Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1012: Full Crate of Remington-UMC .44 Henry Flat Cartridges

Auction Date: August 27, 2022

Extremely Rare Full Crate of Remington-UMC .44 Henry Flat Cartridges

Estimated Price: $70,000 - $90,000

Extremely Rare Full Crate of Remington-UMC .44 Henry Flat Cartridges

Manufacturer: None
Model: None
Type: Other
Gauge: 44 Henry RF
Item Views: 2207
Item Interest: Very Active
Catalog Page: 14
Class: Other

The .44 Henry rimfire aka .44 Henry Flat was introduced in 1860 alongside the Henry lever action rifle. The initial load was a 200-grain, flat nosed bullet and around 28 grains of black powder. Its introduction marked an important milestone and transition point in firearms history. In an era still dominated by single shot, muzzleloading rifles, the combination of the self-contained .44 rimfire cartridge and the lever action Henry rifles demonstrated the potential of metallic cartridge firing, repeating arms. While the .44 Henry cartridge packed significantly less punch than the Model 1861 Springfield rifle-muskets firing bullets more than double the weight with more than double the powder charge, the Henry had sixteen shots giving a soldiers a significant overall firepower advantage. In addition the Henry rifles of the Civil War, the cartridge was also most famously used in the Winchester Mode 1866 rifles and carbines that were popular in the American West during the Indian Wars and settlement of the frontier. In 1871, George R. Stetson of the Winchester Repeating Arms Co. patented improvements for the cartridge, and the Winchester Model 1873 introduced the centerfire .44-40 W.C.F. However, Winchester continued to manufactured the '66s until nearly the end of the century, and the Model 1866 continued to be widely used in the American West for decades. Nonetheless, firearms chambered for .44 Henry were no longer manufactured by around 1900. Due to the fact that there were already around 170,000 lever actions rifles and carbines chambered for the cartridge in circulation plus smaller numbers of Colt and Smith & Wesson revolvers and other firearms, ammunition companies like Remington-Union Metallic Cartridge Company (merged together in 1912) continued to produce .44 Henry ammunition to supply shooters of these firearms until around the Great Depression. Naturally, the vast majority of the .44 Henry ammunition was used up over the following decades making even a single partial box of Henry ammunition collectible today, sealed boxes full of ammunition like each of the twenty boxes in this crate particularly desirable and valuable, and a full crate like this essentially unheard of and almost impossible to acquire. This extraordinary wood crate is full of Remington-UMC .44 Henry (Flat) rimfire ammunition. It contains twenty 50-round boxes of ammunition for a total of 1,000 rounds. The boxes' picture labels show a cartridge marked ".44 HENRY FLAT/MODEL 1866," and the side labels note they are "SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR MODEL 1866 RIFLES/AND CARBINES,/ALSO OTHER ARMS." The boxes are dated "April 1924." The case lid has been broken into three pieces but is complete, and the outside of the crate has Remington-UMC markings.

Rating Definition:

Excellent unopened boxes with mild age and storage related wear. The crate is very fine as opened. This is a very rare, possibly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, to own a crate of .44 Henry Rimfire ammunition and would be an excellent addition for the spectacular Winchester Model 1866 in your collection.

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