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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  1860 Henry (Moderators: Flint, Major 2)  |  Topic: Original Henry Cartridges including the Henry Centerfire 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Original Henry Cartridges including the Henry Centerfire  (Read 3346 times)
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« on: January 17, 2008, 01:18:06 pm »

Stu Miller wrote the Cartridge Collecting column for Shooting Times back in the 60's.  Here is information on the .44 Henry  from the August 1962 issue.

( 1.) .44 Henry pointed  ( 2.) .44 Henry Flat, long case  ( 3.) .44 Henry Flat, short case 
( 4.) .44 Henry blank     ( 5.)  .44 Henry Shot               ( 6.) .44 Henry, brass case, centerfire

"New head stamps were showing up in the .44 Henry cartridges, made by most of the American companies. With a bit of hunting, you can secure the following raised markings: "A", "P", "U", "US", and "H." Lately I have seen this caliber with a raised "C" that is said to have been of early Canadian manufacture. These, along with the new head stamp type, and the later impressed "U", "H", and "US", make an interesting, historical set.

The new Winchester company was quick to realize the possibilities of the '66 as a military gun. The U.S. Army was not interested, so Winchester sent salesmen all over the world to sell the rifle. The new South American countries proved to be a good market. Turkey, then at war with Russia, purchased some 50,000. While ammunition was sold with the guns, it seems probable that at some time the Turks must have made some of their own ammunition, but who has seen any?? Eley Brothers of London, seems to have turned out quite a quantity of this cartridge rather early, marking them with a large raised "E."

There were few variations of the .44 Henry and there must have been some dummies made for demonstrations, but aren't often seen. The most common is the shot cartridge. These are found in both the long-formed case, and regular length case, and the shot in a wood container. One of the selling points of this last type was that the shot didn't come in contact with the rifling of the barrel, eliminating leading. Actually neither was effective except at very short range.

The long-formed case is also found in the blank cartridge. Recently I had a report of a round ball gallery load in this same type case. These were said to have been made on special order for Ira Paine, world famous pistol shot of the last' century. In these, the round ball is seated deep inside the case and covered with a cardboard wad.

Long after the '66 was discontinued, there was one final type of gun and cartridge brought out. In 1891, Winchester, using parts on hand, assembled some 1,020 Model 1866 carbines which had been converted to centerfire. These, along with the proper brass-cased centerfire cartridges, were sold to Brazil. Such was the "one night stand" of the .44 Centerfire Henry Flat.

There were two drawbacks to the .44 Henry rimfire ammunition. Because of the soft copper case, it was impossible to load it to the power desired. Then, once the cartridge was fired, it could not be reloaded, So, the company decided the next Winchester was to use a reloadable brass center fire cartridge with more power."
  Enter the '73 Winchester......... 



aka Jack Christian SASS 11993 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
aka John Kort
aka w30wcf (smokeless)
NRA Life Member
.22 W.C.F., .30 W.C.F., .44 W.C.F., .45 Colt Cartridge Historian
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2008, 02:06:45 pm »

Thanks w44wcf for the information.
As my father always say, listen and learn son.
Didn't knew the story about the  66 and the centerfire cartridges which were sold the Brazil.

Sir Charles deMouton-Black
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« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2008, 10:16:49 pm »

From THE HISTORY OF WINCHESTER FIREARMS, 1866-1980, 5th Ed., by Duncan Barnes;

page 12;
"Factory records indicate , however, that during later years occasional small lots of M/66 firearms were manufactured; the record of the last firearm assembled bears the date August 1898.  In 1891 1,020 M/66 component parts, on hand for many years, were used in the assembly of rifles chambered for the 44 "Henry" center fire cartridge and shipped to a firm in Brazil.  In making up this lot of  guns it was necessary to change  the breech pin by discarding the Breech Pin Snapper, substituting a center fire firing pin and also inserting a threaded bushing in the face of the breech pin base with a hole in the center to allow the point of the firing pin to protrude and hit the primer.  All other components were the same as previously used  on the standard M/66, 44 caliber rimfire rifles, except for the chambering of the barrel."

A perusal of my COTW,3d, shows that the cartridge dimensions of the 44 Henry Flat CF most closely match the .44 American, not the 44 Russian. Having said that, the most practical modern cartridge suitable for the 1866 would be the 44 Russian.

UBERTI, take note!

NCOWS #1154, SCORRS, STORM, BROW, 1860 Henry, Dirty Rat 502, CHINOOK COUNTRY
Those who are no longer ignorant of History may relive it,
without the Blood, Sweat, and Tears.
With apologies to George Santayana & W. S. Churchill

"As Mark Twain once put it, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
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