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I don't remember seeing this as a topic before so I thought I'd ask. I was wondering how much more powerful the cartridge developed for the .38.44 HD was compared to the .38 Special. Is it actually the first step taken towards developing the .357 magnum round. Any thoughts or info would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

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According to Skeeter Skelton the .38/.44 had a muzzle velocity of about 1,100 FPS out of a 5 inch barrel, which was the most common on the Heavy Duty.
Jim
 

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interesting topic - i was actually doing some searches recently on the cartridge, looking for something for my 38/44 Outdoorsman

the catalog also references the 'Super Police Cartridge' which i believe used heavier bullet?

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I don't remember seeing this as a topic before so I thought I'd ask. I was wondering how much more powerful the cartridge developed for the .38.44 HD was compared to the .38 Special. Is it actually the first step taken towards developing the .357 magnum round. Any thoughts or info would be appreciated. Thanks.
I have a 38/44 Outdoorsman with the 6.5 in barrel. I hand load for it using A2400 and 158gr SWC gas checked. Using some of data from Elmer Keith I get around 1350 feet per second with this load. This is a hunting load so I don’t regular shot with these loads although there’s no pressure signs. I did kill a deer with it last season. The Outdoorsman is a really well built revolver.
 

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About 1200 fps out of a 5" with a 158 grn bullet. Underwood +p Keiths are pretty dead on as my prewar HD shoots POA with them.
 

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Here is what Wikipedia says:
These new revolvers were chambered for a new more powerful type of .38 Special ammunition capable of firing a 158-grain (10.2 g) metal-penetrating copper-tipped lead-alloy bullet at 1,125 feet (343 m) per second.[5] In comparison, conventional .38 Special ammunition fires a 158-grain (10.2 g) bullets at 755 feet (230 m) per second.[1] It was easily capable of penetrating the automobile bodies and body armor of that era.
footnote {5} Western Ammunition Handbook (3rd ed.). East Alton, Illinois: Western Cartridge Company. pp. 54–63

The .38/44 high-speed cartridge came in three bullet weights: 158 grains (10.2 g), 150 grains (9.7 g), and 110 grains (7.1 g), with either coated lead or steel jacket, metal-piercing bullets.[16] The media attention gathered by the .38/44 and its ammunition eventually led Smith & Wesson to develop a completely new cartridge with a longer case length in 1934, this was the .357 Magnum.
footnote says: The metal-penetrating bullets were often described as Highway Patrol loads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Here is what Wikipedia says:
These new revolvers were chambered for a new more powerful type of .38 Special ammunition capable of firing a 158-grain (10.2 g) metal-penetrating copper-tipped lead-alloy bullet at 1,125 feet (343 m) per second.[5] In comparison, conventional .38 Special ammunition fires a 158-grain (10.2 g) bullets at 755 feet (230 m) per second.[1] It was easily capable of penetrating the automobile bodies and body armor of that era.
footnote {5} Western Ammunition Handbook (3rd ed.). East Alton, Illinois: Western Cartridge Company. pp. 54–63

The .38/44 high-speed cartridge came in three bullet weights: 158 grains (10.2 g), 150 grains (9.7 g), and 110 grains (7.1 g), with either coated lead or steel jacket, metal-piercing bullets.[16] The media attention gathered by the .38/44 and its ammunition eventually led Smith & Wesson to develop a completely new cartridge with a longer case length in 1934, this was the .357 Magnum.
footnote says: The metal-penetrating bullets were often described as Highway Patrol loads.
 
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