Thank you Mrs. Anderson (.44 XL shot post)

Discussion in 'Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns' started by robert dean, Apr 28, 2018.

  1. robert dean

    robert dean Member

    Apr 17, 2018
    This likely belongs in another I can't post while I have the urge to write, I'll post it here (which is somehwat appropriate).

    Mrs. Anderson (my 1st grade teacher) would roll over in her grave if she knew the use I put here lessons in paper machie.

    Sometimes can find old single shot smooth bores in .44XL Shot. OFten the same models that were made in small rim fire or even chenterfire rifled versions, but the smooth bore versions are often cheaper (and often more beat up).

    Sometimes refered to as the .44 shot, or the .44 "Game Gitter"(as Marbles introuced a nice little over under using a smooth bore .44 barel and often loaded it with a .415-420" round ball).

    Going to borrow another photo to show 44/40 smooth bore ammo types:

    This one is an H&A falling block,with the rather sever "heads up" stocking of the time. That feeels weird, and with a hard recoiling round would make recoil a problem, but so long as you stand pretty much heads-up/erect, they aren't punishing in the small calibers.


    It's gray, but checks out solid without mechanical problems, it's just externally worn for all I can measure (checking breech block fit, pin wear, bore condition, metal type/thickness, etc. I'd not shoot it with smokless, but would shoot it with black (or even Tripple Seven).


    The H&A is a simple take down. Considering the trouble I had taking it down, am pretty sure it wasn't taken apart in the last 50-60 years.

    [​IMG] what is a .44 XL shot? Pretty much what "garden gun" shot guns used before the .410.

    Will look at the .410 first:

    Looking at the history of the .410, it was first intorduced as a 2" case, quickly becomein a 2 1/2 in case tossing 3/8 to 1/2 ounces of shot. WHen? Not real sure, are references to it in British publications as early as 1885-1895, and seems to have been chambered in the US by 1903-1905.

    What is a .44 XL shot round?

    Am going to quote from an artical by Marchall Williams:

    "Long before the .410 bore shotgun shell arrived on the scene, a number of small shot guns were available which used a variety of .44 shot cartridges more or less interchangeably. These guns included not only the fairly common little break-open single barrel guns like my friend’s, but smooth-bored Winchester lever action rifles, Colts Lightning slide action rifles, a few Colts big frame revolvers, Stevens single-shot, break-open pistols (commonly called "pocket shotguns"), and the last and possibly most famous gun to use the .44 shotshells, the Marble’s Game Getter. Indeed, the Marble’s Game Getter is so closely associated with the .44 shotshells that old cases often were marked ".44 GG."

    The .44-40 shot cartridges appeared in a number of variations. The most common types include: a standard length case with over shot card and roll crimp; a standard length case with a shot-filled paper or wooden capsule which gave the cartridge the profile of a cartridge loaded with a bullet; an extra long case with either an over shot card and roll crimp or a folded or "pie crimp" loaded to the bulleted cartridge profile and providing room for a little more shot; and versions which uses a paper or wooden capsules to extend its length so that it could hold a little more shot."

    Which brings me back to Mrs. Anderson (that long suffering...likly long deceased...1st grade teacher
    So...what I needed was a way to get a short 44/40 case to hold 3/8-1/2 onuce of small lead shot.

    Which brought me (60 yearws after Mrs. Anderson) back to paper machie.

    I used the "cooked" method.

    For this, all you need is a wooden doel about .40-.41" in diameter and strips of news print about 1 1/2" long to make the"nose cones". About 3 -4 wraps of well soaked news print wrapped around the dowl into a 1 1/2" tube.

    Take them off and let they dry/harden.


    While that dry-time is going on, load your cases.

    Primed cases with just hand run tools.

    30gr. of FFg black (or whatever BP substitute you'd care for in honor of the old low pressure steel), two cardboard wads prssed down solidly onto the powder.

    (OK..card wads. Can cut them yourself with a stray .44mag. case. Just over champer it to a sharp edge, tap it into a layered pile of cartd board, and poke the cut wads back out by running a thin rod though the primer's flash hole. If you want to get fancy, drill the flash hole for a fatter push-out-rod.)

    Once the paper machie tubes are dry, seat them down to they touch the card wads. Fill them with 3/8-1/2oz of small sized shot (I prefer #8's or # 7 1/2 shot as this little gun doesn't have the range to take advanatage of heavier shot). Exact volume of shot isn't super important, just be able to fod the enmpy part of the paper tube over the shot.

    Fold over the empty end of the paper tuber, dab it with a bit of the left over paper machie past, and let it dry. If you are in more of arush, can give it a dab of Elmer's glue on the nose.

    Fold over the empty end of the paper tuber, dab it with a bit of the left over paper machie past, and let it dry. If you are in more of arush, can give it a dab of Elmer's glue on the nose.


    OPTIONAL: Once hard and dry, you do not want anything to penetrate the shell of the paper tube,and oil based waxes do tend to penetrate. But a quick brushing with melted beeswax will do no harm, kinds of water proofs it, and may even deal with BP fouling from previous shots in a dirty bore.

    I started with new unfired cases. I'd use that, or fully resized fired cases. Considering this is a single shot, I've not had to resize cases after being fired with this 30gr. loading.

    Reloading only takes hand de-riming, repriming, and seating the same collecton of powder/wads/paper mache tube, shot. Modern cases just ton't expand enough to need resizing.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2018
  2. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    44 Extra Long, precuser to 410, 2.jpg

    Pretty good copy.

    44 Extra Long, precuser to 410.jpg
    Kweeksdraw, One Shot and carver like this.

  3. sharps4590

    sharps4590 Well-Known Member

    Aug 10, 2013
    Missouri Ozarks
    Gotta love it when a fella puts the gray matter to use and brings a fine old firearm back to use!!! Well done and described!
  4. robert dean

    robert dean Member

    Apr 17, 2018
    Slap Head...Homer type "Duh"....

    Color coding. Different colored paper for different colored paper mashie...maybe 3 colors for three shot sizes. Doesn't seem to make a rat'srump if I use two wraps of thick (colored) construction paper or 3-4 wraps of thin news print.

    So...lets say green, white/red...for #9 , #6, and #4 shot?