History

Discussion in 'Large-Bore/Small-Bore Rifle/Shotgun' started by one3, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. one3

    one3 Member

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    For those of you that know will you please share with others.I have been told that years ago most carried the Colt Peacemaker in 45 long colt. Ok, also I have herd that people would carry bouth guns, revolver and rifle chamberd in both cal. However, the convusing part for me is, I do not think I have seen a rifle chambered for the 45. It seems I have herd a lot about the 44-40 back in those days. Ay one haveing any history on this I am sure a lot of people on here could learn and appreacate your knowledge. Thank You.
     
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  2. nmckenzie

    nmckenzie Well-Known Member

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    Aside from .45 Colt the 1873s were chambered in other calibers, including 44/40 and 38/40 - which would've given them a common cartridge with the Winchester Model 1873.
     
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  3. Old Guns

    Old Guns Well-Known Member

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    Colt introduced the Single Action in 44 rimfire in 1875 to pair up with the 44 rimfire Henry and Winchester Model 1866 rifles. The 1866 rifle stayed in production until 1898 and Colt only built around 1600 of the 44 rimfire guns and they were very poor sellers often being returned to Colt due to the dealers being unable to sell them. This kind of goes against the reasoning of matching calibers. The Colt in 44-40 was their second most popular caliber which matched the Winchester 1873. The 45 Colt was manufactured in larger numbers but a lot of those guns were US Military contract pistols. Since none of us were alive back in the days of the old west we will never know what guns were carried by the nameless thousands of cowboys and adventurers.
     
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  4. sharps4590

    sharps4590 Well-Known Member

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    I have been told the rim on the original 45 Colt was less in diameter than the brass of today and that was the reason the '73 was never chambered in 45 Colt. I assume that made for extraction difficulties. The 45 Does have a rather narrow rim so there may be some truth to that, I don't know. The '73 was chambered in several cartridges but the 3 rounds common to the Colt SAA, the 44-40, 38-40 and 32-20 are the most frequently seen.
     
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  5. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    You've been told correct, Sharps.

    Cartridges used to be made by "folding" the brass. What is, nowadays, called a balloon-head. And compared to the 44/40, the 45 Colt had a tiny rim. There was not enough there for the extractor to grab.

    Cartridges today are made with "solid heads". The rim on the 45 Colt is still small, but they cut an extractor groove into the solid head, so MODERN ammo will work in a rifle.

    This is a cutaway of a 45.
    45 Colt Solid Head vs Baloon Head.jpg
    The one on the right - the older style - has barely any rim at all. The left, newer, case shows the extractor groove.

    This is a 44/40. Notice how much bigger the rim is than on the 45. And, since it also now uses a solid head, they cut a groove on it, which helps with extraction.
    44 WCF balloon head vs solid head.jpg
     
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  6. sharps4590

    sharps4590 Well-Known Member

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    Alpo, you might have been who told me that. I think it was on this site.
     
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  7. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    I know I've posted them pix before, on this site. Two or three times, I believe.

    Question keeps coming up.

    You think that's bad, check out these FIRST BATCH 45 Colts, with Benet priming. The rim is almost non-existent. It looks like a rimfire, but it's actually centerfire. The case is made of soft copper, so the firing pin busts right through to hit the primer.

    45 Colt, Benet priming.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
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  8. sharps4590

    sharps4590 Well-Known Member

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    Was not the first 45-70's made the same way?
     
  9. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    The priming? Maybe. The cases made of copper? Yes.

    The Wagon Box fight, and a few others, where afterwards it was found that when the rifles were REALLY HOT (like shooting a lot in a short period of time) the copper cases stuck in the chamber, and the extractors pulled through the rims. Soldiers were having to dig the empties out with their knives to continue shooting.

    One of the major reasons for swithing to brass.
     
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