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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  The Winchester Model 1873 (Moderator: Major 2)  |  Topic: .45 Colt or .44-40 in uberti 1873 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: .45 Colt or .44-40 in uberti 1873  (Read 4413 times)
Doug.38PR
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« on: March 11, 2017, 12:05:51 am »


The idea is an all purpose round.  Historically accurate, shooting black powder every once in a while, shooting smokeless too, and usingvfor defensive purpose and even occasional vintage hunting.   Im leaning towards .44-40, even though im already set up for .45 colt for my handguns in reloading equipment, but the only thing holding me back is i'm not able to find any HP or expanding ammo in .44-40 as i can in .45 colt.  Only lead fp ammo.   While a 200-225 big bore .44 bullet with .44 magnum handgun velocities will probably take care of just about anything, i woukd like to find some expanding ammo for the 1873 carbine.   
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Cliff Fendley
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« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2017, 08:14:06 am »

The idea is an all purpose round.  Historically accurate, shooting black powder every once in a while, shooting smokeless too, and usingvfor defensive purpose and even occasional vintage hunting.   Im leaning towards .44-40, even though im already set up for .45 colt for my handguns in reloading equipment, but the only thing holding me back is i'm not able to find any HP or expanding ammo in .44-40 as i can in .45 colt.  Only lead fp ammo.   While a 200-225 big bore .44 bullet with .44 magnum handgun velocities will probably take care of just about anything, i woukd like to find some expanding ammo for the 1873 carbine.   

There is probably load data out there to be found. Modern Uberti rifles have a .429 bore so you can use the same bullets you would use in a 44mag.
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« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2017, 09:16:42 am »

The idea is an all purpose round.  Historically accurate, shooting black powder every once in a while, shooting smokeless too, and usingvfor defensive purpose and even occasional vintage hunting.   Im leaning towards .44-40, even though im already set up for .45 colt for my handguns in reloading equipment, but the only thing holding me back is i'm not able to find any HP or expanding ammo in .44-40 as i can in .45 colt.  Only lead fp ammo.   While a 200-225 big bore .44 bullet with .44 magnum handgun velocities will probably take care of just about anything, i woukd like to find some expanding ammo for the 1873 carbine.  

Well you answered to yourself. .45 Colt is out.
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Doug.38PR
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« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2017, 10:18:01 am »

Well you answered to yourself. .45 Colt is out.

Well yes technically I suppose so.  But .45 Colt is more of an old west round like the .44-40 as opposed to the .38 spl, .357 magnum, .44 spl, .44 magnum
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« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2017, 12:30:33 pm »

Well yes technically I suppose so.  But .45 Colt is more of an old west round like the .44-40 as opposed to the .38 spl, .357 magnum, .44 spl, .44 magnum

While not originally chambered in Winchester rifles, the .44 Russian was the father and grandfather of the .44 Magnum. The only difference, aside from using smokeless powder in the latter two rounds, was the length of the case.  It was fairly common, back in the 19th Century to name cartridges, "name", long "name" and extra-long "name".  So the .44 Special should have been called ".44 Long Russian", and the magnum, ".44 Extra-long Russian".  I generally shoot .44-40 in both rifle and revolvers, but if I'm short of loaded .44-40, I'll change the cylinders in my OM Vaqueros and pick up a Rossi '92 both chambered in .44 Magnum.  But my handloads are identical in bullet weight and muzzle velocity to the .44-40 loads, albeit the powder charges in the ".44 Extra-long Russian" (.44 Mangle-em) are lower than the charges in the .44-40 brass due to the latter having more case capacity than the magnum brass.

