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S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 All 5-Screw & Vintage 4-Screw SWING-OUT Cylinder REVOLVERS, and the 35 Autos and 32 Autos


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Old 03-07-2014, 02:26 PM
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Default Original ammo for the 38/44

I came across some original ammo for the 38/44 in 38 Special Hi-Speed Hi-Way Master 110 grain Metal Penatrating Bullet. It says on the back of the box it is to only be used for the 38/44, Outdoorsman Colt Shooting Master and Colt Service Pistol. Were there other grains made specifically for the 38/44? What would a box of this in good shape with all 50 rounds be worth?





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Old 03-07-2014, 02:43 PM
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What brand-Remington? Index number on box? Pics?
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Old 03-07-2014, 03:13 PM
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Pics added.
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Old 03-07-2014, 03:16 PM
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That's really cool.
Just a question: Back when the Heavy Duty and Outdoorsman came out did they not have hollowpoints? Those look like they would go right through several bad guys.
Jim
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Old 03-07-2014, 03:24 PM
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The 38/44 was loaded to 1,400fps just short of the 357mag. But for it time that was the first time they had this kind of power.
Back in the day they wanted the bullets to penetrate cars.
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Old 03-07-2014, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBill View Post
The 38/44 was loaded to 1,400fps just short of the 357mag.
That is the first time I have ever hear velocity numbers even close to that for the 38/44. Generally the most often quoted number and bullet weight for the 38/44 is a 158g projectile at ~1150 from the standard 6.5 barrel. The shorter 4" and 5" barrels came in some what under that but still made at least 1100 fps.

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Old 03-07-2014, 03:40 PM
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Did you buy that on Gun Broker?
I saw them listed with an OD that ended with the reserve not met.
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Old 03-07-2014, 04:00 PM
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Did you buy that on Gun Broker?
I saw them listed with an OD that ended with the reserve not met.
No I didn't. They offered to sell me the ammo which is why I asked what it was worth. Either way I could buy a shooter grade 32 or 38 for what they priced the ammo at!
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Old 03-07-2014, 04:25 PM
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When Smith and Colt came out with the big frame 38 Specials almost every big ammo company marked loads aimed at them. bullet weights ranged from 110 gr to 200 gr. Pictured below are 4 of the many pre-war loadings marketed for these 38 big frames.


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Old 03-07-2014, 04:32 PM
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When Smith and Colt came out with the big frame 38 Specials almost every big ammo company marked loads aimed at them. bullet weights ranged from 110 gr to 200 gr. Pictured below are 4 of the many pre-war loadings marketed for these 38 big frames.


Very neat! Exactly the info I was looking for. Are those empty or still full with ammo? What kind of price would you put on anyone of these with the original ammo in them? I need to keep an eye out for these (empty of course) to go in my man cave.
Jeff
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Old 03-07-2014, 04:46 PM
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Default 38/44 ammo

These were produced for the later postwar 38/44s.
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Old 03-08-2014, 09:35 PM
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Your ammunition box is post-WWII, and was designed for law enforcement use to penetrate automobile bodies. The bullets are not lead, but rather some type of hard Zinc alloy. They were also made in .45 caliber.

The normal factory velocity given for .38-44 ammunition having a 158 grain bullet (which is nothing more than a hot .38 Special load) is 1125-1175 ft/sec, depending upon barrel length. I've fired exactly the same ammunition you have in a S&W K-frame revolver with no problems.

The last box of those I bought was about three years ago, and I paid the princely sum of $10 for a full box.

Last edited by DWalt; 03-08-2014 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:16 PM
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The picture is nice, but the 200 gr. load IS NOT a .38-44 loading. While some sources refer to the .38-44 as "Super Police" this is incorrect. The 200 gr. load pictured is standard pressure .38 Special. While the published velocity is 725 FPS for this load, it actually chronographs generally in the 600-635 FPS range, depending on velocity.

