I chrono-ed some original 38/44 High Speed ammo this week.
This is real 1940’s vintage 38/44 ammo. It says “.38-44 S.&W. Special” 158 grn Lead bullet. The box says “r266” as the version of the load an it specifically says “specially adapted for the .38-44 Smith and Wesson Special”.
This is the 38/44 ammo that was chrono-ed.
6.5” 1198+ 1057- 141e 1121m 82s
5.0” 1131+ 1002- 129e 1079m 71s
4.0” 1069+ 739- 330e 1010m 103s (one bad round)
I had a bunch of misfires so I was barely able to get my 12 rounds for testing of each. That is why I was stuck with the one bad round on the 4”. I just ran out of decent ammo otherwise I would have voided the round and shot another one. So do I believe that original 38/44 ammo would have done about 1175 fps out of a 6.5” and 1150 fps out of a 5”? Yes. The degradation of the ammo in the last 70 years could explain my results running a bit slow compared to expectations. We are certainly not far outside the range of belief on the commercial of that vintage. Given the number of duds I had in the box, it would be quite believable that 1175 and 1150 are the targets.