One problem with using .45LC in a rifle and .44-40 in your pistols is the potential for what happened to Texas Ranger George Lloyd during a firefight with some Indians.  He inadvertently loaded a .45 round into his Winchester '73.  Fortunately, he was able to use his knife blade to unscrew the sideplates and remove the offending round in time to save his scalp.  Had he had a Henry or '66 the outcome could have been different, as it takes about 15 minutes to remove a .45LC round from a (modern) Henry chambered in .44-40.  Don't ask how I know.   Embarrassed
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Doug.38PR
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« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2017, 12:48:04 pm »

While not originally chambered in Winchester rifles, the .44 Russian was the father and grandfather of the .44 Magnum. The only difference, aside from using smokeless powder in the latter two rounds, was the length of the case.  It was fairly common, back in the 19th Century to name cartridges, "name", long "name" and extra-long "name".  So the .44 Special should have been called ".44 Long Russian", and the magnum, ".44 Extra-long Russian".  I generally shoot .44-40 in both rifle and revolvers, but if I'm short of loaded .44-40, I'll change the cylinders in my OM Vaqueros and pick up a Rossi '92 both chambered in .44 Magnum.  But my handloads are identical in bullet weight and muzzle velocity to the .44-40 loads, albeit the powder charges in the ".44 Extra-long Russian" (.44 Mangle-em) are lower than the charges in the .44-40 brass due to the latter having more case capacity than the magnum brass.

One problem with using .45LC in a rifle and .44-40 in your pistols is the potential for what happened to Texas Ranger George Lloyd during a firefight with some Indians.  He inadvertently loaded a .45 round into his Winchester '73.  Fortunately, he was able to use his knife blade to unscrew the sideplates and remove the offending round in time to save his scalp.  Had he had a Henry or '66 the outcome could have been different, as it takes about 15 minutes to remove a .45LC round from a (modern) Henry chambered in .44-40.  Don't ask how I know.   Embarrassed

I think you meant .45LC in pistols and  .44-40 in a rifle.  In my case, if i were in an a tual shootout and i had a .44-40 uberti carbine as my truck gun or woods rifle, my handgun would more likely be a .38 or .357 service revolver or 9mm beretta or .45 acp 1911 than a .45 Colt single action gun

I've been back and forth with the .44-40 and .45 Colt in a rifle with all tge pros and cons.  Convinience, versatility and variaty say go with .45 Colt and Historical accuracy, black powder use and, more importantky, full potential for what the rifle was intended say go with the .44-40
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« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2017, 04:56:00 pm »

Well, the .44-40 revolvers were called Frontier models for some reason.  Grin
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Mean Bob Mean
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« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2017, 01:42:57 pm »

.45 more access to reloading items, cheaper to load for that reason. 

I wish I had bought a .44-40 though, if you shoot BP in a .45 colt it gets nasty. 
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« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2017, 04:04:27 pm »

Used to have an Uberti in .45 Colt.  Lots of fouling even with smokeless powder.  I now have an original in .44 W.C.F. that goes well with my Frontier Six Shooter.  Doesn't have near the fouling.   I like the .44 better in a rifle.  Pretty much a wash in a pistol, in my opinion.  To be honest, I'd much rather have a rifle caliber rifle in a fight, and then it's no issue at all.
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Doug.38PR
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« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2017, 04:38:24 pm »

Well I went to a store in Houston today to look for one or the other.  They did not have a Uberti 1873 in either .44-40 or .45 Colt.   They did, however, have one in .44 Magnum.   Handling it compared to the Rossi and Chapperal Arms ones that they had just sold me completely on the Uberti 1873.  The action was like glass and the stock position (the Chapperal butt stock was too low for me, felt weird) in .45 Colt.   They did have a few Uberti Henry Replicas in .44-40, but they were full sized rifles.  

They did did contact Cimarron that did claim to have .45 Colt in stock in 19 inch Carbine but no .44-40.  Price was about $1219 (I know I could get it a little lower than that other places, but my funds happen to be geared towards this store).  

I am still somewhat torn between .45 Colt and .44-40 but still lean more towards .44-40.   (I am tempted to go ahead and order the .45 Colt just because I have plenty of reloaded American Pioneer Ammo on hand and plenty more brass and reloading components).  

