Author Topic: How did our ancestors thst favored .44-40 in rifle and pistol deal with powder?  (Read 1747 times)

Offline Doug.38PR

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FFFG and FFG are different results in rifle lengths and pistol lengths.   What did they do with this?

How did ammo companies market it since it was originally a rifle cartridge?

Offline greyhawk

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FFFG and FFG are different results in rifle lengths and pistol lengths.   What did they do with this?

How did ammo companies market it since it was originally a rifle cartridge?

They did stuff like this (wrote in on the box ;)


Kynoch smokeless   - the white label is mine - these loads have more sting in them than most other commercial avaiable at the time  - no never tested them - would be late 1950's make I think - bought about 1969 and old stock then had been priced in LSD then converted to decimal (feb 1966)
Winchester 73 and 92, colt lightning rifle and frontier pistol --- they are 200grain copper jacket SP, twin flash hole small rifle primer - back when brass was priced like gold I converted 50 of these by punching/drilling out the anvil and using normal small rifle primers.   


« Last Edit: February 26, 2019, 10:13:11 pm by greyhawk »

Offline OD#3

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I think they just loaded the ammo for best performance in a rifle, and let it go at that, even if they could have gotten a bit better performance out of a revolver with a finer grade of powder.  This ammunition was designed for a rifle, and it was only too convenient that revolvers were easily adapted to chamber this cartridge. 

Remember, ammunition effectiveness back then was measured in penetration, and you still got plenty of that with 40 grains of rifle-grade powder under that 215 grain bullet at revolver-shooting distances.  Even today, when choosing 2f or 3f for something like .45 Colt, you're only gambling maybe 100 f.p.s. difference between the two--at the most.  And that varies, depending upon whether you're using Goex, Swiss, Olde 'E', etc.  I haven't found modern 2f to perform better than 3f in a rifle with max loads in .45 Colt, so I know our modern granulation scale doesn't really translate to what was being loaded back then. 

I think consideration as to whether or not the ammo was being manufactured with the intent of being fired in a revolver vs. rifle was a complete non-issue back in the day.  The only reason revolver manufacturers chambered their guns in .44-40 in the first place was so one could use the same ammo in both.  It would have been silly to have had to carry special loads for each.

Offline greyhawk

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40 grains of FFF will get you 1300fps or right close to it in a rifle - thats a decent bit more than late 20th century smokeless loads (or what I grew up with anyway) and maybe 900FPS or close in a 7" barrel sixgun

44/40 with a full case of black and a SOFT LEAD boolit is a more effective outfit than most give it credit for - but take away a couple hundred FPS and use a hard cast slug and you seriously hamstring it. 

Offline Doug.38PR

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On ^ note, I’ve noticed it’s kindnof difficult to find soft lead in .427

Offline OD#3

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I think it is difficult to find soft lead bullets commercially, because they too easily get damaged in shipping.  If you want good soft lead bullets, you may have to cast them yourself.

Offline Dave T

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I think they just loaded the ammo for best performance in a rifle, and let it go at that, even if they could have gotten a bit better performance out of a revolver with a finer grade of powder.  This ammunition was designed for a rifle, and it was only too convenient that revolvers were easily adapted to chamber this cartridge. 

Remember, ammunition effectiveness back then was measured in penetration, and you still got plenty of that with 40 grains of rifle-grade powder under that 215 grain bullet at revolver-shooting distances.  Even today, when choosing 2f or 3f for something like .45 Colt, you're only gambling maybe 100 f.p.s. difference between the two--at the most.  And that varies, depending upon whether you're using Goex, Swiss, Olde 'E', etc.  I haven't found modern 2f to perform better than 3f in a rifle with max loads in .45 Colt, so I know our modern granulation scale doesn't really translate to what was being loaded back then. 

I think consideration as to whether or not the ammo was being manufactured with the intent of being fired in a revolver vs. rifle was a complete non-issue back in the day.  The only reason revolver manufacturers chambered their guns in .44-40 in the first place was so one could use the same ammo in both.  It would have been silly to have had to carry special loads for each.

