44-40 Winchester

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Von Fourche

Jan 5, 2013, 6:44:10 AM1/5/13

I have a 44-40 lever action Winchester and also a 44-40 single action
revolver (Ruger). I enjoy owning them and shooting them about once a year.
Anyway, what's the deal with 44-40 not being carried by any shops? I
remember when I got my lever action, the stores like Wal-Mart carried 44-40
Winchester cartridges. I think that was back in the 1990s. Now, no one
acts like they have even heard of it! I went to a Gander Mountain store and
asked the gun guy behind the counter if they could order cartridges like the
44-40. He said they could not order those rare cartridges!

Excuse me people, but the 44-40 is one of the cartridges that won the
west! I read on Wiki that it has taken more deer except for the 30-30
Winchester. I find .45 Colt in all the stores. Anyway, I did find some
decent prices on 44-40 on the Sportsman's Guide site and ordered a box.

Another question - is Ultramax ammo any good? When I look it up on Google
I keep reading posts from people saying it produces
a lot of smoke/dirt. Sportsman's Guide has some Ultamax 44-40 for around
$32.00 a box and I'm thinking of getting two or three boxes but not if they
are considered bad ammo.


Learn about rec.guns at http://www.recguns.net


Jan 5, 2013, 8:35:42 AM1/5/13

Have you considered purchasing a simple $35 Lee Loader and a bag of
brass and some powder, bullets and primers?

All you need is a hammer to reload your own...and for much cheaper
than $32 a box. Would you believe about $5 a box?



Jan 5, 2013, 3:48:45 PM1/5/13
If you Google up: `.44-40 cartridges' you'll find a bunch of places that sell.
Winchester is included, along with Midway and others. But they are spendy.
Gunner is right, it's a lot cheaper to handload. But you need a bit of knowledge
as well as the tools. And you can safely make loads for the rifle that have a
bit more velocity than you get off the shelf.

Von Fourche

Jan 5, 2013, 7:05:36 PM1/5/13

<rfr...@gmail.com> wrote in message news:kca3jd$t0b$1...@news.albasani.net...
# Gunner is right, it's a lot cheaper to handload. But you need a bit of
# knowledge
# as well as the tools. And you can safely make loads for the rifle that
# have a
# bit more velocity than you get off the shelf.

I've never wanted to reload. I thought it was dangerous. Is it
dangerous? I probably don't shoot enough to get into

It just ticks me off a little - at one time 44-40 could be found in stores
and now it's only available online.


Jan 5, 2013, 7:05:37 PM1/5/13
On Sat, 05 Jan 2013 20:48:45 +0000, rfraz28 wrote:

# Gunner is right, it's a lot cheaper to handload. But
# you need a bit of knowledge as well as the tools.

Having last year been through this I can strongly agree with it. But
between the advice available here, good manuals from Lyman and Hornady
and appropriate care and attention to detail, hand loading is not a
difficult or onerous thing to do.

I will say that "cheaper" probably does depend on how you account for
your own time. But the satisfaction of a good job well done, making
something you can't buy, pays for the time.

# And you can safely
# make loads for the rifle that have a bit more velocity than you get off
# the shelf.

More than just velocity, and part of the "can't buy" comment, is the
ability to tailor bullets and loadings to your own specific requirements.
I get significantly improved consistency and precision with hand-loaded
rifle rounds than anything commercial at a price I'd be willing to pay.


Ralph Mowery

Jan 5, 2013, 8:35:26 PM1/5/13

"Von Fourche" <khon...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
# I've never wanted to reload. I thought it was dangerous. Is it
# dangerous? I probably don't shoot enough to get into
# reloading.

You do not reload to save money, you reload so you can shoot more for the
same ammount of money.

If you stick to smokeless powder, it is not very dangerous at all. In small
quanties of powder, say 20 pounds or less, a gallon of gas is lots more
dangerous. The powder only burns if not enclosed in a container that has
thick walls. It does not even burn very fast. It is difficult to set off

The primers can be slightly dangerous, but not very. Just watch what you
are doing when putting the powder in the cases so you do not put too much
in. If you do not put in enough, the bullet may get stuck in the barrel
when shot. There have been some cases where large cases filled less than
half full can explode when shot.

