CAS TOPICS > Shooter's Meeting

.44 Russian

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 :)  PLUS ONE to Everybody Else  ;)

Yep.  Piling on as it twer.  Some Lustrum ago, I built a custom .44 Special Trapper on the 1866 frame.  Wouldn't hold 10.  Added the Smith Shop carrier and PRESTO it held 10 Just fine and ran them like grain thru a Goose.

Problem:  Straight walled case would not expand to seal the chamber with BP and Subs (Boo Hiss) so became a smokeless rifle only until I was discovered by Annealing.  Annealing worked a treat.  Not only ran well but ran CLEAN.

The only lever rifles I know that will run the round are Toggle Link guns with the modified carrier and a Widdermatic modified Marlin.

People are Still Hazardous to Yer Health

Yes, the 44 Special has the exact same ballistics as the 44 Russian.  Though there is a great deal of speculation as to why, no one knows for sure, and the relevant paperwork has been lost to time. 

My take: The Russian round was known as one of the most accurate of its era, and perhaps S&W wanted a "NEW" round for their new large frame DA revolver, but saw no need to reinvent the actual ballistics. 

I believe you’re right Drydock. From what I’ve read the reason.44 special, .38 special, and.32 special were special was because they were made to use black or smokeless powder. Smokeless needed more room than black hence the longer case.



 :)  Ah Well . .  ;)

As an aside:  I actually built the 1866 Trapper as an accompaniment to my prized pair of 71/72 Open Tops, also in 44.  The Open Tops were marked 44-40 (go figure) and the Cylinders would/will accept .44 Special, .44 Colt or .44 Russian, interchangeably.  Nifty cool.  I elected to shoot 'em with 44 Russian, playing with something akin to the original performance of the .44 Henry Flat and 44 Stetson to match like/like cartridges.  Then a shooting partner just had to have the '66.  So I have built another .44 Trapper, this one an 1873 Deluxe, .44 Special, which also fouls out in 6 - 8 rounds of BP or Sub.  Currently annealing a batch of 44 Special cases for use in the rifle.  I also have on hand a Smith Shop carrier for 44 Russian.

I happen to like the .44 Russian case in the Open Tops, with APP and 160Gr bullets.  Really nice shooting load.

Just my 2 cents here; I agree with DryDock, the .44 Russian is really accurate for me.


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