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Thread: Wanted: Texas wagon train .44-40 revolver

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Wanted: Texas wagon train .44-40 revolver

    To All,

    I'm SEEKING a Texas Wagon Train Assn. S&W revolver in .44-40 in ANY condition except UNRESTORABLE. = I'm looking for a "SHOOTER", rather than a "collector's item".
    (Note: There were about 5,000 of the Model 544 made. - It is C&R & I have a C&R.)

    I was a teamster on the 1986 Wagon Train & couldn't afford one then.

    yours, tex
    Last edited by texasnative46; 01-15-2018 at 10:06 AM. Reason: add

  2. #2
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    HATCH's Avatar
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    the 544 revolver?

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Here is one I found looking online: http://www.collectorsfirearms.com/te...issue-com1997/
    Price seems a little steep but it sure is pretty.

  4. #4
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    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
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    had one and got talked out of it about 10 years ago. Kind of a cool gun. not only in a rare caliber but a rare 5 inch barrel too.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  5. #5
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    HATCH's Avatar
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    I believe that I have access to one that might be for sale.
    It doesn't have a box and its not in MINT shape.
    I had 2 in boxes - MINT and then this one which was a shooter.
    This one is my brothers and I need to see if he wants to sell it.
    We phased out loading 44-40.
    Kept this pistol just to shoot up the ammo left.
    Got rifles in 44-40 as well but those are gonna be sold off too.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    There are a half dozen of them currently listed on GunBroker...
    The ENEMY is listening.
    HE wants to know what YOU know.
    Keep it to yourself.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master






    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
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    even the wood box was kind of cool
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  8. #8
    I might have a lead on one NIB.
    Standby

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    HATCH,

    YEP. - In the event that your brother wants to sell the "shooter", I would be interested. - IF he wants to sell it, please PM me.

    Fyi, I have a N-frame cylinder to have rechambered to .44SPL, too.

    Btw, a wealthy teamster on the Texas Wagon Train bought both serial number 1836 AND 1986 from the TWTA.
    (When he passed away a few years later, I have no idea what happened to the 2 revolvers.)

    Notes: SN 1845 (The year that TX joined the Union) was bought by an OB-GYN/physician from Tyler, TX. - As far as I know, he still owns it.

    Also, I tried to buy the only serial number that I would have paid "extra" for: #714, which was my badge number for nearly 20 years.
    (Woe is me. =====> That SN was given by the TWTA's CEO to the mayor of a TX town where the wagon train spent the night, before I even tried to buy it.)

    yours, tex
    Last edited by texasnative46; 01-15-2018 at 10:57 AM. Reason: addenda

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outpost75 View Post
    There are a half dozen of them currently listed on GunBroker...
    Outpost75.

    YEP & all of the ones that I've seen sold on GB went for "scalper's prices". = I cannot afford to pay those numbers, even if the 544 was rare.
    (I'm seeking a "shooter".)

    yours, tex

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Why change a .44-40 to .44 Special or magnum. If I had a .44 magnum(with fixed sights) I would be more interested in trying to re-chamber it to .44-40, my choice of caliber. my choice anyway, james

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNsailorman View Post
    Why change a .44-40 to .44 Special or magnum. If I had a .44 magnum(with fixed sights) I would be more interested in trying to re-chamber it to .44-40, my choice of caliber. my choice anyway, james
    Rechambering a .44 Special or .44 Magnum cylinder to .44-40 doesn't work because the mouth diameter is WAY too large, .456-457" in the .44 Special and .44 Magnum vs. .445-.447" in the .44-40. Case necks will expand way too much, and with excessive release clearance be overworked in resizing, resulting in VERY short case life.

    Best bet to rechamber to a .44-40 is a .357 Mag. or .41 Mag. cylinder, unless you get a unchambered cylinder blank with pilot holes only from Hamilton Bowen or Storey.
    The ENEMY is listening.
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    Keep it to yourself.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    TNsailorman,

    May I suggest that you re-read post #9?? = I already have a N-frame cylinder.

    yours, tex

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by texasnative46 View Post
    Outpost75.

    YEP & all of the ones that I've seen sold on GB went for "scalper's prices". = I cannot afford to pay those numbers, even if the 544 was rare. (I'm seeking a "shooter".) yours, tex
    Yup, I paid $900 for mine in box a couple years ago, but it sure be a shooter and I'm glad to have it.
    The ENEMY is listening.
    HE wants to know what YOU know.
    Keep it to yourself.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master


    Springfield's Avatar
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    To say re-chambering a 44 Special to 44-40 won't work isn't entirely correct. I have re-cut the chambers on 2 Uberti 1872 Opentops, one in 44 Special and the other in 44 Colt, both with the wider mouth diameters. Both are still plenty accurate to 50 yards( I can hit an 18" round steel plate). Neither one shaves lead, and I still get 12-15 loadings from Winchester 44-40 brass. Not optimum, but way easier cutting these than doing a .357 cylinder, plus I didn't have to buy new cylinders. They don't make these guns chambered for 44-40, thus the reason for the reaming. So it will work. Just depends on your needs. If you just want a shooter, it is fine, if you want a target gun, maybe not. FWIW, I shoot Blackpowder with soft bullets.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Most of the modern made .44-40 that I have personal experience with, have .429 Special/magnum barrels and not the .427 of the original .44-40 barrels. I had a Ruger Vaquero in .44-40 and it shot all over the board with factory ammo because Winchester factory ammo uses a .427 diameter bullet. It was shooting way left and way low at 25 yards. I sent it back to Ruger and they kept it and gave me a .45 Colt to replace it. Said the .44-40 was no longer in production and they didn't have parts to rebuild mine. Wish I had made the short drive down the road to Hamilton Bowen's shop instead of sending it back to Ruger. A .44 magnum Lyman expander die stem and .430 bullets for the same might have solved my problems. I have learned quite a bit since I sent that revolver back and would not go that route again.

    texas, I re-read your post and yes I missed your intended purpose on that one line.

    james

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    I have a .44-40 Ruger Vaquero also. The fix for me was to send the cylinder to John Taylor to have the chamber necks and cylinder throats enlarged. As the gun came from the factory chamber necks were .444 and cylinder throats .426" while barrel groove diameter was .429. After John redid the cylinder chamber necks were .447 having adequate release clearance with Starline brass for bullets which "fit" and cylinder throats .4305. Gun shoots accurately with .430" bullets and I'm really happy with it.
    The ENEMY is listening.
    HE wants to know what YOU know.
    Keep it to yourself.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Outpost75, If I had know then what I know now, I would have gone the same route you did but I did not. Upshot was, I lost a beautiful .44-40 revolver because Ruger did not do the due diligence to make the revolver right in the first place and I did not then know how to fix the problem. After 55+ years of reloading, I am still learning. james

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Outpost75,

    I suspect that everyone here is happy that you are pleased with your revolver.

    yours, tex

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by texasnative46 View Post
    Outpost75,

    I suspect that everyone here is happy that you are pleased with your revolver.

    yours, tex
    Rechambering the old cylinder to make it "right" is about half the cost of a Bowen cylinder blank before having any machining done on it.
    The ENEMY is listening.
    HE wants to know what YOU know.
    Keep it to yourself.

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