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Old March 1, 2005, 09:02 PM   #1
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Question regarding .44-40 caliber?

I'm new to handguns, but I am thirsting for knowledge. First, can a .44-40 caliber bullet be discharged in a Smith & Wesson .44 magnum handgun? Sscondly, what does the "40" designate in the .44-40 caliber round?
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Old March 1, 2005, 09:15 PM   #2
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I can probably say that you CAN'T fire it from a .44 magnum because the case measurements are SLIGHTLY different as outlined in an article by:
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Old March 1, 2005, 09:19 PM   #3
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44=caliber 40=grains of black powder in the original load.
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Old March 1, 2005, 09:50 PM   #4
Sir William
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NO! Bottlenecked. They do not interhange. The original Winchester load was 40 gr of black powder. The round is the 44 WCF (Winchester Center Fire) or the 44-40. I think it and 38-55 are THE lever action cartridges.
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Old March 2, 2005, 09:40 AM   #5
Lee Martin
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The other thing to note is that the old .44-40 used 0.427" bullets whereas modern .44s use 0.429"s.

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Old March 2, 2005, 07:07 PM   #6
Peter M. Eick
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You can buy a Texas commemorative model 544 in 44/40 if I remember right or maybe it is 40/44. I have been thinking about buying one for my Texas born Daughter, but not yet....

Maybe someday.
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Old March 3, 2005, 03:58 AM   #7
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As the first centerfire rifle round successor to the .44 Henry rimfire, the .44-40 was the most popular pistol caliber rifle and carbine/short rifle combo chambering ("combo" meaning a single caliber-chambering common to a rifle and revolver offering) in the Old West, beginning life in the 1873 Winchester...joined by Remington in 1875 I believe and Colt in 1876 (someone correct me here) in their 1875 and 1873 single action revolvers, respectively. Interestingly (and amazingly), while Colt wisely chose to chamber their SAA 73 revolver in this round, permitting a combo rifle/revolver in the same caliber to be carried by the cowpokes of the era, the vice versa is not true re the .45 Long Colt round in a Winchester. Winchester never chambered the original 73s or (more amazing, with some years under these calibers' belts) even later successor to the 73 Winchester, 1892s, in the .45 Long Colt round, although these guns in newer form these days are very popular with Cowboy Action Shooters (CAS) and other afficianados of the .45 Long Colt. There are some makers out there with special or limited production .44-40 and .44 Special and/or .44 Mag (the latter two usually being able to use the same cylinder) dual cylinder offerings. As mentioned, the .44-40 bullet is spec'd at .427 vs the .44 Special/Mag's .429, so the former can fire in the latter (but with it's own specific .44-40 cylinder)--sometimes at some loss of accuracy--but usually not vice versa. .44-40s, being bottleneck designed were particularly well suited to the lever action chambering in rifles and carbines, though thin of case and not as easy to reload as the thicker walled, straight-cased .45 LC, .44 Sp/.44 Mag, etc.

Last edited by gak; March 3, 2005 at 04:02 AM. Reason: clarification
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