Author Topic: Some thoughts on the longevity of the .44 Rimfire FULL POST  (Read 927 times)

Offline Tuolumne Lawman

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Some thoughts on the longevity of the .44 Rimfire FULL POST
« on: August 12, 2020, 11:03:58 AM »
Somehow, it only posted part.  Here is the whole post.

Today, we live in an age of consumerism, where things are made to be replaced rather than repaired.  We always want the newest and best, especially when it comes to guns.  I did, when I was younger, but as I got older it slowed some.  My Glock 19 I have had for 26 years is a perfect example.  I got it as a Deputy, and since then it has never malfunctioned a single time.  I see no reason to replace it...

Back in the 1800s and early 1900s, we were not so much a consumer society.  If it worked, we didn't replace it with a newer item.  If it broke, and could be repaired, we fixed it and continued to use it.  many percussion revolvers and rifles continued to be used until the turn of the century and beyond.  I read an article a long time ago about a Constable, I think in the Texas Panhandle, that was still carrying a Richards Conversion of a Colt percussion in the 1920s.

Winchester continued to produce their ever so popular 1866 in .44 Rimfire off and on until 1896, which was the last run.  That was 23 years after the 1873 in .44-40 was introduced, and even 4 years after the magnum strength 1892 was made.  It was that well liked that it continued being in production, even after the "next best thing" came along!  I really wonder how many 1860 and 1866s were still in active use after the turn of the century and beyond?  The numbers must have been significant, as the ammo manufacturers produced .44 Rimfire until WW2.

Case in point:

My wife’s uncle Stanley was a true working Cowboy all his life. He worked cattle ranches in the Central Valley of California, and west slopes of the Sierra Nevada, from the 1920s into the 1970s.  He once related to me that his favorite saddle gun when riding heard and working in the mountains at the line shacks was actually an old 1866 Carbine.  He used it to kill deer for camp meat, and to kill mountain lion and wolves that threatened the heard.  He really liked the little rifle, and did not see any need to replace it until .44 rimfire ammunition ceased to be available with the beginning of  WW II.



TUOLUMNE LAWMAN
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Offline nativeshootist

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Re: Some thoughts on the longevity of the .44 Rimfire FULL POST
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2020, 06:31:52 PM »
 I agree with what you mean. Im a young man only 23, but the amount of stuff I saw get broke and just replaced is high. I have a 2001 ford ranger thats currently being a pain and I'm working on fixing. I have some friends that tell me that motors done and too go switch it etc. But no, I'm a fix it and keep it going.

Like your uncle stanley,  lots of people used guns for way way longer than what most people think nowadays. My favorite story i heard was from on of my uncles. He told me when him and his cousins were young in the 60s. They went rabbit hunting with a old rifle that ome of his cousins grandpas gave him to hunt with. The grandpa being 80s. He said they never knew what cartridge it used but they could slip a .410 in it. It worked but they laughed when the shot it, the top would always fly open. They close it and reopen it to get the shell out. I thought about it and used my phone too look up a 73 trapdoor and showed him and asked "did it look like this?" , he said, "ohan ohan, thats it, shorter though.", I showed him a rifle, and sounded like they used a carbine. So my uncle and his cousins used a 73 trapdoor carbine to hunt rabbits with in the 60s and used .410 shells in it. I thought that was cool and kinda funny.

Offline Tuolumne Lawman

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Re: Some thoughts on the longevity of the .44 Rimfire FULL POST
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2020, 11:56:24 PM »
Thanks, I love that story!  When I taught high school History, I tried to bring in family stories and histories to make history come alive.  Family legends tell us a lot.  Unfortunately, I had to abandon that technique when they implemented common core and standardized testing, which made me basically teach to the tests and turned History into memorizing the names of dead people and dates....
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Offline nativeshootist

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Re: Some thoughts on the longevity of the .44 Rimfire FULL POST
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2020, 01:59:10 AM »
You can always have people tell stories. After. My uncle told me that story, I asked what happened to the rifle. He said when they got older his cousin learned what it was and put it in a bank. I am lakota and so is my uncle and his relatives. So the carbine has a few ways too end up here, the grandpa being 80s or so in the 60s means a birth date of 1880s at least. So that rifle came from somewhere wither dubious or not.

