Author Topic: How effective is the .44-40 rifle?  (Read 5611 times)

Offline Doug.38PR

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How effective is the .44-40 rifle?
« on: February 08, 2018, 07:43:54 pm »
Basically a 200-240 gr bullet going anywhere from 900-1300 ft per second.  Basically a .44 Magnum handgun in a rifle.

How effective a man or animal stopper historically?   It has, I understand it’s taken out more deer except for the .30-30

Online Baltimore Ed

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Re: How effective is the .44-40 rifle?
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2018, 08:22:36 pm »
I'll say that non of the steel targets that I've shot with my .44-40 have moved an inch after being shot. 100% effective.
"Give'em hell, Pike"
 There is no horse so dead that you cannot continue to beat it.

Offline King Medallion

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Re: How effective is the .44-40 rifle?
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2018, 10:01:20 pm »
Ask anyone hit with one since 1873 how they felt when being hit with one. Oh, wait, they're all dead. Guess it works ok.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 12:29:18 am by King Medallion »

Offline Doug.38PR

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Re: How effective is the .44-40 rifle?
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2018, 10:30:50 pm »
Ask anyone hit with one from 1873 how they felt when being hit with one. Oh, wait, they're all dead. Guess it works ok.

HA!  Good answer

Offline Yeso Bill

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Re: How effective is the .44-40 rifle?
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2018, 10:57:09 pm »
Well, Winchester shows their 45 Colt ammo with a MV of 860 fps and Muzzle Energy of 420 foot lbs.  (pistol at the muzzle)  Federal Ballistics Calculator shows the 240 gr. 44-40 bullet launched at 1300 fps to have 409 ft. lbs of energy at 300 yards and be rolling along at 876 fps.

Billy

I’ll add…… I have been writing a history of the ranch here and there is little documentation of the caliber of guns people carried.  The Lady my family bought the ranch from in 1947 wrote that she had her husbands Colt 45.  (He died in 1922)  

The outlaw Marino Lebya was captured North of Ft. Sumner in 1881 when he mistakenly fed his 44-40 rifle 45 Colt shells.  A chance encounter between Lebya and Santa Fe County Deputy Sheriffs Joaquin Montoya and Carlos Jacome resulted in a gun fight and the death of Lebya in 1887. 

Pat Garrett killed “the Kid” in 1881 with a Colt 44-40.
  
Jim White killed George Peacock in the Fall of 1886 at a branding over the ownership of a calf.  White was carrying a Colt 45 and a S. & W, caliber unknown and it is written that he used them both.  It was thought White thought Peacock was going for his pistol.  White fled and was never apprehended.
     Peacock did not have a good reputation.  W. C. Urton, owner of the neighboring 7HL Ranch said “Peacock and his friends were all wild rough characters” and Jack Potter, manager of the neighboring  Colorado Land & Cattle Company said, “ Peacock and his friends were always into some meanness… always carried guns”……..which I always thought was an interesting statement.  
      Peacock’s rifle is in a private collection and I believe it to be a 76 Winchester.
  
Besides The Lincoln County War (which had many unknown casualties), this area actually has been pretty quiet.  Although in 1885 there were 19 deaths at White Oaks and 11 were from gun-shot.  

In 1894 Charles Van Sickle was murdered at Hugo Zuber’s ranch headquarters on the Yeso Creek by two thieving neighbors, Eugenio Aragon and Antonio Gonzales.  A posse quickly apprehended the culprits and they were taken to Roswell, N.M., tried and sentenced to hang.  

Two later homesteaders (after 1900) were killed in two separate incidents by other homesteaders over fence boundaries.  (abt. 1915 & 1934) One defended himself with a Winchester 25-35 (and won the fight) and another unarmed man was shot 9 times with a 9 MM.  His last words were, "Stop or you are going to kill me".  
« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 04:03:40 pm by Yeso Bill »

Offline scrubby2009

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Re: How effective is the .44-40 rifle?
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2018, 05:15:53 pm »
I hope to never find out the lethality on a human. But at my house, we've got a pair of heirloom 1st Model '73's in 44-40 and with both topped off, that's 13 rounds each in a fairly compact, ambidextrous, able to be reloaded while in-use weapon. i like my odds. I live in Commie-fornia, and I like the fact I can be decently armed and it's not "shown" in any database that the wrong "government-types" can access. Fine hunting round, easy to reload, fairly accurate at the distances I want to shoot at as well.
Responsive, timely, tactically accurate, and strategically precise fire.

Offline Cholla Hill Tirador

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Re: How effective is the .44-40 rifle?
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2018, 08:25:49 pm »
Basically a 200-240 gr bullet going anywhere from 900-1300 ft per second.  Basically a .44 Magnum handgun in a rifle.

