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Old 09-03-2021, 01:57 PM
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LostintheOzone LostintheOzone is offline
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The first loaded cartridge that became popular was the 44 Henry developed in 1860. That cartridge was a rimfire so couldn't be reloaded.

I think around 1873 the 44-40 became extremely popular for both the Winchester rifle and Colt revolvers. That cartridge was center fire so could be reloaded.

Tools to reload these cartridges weren't available until the 1880's.

My take on this is reloading BP cartridges was doable but I'm not sure how many people actually did that. I don't think cowboys had the money, time or a place to reload. I'm sure market and railroad hunters did however. I found dozens of 44 rimfire cartridges in an old Santa Fe RR camp near Ashfork AZ in the 70's. That camp was used when the RR was built around 1890. So rimfire was still popular even then.


For many years after smokeless powder became preferred by commercial loaders reloading wasn't popular. Too many things to manage like powder weight.

Here is a good article that explains all of this in detail.

The History of Handloading: Not Just a Fad Anymore | Load Data Article
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Last edited by LostintheOzone; 09-03-2021 at 02:09 PM.
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