How rare is the Ruger 44-40 stainless?

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toyhunt

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
Messages
367
Saw one at a scottsdale horseshow vendor.Never saw one before.The guy wanted $450.44-40 only shoots that caliber? not 44 mag or spec?Had ivory grips medium size barrel.Just curious is that ammo hard to find? Was in excellant condition.
 

Driftwood Johnson

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 25, 2007
Messages
699
Howdy

44-40, also known as 44WCF (44 Winchester Central Fire) has a slight taper to it and is almost as wide at the rear as a 45 Colt. 44-40 will not fit in a 44 Sp or 44 Mag chamber. 44 Mag or Special will rattle around in the chamber. 44-40 guns will only fire 44-40, nothing else.

Here is a photo of some 44 caliber rounds, left to right they are 44 Henry Rimfire, 44 S&W American, 44 Russian, 44 Colt, 44 Special, 44 Magnum, and 44-40. If you look very carefully you can see the slight taper behind the 44-40 bullet.

44RF44AM44Rus44Colt44Sp44Mag44_40.jpg


A 44-40 Ruger is not rare, but not all that common either. That is probably a good price these days, but you can only fire 44-40 in it.

P.S. 44-40 used to be almost obsolete and difficult to find but Cowboy Action Shooting has revived interest in it. Today you should be able to find 44-40 Cowboy ammo almost anyplace you can find 45 Colt Cowboy ammo.
 

powder smoke

Hawkeye
Joined
Aug 16, 2005
Messages
6,338
I'm assuming it's a Vaquero, low production numbers but I wouldn't call them scarce I've had a couple and see them from time to time. In excellent condition worth the 450 in my opinion. Great revolvers but Ruger has some issues with the barrel dimensions. They have .427 cylinder throats with .429 barrels not good for accuracy. I have heard of Ruger swapping barrels out but I have had no luck with that. Was told it's not a safety issue and that was that.

I still have a 5.5 inch case colored blue unfired haven't shot so don't know how it shoots. The two stainless I had shot poorly till the cylinder throats were reamed to .429 and loaded with .429 cast bullets. ps
 

Terry T

Buckeye
Joined
Oct 17, 2006
Messages
1,833
As 'Contender' reported in another thread:

According to the RENE guide;
BNV-40I 900
BNV-405I 1200
BNV-406 (Friends of the NRA Edition,) 550
BNV-407I 320
KBNV-40I 1800
KBNV-405I 1050
KBNV-407I 385

If it came with the factory (fake) Ivory grips, it would be the KBNV-405-I, therefore only about 1,050 made.

A call to Ruger Records with the Ser. No. would confirm if it was shipped as an "I" with the Ivory grips.

I think it was a fair price. Did you pick it up?

Terry T
 

toyhunt

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
Messages
367
Terry T":clwc10qw said:
As 'Contender' reported in another thread:

According to the RENE guide;
BNV-40I 900
BNV-405I 1200
BNV-406 (Friends of the NRA Edition,) 550
BNV-407I 320
KBNV-40I 1800
KBNV-405I 1050
KBNV-407I 385

If it came with the factory (fake) Ivory grips, it would be the KBNV-405-I, therefore only about 1,050 made.

A call to Ruger Records with the Ser. No. would confirm if it was shipped as an "I" with the Ivory grips.

I think it was a fair price. Did you pick it up?

Terry T
Thanks for all the replys.No didn't pick it up.I like to do my homework with the help of all of you before buying anything.Going to SASS Winterrange next week.Saving any money for the vendors at that show.Also finally going to get the 45lc Rossi lever from the neighbors buddy at the event.
 

edlmann

Blackhawk
Joined
Apr 6, 2009
Messages
785
toyhunt":91zb2jbe said:
44-40 only shoots that caliber?

It is physically possible to fire .38-40 (about the same scarcity) in a .44-40, but the bullets will wander down the barrel and I'd expect many case splits. Certainly not recommended. Skeeter Skelton wrote a story about this in Shooting Times back in the day. 5in1 blanks are basically .38-40 but can be fired in .44-40 or .38-40 also. FWIW, the "5" in 5in1 is for .38-40 pistols, .44-40 pistols, .45 Colt pistols, .38-40 rifles and .44-40 rifles. No .45 Colt rifles until the SASS era.
 

Motex66

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 7, 2009
Messages
175
Have the throats opened up. Then it would be a good gun to look for a 44Mag cylinder for. I think Ruger offered a dual cylinder 44-40, 44Mag. Ruger might put a 44Mag cylinder in it if asked. If not one shouldn't be to hard to find.
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
11,167
Yep, there was a convertible .44 Mag/.44-40 gun.

There has been discussion about opening up the throats to .44 Mag specs and then using .429" bullets, but then all you have is essentially a .44 Magnum with cases marked .44-40.

;)
 

operator

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 9, 2005
Messages
89
I had this one built, Got an extra cylinder and had it machined to handle 44-40.
The only one I remember seeing was a Vaquero and I prefer a Blackhawk. Operator
100_0240.jpg
 

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