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Old November 16, 2012, 08:44 AM   #1
kcub
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.44-40

I got a nice 7.5" Colt SAA and really like it. Better factory ammo than the .44 special.

Very accurate. Anybody else like this round?
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Old November 16, 2012, 08:55 AM   #2
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I like both the .38-40 and the .44-40. But I'm not interested in getting into another cartridge for which I currently have no dies.

I load .38 Special, .357 Magnum, .44 Special, .44 Magnum, .45 ACP and AR, and .45 Colt. That's enough for me for now.

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Old November 16, 2012, 09:13 AM   #3
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The reason more people stay away for the .44-40 is that you loose some brass ton the reloading process. Likely not as much as they think but the impression is there.
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Old November 16, 2012, 09:44 AM   #4
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New loaders of the round tend to lose a good amount of brass early in the process, with the level tailing off dramatically as they learn the little tricks, nuances, and magic incantations necessary to prevent crushing the paper thin neck.
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Old November 16, 2012, 09:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Better factory ammo than the .44 special.
What makes 44-40 factory ammo "better" than .44 Special?

Is it just loaded hotter? How does it compare to .41 Magnum or .44 Magnum?
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Old November 16, 2012, 11:06 AM   #6
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My only 44-40 is a Colt convertable. I can load for either but prefer the 44 special cylinder. It's mostly just a case of the Special requiring less work to reload. (lubing, concerns about crushing, finicky with crimp, etc)
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Old November 16, 2012, 12:08 PM   #7
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Better as in 200 grains @ 1000 fps vs 246 @ 750.
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Old November 16, 2012, 12:29 PM   #8
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I have one that I like a lot although I probably don't shoot it enough.





On a side note: Technically, a single action Colt in .44-40 is called a Frontier Six Shooter. The Single Action Army was called that originally because it was chambered for the .45 cal army round.
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Old November 16, 2012, 01:46 PM   #9
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highpower 3006 wrote:

Quote:
On a side note: Technically, a single action Colt in .44-40 is called a Frontier Six Shooter. The Single Action Army was called that originally because it was chambered for the .45 cal army round.
I knew that.

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Old November 16, 2012, 01:50 PM   #10
Bob Wright
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kcub:
Quote:
Better as in 200 grains @ 1000 fps vs 246 @ 750.
What kind of load are you using to get that kind of muzzle velocity? Or which chronograph?

The highest velocity with IMR 800X is only around 967 fps max. according to Hodgdon's tables.

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Last edited by Bob Wright; November 16, 2012 at 01:56 PM.
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Old November 16, 2012, 07:51 PM   #11
Aguila Blanca
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[QUOTE45 Auto][Quotekcub]Better factory ammo than the .44 special.[/quote]
What makes 44-40 factory ammo "better" than .44 Special?[/QUOTE]
I have the same question. What's better about .44-40 over .44 Special?
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Old November 16, 2012, 07:59 PM   #12
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The main problem with reloading 44-40 is the original bores were .427. Modern 44-40's are .429. Most dies still size to .427 so when you try to stuff a .430 bullet into one it crushes the neck. RCBS makes cowboy dies that size to .429 or you can use a 44 mag expander plug.
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Old November 17, 2012, 10:29 AM   #13
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Hawg makes a good point. Correct Sizing is very important in this calibre with it's (relatively) fragile brass. The 44-40 dates to the black powder era and it's brass was designed for use with the lower pressures of the age. As such it is thinner and more easily damaged in reloading than the 44 special. Not a big problem but requires a bit more attention to detail when loading.
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Old November 18, 2012, 06:10 AM   #14
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re:

Quote:
Better as in 200 grains @ 1000 fps vs 246 @ 750.
Or explore the .44 Special "Skeeter" load for a 250 grain bullet at around 950 fps from...if memory serves me...a 4 inch barrel. I clocked a 200 grain cast, gas checked SWC a bit over a thousand from my 4.75 inch Cimarron Model P with a half grain under Skeeter's maximum.

Oh! Almost forgot. SKeet's pet load was a 250-grain Keith and 7.5 grains of Unique. YMMV
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Old November 18, 2012, 06:58 AM   #15
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"The 44-40 dates to the black powder era and it's brass was designed for use with the lower pressures of the age."

Which is interesting because...

Smith & Wesson developed the .44 Special with black powder. It was the last commercial black powder cartridge developed, and was, for quite a few years, sold in both black powder and smokeless rounds.
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Old November 19, 2012, 05:33 PM   #16
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Interesting.
The 44-40 (44 W.C.F) preceedes the special by around 35 years. I didn't know the 44 special was ever loaded with black powder. I wasn't aware that any new cartridges developed in the 20th century were designed around black powder.
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Old November 19, 2012, 07:10 PM   #17
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The first .38 Special rounds were blackpowder.

Incidentally, most rounds were also loaded with "semi-smokeless" powder such as Lesmoke.

Lesmoke produced less flash and smoke than blackpowder, and less pressure than smokeless. Old cartridges that have copper primers are blackpowder, brass primers are semi-smokeless, nickel primers are smokeless. This for older rounds only.

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Old November 19, 2012, 08:40 PM   #18
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I like it - currently have 12 and have had 7 others. (Rifles & revolvers both)

I really like the .38-40 too, but only have 10 at the moment. (3 revolvers, 7 rifles)
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Old November 24, 2012, 08:17 AM   #19
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I shot it again yesterday.

One hole groups when I do my part. Sights regulated perfectly.

I heart Colt.
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Old November 25, 2012, 11:09 PM   #20
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Lesmoke power was virtually never used for centerfire cartridges, it wasn't really suitable.

It was primarily a .22 propellant.

Other semi-smokeless, or bulk black powder replacement, propellants were suitable for use in centerfire cartridges.

The last references I've been able to find to black powder loaded .38 Special are from about 1922.
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Old November 27, 2012, 07:30 AM   #21
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I have one revolver in 44-40 ( an old H Schmidt 357 conversion )... I like to shoot it, & I do reload for it... it's kinda quirky like a 22 Hornet to reload... I guess I've never really gotten into it the same as my straight wall revolver cartridges ( I do 3 different loads in 45 Colt, that cover from cowboy loads, to near 454 Casull loads ) ( load for 454 Casull as well as 44 Special, & 44 Mag ) so the 44-40 is just an interesting gun to shoot, not one of my "main squeezes"
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