.44 S&W Russian

Hi: I have novice question regarding .44 S&W Russian cartridges. I recently came across a handfull of these cartridges that appear to be original factory loads with lead bullets and a headstamp of “U.S.”, “44 S&W. R.”. The primer is also stamped “US”. I understand that these were manufactured by the US Cartridge Company. My question concerns the approximate age of the cartridges and if they have any value as collectible cartridges, or if I should just shoot them? Any help will be greatly appreciated! WK

WK–All cartridges, from the most common to the rarist, are collectible if you don’t have it in your collection and it is of interest to you.

Concerning your “U.S.” headstamped round and wither or not you should shoot them, I would say NO. First of all, " U.S." and U.S.C.Co." headstamped cartridges are, in general, more desirable than say “REM-UMC”. Having said that, the value would still be no more than $1.00-$1.50 each. Also, they are more than likely to be corrosive primed. The first “U.S.C.Co.” non-corrosive cartridges were made in 1931, so chances are yours were made before then as production of ammunition, under Winchester mangerment, ceased in 1936.

As for the age of the cartridges, if you post pictures of the profile and headstamp, we can most likely date them for you. The “US” on the primer indicates a Smokeless powder load. That puts it after about 1900-1910.

Ron, Thanks for the response. I will attempt to post a photo sometime Sunday evening. I’ll be away from my computer until then. As more of an antique gun collector I certainly do not know the finer points of cartridge collecting, but do occassionaly run into some of the older stuff. WK

WK–Welcome to our Forum and to cartridge collecting. Don’t worry about being a novice. We were all novices at some point. There is NO question too simple to be asked here. You will be given an answer, no matter how simple. So, please feel free to ask whatever you want to know about cartridges.

Sorry the photo is late getting posted, but had trouble with photo bucket!

Ovbiously still having problems!! I’ll keep trying. WK

Another attempt at a photo![/img]

WK-- The third time is the charm, as they say about your photo posting attempts.This is definently late production, probabily 1932-36 and probabily non-corrosive, but no guarntees. But, I still would not shoot it up unless you are desperate for shooting stock.

Thanks for the really helpful information. Since I posted this question I had a chance to look closely at the rounds I have. There is a total of 133, with about 60 of them being of collector quality. The rest are corroded to the point that I doubt a collector would be interested in them. The really neat thing about this find was that there were four .44 Henry Flats in the bag! Guess I’m a cartridge collector!! WK

WK–The .44 Henry Flats are a good find. Were they plain based or do they have a headstamp? I don’t know what you paid for the bag of .44 Russian, but you just got your moneys worth with the find of the Henrys.

Ron - I have other Henrys that I have had for quite a while, but these four were a surprise. Three are plain cases, but the fourth has the raised H in an impressed circle in the center of the base. Twenty years ago I knew a fellow in Urguay who had unopened boxes of these. I often wonder what became of his collection!