.44 S&W American
Type Revolver
Place of origin USA
Production history
Produced 1869?-1940?
Bullet diameter .434 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Neck diameter .438 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Base diameter .440 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Rim diameter .506 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Case length 0.91 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Overall length 1.44 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Rifling twist 1:20
Primer type large rifle
Ballistic performance
Bullet weight/type Velocity Energy
205 gr (Bad rounding hereScript error g) (factory load)682 ft/s (Bad rounding hereScript error m/s)212 ft·lbf (Bad rounding hereScript error J)
218 gr (Bad rounding hereScript error g) 660 ft/s (Bad rounding hereScript error m/s)196 ft·lbf (Bad rounding hereScript error J)
200 gr (Bad rounding hereScript error g) (max)810 ft/s (Bad rounding hereScript error m/s)296 ft·lbf (Bad rounding hereScript error J)
205 gr (Bad rounding hereScript error g) (LymanScript error[disambiguation needed] #429478)800 ft/s (Bad rounding hereScript error m/s)291 ft·lbf (Bad rounding hereScript error J)
Source(s): Barnes & Amber 1972

The .44 S&W American (commonly called the .44 American) is an American centerfire revolver cartridge.

Used in the Smith & Wesson Model 3, it was introduced around 1869.[1] Between 1871 and 1873, the .44 Model 3 was used as the standard United States Army sidearm.[1] It was also offered in the Merwin Hulbert & Co. Army revolvers.[1]

It used an outside lubricated bullet of the same diameter as the .44 S&W Russian, with a slightly greater case neck diameter, and appeared in either Boxer and Berdan priming,[1] and both black and smokeless powder loadings.[1]

Its power resembles the .41 Long Colt,[1] .32-20 Winchester,[2] or .44-40 Winchester,[3] and it could be used to hunt small game at short range.[2]

The .44 American ceased to be commercially available around 1940. It can be handloaded by shortening and reforming .44 Special cases.[1] Original black-powder revolvers should only use black-powder loads; modern powders will generate excessive pressures.[1]

During the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral on October 26, 1881, Wyatt Earp carried an 8-inch .44 caliber 1869 American model Smith & Wesson. Earp had received the weapon as a gift from Tombstone, Arizona mayor and Tombstone Epitaph newspaper editor John Clum.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Barnes, p. 167, ".44 S&W American".
  2. 2.0 2.1 Barnes, ".32-20 Winchester", p. 46.
  3. Barnes, ".44-40 Winchester", p. 61.
  4. Script error


  • Barnes, Frank C., ed. by John T. Amber. ".44 S&W American", in Cartridges of the World, pp. 167 & 177. Northfield, IL: DBI Books, 1972. ISBN 0-695-80326-3.
  • Barnes, Frank C., ed. by John T. Amber. ".32-20 Winchester" in Cartridges of the World, p. 46. Northfield, IL: DBI Books, 1972. ISBN 0-695-80326-3.
  • Barnes, Frank C., ed. by John T. Amber. ".44-40 Winchester" in Cartridges of the World, p. 61. Northfield, IL: DBI Books, 1972. ISBN 0-695-80326-3.

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