Phoenix metallic cartridge .44 M&H

Does anyone have any images or info on what might be a .44M&H from Phoenix with a salmon colored paper sabot holding lead balls as a multi-ball load and not a shot load? Or might this be a .44XL from M&H direct with these characteristics? I can’t find images or info of either online.


Here’s something to start with
That page should show blue text hyperlinks, if not go to pg. 363 and read from there.
They also have a few drawings of the stacked projectiles.

Then there’s this web site scroll through until you hit the second section of .44 Russian. Owner claims that the green sabot is a Phoenix multi ball.

1 edit for clarity & missing info

A box & contents with green paper sabot of the multi-ball, (no, apparently I can’t read, as it’s a buck shot load) .44 Russian.

The tan paper is a M&H probably by Phoenix judging by the rim, & could be American Metallic but I don’t think so. Also as not x-rayed it could well be a shot load. I don’t have a 44XL from Phoenix, but do have what I have recorded as a .44 W.C.F. multi-ball by Phoenix & it has the typical neck found on the .44 W.C.F. The sabot looks very similar in length to this M&H & noting like a 44 XL load with a long sabot or even close to these Russian lengths. The W.C.F. also has the same crimp but a slightly flatter nose than this Russian, but the crimp on it is also much, much tighter, so the W.C.F. shows a typical lead bullet profile.

If you want photos of both side-by-side e-mail me.

Anyhow hope this is of help.

Edited to correct the box load, thanks Fede

I have a copy of this report and it describes multi-ball cartridges for the .45 Colt revolver (apparently using cases of Schofield lenght) -and also for rifles-, but not for the .44 M., H. & Co.

Here is an x-ray of a .44 M., H. & Co. multi-ball cartridge with orange container taken from a Phoenix box marked “Multi-Ball Cartridges”:

The .44 S&W Russian loading shown is the second link and also posted by Pete is not the multi-ball load but the “Shot Cartridge” (so-designated by Phoenix) and is loaded with 3 buck shots, as indicated in the box.

just looked at the Report of the Chief of Ordnance mentioned & on pg 371 mid-page is a description of M&H’s multi-ball for the rifle & below that for the revolver which states:

powder charge… 22 gr
number of balls [1 ogival & 2 spherical segments]… 3
then it gives length & altitude of the bullets which I’m not going to type here
weight of ogival bullet…111 gr
weight of segments…82 gr
total weight of lead…275 gr.

“The charge is enclosed in a copper cartridge case, of service dimensions.”

It says nothing about the Colt on pg 371 but just the M&H “SERVICE” revolver, which as Fede notes is probably the Colt or Scofield & I don’t have one of those, it’s a quite uncommon round.

Fede beat me, I had just photographed the illustration he shows below, but didn’t get it into photobucket yet to post, so thanks for that Fede. A better/high res. copy on it’s way to you via e-mail.
The book which is Plate XLI is titled “MERWIN, HULBERT & Co’s MILTIBALL CARTRIDGE” At the top is the service rifle round and below, which Fede shows is the revolver variation.

Thanks so much guys, I have since learned that I was off with my guess about anything to do with a 44XL load, so forget about that.

The pages posted in that report from 363 to 366 are fantastic Scott - thanks!

Pete, I believe what you have with the tan paper is a .44M&H multiball load as it looks just like the one I have seen an image of. I had known about the .44 Russian loads as they are much more common, but I have never noticed or heard of these Phoenix .44M&H multiball loads until recently.

Fede - I do have an image of a .45 inside-primed multiball load which is possibly a Wright patent loading - patent # 207582 There is a reference in Buttweiler Catalog Vol. 8-2 #51 and Vol. 10-1 #84 showing examples. Also reference HWS Volume 1 page 16.

I am just learning of these two types, and a third from a collector, and I will hopefully post some photos of what I have soon.

Here is the image I have. The .45 inside-Primed on the left is probably a Wright patent as I referenced above. In the past, if I had seen this on a table I would have assumed it were something similar to a Marbles Game-Getter with single round ball projectile. The X-ray on the left shows the same cartridge at left in the photo.

The middle cartridge was sold as a “Nowlan patent”, and it seems to match one of the versions shown in the patent drawing (figure #2) at #221,249 .

The cartridge at right shows a nice example of a complete and partially sectioned Phoenix brand .44M&H multiball:

I found a little bit of possible controversy and bias while looking through all this new (to me) data, in the second paragraph on the second page in the 46th Congressional record’s report from the chief or ordnance regarding the Phoenix M&H multiball it states:

“This multiball ammunition possesses no advantages for military purposes over that already experimented upon at this arsenal by Capt. E. M. Wright, Ordnance Dept.”

If you look to the “Wright patent” 207,582 .45 inside primed multiball load it shows “E. M. Wright” as the patent holder, and so it would seem that someone inside the ordnance dept already had their own pistol-caliber multiball design, and this same person / department was testing the M&H / Phoenix model. Seems a conflict of interest, but ultimately neither cartridge was adopted, and both are extremely scarce.

I just received Frank Krasnickas’ book “Cartridges of South Coventry” (great book!) in the mail today, and all my questions are basically answered. The book explains Phoenix Metallic Cartridge in depth, and describes the relationship with Merwin & Hulbert as being one where M&H were part financial partner and part machinery supplier to H.W. Mason’s Phoenix facotry. The back cover of the book actually shows an interesting subdued photo & X-ray of what appears to be a .44M&H multiball from Phoenix:

and on page 357 actually shows an original box with label for the commercial offering of the .44M&H (.44-100) Army Revolver model Multi-Ball cartridges:

A great bit of info was on page 397 where the author describes and shows photos of what must be 2 very rare .45 Benet-primed Colt / Schofield multi-ball loads, which are the same as the .44M&H, but in the caliber that would have been necessary for the Army Ordnance Chief’s test described earlier in this thread. It makes much more sense that Phoenix would have sent this caliber to be tested rather than the .44M&H, which I suppose was more of a commercial offering? One of the two cartridges shown in the columns below is described as being a dig find from a search of the old Phoenix (later AMC) factory grounds done around 1981. That find has had its paper sabot rotted away, but the X-ray confirms its ID:

Matt my earlier post noting pg 371 of the Chief of Ord. Reports notes this “copper cartridge case”, which had to be the Benet primed variation shown in Franks book.
Just in case there is a comparison needed.

[quote=“PetedeCoux”]Matt my earlier post noting pg 371 of the Chief of Ord. Reports notes this “copper cartridge case”, which had to be the Benet primed variation shown in Franks book.
Just in case there is a comparison needed.[/quote]
Thanks Pete, I guess at that point most all of the new stuff in .45 was going the way of Schofield length in order to achieve maximum compatibility. That would make the dug example in ,45 Colt shown at far right a rare piece I suppose, maybe an experimental only, or maybe meant for commercial sale?

The link included in uscartco’s post above takes you to an article copied from my web site ( without my permission and with no credit given to my web site. I have nothing to do with milpas.ccc; however I have determined that a lot of the articles from my web site are copied word for word on the site.

I have not found any contact info on that site. If anyone knows anything about who operates the web site, please Email or PM me. Thanks