.44 Colt

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.44 Colt
44 Colt.JPG
Benet primed .44 Colt & Remington, .44 Colt and .44 Remington.
Type Revolver
Place of origin US
Service history
In service 1871-1873
Used by United States Army
Production history
Produced 1871?-1940?
Bullet diameter .451 in (11.5 mm)
Base diameter .456 in (11.6 mm)
Rim diameter .483 in (12.3 mm)
Case length 1.10 in (28 mm)
Overall length 1.50 in (38 mm)
Rifling twist 1:16
Primer type large rifle
Ballistic performance
Bullet weight/type Velocity Energy
225 gr (15 g) (U.S. Army black powder load) 640 ft/s (200 m/s) 207 ft·lbf (281 J)
225 gr (15 g) 640 ft/s (200 m/s) 207 ft·lbf (281 J)
210 gr (14 g) (factory load) 660 ft/s (200 m/s) 206 ft·lbf (279 J)
210 gr (14 g) (original factory black powder load) 660 ft/s (200 m/s) 206 ft·lbf (279 J)
210 gr (14 g) (smokeless, Lyman #429185) 650 ft/s (200 m/s) 197 ft·lbf (267 J)
Source(s): Barnes & Amber 1972

The .44 Colt was an American centerfire revolver cartridge produced commercially from 1871 until the 1940s.[1]


The cartridge was developed for the United States Army,[1] and introduced by Colt's Patent Firearms around 1871. The Army used it until 1873,[1] at which time it was replaced by the better known .45 Long Colt cartridge used in the recently adopted Colt Single Action Army revolver.

The .44 Colt was used in the Richards-Mason conversions of Colt's 1860 Army percussion revolver.[1] The conversion process involved boring through the chambers of the obsolete cap and ball revolvers to enable them to chamber centerfire metallic cartridges.


The original .44 Colt loading used an outside lubricated bullet. Benet cup and Martin-type primers were later replaced by more reliable Boxer type primers.[1]

The ballistic performance of the original .44 Colt is comparable to the .44 Remington, and less powerful than modern .44 Russian loadings. Cases for the modern ".44 Colt" chambered handguns are typically made using trimmed .44 Magnum, .44 Special, or .44 Russian brass and a historically inaccurate .429 lead bullet. (As opposed to the older "heeled bullets" with a larger .451" diameter outside lubricated bullet.).[2]

Commercial black powder and smokeless ammunition remained available until around 1940,[1] by which time the .44 Colt had been entirely supplanted by more modern handgun cartridges such as the .38 Special and .44 Special.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Barnes, p.169, ".44 Colt".
  2. ^ sixguns.com


  • Barnes, Frank C., ed. by John T. Amber. ".44 Colt", in Cartridges of the World, pp. 169 & 177. Northfield, IL: DBI Books, 1972. ISBN 0-695-80326-3.
  • Fitzsimons, Bernard, ed. Illustrated Encyclopedia of 20th Century Weapons & Warfare, Volume 20, p. 2192, "Remington". London: Phoebus, 1978.