.44-40

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warren5421

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 11, 2009
Messages
215
I want a pair of Rugers in .44 wcf so need some advice. I know that Ruger .44-40's are very pricey and some did not shoot real good. Would I be better off just buying two .44 mag and have cylinders made in .44-40 and rebarreled to 7 1/2" if the barrels are shorter.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,012
I'd discuss the details of the costs with a custom gunsmith. Then, you can decide which direction you'd be better at going.
But,, here's a example of things to consider.
Buy (2) base guns,, say you got them for $500 each. (I know,, low in todays market.)
Cylinders will likely run $250-$300 each.
And if you bought the base guns at $500 each,, then you'd have to have the barrels cut,, and that's likely to be $150 or so per barrel.
That would put you at about $1000 per gun.

Realistically, base guns will run you $600-$700 each, and the cylinders will go about $300 each, and barrel cutting another $150 or so. PLUS,, you'd likely need a re-blue on each gun after the cutting.
That put's them closer to $1200-$1300 each.

And you still don't know how they'd shoot.

Look for a pair of the 44-40's,, and you'll likely pay around $700-$900 each. And if they shoot just fine,, you'd be money ahead. If the accuracy is "iffy" then a custom gunsmith can do a few things to correct some issues fairly easily.

Choices, choices, choices.

I'd talk to a custom gunsmith first.
 

Hondo44

Hawkeye
Joined
Apr 3, 2009
Messages
7,715
The only problem was with Ruger's Vaquero 44-40s, and it was the cyl chamber throats. They were sized for .427" bullets but Ruger used .44 Mag barrels sized for .429" to .431" bullets. Most current 44-40 ammo these days have .428" bullets, so they get squeezed down thru the .427" chamber throats and then rattle down the .429" barrels.

Ruger fixed any .44-40 guns sent back to them. But a simpler fix was to just hone the chamber throats larger.

7 1/2" Super Blackhawks are not that hard to find. I would find 7 1/2" guns and avoid the cost of barrel changes. Like Contender posted, you can be on the lookout for the Super Blackhawk 44 Mag/ 44.40 convertibles. They all had 7 1/2" barrels and 1198 were made as a Distributor Special for and sold by Jerry's Sorts center in 1990-91.

You can find (gunbroker and Ebay) a pair of .357 Blackhawk Cyls. or better yet 41 Mag cyls and rechamber them to 44-40. Much cheaper than custom cyls! Then have the 7 1/2" barrels set back in the frame for proper cyl/bar gap.

Do you reload your ammo? I have reamed 44 Mag cylinders to 44.40 only as far as the case mouth shoulder in the chambers and left the throats alone. Of course the case mouth area of the chamber will be slightly larger than the 44-40 case mouth. But I just load .430-.431 bullets and they shoot great.
 
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Diabloman

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 19, 2022
Messages
114
I load 44-40 and use lead bullets from SNS. The avg. diameter is .4275 and they work great in Pop's old
Colt. Cimmaron has a Model P in 44-40 and I have used my
handloads in it and they work as well. Accurate too. fwiw
 

hporter

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 29, 2016
Messages
5
You could also buy a 44 special Ruger flattop or vaquero, and then pick up a 44-40 cylinder from Borchardt Rifle Company.

They run $205 according to their website.

http://rugercyl.com/ruger-cylinders/

The cylinder I bought from them fits in my Blackhawk flat top and my Vaquero Sheriff. And the Blackhawk Flattop shot better with the 44-40 cylinder the last time I had it out.

Here is the cylinder installed in my Vaquero Sheriff 44 special. Sorry for the poor photo - just a quick snap in the kitchen for this response.

Ruger Vaquero 44 40


Just another option.
 

hporter

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 29, 2016
Messages
5
To be honest, I don't remember the exact size and I lent my pin gauges to my shooting buddy. But I will be getting them back this week so I will measure and update this thread.

I do know that the throats on the Borchardt are cut tighter than my two Uberti SA 44-40's, as well as my Colt New Service in 44-40. I can easily load the 44-40 cases with .430 bullets and they plunk right in the chambers of those revolvers. With the Borchardt, I think I had to size the bullets .429 to get them to chamber easily. The accuracy was outstanding, it really impressed me. I really have no desire for .427 throats, as all my revolvers and my 1873 Winchester work well with .429 - .430 bullets.

