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.44 Russian

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From what I understand the .44 Russian cartridge can be fired in a revolver that is chambered for .44 special OR .44 magnum, but how would it function in a lever action rifle that is chambered in either of those calibers?

The reason I ask is that the .44 Russian is shorter than a .44 special, and of course even shorter than the .44 magnum.

The Russian was introduced in 1890, so it would be period correct.

Johnson Barr:
With a modified carrier block the .44 Russian will work in 1860, 1866 and 1873 Winchester pattern lever rifles. Contact Bill English at The Smith Shop.

What Johnson Barr said.  The Russian won't feed in any repeating rifles without modifications.  The Smith Shop custom carrier in a 44 Spcl rifle will do it easily.  A Marlin that is short stroked (by those who know how) can be made to feed the Russian as well.

Armi-Sport at one time made 44 Russian Spencers.

Note: 44 Russian was designed around 1870, not 1890.

You can certainly shoot .44 Russian rounds in any rifle chambered in .44 Magnum (same with .44 Special). The problem comes in feeding through the rifle's mechanism.  The M1892 Winchesters and replicas in particular have problems feeding the shorter rounds from the magazine...pretty much won't do it. The toggle-link actions have to have their carrier blocks modified as well.

Dave T:
I was recently looking through my old copy of Cartridges of the World and noticed the reported factory velocity of the Russian was 770 fps while the factory velocity of the original 44 Special was 750 fps.  This with 246g bullets in both.  I found that very curious.  The only reason I can think of for S&W to load their new "44 caliber" round that lightly was because of the steel used in the original N-frame, the legendary Triple Lock, also known as the New Century, and the First Model Hand Ejector.




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