There are some modern smokeless cartridges with nominally the same dimensions, but they must not be fired in revolvers not designed for smokeless powder as the gun may burst due to the higher chamber presssures. Nice article. The problem is not many shooters can handle more recoil that a 44 magnum generates. I would love to see your comments on favorites as well as any that I missed that AmmoLand News readers should know about. As mentioned previously, unmarketed British Bulldogs were able to shoot .320 and .380 rounds. Belgian and American versions (aka: Frontier Bulldogs) were chambered for the .44 S&W American or .442 Webley cartridges. Who is/was the manufacturer, condition (both mechanical and exterior), finish, caliber, engraved or not, etc.
It can be loaded down but a 44 Russian or special can be used for light loads.
I have a Belgian Bulldog with the folding trigger and would love to have ammo for it. Bid Now. Layman’s book shows one which may have been carried by Billy the Kid. More important, it packs a punch and some light weight bullets are available.
There is some evidence that Paget presented Custer with a solid-frame Webley First Model Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) revolver.
The 44 can handle almost any game that should be shot with a handgun so if you are using the right bullet and correctly place your shots then you are in luck as the power is there.
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The Webley British Bulldog was an extremely popular solid frame revolver, produced by Webley & Scott in 1872. That being said, although I have seen Belgian Bulldogs go for over $600 on Gunbroker.com in the past month, just yesterday I bought one with a broken trigger spring there for only $162.
Having an incredibly short barrel at 2.5in (64mm) and overall length of 6 inches (or 152mm), the British Bulldog was easy to conceal, unlike other pistols and revolvers at the time.
Some original ammo may have used a heeled bullet. Just to mention there were a couple of 44 rimfires made for revolvers of the period. On paper the .44 Webley cartridge exceeds those the /22 Short and the .25 acp in stopping power, but as noted it’s paper ballistics are still inferior to those of a 32 auto pistol.
Some references call for a .451 diameter but it would have to be heeled in order to work and I have never run across those bullets. A company in Mexico known as Cartuchos Deportivos with a CDM headstamp made brass for a time. Contact Us. There is no good way of thinning case rims properly without a lathe. In a modern gun ballistics can be impressive. Its small size made it easy to conceal. Most of the non-American made Bulldogs in caliber 44 were made before 1892 or so.
Thanks for the great article Bob. Although there are youtube videos on the subject I again strongly urge someone thinking here of purchasing their first lathe or mill to take one of the courses mentioned first.
Rossi Model 720 stainless steel! I find people who restore and modify guns to be close to obsolete. These are bare minimums, but operations such as crimping bullets into a cartridge case, properly seating primers, thinning case rims or building gauges are impossible without them regardless if you are trying to fabricate 32 Colt brass or 44 Henry Flat cartridges. It can be fired in a 44 special or 44 mag which gives the shooter easy access to mild loads.  The design originated in 1868 for the Webley Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) model revolver and was manufactured as late as 1917. Over a million bulldog revolvers were made world wide in the period 1870 to 1914. The caliber would unquestionably have been .442, for even though the British military had adopted the .450 round in 1868, this chambering was not offered in the RIC at the time of the Berkeley Paget gifting. To date, no .442 cartridge cases have been found on the battlefield. , The Bulldog was popular in Britain and America. Like many of those old guns it pays to experiment to see what works best.
I noticed your article and just wanted to inform there are a few potentially dangerous suggestions mentioned. Note the front locking lugs on the RIC's cylinder, which were indicative of a First Model. The legendary William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody, former chief of scouts of the 5th Cavalry, was hired to guide. The round is basically a rimless 44 mag which makes it one of a handful of serious big game hunting round in a semi auto pistol. Shop for Pistol Ammunition and Handgun Ammo by caliber, brand, grain weight, bullet type, and number of rounds. An original .442 cartridge (second from left) compared to (from left) a .450 British service round, a .45 Colt and the author's homemade .442 load. Good article, thanks.
Having made cases for the revolver the next step was to work up some black powder loads and try them out. which would make it a useful close range number. When one realizes he owned the gun for a good six years prior to the battle, you might expect he would have been familiar with its shortcomings, if he realized it had any.
The .44 Bulldog moves a 168 grain bullet at 390 feet per second from my little revolver. What loads do you use in it?
Actually, most of them have a bullet diameter of .427 to .430 which makes them an actual 42 or 43 calibers but for some reason they are referred to as 44’s.
In a letter written years after the battle, Lt. Edward Godfrey, of K Company, 7th Cavalry, mentions that during the expedition that culminated in the Battle of the Little Big Horn, Custer was carrying "two Bulldog self-cocking, English white-handled pistols with a ring in the butt for a lanyard. It was similar to other 44 handguns of the period in power.