Let me ask this:  1) Can you shoot .44-40 in a .44 Magnum Uberti Carbine?   2) Can you shoot .44 Special in a .44 Magnum Uberti Carbine?   I know both take a .429 bullet.  
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Cliff Fendley
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« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2017, 05:41:24 pm »

No 44-40 is completely different than a 44mag or special other than sharing bore diameter in the current production guns.
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Cliff Fendley
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« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2017, 05:52:44 pm »

I only have one 45 colt rifle and that is only because I got a real good deal on it. I honestly believe it's action gets dirtier shooting smokeless than the 44-40's do running BP. There is no way I would ever consider shooting BP or subs in a 45 colt rifle. Yes I know lots of people do but for the life of me I can't understand why since the 44-40 is so much better, the guns are available, brass is available, bullets, etc etc.

I suppose if a person already had a gun or got a good deal on a used one but it seems insane to me to buy a new one in 45 with intentions of shooting BP even part of the time.

This is my opinion and you know what they say about opinions, but I personally wouldn't even consider a new 73 in anything but one of the original WCF calibers.
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« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2017, 08:38:44 pm »

You were talking history, I have an original 73 that's now 135 years old and a frontier 6 shooter
to go with it . If you're not going to shoot a lot a lot you may consider an original. Rock Island
Auction sells a bunch of them . With a barrel reline I have about $1200 in mine. 20 years down
the road which will have more value.  44/40 is where I'd go

                                          BTB
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Doug.38PR
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« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2017, 11:59:24 pm »

I only have one 45 colt rifle and that is only because I got a real good deal on it. I honestly believe it's action gets dirtier shooting smokeless than the 44-40's do running BP. There is no way I would ever consider shooting BP or subs in a 45 colt rifle. Yes I know lots of people do but for the life of me I can't understand why since the 44-40 is so much better, the guns are available, brass is available, bullets, etc etc.

I suppose if a person already had a gun or got a good deal on a used one but it seems insane to me to buy a new one in 45 with intentions of shooting BP even part of the time.

This is my opinion and you know what they say about opinions, but I personally wouldn't even consider a new 73 in anything but one of the original WCF calibers.

Yes, if you watch the youtube clip of Hickok45 shooting the Winchester 73 in .45 Colt Black Powder, he shows you just how dirty the gun gets.   He doesn't seem to mind and I guess I could live with it as long as the gun functions well for a few dozen rounds or before I have to clean, spray or lubricate things.     But what bothers me most is:  how much potential am I losing with all that blowback from powder that could be used to push the bullet forward instead of dirtying up my gun.   Maybe I'm being too picky.  Thinking it through, even a .30-06 or .22 LR feed area will get dirty over time with smokeless powder use....in fact any semi auto pistol if not kept clean enough will have problems.  
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Cliff Fendley
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« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2017, 08:36:58 am »

Yes, if you watch the youtube clip of Hickok45 shooting the Winchester 73 in .45 Colt Black Powder, he shows you just how dirty the gun gets.   He doesn't seem to mind and I guess I could live with it as long as the gun functions well for a few dozen rounds or before I have to clean, spray or lubricate things.     But what bothers me most is:  how much potential am I losing with all that blowback from powder that could be used to push the bullet forward instead of dirtying up my gun.   Maybe I'm being too picky.  Thinking it through, even a .30-06 or .22 LR feed area will get dirty over time with smokeless powder use....in fact any semi auto pistol if not kept clean enough will have problems.  

A better video would be one comparing how dirty the 45 gets and how much cleaner the 44-40 stays.

There is absolutely no comparison. I have some 44-40 guns that have not had the action apart in years after hundreds of rounds of black powder and I only shoot black powder in them. 

I enjoy tinkering as much as the next guy but there's nothing really fun about taking a gun all apart just to clean all the crud out of it.
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Doug.38PR
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« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2017, 02:51:31 pm »

Cimarron and Taylor, from what the dealer I visited yesterday found out, don't have any .44-40s available in 19 inch carbine right now.  Cimarron does have .45 Colt. 

I think I'm pretty well sold on the .44-40.  Everything I've read on this forum and others as well as the fact that everyone appears to out of them tells me that they are probably the way to go.  I just need for my dealer to be able to get one. 
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Cholla Hill Tirador
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« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2017, 05:10:26 pm »

 I was in your shoes with the same decision a couple of years ago. I also already load the 45 Colt but ultimately decided on the 44-40, and haven't had a single regret. My rifle however is an 1866 Sporting Rifle. It has the 24" barrel and a ladder rear sight. I had a ball regulating the sights and even more fun shooting at 200 and 300 yds. once the sights were regulated. I load BP and smokeless interchangeably and neither is worse or better than the other.

