View Full Version : 45 LC versus 44-40

Zeb Kingsford
June 14, 2008, 09:28 AM
Hello everyone. I got a question. What is the overall best rifle cartridge?
The 45 Long Colt or the 44-40. I know the 44-40 is the most historic caliber and I don't think the ballastics or that much different.
Is the 44-40 hard to reload and can a 1860 Cap & Ball pistol be converted to the 44-40?

June 14, 2008, 09:51 AM

June 14, 2008, 10:11 AM
44-40 cases are thin. They take a little more care to reload but they're not bad. If you shoot bp 44-40 is best. The thin case expands to keep fouling out of the action. As was stated .44 c&b's are converted to .45 Colt.
Historically the .45 Colt was never chambered in rifles, the 44-40 was. The .45 can be loaded hot in a strong action like the 92 but so can the 44-40, just 44-40 cases won't last as long loaded hot.

Zeb Kingsford
June 15, 2008, 11:42 AM
Thanks HAWG for the information. Let's make some smoke!

June 15, 2008, 12:01 PM
i know you are gonna think i am nuts but i swear the 44 40 is just a little bit faster to feed in a lever gun during a cowboy shoot. however watch mixing up ammo when loading. it will definately ruin your day....bobn

June 15, 2008, 12:09 PM
Bottlenecks do feed easier than straight wall cases but some of the .45 shooters are pretty dang fast.

Thanks HAWG for the information. Let's make some smoke!

Plan to later on this evening when it cools off some.

Jim Watson
June 15, 2008, 01:53 PM
.44-40 ain't gonna go well in an 1860 because it is awful fat for the cylinder and because a .44 c&b is really a .45.

June 15, 2008, 05:28 PM
No fatter than a .45. That's why conversion cylinders only hold five. True the .44 c&b bore is .45.

Zeb Kingsford
June 15, 2008, 06:40 PM
Thanks for the info guys, I think I will stick with the 44-40. I guess I would like to stick with the historical aspect of the caliber. Just as long I would be able to convert the 1860 Armys to cartride at a later date if I choose.

June 15, 2008, 07:43 PM
I don't recall reading of any early guns being converted to 44-40? Came along after the 45 didn't it?

June 15, 2008, 08:05 PM
I don't recall reading of any early guns being converted to 44-40? Came along after the 45 didn't it?

Try reading the previous posts. They still don't convert them to 44-40, not without a barrel change. The .45 and 44-40 both were available to the public in 1873 but Colt didn't chamber 44-40 until 1878. The .45 was by far the most popular caliber for Colt revolvers.

June 16, 2008, 08:35 PM
I thought that conversions were done to 38-40 and 44 Russian, then, and sometimes to 38 Special or 38 S&W now. It's probably much cheaper to just buy another pistol in the caliber that you want and keep the 1860 cap & ball. Is it a Colt or Remington replica? I've had a conversion cylinder for a Remington. Not sure about the 1860 Colt. What's the caliber of your 1860? I've seen replicas in .36, .38, .44 and .45.

June 16, 2008, 08:37 PM
Oh yea, for accuracy in rifles, I like 38-40 and 44-40. For hunting loads, 45 Colt.

June 16, 2008, 09:15 PM
I've hunted with my 92 in 44-40. I do jack the loads up some. Haven't actually shot anything with it yet tho.:p