How effective a man or animal stopper historically?   It has, I understand it’s taken out more deer except for the .30-30

 Your comparison of a 44-40 rifle to a .44 Magnum revolver is spot-on as their ballistics are quite similar. It's funny how hunters turn their noses up at the "obsolete" 44-40, but think a .44 Magnum revolver is perfect for anything smaller than a mastodon.

 Not really historical, but:

 A portion of our households 2017 meat compliments of a 1886 made Winchester chambered in 38-40, loaded with a home-cast 192 gr. RNFP.

 

 A portion of our households 2018 meat compliments of an 1866 Uberti 44-40, loaded with a home cast 220 gr. RNFP.

 

 Some pork chops and a shoulder complements of a '92 Rossi .357 using a home cast bullet.

  

 Most any reasonable size bullet through the lungs of an animal will work, and I'm sure the same applies to bipeds.

 CHT

 
  
« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 08:27:24 pm by Cholla Hill Tirador »

Offline Galloway

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Re: How effective is the .44-40 rifle?
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2018, 05:00:54 am »
Theres much less of a struggle on the deer shot with the 44wcf. As you can see it clearly killed it deader.  :D ;D

Offline King Medallion

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Re: How effective is the .44-40 rifle?
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2018, 07:57:03 am »
That is a sharp looking 66, love the dark wood. Refinished? Got one just like it, but the wood is damn near orange. But she is a fine shooter!

Offline Cholla Hill Tirador

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Re: How effective is the .44-40 rifle?
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2018, 08:03:45 am »
Theres much less of a struggle on the deer shot with the 44wcf. As you can see it clearly killed it deader.  :D ;D

  ;D ;D ;D

Offline Cholla Hill Tirador

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Re: How effective is the .44-40 rifle?
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2018, 08:17:34 am »
That is a sharp looking 66, love the dark wood. Refinished? Got one just like it, but the wood is damn near orange. But she is a fine shooter!

 Thank you. Yes! Refinished. That wood was definitely a "sleeper".

   These before and after pictures show what a dramatic difference a good oil finish can make. Hard to believe it's the same piece of wood!



  Thanks again for your kind words.

     CHT
 
« Last Edit: December 06, 2018, 06:45:17 pm by Major 2 »

Online Baltimore Ed

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Re: How effective is the .44-40 rifle?
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2018, 10:21:11 am »
Good looking rifle. How far is the gong?
"Give'em hell, Pike"
 There is no horse so dead that you cannot continue to beat it.

Offline Cholla Hill Tirador

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Re: How effective is the .44-40 rifle?
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2018, 10:25:18 am »
Good looking rifle. How far is the gong?

 Thanks.
 Those gongs are both 200. The top target was fired prone with no support, the bottom from the bench.

 CHT

Offline Rowdy Fulcher

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Re: How effective is the .44-40 rifle?
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2018, 06:29:50 pm »
Howdy
The 44wcf is very effective on Deer .

Offline Doug.38PR

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Re: How effective is the .44-40 rifle?
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2018, 09:54:01 pm »
That is a sharp looking 66, love the dark wood. Refinished? Got one just like it, but the wood is damn near orange. But she is a fine shooter!

That is a nice looking 1866 yellowboy.  24 inch?

I have a 19 inch 1873 carbine (uberti) myself.  Very impressed.  Hits exactly what I aim at

Offline Doug.38PR

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Re: How effective is the .44-40 rifle?
« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2018, 09:54:58 pm »
Your comparison of a 44-40 rifle to a .44 Magnum revolver is spot-on as their ballistics are quite similar. It's funny how hunters turn their noses up at the "obsolete" 44-40, but think a .44 Magnum revolver is perfect for anything smaller than a mastodon.

 Not really historical, but:

 A portion of our households 2017 meat compliments of a 1886 made Winchester chambered in 38-40, loaded with a home-cast 192 gr. RNFP.

 

Like I said, nice rifle.  And good hunting too!

 A portion of our households 2018 meat compliments of an 1866 Uberti 44-40, loaded with a home cast 220 gr. RNFP.

 

 Some pork chops and a shoulder complements of a '92 Rossi .357 using a home cast bullet.

  

 Most any reasonable size bullet through the lungs of an animal will work, and I'm sure the same applies to bipeds.

 CHT

 
  

Offline Cholla Hill Tirador

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Re: How effective is the .44-40 rifle?
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2018, 10:13:37 pm »
That is a nice looking 1866 yellowboy.  24 inch?

I have a 19 inch 1873 carbine (uberti) myself.  Very impressed.  Hits exactly what I aim at

    It is a 24", but I plan someday to have an 1866 19" carbine in 44-40 with the little flip up sight, probably lime yours.

   CHT

 

Offline Doug.38PR

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Re: How effective is the .44-40 rifle?
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2018, 11:20:15 am »
    It is a 24", but I plan someday to have an 1866 19" carbine in 44-40 with the little flip up sight, probably lime yours.

