Modern 44-40 Ammunition In 1st Gen SAA (1909) - Safe To Use?
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Thread: Modern 44-40 Ammunition In 1st Gen SAA (1909) - Safe To Use?

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    Modern 44-40 Ammunition In 1st Gen SAA (1909) - Safe To Use?

    I have a Colt SAA/Frontier Six Shooter chambered in 44-40 that was manufactured in 1909. The gun is in good shape mechanically. Are there any currently manufactured 44-40 loads that would be safe to shoot in this pistol? I am aware of the Winchester and Black Hills "cowboy" loads in 44-40. Even though they are rated at 800 FPS, I am not sure that the pressures generated by this modern ammunition using modern powder would be safe to use in this 110 year old pistol. I also have a companion Winchester Model 1873 SRC that was manufactured in 1890 and is also chambered in 44-40. Same question. Is there ANY currently manufactured 44-40 ammunition out there that would be safe to use in either one of these two guns or is reloading the only "safe" option? Thanks.
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    I believe the cowboy loads would be fine in both guns. Especially the Colt, but the Winchester being a rifle would be OK too.
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    Lots of variations in chamber throat diameters on the earlier SAA 44-40s, check to make sure that the cartridges will chamber.

    Best regards,
    My opinion is free, and worth every penny of it.

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    The 1909 SAA was made for smokeless loads so I'd have no problem firing current ammunition in it. I do not believe in shooting smokeless ammunition in black powder firearms.
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    Quote Originally Posted by beemermark
    The 1909 SAA was made for smokeless loads so I'd have no problem firing current ammunition in it. I do not believe in shooting smokeless ammunition in black powder firearms.
    agreed on the Colt. No issue for typical factory 44-40

    I wouldn't shoot any smokeless load in a pre 1900, 1873 Winchester. A '73 coming apart is not something you want to witness up close.

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    All good information and advice. Thanks. Two more questions. When did the ammunition manufacturers switch to smokeless powder? Is there anyone out there who is making and selling 44-40 black powder loads that would be suitable for use in the Winchester Model 1873 that was made in 1890? Thanks again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cozmo View Post
    agreed on the Colt. No issue for typical factory 44-40

    I wouldn't shoot any smokeless load in a pre 1900, 1873 Winchester. A '73 coming apart is not something you want to witness up close.

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    The links led me to some great information that told me exactly what I needed to know. Turns out that Buffalo Arms Co. in Idaho is the only company in the US currently making black powder ammunition that would be safe to use in my 1890 Winchester Model 1873. They had the 44-44 black powder ammunition in stock and I was able to order two boxes of 50 this morning. Turns out that it is basically exactyl the same thing as the original Winchester 44-40 black powder cartridge originally made in 1873. They also have black powder ammunition for some of the other calibers as well. Thanks to everyone who commented and thanks for the links. I appreciate the help.

    Quote Originally Posted by azshot View Post
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