.44-40 Winchester

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.44-40 Winchester Gun Stats

.44-40 Winchester

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The Winchester Repeating Arms Company introduced the 44-40 Winchester, often known as the.44 Winchester,.44 WCF (Winchester Center Fire), and.44 Largo (in Spanish-speaking areas), in 1873. It was Winchester's first metallic centerfire cartridge, and it was designed to be the standard chambering for the new Model 1873 rifle. The 44-40 was inactive for a long time until the introduction of Western Action Shooting sports, which produced a huge demand for replica rifles. The 44-40 is now again popular, but not as a hunting cartridge. The cartridge quickly gained popularity as a rifle and handgun caliber, earning the Winchester Model 1873 rifle the moniker "The Gun That Won the West." The 44-40 may be regarded as a tool that 'got the job done since it is short and convenient, easy to operate, and had a large supply of ammo. However, over time, the 44-40 was surpassed by the more powerful 30 caliber smokeless cartridges, such as the 30-40, 30-30, 30-03, and 30-06. The Model 1873 44-40 caliber rifle had a barrel length of 20 to 24" and fired a 200 grain lead bullet at roughly 1250fps. The velocities in handgun barrels were roughly 950fps. In short, the 44-40 Winchester has a wide range of performance, which is heavily influenced by muzzle velocities and the bullet type employed. In the lack of any significant hydraulic power, the 44-40 relies exclusively on mechanical wounding at pistol rates of roughly 900 to 950fps. Regardless of game weight, non-expanding lead bullet designs can cause wounds up to a half inch in diameter. The 44-40 can be loaded to muzzle velocity of 1800fps with 180 grain bullets and 1600fps with 200 grain bullets when used in modern rifles. When used at close ranges with a fast-expanding hollow tip bullet, the 44-40 exhibits a high amount of hydraulic force / injury. Although the 44-40 Winchester is no longer widely used for hunting, it is still a highly competent cartridge.

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.44-40 Winchester Specs

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The 44-40 Winchester, originally named the .44 Winchester, was introduced in 1873 and chambered in Winchester’s Model 1873 rifle and carbine. When Union Metallic Cartridge Co. introduced their own version of the cartridge, they named it the .44-40. Winchester adopted the 44-40 name after WW2, although they used .44-40 Winchester.

.44-40 Winchester History


.44-40 Winchester Usage

The .44-40 became the most popular cartridge after introduction and claims say it has taken the most deer behind the 30-30 Winchester. Settlers, lawmen and cowboys used firearms chambered in the .44-40 because they wanted handguns and long guns chambered for the same cartridge. Today, it is most common among Cowboy Action Shooting practitioners. 
While Winchester and Colt’s products that were released in 1873 are debated as the “Gun That Won The West”, it could be argued that regardless of the winner between them, the .44-40 is what they were chambered in.

.44-40 Winchester Trivia


.44-40 Winchester Design

The 44-40 Winchester is a rimmed, bottleneck cartridge with an overall length of 1.592” and a case capacity of 40 grains (H2O). It fires a .427” diameter bullet and uses large pistol primers with a maximum pressure of 22,000 PSI. 

The .44-40 is available in cast lead and hard cast with weights ranging from 185 to 225 grains depending on needs. The round flat nose makes it safe for use in tubular magazines. 

.44-40 Winchester Types


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