.44 S&W American

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.44 S&W American
.44 S&W American with ruler, .45 ACP, and .44 Magnum.JPG
.44 S&W American (center) with .45 ACP (left) and .44 Magnum (Right)
TypeRevolver
Place of originUSA
Production history
Produced1869?-1940?
Specifications
Bullet diameter.434 in (11.0 mm)
Neck diameter.438 in (11.1 mm)
Base diameter.440 in (11.2 mm)
Rim diameter.506 in (12.9 mm)
Case length0.91 in (23 mm)
Overall length1.44 in (37 mm)
Rifling twist1:20
Primer typelarge rifle
Ballistic performance
Bullet mass/type Velocity Energy
205 gr (13 g) (factory load) 682 ft/s (208 m/s) 212 ft⋅lbf (287 J)
218 gr (14 g) 660 ft/s (200 m/s) 196 ft⋅lbf (266 J)
200 gr (13 g) (max) 810 ft/s (250 m/s) 296 ft⋅lbf (401 J)
205 gr (13 g) (Lyman #429478) 800 ft/s (240 m/s) 291 ft⋅lbf (395 J)
Source(s): Barnes & Amber 1972

The .44 S&W American (commonly called the .44 American) is an American centerfire revolver cartridge.

Description[edit]

Used in the Smith & Wesson Model 3, it was introduced around 1869.[1] Between 1871 and 1873, the .44 Model 3 was used as the standard United States Army sidearm.[1] It was also offered in the Merwin Hulbert & Co. Army revolvers.[1]

It used an outside lubricated heeled bullet and appeared in either Boxer and Berdan priming,[1] and both black and smokeless powder loadings.[1] The heeled bullets make the case is incompatible with later .44 Russian, .44 Special, or .44 Magnum brass, which was made larger in diameter and longer to cover the exposed part of the bullet.

Its power resembles the .41 Long Colt,[1] .32-20 Winchester,[2] or .44-40 Winchester,[3] and it could be used to hunt small game at short range.[2]

The .44 American ceased to be commercially available around 1940. It can be handloaded by shortening and reforming .41 Magnum cases.[1] Original black-powder revolvers should only use black-powder loads; modern powders will generate excessive pressures.[1]

During the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral on October 26, 1881, Wyatt Earp carried an 8-inch .44-caliber 1869 American model Smith & Wesson. Earp had received the weapon as a gift from Tombstone, Arizona mayor and Tombstone Epitaph newspaper editor John Clum.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Barnes, p. 167, ".44 S&W American".
  2. ^ a b Barnes, ".32-20 Winchester", p. 46.
  3. ^ Barnes, ".44-40 Winchester", p. 61.
  4. ^ Shillingberg, William B. (Summer 1976). "Wyatt Earp and the Buntline Special Myth". Kansas Historical Quarterly. 42 (2): 113–154.

Sources[edit]

  • Barnes, Frank C., ed. by John T. Amber. ".44 S&W American", in Cartridges of the World, pp. 167 & 177. Northfield, IL: DBI Books, 1972. ISBN 0-695-80326-3.
  • Barnes, Frank C., ed. by John T. Amber. ".32-20 Winchester" in Cartridges of the World, p. 46. Northfield, IL: DBI Books, 1972. ISBN 0-695-80326-3.
  • Barnes, Frank C., ed. by John T. Amber. ".44-40 Winchester" in Cartridges of the World, p. 61. Northfield, IL: DBI Books, 1972. ISBN 0-695-80326-3.