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View Poll Results: What caliber?
.44 Special 93 92.08%
.44-40 (.44 WCF) 8 7.92%
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Old 10-04-2018, 06:19 PM
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It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get?  
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Default It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get?

Pretty simple,

Its 1925 and you decide to order a .44 caliber Hand Ejector from S&W.

What caliber to you get? .44 Special or .44-40 (.44 WCF)?

Please respond to poll and comment if you like on your period based reasoning.

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Old 10-04-2018, 06:26 PM
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It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get?  
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44 special..because I'm a modern man of the new century.

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Old 10-04-2018, 06:44 PM
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It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get?  
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44-40 because it would be a special order chambering, with 4" barrel, and target sights, and worth a small fortune today. (I'd also wait a year and get a Model of 1926 W&K.)

I'd sell it and buy a 44 Spl Triple Lock 4" Target.
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Old 10-04-2018, 06:55 PM
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It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get?  
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Depends. If I had a 1892 Winchester I'd probably go for the .44-40. Otherwise I might opt for the .44SPL.
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Old 10-04-2018, 06:58 PM
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It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get?  
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Originally Posted by Kurusu View Post
Depends. If I had a 1892 Winchester I'd probably go for the .44-40. Otherwise I might opt for the .44SPL.
To me this raises the question, why the heck didn't Winchester chamber the 1892 in .44 Special?
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Old 10-04-2018, 07:06 PM
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.44 Special.

Best Regards, Les
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Old 10-04-2018, 07:16 PM
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It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get?  
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To me this raises the question, why the heck didn't Winchester chamber the 1892 in .44 Special?
.44-40 was more powerfull.
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Old 10-04-2018, 07:19 PM
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Yeah .44-40 was more powerful but not when "the .44 Associates" got finished with the glorious .44 Special.
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Old 10-04-2018, 07:24 PM
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It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get?  
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Yeah .44-40 was more powerful but not when "the .44 Associates" got finished with the glorious .44 Special.
There also was a .44-40 "high velocity" load for "1892 use only" that would make 1800 fps out of a 20 inch barrel carbine.
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Old 10-04-2018, 07:36 PM
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All of the cartridges that were chambered in the Winchester Model 1892 were bottlenecked-.25-20, .32-20, .38-40 and .44-40.
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Old 10-04-2018, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurusu View Post
.44-40 was more powerful.
In factory form, yes, and much more popular.

I think Sasha Siemel's Smith & Wesson .44 was perhaps a .44-40, as he also had a Winchester-92 and the ammo was far more plentiful in Brazil than was .44 Special.

He used these and other guns, inc. a Registered .357, to kill big jaguars,as well as his famous spears.

I chose .44 Spcl. in the survey, as the cylinder walls would be thicker and I could handload warmer ammo, although I'd stick to probably a 250 grain bullet at some 900 FPS.

The .44-40 was that hot, but the short 200 grain bullet had less sectional density and wouldn't penetrate as well on really large animals. The Winchester ctg. is also harder to handload and wears out brass sooner.

