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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  STORM (Moderators: RRio, Major 2)  |  Topic: which caliber for open top 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: which caliber for open top  (Read 7122 times)
griffith
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« on: February 19, 2017, 02:22:58 pm »


     I want to get a Cimarron 1872 Navy open top. I'm not interested in 45 Colt. I'm trying to decide between 38Colt/special and 44 colt/Russian. I don't compete, just shoot for fun.

     The 38 appeals to me because of cheaper ammo. The 44 appeals to me because it's closer to the original caliber and I've heard that it doesn't have the problem of lining up the ejector. I'm leaning toward the 38.

      Which is more popular with shooters on this site? Are there any pros or cons other than those I mentioned?

                                   Thanks
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Coffinmaker
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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2017, 02:36:17 pm »

Say Now, Funny you should ask .............

I'm a personal fan of the 1871/72 Open Top.  It will need some work as soon as you get it, but that's a different story.  I think perhaps the majority around this place probably lean to the .44 or .. not.  38 is pretty popular too.  38 is really versatile.  The 44 is more versatile.  Were it to be MY gun, it'd be a 44 and I'd shoot it with 44 Russians and 160Gr bullets.  Super fun.  At's my opine and I'm sticking to it  Grin

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griffith
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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2017, 03:36:53 pm »

     I already picked up a pack of 5mm split washers. I'll wait and see on the other issues.  I've been reading up on the open tops here.



   Griffith
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Long Johns Wolf
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« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2017, 04:10:42 pm »

.44 Colt and 200 grainers!
Long Johns Wolf
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« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2017, 04:15:53 pm »

what the others are say'n'  .....44 Colt/Russian
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Coal Creek Griff
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« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2017, 04:50:24 pm »

Mine is a .44 and I shoot the .44 Colt cartridge.   Do you handload? Once you have the components and dies, there won't be a lot of price difference.  If you have to buy your ammo, though, I suspect that the. 38 would be more economical. My two .44 Colt revolvers are a joy to shoot. I had my Open Top out yesterday and reduced the tin can population on my ranch.

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griffith
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« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2017, 05:32:56 pm »

     No, I don't reload, but I may go with the 44 Russian.  It's no more expensive than  the 45 Colt or 45 Schofield for my Schofield (assuming I get to shoot it someday). 
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Scattered Thumbs
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« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2017, 06:04:57 pm »

Another vote for the .44.
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Crow Choker
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« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2017, 07:10:36 pm »

I'll vote for the 44. I have my OT in 44 Spec./Army frame. Started out shooting smokeless in 44 Spec and reloaded/shot 44 Colt with approx. 25.0 grains of FFF, but then switched to FF, more harmonious outcome. Use a 200 grain Mav Dutchman.  Don't shoot smokeless in it anymore, but did have fine outcome with Titegroup and 231. The 44 Colt rounds are accurate and pleasant to shoot. See no reason to go to the 44 Russian round, nothing to gain IMO. I do have a Richards/Mason 1860 Army frame model with a 5.5" barrel chambered in 38 Spec., like the bigger grip of the Army frame. Use Snakebite bullets, fired by FFF. Nice shooting caliber, but my heart is with the 44.

Added 02/20: Had good luck with Trail Boss powder also.
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griffith
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« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2017, 08:44:20 pm »

     Is there any advantage to the 44 colt over 44 Russian? I don't reload and will be using smokeless. The Russian seems to be a little easier to find and slightly cheaper.

                        Griffith
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Coffinmaker
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« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2017, 08:58:16 pm »

WHAT!!??  SMOKELESS???  (=GASP)  SACRILEGE!!  True Powder only!!  Nah.  Smokeless works fine.  I preferred Tightgroup.  Good stuff.
If your shooting reduced loads, the Russian case is more efficient.  Slightly reduced case volume for better burn efficiency.  Once you have a reasonable supply of cases (500) cost is no longer a factor.  Same bullets, etc., etc., etc.

Coffinmaker
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Cowtown
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« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2017, 09:17:51 pm »

Mine are marked 44 Colt but they shoot 44 Special just fine.

