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Thread: 38-44 marked 310 tool

  1. #1
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    38-44 marked 310 tool

    Just bought a 310 tool marked 38-44 and was wondering if anyone ever saw a 310 die set marked as being for 38-44 . Got the tool off ebay for $20 . The bumps have just enough wear to have rubbed the finish off and the tool overall is kinda two toned .Will post pictures in a bit .
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  2. #2
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Grumpy Old Man With A Gun....... Do Not Touch !!

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Nice find, Eddie! That has to be a rare marking, but of course functionally it means very little; you can load all of the 38/357 family of cartridges in the same handles by simply adjusting the dies or at most changing seating stems for different bullet nose designs. As for the dies, IIRC there was a listing for dies for that specific round, but I can’t say I’ve ever seen a set. Regardless, you’re surely the only one on your block to have a set of tongs so marked. Congratulations.

    Froggie
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    Thanks Froggie . I have several sets of dies marked .38 spl and a set marked .357 M but I sure would like to find a boxed set of 38-44's .
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    In one source of info I have they list a 38-44 Rifle. It doesn't say anything about it other than that. This may or may not be the same cartridge as the 38-44 Green Frog is describing
    I know they did load a 38 Special cartridge to higher pressure to use in large frame revolvers. They labeled this as a 38-44. I think this is the one referred too.
    Those handles are steel, thus the plum color.
    As Green frog mentioned you can use those handle to load other cartridges. Most any case that fits in the hole in the handle can be loaded with the right dies.
    Nice find
    Leo

  6. #6
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    44magLeo beat me to it... the only reference to a 38-44 in my accumulated 310 die code list is for a 38-44 rifle, a cartridge with which I have NO familiarity. Now that I think about it more, the 38-44 revolver load wouldn't require any difference in the loading tools, since the only difference between it and the "normal" 38 Special would be powder charge and bullet weight. In that case the term referred to the intended use of the round in the 44 size (N-frame) S&Ws. OTOH, S&W also had a 32-44 cartridge designation which was a flush (or below flush) seated wadcutter for target use in the I-frame target revolvers, so if you are confused, don't feel bad, so am I!

    Froggie
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    "38 - 44" was a Target Cartridge in the latter 1800s, and was in effect, a long version of the .38 S & W, but where the .361 Bullet would be seated entirely in the Cartridge Case. The Cartridge Case went the full length of the Cylinder.

    The "44" aspect referred to the .44 Frame Size, of the "New Model 3" Revolver, so the Cartridge designation is saying, a "38" Calibre Cartridge, for use in a .44 Frame-size Revolver.

    They look like this -

    Hosted on Fotki

    Hosted on Fotki

    These would not be crimped, so far as I know.

    So, a Loading Tool would only be for punching out the Spent Primer, and installing a new Primer, and I guess, pressing the Ball or Bullet in to save wear-n-tear on one's Thumb.

    I doubt anyone would have needed to re-size these Cases.

    'Gallery' Rounds used a Ball...and the Ball could be seated quite deep, depending on Powder Charge ( Black Powder, of course ).

    Long Distance, higher power rounds, generally used a Bullet.

    The only Revolver I am aware of which was chambered for this Cartridge, was the Smith & Wesson 'New Model 3' ( in Target Form, but who knows, one could have Ordered a 'New Model 3' Service Revolver chambered in this if one had wanted )...and, Single Shot wise, the Smith & Wesson Model of 1891 Single Action.

    What an amazing find, to have gotten an 'IDEAL' Loading Tool for such an obscure Cartridge..!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Frog View Post
    44magLeo beat me to it... the only reference to a 38-44 in my accumulated 310 die code list is for a 38-44 rifle, a cartridge with which I have NO familiarity. Now that I think about it more, the 38-44 revolver load wouldn't require any difference in the loading tools, since the only difference between it and the "normal" 38 Special would be powder charge and bullet weight. In that case the term referred to the intended use of the round in the 44 size (N-frame) S&Ws. OTOH, S&W also had a 32-44 cartridge designation which was a flush (or below flush) seated wadcutter for target use in the I-frame target revolvers, so if you are confused, don't feel bad, so am I!

