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  #51  
Old 02-25-2017, 08:51 PM
jeeps jeeps is offline
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I use a Colt Frontier Six-shooter every night loaded with a 205 grn. Flat top over 9grn. Of Unique. I sleep tight and don't worry. Put down many deer and feral hogs with this load so some perp who breaks in will meet the the same end! If I need more than five shots that's some sloppy home defense! The 44-40 turning bad guys into fertilizer since 1878 in Colts and 1873 in Winchester rifles.
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Last edited by jeeps; 02-26-2017 at 03:50 PM.
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  #52  
Old 02-26-2017, 08:54 AM
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I have a Marlin Model 1894 in .44-40, manufactured in 1905. Also have a Colt Single Action Army 'Frontier Six Shooter' in .44-40, manufactured in 1914. Both are good shooters.

.44-40 (aka: .44 WCF, .44 Winchester) was introduced in 1873 along with the Winchester Model 1873 rifle. The cartridge is basically a centerfire development of the earlier .44 Henry rimfire. Very popular well into the 20th Century.

Bottleneck case design, so no carbide dies and case lube will always be required. Relatively thin case walls and necks, so I suggest caution with heavier loads because they can cause extraction and ejection problems.

Performance-wise the .44-40 can exceed .44 Special in revolvers, and in rifles it will shoot close to .44 magnum spec's with the lighter to mid-weight bullets (175-210 grains or so), with the .44 magnum really coming into its own with the heavier bullets.

Ammo can be very difficult to find, as can brass, and usually expensive when available. Bore and groove diameters vary widely, and most factory ammo will have .426-.427" bullets to accommodate. Newer guns are more likely to have .429" groove diameters, so factory ammo may not perform to best standards. I stick with cast lead bullets and modest loads in my two 100-plus year old .44-40's.

Last edited by LoboGunLeather; 02-26-2017 at 08:56 AM.
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  #53  
Old 02-26-2017, 03:40 PM
jeeps jeeps is offline
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Lobo you make holsters? I have a Tom Three Person for my Colt Frontier SixShooter. You have class and wisdom in these matters.
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Old 03-02-2017, 12:26 AM
Beemer-mark Beemer-mark is offline
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I have a 544 and love it. Of all the 44-40 handguns it is the most accurate. The 544 is nothing but a model 29 44 magnum with the cylinder chambered for the 44-40 round. The barrel mikes out at .429 and the throats are close to that. Very accurate gun. 16.5 grain of 2400 will push a 200 grain .429/.430 bullet at 1200 fps by my chronograph. Nothing to sneeze at. A more manageable load is 9.0 grains of Unique for ~950 fps. My bullets are cast soft with a BHN of about 10 but never more than 12.

I tried 240 grain bullets with some success but they wouldn't work in my other guns (Colts). You need to get some good reload dies and experiment a bit to find the best combination. You really need to find Dave Scovill's book "Colts Single Actions" on reloading this cartridge.
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  #55  
Old 03-02-2017, 01:27 AM
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Shooting my M 544,
screencast
it's OK but my M 21 is a better revolver I think.
uploading pictures
Reloading 44-40 is sometimes a challenge as the brass can be damaged easy.
Even have a M28 I had converted to 38-40.
image hosting no sign up
It's OK, but for a 40 caliber
it's just a shooting toy. Don't even know why I spent so much having it
made..
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  #56  
Old 03-02-2017, 08:22 AM
jeeps jeeps is offline
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There is joy in old Cal's. Of the west. The 44-40 is a nice shooting round with good power and mild recoil. The case seals well, not like the 45 colt which burns the brass.carry on and enjoy your works of art.
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Old 03-02-2017, 08:34 AM
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I have loaded and fired many thousands of 44-40 rounds in SASS on a Dillon 550B....biggest thing is to SLOW DOWN!

You need to make sure that the casing is centered in the shell casing BEFORE you try to insert it into the die body.

Never once have I had a cylinder not turn due to the cartridge being fired.....high prime (my fault not the cartridge) yes, but nOT due to firing it.

I've shot both black powder and smokeless with NO issues. Any crinkled casings were MY fault! No paying enough attention and going too fast.....

Randy
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  #58  
Old 03-11-2017, 02:10 AM
Driftwood Johnson Driftwood Johnson is offline
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Howdy Again

I see this thread has been revived since I last posted to it.

I only own two revolvers that are chambered for 44-40.

This is a Merwin Hulbert Pocket Army, manufactured sometime between 1881 and 1883. This one I only shoot with Black Powder.





My other 44-40 revolver is this Colt New Service, made in 1907.





However I have lots of lever rifles chambered for 44-40, five of them at last count. The only cartridge I load more of then 44-40 is 45 Colt.
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  #59  
Old 03-11-2017, 06:22 AM
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I bought a new/with case Model 544 in 1987, S/N TWT2703, in 1987. I kept thinking about shooting it, bought a set of dies and a couple boxes of Winchester factory-fresh .44-40 fodder. Never did shoot it but sold it to a gentleman who bought a couple other of my guns during the post-nubial division of the goods/paying my lawyer.

I had encountered an as-new in box Colt New Frontier with a 4-3/4 inch barrel chambered in .44-40. I sent it back to Colt who added a cylinder cut for the .44 Special.

I had no chronograph but had timed both .44 Special loadings I wanted to compare to the .44-40 in the Colt. One was the Winchester 246 grain RNL Special that usually gave me about 700 fps. The second was the Skelton load, a cast 250 grain SWC over 7.5 grains Unique which usually got me 850-950 fps depending on which handgun.

I fired all 200 rounds that afternoon. The .44-40 felt like it was not any harder recoiling than the factory .44 Special. The Skelton Special kicked harder.

The 100 .44-40 cartridges all shot well with no kind of hang-ups.

The .44-40 seemed to me to be pretty anemic. I would want faster-moving bullets for duty, and I would want those bullets to be of more modern development.

I would find a .44 Magnum cylinder and have it fit to your gun. You would then have a much wider choice of factory loaded modern bullets in both heavier .44 Special and lighter .44 Magnum to choose from.

Last edited by BUFF; 03-11-2017 at 06:23 AM.
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  #60  
Old 03-11-2017, 09:16 AM
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Guys, in the 6 1/2 years since the original post it looks like the OP went to a 686/642, then to the dark (plastic) side of Sig Sauer:

I feel so stupid!
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  #61  
Old 03-11-2017, 09:50 AM
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Question: in my part of the world, using reloads for duty is a "No- No".
Is there a ammo company that offers this round ?
Can you continue to stand the expense of keeping enough ammo on hand for practice and qualifications ?
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