Page Index Toggle Pages: [1] 2 3  Send TopicPrint
Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Stevens 44-1/2 32-40 (Read 1713 times)
Swede
Junior Member
**
Offline



Posts: 52
Location: Karlskrona
Joined: Sep 12th, 2007
Stevens 44-1/2 32-40
May 11th, 2021 at 6:18pm
Print Post  
Hello!
I got this Stevens 44-1/2 32-40
Dont know much about these Stevens rifles, Educate me!
I want to shoot fixed Blackpowder ammunition for BPCR competition on 100 -300m
What mould would you recomend?
Brass seems hard to get, Starline 38-55 (long or short?) seems to be the only option.
Serial no. is 19XX, what year will this be?
Value?

Pics attached
  
Back to top
WWW  
IP Logged
 
MrTipUp
Oldtimer
*****
Offline



Posts: 565
Joined: Feb 19th, 2020
Re: Stevens 44-1/2 32-40
Reply #1 - May 11th, 2021 at 6:40pm
Print Post  
A very nice, clean example; congratulations!

Reproduction Stevens flat "hard rubber" butt plates are available from N. C. Ordinance and CPA Rifles among others; search the internet.

There are no Stevens factory records.† The 44-1/2 was introduced in 1903 and by your rifle's serial number - there's no point to the "XX", by the way - it was likely made that year or early in 1904.

With regard to brass, assuming you mean ".32-40" rather than ".38-55",† unprimed shells should be fairly easy to obtain, either new or vintage.† However, I have no idea what you mean by "long" and "short" with reference to that caliber.

Bill Lawrence
« Last Edit: May 11th, 2021 at 6:49pm by MrTipUp »  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Dellet
Senior Forum Member
****
Offline



Posts: 496
Joined: May 19th, 2017
Re: Stevens 44-1/2 32-40
Reply #2 - May 11th, 2021 at 7:12pm
Print Post  
If you have a choice, get the long 38-55 brass to form from. The short will come out about .075' short before trimming. The long cases will probably a little more than normal trimming, depends on your chamber.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Bulseyetom
Oldtimer
*****
Offline



Posts: 754
Location: Santa Maria, Ca
Joined: Oct 31st, 2010
Re: Stevens 44-1/2 32-40
Reply #3 - May 11th, 2021 at 8:02pm
Print Post  
I am a novice at best but have been casting for several single shot rifles for the last 2 years.  Not knowing anything, I asked half a million questions here and other similar sights and now know enough to be dangerous and am actually starting to shoot some pretty nice groups.  The best advice I got and I would never order a mould without doing it first is to do a chamber cast.  That process scared me but once I did one and saw how painless it was, I have done several since.  That is the only way you know how long your brass can be.  If the chamber is short enough I would go with good quality 30-30 brass and neck it up and let fly.  I shoot Nosler 30-30 necked down in my 25-35 although the Hornady brass seems pretty consistent also.  The second best advice I got was to fit the unsized cast bullet to the freebore if the chamber has any.  The third best advice is to check the twist and make sure your bullet is not too long.  The heavier the bullet the better in my opinion but overall bullet length to properly stabilize is the limiting factor.  If the barrel has no freebore, then cast the largest bullet that you can fit in an unsized fired case and still allow the cartridge to chamber.  Don't worry about a bullet being bigger than groove diameter by a little bit.  I like a bullet with a nose riding section but I am not experienced enough to suggest that they are better but it makes since to me that if we can center the base in the bullet with the case and the nose snug in the rifling then the bullet has a better chance to fly straight.  Bullet sizes are also dependent on whether you are going with black or smokeless but all of my 32-40 shooting has been with smokeless breach seated tapered bullets.  Accurate moulds is like the old Chrismtas catalogs so you can look at a dozen designs and then modify the dimensions to fit your rifle.  Have fun!  Tom
  
Back to top
Twitter  
IP Logged
 
Sure shot
Senior Forum Member
****
Offline



Posts: 280
Location: East central Iowa
Joined: Jun 22nd, 2020
Re: Stevens 44-1/2 32-40
Reply #4 - May 11th, 2021 at 8:08pm
Print Post  
Nice 44 1/2! Better than average condition. Most 44 1/2ís had the crescent buttplate, aka the No. 1 plate.† The shotgun buttplate was a $1.00 extra option. 44 1/2ís were made 1903-1916 with most collectors thinking around 12,000 produced. 32/40 brass is out there, may take a little searching.
« Last Edit: May 11th, 2021 at 8:14pm by Sure shot »  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Smoke
Senior Forum Member
****
Offline



Posts: 420
Location: San Diego
Joined: Feb 24th, 2013
Re: Stevens 44-1/2 32-40
Reply #5 - May 12th, 2021 at 1:05am
Print Post  
Re: chamber casting

The nice thing about the Stevens is that it's easy to remove the barrel.  Simpy unscrew the screw under the receiver, open the breech, make sure the extractor is clear of the barrel, and the barrel will likely unscrew by hand.  If not, it should not take much to get it loose.

