Author Topic: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?  (Read 59122 times)

Offline Mako

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #40 on: July 16, 2011, 02:40:14 AM »
Here are the chambers.  I used SAAMI spec reamers for rifle chambers to create the models.







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Offline MMA10mm

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #41 on: July 16, 2011, 10:54:57 AM »
OH MY!   :o

Questions and ideas:

On the middle crimp groove bullet - could you change the ogive ahead of the exposed lube groove to make it slightly more tapered (somewhat like a truncated cone) and less rounded?  This would copy the sample Henry bullet you're using.

What OAL is the Henry cartridge you are using?

What weight is your middle crimp groove bullet?

What would the Russian case loaded with the middle crimp groove bullet to simulate the Henry look like in a 44 Colt chamber?

I'm gonna have to find some calipers and go check my loaded rounds now...  :D

Offline Mako

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #42 on: July 16, 2011, 09:21:12 PM »
OH MY!   :o

Questions and ideas:

Quote
On the middle crimp groove bullet - could you change the ogive ahead of the exposed lube groove to make it slightly more tapered (somewhat like a truncated cone) and less rounded?  This would copy the sample Henry bullet you're using.

You're in luck I had already done that.  The one I showed before is actually the second one I created to keep the overall length the "nominal" 1.345" that is normally stated (There are actually a lot of samples of Henty Flat ammo with longer AOLs) These had to be maintained because on the original Henry and 1866 rifles the carrier is actually just a bit longer than the AOL, it's not like today's rifles which all have the carrier size of a '73.  Have you ever noticed the .44WCF, .38WCF and .32WCF are all the same length?  Unlike today they kept the lengths consistent because that is the "shell stop/cut off" for the rifle.  When Uberti made the new Henry and '66 reproductions they made them one length and for modern cartridges, we use all kinds of cartridges that are marginal in their operational length and the rifles still work...

Quote
What OAL is the Henry cartridge you are using?
I have been using 1.345"  But I am going to show you a profile that will fool the eye into looking more like the original, it is longer but it will work.

Quote
What weight is your middle crimp groove bullet?
On the original images it was 200gr.  That is why it is short and has the rounded profile, I was "forcing" the shape to keep it at 200 gr.  I will be showing you a longer bullet at 215 gr.

Quote
What would the Russian case loaded with the middle crimp groove bullet to simulate the Henry look like in a 44 Colt chamber?
Do you really mean a .44 Colt chamber?  There are no commercial rifles in that caliber.  I have a reamer for .44 Colt, but it is a cylinder reamer, they are different than a rifle or single chamber.  I can extrapolate or actually estimate the difference by looking at .44 Special Cylinder and Chamber reamers and chamber dimensions.  Are you planning on having a reamer custom ground and a new barrel made or the original set back?

I can show you what it would look like, but make sure it's what you really are asking for.  The bullet I have already designed might be too tight in a shortened chamber, we are taking advantage of the excess free bore created by the longer chamber.  If you do want a .44 Colt chamber you would have to show them the freebore before the throat to accommodate the bullet sticking further out of the case.  It can be done they just need to know what you are doing...

Here are some illustrations:
The longer Ogive bullet, to make it look more like a true Henry Flat round.  I'm just calling it the Mako-Henry so we will know what we are talking about.  It is about .05" longer out of the case than the other center crimping groove bullet.



The cartridge comparisons:



The Cross Sections:



The new Cartridge in a .44 Special chamber:



This shows the .44 Special superimposed over the new cartridge.  The .44 special shows as a transparent "red" you can see how this new cartridge will work well in a .44 Special chamber.



If you want to have a mold made knock yourself out.

~Mako
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Offline Hoof Hearted

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #43 on: July 17, 2011, 08:45:45 AM »
As evidenced in the many posts above there are many compromises involved (the first being the centerfire case)........
Here is my take on the 44 Henry for the rifle and the same logic applied to 44 pistol cartridges.

It is important to tell you that my first concern was accuracy in the pistol (which has a .451 bore). Then I wanted to duplicate that in a rifle so I bored out the chamber in a Henry repro 45 calibre rifle and soldered in a sleeve which is now chambered for this round. The length of this cartridge fits fine in the pistols and the carrier of the rifle (yes it limits the 1860 capacity somewhat).



