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44 Magnum Prototype Ammunition

Posted 08-20-2009 at 09:21 AM by 29-1
Updated 08-20-2009 at 09:26 AM by 29-1

While preparing an article for the SWCA Journal on early Remington .44 Magnum ammunition, I thought some of you folks might be interested in some of the pictures and other documentation that I plan to include in the article.

As early as September, 1955, Remington had finalized engineering drawings for the new Remington 44 magnum cartridge and 3 months later on 12/15/1955, S&W produced the first .44 Magnum revolver, S130927. Here is a picture of the original engineering drawing:

Once the engineering plan was approved, Remington then proceeded to produce 15,000 experimental rounds for S&W in two lots; the first on Jan 5, 1956 consisting of 5,000 rounds shipped in put-together packaging and a second shipment of 10,000 rounds approximately one week later on Jan 11, 1956 in a more standard, plain white box, that collectors today refer to as the "prototype box." However, in researching the article, it was discovered that the white prototype box was actually the second syle of early 44 Magnum packaging and that the paper label package was the first, albeit only by 6 days.
Here are pictures of the Remington change/production orders for both versions along with pictures of each type box.

The second version white box .44 Magnum ammo would have been the only ammunition available at that time for these earliest 44 Magnums. The Remington Peters and later Remington Kleanbore ammunition were still on the drawing boards. Enjoy

The white box is very special to me as it was once owned by Elmer Keith and acquired recently from Brian Pearce, a noted gunwriter in Idaho who got it from a close friend of the Keith's. This example box is thought to be in the initial batch of .44 Magnum ammo shipped to Elmer right after he received S147220, the 3rd 44 Magnum shipped. Elmer mentions this ammunition several times in his own writings. Here is some documentation to support the claim of an Elmer Keith connection.

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  1. Old Comment
    VonFatman's Avatar
    I am very impressed. Great details and lots of good information. The pics are also well done. Thank you!!! I look forward to the article.

    Posted 08-21-2009 at 07:14 AM by VonFatman VonFatman is offline
  2. Old Comment
    I just bought a 29-3 what is the best ammo for this gun
    Posted 07-25-2012 at 10:44 AM by RAGGUY RAGGUY is offline
  3. Old Comment
    29-1's Avatar
    Originally Posted by RAGGUY View Comment
    I just bought a 29-3 what is the best ammo for this gun
    Hi, I'd go with the regular Remington 240 Grain Flat nose.
    Posted 07-25-2012 at 07:19 PM by 29-1 29-1 is offline
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