Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > >


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-30-2016, 10:34 PM
rednichols's Avatar
rednichols rednichols is offline
Member
32-44 S&W, 38-44 S&W ammo 32-44 S&W, 38-44 S&W ammo 32-44 S&W, 38-44 S&W ammo 32-44 S&W, 38-44 S&W ammo 32-44 S&W, 38-44 S&W ammo  
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 507
Likes: 227
Liked 1,151 Times in 385 Posts
Default 32-44 S&W, 38-44 S&W ammo

Normally I post over on the gunleather forum here, yet lately have become interested in the early Hand Ejectors.

Those of you with 32-44 and 38-44 S&W revolvers (not the 38+P+ of the early 1930s; I mean the late 19th century target loads), what do you do for ammo? Is it commercially available or must it be handloaded?

Thanks in advance.
__________________
Red Nichols
Holstorian (tm).
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-31-2016, 04:26 AM
Alk8944's Avatar
Alk8944 Alk8944 is offline
Member
32-44 S&W, 38-44 S&W ammo 32-44 S&W, 38-44 S&W ammo 32-44 S&W, 38-44 S&W ammo 32-44 S&W, 38-44 S&W ammo 32-44 S&W, 38-44 S&W ammo  
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sandy Utah
Posts: 5,766
Likes: 498
Liked 3,150 Times in 1,518 Posts
Default

.32-44 was a target cartridge specifically for a large frame S&W top-break revolver built on the #3 frame.

There are 2 very different .38-44 cartridges. The early one is for the #3 Target and loaded with black powder and comments for the .32-44 apply to this one too. Both of these must be hand-loaded and correct brass is not available!

The second .38-44, introduced ca.1929, is nothing more than the .38 Special loaded to significantly higher pressure, around 25,000 PSI or higher. It was originally intended as a Police Service cartridge and chambered in a gun built on the 3rd Model .44 Hand Ejector frame, hence the .38-44 designation. These were the .38-44 Heavy Duty and .38-44 Outdoorsman. The difference being fixed or target sights respectively. Since it is a simply a .38 Spl. it is a much simpler proposition to hand load, but hand loaded it must be as factory loads have not been available since the 1960s or shortly thereafter. Published velocities for factory ammunition when it was available range from 1115-1150 FPS with the 158 gr. RN bullet, either lead or copper-capped lead. Proper bullets, the 158 gr. capped round-nose with lead bearing surface, have not been available to hand loaders for many years.
__________________
Gunsmithing S&W since 1961
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-31-2016, 05:07 AM
rednichols's Avatar
rednichols rednichols is offline
Member
32-44 S&W, 38-44 S&W ammo 32-44 S&W, 38-44 S&W ammo 32-44 S&W, 38-44 S&W ammo 32-44 S&W, 38-44 S&W ammo 32-44 S&W, 38-44 S&W ammo  
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 507
Likes: 227
Liked 1,151 Times in 385 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alk8944 View Post
.32-44 was a target cartridge specifically for a large frame S&W top-break revolver built on the #3 frame.

There are 2 very different .38-44 cartridges. The early one is for the #3 Target and loaded with black powder and comments for the .32-44 apply to this one too. Both of these must be hand-loaded and correct brass is not available!

The second .38-44, introduced ca.1929, is nothing more than the .38 Special loaded to significantly higher pressure, around 25,000 PSI or higher. It was originally intended as a Police Service cartridge and chambered in a gun built on the 3rd Model .44 Hand Ejector frame, hence the .38-44 designation. These were the .38-44 Heavy Duty and .38-44 Outdoorsman. The difference being fixed or target sights respectively. Since it is a simply a .38 Spl. it is a much simpler proposition to hand load, but hand loaded it must be as factory loads have not been available since the 1960s or shortly thereafter. Published velocities for factory ammunition when it was available range from 1115-1150 FPS with the 158 gr. RN bullet, either lead or copper-capped lead. Proper bullets, the 158 gr. capped round-nose with lead bearing surface, have not been available to hand loaders for many years.
Thank you so much.
__________________
Red Nichols
Holstorian (tm).
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-01-2017, 08:58 PM
DWalt's Avatar
DWalt DWalt is offline
Member
32-44 S&W, 38-44 S&W ammo 32-44 S&W, 38-44 S&W ammo 32-44 S&W, 38-44 S&W ammo 32-44 S&W, 38-44 S&W ammo 32-44 S&W, 38-44 S&W ammo  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: South Texas
Posts: 18,361
Likes: 2
Liked 9,150 Times in 5,313 Posts
Default

.32-44 cartridge cases can be formed from .32-20 brass but it must be expanded to a straight wall configuration. It uses .321" bullets. The bullet is seated fully inside the case. No idea where one would find reloading dies. I don't know anything about the early .38-44 case or what it could be formed from, or even if it's possible to do so.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-02-2017, 01:02 PM
glowe's Avatar
glowe glowe is offline
Member

32-44 S&W, 38-44 S&W ammo 32-44 S&W, 38-44 S&W ammo 32-44 S&W, 38-44 S&W ammo 32-44 S&W, 38-44 S&W ammo 32-44 S&W, 38-44 S&W ammo  
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Michigan Western UP
Posts: 6,587
Likes: 374
Liked 2,729 Times in 1,546 Posts
Default

I have been doing some research on loading the 38-44 Target caliber. Check out this thread for more details.

Solving the 38 Single Shot Accuracy Mystery
__________________
Gary
SWCA 2515 Grip is a verb
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
WTS:Price Drop - Vintage 44/45 cal MOPS rck281 Accessories/Misc - For Sale or Trade 9 05-04-2017 02:52 PM
Hog Ammo / Coyote Ammo (New to Forum, apologize if this has been asked in the past) jmbrock Smith & Wesson M&P10 Rifles 2 02-05-2016 02:29 PM
Geissele SSA trigger, 32 S&W long ammo and 455 Webley ammo for sale Toyman Accessories/Misc - For Sale or Trade 2 04-27-2013 02:29 PM
WITHDRAWN: 44Russian Ammo Trip.Lock Sights 44Spl Brass 44WCF Ammo buffalo4star Accessories/Misc - For Sale or Trade 8 09-10-2011 07:54 AM
WTS S&W knives and 40S&W ammo (Price Drop on the ammo and the S&W Texas Ranger knife) southernpride Accessories/Misc - For Sale or Trade 11 04-21-2011 09:27 PM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:43 AM.


S-W Forum, LLC 2000-2015
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)