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Old 10-04-2018, 09:12 PM
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It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get?  
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It's 1925. A young police detective in Peoria, Illinois armed himself with a Smith & Wesson .44 Special while working the night shift. He kept it at his side for many years and well into the 1940's.
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Old 10-04-2018, 09:24 PM
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At that time .44 Special factory loads were round nose and the same ballistics as the .44 Russian. 44-40 was hotter. The .45 Colt black powder load was the most powerful factory load at the time.
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Old 10-04-2018, 09:44 PM
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.44 special....... 1930s hand loads were ....... in the .44 mag range if memory serves.
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Old 10-04-2018, 10:08 PM
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It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get?  
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Quote:
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At that time .44 Special factory loads were round nose and the same ballistics as the .44 Russian. 44-40 was hotter. The .45 Colt black powder load was the most powerful factory load at the time.
While this may be true I think its worth mentioning that the Colt Walker percussion revolver could be loaded with as much as 60gr. of blackpowder, it has been argued before that the Walker was the most powerful factory revolver until the advent of the .44 magnum. Colt did not recommend loading 60gr., they wisely decided to keep it safe at 50gr.
As a muzzle loader I just had to bring this up. I mess around with blackpowder quite a bit and considering how hot some of different formulas were at the time there is no real way of telling just how powerful they really were. I have a couple Ruger Old Armys that when loaded up with 3F Old Eynsford or Swiss are really spectacular, there is only so much abuse a person wants to put himself up to in order to prove a point but Ruger actually loaded them with Bullseye for a proof round and they held up. About the only thing the Walker didn't have was a large bullet, although a few people have experimented loading cast bullets instead of round balls and achieved some pretty amazing results.
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Old 10-04-2018, 10:43 PM
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It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get?  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurusu View Post
There also was a .44-40 "high velocity" load for "1892 use only" that would make 1800 fps out of a 20 inch barrel carbine.
So if there was a .44-40 high velocity load for 1892 use only, why couldn't there have been a .44 Special HV load for the 1892? A "pre-magnum" as it were, like the .38-44 HV loads. The kind of load that Keith used in his .44 Specials, that were not up to .44 Magnum pressure.


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Originally Posted by Muley Gil View Post
All of the cartridges that were chambered in the Winchester Model 1892 were bottlenecked-.25-20, .32-20, .38-40 and .44-40.
And what relevance does that have? Winchester could have chambered the 1892 for straight wall cartridges back then just the same as they do today.


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Originally Posted by Kurusu View Post
.44-40 was more powerfull.
In factory form, yes, and much more popular.
If the .44-40 was "much more popular" then why didn't S&W chamber more revolvers for it? Seems like they could sell a lot more if they chambered it for a more popular round. Smiths in .44-40 are relatively rare - at least hand ejectors.


I suspect it's all a pissing contest - Winchester didn't want to stamp any caliber on their guns that wasn't "WCF", and S&W didn't want anything that wasn't "S&W Special".
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Old 10-04-2018, 11:12 PM
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It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get?  
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Quote:
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To me this raises the question, why the heck didn't Winchester chamber the 1892 in .44 Special?
1. It didn't come around until 16 years later and 44-40 was already a very satisfactory cartridge of their own making and for their own rifle.

2. Gun makers had an aversion for chambering their guns with cartridges not of their own making.

3. Winchester had an aversion to straight wall cartridges in the lever action rifles. They wanted reliability in chambering and especially in extraction.
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Old 10-04-2018, 11:20 PM
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It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&W. What caliber to get?  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom K View Post
1. And what relevance does that have? Winchester could have chambered the 1892 for straight wall cartridges back then just the same as they do today.

2. I suspect it's all a pissing contest - Winchester didn't want to stamp any caliber on their guns that wasn't "WCF", and S&W didn't want anything that wasn't "S&W Special".
1. We have to think in terms contemporary to the time, i.e., they were dealing with black powder cartridges at the time with their attendant fouling issues relative to #3 in my post above.

