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The 44-40 Winchester calibre

This legendary calibre, the 44-40 Winchester, is also known as the 44 Winchester, 44 WCF (Winchester Center Fire) or 44 Largo in Spanish-speaking countries. It began to be commercialised in 1873 by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company in order to replace the 44 Henry Ring Percussion calibre, and was the first metallic central percussion cartridge manufactured by Winchester. It was soon recognised as the standard for the new 1873 model Winchester rifle. It was a cartridge for hand guns and long guns alike and, as such, very soon became popular throughout America. The cartridge was first sold with the name 44 Winchester, but when the Union Metallic Cartridge Co. (U.M.C.) began marketing its own cartridge loading, it chose the name 44-40, which was the conjunction of 44 calibre and the standard charge of 40 grains (2.60 grammes) of black powder. The reason for this choice of name was to avoid giving Winchester free publicity. The designation 44-40 was adopted by Winchester after World War II. From 1942 onwards, more modern cartridges began to encroach on the popularity of the 44-40, but it nevertheless managed to maintain its niche on the market thanks to the manufacture of modern weapons, beginning in 1960. However, what really justified its presence was the development of Cowboy Action Shooting, which is at present very popular. The 44-40 is also excellent ammunition for target shooting up to 150 metres, for shooting on skittles and metal targets with full charge. Winchester offers a load with a lead bullet weighing 14.58 grammes (225 grains) / 229 m/s for a weapon equipped with a 6-inch barrel.

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