44-40 winchester questions

John, The problem is evey time I find a new Chinese pistol it raises more questions than answers. I recently helped Len Anteres with a Chinese section for his new work on Astras, and Len is also working with Joe Schroder on a major update of Joe’s book on Broomhandles which will have a section on Chinese Brooms that I’ve promised to help with.

The other Chinese pistols will have to wait a while.

PS: I agree that the broad research on Spences and probably Kennedy rifles (don’t know anything about Kennedy rifles) makes accidential ownership of a 44 Extra Long rifle unlikely, but I was recently surprised to find that the John Browning Museum in Ogden UT wasn’t sure what caliber his early prototype pistols actually were, and I remember an incident in the Enfield Patent Room when they discovered a rifle that had been in the collection that was in a previously unknown caliber.


Lew - that happens, for sure! Years ago we bought a Model 1866 Carbine at the store, and put it out for sale with a tag on it caliber-marked .44 RF. It was a nice gun we had not seen before, because it had Brazilian seller’s markings on the barrel that appeared to be factory stamped, and it was made very late for an 1866 - well into the 1873 period.

One of our customers who was looking at it asked me why the firing pin hole was in the center of the bolt, after I opened the action, customary for gun safety except with the most mint, expensive antique weapons, and handed it to him. I almost fell on the floor when I saw he was right. After a quick research job in our store, I learned about the .44 Henry Center Fire Cartridge for the first time!

Your point is right on and well-taken.