Author Topic: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?  (Read 59158 times)

Offline MMA10mm

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #60 on: July 19, 2011, 11:31:11 PM »
Phew! This conversation is getting interestinger and interestinger!   ;D

I found a pic at a cartridge collector's website that shows all early-production 44 Henry ammo:



Three of these 4 were certainly produced by New Haven Arms Co., so they predate the '66.  The RNFP is one of the NHACo. And the two on the left are as well. The one on the far left has no "H" headstamp, and as such is considered to be of the earliest-style 44 Henry ammo.  So, it appears the conical pre-dated the RNFP, but both styles existed before the '66 came to be...

The next thing I noticed is that all of the long-cased ammunition had RNFP bullets, while the short-cased came with both that and conical-style.  (There was 44 Henry long-case conical-bullet ammo, but it was obviously longer than would feed in a Henry or 66, and this was recognized by calling it 44 Long or 44 Stevens, and not "Henry".)

Took awhile looking at multiple pics back-and-forth, but I noticed the short-cased RNFP rounds had the most lead sticking out the front of the case.  This means that particular combination had either the heaviest bullet (longest with lots of lead out of the case) or the heaviest powder charge (if it's still a 200gr RNFP, there's precious little lead being gripped by the neck, thereby leaving room inside for more powder).  Least this is where I'm at at this point... 

I don't suppose there's a 44 Henry cartridge collector out there who'd like to donate 20 or so variations for dissection??  ::)

Offline MMA10mm

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #61 on: July 19, 2011, 11:38:26 PM »
Also, I'm not doubting you that the conicals were heavy (216grs) either.  I seem to remember reading that before somewhere (COTW?) too.

Maybe the conicals were the heavy bullet (seated especially deep) and that required the lighter powder charge (26grs rather than 28)?

Offline w44wcf

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #62 on: July 20, 2011, 12:29:25 PM »
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.

claypipe,'
It could very well be that it may have been a blend of 3F and 4F as Dutch Bill as indicated in his research.......

Powder Types.
"During the 19th century a black powder shooter had 3 types of black powder available. These being: Sporting type, Rifle type, and Musket type. Today, the shooter in the U.S. has available one brand of musket type powder and one brand of rifle type powder. I should point out that type of powder has utterly nothing to do with grain size. It is not uncommon to find those who think that the difference in powder types during the 19th century was nothing more than grain sizes. In actuality, each type was formulated and processed to yield a specific burn rate and therefore specific ballistic strength. The ballistic strength having, at that time, been described as "expansive force". Each type was best suited for use in a particular range of calibers.

Sporting type - This was the fastest burning of the three types of small-arms black powder. The fast, "hot" burning sporting types gave diminishing returns at about 1 grain (volume) per caliber. In effect, 45 grains in a .45 caliber bore. It is about 10% hotter (faster) than the Rifle type b.p. Sporting type powder was usually found as an equal mixture of our present 2f and 3f sizes.

Rifle type - Somewhat slower in burn rate, rifle powder give diminishing returns above 1.45 grains per caliber. In effect, 60 grains in a .45 caliber bore.  It has a ballistic strength about 10% greater than the Musket type powders. Rifle powders were also usually an equal mixture of 2f and 3f.

Musket type - The slowest burning of the three, musket powder gives diminishing returns above 1.6 grains per caliber. In effect, 70 grains in a .45 caliber bore."

As far as being glazed...I don't know......
w44wcf

 
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Offline w44wcf

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #63 on: July 20, 2011, 12:39:54 PM »
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)

Hoof Hearted,
About 5 years ago I was visiting the home of a Winchester collector / dealer and spotted an early advertisement for the Henry Rifle.  I noted that in addition to the .44 caliber it also mentioned the .46 caliber and, as I recall, a .50 caliber as well.
I though that was very interesting since the only other Henry advertisement I had seen only mentioned .44.

I made it a point to take my camera on my next visit to take a photo but as luck would have it, he had sold it at a gunshow.
Drats!  So.....unfortunately, I do not have a copy that I can share.

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Offline w44wcf

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #64 on: July 20, 2011, 12:48:53 PM »
Mako,

Thank you for the kind words.    I have had an interest on some of the 19th century cartridges for awhile now and when I could not find pics of sectioned specimens, I decided to make a few myself.  I am very happy that I could provide those so that you could make your excellent models which show wonderful details of those, neat,  vintage, historic  cartridges.  ;D

THANK YOU for your wonderful work!

THae best to you, Mako.

w44wcf



  
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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #65 on: Today at 09:18:39 PM »

Offline w44wcf

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #65 on: July 20, 2011, 01:43:13 PM »
...........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.

