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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an original 1873 Winchester in .44 WCF and the modern .44-40 cartridge will not chamber. I think the cartridge is too long. I have read that the original .44 WCF was changed and so does not match the modern .44-40. Is anyone familiar with this and if the original cartridge is shorter, what is the original length of the brass and/or the overall length with bullet?
 

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The 44 WCF is still the same. I have an 1873 in 44 WCF and the new ammo fits. OAL will be between 1.585 and about 1.595. The OAL is critical in the 1873 as there is no cartridge cutoff. I have seen some of the cowboy ammo be way off and vary a lot in OAL so check that. Also there may be rust and crud in the chamber. Give it a good clean. Case length 1.30 max.
 

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Sometimes the obvious escapes us.
You sure it's a .44-40 and not a .38-40?
Just saying. I've overlooked basic things myself. No chatisement of you intended.
 

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I would have to say that in the interest of not hurting an original rifle, you could have a gunsmith take a chamber casting and find out what your dealing with.
 

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Is there rifling in the bore? I think some were made to fire shot with a smooth bore. Might be made not to take bulleted ammo for some reason.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Problem solved

Thanks to all who provided advice. The problem was a partially broken off shell case that was stuck in the barrel. With that removed, standard .44-40 shells chamber fine.
 

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OK, now that we have that problem solved...how does she shoot?! :)
 
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