38-40 WCF 1st Generation Colt SAA - a rare animal?
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  1. #21
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    Regarding my caliber statement vs bullet size vs bore size. An inaccurate use of words on my part, I was basing that statement from the "41" that is stamped on the bottoms of .41 colt and 38-40 barrels. I know it has an expandable base but a .41 Colt projectile measures smaller than the. 38WCF.
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  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackpowder View Post
    The bullet diameter would indicate more of a .40 caliber than .41

    Right. the 38/40 used the same barrel as the .41 Long Colt. I've seen several .41 Long Colt revolvers that ha 38/40 cylinders fitted.
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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyP View Post
    The .38-40 bullet is .400 or .401. My thoughts was that having a .40 WCF and a .44 WCF might have been confusing if you didn't read carefully, so it became the .38-40.

    I'm always looking for those bullets as I use them for my Herter's .401 PowerMag.
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  5. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikebiker View Post
    Never try to make sense out of caliber names or sizes, it is an exercise in futility. Two common examples are the 38 and 357 are the same diameter. A 44 can be .429 or .427 but never .44. And it only gets worse after that. A 38 special is .357 and a 38-40 is .401, go figure?
    It comes from when the old revolver calibers used a heeled bullet. A .38 was a .38 with the heeled bullet with a smaller diameter to fit in the case neck, but when they dropped that bullet in favor of one that had a straight diameter from base to shoulder, it became a .357. Same with the .44.
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  6. #25
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    Maybe it's my imagination but it seems like I see a lot more 1st gen 38-40 than 44-40 on GunBroker these days.

  7. #26
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    The 38-40 is ballistically the same as the 40 S&W, propelling the same 180 gn .401 dia. bullet at the same or slightly higher velocities. In Loading the Peacemaker by Dave Scovill loads are given producing velocities between 1000 and 1250 fps in a SAA made for smokeless loads. My 38 ed. Lyman gives 10gn Unique 180gn RNFP for 1105 fps. Mike Venturino in Shooting Colt Single Actions gives a velocity of 910 fps using Goex black powder from a Colt SAA with a 4 3/4" barrel. With a 7 1/2" barrel I'm guessing velocity would be at least 1000 fps.

  8. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by beemermark View Post
    The 38-40 is ballistically the same as the 40 S&W, propelling the same 180 gn .401 dia. bullet at the same or slightly higher velocities. In Loading the Peacemaker by Dave Scovill loads are given producing velocities between 1000 and 1250 fps in a SAA made for smokeless loads. My 38 ed. Lyman gives 10gn Unique 180gn RNFP for 1105 fps. Mike Venturino in Shooting Colt Single Actions gives a velocity of 910 fps using Goex black powder from a Colt SAA with a 4 3/4" barrel. With a 7 1/2" barrel I'm guessing velocity would be at least 1000 fps.
    I use a Lee 401-175 6 cavity mold ment for 40S&W to cast bullets for my 38WCF loads. I load BlackMZ so bullets need no lube. It would be nice if the bullet had a crimping groove. I load on a Dillon 550b then crimp with a Lee FCD on single station press.
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  9. #28
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    A first generation 4 3/4-inch Colt Single Action Army in .38-40 lives here as well as a Winchester Model 1873 rifle in .38-40.

    I love the old cartridge. It does a lot of what could be ask of a cartridge within limitations. One deer has fallen to the .38-40 here fired from a rifle, and it knocked him right over at about 100 steps.

  10. #29
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    1873 was a very good year for guns!
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    This all started with one gun!
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  11. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bibbyman View Post
    I load on a Dillon 550b then crimp with a Lee FCD on single station press.
    Just curious, why use a second press for the factory crimp die? I load and crimp with a Lee FCD all on the 550B. Obviously it works for you, but wondering if there is something special that you are doing from which I can learn a new technique.


 
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