2. Very true! Again contemporary to the times, competition was a very serious business edict.
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Old 10-04-2018, 11:22 PM
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Unless I missed one above... Iíll be the first to say .45 Colt. It can do all that the .44ís could and with a slightly bigger hole on the receiving end?! Triple Lock .45 Colt 5.5Ē Target.
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Old 10-04-2018, 11:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kinman View Post
While this may be true I think its worth mentioning that the Colt Walker percussion revolver could be loaded with as much as 60gr. of blackpowder, it has been argued before that the Walker was the most powerful factory revolver until the advent of the .44 magnum. Colt did not recommend loading 60gr., they wisely decided to keep it safe at 50gr.
As a muzzle loader I just had to bring this up. I mess around with blackpowder quite a bit and considering how hot some of different formulas were at the time there is no real way of telling just how powerful they really were. I have a couple Ruger Old Armys that when loaded up with 3F Old Eynsford or Swiss are really spectacular, there is only so much abuse a person wants to put himself up to in order to prove a point but Ruger actually loaded them with Bullseye for a proof round and they held up. About the only thing the Walker didn't have was a large bullet, although a few people have experimented loading cast bullets instead of round balls and achieved some pretty amazing results.
The last test I saw showed the Walker penetrating more 1" pine boards than the 44 Mag.
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Old 10-04-2018, 11:56 PM
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I never owned a Walker but did own and shot a Colt 3rd Model Dragoon. I could get 50gr. of 3F behind a .454 ball and it was very impressive. I had a few buddies that poo-pooed my old fashion cap lock until we took a few shots at an old retired refrigerator one of them had parked out behind his house. They banged away with an assortment of cartridge revolvers and a 1911 or two, I hauled out the Dragoon loaded up a maximum load and literally shot the door off the fridge. That raised some eyebrows. They couldn't understand why it punched such a big hole, I explained to them how the .454 pure lead ball flattens out to around .60 on impact, then continues.
Those heavy loads usually were too much for the small spring that retains the loading lever, a 40gr. load with 10gr. of cream of wheat to fill the chamber was a very accurate and seriously efficient load.
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Old 10-05-2018, 02:13 AM
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Did you say 1925?
My Winchester would be a 30-30!
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Old 10-05-2018, 08:26 AM
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[QUOTE=Tom K;140188261


I suspect it's all a pissing contest - Winchester didn't want to stamp any caliber on their guns that wasn't "WCF", and S&W didn't want anything that wasn't "S&W Special". [/QUOTE]

Good Thinking!!!! Larry
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Old 10-05-2018, 12:51 PM
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Old 10-05-2018, 02:51 PM
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This would be more informative if you had made the year 1906 or a few years thereafter. Do you gamble on the new .44 S & W Special or do you stick to the still fairly popular .44-40 (.44 W(inchester)CF)? If I had to guess, a fair amount of folks would have stuck with what they were familiar with, especially if they already owned a Winchester in .44-40. The extreme rarity of a Triple Lock in .44-40 suggests that Smith & Wesson did not wish to promote a competitor's round in their "New Century" revolver. As uncommon as one is in this calibre, it suggests to me that the Triple Lock was not advertised as being available in this calibre and you had to ask (or beg) to get one chambered as such.
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Old 10-05-2018, 03:14 PM
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44 Spl

Why? Because it's right there in the name, it's SPECIAL
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Old 10-05-2018, 04:24 PM
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Does anyone out there have an advertisement for the "New Century" model they might be willing to post, ca 1906, or as close to that as possible? Let's see if the .44-40 is even mentioned as being an option.
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Old 10-05-2018, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Hondo44 View Post
The last test I saw showed the Walker penetrating more 1" pine boards than the 44 Mag.
There's a youtube video of a Walker chronographed - text results

"Colt Walker loaded with 200 gr. lead conicals in front of 55 grains of pyrodex RS. Main camera died as I was readjusting chronograph camera. Gives the .357 mag a run for its money. Results below.
Velocities:
Shot #1 200@1131fps= 568 ft/Lb
Shot #2 200@1217fps= 657 ft/Lb
Shot #3 200@1172fps= 610 ft/Lb
Shot #4 200@1138fps= 575 ft/Lb
Shot #5 200@1123fps= 560 ft/Lb
Shot #6 200@1075fps= 513 ft/Lb"
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Old 10-05-2018, 05:10 PM
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They also made very few in .45 Colt. Partially as Colt was the prime competitor and also because, particularly until they got around to heat treating cylinders, the thin chamber walls might be too weak for complete safety.

I really wish the .44 Special had been loaded 100 FPS hotter than the old .44 Russian. I still don't grasp why it wasn't. It would have given S&W a major new gun in a caliber that'd compare well to the other company's .45 Colt, and with more cartridge rim, letting it theoretically fare better in DA revolvers.