This shows the "flat" projectile for the rifle (L to R) modified from the original Bernie Rowles mould, then the original Bernie Rowles mould, finally an original Heel Base Lyman/Ideal.



This is the flat nose bullet lubed and crimped.
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Offline claypipe

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #44 on: July 17, 2011, 01:42:03 PM »
A better question might be, "Why were the early cartridge guns so much better than percussion guns?' Other than hunting a buffalo or a big bear, why would a man on the frontier be better equipped with a repeater and several boxes of ammo than a single shot rifle, a bag of bullets, a can of powder and a box of primers?

Well, first off, I would have to say that the ease of reloading in a hurry left less to chance. Next, having powder, primer and projectile encapsulated, in easy carry and pack cartridges, insured less exposure to the elements. Therefore, a better chance of things going boom when they should. With loose makings, a bit of hot cheroot ash in a saddlebag could ruin your day, if not your mount.

And with "luck" being a factor in the middle of nowhere, who to say that you wouldn't run into a griz or rogue bull buffalo or even a band of hostiles, road agents or banditos? "L!"On the tv there was a report of a kyoat running off with a person's lap dog in New Orleans' City Park. Sact happens, and one better be prepared as well as they can.

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #45 on: Today at 03:27:41 PM »

Offline claypipe

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #45 on: July 17, 2011, 01:59:29 PM »
    Accuracy and luck are everything. Buffalo have been killed from horseback with the 44rf, but that was at point blank range and with how many shots? A record griz was killed in Canada with a 22lr by a native American picking blueberries.....but what does that tell us?
    If one were to hunt deer with a 44rf Henry(or '66), one better be a damned good shot and make the first one count, because you cant see a thing through the BP smoke, and not all deer drop like a rock when hit.
    Another point, to gain perspective, is successful hand gun hunting with revolvers before the magnum era. Again, accuracy and luck are everything.

J.L.

I have to differ with you, accuracy is everything. Though luck is part of the equation, there was a third factor. Marriage. These men were married to their firearms. They used them on an almost daily basis, year round. Whether to put food in the pot, to defend themselves in hostile situations, from bears, mountain lions, rabid animals, rogue cattle or buffalo, to simply amusing themselves or others, include gambling with that lot. For the most part, they carried one rifle, and maybe several handguns, with one being their favorite. They had more than a passing familiarity with their tools of the trade. And in that, they knew what accuracy that they could depend on when needed.

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Offline Shotgun Franklin

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #46 on: July 17, 2011, 04:47:34 PM »
Based on the bullet size, weight and velocity I believe that the 44 RF is ABOUT equal to .45 ACP from both rifle and handgun. Within 100 yards for a defense round  that's not bad.
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Offline claypipe

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #47 on: July 17, 2011, 04:58:28 PM »
While I see no fault in your reasoning, MMA10mm. I think that there is one more factor to add in favor of the .44 RF Henry round. Though it may considered more so in favor of the rifle chambered for it, than the round itself. And that is the ease of ejecting a misfire and reloading the rifle with such speed and ease, as not to be a major deficit in the shooter's safety.

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Offline claypipe

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #48 on: July 17, 2011, 05:36:03 PM »
Still, I have a couple of questions that are nagging at me.

First, being the source of ignition, rimfire versus centerfire. As I see it, with rimfire ignition, the powder burns from the outside in. Having the expanding gases pushing the unburnt powder down the bore. Wheras, with centerfire, it burns inside out. Which would centralize the burn and compress the unburnt powder at the breech. I would think that rimfire ignition would have a faster rate of burn than that of centerfire.

Secondly, how different was the original powder from that of today? I know it wouldn't have been tagged like today's modern powders. But, was it glazed as it is today? If not, then it would have a faster rate of burn, would it not?

CP
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Offline w44wcf

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #49 on: July 18, 2011, 06:59:13 AM »
I was just wondering after reloading a batch of .45 long colt ammo, for my hungry henry, how the .44 rim fire original cartrige of yesteryear would stack against the .44-40..........

Joe,
I would say that it would stack up very well indeed.  44 Henry factory velocity with a 200 gr. bullet was 1,125 f.p.s. At that velocity a 200 gr bullet will most likely completely penetrate a deer broadside as it did many man  that it connected with. 

Most of todays 44-40 ammo isin't going much faster than 1,125 f.p.s. ......and some of it not quite that fast.....  (Back in the day, 44-40 factory b.p. ammo was cataloged at 1,301 f.p.s. with a 200 gr bullet and 1,190 f.p.s. with a 217 gr bullet.)

