CAS TOPICS > The Darksider's Den

How did we get these "Calibers"?

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The bullet changed but from my research I found the the case remained more or less the same . Well the length, case outside diameters and rim diameter are similar, but the case head style (non balloon head and thick) and rim clearance are very different.  As you well know it has that very small rim diameter to allow it to fit in an original 1860 Conversion which has been carried forward to today.

I've also never seen an inside lubed bullet loaded in old factory ammunition (.43 caliber).  There may be some, but I think the people who think they have seen an internal bullet doesn't realize how thin the case wall were and probably have seen pictures of a heeled cartridge.  Plus, I have no idea what revolver they would have been made for.  the SAA had some .44 Rimfires but no .44 Colt I am aware of.  There were some centerfire model '66 Winchesters, maybe that is what they saw, but I have only seen Heeled bullets in those.

Starline has had a couple of iterations on the clearance cut at the rim to case juncture.  I have some of both kinds, wide groove and a slightly narrower groove at the bottom of the groove.  Most of my Starline cases  measure close to Ø.49 at the rim.  The one WRA original I have measures Ø.484 and an unmarked case measures Ø.480.  The unmarked case may be a Colt or a U.S. Cartridge company cartridge.  John sent me that one example from a box he purchased on an auction site.

I can shoot the Starline cases in my Uberti '66 (or my .44 caliber cartridge revolvers) but I don't think the original cases would extract from the Uberti.  The deeper clearance cut above the rim on the Starline allows the extractor to get a purchase.  I quit loading them and just use .44 Russian brass or .44 Special now.  The .44 Colts aren't made often enough by Starline  to lose them when ejected from my rifle, my carbine has a carrier (originally intended for .45 Cowboy) that limits me to .44 Russian, the .44 Colt is a hair too long with the Mav Dutchman bullet.

I just call the cartridges intended for a true conversion a ".44 Colt with Heeled Bullet", I guess "original" is just as descriptive if people actually know they had .45 caliber heeled bullets loaded in them.

Cartridges are interesting...

Thank you for sharing.


There is a guy on the Wire classifieds selling a "3rd generation 45 Long Colt."  It has a 7 1/2" barrel.  Maybe he's talking about the barrel?  ;D


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