    Froggie
    Yes, the "32-44" was the .32 Calibre Target Cartridge, contemporary with the "38-44" of the 1880s, 1890s, and very early 1900s.

    Of course the later, mid 1920s "38/44" was the 'souped up' ( flirting with the lower end of .357 Magnum, power-wise ) .38 Special Cartridge, for use in the Colt 'New Service' Revolver or for use in the Smith & Wesson 2nd Model Hand Ejector ( .44 Frame size ) aka ".38 Heavy Duty" Revolvers, and at some point Colt and S & W both claimed their smaller frame size Revolvers were okay with these Cartridges also.

    If memory serve, 158 Grain, and 1200 FPS...for the stouter versions.
    Last edited by Oyeboten; 01-11-2020 at 12:34 AM.

  10. #10
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    The view when one is about to Load a .38 - 44 New Model 3 -

    Cylinder Chambers are same diameter all through.

    If anyone here happens to know of any empty Brass for these, please message me.

    I need some!

    Hosted on Fotki

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    The tool shown in the OP is a very late post-War steel example with plum coloring instead of nickel and only a single hole (indicating it used the “new” priming chamber.) IMHO, this would suggest it would have been intended for the later quasi-357 Mag version of the 38 Special rather than the much earlier purely target version. Then again with Lyman, who knows?
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    Boolit Master 44magLeo's Avatar
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    Oyeboten, on that straight through cylinder, could you use 357 Maximum brass?
    Leo

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    Quote Originally Posted by 44magLeo View Post
    Oyeboten, on that straight through cylinder, could you use 357 Maximum brass?
    Leo
    Unless I can find some original empty Brass, the .357 Maximum will be my solution, but, the .357 Maximun is some ways too small a diameter, so one would want to make a Case expander and enlarge how-ever much of the length as would enlarge, after shortening a little to have them be the right length.

    I kind of doubt one could 'Fire Form' to enlarge.

    I have not been able to find any straight wall Rifle Cartridge close enough in diameter to cut down ( and ream the Mouth down a ways or whatever else as needed, ) to try.

    All Brass 9 mm Shotgun Shells might be a good candidate, but the ones I have found so far have been Rim Fire! Lol...

  14. #14
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    I am quite surprised that LYMAN would have made a Hand Loading Tool for .38 - 44 Cartridge, so long after the Cartridge had faded in to the Sunset.

    The later, mid 1920s .38-44 Cartridge being same Cartridge Brass and Bullets as 38 Special, anyone wanting to load it, would merely be loading .38 Special to a higher than usual power level...so...no need for a Loading Tool to be anything other than for .38 Special.

    So odd!

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    It's not late enough to be Lyman marked but is not the larger and deeper Ideal markings on my #10 handles . Could be a special order new tool for an old not then currently listed caliber . I am wondering what the before mentioned 38-44 rifle cartridge was ? Stevens ? Ballard ? My first search only showed the S&W loading for the Outdoorsman so I guess I need to look further . Thanks for the links on the S&W they were very interesting as the #3 is my favorite pre 1900 Smith . Appreciate all the info .
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Southgate View Post
    It's not late enough to be Lyman marked but is not the larger and deeper Ideal markings on my #10 handles . Could be a special order new tool for an old not then currently listed caliber . I am wondering what the before mentioned 38-44 rifle cartridge was ? Stevens ? Ballard ? My first search only showed the S&W loading for the Outdoorsman so I guess I need to look further . Thanks for the links on the S&W they were very interesting as the #3 is my favorite pre 1900 Smith . Appreciate all the info .
    The original .38 - 44 Cartridge was for the Smith & Wesson 'New Model 3' Target Revolver, and was never a Rifle Cartridge.

    It's Length occupies the length of the Cylinder, and the Ball or Bullet is seated entirely inside the Cartridge Case.


