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Old April 21, 2019, 02:19 PM   #1
Savvy_Jack
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44-40 vs 30-30

Grab some popcorn folks....

On a side note;



"The Winchester bore diameter is .429. All available soft points are about .424. One shooter gets finest results by swaging .424 bullets to .429 for Winchester rifles. Remington and Marlin rifles measure .424, therefore factory bullets are satisfactory in those barrels. Properly loaded, this cartridge has more knockdown powder than a .30-.30" ~ Sharpe - 1937

Although I have measured old 1920's JSP bullets to be .4255 to .426, I have measured some older dissected swaged bullets as small as .422, so I think there is some Merritt in what Sharpe says. I 100% agree with the 30-30 remark BUT only for closer distance shooting, I would prefer the 30-30 if it meant going hungry if I missed a deer with the shot at greater distances of 150 yards.
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Old April 21, 2019, 06:15 PM   #2
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44-40 is a black powder cartridge, and as such is limited to about 20,000 psi even with smokeless loads. 44-40 launches a 200 gr bullet at about 1,700 fps out of a rifle.

30-30 is a smokeless catridge operating at 42,000 psi. It launches a 150 or 170 gr bullet at 2,300 fps or 2,200 fps respectively.

While the 44-40 has a reputation built from 1873 on, it develops less than 1,500 ft-lbs of energy and has about 3" of drop at 100 yds with a 50 yds zero. A 30-30, a relative new-comer comparitively, develops about 1,800 ft-lbs of energy, but more importantly has less than an inch of drop at 100 yds with a 50 yds zero, in t act it only drops about 8" at 200 yds with a 100 yds zero. The 30-30 and 30-40 obsoleted trainloads of black powder cartridges virtually overnight when they appeared on the market. IMO, it would be hard to support the contention that the 44-40 is a better cartridge for anything when the market has proven otherwise.
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Old April 22, 2019, 02:56 PM   #3
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At one time I had practically memorized Sharpe's "Complete Guide To Handloading". Brilliant man.

But .44-40 over the .30-30 as a hunting cartridge? No way.
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Old April 22, 2019, 03:17 PM   #4
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It was a convenience traveling horse-back back in the day to have both rifle and sidearm shooting the same cartridge. Riding horse-back to this day still allows a hunter to cut the distance between his horse and quarry if the hunter is a competent horse rider.
That is the reason why such under-powered B/Powder {44-40_38-40} cartridges were so popular. Able to harvest Big Game with a single well placed shot at >close range.<

As to 30-30 vs 44-40? Back at the turn of the last century. 30-30 lever overall was considered the cats meow do its light weight fast firing and easy on the shoulder carry. Although more powerful cartridge levers & single shot cartridge rifle were available. Not everyone desired such heavy recoiling civilian weaponry for thin skin animals.
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Old April 22, 2019, 04:25 PM   #5
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I'm sure that an accurately placed 44-40 bullet will down deer sized animals within reasonable shooting distances. This is based upon the many deer and wild hogs that have toppled from my 44 MAG carbine. But to compare a handgun cartridge such as 44-40 with a genuine rifle cartridge such as 30-30 seems a little strange to me. 30-30 bullets kill well out to 150 yards and then some. But at this distance, handgun cartridges arc toward the earth with rapid certainty.

