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#20218 - 01/14/07 03:17 PM .44 shotgun?
dubbletrubble Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 07/09/06
Posts: 1082
Loc: Valhalla, PA
anybody ever heard of such thing?

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#20229 - 01/14/07 04:07 PM Re: .44 shotgun? [Re: dubbletrubble]
big mike ithaca Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/08/05
Posts: 19
Loc: marion,in.
Yup; seems like it was called 44XL.I recall seeing one along the way in a Stevens Model 44 single shot but have not seen the cartridge for it.My guess is it was probably a garden gun.
_________________________
big mike ithaca

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#20232 - 01/14/07 04:18 PM Re: .44 shotgun? [Re: big mike ithaca]
Virginian Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 02/14/02
Posts: 520
Loc: Virginia (VA)
CCI/Speer sells .44 shotshells (also .357 and .45), aimed at the handgun market. Highly effectice snake loads, and many years ago I did bag some quail and one woodcock with a Ruger single action. I load my own now with the Speer shot casings.

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#20235 - 01/14/07 05:02 PM Re: .44 shotgun? [Re: Virginian]
Mike Bonner Offline
Sidelock
***

Registered: 01/01/02
Posts: 1393
Loc: BC west coast
Yesm but were these not 44-40 brass with a wood capsule full of No 12 shot?
Mike

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#20243 - 01/14/07 05:52 PM Re: .44 shotgun? [Re: Mike Bonner]
PeteM Offline
Sidelock
***

Registered: 11/29/05
Posts: 4598
Loc: IL
These were made in single shot and sxs guns. The 44-shot later became called the 44XL. There was also a 44GG (Marble Game Getter) which was loaded with a single lead ball. These are all based on the 44-40 case. There was long American tradition of producing shot capsule rounds. The 44-40 version seemed to take off.

Box of Remington 44XL, note the waxed paper shot cup.



The 44-shot was strictly an American affair, though you will find some Belgian, Spanish and other guns chambered for it. It is the predecessor of the 410 in the USA. While the British had been using the 410 2" and 2 1/2" for some time. Eventually the 44-shot was replaced by the 410 in the USA. Most companies stopped chambering new guns for it by about 1920. Ammunition companies carried it until about 1950.

Harrington 1901 44-shot Take Down



Stevens chambered for 44-shot


Harrington produced a single shot in 1900 that was chambered for just about every shotgun shell then available. These guns were so popular that they had to enlarge their factory 3 times over the next 5 years. Many others followed suit, they all had a 44-shot offering. They included Harrington & Richardson, Iver Johnson, Hopkins & Allen, Crescent, Stevens and perhaps others. Several also produced single shot short barreled guns in 44-shot.

Harrington 44-shot single shot hand gun handy gun


In 1908 Marble Arms announced their Game Getter. A pistol with shoulder stock and holster. The top barrel was chambered for the 22rf and the bottom for what they called the 44XL and 44GG.

Original 1908 Marble Game Getter configuration


The first American chambered 410 was a Stevens single in 1913. There is evidence that Parker brought out the 1st American sxs 410 in 1924. However, Crescent may have preceded this, however there are no records to confirm that.

Early chambering are often found marked 44-shot / 12mm. These guns were mainly used by trappers, taxidermists and children. Most can NOT be safely used with modern 44-40 loadings.

The 1st American 410 chamberings were for the 2" brass shell. Eventually 2 1/2" became popular. The paper shell began to catch on and by 1930 3" chamberings began to be used.

For good website on the 410 with some 44-shot info
http://www.4-10.freeuk.com/index.html

Pete

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#20256 - 01/14/07 06:27 PM Re: .44 shotgun? [Re: PeteM]
Researcher Offline
Sidelock
***

Registered: 01/01/02
Posts: 5013
Loc: WA/AK
Excellant post PeteM!! I think these .44 cal shot shells was one dead end line of evolution, and what we know as the .410-bore shot shell evolved from the European 12 mm shot shell -- first as the 2-inch with 3/10 ounce of shot then the 2 1/2 inch with 3/8 ounce of shot then upped to 1/2 ounce of shot, and finally the 3-inch with nearly 3/4 ounce of shot.