    The later mid 1920s and on a ways ".38/44" aka ".38 Heavy Duty" and whatever other names were used, were intended for use with the S&W N Frame 'Outdoorsman" and with the S & W ".38-44 Heavy Duty" Revolvers, and the Colt 'New Service' Revolvers chambering .38 Special, and was not the same Cartridge as the original ".38 - 44".

    The later one, was simply a .38 Special, loaded to something approaching .357 Magnum power levels...which then gave rise to the .357 Magnum Cartridge after a few years.

    The original .38 - 44 is same diameter as .38 S&W, but a lot longer...and uses a .361 Bullet.

    Both versions of the ".38 - 44" Cartridge derive their name on the same logic - both were nominally .38 Caliber, and both intended for use in the Smith & Wesson .44 Caliber Frame-size Revolvers.
    Last edited by Oyeboten; 01-12-2020 at 08:21 PM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oyeboten View Post
    The original .38 - 44 Cartridge was for the Smith & Wesson 'New Model 3' Target Revolver, and was never a Rifle Cartridge.

    It's Length occupies the length of the Cylinder, and the Ball or Bullet is seated entirely inside the Cartridge Case.


    The later mid 1920s and on a ways ".38/44" aka ".38 Heavy Duty" and whatever other names were used, were intended for use with the S&W N Frame 'Outdoorsman" and of the S & W ".38-44 Heavy Duty' Revolvers, and the Colt 'New Service' Revolvers chambering .38 Special, and was not the same Cartridge as the original ".38 - 44".

    The later one, was simply a .38 Special, loaded to something approaching .357 Magnum power levels...which then gave rise to the .357 Magnum Cartridge after a few years.

    The original .38 - 44 is same diameter as .38 S&W, but a lot longer...and uses a .361 Bullet.

    Both versions of the ".38 - 44" Cartridge derive their name on the same logic - both were nominally .38 Caliber, and both intended for use in the Smith & Wesson .44 Caliber Frame-size Revolvers.
    Yup ! Got that . I was referring to what 44magleo and greenfrog mentioned about finding a reference to there having also been a 38-44 rifle cartridge . Can't find what they found but that might make more sense than a tool for .38 spl / .357 m marked 38-44 or a 38-44 target tool being made at such a late date especially since the .38/.357 tool should also load the target cartridge . I need to find one of my Dixie Gun Works catalogs and get in the general info section Turner always put in the back . He had listings for obscure cartridges and most of the time what available case you could use to make them out of . Problem is I own so many paper items that I have no proper storage for them so sometime it takes weeks to find what I'm looking for . I have 3 copies of one book because it was faster and cheaper to buy another copy than to waste the time looking
    for the copy I already had .
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  18. #18
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    Please, I would really like to see a picture of this 38-44 tool. A couple of the things said don't quite line up. Like if it is a #3 and not a #10. Also what markings are on it? Ideal New Haven or Ideal Middlefield?
    Someone mentioned a hole for the swing hook, that's for a #10 only. That tool is for rimless cases, the #3 for rimmed cases.
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  19. #19
    Boolit Master 44magLeo's Avatar
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    In the pic in pot #2 the handles look like steel 310 handles. No extra holes for priming in the handle.
    Eddie Southgate, can you measure the hole the case goes into? This may give more info on possible cartridges.
    In my 38 Special set the steel handle has a case hole about .385 ID If your hole is about this size the it will work fine as a 38/357 case.
    If much bigger it may be for some other cartridge.
    Leo

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by 44magLeo View Post
    In the pic in pot #2 the handles look like steel 310 handles. No extra holes for priming in the handle.
    Eddie Southgate, can you measure the hole the case goes into? This may give more info on possible cartridges.
    In my 38 Special set the steel handle has a case hole about .385 ID If your hole is about this size the it will work fine as a 38/357 case.
    If much bigger it may be for some other cartridge.
    Leo
    It is without a doubt a 310 and not a #3 or #10 as pressman was questioning . The hole does measure exactly .385 and is a good fit for both the .38 spl and .38 S&W .
    It is marked Ideal Middlefield Conn .
    Last edited by Eddie Southgate; 01-12-2020 at 09:00 PM.
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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