   CHT

 

I already have a .22 marlin model 60, a Remington 700 30-06 Springfield, an M1 Carbine .30 cal, a Pedersoli Trapdoor carbine .45-70, a Moisin Nagant 7 mm and of course a Bushmaster/Olympic Arms AR 15 rifle.   But I have to say:  my Uberti 1873 .44-40 carbine 19 inch is my favorite of them all.    It’s simple, big bore, not too powerful, not too weak, easy to handle, not bulky.  My wife likes it too.   It will handle pretty much anything that can come out of our woods man or beast.   Fun to reload and fun to shoot, smokeless or BP.  Most of all:  it hits exactly where I am aiming

Offline PJ Hardtack

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Re: How effective is the .44-40 rifle?
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2018, 01:58:13 pm »
I have to give the 44-40 high marks as a forager's rifle.

I was toting my Rossi 44-40 SRC all fall looking for a deer that never showed up. However, it was a good season for Grouse and I potted 11 of them with the 44-40 using my CAS load - 6 grs Red Dot/200 gr RNFP.

All head shots.

My wife finally said - "No more Grouse! No more room in the freezer."
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Offline Bryan Austin

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Re: How effective is the .44-40 rifle?
« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2018, 03:20:31 pm »
John Kort shoots steel javlina at 300 maters with black powder loads and a 427098.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbxvlQUkQfU

In an area approx 200 yards from Custer's last stand...as well as an aresa south east of Calhoun Hill, so many Henry cases were found, archaeologist nicknamed the ridgeline "Henryville Ridge". Although most remains were long removed any buried in the cemetery, one .44 bullet was located in a soldiers wrist uncovered near one of the markers. Most shots the Indians made were between 75-250 yards...and that was Henry ballistics. At least 11 Winchester 73' were confirmed fired during the battle.
https://www.44winchestercenterfirecartridges.com/44wcf-little-bighorn-artifacts
« Last Edit: December 07, 2018, 06:36:42 am by Bryan Austin »

Offline Cliff Fendley

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Re: How effective is the .44-40 rifle?
« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2018, 04:07:20 pm »
Why do they say the bullets are indistinguishable between the Henry, 1866, and M1873 rifles since the 44 henry and 44wcf bullets have a different diameter? Are the ones doing the study not aware those rifles shoot different cartridges?
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Offline Bryan Austin

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Re: How effective is the .44-40 rifle?
« Reply #21 on: December 06, 2018, 04:49:55 pm »
Why do they say the bullets are indistinguishable between the Henry, 1866, and M1873 rifles since the 44 henry and 44wcf bullets have a different diameter? Are the ones doing the study not aware those rifles shoot different cartridges?

That is the part that still confuses me. I wish I could visit the storage of these bullets and cases and look them over myself.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2018, 04:52:52 pm by Bryan Austin »

Offline Buck Stinson

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Re: How effective is the .44-40 rifle?
« Reply #22 on: December 06, 2018, 07:09:55 pm »
I think what they mean is, the .44 caliber bullets they found, were in a condition that made it impossible to tell what model rifle they were fired from.

Offline Cliff Fendley

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Re: How effective is the .44-40 rifle?
« Reply #23 on: December 06, 2018, 07:17:07 pm »
That is the part that still confuses me. I wish I could visit the storage of these bullets and cases and look them over myself.

I know it would be interesting, it seems if it is intact enough to distinguish the rifling then the diameter would be able to be determined between approx .427 and .446

Maybe not but one would think
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Offline Bryan Austin

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Re: How effective is the .44-40 rifle?
« Reply #24 on: December 06, 2018, 09:14:25 pm »
I know it would be interesting, it seems if it is intact enough to distinguish the rifling then the diameter would be able to be determined between approx .427 and .446

Maybe not but one would think

All four bullets were recovered from the battlefield. Could be from later hunting parties etc but recovered nonetheless. In Dr Scott's book "Archaeological Insights to The Custer Battlefield...1984...", on page 61...he said 14 44CF cases were recovered [lists archaeological ID numbers for each cartridge case] he describes all of the 44-40 cases were of the Winchester-Milbank-type primer. 

 The four bullets are all .44 calibers and you guys might can identify them, their weight, the rifling twist etc and tell if they were fired from a 73', 60' or 66'.

What is not well known is for less than one year, it has been rumored that the first 44 WCF cartridges were paper patched. Could very well have used some left over 44 bullets from previous years. There is so little information on these first months that I just can not get a consistent pattern except that they were Milbank primed cases. It is also rumored that they were also copper but I just do not know. Lack of deformation indicates none of them met their mark and landed at zero velocity.

I hope you Henry/66' guys can help me out here.