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #50 on: Today at 03:27:41 PM »

Offline w44wcf

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #50 on: July 18, 2011, 07:39:20 AM »
Sgt John Chapman,
Nice boxes & labels! Neat!  ;D

Hoof Hearted,
Interestingly, a very early advertisement for the Henry Rifle indicated that it could also be made available in .46 caliber so your Henry replication cartridge would be very close to that!  ;D

MMA10mm,
Are you shooting the .44 Russians in a .44 Special chamber? If so, you could likely crimp in the back lube groove and increase powder capacity that way......or have a mold made like MAKO's excellent design. ;D

MAKO,
WOW! Wonderful illustrations! Awesome! ;D Nice design on that .44 heeled bullet with the two lube grooves.  ;D I have found that by using SWISS powder which is more dense, 28 grs. will fit aok in the 44 Special case with .08" compression (200 gr. bullet .34" seating depth) ...the same compression used in the .44 Henry cartridge I dissected.

For anyone wanting a mold like that, the least expensive option would be www.Accuratemolds.com  Tom's are all lathe bored so there would not be a $150 cherry fee that Old West would require (no cherry fee if 12 molds were ordered).

w44wcf
 
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Offline w44wcf

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #51 on: July 18, 2011, 07:54:43 AM »
Still, I have a couple of questions that are nagging at me.

First, being the source of ignition, rimfire versus centerfire. As I see it, with rimfire ignition, the powder burns from the outside in. Having the expanding gases pushing the unburnt powder down the bore. Wheras, with centerfire, it burns inside out. Which would centralize the burn and compress the unburnt powder at the breech. I would think that rimfire ignition would have a faster rate of burn than that of centerfire.

Secondly, how different was the original powder from that of today? I know it wouldn't have been tagged like today's modern powders. But, was it glazed as it is today? If not, then it would have a faster rate of burn, would it not?
 

claypipe,
In answer to your questions......
I tested the 28 gr powder charge taken from the 44 Henry cartridge I did the cutaway on and it clocked 1,133 f.p.s. I used a 200 gr bullet from a 44 W.C.F. Winchester mold and a 155 Federal magnum pistol primer. That is just about "spot on" the 1,125 f.p.s. claimed velocity in the 1875 Wincester catalog.  I don't think that a standard pistol primer would have given much different results based my experiences between the two in other b.p. cartridges.

The powder had a somewhat glossy appearance and was about 80% 3F and 20% 4F. The powder compression was .08" and perhaps the compression reduced the 3F to 4F(?).

I then tested 28 grs by weight of SWISS 3f and that went almost 1,251 fps. 28 grs of SWISS FFG would be just about right I reckon to replicate the ballistic strength of the powder taken from the 44 Henry. One of these days I'll find out......

w44wcf
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Offline claypipe

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #52 on: July 18, 2011, 08:19:45 AM »
The powder had a somewhat glossy appearance and was about 80% 3F and 20% 4F. The powder compression was .08" and perhaps the compression reduced the 3F to 4F(?).

The glossy look tells us that the powder was at least polished. But, was it glazed?

The latter part of this statement iis what I find most curious. Was it because of the compression? One way to find out would be to take a modern version of this round and pull it apart to see if that is indeed the case.

But, what if it was an intentional duplex load, seeking to make use of the extra umph provided by means of adiabatic compression? The 4f burns first, super compressing the 3f which heightens its ignition. I wonder, has anyone tried to duplicate this duplex load? What would one get with 23 grains of 3f sitting on top of 5 grains of 4f?

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Offline Hoof Hearted

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #53 on: July 18, 2011, 08:43:10 AM »
Hoof Hearted,
Interestingly, a very early advertisement for the Henry Rifle indicated that it could also be made available in .46 caliber so your Henry replication cartridge would be very close to that!  ;D
w44wcf
 
Interesting! Without causing too much thread drift, can you point me to that source or scan me a copy?
(Walt Kirst has played a bunch with the .45 Cowboy Special brass to duplicate the 46 Remington Rimfire in a centerfire cartridge)
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Offline Mako

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #54 on: July 18, 2011, 10:02:41 AM »

MAKO,
WOW! Wonderful illustrations! Awesome! ;D Nice design on that .44 heeled bullet with the two lube grooves.  ;D I have found that by using SWISS powder which is more dense, 28 grs. will fit aok in the 44 Special case with .08" compression (200 gr. bullet .34" seating depth) ...the same compression used in the .44 Henry cartridge I dissected.