The only .38-44 loads I have seen are the 110 gr. "Kirksite" bullet, standard 158 gr. RNL, and a 158 gr, "Metal Capped bullet. This last looks like FMJ RN, but the nose cap does not extend to the bullets' bearing surface which was Lead, cannelured like normal RNL bullets and lubricated. This reduces barrel wear by not having the hard jacket bearing on the barrel, and allows higher velocity at the same pressure because of the lower coefficient of friction.
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:28 PM
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I did a little research on the Remington .38 Special 110 grain metal piercing load. Remington says only that the bullet is made of a "Special Alloy" but the opinion is that it is actually a Zinc alloy, such as used for die casting of metal parts. Remington gives it a MV of 1330 ft/sec. It was loaded from after WWII through the 1950s.

As stated, the 200 grain .38 Special lead bullet loading was referred to as a "Super Police" (there is also a .38 S&W load with the same bullet weight), but it is in no way a high velocity load. .38-44 ammunition is also identifiable by trade names such as Hi-Speed (Remington), Super Speed (Winchester) and Super-X (Western), as well as .38-44. Note that both S&W Outdoorsman and Heavy Duty revolvers are marked as being .38 S&W Special caliber.

.38-44 ammunition is not actually unsafe for use in K-frame revolvers, but the recoil is more punishing and the heavier N-frame revolvers handle the recoil much better. The tradeoff is the need for carrying around a much heavier revolver.

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Old 03-08-2014, 11:39 PM
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"What would a box of this in good shape with all 50 rounds be worth?"

Here are some full boxes that I have picked up over the past few years.

The Green Remington "Dog Bone" boxes have a Railroad stamp on the back from 1935.

I have no idea the age of the Winchester and Peters Boxes.

$20.00 is the most I have ever paid for any of the full 38 Special boxes.

http://smith-wessonforum.com/attachm...1&d=1394336233

http://smith-wessonforum.com/attachm...1&d=1394336241
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:40 PM
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Here’s some more:



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Old 03-09-2014, 12:30 AM
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Thanks guys for the info and photos. I'll keep a look out for some of this in some of the back woods gun shops I sometimes wander into.
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Old 03-09-2014, 04:34 PM
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Here are 6 more examples. I believe they are all Pre-War style boxes except the Peters Box with Remington's Bridgeport address. Remington/Dupont closed Peters Ohio plant in 1941 and moved its operations to Bridgeport.











You guys are right about the 200 gr Western loads. Not intended to be a Hi Speed penetrator but instead a "man stopper". Western also loaded the 200 gr bullet for the 38 S&W. Imagine shooting that in a Terrier!

As far as prices go, If you want one of these boxes when you want it - and that's pretty much me l- you will likely need to buy it from a knowledgable dealer and, like anything else, they always think their box should fetch the same price as a high condition full box. You can expect to pay such a dealer from a $100 or more to several hundred dollars for any of these boxes if they are full and in VG or better condition - depending of course on the rarity of the box.

If you're in no hurry and realize that you may never find the box you want at a bargain price you can take your time and try to find the box at a gun show or auction from a seller who doesn't know what he has or is desperate. I have found many boxes this way but if I depended on this approach exclusively I would not have most of the boxes I have.
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Old 03-09-2014, 05:29 PM
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If anyone has a extra Remington Dogbone 38/44 empty or full box please PM me.
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Old 03-09-2014, 11:42 PM
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The OP needs to add the word "New" to Colt "Service"revolver.

The model is properly the Colt New Service. Read the boxes!

Charles Askins had the USBP adopt the New Service .38 in the late 1930's. I asked him why he didn't just adopt the S&W .38-44 for its front cylinder lock and better action. The S&W also retains its cylinder timing longer.

He said that he just liked the Colt factory reps better. The S&W reps were rude amd arrogant.

He had to turn the barrels on almost all of those Colts to get them sighted-in.

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Old 03-10-2014, 10:34 AM
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I qualified with one of those Colts in 1973 in Tampa. When it was turned back in to DOJ no one mourned its passing. It was long obsolete.

Regards,

Tam 3
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