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  • Post category:Ammunition / Handgun Ammunition
  • Post last modified:August 15, 2023
  • Post published:September 27, 2022

Best 38 40 WCF Ammo

What is 38 40 WCF ammo?🤔

This term refers to a specific type of ammunition used in firearms. The “WCF” stands for “Winchester Center Fire,” indicating that it’s a cartridge developed by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. This ammunition was initially introduced in the late 19th century for Winchester lever-action rifles and revolvers. It was one of the early centerfire cartridges used in both rifles and handguns, which contributed to its popularity during that era. This type of ammunition was versatile as it could be used in both rifles and revolvers, making it a practical choice for individuals who wanted compatibility between their long guns and sidearms.

38 40 WCF ammo

Features📝

The .38-40 WCF (Winchester Center Fire) ammunition has certain features and specifications that distinguish it as a historical cartridge. Here are some of its notable features:

✴️ Caliber: The “.38” in .38-40 refers to the approximate diameter of the bullet, which is .38 inches. However, it’s important to note that the actual bullet diameter is closer to .401 inches.

✴️ Rimmed Design: The cartridge features a rimmed design, which means that the base of the cartridge case has a protruding rim. This rim serves to provide a positive headspace and facilitates the extraction of spent casings from firearms.

✴️ Performance: It offered moderate power suitable for hunting and self-defense during its time. However, compared to modern ammunition, its performance may be considered relatively modest.

✴️ Availability: While such ammunition may not be as commonly found as modern calibers, it is still produced by some manufacturers and is available for those who own firearms chambered for this cartridge.

Our Top Pick
38-40 WCF – Winchester Super-X Rifle – 180 Gr – 20 Rounds
This ammunition boasts a remarkable balance of swift yet controlled expansion, ensuring it maintains its course at impressive velocities. Each box typically contains either 20 or 50 rounds, offering ample supply for various shooting needs. Within the selection of this ammunition type, you'll find a variety of options to suit your preferences. These options encompass an assortment of four hollow points, two hollow soft points, one jacketed soft point, one JHP, one lead nine-pointed soft point, three positive expanding points, numerous Power Points, one Silvertip hollow point, and seven soft points.
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Benefits💣

The .38-40 WCF (Winchester Center Fire) ammunition, though historically significant, may not offer the same benefits as modern ammunition for certain purposes. However, it does have some advantages and unique characteristics:

☑️ One of the primary benefits is its historical significance. It was a popular cartridge during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, used in iconic firearms like the Winchester Model 1873 lever-action rifle and the Colt Single Action Army revolver. Collectors and enthusiasts often value the historical connection and enjoy using firearms chambered in this classic cartridge.

☑️ This cartridge was designed for versatility. It could be used in both rifles and revolvers, making it a practical choice for individuals who wanted a single cartridge for both types of firearms. This versatility was important in a time when people often owned both rifles and handguns chambered for the same cartridge.

☑️ It offered moderate power suitable for hunting small to medium-sized games and self-defense during its era. While not as powerful as some modern cartridges, it still provided effective performance within its intended range.

☑️ If you’re interested in reloading your ammunition, .38-40 WCF cases and components may still be available, allowing you to create custom loads for your firearms. Reloading can provide a tailored shooting experience and potentially improve accuracy.

Benefits of 38-40 WCF (Winchester Center Fire) ammunition

Ballistics💡

The ballistics of the .38-40 WCF (Winchester Center Fire) ammunition are characteristic of a cartridge designed during the late 19th century. The performance of this cartridge, while suitable for its intended purposes at the time, is relatively modest compared to modern ammunition. Below are some typical ballistics specifications:

🧩 The bullet weight was typically around 180 to 200 grains. This is the weight of the projectile (bullet) that the cartridge fires.
🧩 The muzzle velocity varies depending on the load and the specific firearm it is fired from. On average, muzzle velocities would range from approximately 1,000 to 1,200 feet per second (fps). This is a moderate velocity compared to modern ammunition.
🧩 The muzzle energy is also relatively moderate. It would typically be in the range of 350 to 450 foot pounds (ft-lbs). Muzzle energy is a measure of the kinetic energy the bullet carries when it leaves the barrel.
🧩 The effective range would generally be within 100 to 150 yards, depending on factors such as bullet type, firearm accuracy, and the shooter’s skill.
🧩 The terminal performance would be suitable for hunting small to medium-sized games at short to moderate distances. It could also serve as a self-defense cartridge, although modern defensive ammunition offers higher performance in terms of stopping power.