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Old April 22, 2019, 07:37 PM   #6
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with in 100 yards a 44-40 with 200 gr bullet cast or jacketed at 1700+ fps out of a 1892 rifle with a 24" barrel will shade a 44 mag pistol with 7.5 ' barrel and same 200 gr bullet with a little more speed. and we all hear about how powerfull a 44 mag revolver is . I have killed deer with both 38-40(180 gr bullet) and 44-40 (200 gr bullet) at 1700+fps, I only take broadside standing double lung shots and have not lost a deer that way. I also use 1894,s in several calibers and they are more powerfull and better suited for longer ranges and I shoot them the same way I shoot deer with the 1892,s and have not lost any deer with the 1894,s.
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Old April 23, 2019, 01:34 AM   #7
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The 44 Winchester Center-Fire is first and foremost a rifle cartridge. As an afterthought, is was noticed that the cartridge was short enough to fit the cylinder of the Colt Single Action Army revolver.
If the 30-30 Winchester had been available in 1873, I don't think it would have been as popular as the 44-40 for one reason: Magazine capacity. With the Indian hostilities approaching their peak, having a fully loaded 1873 Winchester rifle had an undeniable appeal. By 1895, when the 30-WCF debuted, the frontier had officially been closed for 5 years, the Indians had been subdued and put on reservations, game had become less abundant and more wary, and when encountered were often at longer range because of it. A hunter did not need the greater magazine capacity of the 1873 Winchester, but a rifle with a flatter trajectory came in mighty handy indeed.
Half-magazine and button-magazine Winchesters began to appear as they were often more accurate at longer range and it was worth sacrificing magazine capacity to get that accuracy enhancement. With a tang-mounted aperture rear sight, a lot of those short-magazine rifles shot remarkably well way out yonder. Lyman was in business, yes indeed! The 44-40 was as good or better than it ever was, but the game had changed and it was being out-paced by more recent developments.
Later on, the 30-30 would also be out-classed as a long range caliber by a whole slew of higher velocity cartridges and the rifles to shoot them. The 30-30 probably would have faded into obscurity if it weren't for the fact that the cartridge and the typical firearms for which it was intended are still quite excellent and handy in the thick woods for Deer and such game where the range is limited and well within the capabilities of the typical lever-gun. So now, most shooters consider the 30-30 a short range caliber, contrary to its earlier reputation. "Why, it's little better than a spear!"
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Old April 23, 2019, 08:05 AM   #8
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The 44-40 is an excellent deer cartridge within it's limitations. It has likely killed close to the same numbers of deer as the 30-30 has. The 30-30 however is a better deer cartridge.
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Old April 23, 2019, 12:48 PM   #9
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It does seem in this current age of long-range precision rifles, that the 30-30 has been relegated to a role in which the 44-40 would work perhaps equally well; thick woods hunting in which nearly all opportunities to shoot at game will be well under 100 yards.
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Old April 25, 2019, 08:41 PM   #10
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nearly a century

Approaching a century later (82 yrs) I think we all know better. The .44-40 is as good a cartridge as it ever was, but it is just not in the same league as the .30 WCF.
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Old April 26, 2019, 01:56 PM   #11
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and the 30-30 in not in the same league as the 300 savage, used with in their respected ranges they all will kill deer size animals and larger in a pinch.
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Old April 27, 2019, 11:50 AM   #12
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Sorry

And the 30'06 is not in the same league as the .300 Savage.
And the .300 Win mag is not in the same league as the '06.

I miss your point. SHARPE was commenting on the .44 WCF having more "knockdown" than the .30 WCF, this in 1937. I stated that close to 100 yrs of experience with the two shows that not to be the case (in so many words).

I don't see what the .300 Savage has to do with things......other than used within their effective range, all three will take whitetails cleanly. ..which is not the nature of SHARPE's comment.....or the focus of the discussion
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Old April 27, 2019, 12:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
SHARPE was commenting on the .44 WCF having more "knockdown" than the .30 WCF, this in 1937.
Quote:
Approaching a century later (82 yrs) I think we all know better.

Not really. Not about "knockdown". We can't. Because "knockdown" or "knockout" is not a quantifiable thing. It's not like velocity or bullet weight, that can be measured, or energy that can be calculated. People have tried to come up with formulas to "explain" the observed results. ALL fail, at some point. Their results do not hold consistent across all shooting situations.


DO remember that the besides the individual authors personal quirks, the style of writing 80+ years ago was different. What was "normal" then can sound boastful and arrogant today. Yesterday's "experts" made big claims, that was part of what made then "experts".

Part of that was to invite counter argument, and thereby discussion. But only part. Another part was that some of those guys believed they were absolutely correct, no matter what...About a lot of things, they were, about others things...not so much..

I once read an article by no less venerated figure than Col Townsend Whelen himself, where he flatly stated that "the reason the whitetail deer exists at all in this country today is the semi buckhorn rear sight."

He was implying the semibuckhorn sight was a poor sight, and using it was why so many hunters missed, and those misses were what allowed the deer population to survive.


Today, we'd consider that crap. Back then? If a noted gunwriter said it, it was almost gospel. Until/unless another noted gunwriter shot holes in the idea...

We can't judge "knockdown" because we don't know what the person making the statement means, exactly. THEY don't know exactly, though they THINK they do...


IF every deer someone sees shot with a .44-40 goes down faster than every deer they see shot with a .30-30 then based on their personal observations, the .44-40 knocks them down better.

If your personal observations are different, (and they most likely are) then we argue...

