1914 Winchester Red Label 44-40

Picked up a couple “1914” red label 44-40 smokeless powder boxes.

15gr Dupont No.2
Dia. - .425" (slightly squeezed…maybe .4255")
Bullet Length - .610"
Seating Depth - .325"
Case Length - 1.305"
AOL - 1.592




LEFT - my 43-214A 215gr custom requested design by Accurate Molds, a modified Lyman’s 427098 design
RIGHT - Winchester’s 200gr lead.


Nice box. When was the archaic “bullet calibre - gun powder amount” ammo designation dropped? Which year/decade? Also, did Europeans ever use that system? And why was it abandoned? Because of smokeless powder?

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Actually, the system still exists. Is not .44-40 ammunition still made today? The original cartridges were loaded with 40 grains of black powder. And the system “spilled over” into the smokeless era. Think .30-40 Krag and .30-30 Winchester, to name two. Loaded with 40 and 30 grains of smokeless powder, respectively. And, they were not known by these designations back when they appeared. The .30-40 Krag was known as Caliber .30, .30 Army or .30 U.S.G. and the .30-30 as the .30 W.C.F.

The earliest Winchester .30 Caliber box known by me, from about 1893.

W.R.A.Co. .30 U.S.G. headstamp with 220 gr. Full Patch steel jacketed bullet.



Randy, you are right. But when new ammo is invented nowadays, it is not called .50-148-200 or alike. So would .30-40 Krag be one of the last?

I am really surprised to see a Geman language(!!!) version of “If you want the most reliable ammunition, ask for Winchester and look for the W on the box.” on a U.S. box. Due to the strong dollar, U.S. guns and ammunition were always extremely expensive in Germany.

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Great question. Maybe some more folks will join in.

As you already know the 44 Henry types, as well as the 44-40, were referred to as 44/100. Seems Winchester settled for the “44 Cal” by 1876. Winchester started headstamping the 44-40 as the “44 W.C.F” by 1884. Because of Marlin and UMC, the 44-40 designation came out by 1886 and used by Winchester on their 44 “Winchester High Velocity” box in 1903. It’s not real cut and dry because this is just for the 44-40. Other cartridges could vary in dates etc.

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The Winchester Red W Cleaning Preparations is very cool, never seen the like, thanks!

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Vlad, here’s a British example of this marking system, an early Eley Brothers .380” centre fire with 10 grain BP load and 124 grain bullet: 380-10-124, Pete.


What a neat box!!! Was it for export to US?

Not as far as I know, I think it was intended for the local market in the UK (which was GB and the whole of Ireland at the time these would’ve been made), but would need confirmation from the experts in this field.

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