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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking at S&W model 544 as a backcountry carry gun. Like my 44-40s and load for the rifle and download for the pistol, but would like a revolver that would handle the rifle load pressures and give more velocity than the 'cowboy load' revolvers. Know that the 544 is a commemorative pistol, but there are enough around already scratched up where I wouldn't mind shooting and carrying it.

Worried though that it's just a 44 mag (.430 bullet) barrel with a 44-40 cyl installed. Anybody out there ever measured a barrel on one? Or am I over thinking that a 44-40 bullet at .426 would be sloppy in .430 barrel?

Any other recommendations on a revolver that would handle uploaded 44-40 pressures. Doesn't have to look like a cowboy pistol. Actually like the swing out cylinders for ability to reload all 6.
 

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My 44/40 Colt SAA bore is .4275 & I use .428 size bullets from SnS.
I would slug the barrel & cylinder to find the true diameter. jmho


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, that would be the best, but I don't own one yet. Was hoping somebody out there had already done it. Just for fun I asked S&W about the gun.
Question: Re: Model 544
I am wanting to use higher velocity loads in this 44-40 revolver.
Please let me know what pressures this gun was manufactured to handle. Also what was the design barrel bore dimensions? Was trying to figure if the barrel was designed for .426 bullets or .430. Thank you for any assistance you could give.

They were nice enough to answer:
We would have made that revolver to SAAMI specifications and pressures when it was made, but we wouldn't have any further details on the design or schematics of it.

Guess I'll just find one cheap, buy it and go from there.

Interesting to look at the SAAMI specifications. There actually is not a spec for 44-40 in a pistol, only in rifle. No wonder the pistol dimensions can be all over the place. I had always thought that 44 mag pistol bores were larger than 44-40s, but looking at the SAAMI specs they should be tighter if the pistols are made to 44-40 rifle specs. 44-40 rifle, bore .4225, groove .4285. 44 mag rifle, bore .424, groove .431; pistol, bore .417, groove .429.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
OK, bought a S&W model 544 and measured it. Good news is, looks like it will shoot 44-40 just fine. Bad news is, its cylinder wall is thinner than my Cimarron pistol. So I'm worried about trying to shoot it with higher pressure loads that I use in my rifle.

I could optimistically hope that the S&W is made from stronger steel, but no way to tell. Perhaps if somebody out there has a S&W model 29 in 44 mag from the 1980s would be kind enough to measure the cylinder wall thickness and post here.

I get 0.068" at the base, and 0.092" at the front, on the 44-40 cylinder outside walls. Thanks in advance to anybody willing to supply 44mag measurements.
 
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