They are A LOT of fun to shoot.

Had I not read about the prpblem the 45 Colt open tops had I'd have bought that caliber. But I'm liking the 44 Colt much better anyway as I pair them with my 1860 Henry just to be different.



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« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2017, 09:21:07 pm »

I finally obtained a 44 open top M1872 colt replica. I have owned a 38 same model, and have no complaints with either. My preference is towards the .44 open top shot in any of the 3 available 44 cartridges. 44 Russian is my favorite. Reloaded with TB powder it is a sweet shooter.
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Crow Choker
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« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2017, 09:27:13 pm »

What Coffinmaker said. Starline is one of the few if not the only source of 44 Colt, although I believe I've seen a few online reloading merchants selling it. In my area (North and Central Iowa/Southern Minnesota) at gun shows I've seen it some, 44 Russian a bit more. As CM said, for reduced smokeless loads, the Russian case would be better, using black you'd fill both cases near the top for needed compression. When I shot the 44 Spec loads using smokeless, the loads needed to be fairly moderate, no more than 800-900 fps as you can't run the open top style Colts very heavy. They won't take higher pressure and fps 44 Special loadings as you could load and/or shoot in top frame modern made Colt, Colt style, or Ruger single actions and double action revolvers. I bought a Ruger Super Blackhawk for shooting those.
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griffith
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« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2017, 09:34:31 am »

     Well, you've all convinced me to go with 44 Colt/Russian.

                                     Thanks,
                                          Griffith
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Crow Choker
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« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2017, 10:33:34 am »

Mine are marked 44 Colt but they shoot 44 Special just fine.






I've posted this before, but Cimarron used to sell their 44 Spec calibered Open Tops and such marked 44 Colt. When I bought my 44 Spec OT in 08 I was told this by a Cimm rep before I bought the gun. Was told this was done because some buyers/shooters didn't want a 1800 era firearm marked with a caliber that didn't come around until after 1900. Go figure, would shoot a post 1900 caliber, but didn't want to appear to be doing so. Anyway in 09 when I bought my Richards II, Cimarron told me that this policy was no longer used and all guns were marked as to what they were calibered in.

Griffith, if you go with the 44, you will be happy with it. Nothing wrong with going in 38, but the 44 in Russ or Colt caliber isn't an angry Dirty Harry lion waiting to bite ya. More like a toothless Ol Tom Cat that will purr when ya shoot em. Some people who aren't  into shooting when I show/tell them about my 44 Colts have envisions of what they've heard about the 44 Magnum and think of it being a hand held howitzer.
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Mean Bob Mean
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« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2017, 10:36:15 am »

.44 Colt (aka Long Colt) I shoot 200 grain Big Lubes over as much 3F as I can get in there.  They go "Boom" and it is a hoot. 
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« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2017, 10:49:18 am »

Gonna have to agree with everyone else: .44 Special/Colt/Russian (I like 200 grain .44 Colt over 25 or grains of 2F BP). Though the .38 is perfectly respectable and a joy to shoot too.
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« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2017, 10:25:45 pm »

I own both, one .38 and one .44. I purchased the first one in 38 Spl. a while back. Really like it. Shoots great with a 150 grain pill with a case full of real gun powder.  My son bought a used OT in .44 Colt with 4 3/4 inch tube a few months ago. I liked the caliber so well that I purchased a new Cimarron OT .44 Spl. with a 7 1/2 barrel. Shooting the Mav Dutchman in a .44 Colt case with gun powder is lots fun. Go with whatever you like. I think you'll enjoy either one.

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Malamute
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« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2017, 03:06:28 pm »

 I have a couple questions about the 44 cal guns, perhaps a new thread would be in order, or it may fit here. Does Uberti make a 44 open top that does NOT accept 44 spl cases? Id be happy with a true 44 Russian chamber, all my dies and such would work, and the loads could be fired in my other 44 spl and mag guns if desired, but,...I have some Keith and other higher than the old factory level loads I use in a Smith 24 (think virtually all my 44 spl loads are slightly to very much above the original levels), and don't want it possible to even chamber 44 spl loads in the open top.

