44/40 who makes it?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Pastor C, Jun 19, 2009.

  1. Pastor C

    Pastor C New Member

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    So what's the facts about the 44/40?

    Who makes it?

    What's it's power level?

    Is there a contemopary round that compares with it?

    Is it a fair little brush caliber? that's probably enough for now thanks:)
  2. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    44/40. You have to like it to put up with it.

    Remington, Winchester, Hornady and Magtech all make it. RP, WW and Hornady make it with JSP bullets. RP, WW and CBC (Magtech) make it with lead ("cowboy loads").

    It's expensive as hell. Between 30 and 50 dollars a box, before ammo prices went crazy. Always hard to find, and now, probably, even harder, since the machinery used to make it is (most likely) also used for 44 magnum, and the ammo companies can sell more of that.

    Factory 44 Special is loaded lighter, while factory 44 Magnum is loaded heavier. The specials can be loaded to 44/40 balllistics.

    It's been used, effectively, to kill deer, bear and people since 1873.

    Reloading it can be a pain. It is a bottleneck case, so it requires bullet lube (they don't make carbide sizing dies for bottleneck cases). The mouth is extremely thin, as compared to 44 magnum or 45 colt. Stepping on a case can damage it beyond repair. A slightly off-center case going into the die will destroy the case.

    It can be reloaded quite cheaply. Store-bought 200 grain lead bullets can be had for less than a dime. Powder runs about 2 1/2 cents, while primers are 3 to 4. 15 cents a round is 7.50 a box. Cast your own bullets and the price drops. Depending on the manufacturer, you will either have a .427 barrel, or a .429 barrel. Original guns were 427, but many makers (Ruger, especially), nowadays, use 44 magnum barrel stock (since they already have it) and that's .429.

    Some rifles are picky about the brass. My 73 does not like RP or CBC brass. My 92s eat anything I feed them. I think it's the rim thickness. :confused:
  3. 45nut

    45nut Active Member

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    Pastor C,

    Alpo said it all. All I can add is the best place I've found to buy it.

    Ammo Direct

    I called them and they're waiting on brass, so I don't know when they would be able to ship. :(
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2009
  4. Pastor C

    Pastor C New Member

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    so do I understand it's power to be around the .357 range? if that's the case, it wouldn't be worth the trouble for me
  5. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    A real 357? 44/40 doesn't come close. In 1934 the most powerful handgun cartridge in the world was the 45 Colt. Coming in second was the 44/40. Then along come 1935, and the 357 magnum took the lead.

    But a real 357 is a 158 grain bullet at around 1500 fps out of an 8 3/8" barrel. But very few people shoot that. Drop down to a lighter bullet, or less powder (for less recoil) or a shorter barrel and you don't have that "real" load any more.

    A 200 grain bullet, bigger around than 40 caliber, at 1000 to 1300 fps (depending on pistol or rifle), will put a whuppin' on whatever it hits.
  6. Pastor C

    Pastor C New Member

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    sounds a little on the wimpy side for it's size.

    All right, so it's comparable to a .38 plus then? just a smaller diameter, hmmmm

    thanks, a friend of mine is buying a 44/40 John Wayne rifle but I don't think he knows about the ammo troubles
  7. Trouble 45-70

    Trouble 45-70 New Member

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    Alpo thanks for the heads up. Thought about buying one several times in the past but when it was all over I ended up with a .44 or .45. Wondered about the bottleneck ctg. and that is what ran me off. I shoot and reload for fun not for an extra agrivation. Don't you just hate it when you feel a ctg. go crunch in the press.
  8. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Well, like I said, you have to like it.

    I've got 32/20s. I can get the same performance (purt near) out of 30 Carbine or 32 H&R, with much less aggravation. But I've still got 32/20s.

    Got 38/40s. That's hotter than a 40 Smith, but not as hot as a 10 mil. I like it so much I had a 28 Smith converted.

    But the 44 is the king. It just feels right. Slightly tapered bottleneck loads easier than straight wall cases. Recoils enough to let you know you shot a gun, but not enough to hurt.

    I don't crunch 44s, anymore. Still do it with the 32/20s, occasionally. That just hurts.
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