I've done some checking, and about all I see offered by any manufactureres at the present time, are loads of 200 grain bullets at 1150-1200 fps muzzle velocities. This is of course in deference to the strength limitations of some of the older guns, and reproductions of weaker actions, such as the Uberti '73's and other clones of the 1873 Winchester, where the Achilles Heel of these guns is the rather inherently weak toggle-link type lockup on the bolt. Because of the liability issues involved in the ammunition industry, loads are held to rather mundane pressures to accomodate these weaker firearms designs.
Now, to cut to the chase. Yes, (I'm sure amid howl of protest), these mild mannered factory loads will positively put down a whitetail deer. There is no question there, but only with proper bullet placement, and not allowing for much margin of field induced error. As far as intentionally persuing any of the big wild boars or bears of either black or griz configurations, it would surely be against my recommendations.
I think you would be far better advised to jump into the handloading arena, if you aren't there already, and put together some ammo that is up to task, and that takes advantage of the strength offered by your firearm. For the price of one box of factory rounds, you can get set up to reload the .44-40 WCF using a simple Lee Loader. Not only will you have the ability to tailor your load to the gun, and your intended purposes, you also can save a substantial amount on a per shell basis on your cash outlay to shoot your .44-40!
Now, assuming that you have one of the Model 92's, either original, or clone, that same 200 grain bullet can be run (and safely) to 1900-2000 fps.! Viva La Difference! The whole complexion of that round changes once that velocity range extends past subsonic levels!
Hopefully this answer won't cloud the issue for you, but rather open another avenue of approach to shooting your .44-40, and perhaps even point the way towards yet another aspect of your shooting hobby: Handloading!
Your information and your advice about handloading is invaluable. Looks like I need to learn the art of handloading in order to save money, and to give life to some of the 'good ole' cartridges of the old west.
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