Early (1878) Colt SAA 44-40 X 7-1/2” With Etched Barrel Panel
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2
Results 11 to 17 of 17
Like Tree21Likes

Thread: Early (1878) Colt SAA 44-40 X 7-1/2” With Etched Barrel Panel

  1. #11
    Senior Member

    Member #
    66711
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    509
    Liked
    799 times
    Quote Originally Posted by jplower View Post
    Superb grips on that 44. The rule of thumb for the early 44's is they all have seven groove rifling, using barrels made up but never used for the 44 S&W caliber. Usually found without an etched panel, but there's a transition period where you find the seven grooves AND the etched panel. These are the rarest 44-40s and the hardest to find. I once owned serial number 41043, the lowest known at the time, but there probably are lower numbers yet to be found.

    Dave
    Dave, yes these earliest Colt SAA's in 44-40 had seven groove left hand gain twist rifling. In about 1963 I bought #41219, which had this feature. It came out of Mexico, and was worn enough that any CFSS was long gone from the barrel.

    Contrary to one of Kopec's articles (1977?), I believe that the same rifling machine was used that cut the 44 Rimfire Open Top barrels! Colt was in a hurry to offer the Colt SAA in 44-40. One cannot easily measure groove to groove on these 7-groove barrels, but with several measurements the theoretical groove to groove diameter can be calculated. It is close to 0.445". The obvious problem to guys like us (who think in thousandths), is that this 44-40 barrel has serious problems. I pointed this out to Kopec at the time of his article. Yes, a 44-40 bullet can be dropped through one of these 7-groove barrels, and it won't touch anything. Only if the bullet had a hollow base for expansion, could any accuracy be expected.
    mrcvs and LEO918 like this.

  2. #12
    Senior Member

    Member #
    6040
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Medina Ohio
    Posts
    1,699
    Liked
    2657 times
    If you tried that with an open top barrel, you will find the bore larger, even though it's called a 44. The reason is as you said for the rifling machining used on the percussion guns. Colt made up the ammo for the open tops and conversions, using a heeled bullet that contacted the bore while using a cartridge case of the same diameter. Looks like a big 22. Same was true of the early 38 Colt, same rifling. When the testing for the SA was underway, they reduced the bore diameter to actually shoot a 427 bullet. I have shot several gain twist early 44's with great success if the bore is at least a 7. Below that, the pitting and clinkers drag lead off the bullet and affect its spin, and leasd the bore quickly. The Remington 75 is the real problem, for they used a good 44 bore but had oversize chamber mouths in the model 75. They just will not shoot any 44-40 with accuracy. This problem was addressed in the model 1890, so I am told.

    JP
    Last edited by jplower; 05-13-2019 at 05:25 AM.
    victorio1sw likes this.

  3. #13
    Senior Member

    Member #
    66711
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    509
    Liked
    799 times
    Quote Originally Posted by jplower View Post
    If you tried that with an open top barrel, you will find the bore larger, even though it's called a 44. The reason is as you said for the rifling machining used on the percussion guns. Colt made up the ammo for the open tops and conversions, using a heeled bullet that contacted the bore while using a cartridge case of the same diameter. Looks like a big 22. Same was true of the early 38 Colt, same rifling. When the testing for the SA was underway, they reduced the bore diameter to actually shoot a 427 bullet. I have shot several gain twist early 44's with great success if the bore is at least a 7. Below that, the pitting and clinkers drag lead off the bullet and affect its spin, and leasd the bore quickly. The Remington 75 is the real problem, for they used a good 44 bore but had oversize chamber mouths in the model 75. They just will not shoot any 44-40 with accuracy. This problem was addressed in the model 1890, so I am told.

    JP
    I also noticed that oversized throat problem on the Remington 1875. Looking through the rear of a cylinder, one cannot see the end of the 44-40 case. The neck-down is there, but no end of case. Just why the Government ordnance representatives didn't demand better of Remington during tests against the Colt SAA, I cannot imagine. But Remington never "fixed" this problem. And the Government bought Remington 1875's for the Indian Police in about 1881.

    Being a member of the RSA, I have been tempted to write an article on this 1875 throat issue. Someone may think I'm "throwing rocks" at Remington, but this was a real problem. It has been quite a while since owning a 45 Colt in the Rem 1875, but bet that Remington was consistent regardless of caliber. Remington sold 1000's of these 45's to Mexico and Egypt, and no one complained??