🧑‍🔧 If you are considering using or collecting this ammunition or firearms, it’s advisable to consult with experts, reference materials, and relevant sources to ensure accurate information and safe usage.

Best 38 40 WCF Ammo

1# 38-40 WCF – Winchester Super-x Rifle – 180 Gr – 20 Rounds

38 Win - Winchester Super-x Rifle Ammunition - 180 Gr - 20 Rounds

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The Winchester Super-X 38-40 WCF is exactly what you need if you’re looking for high-powered ammunition that can take down large games. This ammo was designed specifically for hunting mule deer and black bears, so you know it’s tough enough to handle anything. As our tests have shown with a muzzle velocity of 1160 feet per second and muzzle energy of 538-foot pounds, the Super X 38-40 WCF has more than enough power to take down even the biggest prey. Plus, the bullet provides penetration and quick energy release with no weight loss or fragmentation. You’ll be able to reload this ammo too, thanks to its brass cases and Boxer primers. When you need reliable, high-performance ammunition, reach for the Winchester Super-X 38-40 WCF.

Pros:
  • Accurate
  • Reliable
  • Rapid, controlled expansion
  • High velocity
Cons:
  • Can be expensive compared to some other options

 

Reloading tips🛠️

Reloading ammunition requires careful attention to detail, adherence to safety guidelines, and a good understanding of the reloading process. Here’s a general overview of how to reload this ammunition.

➡️ Gather Necessary Equipment and Components: Reloading press and dies for resizing, de-priming, and seating bullets, shell holder for .38-40 WCF, powder scale or digital powder dispenser, calipers for measuring overall cartridge length, primers (compatible with .38-40 WCF), brass cases (previously fired .38-40 WCF cases), bullets (appropriate diameter and weight for .38-40 WCF), powder (appropriate type and charge weight for .38-40 WCF).
➡️ Inspect and Clean Cases: Inspect brass cases for cracks, splits, or defects. Discard damaged cases. Clean the cases using a brass tumbler or other cleaning methods to remove dirt, debris, and residue.
➡️ Resize and Deprime: Lubricate the cases to prevent sticking in the resizing die. Resize and de-prime the cases using the appropriate die in the reloading press.
➡️ Prime Cases: Insert a new primer into the priming tool and press it into the primer pocket of each resized case.
➡️ Charge Cases with Powder: Consult reloading manuals for the recommended powder charge weight for your specific bullet and firearm combination. Use a powder scale or digital dispenser to measure and dispense the correct powder charge into each case.
➡️ Seat Bullets: Insert the appropriate bullet into the case mouth. Then adjust the seating die to the desired overall cartridge length, and seat the bullet to the recommended depth using the reloading press.
➡️ Crimp Bullets (Optional): If desired, apply a light crimp to secure the bullet in the case using a separate crimping die.
➡️ Final Inspection: Visually inspect each completed cartridge for proper primer seating, powder charge, and bullet seating depth.
➡️ Record Data: Keep detailed records of your reloading data, including powder charge, bullet type, overall length, and any other relevant information.
➡️ Testing and Safety: Start with the minimum recommended powder charge and work up while searching for signs of excessive pressure. Always follow recommended load data from reputable sources.

Reloading of 38-40 WCF ammo

FAQ🤠

What is it good for?

✅ The 38-40 WCF cartridge was originally designed in the late 19th century and served several purposes during its time. While its popularity has waned with the advent of more powerful and modern cartridges, it still has its merits for certain applications:

💥 Historical and Collectible Firearms: One of the primary uses is in historical and collectible firearms. This cartridge was used in iconic firearms of the Old West era, such as the Winchester Model 1873 lever-action rifle and the Colt Single Action Army revolver. Enthusiasts and collectors may use it to maintain the authenticity and historical value of these firearms.

💥 Reenactments and Cowboy Action Shooting: This ammunition can be used in reenactments and cowboy action shooting events that aim to recreate the Old West era. Participants use period-correct firearms and ammunition to engage in shooting competitions and scenarios.