  I wouldn't worry myself much about an expanding bullet, just load one with a more generously wide nose than the.original and you'll be fine for hunting. Heck, the buck I shot last hear I did so with one of my old 38-40's and a non-expanding bullet. He died without griping. If you feel you must have an expanding bullet check with Matt's Bullets or buy a hollowpoint mould from NOE and cast your own.

  CHT
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Doug.38PR
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« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2017, 07:10:54 pm »

Well, I ask again for them to check another distributor and the gun store I'm using seems to have found a 44-40 in addition to the .45 for another distributor.  I went for the .44-40.  Paid for it up front and they are going to order it.   
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« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2017, 07:50:47 pm »

That's good news. You'll be glad with your choice.

CC Griff
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Doug.38PR
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« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2017, 08:21:07 pm »

Now I've got to find bullets and brass. Im guessing .429 bullets
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« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2017, 08:49:29 pm »


It depends on how dirty black do you want your lifter. With the .45 Colt chamber blow back really makes things dirty. With either smokeless or Gun Powder* lots of blow back.
With the .44 40 not so much. I cut the blow back down to manageable amounts when shooting Gun Powder using .44 40 cases fire formed to .45 Colt. A PITA to do so I just gave up, went to .45 Cowboy Special and use a lot Ballistol on the lifter when shooting.

*Gun Powder (aka black powder)

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Coal Creek Griff
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« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2017, 09:26:41 pm »

Now I've got to find bullets and brass. Im guessing .429 bullets

I size my bullets to .429, but you may want to slug your bore first. I had also tried some at .430 early on, but found them to be difficult to chamber in my gun.  It may take some experimentation.

CC Griff
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« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2017, 01:40:47 am »

Now I've got to find bullets and brass. Im guessing .429 bullets

While 44-40 is not difficult to reload, you may need to make certain choices for chambering reasons.  The Ubertis tend to have tight .44-40 chambers.  To use a .429 bullet you may need to limit yourself to Winchester or Starline brass as they have the thinnest neck.  There are discussions here and there about this.  Depending on your dies, you may need to modify the sizing die to set the shoulder low enough.  And try to use a bullet that lets gives you a crimp groove and keeps OAL under 1.6".   After you get set, no problemo  Smiley
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Cholla Hill Tirador
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« Reply #23 on: March 16, 2017, 01:54:23 am »

Now I've got to find bullets and brass. Im guessing .429 bullets

 I cast and load for 5 different .44 Specials, a Uberti 1873 .44 Magnum, a Uberti .44-40 SA, and the above mentioned .44-40. They all get their bullets sized .430" and they all work great. I use Starline brass exclusively.

 If you need some .430" bullets to try when your 44-40 arrives, shoot me a PM and I'll send you some.

 Here's a super good price on 44-40 brass http://www.gunbroker.com/item/628851375 $25.00/100 with free shipping.

 CHT
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Doug.38PR
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« Reply #24 on: March 23, 2017, 11:39:37 am »

Well, the dealer I ordered the gun from told me yesterday that they had ordered from Taylor & Co in Virginia (I believe) and they had one left in stock but they opened it and found a big scratch on it and said they would not send it to my dealer.   The dealer then contacted another distributor in Maryland and they had several in stock and it should be on it's way to my dealer.    They apologized for the delay whereas I thanked them for not trying to give me a scratched gun.  (if there is any wear and tear on it, I'm going to do it myself, LOL!!)

What dealer is there in Maryland?   (the dealer employee couldn't remember off the top of his head) I know there is Cimarron in Texas and Taylor & Co in Virginia but those are the two big ones that I know of.   Since Uberti is (or was) in Maryland (or did they move to Tennessee under the same umbrella with Beretta?) could they have ordered directly from the factory somehow?
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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  The Winchester Model 1873 (Moderator: Major 2)  |  Topic: .45 Colt or .44-40 in uberti 1873 « previous next »
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