OD#3 has struck the nail upon the flat part.

Dave

Offline Coffinmaker

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PLUS ONE to OD#3

There were probably very few "Aficionados" then.  Except perhaps excepting the very wealthy.  Guns were tools.  Only the well healed could gather them as "toys."

Ammunition wasn't sold only in specialty gun shops.  Ammunition was sold in every Hardware, General Store, Retail of every sort.  Up on the shelf, ammunition was just that.  Ammunition.  If a rancher, farmer, hunter, traveler, whatever, needed ammunition, most likely, walked into the local purveyor of goods and pointed at the shelf and said, "Oh and gimme two boxes of them '44s."  That was it.  Nothing fancy. 

The advantages of rifle and pistol shooting the same cartridge was already well known and appreciated.  Popularized by the Henry and the 1866 being paired with Colt Ope Top and Conversions.  The change to the 44-40 was just a matter course.  Until the advent of the boxer primed cartridges, nobody reloaded, they just bought what they needed.  Whatever they bought simply fed both Rifle and Pistol.

Offline Dave T

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In direct answer to the OP's original question, I'm willing to bet most of our ancestors did pretty much what you hear customers say at the Walmart gun counter.

There you will hear, "Give me a box of 38s."

In the case of the 19th Century guy at the counter in the local mercantile it was, "Give me a box of 44s."

Dave 

Offline Bunk

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The only reloading I have ever read about or referred to was the buffalo hunters who reloaded their cartridges and many times recovered the lead bullet from the carcass to cast and reused them. Powder and primers were easier to carry in large quantity and cost less than thousands of rounds of loaded ammunition.
Bunk

Offline PJ Hardtack

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CIL/Dominion used to market 44-40 and 32-20 ammo as for "Rifle Only" and "Pistol Only", or words to that effect.

They they changed the loading and the label to make them universal.
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I don't do these things to others and I require the same from them."  John Wayne

Offline Abilene

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...In the case of the 19th Century guy at the counter in the local mercantile it was, "Give me a box of 44s."

Dave 

But he would have to specify which .44 he wanted - Rimfire, Colt, or WCF.

Offline Sir Charles deMouton-Black

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But he would have to specify which .44 he wanted - Rimfire, Colt, or WCF.
I can't find that in the John Ford Reference Library. :(
NCOWS #1154, SCORRS, STORM, BROW, 1860 Henry, Dirty Rat 502, CHINOOK COUNTRY
THE SUBLYME & HOLY ORDER OF THE SOOT (SHOTS)
Those who are no longer ignorant of History may relive it,
without the Blood, Sweat, and Tears.
With apologies to George Santayana & W. S. Churchill

"As Mark Twain once put it, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”

Offline greyhawk

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CIL/Dominion used to market 44-40 and 32-20 ammo as for "Rifle Only" and "Pistol Only", or words to that effect.

They they changed the loading and the label to make them universal.

PJ -- I thought I had one of those older (1950's vintage) dominion boxes but I tidied up my loading room a while back and cant find it now  :) . always lose stuff when I do that !!
Back when we could buy ammo in the general store - most of the ammo for 92 calibres was Dominion - those long flat packs of 20 in 44 and 38 - I remember walking into an old style store to pay for gas one time and spotted 6 or 7 packs of 38/40 Dominion high on a shelf - the guy had it re-priced at $1.75 per box - had crossed out the old seventeen shillings and sixpence when we converted to decimal currency - I bought the lot for a buck fifty per pack - didnt have a 38/40 - my travelling mate at the time thought I was mad but an almost mint condition 92 in 38/40 was in my hands within a year - always buy the ammo first !!!

Offline Bryan Austin

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Boxes back Winchester boxes were color coded and had lots of stuff wrote on them to give the customer whet he was looking for. Other companies just did whatever they did to keep up.