Or, we might just stick with "common sense math", and go with the .44-40 works better because .44, and 40 are bigger numbers than .30 and 30.. (yes, that is sarcasm, but that doesn't stop some people from thinking its true)

My personal observations are in my sig line.
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Old April 27, 2019, 09:29 PM   #14
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The high-velocity loadings of the 44-40 that were intended for the 1892 Winchester were probably equal to the 30-30 in power, if not more so, within perhaps 75 to 100 yards, but not further. Most of us probably know by now that the math for foot-pounds of energy is a faulty calculation that is biased in favor of velocity....that's old news. If those loads were what Phil Sharpe was referring to, they weren't too far behind the 44 Magnum, which I have observed to be substantially more powerful than the 30-30 at close range. The 44 Magnum from a carbine is at least at powerful as the 7.62 NATO from a SOCOM 16; the heavy steel gong said so. So it's not much of a stretch to believe that the 44-40 will do the same job, equally well, as the 30-30 on game, to some distance, after which the 30-30 will simply carry more energy further and with a flatter trajectory. But today, you would have to hand-load to achieve such results.
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Old April 27, 2019, 09:41 PM   #15
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The high velocity loads ran a 200 grain bullet at 1,800 FPS. A 30-30 runs a 150 grain bullet at 2,390 FPS. A .44 magnum runs a 240 grain bullet at 1,475 FPS.
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Old April 28, 2019, 12:07 AM   #16
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Quote:
The high velocity loads ran a 200 grain bullet at 1,800 FPS. A 30-30 runs a 150 grain bullet at 2,390 FPS. A .44 magnum runs a 240 grain bullet at 1,475 FPS.

Shame on you! If you don't, you should know better, and if you do know better, then you're deliberately trying to mislead us. Boo!


The .44 Magnum does run a 240gr bullet at 1,475 FPS FROM A REVOLVER!

it runs that 240gr at 1800fps from a carbine!

Quote .44-40 speed from a rifle, quote .30-30 speed from a rifle, but quote .44 Magnum speed from a handgun. Not a fair comparison. Not cool.
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Old April 28, 2019, 12:14 AM   #17
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Quote:
Shame on you! If you don't, you should know better, and if you do know better, then you're deliberately trying to mislead us. Boo!
You're right. I got in a hurry.
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Old April 28, 2019, 01:04 AM   #18
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knockdown

The use of the term "knockdown" was by Sharpe, not me. I was simply repeating his choice of words.

I agree, knockdown power, killing power, stopping power, all evasive terms and not a subject easily quantified, if at all.

I am simply trying to state that the .30wcf is more cartridge than the .44wcf, by a significant margin. Sports of the day eventually saw that.........

It would be interesting to see yearly on the .44wcf in the Win 92, v. the .30wcf in the model 94, in the years following the '94s debut in .30. As time passed and the advantages of the .30/94 were seen, the dandy Win 92 and its line of cartridges just faded away. The 94/.30 outsold and outlasted the 92 and its chamberings by 6 million units and 50 additional years.
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Old April 28, 2019, 08:56 AM   #19
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I have owned a few 44 mag rifles in the past, and I still own 44 mag handguns and I have killed a lot of game with them. With the M92 rifle I had I killed a few horses on the ranch, and with my handguns I have killed animals from mid-size mule deer to buffalo.
I also have had a 30-30 for many years and I killed 11 deer with 30-30 rounds with both 150 and 170 grain bullets. In addition to these, I have killed 4 deer with 44 Specials all loaded with heavy LBT or Keither SWC bullet. No deer took more then one round from any of these 44s, rifles or handguns.
So in the .430" size bullets I have killed deer and antelope with bullets as light as 225 Gr. HPs and and heavy as 230 grain Wide Flat Nose, and from as slow as 950 FPS with Keith SWCs to as fast as 1850 from my old M92.
I would rate the 30-30 as an easier deer rifle to use in more open country because it does shoot flatter, but I have seen the effects of 44s on deer and antelope both and there is no denying it is as effective and maybe even a bit faster in how it drops deer. In larger animals (elk, buffalo bears and also domestic horses and cattle) a hard cast wide nose 44 our penetrates a 30-30 by a wide margin and breaks big bone a lot better. But deer don't have real big bones and the 30-30 with a 170 sees to do all we could ask of it.

So I am guessing about the 44-40 because the bullets it fires are about the same size in diameter from older guns (.427") and the same diameter from many newer guns. The bullets can go as heavy as about 220-240 and the velocity can be about the same from a rifle as a 44 mag can be from a short barrels handgun or within a few hundred FPS anyway.
I have no doubt the 44-40 rifles are quite effective at dropping deer. If I have one criticism of the 44-40 it would be about the thin brass and the fact that in most guns the brass life is pretty short.

But a .430" 225 grain HP impacting at 1200 FPS or faster is going to kill deer pretty well and a hard cast wide flat point bullet of about 240 grains at 1200 or so will shoot clear through any deer that walks, and if it doesn't drop the deer within 25 years I am sure you'll have a good blood trail to follow.
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