44-40

This is a discussion on 44-40 within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I have an Uberti 44-40 lever action carbine, with a few Cowboy cartridges. I'm not really a rifle guy, most of my weapons are handguns ...

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Thread: 44-40

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array paramedic70002's Avatar
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    44-40

    I have an Uberti 44-40 lever action carbine, with a few Cowboy cartridges. I'm not really a rifle guy, most of my weapons are handguns or shotguns. Is the 44-40 cartridge an acceptable self defense round? Are there non-cowboy loads available that would make it better? Seems I'm limited to flatnose, as the new plastic tips, I don't think come in obsolete calibers.
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    Senior Member Array blueyedevil's Avatar
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    The 44-40 winchester is pretty much ballistically identical to a .44 mag. So, as a rifle it's fairly underpowered but is definately lethal at household ranges. As for what's commercialy available, I don't know. But I do know that you can reload say a 200 grain speer GDHP at over 1600 fps.

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    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    The 44-40 is no where near the same ballistics as a 44 mag, either in a pistol or a rifle.

    In a modern rifle the maximum velocity for a 44-40 is about 1600 fps with a 200 gr jacketed bullet that is 1130 ft lbs of energy, as opposed to a 44 mag moving at a tad over 2100 fps and 1950 ft lbs of energy.

    From a pistol the 44-40 is going to be about 1000 fps tops with 440 ft lbs of energy, and the 44 mag is almost 1500 fps at the upper end with almost 1000 ft lbs of energy.

    If you load a 44-40 as hot as a 44 mag, you will likely blow the cases apart and possibly blow up a cylinder in a revolver, not to mention the damage done to yourself or others.

    That being said, there are non cowboy loads for a 44-40 that are good for your uberti rifle. Remington and Winchester both make a 200 gr that comes out at 629 ft lbs of energy and ends up with 449 ft lbs of energy at 100 yrds. You can make up your mind as to whether that is powerfull enough for you for home defense.

    The old 44-40 has probably killed more people and animals over the years than any other single caliber in america.
    Last edited by farronwolf; October 22nd, 2006 at 05:18 PM.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    My data is coming from my Lyman 48th edition manual. Are you looking in the pistol section of your manual or the rifle section. There is a big difference between the two.

    Hodgdon 110 powder at 28.8 gr, with 200 gr hornady xtp, magnum primer is 2133 fps, on a 44 mag.

    Winchester 296 powder at 28,3 gr, with 200 gr hornady xtp, magnum primers is 2129 fps on a 44 mag.

    These are both from a 20 in barrel

    Your formula is incorrect. it is velocity squared times bullet grain divided by 450400 , not 400450.


    Do you actually reload for the 44 mag or the 44-40?

    I do for both, and have tried lots of loads and thousands of rounds, there is no comparison between the two.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    Senior Member Array blueyedevil's Avatar
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    you are correct about the conversion factor, sorry, my brain flatulated there. And yes I was comparing to the .44mag pistol, I guess I should have specified that in the original post. Yes I have reloaded for the .44 mag pistol, no I haven't reloaded for 44-40, but one of my buddies does, and I've seen him chrony .200 grain bullets at right around 1600 with no pressure signs. Granted, it's a modern action. The factory rounds are still right around 1200fps. So in short, I would revise my original statement to say the 44-40 is similar to a .44mag pistol. Sorry about the confusion.

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