I have been reloading for around 40 years and never had any problems with

When I got married my wife asked me if it was dangerous to have all that gun
powder around (I had about 25 pounds at the time). I put about half of a
teaspoon in a metal ashtray outside the house. Put a lit cigarette in it
and it just fizzled as it burnt. She was spraying her hair so I held up a
lighter and sprayed the hair spray into it. It lit up like a blow torch.
That calmed her down as to the danger of the powder.

Do not try that with black powder as it will seem to all go off at once.
Black powder can be set off it you hit it hard enough. I used to shoot a
muzzle loader and had a pound or two of the black powder around, but I quit
shooting that gun and got rid of the black powder. Not because of the
danger, but just got got tired of shooting it.

Stanley Schaefer

Jan 6, 2013, 7:55:29 AM1/6/13
The .44-40 up until the cowboy shooting craze was a basically dead
cartridge. .44 Magnum replaced it for rifle and pistol shooting and
it wasn't chambered in much of anything since before WWII. It's one
of the calibers that they do one run of during the off season,
hopefully a large enough run to last the rest of the year and that's
it. The original guns that it was chambered in have either worn out
or joined collections, original Winchesters and Colts in good enough
shape are mostly too valuble to shoot. The cowboy shooters have
revived that and several of the 'dash' calibers, but it's a specialty
caliber, don't expect to see it on any big boxes' shelves. Plenty of
outfits you can order it from, expect to pay upwards of a buck a
shot. Anything lower is a pretty good deal. What with current demand
for the "military" calibers, there's no off season and the obsolete
numbers will be waiting in the queue for production for quite awhile.
Get it while you can. Save your brass, new brass is pushing 40-50
cents a case.

If you want to pay less and shoot more, brass is available, dies are
available, bullets and molds are available. You can get into
reloading for it for the current price of two or three boxes of ammo.
Reloading for it is probably a lot less hazardous than going to a
mall, you aren't going to pick up any contagious diseases. Smokeless
powder is a flammable material, but so are a lot of household
materials and a lot more so. Primers require some respect in
handling, you have to be very careless, though, to get hurt handling
them. .44-40 bullets aren't the current standard .429-430" diameters,
they cost a little more if jacketed or can easily be made(by you) to
whatever size your barrel needs.



Jan 6, 2013, 2:04:55 PM1/6/13

An old friend of our family worked for an oil exploration company in
the early 1960's. He said that in the back country of South America
44-40 rifles were in such common use that the cartridge was a
recognized form of currency. On market day you could go into town and
use .44-40 ammo to buy just about anything, and there was even a
fairly standard rate of exchange (one round for a couple dozen eggs,

As other posters have mentioned it has been pretty much eclipsed by
the .44 Magnum for practical use.


Jan 7, 2013, 3:36:58 PM1/7/13
Reloading isn't hazardous to do, but it is hazardous to get wrong.

We've had a number of accidents at the local range. People get careless and overcharge or double charge, use one type powder when they thought it was another, etc.

With sufficient care that should never happen, but we've had some blown up guns to show not everybody takes enough care (and one blown up gun injured the person in the next lane).

Martin Eastburn

Jan 13, 2013, 7:02:46 AM1/13/13
Quality Cartridge sells brass and loaded shells.

I had a custom head stamp made and brass pressed for my 6.5mm TC/U.
They did a great job. Nice people.

P.O. Box 445
Hollywood, MD 20636
301-373-3719 ph/fax

They are a custom and normal brass maker. Been in business for several
generations - building wise - don't know if family...

I downloaded a 2009 pdf in 2009 -
BOX shell loaded.
s.44-40 Win (10) 50 $19.97 $44.97

No telling on the current prices - but check them out.
I have an 18 page pdf spreadsheet that in small print lists hundreds of

They go from : .14 Brakefield (9) (100 box qty) Brass only to
m9x57 Mauser (1)



Feb 13, 2020, 1:19:42 PM2/13/20
I know this topic is 100 years old but I thought I would reply in case others still read it.

If anyone wants to read tons of information about the 44-40, there is a website dedicated to it.

Factory ammo
Black Powder
Smokeless Powder
Pressure testing
...and much much more.

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