Thread: 1800's .44's
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Old August 20, 2012, 06:36 AM   #66
Mike Irwin
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 39,103
Bob's absolutely correct.

About halfway down this page there's shown an assortment of vintage .44 Russian rounds, including one early .44 Russian loaded in Russia, which has exposed grease grooves.

Apparently the Russians didn't object to the exposed lubrication as much as they objected to the heeled bullet. My guess is that they lacked the technology and machinery to cast and load heeled bullet cartridges.

I'm not 100% sure, but I believe that it was the United States Cartridge Company that developed the concept of grease grooves covered by the case neck. Hard to say for sure, though, as there was so much development going on at this time.

What can be said for certain, though, is that UMC loaded a VERY peculiar "solution" to the lubrication probem.

In the picture above, the 5th cartridge is what I call a "lube squirter" bullet.

The lubrication was contained in a hollow "lube chamber" in the base of the cartridge and covered with a wad. There were three or more holes in the bullet's sides or ogive connected to the lube chamber.

On firing, the pressure pushed the wad into the lube chamber and squirted the lube into the barrel.

What's even more interesting is that D. B. Wesson is the one who designed the bullet. UMC manufactured it for S&W until the early 1900s.

Here's a site that shows a sectioned bullet with the lub and tubes.
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