It is available on his website at swansonproductions.com. A simple replica, dry fires in double action. British firearms of all types had been actively marketed in the States for decades prior to the 1870s — including revolvers.
I have about a dozen.
The people asked and Trijicon answered.
A round that isn’t well known is the 445 Super Magnum.
Recently, I put together some black-powder .442 rounds as close to original specs as possible using modified .44 Special cases and 220-grain lead bullets cast from a mold made by Rapine Bullet Mould Manufacturing (215-679-5413). The Swarovski Z5(i) P BT L 3.5-18x44mm has a unique and versatile multiple-zero system and... Springfield Armory's SAINT Edge Pistol may be the best AR pistol on the market. No expense — or effort — was spared.
Although production ended in 1914, the weapon remained popular until the end of the Second World War.
It was moderately popular until replaced by more modern weapons.
In 1882, the 44 Merwin & Hulbert was introduced. It was at one time loaded with black powder as well. 2s that had been presented to him by Major General J.B. Sutherland; a percussion revolver, most likely either a Colt 1861 Navy or Remington New Model Army, given to him by Remington; and what strongly appears to be a Webley Royal Irish Constabulary revolver. It was fairly popular for a few years until better centerfires became available. That said there are of course many variables. Identifying which shop made which one is almost an art form.
One reference calls for a .425 diameter which would make sense.
Last week, after 30 years of brooding about it, I finally decided the time had come to make some .380 Rook type ammunition cases so this paperweight could be restored to full function. This in my opinion is the true difference between modern smokeless powders and the black powder cartridges of old. Sadly that extra gunpowder and recoil only threw another hundred feet per second or so into the velocity.
George Armstrong Custer was one of the most colorful and controversial American military figures of the 19th century. Belgarde, You are welcome. Gone are the days where the only option available was a 7 foot tall, 3 ton Bridgeport requiring a 440 Volt DC line. © 2020 old guns and shooting.
A short case is usually the best for light loads as with less airspace light loads are easier to develop so even today it is still used. 7/8 inch with 14 Turns Per Inch (TPI) threads.
The only gun that chambered it, as far as I know, is the Dan Wesson. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | (707) 542-9665. It is very accurate and flexible. I have seen where a .451 bullet is used but it would have to be a heeled bullet otherwise it would not work.
Four handguns can be seen: two Smith & Wesson No. I then trimmed some cases to 0.85″ and loaded 15 gr. Charles J. Guiteau used a .442 Webley British Bulldog revolver to assassinate United States President James A. Garfield at the Baltimore of Potomac Railroad Station in Washington D.C. On 2 July 1881. Trijicon's new RMRcc features the durability and reliable controls that have made the RMR so successful, but its reduced dimensions make the “Concealed Carry” model better suited for the popular small-frame pistols designed for discreet carry and personal defense. ‘Cartridges of the World’ shows their usage in single shot rifles, single shot pistols and small revolvers (i.e., Bulldog revolvers, etc.). Did you notice the lack of recoil when I shot? A second problem (frequently also observed in first generation Colt pistols, when fired with modern ammunition) is because the modern case has a thicker rim, the primer sits too high and the firing pin strike then can pierce the primer.
Please contact or visit our retail stores for ammo and accessory prices and availability. Elmer Keith among others are credited with its development as they want something more powerful than a 44 special.
A pipe tubing cutter of the type used by plumbers for cutting copper house pipe did an excellent and quick job of shortening the .38 Special cases to the proper length.. b) The rim of the .380 Rook case is, like that of many black powder cartridges, much thinner than today’s cartridges.
Things like the average velocity of the rounds, their shot to shot deviation, are the numbers being measured by you the same as the numbers the bullet manufacturer was advertising (LoL, probably not as manufacturers tend to hype their products), etc.
It must be admitted, though, that the science of ballistics was not as sophisticated then as it is now, so Custer could possibly have felt he was adequately armed with the RIC. In 1971, the .44 Magnum was chambered in the Auto Mag pistol (.44 AMP) brought out by Harry Sanford. The weapon used is the 5 shot folding trigger variant of my Belgian 44 Bulldog revolvers and it has a 2.5″ barrel.
It was used by the French until they replaced it with another underpowered round, the 8 mm Lebel.
Smokeless powder burns continuously for as long as it remains in the gun which generates a constantly accelerating push against the bullet. On the rear face of this revolvers cylinder is a picture of the Manufrance stamp which identifies the maker or and retailer of this particular pistol. —–Suggested Reading—– An even earlier .44 load, was the 44 Webley also known as the 442 Kurtz.
Years ago, I shot one and it was very accurate at 25 yards that we were using. The cartridges are intended to sit flush with the face of the cylinder and not protrude at all.
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