Author Topic: Frankford Arsenal .44 Martin cartridges back in the day  (Read 1566 times)

Offline Tuolumne Lawman

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Frankford Arsenal .44 Martin cartridges back in the day
« on: April 04, 2019, 08:51:27 PM »
While I was researching Remington  NMA .44 centerfire conversions, I found that Frankford Arsenal .44 cartridges made for the Army to use in both .44 Colt Richards conversions and Remington's New Model Army conversions.  They had a 225 grain bullet and 30 grains of powder! Thats. about 3 more grain than the .45 Schofield, and a duplicate of the later issued .45 Colt military rounds that had the decreased powder charge. (The Army found the 40 grains of powder in the original loading too much for most troopers).

That made the Remington's NMA .44 conversions and Colt's 1860 Richards .44 conversions better fight stoppers than 1872 open tops in .44 Henry and S&W No 3s, either with the .44 American or .44 Russian caliber.

Even the .46 Rimfire of the first 5 shot NMA conversions licensed from S&W were stout, especially in the Winchester loading: a 230 grain bullet over 26 grains of powder -basically a duplicate of the .45 Schofield.
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Offline Marshal Will Wingam

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Re: Frankford Arsenal .44 Martin cartridges back in the day
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2019, 10:56:00 AM »
Thanks for the good information, TL. I've been making my loads to the 1878 .45 Colt military specs. They work in my conversions but it would be much nicer to have them bored to the original caliber. Do you know if those Frankfurt Arsenal .44 cartridges had heeled bullets?

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Offline Tuolumne Lawman

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Re: Frankford Arsenal .44 Martin cartridges back in the day
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2019, 11:07:24 AM »
Yes, they had heeled bullets .451.  Some were Bennet primed in copper cases and some were brass with Martin primer. 

.44 Colt factory factory were .451, and .44 Remington factory rounds were .448/9.  Both had slightly different dimensions.  They were largely interchangeable, but not always due to QC issues in making the conversion cylinders, and even the ammo.  The Frankford Arsenal cartridges were designed to fit either one 100% of the time.  Frontier Army had a lot of 1860 conversions, and a lot of NMA conversions, of which some were .46 rimfire, but some were .44 Martin.



The cartridge on the left is a Frankford Arsenal Bennet primed .44.  The Canter is a .44 Colt, and the cartridge on the right is a .44 Remington.  Later, some ammunition manufacturers also produced a "one fits all" round, though they were generally labels .44 Colt.  I have about a dozen and a half assort makes of .44 conversions rounds, and their specs are all over the map.
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Offline Marshal Will Wingam

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Re: Frankford Arsenal .44 Martin cartridges back in the day
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2019, 12:47:55 PM »
That's interesting. I would imagine that accuracy might be a bit less consistent then, too.

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Offline Tuolumne Lawman

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Re: Frankford Arsenal .44 Martin cartridges back in the day
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2019, 01:31:33 PM »
I read an article years ago where they spoke about the mediocre accuracy of the .44 Conversions making the .44 Russian seem so much more accurate!
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Re: Frankford Arsenal .44 Martin cartridges back in the day
« Reply #5 on: Today at 05:02:40 AM »

Offline AntiqueSledMan

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Re: Frankford Arsenal .44 Martin cartridges back in the day
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2019, 03:12:03 PM »
Gentlemen,

The only weapon ever chambered in .44 Remington Center Fire was the 1875 Remington Revolver.
The Military New Army Conversions (I believe) were chambered in .44 Martin (.44 Colt).
I don't believe there was ever a New Model Army converted to a .44 Remington.
Remington converted some of them into a 5 shot .46 Rim Fire,
and I thought I once read a .44 Rim Fire.

AntiqueSledMan.

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Re: Frankford Arsenal .44 Martin cartridges back in the day
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2019, 03:35:48 PM »
Remington refined the Frankford version cartridge for their 1875 release.  It was simply their version of the Frankford cartridge (with was also used by many people in the early 1875s).  They were trying to "Remington brand" the cartridge as part of marketing, much like Marlin came out with their  ".44 Marlin" which was nothing more than a .44 WCF with a 225 grain bullet. 

I have seen later brass cased commercial ammo that was also made to work in either.
have seen period ads for the NMA conversions stating it uses the "44 Remington" cartridge.  IIRC, all 1860 conversions seem to chamber .44 Remington , also, but not all 44 Colt rounds chamber in Remingtons.

The first NMA conversions were .46 rimfire five shot, and yes NMA conversions in .44 Henry were also very common.
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Offline Marshal Will Wingam

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Re: Frankford Arsenal .44 Martin cartridges back in the day
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2019, 10:50:53 AM »
With the barrel sizes on the new Ubertis (and maybe Piettas), you'd have to sleeve one to be able to fit it with an original caliber conversion. Too bad, there. It would be fun to have a pair correctly chambered.

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Offline Tinker Pearce

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Re: Frankford Arsenal .44 Martin cartridges back in the day
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2019, 09:58:05 PM »
With the barrel sizes on the new Ubertis (and maybe Piettas), you'd have to sleeve one to be able to fit it with an original caliber conversion. Too bad, there. It would be fun to have a pair correctly chambered.

I'm not sure why- the originals used a more-or-less .450 bullet, and the modern percussion revolvers are around .451.  I've done several 1858 conversions in .44 Colt using heel-base .451 bullets.  Or are you talking about the factory-built '44 Colt' conversions that basically use a shortened .44 Special??

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Re: Frankford Arsenal .44 Martin cartridges back in the day
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2019, 12:20:31 AM »
I'm not sure why- the originals used a more-or-less .450 bullet, and the modern percussion revolvers are around .451.  I've done several 1858 conversions in .44 Colt using heel-base .451 bullets.  Or are you talking about the factory-built '44 Colt' conversions that basically use a shortened .44 Special??
I was referring to the bore. At .451 bullets would rattle down the barrel in mine. I need .454 bullets to get any accuracy. .452 bullets went way wide with groups 12" or better at 10 yds on all loads. 454's closed that up to a couple inches once I found the right load.

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Re: Frankford Arsenal .44 Martin cartridges back in the day
« Reply #10 on: Today at 05:02:40 AM »

Offline Tinker Pearce

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Re: Frankford Arsenal .44 Martin cartridges back in the day
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2019, 01:28:21 AM »
I was referring to the bore. At .451 bullets would rattle down the barrel in mine. I need .454 bullets to get any accuracy. .452 bullets went way wide with groups 12" or better at 10 yds on all loads. 454's closed that up to a couple inches once I found the right load.

OK, I get it now. I'm working mostly with older guns, where bores typically slug to .451-.452.

 

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