 Not crazy about a gun marked 44 Colt, as it really isn't the original version and could cause confusion with inheriting family etc if/when I'm croaked and gone.

 So, am I dreaming of the impossible, a true 44 Russian chambered open top?

 Edit: Since I'm dreaming, is it possible to get a gun with steel Navy size grip frame? Not a fan of either brass grips straps or the 1860 grips.
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griffith
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« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2017, 05:49:02 pm »

     Cimarron lists two 44 guns. The first is 44special/Colt/Russian. The other is 44Colt/Russian.

                         Griffith
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Crow Choker
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« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2017, 06:19:10 pm »

From what I've seen of Uberti's offerings from Taylor and Cimarron, no. No Open Top chambered only in 44 Russian. Cimarron does offer a brass gripped Navy size Open Top with one of the chambering's available in 44 Russian/44 Colt. Uberti make's a Schofield Russian breaktop chambered in 44 Russian, that is the only one I know of, pricey though.
 My OT chambered in 44 Spec only gets 44 Colt black powder loads anymore, but never was concerned about getting any 44 Special smokeless loadings used for modern guns in it as I had case management, ie loaded only loads for the 44 Ruger Blkhawk in specific brand brass, as I did for the Open Top smokeless loads. All 44 Colt cases were loaded with black only and were destined for the Uberti Open Top.
 A Open Top Uberti marked 44 Colt isn't going to be less in value because originals were not, because your not dealing with an original anyway. The repro Open Tops aren't 100% accurate anyway, but I don't really care, it's nice to have them available, if not you'd have to shell out 20-30 grand for an original and wouldn't be safe to shoot anyway. I'd make a note if you purchase a OT about what it can and cannot shoot for your heirs, in fact I did so pretty much for all my firearms as to value, what they are, any sentimental value, what they shoot--and I plan on being around another 25-30 years.

 Embarrassed EmbarrassedAdded after Abilene's post---OOOOOPPPPPPS'! Reference to Abilene's post below, I didn't type response accurately and didn't  proofread properly. I've got chocolate on my face. Made correction to my original posting. Thanks Abilene for bringing to attention. Grin Grin
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« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2017, 06:44:49 pm »

Malamute,
Cimarron in the beginning of the OT's had one chambered in .44 Russian, but not for a number of years now.  Even a gun marked .44 Colt will have a 90% or more chance of having a .44 spcl cylinder. 

The p/n of the .44 Russian cylinder is  901005.  You could always check with VTIgunparts.com or Cimarron to see if they have one.  Not real likely but you never know.

As for the steel Navy gripframe, I'm not sure what Crow Choker is thinking of but the OT's only come with steel army or brass Navy.  Now, you can always bolt a Model P / Cattleman gripframe and grip to the OT.  You would need the wood grip for that gripframe, as the Navy grip is similar in size but has some different curves and they are not compatible.
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Malamute
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« Reply #23 on: February 27, 2017, 11:59:29 pm »

 Thanks for the comments guys.

 I'll ask around and see if Cimarron or anyone else has cylinders that may be Russian chambered only.

 My reluctance with a 44 Colt marking isn't about the guns perceived originality (really doesn't concern me), but that its being used on a gun that's chambered and bored completely differently than its original iteration and dimensional data may suggest. I think it makes no sense to use the designation and I choose not to further the confusion for anyone that may have my gun one day. 44 Russian. One possible meaning. Ever. Smiley

 Any info I may wish to leave behind about what loads to shoot in my guns when I'm gone may not find its way along with the gun. My experience suggests all anyone is likely to get is the gun, nothing else about it. I definitely wouldn't trust that only certain loads/headstamps would be shot in certain guns and not in others (Oh, since you have that 44 of ol Malamutes, take a few boxes of ammo for it too....). This is also why I wont own any gun chambered in 45 Colt that wont handle 325 gr/1250 fps loads that I use up on the mountain.
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« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2017, 01:18:11 pm »

.44 Colt. It is one fine round.
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