did UMC ever load black powder in there 44-40 cartridges? and if so from what time period?
Unfortunately, my source for UMC information leaves their initial date of loading of the .44 Winchester & Colt Magazine Lightning Rifle (lumped together in records, I guess because they were the same cartridge) unrecorded. The first dated entry, the second actual entry, was from March 1878 when the Olcutt primer used in initial production was changed to a #1 Wesson Primer. They started making smokeless powder loads in March 1896. I suspect they continued to offer black powder loads simultaneously for the Winchester Model 1873, most of the early production of which were not fit for the pressures of smokeless powder loads. There is a note from September 1910 that they commenced loading “Lesmoke” powder, and that may have been the end of the black powder loads. Of course, only a year later was the end of UMC as a separate company and headstamp.
I found no entry that specifically said when they stopped loading black powder in this caliber. They started a High Velocity load in May 1909, likely in recognition of the superior strength of the 1892 Winchester and Model 1894 Marlins to that of the 73 Winchester and the Colt Lightning Rifle.
Think that CFW headstamp 1s pretty early but to specific time, I’m sorry I can’t help.
Randy H might know.
If I recall correctly, the 44 CFW headstamp was used throughout much of the time frame UMC made the cartridge with headstamp, there being others, of course, U.M.C. S H .44 C.F., both raised and impressed, and U.M.C. 44-40. on the Marlin cartridge. I would say that with the absence of a cannelure on the case, the cartridges in question are loaded with black powder…