Makes it a lot easier, and less worriesome to cast the chamber.

The barrel will likely stabilize a 200 grain bullet but even with that a .32-40 with a 1:16 twist at 300 meters will be a challenge.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
SSShooter
Frequent Elocutionist
*****
Offline



Posts: 2773
Location: Southern NJ
Joined: Aug 1st, 2010
Re: Stevens 44-1/2 32-40
Reply #6 - May 14th, 2021 at 7:39am
Print Post  
Yes........ slug the bore to see what you have for diameter before ordering a mold. And check the twist. Once you have the two dimensions you can order a proper mold. If were me, would start with something short & fat for a bullet. A 'Snover' or 'Creedmoor' style bullet will likely be the best. As stated above, if you are shooting at full-sized rams at any distance you will be challenged with a 32cal bullet to reliably knock them over. I started with a 200gr bullet at our 200m match with full-sized rams and generally would only knock over about 30% before giving up and going with a 38cal and a 300gr+ bullet. Heavier the better for reliability.

For brass, though they will be a bit short, 30-30 or 32WCF brass are generally cheap and easy enough to reform into 32-40 cases. A great little round.
  

Glenn - CPA 44 1/2 w/22LR, 38-40RH & 40-65WCF
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
OLD TUCK
Senior Forum Member
****
Offline



Posts: 398
Location: Middleborough MA
Joined: Oct 5th, 2017
Re: Stevens 44-1/2 32-40
Reply #7 - May 14th, 2021 at 3:15pm
Print Post  
Back in the early 70s good brass  such as 32-40 and 38-55 was not available at all
and  everyone was scrounging for it. I was into 32-40s and 38-55s I bought Canadian brass to unload it and fire it with lead. The Canadian Jacketed bullets were very rough and of course quality. The Brass was very stiff and hard and after a twenty or thirty reloads where the neck need to be sized the end would start to have short splits like a crack. I spent some time finding a better supply. For 32-40s I ended up buying Remington 32 Specials and resizing them in a 32-40 die. They reformed nicely with no losses and only came out about .025 long. Never had one go bad. 38-55s were a different problem and I spent a lot of time a shows chasing Rem. and Winchester old brass and they held up well. By this time I had aquired Bullet molds that Breech Seated well in my Rifles. So the working of the Brass became almost negligible. When Winchester introduced the 38-55 again I bought 3 cases of it and it turned out to be .05 short and so did a bunch of fellow shooters. But you know Winchester never did admit they made a mistake. Now you can get Winchester Re-Drawn to the proper length, this thins the Wall thickness and makes it easier to load as fixed ammo if you wish. So there are options you just have to consider them. HTH Regards FITZ, OLD TUCK Smiley
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
rjmelehan
Junior Forum Member
**
Offline



Posts: 32
Joined: Dec 7th, 2016
Re: Stevens 44-1/2 32-40
Reply #8 - May 17th, 2021 at 4:07pm
Print Post  


Fitz,
Tell me please how, if you did, stretch the 38-55 brass that was .05 short?

OLD TUCK wrote on May 14th, 2021 at 3:15pm:
Back in the early 70s good brass† such as 32-40 and 38-55 was not available at all
and† everyone was scrounging for it. I was into 32-40s and 38-55s I bought Canadian brass to unload it and fire it with lead. The Canadian Jacketed bullets were very rough and of course quality. The Brass was very stiff and hard and after a twenty or thirty reloads where the neck need to be sized the end would start to have short splits like a crack. I spent some time finding a better supply. For 32-40s I ended up buying Remington 32 Specials and resizing them in a 32-40 die. They reformed nicely with no losses and only came out about .025 long. Never had one go bad. 38-55s were a different problem and I spent a lot of time a shows chasing Rem. and Winchester old brass and they held up well. By this time I had aquired Bullet molds that Breech Seated well in my Rifles. So the working of the Brass became almost negligible. When Winchester introduced the 38-55 again I bought 3 cases of it and it turned out to be .05 short and so did a bunch of fellow shooters. But you know Winchester never did admit they made a mistake. Now you can get Winchester Re-Drawn to the proper length, this thins the Wall thickness and makes it easier to load as fixed ammo if you wish. So there are options you just have to consider them. HTH Regards FITZ, OLD TUCK Smiley