MMA10mm,
According to the book "100 Years Of Winchester Cartridge Boxes  1856-1956" by Ray Giles and Dan Schuey.
approximately late 1863 or early 1964. 

Perhaps after a couple of years New Haven Arms discovered that a flat pointed bullet has more stopping power than a RN bullet and that is why it was changed. 

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Offline w44wcf

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #66 on: July 20, 2011, 01:49:55 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.
I tested the powder from the original Henry cartridge using a magnum pistol primer and it slightly exceeded the claimed 44 Henry velocity (1133 vs 1125 fps).  In testing other b.p.'s in 28 gr charges, a standard pistol primer averaged velocities that were 23 f.p.s. slower than the magnum primer. So, by interpolation, the original charge ignited by a standard pistol primer could have been around 1110 f.p.s..

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Offline Fox Creek Kid

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #67 on: July 20, 2011, 07:48:13 PM »
Hoof Hearted,
About 5 years ago I was visiting the home of a Winchester collector / dealer and spotted an early advertisement for the Henry Rifle.  I noted that in addition to the .44 caliber it also mentioned the .46 caliber and, as I recall, a .50 caliber as well.
I though that was very interesting since the only other Henry advertisement I had seen only mentioned .44...


This is covered completely in the Houze book in the history of Winchester, which is a far better book than the Madis book on the genesis of Winchester. It was a .46 Rimfire made by Winchester for the Swiss, however they rejected the gun. It had an iron frame. This was in 1865-66. The ctg. is pictured on the first Win. paper cartridge advert.

Offline MMA10mm

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #68 on: July 21, 2011, 07:38:35 AM »
Took awhile looking at multiple pics back-and-forth, but I noticed the short-cased RNFP rounds had the most lead sticking out the front of the case.  This means that particular combination had either the heaviest bullet (longest with lots of lead out of the case) or the heaviest powder charge (if it's still a 200gr RNFP, there's precious little lead being gripped by the neck, thereby leaving room inside for more powder).  Least this is where I'm at at this point... 


OK, still been pondering this, and a lightbulb came on.  Why would they change to a longer case? And why would only RNFPs be loaded in that style case?  Well, looking back at the short-cased RNFPs and my thoughts quoted above, if those RNFPs were only 200 grs and so much of the bullet was outside that short case, there may have been problems with insufficient neck tension.  If they didn't want to change the bullet to fix that, the only other way to address the problem would be to lengthen the case!  This would also explain why only RNFPs were observed in the longer case (that and the necessity to stay at that exact COAL).  They may have even continued producing short-cased cartridges for the conical bullet after the long-case came out, for those customers who wanted to stick with the conical-shaped bullet.

Since the OAL is fixed, and the bullet weights reported seem to be consistent that the conical was the heavier bullet, applying case volume principles would seem to indicate the conical loads were a 216gr bullet & 26gr charge (always in the shorter case), while the RNFPs would be a 200gr bullet & 28gr charge (and may be observed in either length case, though the long-case would be most-common).

Offline w44wcf

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #69 on: July 21, 2011, 08:59:43 AM »
OK, still been pondering this, and a lightbulb came on.  Why would they change to a longer case? And why would only RNFPs be loaded in that style case?  Well, looking back at the short-cased RNFPs and my thoughts quoted above, if those RNFPs were only 200 grs and so much of the bullet was outside that short case, there may have been problems with insufficient neck tension.  If they didn't want to change the bullet to fix that, the only other way to address the problem would be to lengthen the case!  This would also explain why only RNFPs were observed in the longer case (that and the necessity to stay at that exact COAL).....    

I think you are correct in your analysis regarding the longer case and the FN bullet. The reason that the RN bullet was not used in the longer case is because the cartridge OAL would be too long to feed through a Henry / 66 rifle.

Here's an interesting pic showing, blank, shot and centerfire 44 Henry's in addition to the standards. 



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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #70 on: Today at 09:18:39 PM »


Offline w44wcf

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #71 on: September 14, 2011, 11:16:51 PM »

.........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.

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.

MMA10mm,
Good anology. The 1865 New Haven Arms catalog shows that the 44 Henry cartridge was loaded with a 216 gr pointed bullet and 25 grs. of black powder.  I am looking for a specimen of that particular cartridge.

As I found out recently by a cartridge I purchased, there was a heavier version containing a 225 gr. bullet. It looks the same as the flat pointed cartridge in the pic in your post except that mine has no headstamp.

According to a Henry cartridge collector, the pointed bullet weight was changed to 200 grs. around 1866 or 1867 and the 200 gr flat was introduced about the same time.

In reviewing the Winchester catalogs I have, both the Henry 200 gr. Pointed (26 grs bp) and Flat (28 grs bp) cartridges were available up until at least 1916. By 1925 only the 200 gr Flat version remained.

