Marlin Firearms Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,646 Posts
Nice post, however, most of mine will be sedate as far as case life & comfort of shooting. It would be nice to know that potentially, that you could maybe keep some stronger 44-40 around for serious work.
I'm not sure if the Marlin '94 is as strong as a Winny 92 though? Anybody know?
Update: I did a little research, & it looks like the '92 design is a somewhat stronger action due to the two bolt locking bars on the design. Still, since the Marlin '94 seems to handle .44 mag loads OK in their modern rifles, it is probably just a question of how good the steel was in the 1900 time frame.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,769 Posts
Jack,

Here are a couple of links to older load data manuals. BTW: the 1947 PB Sharp is on page 400. Some of the powders are still available. All in the Lyman manual are still available.

Lyman44.pdf
complete_guide_to_handloading - sharpe - 1937.pdf

In general, I would suggest the slowest powders that will perform well will be in the 4198 and 5744 burn rate. Also, staying in the original bullet weight 180-200 gr range will improve performance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
942 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Jack,

Here are a couple of links to older load data manuals. BTW: the 1947 PB Sharp is on page 400. Some of the powders are still available. All in the Lyman manual are still available.

Lyman44.pdf
complete_guide_to_handloading - sharpe - 1937.pdf

In general, I would suggest the slowest powders that will perform well will be in the 4198 and 5744 burn rate. Also, staying in the original bullet weight 180-200 gr range will improve performance.
Thanks!

Already tested most of Lyman's and I have Sharp's 1937 manual

Here are my results: 2020-9-19-Update-PressureResults(83) (click the powder tabs at the bottom of the chart)

Powder History: 44 Winchester "Two Peas In A Pod" - Smokeless Powders Transition Years
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,593 Posts
Winchester had a smokeless load for the 92 that was close to 1700 fps. Was not for the 73 and marked 92 on the box. At that time they assumed people were intelligent enough to understand what they were buying. People were not. Guess those loads were hard on pistols. I have an old Lyman manual that lists some pretty fierce loads for the 44-40, but newer manuals quit that. Kind of like the hot loads for a 45 Colt. Might get used in something not made not handle them. Still, in a rifle made to handle them, they might have some use. Then again, when shooting a classic rifle, the experience is better using original ammo specs.

DEP
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
942 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Winchester had a smokeless load for the 92 that was close to 1700 fps. Was not for the 73 and marked 92 on the box. At that time they assumed people were intelligent enough to understand what they were buying. People were not. Guess those loads were hard on pistols. I have an old Lyman manual that lists some pretty fierce loads for the 44-40, but newer manuals quit that. Kind of like the hot loads for a 45 Colt. Might get used in something not made not handle them. Still, in a rifle made to handle them, they might have some use. Then again, when shooting a classic rifle, the experience is better using original ammo specs.

DEP
Yeap, from 1903 to 1945...nearly 45 years of stupid people? I think not.....but there are always idiots out there. This is true with everything and is why we still have WARNING labels on products.

Powders - 44 Winchester "Two Peas In A Pod" - Smokeless Powders Transition Years
Boxes - 44 Winchester "Two Peas In A Pod" - Cartridge Boxes

Walk into a gun shop and ask for 45 Short Colts....when the guy looks at you stupid, look back stupid and reply....if there are 45 Long Colts, there must be 45 Short Colts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,892 Posts
I suspect that one of the driving forces behind the development of the "magnums" was the idea that they were to be used for chambers and actions (most to be developed later) that were equal to the task.

The point is well made in the posts above that people are not smart enough to read the box and restrict their heavy loads to fire arms strong enough to fire the ammo and then stay together. The magnums were designed so that they would not (easily) chamber in a weapon not intended for them. Some folks just don't need to be given any ideas that require additional thought and and a sense of proportion. As in, "Hey, y'all. Watch this! Hold my beer..."

The 44-40 was originally intended for black powder. That's one reason that the case capacity is generous. It's the old, "just because you can doesn't mean you should".

Still, that's how Elmer Keith started out. By stuffing as much powder into his 45 Colt cases as they would hold. And I understand that he blew up several Colt SAA's in the process. But the result was the 44 magnum as we know it now--and the .357 magnum plus the 41 magnum.

The second article posted by Savvy Jack shows some of the old "balloon head" cartridges. Essentially when the case was formed, it was folded over onto itself to make the cartridge base and rim, similar to the way a rimfire case is made, but with the addition of a centerfire primer pocket added. These cases are much weaker than a modern design solid base case. It is doubtful if any of those cases would successfully contain one of the "heavy" loads of smokeless mentioned above.

Having recently had the experience of firing my S&W 686 .357 magnum, (not once but twice), before I noticed that the firing pin bushing was missing, I cannot recommend the occasion of having the primer disintegrate, let alone the base of the case. There was nothing to be found of either primer. Fortunately, protective equipment was in place. (I felt a lot of stinging over my face, but there was no blood.) However the cylinder release mechanism was frozen after the second round. I'm hoping that S&W can fix it.

Let's just say that I have a great desire and appreciation for actions and components to hold together as the designers intended.

Good luck. Stay safe.
 
  • Like
Reactions: northmn

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,593 Posts
There were 45 short Colts. It was a military designation. They had Scofield's as well as Colts and had a cartridge that would work in both, the short Colt. Read that comment more than once. Don't know if the "short Colt" was ever civilian.
Most folks probably knew which ammo to buy but it only takes a few to cause issues. The stupidity was not universal. Most of those products died off before WWII as at that period war supply was critical.

DEP
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
942 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
The 44-40 was originally intended for black powder. That's one reason that the case capacity is generous. It's the old, "just because you can doesn't mean you should".

Let's just say that I have a great desire and appreciation for actions and components to hold together as the designers intended.

Good luck. Stay safe.

You mean like the 45-70?

The 45-70 was originally designed for black powder but yet with modern improvements in both firearms and components, we have factory loads only intended for the Ruger No2 and No3
Lyman Lists three different categories;
1. 1873 Trapdoor Springfield
2. 1886, 1895 Lever Actions
3. Ruger No2 and No3

No different for the 44-40 that folks somehow just refuse to except.
Lyman lists two categories for the 44-40 that lists nineteen different rifles.
1. Group I (Winchester 73' types and single shots)
3. Group II (Winchester 92', Marlin 88' and 94' types)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
942 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
There were 45 short Colts. It was a military designation. They had Scofield's as well as Colts and had a cartridge that would work in both, the short Colt. Read that comment more than once. Don't know if the "short Colt" was ever civilian.
Most folks probably knew which ammo to buy but it only takes a few to cause issues. The stupidity was not universal. Most of those products died off before WWII as at that period war supply was critical.

DEP
Yeap, pay close attention to the language. short vs Short....they were called 45 Colt Government, not 45 Short Colts
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top