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Old December 7, 2008, 01:10 PM   #1
sandbag
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.44 Special/.44-40

Can a .44 Special cartridge be fired from a .44-40 revolver?Would it be safe?Would it fit the chamber?
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Old December 7, 2008, 01:15 PM   #2
sandbag
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Empty Chamber

I've been shooting and carrying handguns for 44 years and I never thought of this til now.I have a Colt and a USFA SAA-I keep an empty chamber under the hammer on both if I have them loaded off the range.I also have a slew of S&W double action revolvers with the firing pin integral with the hammer,yet I have never heard such a warning applied to double actions.I routinely carry them with fully loaded chambers.What am I missing here?
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Old December 7, 2008, 01:20 PM   #3
SIGSHR
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No. The 44-40 is a tapered or botlenecked cartridge, the 44 Special is a straight walled cartridge, a 44 Special could probably fit and be fired, but the case would split, might be some problem with gas blowback, the case backing out and tying up the action. I'm sure our CAS shooters will have something to say about this.
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Old December 7, 2008, 01:27 PM   #4
Webleymkv
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Quote:
I've been shooting and carrying handguns for 44 years and I never thought of this til now.I have a Colt and a USFA SAA-I keep an empty chamber under the hammer on both if I have them loaded off the range.I also have a slew of S&W double action revolvers with the firing pin integral with the hammer,yet I have never heard such a warning applied to double actions.I routinely carry them with fully loaded chambers.What am I missing here?
A SAA and close copies either have no hammer block or a very delicate one that is easily damaged and rendered inoperative. Thusly a blow to the hammes would likely cause the firing pin to contact the primer enough for the gun to fire. S&W DA revolvers have a hammer block safety that prevents the hammer from traveling far enough forward to contact the primer unless the trigger is pulled.
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Old December 7, 2008, 01:48 PM   #5
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Can I fire xx in yy?

NO! No! NO!
There is no good or otherwise reason to fire a cartridge in a gun that is chambered for a different cartridge.
It is an ignorant solution to a non-existent problem.

44-40 ammo might be harder to find than 44 special, but it is still obtainable. If you have some .44 special ammo but no gun that takes that cartridge, sell, give, trade the ammo to someone who does have a .44 special.

If you have a problem finding 44-40 ammo, invest in hand loading equipment and buy some 44-40 cases as components.

"You can fire xx caliber in a yy gun!" is talk that you will hear in a bar from a patron who is more knowledgeable about beer due to practice than about firearms. In short, it is a mark of a fool to make such a statement.

"Can fire", is not the same as "should fire".
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Old December 7, 2008, 05:43 PM   #6
sandbag
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Thanks for the input

I should have realized that the cartridges have different shapes-I had no intention of trying it out,just wondered.
I have a .327 Magnum that can safely fire three other calibers-32 S&W,32S&W Long,and .32 H&R Magnum,and we all know .44 Special can be fired in a a.44 Magnum,.38 special in a .357,etc.,but i get the point about the bottlenecked cartridge.
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Old December 7, 2008, 05:49 PM   #7
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Cimarron used to sell a Uberti that had both cylinders. Don't think they still do tho.
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Old December 8, 2008, 12:07 AM   #8
RickB
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While barrel and cylinder specs have been all over the map on various .44s, the definitive bore diameter of the .44-40 is .427", and that of .44 Special is .429". Even though the Special bullet is larger in diameter, the length and taper of the .44-40 chamber (probably) puts the smaller diameter section far enough forward that the Special would still chamber. If you have a convertible revolver with cylinders in both calibers, the bore is probably .429", and you'll get better results loading bullets of that size for both. Some old Colt .44-40s have chamber mouth diameters of .425", and you're not going to get much accuracy shooting .425" bullets in a .429" barrel.
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Old December 8, 2008, 12:49 AM   #9
Gun 4 Fun
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+1 for what RickB just posted. With one exception. From what I can determine from cartridge drawings, the 44-40 would chamber in the .44 special but not the other way around. It would still be extremely foolish for anyone to ever try this. Let's be careful out there.
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Old December 8, 2008, 01:07 PM   #10
Mike Irwin
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"From what I can determine from cartridge drawings, the 44-40 would chamber in the .44 special but not the other way around."

Incorrect.

The base on the .44-40 is .471 inches, the base on the .44 Special .457. No chance of the .44-40 fitting in the .44 Special chamber.

The .44-40 is also significantly longer than the .44 Special.
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Old December 8, 2008, 02:22 PM   #11
carguychris
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The predecessor of the .44Spl is the .44 Russian. It can be chambered and fired in a .44Spl or .44Mag revolver with no ill effects other than the inevitable burnt powder buildup at the front of the chambers.

As others have already pointed out, this is not true of the .44-40.
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Old December 8, 2008, 02:33 PM   #12
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A 44-40 will not chamber in a 44 spcl. and I'm pretty sure I tried to chamber a .44 spcl. in a 44-40 once and that didn't work either. Don't have any .44 spcl. ammo on hand to try. Haven't used it in a long time. I have cases but they're not here.
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Old December 8, 2008, 03:24 PM   #13
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I performed a little test, and while .44 Special will not chamber in a .44-40, .44 Russan will.
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