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davem
November 6, 2009, 10:17 PM
I'm not sure if it is still available but a few years back one of the manufacturer's offered a Colt clone in 44/40 with a spare cylinder in 44 Magnum. Apparently the revolver itself was strong enough for the 44 mag.
In any event that got me to thinking. The 44/40 has historically been loaded pretty soft because it originally had a ballon head on the case but nowadays I would think all the cases are pretty much the same. If so, then it would seem that a 44/40 could be loaded a lot hotter- maybe not up to 44 Mag but maybe close to it. Now on a revolver- that doesn't make much sense if you could just pop in a 44 Mag cylinder but if you had a 1873 Winchester in 44/40 for Cowboy action events and could load the 44/40 to a better level, then the 44/40 ought to do pretty good on deer at fairly close range.
So.....
I don't know anything on this idea or if it is even doable but can the 44/40 be loaded hotter and to what level that is still considered safe in a replica revolver and replica 1873 lever action? Thanks.

bubba15301
November 6, 2009, 10:40 PM
you cant load a 1873 up it is a very weak action you would need a model 92 or a marlin . another weak link is the 44/40 cases themselves

CraigC
November 7, 2009, 02:17 AM
You're probably remembering the special run Super Blackhawk convertible. The SAA isn't strong enough for the pressure (Great Westerns notwithstanding) and neither is the Winchester `73. However, Brian Pearce reported in a recent Handloader that the modern Uberti 1873 .45's can handle loads approaching 20,000psi. That gets you a 250-260gr to 1400fps. Even at standard pressures you can approach that velocity with 200gr bullets in the .44-40.

I plan on using my own Uberti 1873 .38-40 on deer this fall, right after muzzleloader season.

Hawg Haggen
November 8, 2009, 03:21 PM
What Craig said. The 44-40 in a strong action like a 92 can be loaded to .44 mag pressures but the cases wont last as long as straight walled cases like .45 Colt will. 900 fps in a clone revolver and 1400 in a 73 lever gun are decent pressures but i wouldn't go much over in either one. The problem with the 73 Winchester is the toggle link action. The toggles can't handle the back pressure.

Jim Watson
November 8, 2009, 03:31 PM
There used to be some very heavy published loads for .44-40. There are some loose rifles out there, too, beaten up by the pressure, even 92s.

Hawg Haggen
November 8, 2009, 08:31 PM
There used to be some very heavy published loads for .44-40. There are some loose rifles out there, too, beaten up by the pressure, even 92s.

I respectfully disagree. The 92 with it's double locking lugs is one of the strongest actions ever made. They will handle pressures in excess of .44 mag easily.

davem
November 8, 2009, 09:36 PM
First- I agree about the Model 92 but I was interested in the 1873 since the 44/40 was sort of the cowboy cartridge in the respect it could be used in both the revolver and lever action.
On the 1873 Winchester- the first time I saw one the bolt did seem pretty weak compared to the later models.
So...........:eek:
I am going to accept the advise given- my idea that the 44/40 might be loaded to 44 magnum pressures and used in the 1873 is not a doable option.
Thanks everyone for the honest advice.
Advice taken.:cool:

CraigC
November 9, 2009, 01:39 AM
Well, you don't need .44Mag pressures to kill deer. 1200fps is plenty and with a good standard weight cast bullet, will exit any deer on earth.

Jbar4Ranch
November 9, 2009, 09:58 AM
Well, you don't need .44Mag pressures to kill deer. 1200fps is plenty and with a good standard weight cast bullet, will exit any deer on earth.

I killed an elk three years ago with a revolver, a cast bullet, and a muzzle velocity of only about 1100 fps at a distance of around 160 yards.

Load the .44-40 up with a compressed load of black powder and you'll be pushing 1300 fps with a 200 grain bullet at very safe pressures.