  4. Remove Advertisements
    ColtForum.com
    Advertisements
     

  5. #14
    Junior Member

    Member #
    3002
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Indian Territory, OK
    Posts
    26
    Liked
    14 times
    Well into the 70's many, especially Remington and with Colt Percussion arms, bore dimensions were used to describe caliber as per the British method. Thus, your .36 is a .375 and your .44 Dragoon is actually a 45 albeit groove diameter. A step futher, my 44-77 Rolling block sporter has a groove diameter of .452 which is common.
    Last edited by Yellowhouse; 05-22-2019 at 10:40 AM. Reason: error
    "Sammy done his damndest, angels could do no more"(from a song by Andy Wilkinson)

    SASS # 25171

  6. #15
    Senior Member

    Member #
    28712
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Central VA
    Posts
    505
    Liked
    341 times
    Quote Originally Posted by victorio1sw View Post
    Factory letter confirms 44-40, BNL, Blue, SNL, Shipped to B. Kittridge & Co., Cincinnati, OH on July 16, 1878, 15 Guns. Kittridge added the plating & checkered grips.

    At times I read that these early Colt SAA’s in 44-40 didn’t have an etched CFSS. This one in the 432xx range had the etched barrel panel and the “44 CF” on the trigger guard.
    In Don Wilkerson's fine book "Colt's Double Action Revolvers", He tells the history of how the Model 1878 DA came to have the acid etched panel. A letter dated Jan 17, 1878 was written to Colt by John P Moore's Son's requesting that on their order of "that New Model .44 Winchester C. F." to have "Frontier Six Shooter" acid etched on the barrel (at no expense to them I might add). They wished to advertise them and "push it lively". Colt recognized this as a great Idea and adopted the Acid Etched Pane "Colt Frontier Six Shooter" on the Model 1878.

    Wilkerson does not mention the Colt SAA's with the 44 C F clambering but I would suspect that both the model 1878 and SAA in 44 CF started in the first quarter of 1878 shortly after Moore's order was filled.

    Dennis
    Last edited by tdennis; 05-22-2019 at 12:58 PM.
    cloverleaf likes this.

  7. #16
    Senior Member

    Member #
    66711
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    509
    Liked
    799 times
    Quote Originally Posted by Yellowhouse View Post
    Well into the 70's many, especially Remington and with Colt Percussion arms, bore dimensions were used to describe caliber as per the British method. Thus, your .36 is a .375 and your .44 Dragoon is actually a 45 albeit groove diameter. A step futher, my 44-77 Rolling block sporter has a groove diameter of .452 which is common.
    I tend to think of this bore size issue as another military tradition. In the 1950's I was told that a stairway in a ship was still called "a ladder"! As long as the military was using smoothbore rifles and pistols, the named bore size was appropriate. But things changed when the bores were rifled. Basically a 0.36" bore was rifled so that groove-to-groove it measured 0.375". A 0.44" bore was rifled so that groove-to-groove it measured 0.45".

    When the Sharps percussion carbines were converted to cartridge in 1867-68, the bore was sleeved to 0.50". Rifling left the groove-to-groove measurement at 0.52". But they didn't call this a 52 caliber. It was a 50-70.
    Last edited by victorio1sw; 05-22-2019 at 01:47 PM.

  8. #17
    Senior Member

    Member #
    66711
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    509
    Liked
    799 times
    Quote Originally Posted by tdennis View Post
    In Don Wilkerson's fine book "Colt's Double Action Revolvers", He tells the history of how the Model 1878 DA came to have the acid etched panel. A letter dated Jan 17, 1878 was written to Colt by John P Moore's Son's requesting that on their order of "that New Model .44 Winchester C. F." to have "Frontier Six Shooter" acid etched on the barrel (at no expense to them I might add). They wished to advertise them and "push it lively". Colt recognized this as a great Idea and adopted the Acid Etched Pane "Colt Frontier Six Shooter" on the Model 1878.

    Wilkerson does not mention the Colt SAA's with the 44 C F clambering but I would suspect that both the model 1878 and SAA in 44 CF started in the first quarter of 1878 shortly after Moore's order was filled.

    Dennis
    That would seem to make sense, with the etched CFSS appearing on both the M1878 and SAA about the same time. Of course, the tooling would work on both models. The "free extra" as done for J. P. Moores on that one order would became what we now call a "sunk cost" to be carried forward.


 
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2

Home | Forum | Active Topics | What's New

Sponsored Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Similar Threads

  1. Old Grey Etched Panel 44-40 for Auction
    By saintclair in forum Single Action Army
    Replies: 50
    Last Post: 12-17-2014, 10:28 PM
  2. COLT SAA 44-40 Etched Panel 3rd
    By johnh in forum Want to Sell
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-02-2014, 06:08 PM
  3. FS: REDUCED: Etched Panel .44-40 X 7 1/2" barrel
    By hwjhfs in forum Want to Sell
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 09-25-2014, 02:59 PM
  4. Opinions on an etched panel Frontier 44-40
    By Dalfort in forum Single Action Army
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 07-16-2014, 08:36 PM
  5. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-03-2014, 06:38 PM
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
We are not associated with Colt's Manufacturing LLC. We are an enthusiast site comprised of Colt Fans.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.3
Copyright © 2019 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.
SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.