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Thread: Stevens 44 smoothbore shell

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy Gunslinger1911's Avatar
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    Stevens 44 smoothbore shell

    Cleaning out the reloading room, came across this in the "assorted stuff" box. 44 shot shell for a Stevens break barrel.
    Heavy paper / light cardboard "capsule" holding the shot

    I happen to have the gun also. My great grandmother kept the varmints out of the garden with it.

    A 44 spl case chambers in the gun. Never gotten around to making some lightly loaded shells for it.
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    Cogno, Ergo, Boom

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  2. #2
    Boolit Master



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  3. #3
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Some links on the .44 shotshell and how to load them:

    The Starline 5 in 1 Blank cases work well to assemble handgun shotshells useable in the .44 Special, .44 Magnum, .38-40, .44-40 and .45 Colt revolvers.

    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/10...-bulk-packaged

    Powder charges must be kept mild due to the enlarged flash hole. I use 5 grains of Alliant Bullseye or 6 grains of WST or 231 and a Winchester Large Pistol primer. A Buffalo Arms .45 card wad must be inserted over the powder charge, first inserting the card sideways with tweezers, pushing it about halfway into the case, before rotating it to bridge across the interior case wall and then aligning and pressing it down against the powder using a 3/8" dowel. Next a Federal 410SC shot cup is inserted firmly against the card, seated with the dowel and its protruding wad fingers trimmed off with a sharp knife. It is absolutely necessary to use the .45 card under the plastic shot cup because it is not of sufficient diameter to prevent powder from otherwise leaking around it, which will cause bloopers. Load about 1/3 oz. of fine shot not larger than 7-1/2, to maintain adequate pellet count, within 1/8" of the case mouth. Insert a .38 cal. Buffalo Arms card wad over the shot and then crimp the shell using either a .44 Long Shot, .45 ACP Shot or Lee .308 Winchester seating die which has been shortened by 1" and a blank RCBS sizer-lubricator top punch positioned and adjusted in the seating stem collar to hold the top card at the mid point of the die shoulder, while the case mouth is bumped against the shoulder to form a nice, professional looking crimp. Waterproof the shell by painting the top wad with clear urethane or varnish. These produce rabbit and grouse killing patterns patterns at 20 feet with No.8s and burn rattlers to "snakeburgers" at 15 feet. More effective than the Speer factory shot and useable in a variety of guns. I pack 20 of these in each vehicle or aircraft survival kit.

    http://www.hensleygibbs.com/edharris...n%20a%2044.htm

    https://www.marlinowners.com/forum/t...ank-cases.html
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master

    Rattlesnake Charlie's Avatar
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    The .44 shot cartridge is based on the .44-40 case. There is also a long and extra long version. I have one of those little shotguns too. I bought some brass .410 cases, annealed them really good, then ran them into a .44-40 sizing die, and cut to length. Load them with black powder and about 3/8 oz shot. Do not load up even close to a .410 load as the little guns will shoot loose quickly.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    IIRC Marlin built some lever actions in .44 smoothbore.

    Some Marlin Lever Action 45-70 actions have been assembled as .410 shotguns for the UK market. These could even be had with a suppressor. Suppressed smaller gauge shotguns are popular over there with horse breeders. They use these to eliminate varmints without scaring the horses.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy Gunslinger1911's Avatar
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    Good info guys, thanks.
    I may have to get around to some testing this winter.
    Cogno, Ergo, Boom

    If you're gonna be stupid, don't pull up short. Saddle up and ride it all the way in.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check