Offline mtmarfield

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Re: Some thoughts on the longevity of the .44 Rimfire FULL POST
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2020, 10:24:45 PM »
      Greetings, NativeShootist!

   Using .410 shotshells in the Springfield .45-70 was apparently a thing. In an old Gun Digest, a Chiricahua fellow wrote an
article about Native Firearms; when he was a kid, it was common to see someone hunting small game with a Springfield
.45-70, and a .410 - 2-1/2" shotshell in the chamber...

                   M.T.M.
 

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Re: Some thoughts on the longevity of the .44 Rimfire FULL POST
« Reply #5 on: Today at 01:47:42 AM »

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: Some thoughts on the longevity of the .44 Rimfire FULL POST
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2020, 01:28:38 PM »

Would that we could still get 44 Henry Flat or 44 Stetson today.  I have an incurable affinity for Brass Rifles.  Henry and '66.  Would that we could still get ammunition, I would drive the "Collector" Crowd up the proverbial wall.  I'd certainly source a shootable original Henry and a shootable 1866 and play with them for CAS.  ABSOLUTELY!!

Lustrum or two ago, at a Denver gun show, there was a fella with three original 44 Rimfire Open Tops.  Just 400 Bucks apiece.  Said to hem, they weren't worth collecting because in the halcyon days of yesteryear some hack gunsmith had cut the barrels back to the Ejector assembly.  Dovetail'd front sights.  Yule never guess what happen'd to the barrels of ALL of my Open Tops.

Would ammunition been available at reasonable cost, I'd own ALL THREE of those Open Tops you betcha.

Live Long and Prosper

PS:  THAT particular gun show started my affinity for short barrel guns.  Also were a bunch Winchester "Trapper" rifles on show.  Special order guns clear down to 14 inch barrels.  DROOL DROOL

Offline Tascosa Joe

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Re: Some thoughts on the longevity of the .44 Rimfire FULL POST
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2020, 10:01:47 AM »
Some years ago, I was working for the military in La Junta, Colo.  My battery clerk had a Henry, that he and his brother had played Cowboys and Indians with as children.  Their family had been in the area since the Sand Creek Massacre days.  They played with it until they broke the stock at the wrist.  Another one of our guys was an amature gun plumber, he ordered a replacement stock from Uberti and fixed the old girl up.  I tried for years to buy or get him to will me that rifle to no avail.  I supposed it wound up with some of his liberal kin folk in Denver and sold for $40 dollars at a gun buy back.  As late as the 60's you could buy Henry's etc out of old Mexico for little or nothing as they had finally run out of ammo.
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Offline nativeshootist

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Re: Some thoughts on the longevity of the .44 Rimfire FULL POST
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2020, 07:01:54 PM »
      Greetings, NativeShootist!

   Using .410 shotshells in the Springfield .45-70 was apparently a thing. In an old Gun Digest, a Chiricahua fellow wrote an
article about Native Firearms; when he was a kid, it was common to see someone hunting small game with a Springfield
.45-70, and a .410 - 2-1/2" shotshell in the chamber...

                   M.T.M.
If it fits and works why not? Its cool that other tribes were basically doing the same thing without realizing it.  I wouldn't mind reading that article. Also wouldn't mind trying it myself. But with a repro springfield.

Offline mtmarfield

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Re: Some thoughts on the longevity of the .44 Rimfire FULL POST
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2020, 07:40:35 PM »
      Greetings, NS!

   "I think" that the article I'm referencing is in Gun Digest 1981... I think. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm more inclined to duplicate the
.45-70 Govt load in Wolf's "Loading Cartridges for the Original Springfield .45-70 Rifle and Carbine". Actually, the .410/2.5" shotcup
"might" bore-ride over the rifling and pattern better... Hmmm.

                         M.T.M.

 

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