For anyone wanting a mold like that, the least expensive option would be www.Accuratemolds.com  Tom's are all lathe bored so there would not be a $150 cherry fee that Old West would require (no cherry fee if 12 molds were ordered).

w44wcf
 

w44wcf,

I think you have it backwards, your research and the reporting you have done over the years is what is truly fantastic.  Before I started seeing your work under the several "Winchester names" you use on the many forums you have posted on I was always at a loss to what the original cartridges were as an assembly.

Then you do us one better and reconstruct the cartridges using as much of the old components as possible and give us actual velocities and firing reports.  BRAVO!!!!

Modeling is simple for me, I've been doing it almost 30 years.  I do it now to keep my hand in it (the young Turks will run me over otherwise), especially when I'm on the road.  I already had models of the .44 Colt and the .44 modern cartridges for work I had done a while back considering making some Colt conversions with a better lubricated heeled bullet.  I literally did that work in a suite I was staying at in the evenings to give me something to do while away from the family.

Your EXCELLENT and well photographed cross sections allowed me to superimpose the outline of the original Henry Flat bullet, it was then easy to model it.  I then did a quick mass calculation and it was on the mark for weight.  The Henry case was easy to model, I had the external dimensions and I knew the thickness at the mouth, but your cross section showing the case thickness at the base and the priming compound area filled in all of the blank spots.

I want to thank you for all of your gracious contributions to the knowledge base of the 19th century cartridges.

It also helps I have a bunch of Henry pattern rifles and primarily in different .44 calibers as well as most of my cowboy guns are .44s of some flavor.  In other  words I'm sort of biased towards .44s and I am familiar if not intimate with their different incarnations.

Some day when I grow up (too funny) I want to be just like you. If I can stay retired I want to spend time doing a lot of what you do.

I'm glad you included the link to Tom's site.  I forget about him and have Bernie on the mind because he makes the great crimping conversions and the sizing dies "necessary" for the heeled bullets.  You could run the bullet I've shown through a standard lubrisizer, and use standard crimping dies.

The best to you JK,
Mako
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Offline cactus joe

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #55 on: July 18, 2011, 03:57:44 PM »
thanks w44wcf thats what i was looking for in my original post. I was wondering  what  the results would be in a  perfect world scenario of firing all 3 cals. .44-40 .45colt and .44rim fire at 100yds at say 3 8pt bucks and hitting them all in the same spot would the .44 rim fire do the same job as the other 2 cartridges. Looks like it will. Also your piece on the 1866 swiss trials further shows the effectives of .44. Scoring that many hits at 830 yds only 50yds shot of a half mile proves that the .44 rim fire cartridge was no whimp.

Offline MMA10mm

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #56 on: July 19, 2011, 08:03:18 AM »
Whew! Couple days away, and a brushfire breaks out!  ;D (That's actually good; this was a great topic to begin with and the drift has been just as good!)

Mako, my curiosity about the 44 Colt chamber is because my 1872 Open Top is chambered that way, and I'd want one type of ammo to fit all guns.  Your bullet design, seated out, looks like it'll eat up most of the Specials chamber which made me a little concerned it might be too long for the Colt?

While I think your design is ingenious, I'm gonna keep pondering this dilemma.  With the brass being longer, but thicker with solid-head 44 Russian brass, there is really no perfect solution I can see (yet).  My biggest stumbling block with the designs you posted is that I'd have to grind away so much of the little flapper on the Adirondack lifter, that I'd worry about reliability and resiliency.  What do you think?

1.345" does seem to be the right length, regardless of case length, bullet weight, or powder charge. (Which makes sense, since new ammunition designs still have to work in the older rifles and with no cartridge stop, that demands fixed-length ammo...)

I'm guessing the "44 Henry RF Flat" was an attempt to give the Henry/66 designs more power (like superformance ammo today).  With the cartridge length restrictions and heel bullet design, the best way to improve the Henry was to add bullet weight.  A RNFP puts more lead outside the case than a same-weight & diameter bullet of conical shape (like the original Henry), so that's most-likely my guess of where the 216gr bullet came from.