The government was concerned about the rim issue, and when the Colt M-1909 .45 was adopted, the ammo issued wasn't normal .45 Colt. Frankford Arsenal loaded the round with a wider rim, the better to eject in DA guns. However, Colt made it commercially as the New Service, and .45 Colt was probably the most popular caliber option.
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Old 10-05-2018, 05:23 PM
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Were chambers on old Russian top-break revolvers bored straight though, so they'd accept the longer .44 Special? If so, S&W may have been concerned that some naive person might fire .44 Special in a .44 Russian. If the Special had been hotter, that might cause an accident. Remember, those older guns were mainly, maybe totally, built with black powder pressures in mind.

A HS pal of mine once dropped .357 Magnum cartridges into his old Colt DA Army .38, just to see if the ammo would fit. He knew not to fire .357 in that old .38. The rounds fit, as there was no shoulder in the chambers to prevent loading the much more powerful ammo.

Apart from that, having a more potent .44 would let S&W sell more guns in South American countries that banned .45 chamberings, as with 7mm and .30 cal. rifles. But I don't know when such laws first applied.

However, had I lived there and the .44 Special was more powerful, it'd have appealed more, as the .44-40 sometimes did. I think Colt sold more .44's there than did S&W, but most of what .44-40 S&W's were made did go to South America.

Bear in mind that both Colt and S&W marked instructions inside the box lids in English and Spanish. I've not seen one in Portuguese, although they certainly sold in Brazil. Has anyone seen a box lid labeled in Portuguese? My point is just that US firearms sold well in countries to our south, and probably in Euro countries on the Iberian peninsula. I think, however, that powerful sixguns would have more appeal where one might have to shoot a jaguar or puma. Maybe a tapir or a caiman or a crocodile.

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Old 10-05-2018, 06:14 PM
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The government was concerned about the rim issue, and when the Colt M-1909 .45 was adopted, the ammo issued wasn't normal .45 Colt. Frankford Arsenal loaded the round with a wider rim, the better to eject in DA guns. However, Colt made it commercially as the New Service, and .45 Colt was probably the most popular caliber option.
Yes, and much to the chagrin of troopers carrying Colt single actions, whenever they received the 1909 45 Colt ammo by mistake:

They could only load every other cyl because of the wide rims.
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Old 10-05-2018, 06:34 PM
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Were chambers on old Russian top-break revolvers bored straight though, so they'd accept the longer .44 Special? If so, S&W may have been concerned that some naive person might fire .44 Special in a .44 Russian. If the Special had been hotter, that might cause an accident. Remember, those older guns were mainly, maybe totally, built with black powder pressures in mind.
No, the 44 Special was introduced much later. And the 44 Russian was an ILB (inside lubed bullet) so guns for it had shouldered chambers, not charge holes.

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A HS pal of mine once dropped .357 Magnum cartridges into his old Colt DA Army .38, just to see if the ammo would fit. He knew not to fire .357 in that old .38. The rounds fit, as there was no shoulder in the chambers to prevent loading the much more powerful ammo.
The Colt DA Army 38s were designed for the early 38 Long Colt which used a heeled bullet (like .22s) therefore the cyls had to have charge holes (bored straight thru w/o a shoulder, just like cap and ball guns).
The same with the original 41 Colt chamberings.

Later 38 Long Colt guns were upgraded with ILB cartridges and had shouldered chambers and reduced barrel bores.

The anomaly of 357 mags chambering in DA Armys is a real case of historical chaos over time. Do the 357s allow the cyl to close?
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Old 10-05-2018, 09:44 PM
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Were chambers on old Russian top-break revolvers bored straight though, so they'd accept the longer .44 Special? If so, S&W may have been concerned that some naive person might fire .44 Special in a .44 Russian. If the Special had been hotter, that might cause an accident. Remember, those older guns were mainly, maybe totally, built with black powder pressures in mind.
Our late friend Robert McCrory rechambered one of his top break DA .44 Russians to .44 Special, simply because the ammo was more readily available.
Convert 44 Russian for 44 Special