  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Fritz
Senior Forum Member
****
Offline



Posts: 486
Location: Texas
Joined: Jun 27th, 2008
Re: Stevens 44-1/2 32-40
Reply #9 - May 17th, 2021 at 4:32pm
Print Post  
Real nice clean Stevens 44 1/2 32-40. Good luck shooting it.
  
Back to top
YIM  
IP Logged
 
calledflyer
Frequent Elocutionist
*****
Online



Posts: 3059
Joined: Mar 9th, 2015
Re: Stevens 44-1/2 32-40
Reply #10 - May 17th, 2021 at 4:33pm
Print Post  
while I own a little over a hundred 'real' 32-40 cases, including some CIL ones, I have also used a whole raft of them made from 32spl and 30-30. I never saw any difference in how they shot compared to the full length ones. The .30-30 end up a bit shorter after first firing than the .32spl ones do, but neither is much shorter than the full 2.12- 2.13 the book calls for.
C'mon, guys, back in the days you first reloaded you must have trimmed some ought-six or tooseventy cases a few thou more than needed. Didn't make a bit of diff,  did it?
  

happily ignored by J. "Sonny" Louis
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
marlinguy
Frequent Elocutionist
*****
Offline


Ballards may be weaker,
but they sure are neater!

Posts: 13441
Location: Oregon
Joined: Feb 2nd, 2009
Re: Stevens 44-1/2 32-40
Reply #11 - May 17th, 2021 at 5:22pm
Print Post  
Before I had plenty of .32-40 brass I made several hundred cases from .32 Win. Spl. brass I had. It was a very easy job to knock the shoulder down in the .32-40 die and they grew slightly in length doing so. Don't recall how much, but they shot fine.
  

(You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
boats
Frequent Elocutionist
*****
Offline



Posts: 7078
Location: Virginia
Joined: Apr 23rd, 2004
Re: Stevens 44-1/2 32-40
Reply #12 - May 17th, 2021 at 5:25pm
Print Post  
All the same important, how long not important.

Boats
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
calledflyer
Frequent Elocutionist
*****
Online



Posts: 3059
Joined: Mar 9th, 2015
Re: Stevens 44-1/2 32-40
Reply #13 - May 17th, 2021 at 7:39pm
Print Post  
Yes, Boats. I do keep mine in batches, and each in the group is the same length. 
And, like Vall, the .32 spl cases were always the easiest, and most nearly like factory .32-40 cases in length- within a few thou of 'correct. That's because the ironed out shoulder's metal needs to flow somewhere, and it's upward in the die. Opposite with the thirty-thirty, because, while the shoulder still gets removed, the neck steals some length back in stretching. Either one make a fine substitute. 
After final trim, they are still shorter, but no matter.
  

happily ignored by J. "Sonny" Louis
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
OLD TUCK
Senior Forum Member
****
Offline



Posts: 398
Location: Middleborough MA
Joined: Oct 5th, 2017
Re: Stevens 44-1/2 32-40
Reply #14 - May 17th, 2021 at 9:50pm
Print Post  
rjmelehan, I did eventually draw some of that short 38-55 stuff to reach the correct length of 2.140? memeory. I had been shooting it as short and it did well.
But it bothered me and so I made a Drawing ring die and punch. and manipulated 
the diameters to get what I wanted. But when I got there I was not able to create
a better shoting load. The real problem with that was or is the fact that I was at
that time dedicated to offhand shooting and adamintly opposed to bench shooting.
so I quit chasing the perfect length issue. I now own some really nice 38-55 original Rifles including a Pope Hiwall and ended up using the short brass in it. There is no sign of any chamber damage in it or any of the other rifles I have shot with the short brass. In my mind I still do not like it and if I was to be shooting as much as I did back then I would most likely purchase some of the avalaibile stretched brass. HTH FITZ OLD TUCK Smiley
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Page Index Toggle Pages: [1] 2 3 
Send TopicPrint