A few years ago I became interested in the .44 Henry cartridges. The reason I say cartridges is that, as most of us know, there was more than 1 bullet weight offered and at least 2 different length cases.
I searched for specimens and found 4 different bulleted variations.
I was curious about the length of the heel inside of the case, compression on the powder charge, etc., so I dissected each one.
I had wondered how the original 216 gr. bullet was lubed as all the rest had exposed grease grooves. I originally thought that the heel might have a lube groove in it but that did not prove to be the case.
Here is a pic of the bullets they contained.
I was also interested in the ballistics of the different cartridges so I took the powder charges and placed each into a primed .44-40 case, than seated an equivalent weight lead bullet down on the charge to the same amount of compression that was used by the factory(s). Velocities were taken from firing in a 24" barrel.
200 gr flat / 28 grs. powder / 1,133 f.p.s. That is remakably close to the published 1,125 f.p.s.
200 gr ptd / 26 grs. powder / 1,042 f.p.s.
216 gr ptd / 25 grs. powder / 1,010 f.p.s.
225 gr flat / 25 grs. powder / 960 f.p.s.
At least that gives us some perspective of the approximate velocities. However, different cartridge lots would have used different lots of powder with likely varying ballistic strengths which would = slighly different results.
If anyone has anything to add regarding other bulleted variations, please do so. Thank you.