Jump to content
SASS Wire Forum

38-44 What is it?


Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Most likely a heavy duty / heavy frame  38 special from days just before 357 Magnum.  Just a regular 38 special case.  Some old loading manuals have hot loads specifically for those.

Edited by Rip Snorter
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's one of two things.    The more "modern" version is, as mentioned above, essentially a .38 Special loaded to .357 Magnum pressures.   Once the Magnum came out, this round became obsolete.   Various heavy duty revolvers were made for it.

The other .38-44, the much older one, is the .38 S&W case made to be the same length as the cylinder in the S&W New Model 3 revolver   It got its name from the fact that it is a .38 caliber cartridge chambered in guns normally sized and chambered for .44 caliber cartridges.  The bullet was recessed into the case.  The theory was that by eliminating, much as possible, the gap from the end of the cartridge case to the entrance of the barrel, that accuracy would be increased.  There may have been something to that, as some accuracy records set with New Model 3's in this caliber still stand to this day.

 

The two .38-44's are NOT compatible with each other.   The modern one would likely blow up a pistol for the old one, and the old one will not fit in the chambers of a modern gun, as the ,38 S&W round is fatter than the .38 Special family.

If you happen to have modern revolver for .38-44, I would assume that .38 Special +P ammo would be quite safe in it.  

 

If you happen to have a New Model 3 in the old .38-44, you can shoot .38 S&W in quite safely, but would be wise to go with black powder loads.

 

  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, LawMan Mark, SASS #57095L said:

Not sure where they got their info? 158 gr at 1125 fps was closer to the old FBI load than 38/44. The FBI load certainly in the day wasn’t loaded to 830fps. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a S&W New Model 3 chambered for .38-44.

 

NM338.thumb.JPG.37588d97897bbea2437b2f27154c1763.JPG

 

Like most in this caliber, it was a target pistol.   And as such, it had special sights.

 

NM3FrontSighgt.thumb.JPG.4e6418b0e9d7d1f30600f92f084e1247.JPG

 

Front sight was a simple blade with a post, as opposed to the half moon sights on standard models.

 

NM3RRearSight.thumb.JPG.94e7b863332b758d69aef257d055bba2.JPG

 

Rear sights were "adjustable" with the aide of a small screwdriver.

 

NM3Cylinder.thumb.JPG.724be0e43f0ca6be47214bf4039050ba.JPG

 

And as you can see, with a cylinder designed around the .44 Russian, the cylinder walls are quite thick on the .38.

Hope this is interesting.  :)

 

 

 

 

  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

S&W New Model 3 was the gun showed with shell, just had not heard of it.  knew about the "N" but not this.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Three Foot Johnson said:

38-44 round

38-44round.jpg

That's a 44/38.

 

5737.png.9890702209ffdaadb4c54ad4964a2142.png

 

This would be a 38/44. Actually a 357/44 Bain and Davis.

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Alpo said:

All sorts of information about the #3 38/44 Target. And its smaller brother, the 32/44 Target.

 

http://rvbprecision.com/shooting/sw-3rd-model-target-38-44-reloading.html

 

One thing that article fails to mention is that the old .38-44 is an elongated .38 S&W.  In fact here is a question from a "Kevin" that points that out and asks the writer why he just doesn't use the shorter round in the gun like he does.   I was that Kevin.   :)

 

To be honest, I find the idea of trimming down .357 Maximum cases to length to be something that my gut says, "that ain't right" to.  The cases aren't fat enough for one thing, and for another, the whole process just seems to be more trouble than it is worth when you have a round that will safely work in the guns with no modification.   Besides, given how you have to seat the bullet inside the case that fills the cylinder, why not just use Long Colt or Specials and load it conventionally?   That's essentially what you are doing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, Pee Wee #15785 said:

S&W New Model 3 was the gun showed with shell, just had not heard of it.  knew about the "N" but not this.

 

Ah, so we are talking about the old round.  :)

I did see a vintage box of .38-44 for sale once.   For $250.00   I passed on it.   Wouldn't mind getting some ammo/brass in the caliber just to have some, but not for that kind of coin.


Oh good grief, this thread has been moved to the Saloon.   Why?  It's about a gun and a cartridge from the Old West that some shooters make use of.   I really don't "get" why a lot of the threads are getting so moved.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Alpo said:

That's a 44/38.

 

5737.png.9890702209ffdaadb4c54ad4964a2142.png

 

This would be a 38/44. Actually a 357/44 Bain and Davis.

 

 

Why is it flattened?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.