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Interesting Winchester factory 44 W.H.V. sample shells
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March 2, 2021 - 3:29 am
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I’ve never seen anything like these before.  Anyone know anything about them or their significance?

https://www.wardscollectibles.com/viewitem.php?item=30184

Don

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April 5, 2021 - 3:53 pm
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Yes, this is [one of] Winchester’s “Draw Sets” for the 44 W.H.V M-92…or simply, 44-40 High Velocity loads. Winchester first offered this load in 1903. Thus, this 1903 draw set is of the first year offered. This draw set shows several steps used to create the cartridge. From the 90gr cup to the final product. It is unsure if there are missing pieces. Using today’s terminology, this would be Winchester’s “44-40 +P+++(add as many +’s as you want here)” load, meaning the pressures created are nearly DOUBLE that of SAAMI’s 13,000cup MAP loads.

This load was made specifically for the Winchester Model 92′ but could be used in other “strong action” rifles like Marlin’s model 1888 and 1894 as well as several single shot rifles. Lyman’s 49th handloading manual lists nineteen rifles chambered for the 44-40. Of these, nine are listed as strong action, or “Group II” rifles as well as listing special loadings for such HV performance. [the Winchester 73′ being a weak action, Group I rifle].  Winchester used 19gr to 20gr of Sharpshooter rifle powder in these loads which created nearly 22,000cup and 1,570fps velocities. IF the cartridge included is 1903  original, it contained 20.8gr of Sharpshooter powder. Winchester offered this load from 1903 to 1945….42 YEARS!!! At least two other companies manufactured them too, Peters and UMC.

More information can be found here:

https://sites.google.com/view/44winchester/velocities/high-velocity-loads

or here

https://sites.google.com/view/44winchester/velocities/high-velocity-loads/understanding-winchesters-44-40-high-velocity-loads

 

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April 5, 2021 - 7:48 pm
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Very cool and fascinating history lesson. Thanks for sharing.

Don

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April 6, 2021 - 12:37 am
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Thank you Bryan for the informational post.  Years ago I purchased a copy of the Winchester 1916 Catalog and discovered the W.H.V. cartridge listings.  I went through several reloading manuals to try to match the velocities listed.  44 W.C.F., 25-20 W.C.F., and 38-55 W.C.F. cartridges mainly.  I also found improved  accuracy seemed to go hand in hand with the increased velocity.  My results seem to match information you posted.  RDB

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April 6, 2021 - 5:44 pm
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rogertherelic said
Thank you Bryan for the informational post.  Years ago I purchased a copy of the Winchester 1916 Catalog and discovered the W.H.V. cartridge listings.  I went through several reloading manuals to try to match the velocities listed.  44 W.C.F., 25-20 W.C.F., and 38-55 W.C.F. cartridges mainly.  I also found improved  accuracy seemed to go hand in hand with the increased velocity.  My results seem to match information you posted.  RDB  

Sharpe once wrote in his 1937 hand-loading manual… (this is when Winchester used rifle powder)

” The 44-40 is capable of excellent performance when loaded properly for handgun use. If, however, one endeavors to combine loading for both handgun and rifle in this caliber, he is destined to meet with only mediocre success. As in all other dual-purpose cartridges, the factory loads are only a compromise at best. Smokeless-powder loading for handguns requires a much more rapid-burning type than loading for rifle use, as the short barrel must burn all the powder if satisfactory results are to be achieved. In addition, rifle cartridges can be loaded to a pressure of about 30,000 pounds in this caliber, whereas the same load in a revolver would be more or less disastrous.” Thus the reason for modern mediocre factory loads using pistol powders.”

If we reverse that for today’s use, it should look something like this….(This is now, when Winchester uses pistol powders)

” The 44-40 rifle is capable of excellent performance when loaded properly for rifle use. If, however, one endeavors to combine loading for both handgun and rifle in this caliber, he is destined to meet with only mediocre success. As in all other dual-purpose cartridges, the factory loads are only a compromise at best. Smokeless-powder loading for rifles requires a bit slower-burning type than faster-burning loading for revolver use, as the longer barrel allows more time for the slower burning rifle powders to burn enough powder if satisfactory lower chamber pressure results and original 1,300fps or greater velocities are to be achieved. In addition, revolver cartridges can be loaded to a pressure of only about 11,000 psi in this caliber, whereas the same load in a rifle can be more or less favorably closer to 18,000 psi for strong action rifles.”

What this means is that in order to achieve original black powder velocities, and accuracy at greater distances, as well as remain at or under safe chamber pressures of 13,000cup for the Winchester 73′, the cartridge must use slower burning rifle powders and thus retaining a rifle cartridge designation. Using pistol powders in this cartridge at greater shooting distances, in all aspects for which it was designed, will leave the shooter dissatisfied.

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April 6, 2021 - 11:46 pm
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Just for clarification, using the W.H.V. cartridges in a revolver or model 1873, was never considered.  I only had 1892 and 1894 rifles and carbines.  The 1916 Catalog clearly stated these cartridges were not to be used in the Model 1873 or revolvers.  RDB

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April 7, 2021 - 2:26 am
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rogertherelic said
Just for clarification, using the W.H.V. cartridges in a revolver or model 1873, was never considered.  I only had 1892 and 1894 rifles and carbines.  The 1916 Catalog clearly stated these cartridges were not to be used in the Model 1873 or revolvers.  RDB  

Absolutely!

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