Iver Johnson .44 revolver circa 1887-1899
I bought this at a gun show recently and got it for a defensive weapon for my truck.. I'm not planning to have this out at the range, and since it is black powder, I don't think they 'll let me, anyway.
I took it to 2 gun shops to have them look it over and it seems to be a usable weapon. I found a source for black powder ammo, and it uses .44 Russian which was a popular ammunition choice back in the day.
If anyone would like to chime in about it, feel free.
Modern S&W .44 Russian ammo is loaded with smokeless powder. It is actually just a short .44 Special. The factory loads run about 750 Fps. with a 240 Grs. bullet. It is popular with cowboy shooters.:)
All my references indicate that the Iver Johnson Bulldogs were chambered for the .44 Bull dog and .44 Webley (known as the .442 RIC Center Fire in England) cartridges.
Nominal case (0.473") and rim diameter (0.503") dimensions are almost identical for either cartridge with the .44 Bull Dog cartridge case being 0.570" in length compared to the .44 Webley at 0.690" length. The .44 Bull Dog bullet diameter is 0.440" and the.44 Webley bullet diameter is 0.436". The .44 Bull Dog would be usable in the .44 Webley chamber, but not vice versa.
The .44 Russian has a cartridge case diameter of .0457" and a rim diameter of 0.515" and the rim would be too large and the case too long (0.970") to fit either the .44 Bull Dog or .44 Webley chamber. Bullet diameter of the .44 Russian is 0.429".
.44 Bull Dog and .44 Webley cartridge cases can be made from .44 Magnum, .44 Special, or .44 Russian cartridge cases by turning the rim to 0.503", thinning the rim to 0.048", trimming to length, and full length sizing.
The above case forming information from "The Handloaders Manual of Cartridge Conversions" by John Donnelly.
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