My next supposition is that Winchester probably started off with a 220 or 225 gr bullet (10-12% increase), but then someone noticed velocity fell off enough that striking energy didn't improve significantly. By judiciously juggling case length, bullet shape and weight,, 2 more grains of powder could be added to retain the same velocity, but now with an 8% heavier bullet, which was still a good improvement for those days.

Lots of assuming on my part, but it easily explains the combination of changes that happened.  

I wonder what date the Henry Flat cartridge (as opposed to the original conical-shaped Henry cartridge) came out?  If it came out around1866-1868, it could also be an example of marketing (make the new model 1866 more interesting to customers, because it has "more powerful, new loading of the Henry cartridge" type thing).  Remember that this is around the time lots of Henrys, Spencers, and a multitude of other guns were hitting the shelves cheap due to the end of the war.  Winchester was probably pulling out all the stops.

Offline Mako

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #57 on: July 19, 2011, 05:37:03 PM »
MMA10MM,

You need to buy a lottery ticket today!  So far you are batting a 1,000.

I actually have cylinders for Conversions and Open Tops already as well.  Flint had been modeling Navy components several years ago and got me started doing it too.  I also have an ongoing project to build some Army model conversions of the correct size and caliber , so I have most everything you have asked for.  I even had a .44 Colt reamer ground for the heeled bullet so I can simply change the free bore at the cylinder chambers from Ø.451 to Ø.431 and voila! The chamber you wish to see.

This is a Uberti '72 Open Top cylinder with .44 Colt Chambers.

 

This shows the Cylinder Chamber in .44 Colt over the Rifle Chamber in .44 Special:





There's only .06" of difference in length.  The ogive of the bullet I showed you will work for either.

The Henry flat was the 200 grain bullet, I believe the pointed ogive bullets weighed 216 grains.  It gets even more confusing when I tell you that the Open Tops were not actually chambered for .44 Henry, they were chambered for .44 Winchester  (also called the .42 Stetson Rimfire).  I'll let the Fox Creek Kid regale you with that story...  But you could use the .44 Win RF  in both.

SO the design I did for you is around the 216 grain mark and has the shape of a Henry Flat because we have that extra chamber and the "oversize" carrier.  If you ever get the chance to look closely at an original Henry or a Win '66 look at the carrier and it will surprise you how SHORT it looks, since you will have become used to your rifle.

~Mako



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Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #58 on: July 19, 2011, 08:13:26 PM »

Boy this has been fun.  Including the drift!!! ::)
 
To run the drift a little further, Playing with Henrys & '66s, in .45 and .44, the OAL for use in the Carrier Block from Adirondack Jack is about 1.165.  Anything longer and you wind up having to "modify" the flapper cartridge stop.  It doesn't take long and it (the flapper) doesn't stop anymore :-\  Don't ask how I found that out.
I load both the .44 Russian case and the .45 Cowboy Special case with wimpy (gamer) 160Gr RNFP bullets to retain an OAL that will run with AJ's carrier.

You can run a longer cartridge yet shorter than standard .45s or .44s, but you will have to modify the front face of the carrier block and the cartridge return ramp to make it work in a toggle link rifle.  I've done that too, but decided it was a whole bunch easier to compromise on the OAL with a 160Gr bullet and run AJ's carriers.

The general OAL is no issue in handguns chambered for .44 Colt or .44 Spl.  The problem is getting them to run thru a toggle link rifle.  My search began 'cause I wanted 10 rounds in my 16" barrel Henry Trapper chambered in .45 Colt.  Got there with the .45CS case, 160Gr bullet and AJ's carrier.

I carried over everything to my .44Spl '66 Trapper with a 16" barrel and it worked a treat.  Find a .44Spl Chambered Henry has proved problematic and re-chambering a 44-40 also being a nuisance. So I just took the easy way out and stuck with .45s and .44Spl

This would be so much more fun if there were a reliable supply of Rim Fire, Copper cases for loading (one time).  Oh well ...........

Coffinmaker

Offline Fox Creek Kid

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #59 on: July 19, 2011, 10:35:37 PM »
I hate to be the turd in the swimming pool here, but no less an authority than the Mad Monk has stated that the fuliminate of mercury used in 19th century rimfire cases such as the Henry & Spencer gave a boost to the overall velocity of some considerable fps.

 

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