He said this in a different thread later on (emphasis added):
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I'd been shooting factory .44 Russian which was hard to get. Checked & found .44 Special same ballistics, so reamed the cylinder & shoot Specials. Haven't shot it much but I have a letter from S&W saying OK to shoot factory loaded smokless ----->
The .44 Russian and Special have essentially the same ballistics. It is baffling that S&W did not increase the velocity of the Special, else why bother creating the round at all?
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Old 10-05-2018, 11:03 PM
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The .44 Russian and Special have essentially the same ballistics. It is baffling that S&W did not increase the velocity of the Special, else why bother creating the round at all?
Excellent question.

Due to the lower energy density of the early semi-smokeless powders, prior efforts to convert the .44 Russian to smokeless had produced less than stellar ballistic performance in the same length case. Smith & Wesson addressed this issue by lengthening the .44 Russian cartridge case by 0.190" and increasing the powder capacity by 6 grains. The resulting design, which S&W called the .44 Special, had a case length of 1.16".

As you posted, the ballistics of the new cartridge merely duplicated the 246-grain bullet @ 755 ft/s statistics of the .44 Russian. Once again thinking contemporary to the times relative to the powder available, extra powder capacity of the case didn't exist yet to support performance rivaling that of the .45 Colt and close to the .44-40 like today. But the .44 Special retained its progenitor's reputation for accuracy which appears to have been S&W's priority.

Later however, the extra case length did provide extra case capacity when subsequent improved smokeless powder with higher volumetric efficiency, came along. Even though the 44 overall case size is smaller than .45 & 44-40, Keith and Skeeter successfully turned that additional powder capacity into the 44 special's full potential we all know and love!

Just like the 45 Colt case capacity has a much greater potential, but not within the guns capability of the times. As Keith found out the hard way blowing up 45 Colt SAs, which caused him to switch to the 44 Special for his experiments.
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Old 10-05-2018, 11:27 PM
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If I had the money and the "connections", I would have ordered one in .44 Special with a second .44-40 cylinder/yoke assembly.
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Old 10-05-2018, 11:36 PM
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If I had the money and the "connections", I would have ordered one in .44 Special with a second .44-40 cylinder/yoke assembly.
That's the best answer yet! IIRC only one is known to exist and Jim Fisher owns it.
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Old 10-06-2018, 12:56 PM
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I would've thought .38 special was the more common caliber for the time. But I am certainly no expert.
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Old 10-06-2018, 02:24 PM
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I would've thought .38 special was the more common caliber for the time. But I am certainly no expert.
It was, but the OP asked which .44 would you pick in 1925.
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Old 10-06-2018, 03:12 PM
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Sorry, but if it's 1925, I'm buying one of these instead:

http://www.autoinformant.com/wp-cont...CUA000142.jpeg

But I'd advise whoever was buying the gun to get the .44 Special

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Old 10-06-2018, 08:45 PM
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No, the 44 Special was introduced much later. And the 44 Russian was an ILB (inside lubed bullet) so guns for it had shouldered chambers, not charge holes.



The Colt DA Army 38s were designed for the early 38 Long Colt which used a heeled bullet (like .22s) therefore the cyls had to have charge holes (bored straight thru w/o a shoulder, just like cap and ball guns).
The same with the original 41 Colt chamberings

Later 38 Long Colt guns were upgraded with ILB cartridges and had shouldered chambers and reduced barrel bores.

The anomaly of 357 mags chambering in DA Armys is a real case of historical chaos over time. Do the 357s allow the cyl to close?


Jim-

Thanks for the data on late .38 Long Colt cylinders having stepped/shouldered chambers. I didn't realize that. Clearly, my pal had an earlier gun. When did that change take place? The Army Special, later called Official Police, had replaced the New Army by 1908, and it was already chambered for 38 Colt Special. Surely, they didn't make any in the shorter .38 LC caliber? It could be used in .38 Special guns.