Pic from 1916 Winchester Catalog. 



w44wcf
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Offline w44wcf

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #72 on: April 20, 2015, 06:15:18 PM »
Pards,
A bit of an update.  In answer to the original poster's question:
"How would the .44 rimfire stack up with todays ammo?"

Catalog velocity of the .44 Henry Flat - 200 gr /1,125 f.p.s.   Tested 1,133 f.p.s.
 
The thought recently occurred to me that based on my testing of current .44-40 factory ammunition,
most of the "Cowboy" ammunition falls a bit short.

However,  Black Hills, Ultramax & Magtech Sport are ballistically similar.  ;D



For us that reload, 28 grs of FFFG topped with a filler (PSB, etc) under a 200 gr cast bullet will equal original .44 Henry performance. ;D

In addition, 6.0 / Titegroup (my favorite smokeless ) produces 1,130 f.p.s. with a 200 gr cast bullet.

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Offline Fox Creek Kid

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #73 on: April 20, 2015, 11:37:21 PM »
...For us that reload, 28 grs of FFFG topped with a filler (PSB, etc) under a 200 gr cast bullet will equal original .44 Henry performance...


I have used that load for years, however instead of a filler I use a 0.430" 1/8" thick Circle Fly card wad over the powder to take up the space. These are much faster for reloading.

http://www.circlefly.com/html/products.html

Offline w44wcf

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #74 on: April 22, 2015, 07:28:33 PM »
FCK,
Excellent idea.  ;D   The U.M.C. 28 gr. cartridge would have used a wad between the powder and bullet.
I had thought about getting some of those wads and now I am going to.

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Offline Fox Creek Kid

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #75 on: April 22, 2015, 09:10:25 PM »
FWIW, I chono'd that load and out of an Uberti carbine I got 1,050 fps with a SINGLE DIGIT standard deviation!!

Offline Sir Charles deMouton-Black

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #76 on: April 23, 2015, 11:06:15 AM »
FWIW, I chono'd that load and out of an Uberti carbine I got 1,050 fps with a SINGLE DIGIT standard deviation!!

Isn't that pretty close to the speed of sound?   SINGLE DIGIT SD?
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Offline Blair

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #77 on: April 23, 2015, 12:08:34 PM »
Sir Charles,

Yes it is.
700 mph or 1100 fps at sea level.
My best,
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Offline Sir Charles deMouton-Black

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #78 on: April 23, 2015, 12:59:56 PM »
I believe that we need more info on the test conditions.  In a quick search I found an article explaining chronographs and their use in measuring shotgun velocities. On the LAST page (left hand column) there is a reference to the Chrony recording speed-of-sound measurements if the instrument was set up within SIX Ft of the muzzle.

http://www.claytargettesting.com/study2/Study2.1.pdf

I recall other discussions, but can't pull them outta my elderly brain.
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Offline w44wcf

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Re: how would the .44 rim fire stack up with todays ammo?
« Reply #79 on: April 24, 2015, 05:48:22 AM »
Sir Charles,
I believe what could have been causing the issue was with the chronograph 6 feet from the muzzle and using (Lite) lower velocity loads, the escaping powder gasses from the muzzle were traveling faster than the shot itself and thus giving higher readings.

My only experience with chronographs (I have 2 of them) has been with pistols and rifles and none with shotguns.  THese days I typically use my Chrony since it is easier to set up than my Ohler and a side by side comparison has indicated that the Chrony is just about as accurate.

For my tests I set the front of the Chrony about 10 feet in front of the muzzle and that has worked very well.

Getting back to .44 Henry Ballistics in the .44-40,  10 or so years ago I removed the powder from an original 200 gr Henry Flat cartridge which weighed 28 grs and was FFFG granulation.  I placed the charge in a .44-40 case and compressed it the same amount of compression used in the .44 Henry case. 

I used a 155 Federal Magnum pistol primer to ignite the powder which pushed the 200 gr cast bullet to a 1,133 f.p.s. Chrony reading. 
The Winchester 1875 Catalog indicated a velocity of the .44 Henry to be 1,125 f.p.s. so 1,133 f.p.s. is pretty darn close.  ;D

I decided to use the slightly hotter primer since there was a greater amount of  priming compound in thr Henry .44 RF ctg.

Furthert testing of 28 grs by weight of Goex and Kik FFFG powders gave velocities in the same range.  I tried both the Fed 155 magnum and CCI 300 std pistol primer and the velocity difference was very small...less than 20 f.p.s.

The difference in velocity between mine and FCK's is that perhaps he was using FFG instead of the FFFG I was using and his rifle has a shorter barrel.

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