Check out a few examples here:
https://curtisshawk21.wixsite.com/44centerfire/44wcf-cartridge-boxs


https://www.google.com/search?q=winchester+cartridge+boxes&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwihj8qHx-ngAhUsneAKHWpHC0cQ_AUIDygC&biw=1600&bih=757

https://truewestmagazine.com/one-hundred-years-of-winchester-cartridge-boxes-1856-1956/
« Last Edit: March 04, 2019, 04:41:46 pm by Bryan Austin »

Offline greyhawk

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Boxes back Winchester boxes were color coded and had lots of stuff wrote on them to give the customer whet he was looking for. Other companies just did whatever they did to keep up.

Check out a few examples here:
https://curtisshawk21.wixsite.com/44centerfire/44wcf-cartridge-boxs


https://www.google.com/search?q=winchester+cartridge+boxes&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwihj8qHx-ngAhUsneAKHWpHC0cQ_AUIDygC&biw=1600&bih=757

https://truewestmagazine.com/one-hundred-years-of-winchester-cartridge-boxes-1856-1956/

Strangely I didnt see much winchester rifle ammo in my part of downunder those days - Dominion was common (maybe the colonial tie between us and Canuckistan) Kynoch brand was another we saw along with a few boxes of Peters here and there - the Peters stuff was lead slugs - other brands were copper jacket SP 

Offline FriscoCounty

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Here are pages from the 1896 and 1910 UMC catalogs for 44 WCF.  Note in the 1910 there are separate listings for 1892/94 rifles and older firearms. 
NRA Life Benefactor, CRPA Life, SASS Life 83712, RO I, Hiram Ranger 48, Coyote Valley Sharpshooters, Coyote Valley Cowboys, SASS TG

Offline Bryan Austin

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FFFG and FFG are different results in rifle lengths and pistol lengths.   What did they do with this?

How did ammo companies market it since it was originally a rifle cartridge?

More than anything, Winchester color coded their boxes.

Label Color/Powder Type/Projectile Type

Green/Black Powder/Lead
Red/Smokeless/Lead or Soft Point
Lavender, Pink/Smokeless/Full Patch?High Velocity, Low pressure

Yellow/Smokeless/Soft Point?High Velocity, High pressure
Orange/Smokeless/Full Patch
Grey, Grey-Green/Lesmoke/Any
Tan, red print/ Smokeless/Any Bank or Proof Loadings
Tan, black print/Black Powder/Primed Empties. Blank, Military, Special Order loadings

https://curtisshawk21.wixsite.com/44centerfire/single-post/2018/12/01/Winchesters-Colorful-Cartridge-Boxes

Offline greyhawk

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More than anything, Winchester color coded their boxes.

Label Color/Powder Type/Projectile Type

Green/Black Powder/Lead
Red/Smokeless/Lead or Soft Point
Lavender, Pink/Smokeless/Full Patch?High Velocity, Low pressure
Yellow/Smokeless/Soft Point?High Velocity, High pressure
Orange/Smokeless/Full Patch
Grey, Grey-Green/Lesmoke/Any
Tan, red print/ Smokeless/Any Bank or Proof Loadings
Tan, black print/Black Powder/Primed Empties. Blank, Military, Special Order loadings
https://curtisshawk21.wixsite.com/44centerfire/single-post/2018/12/01/Winchesters-Colorful-Cartridge-Boxes

Thanks ! I printed that out  a couple of us here been making our own olde style ammo boxes -- he must have had the correct info - I just thought green looked kinda neat and I only load BP so it worked out ok

Offline Bryan Austin

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You can see some I made here: https://curtisshawk21.wixsite.com/44centerfire/replica-44wcf-cartridge-boxes

It is fun making them but I got burned out twice. I will make some more later!!!

Offline Abilene

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More than anything, Winchester color coded their boxes....

Cool!  Good to know.

Offline greyhawk

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You can see some I made here: https://curtisshawk21.wixsite.com/44centerfire/replica-44wcf-cartridge-boxes

It is fun making them but I got burned out twice. I will make some more later!!!

Those are amazing !!!