This morning when I popped the 44-40 cylinder in for the photo, for giggles I grabbed my Brownell's range rod kit to check the alignment with the Vaquero Sheriff. It was spot on for all 6 cylinders. I had checked my Blackhawk Flattop before, but I couldn't remember checking the Vaquero. So for a statistically irrelevant sample of 2 revolvers, the timing of the Borchardt is spot on.
 

Sacramento Johnson

Blackhawk
Joined
Jun 1, 2005
Messages
515
Ruger OMV 44-40s are now running $1000 plus on GB and the SASS wire; a stock pair just sold on the SASS wire for $2000. As for cylinder throats being undersized, yes, Ruger did that with almost all of them. (Hamilton Bowen's company will open the cylinders to the correct dimensions and you only need to send the cylinders in.) Given all the above options, I'd suggest looking for a pair of Ruger 44-40s in the configuration you want (FYI, the least made of the Ruger 44-40s was the 7 1/2 inch barrel ones) and paying the price; buy once, cry once. Then, if needed, send off to a reputable smith to get the cylinder throats opened up. Good luck with your search; they are out there!
 

Green Frog

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 6, 2011
Messages
167
If you suffer from undersized cylinder throats, there is a gentleman who shows up on the Cast Boolit Forum (I know, they can’t spell!) by the name of “dougguy” who precisely hones the chambers of your cylinder to correct, matching specs. He is quite highly regarded.
Froggie
 

Diabloman

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 19, 2022
Messages
114
Just a Note: My 44 Vaquero bore diameter measures .429 and my Cimmaron Model P 44/40 bore diameter measures
.4275. Accuracy suffered til I found 44/40 cast bullets from
SNS. I load 44/40 on my Dillon SDB. FWIW
 

Durango Dave

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 11, 2017
Messages
56
Last edited:

DHBillings

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 26, 2022
Messages
13
I have called Borchardt Rifle Company 4 times and get a recording saying mail box is full. Does anyone have an email address? I would love to order a .44-40 cylinder as I have a 44 Spec Blackhawk.
 

Hondo44

Hawkeye
Joined
Apr 3, 2009
Messages
7,715
That's funny, they say to call or email them on their "ABOUT" page under Ruger cyls, on their website page but there's no email anywhere on the site. Maybe they took a week off.
 

hporter

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 29, 2016
Messages
5
I looked my order up, and I had sent a letter in the mail with a check. I can't find an email correspondence.

Sorry.
 

Diabloman

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 19, 2022
Messages
114
I have called Borchardt Rifle Company 4 times and get a recording saying mail box is full. Does anyone have an email address? I would love to order a .44-40 cylinder as I have a 44 Spec Blackhawk.
44mag is .429 diameter......44/40 is .4275 fwiw
 

Diabloman

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 19, 2022
Messages
114
I just broke down 8 yrs. ago and bought a Cimmaron Model P
Pre War SAA. The bore measures .4275 and .428 lead bullets from SNS work great! They also work in Pop's old Colt SA. Love those BP loads & Blue smoke!
 

hporter

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 29, 2016
Messages
5
BTW - I bought mine in 2015 - and the cylinders were only $166 then. Amazing with the crazy prices we see now, that something so useful was so cheap.
 

loaded round

Hunter
Joined
Aug 3, 2003
Messages
2,156
I'd like to comment if I may about the Ruger 44-40/44 spl-mag question. Several years ago I purchased a 51/2 in. Ruger Vaquero, ANIB, at a local firearms auction for a very good price. Wondered if a old Blackhawk or Vaquero 44 Mag cylinder could be fitted to this revolver. I called Ruger Tech Service and found that Ruger used the same barrel on both their 44-40 and 44 Mag pistols. With that knowledge, I starrted looking around, and finally found an original Blackhawk 44 Mag cylinder in excellent condition. With a minor bit of fitting . it worked perfectly in my 44-40 Vaquero and the fit and timing were perfect. To top things off, it turned out to be an excellent shooter, giving me 11/2 '' groups at 25 yds. I'm mentioning all this, since you could do the reverse; buy a Vaquero 44 Mag revolver, and locate a 44-40 cylinder for it. Solve's your problem! BTW, I did the same thing wit a Vaquero 45 Colt revolver, fitted a 45 ACP cylinder to it for a another excellent shooter for dual catridges.
 

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