loads I've never had a problem with mine.
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