I was given one of those little H&R 44 cal. shot single barrels when I was 16 by the gardner at the estate my Uncle managed in Palo Alto. Over the next few years I acquired a full box of 50 Winchester Staynless .44XL shells loaded with smokeless powder and a broken box of Peters .44XL loaded with semi-smokeless powder. My Dad and I actually fired a few of those semi-smokeless loads 40 + years ago and they really stink!!

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#20261 - 01/14/07 06:55 PM Re: .44 shotgun? [Re: Researcher]
dubbletrubble Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 07/09/06
Posts: 1082
Loc: Valhalla, PA
Thank you all so much

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#20300 - 01/14/07 09:40 PM Re: .44 shotgun? [Re: dubbletrubble]
PeteM Offline
Sidelock
***

Registered: 11/29/05
Posts: 4598
Loc: IL
Researcher,

You are correct. They were a dead end. Jack O'Connor insisted they were not, that the 410 evolved from them. He was incorrect.

These chamberings were only around for about 15 years. I can not locate a gun chambered for the 44-shot before 1900. Gabriel in his excellent book, "American & British 410 Shotguns" misses their importance. He also claims a Colt hand gun was chambered for them in the 1870's or 1880's. However, I can not verify his claim.

There is a belief that they were used by trick shooters in the wild west shows. This makes some sense. A solid lead projectile would eventually tear up a tent and become lethal to the audience. The usual claim was that Annie Oakley used one. This may be the case, but no gun so chambered has been traced to her. Besides she proved her skills in many actual competitions where tricked loads would have been detected.

For something very rare, a complete Ideal 44XL reloader with box:


dubbletrubble,

You are welcome. In case you are looking at one.

The prices for the single shot full side shotguns runs from $50 to about $350. For a pistol they average around $1,000 - $1,500 with the Marbles 1st version in the original wooden case with holster bringing $2,000 to $3,000. The Belgian sxs's hover around $500-$1,000, every one I have seen has needed work. For an American produced 44-shot sxs the prices start at $1,000 even in very bad condition. Here is a Harrington & Richardson 44 sxs that sold recently for just over $1,000 and it was missing the butt stock!



Pete

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#20315 - 01/14/07 10:42 PM Re: .44 shotgun? [Re: PeteM]
2-piper Offline
Sidelock
***

Registered: 12/31/01
Posts: 11196
Loc: Lynchburg TN
As an interesting side-note in the 1908 Sears catalog they listed the "Our Ladies Little Breech Loading Double barrel Shotgun" @ $10.10in .44 Cal with the .44XL shot cartridges @ $1.50/100.
For the same price the gun could be procured chambered for the .40-85 Shell, with primed empty brass .40-85 cases available @ $2.50/100 (loaded shells unavailable) along with a loading set for same @ $0.55.
It was stated the .40-85 was close to 3" long & would take a charge of 40grs Black Powder & ½ oz of shot. The .44XL was said to only hold about half that amount.
_________________________
Miller/TN

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#20342 - 01/15/07 05:23 AM Re: .44 shotgun? [Re: 2-piper]
PeteM Offline
Sidelock
***

Registered: 11/29/05
Posts: 4598
Loc: IL
Miller,

I was hoping you would jump in. Do they have a picture of it? I wonder who was making it for them? 40-85, eh? It sounds very close to a 410 2" brass shell loading.

The Stevens 1909 catalog has shells for reloading. They list 38-35, 38-45, 44-50 and 44-65 for shot shell loading. These were supposed to be for their "New model pocket shotgun", though I have never seen any of the actual guns. I can only assume most were destroyed after the 1934 NFA. The few remaining Harrington Handy Guns need a tax stamp to be legal.



Pete

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