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.44 Henry cartridges
|Place of origin||United States|
|Designer||New Haven Arms Company|
|Bullet diameter||.446 in (11.3 mm)|
|Neck diameter||.434 in (11.0 mm)|
|Base diameter||.441 in (11.2 mm)|
|Rim diameter||.518 in (13.2 mm)|
|Rim thickness||.062 in (1.6 mm)|
|Case length||.903 in (22.9 mm)|
|Overall length||1.345 in (34.2 mm)|
The .44 Henry, also known as the .44 Rimfire, the .44 Long Rimfire, or the 11x23mmR (11x23mm rimfire) cartridge is a rimfire round that uses a .875 in (22.2 mm)-long case. The round has a total length of 1.345 inches. It uses a 200 or 216 gr (12.96 or 14.00 g) grain bullet with a .446 in (11.3 mm) diameter. The cartridge is loaded with 26 to 28 grains of black powder. The round has a muzzle velocity of approximately 1125 feet per second, with a muzzle energy of 568 foot pounds.
The cartridge is named in honor of Benjamin Tyler Henry, a 19th-century American gunsmith. Henry was the foreman of the New Haven Arms Company, who had been working on a new, innovative rifle and rimfire cartridge. On October 16, 1860, Henry was granted a patent for the famous Henry Repeating Rifle. Both the cartridge and the rifle were named for Henry, its inventor.
The cartridge's original 200-grain bullet has a flat nose. A pointed nose was later used, with a ballistic coefficient of about 0.153, which reflects very poor long range capabilities. The .44 Henry has an arcing trajectory, making hitting a target past 200 yards almost impossible for the average shooter. Modern comparisons to the .44 Henry rifle's ballistics would include such cartridges as the 200gr .45 ACP, and 200gr .44 Special, although these latter can nearly achieve the Henry Rifle's velocity from a handgun. The resulting effective range for military or small medium game would be well under 100 yards.
The .44 Henry cartridge was used most notably in the Henry Model 1860 Repeating rifle. This rifle was used in the American Civil War, mainly by Union troops. It was also used by the very few Confederate troops who managed to capture these rifles.
After the Civil War, the Henry cartridge was used in the Winchester Model 1866 rifles during the Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878) by the Turkish Troops and in the Franco-Prussian War 1870/71 by the French.
In civilian models, Winchester Model 1866 rifles and carbines, Smith & Wesson No. 3 Revolvers, Colt Model 1860 Army Long Cylinder Conversions and the Colt Model 1871-72 “Open Top” used the same cartridge. From 1875 until 1880, Colt produced 1873 Colt Single Action Army revolvers in the Henry caliber to accommodate the owners of Henry- and Winchester Mod 1866 rifles and carbines.
The cartridge casings were originally made from copper, and later in brass. The cartridge was still commercially made into the 1930s.
The .44 Henry cartridge was perfected by George R. Stetson’s U.S. Patent 120403, assigned to the Winchester Repeating Arms Company on October 31, 1871. It has as its object the use of swaged and lubricated projectiles of greater perfection in shape.
- List of rimfire cartridges
- List of handgun cartridges
- List of rifle cartridges
- Table of handgun and rifle cartridges
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