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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  STORM (Moderators: RRio, Major 2)  |  Topic: .44 Henry cartridge - Very under rated! 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: .44 Henry cartridge - Very under rated!  (Read 787 times)
Tuolumne Lawman
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« on: July 07, 2017, 02:00:25 pm »


If you look at the common 1871 pistol cartridges, the .44 Henry Flat is pretty spunky in comparison.  Of the pre-1873 cartridges that proliferated, it was the hottest:

.44 Henry:          200 grain       .442" bullet   28 grains powder
.44 American:     205 grain       .432" bullet   25 grains powder
.44 Russian:       246 grain       .430" bullet   23 grains powder
.44 Colt             210 grain       .454  Bullet    21 grains powder
.46 Rimfire*       227 grain      .456" bullet    20 grains powder

*also known as .46 French, or .46 short.  Used in 5 shot conversions of Remington New Model Army (1858) revolvers.

All of these rounds had reputations a good fight stoppers.  By comparison, the Army's .45 Scofield round (1875) had a 230 grain, .454" bullet, with 28-29 grains powder.  It barely bested the .44 Henry round.

Posted in Henry board.
The .44 henry flat, with its 28 grains of BP and a 200 grain flat nose bullet, travels from the rifle at 1125 fps (confirmed by my 200 grain, 28 grain BP .45 Schofield .44 Henry Duplication load from my Uberti 1860 Henry). At the muzzle, it is around 575 ft lbs , which is better than the best 40 S&W and about 50-75 ft lbs shy of the standard 175 grain Winchester Silvertip 10mm round.  At 100 yards, the .44 henry flat is still traveling about 950-960 fps! This still gives about 425 ft lbs at 100 yards - equal to a good 200 grain .45 ACP loading at the muzzle.  No one disparages the 10mm or the .45 ACP!

Then we have the pistols: Smith and Wesson No.3 Americans and Colt 1871 Open Tops.  Revolvers give  around 800 - 900 fps (based on my 200 grain, 28 grain BP .45 Schofield Henry Duplication load from revolvers). That would give around 350 ft. lbs muzzle energy, the same as standard velocity 9mm or 45 ACP ball.  Not too shabby!

Considering the proliferation of the .44 rimfire in the West, it proved itself effective in combat and hunting (as long as you don't get too ambitious!) for 40 or 50 years! With around 200,000 firearms (1860 Henry, 1866 Winchesters, and assorted S&W and Colt  revolvers) produced, it certainly saw widespread usage.  Was it better than the .44 WCF? Certainly not.  It was, however, far more effective than we modern magnum and +P crazy shooters appreciate!
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TUOLUMNE LAWMAN
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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2017, 02:41:15 pm »

Anyone know what was the difference between the .44 Stetson and .44 Henry?
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Pettifogger
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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2017, 03:30:25 pm »

The 44 Stetson is a very large hat.
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Tuolumne Lawman
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« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2017, 04:02:17 pm »

The 44 Stetson was actually just a .44 Henry Flat with Stetson's patented swaged bullet, according to McDowell's book on conversions.  It had some differences on lubing, but i am not sure what.  The 44 Open top would take any .44 Henry flat bullet, but I believe that some of the early 215 round nose Henry bullets (with shorter case) made by other than Winchester, would not chamber well in an Open Top.  It was designed around the 44 Henry flat, including Stetson's modified rounds.
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TUOLUMNE LAWMAN
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« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2017, 05:31:59 pm »

Gotcha, thanks!
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Rooster Ron Wayne
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« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2017, 07:20:38 am »

I use 44 Russian full load APP FFF with a 200 gr bullet in my Open Top 1871-72 Pistols .
This is really a nice load and nice shooting cartridge.
Its about as close as I can get to the 44 Henry cartridge.

My Henry rifle is a 44/40 like most .
I have a Pard who said he can sleeve the chamber and cut the bolt and adjust the lifter to shoot the 44 Russian cartridge.

At some point I going to have it done.

Just sayin
Rooster
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« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2017, 06:18:13 pm »

Tuolumne,

I'm a bit confused by a couple of the powder charges you show in your chart.  You show the 44 Russian with 23 grains of powder and the 44 Colt with 21 grains.  Given the larger case capacity of the 44 Colt, wouldn't it hold a larger powder charge?  Especially since it was originally a heeled bullet?

Am I missing something?
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SUBLYME AND HOLY ORDER OF THE SOOT
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Tuolumne Lawman
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« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2017, 08:39:36 pm »

I took that from another site, but it should be at least 25 grains, now that I think of it.  The .44 Colt round I dissected had 25 grains and a grease cookie wad (like dried bees wax) on top, under the heeled bullet.  I think most 44 Colt rounds had grease cookiesThanks for catching that.
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TUOLUMNE LAWMAN
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« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2017, 03:28:22 pm »

Just glad I wasn't all wet.  I've been know to have frequent brain f***s!  Roll Eyes
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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  STORM (Moderators: RRio, Major 2)  |  Topic: .44 Henry cartridge - Very under rated! « previous next »
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