That was in high school, about 1960. I unrember/disrecollect whether he closed the cylinder with .357 Magnum ammo inside, but feel pretty sure he did. He probably naturally would. But he knew not to fire that ammo in that gun.

Of course, I know this wasn't Colt's fault, as .357 Magnum wasn't introduced until 1935, long after Colt quit making the New Army/Navy .38's.

Re an earlier post of yours, I knew that .44 Special came out with the New Century/Triple Lock of about 1908. I wasn't inferring that it was contemporary with .44 Russian in older revolvers. The only question I had was whether Special could be loaded accidentally in old .44 Russian chambers.

Thanks for the info about early smokeless powders, but Unique is a very old powder. I'd have to look up when it arrived, but it may not have been typical of factory-loaded smokeless in those days.

And I think Unique arrived just as the Triple Lock did, so S&W wouldn't have tested it in the gun yet.

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Old 10-06-2018, 10:12 PM
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Today I would love to have a .44 Special. In 1925, when I was only fifty-six, it would have been a .44-40.
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Old 10-06-2018, 10:49 PM
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Jim-

Thanks for the data on late .38 Long Colt cylinders having stepped/shouldered chambers. I didn't realize that. Clearly, my pal had an earlier gun.

1. When did that change take place? The Army Special, later called Official Police, had replaced the New Army by 1908, and it was already chambered for 38 Colt Special. Surely, they didn't make any in the shorter .38 LC caliber? It could be used in .38 Special guns.

2. Re an earlier post of yours, I knew that .44 Special came out with the New Century/Triple Lock of about 1908. I wasn't inferring that it was contemporary with .44 Russian in older revolvers. The only question I had was whether Special could be loaded accidentally in old .44 Russian chambers.

3. Thanks for the info about early smokeless powders, but Unique is a very old powder. I'd have to look up when it arrived, but it may not have been typical of factory-loaded smokeless in those days.

And I think Unique arrived just as the Triple Lock did, so S&W wouldn't have tested it in the gun yet.
1. The 38 Long colt changed to an ILB design at about the end of the century but the bullet had a hollow base to expand enough to work in the old .374" barrels made for the old style heeled bullet version of the cartridge. So all guns were not converted for the new bullet design.

But Colt changed their SAA gun design for it in 1905. 38 Colt Special came out in 1909 and their SAA introduced a dual caliber marking on the barrel. S&W's 38 Special pre dated the 38 Colt Spl in ~1899, and also dual caliber marked their barrels: 38 S&W Spl/38 US Service Ctg (which of course was the 38 LC).

2. No, the 44 spl case was too long for the shouldered chamber.

3. I believe you're right. Unique has its roots in Ballistite from 1888 and may have been originally like the other early 'semi-smokeless' powders. It didn't became Unique until 1912 (and in the back of my mind it was a successful cannon powder) so wasn't around yet for the intro of the 44 Spl.
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Old 10-07-2018, 09:26 AM
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I did not know about the .44-40 until opening this post.

Therefore, based on an application of the modified Silver Bullet Band Principle ("What I didn't know till now I didn't know then") I would have gotten the .44 Special
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Old 10-07-2018, 12:52 PM
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I wasn't able to find any 1925 ballistics table, but my 1939 Stoeger catalog shows Peters, Winchester, and Remington factory numbers. The Special in all used a 246 grain bullet at 760 fps. Peters and Remington had one same bullet weight but 850 fps. All .44 WCF loads were 200gr. some jacketed, some lead. 918 or 919 fps. Out of a rifle it clocked at 1300. Remington doesn't list a .44 WCF or .44-40 load. Winchester shows both caliber penetrating 8 - 3/4" pine boards. I still vote .44 WCF
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Old 10-07-2018, 01:23 PM
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Familiarity with bolt actions was increased by WW I military service so by 1925 bottle neck high power cartridges had left the .44-40 in a specialized role. It is not likely that any of us would have bought a .44-40 for deer hunting in 1925 so writing we'd match the cartridge to our rifle would not have applied. Writing we would have bought what we now know became the more valuable collectors' item is silly. I've been reloading .44 Special for 44 years but have not reloaded or even fired a single .44-40 cartridge so you can guess how I voted.
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Old 10-07-2018, 01:55 PM
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It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&amp;W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&amp;W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&amp;W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&amp;W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&amp;W. What caliber to get?  
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Originally Posted by k22fan View Post

1. It is not likely that any of us would have bought a .44-40 for deer hunting in 1925 so writing we'd match the cartridge to our rifle would not have applied.

