"REM-UMC 38-44 spl

This one looks like .38 Special but it says 38-44 SPL. Why?

S&W .38-44 Special is a high-powered .38 Special round similar to .38 Special +P. It was chambered in the larger-framed S&W .44 Special Triple Lock revolver from 1930 until 1941 and the M20 Heavy Duty and M23 Outdoorsman from 1957 to 1966. They were discontinued after being fully replaced by .357 magnums in the mid-1960s.
The cartridge has the same 158-grain bullet and case as the .38 Special, but uses a Large Pistol Primer and a different propellant. There’s an IAA discussion at

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Nice head-stamp, I don’t think I have one.

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I believe the REM-UMC 38-44 SPL headstamped item Vlad shows above uses a small pistol primer.


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Colt listed the New Service as suitable for 38/44 ammo.

Orange, do you know if that would be the revolver, that the .38 Colt Spl headstamp is for?

Article on the .38-44:

0.38-44, Firearms News, Vol. 71 No. 20; Scarlata, P…pdf (4.0 MB)

Colt used to slap their name on everything to deny their competitors any free advertising.The “.38 Colt New Police” were Colts chambered for .38 S&W ammunition; it doesn’t mean it was made just for Colt revolvers. The .38 Colt Special is the same as plain .38 Special. .38/44 S&W Special is a form of .38 Special +P. Colt had a few postwar revolvers that were rated to chamber it.

The link I have in my post above is to an earlier discussion on IAAF about the .38/44 Special cartridge. I think it would be wrong to just photocopy their main points and pass it off like it was my knowledge.

Dave E
About the pistol primer: I was just repeating what I’d read. I thought large pistol primers were needed for use with the propellant.