2. Writing we would have bought what we now know became the more valuable collectors' item is silly.
1. Very few of my rifles are for hunting even today. So I don't see a caliber matching revolver as illogical even back then.

2. I disagree that it's silly. We would have known then just like we know today or can guess which revolvers will likely be collectible: a special ordered cartridge chambering would be intuitively a future collectible. Just like we know today that any limited production run chambering or special model will likely be a collectible 100 years from now.
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Old 10-07-2018, 04:36 PM
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It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&amp;W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&amp;W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&amp;W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&amp;W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&amp;W. What caliber to get?  
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Originally Posted by Jim NNN View Post
Sorry, but if it's 1925, I'm buying one of these instead:

http://www.autoinformant.com/wp-cont...CUA000142.jpeg

But I'd advise whoever was buying the gun to get the .44 Special
I'd wait for 1929 to get a Duesenberg.
It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&amp;W. What caliber to get?-duesenberg-model-j-14-jpg

In 1925 I think I'd go for Lincoln or Packard instead.

It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&amp;W. What caliber to get?-4586-jpgIt's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&amp;W. What caliber to get?-61779113-770-0-2x-jpg
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It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&amp;W. What caliber to get?-duesenberg-model-j-14-jpg   It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&amp;W. What caliber to get?-4586-jpg   It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&amp;W. What caliber to get?-61779113-770-0-2x-jpg  
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Last edited by Kurusu; 10-08-2018 at 03:01 AM. Reason: Proofread after the fact
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Old 10-07-2018, 10:21 PM
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It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&amp;W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&amp;W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&amp;W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&amp;W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&amp;W. What caliber to get?  
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Originally Posted by k22fan View Post
Familiarity with bolt actions was increased by WW I military service so by 1925 bottle neck high power cartridges had left the .44-40 in a specialized role. It is not likely that any of us would have bought a .44-40 for deer hunting in 1925 so writing we'd match the cartridge to our rifle would not have applied. Writing we would have bought what we now know became the more valuable collectors' item is silly. I've been reloading .44 Special for 44 years but have not reloaded or even fired a single .44-40 cartridge so you can guess how I voted.
I'm no expert, but I'm betting the majority of deer rifles in the USA in 1925 were lever actions. I personally think bolts would have been less prevalent. It's not like there were any "surplus" bolt guns being offered to the public. Uncle Sams guns would've stayed right put in the Armories. At least that's what I surmise. I could be wrong.

I don't think I'm wrong about the lever guns though. And since .44-40 was one of the most prolific calibers in a Henry lever gun, my guess is it was not forgotten in 1925. But there were other popular calibers for lever guns by this time..... I'm guessing .30-30 was pretty darned prevalent in 1925.
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Old 10-08-2018, 02:06 AM
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Tom K Tom K is offline
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It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&amp;W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&amp;W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&amp;W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&amp;W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&amp;W. What caliber to get?  
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I'd wait for 1929 to get a Duesemberg. ....

If you wait until after October 1929 you can probably pick one up cheap.
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Old 10-08-2018, 02:52 AM
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It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&amp;W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&amp;W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&amp;W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&amp;W. What caliber to get? It's 1925- You decide to order a .44 Hand Ejector from S&amp;W. What caliber to get?  
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Default In those days.....

.... the .44 Special was much later technology than the .44-40 but had been around plenty long enough to be a standard, about like the .38 Special vs.the .38 S&W. If the fire arm was a rifle, I"d probably consider the .44-40, but being a handgun, the .44 Special wins.
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