💥 Hunting Small to Medium Game: The cartridge, while not as powerful as modern hunting cartridges, can still be effective for hunting small to medium-sized games at relatively short distances. It was historically used for hunting animals like deer, hogs, and varmints.

💥 Recreational Shooting: Some shooters enjoy using it for recreational shooting and target practice. It offers a unique shooting experience and can be a nostalgic way to enjoy firearms from a bygone era.

💥 Handloading and Custom Loads: For hand loaders, such ammo offers the opportunity to develop custom loads that cater to specific preferences and shooting scenarios. This can include experimenting with different bullet types, powder charges, and velocities.

What caliber is 38-40 WCF ammo?

✳️ The “.38-40 WCF” (Winchester Center Fire) ammunition, despite its name, does not have a bullet diameter of .38 inches.

⭕ Instead, the bullet diameter is closer to .401 inches. This can be a bit confusing due to the historical nomenclature. The “38” in “.38-40” refers to the approximate bullet diameter in hundredths of an inch, and the “40” refers to the grains of black powder that were originally used in the cartridge. However, the actual bullet diameter is larger than .38 inches, and it’s closer to .401 inches.

✍️ So, to clarify, the bullet diameter of this ammunition is approximately .401 inches. This cartridge was designed for use in firearms chambered for this specific caliber, including lever-action rifles and revolvers.

Does a 38-40 WCF have more power than 9mm?

🤨 No, it does not have more power than the 9mm cartridge. In terms of ballistics, the 9mm generally outperforms the .38-40 WCF in terms of muzzle velocity, energy, and stopping power.

🟣 The .38-40 WCF was designed in the late 19th century and has relatively modest ballistics by today’s standards. Its bullet diameter is approximately .401 inches, and it typically fires bullets in the 180 to 200-grain range at moderate velocities, resulting in muzzle energies in the range of 350 to 450 foot-pounds.

🟣 On the other hand, the 9mm (9x19mm Parabellum) is a modern pistol cartridge that typically fires bullets in the 115 to 147-grain range at higher velocities. For example, a common 9mm load might have a muzzle velocity of around 1,000 to 1,200 feet per second (fps) and muzzle energy in the range of 300 to 400 foot pounds.

📌 In terms of performance, the 9mm tends to offer flatter trajectories, higher magazine capacities, and generally more stopping power than the .38-40 WCF due to its higher velocities and modern design. However, both cartridges have their own historical and practical uses, and the choice between them would depend on factors such as firearm compatibility, intended use, and personal preferences.

How powerful is this ammo?

✒️ The power of .38-40 WCF (Winchester Center Fire) ammunition is moderate and was suitable for its intended purposes during its era. Here are some general indications of its power:

⚡ The muzzle velocity varies depending on the specific load and firearm. On average, it would typically have a muzzle velocity in the range of approximately 1,000 to 1,200 feet per second (fps) for standard loads.

⚡ The muzzle energy is also moderate. It would typically have a muzzle energy in the range of approximately 350 to 450 foot pounds (ft-lbs) for standard loads.

⚡ The effective range would generally be within 100 to 150 yards, depending on factors such as bullet type, firearm accuracy, and the shooter’s skill.

⚡ This ammunition was historically used for hunting small to medium-sized games, such as deer and hogs, at relatively short distances. It was considered effective within its intended range for hunting purposes.

⚡ While the cartridge could serve as a self-defense round, it is not as powerful as modern self-defense ammunition. It would have been used in revolvers and lever-action rifles for personal protection during its era.

What is WCF ammo mean?

⌛️ “WCF” stands for “Winchester Center Fire”, referring to a type of ammunition developed by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. The term is often used to designate cartridges that were designed and manufactured by Winchester for use in their firearms.

❇️ When a cartridge is labeled as “WCF”, it indicates that Winchester developed that particular centerfire cartridge. Centerfire cartridges are a type of ammunition where the primer is located in the center of the cartridge case head. This design offers several advantages over rimfire cartridges, including greater reliability and the ability to handle more powerful loads.

🔥 While the term “WCF” is less common in modern times, it remains a historical reference to Winchester’s contributions to ammunition design and development during the late 19th century.

Conclusion🙂

In conclusion, the .38-40 WCF ammunition is a historic cartridge that holds significant value for its unique features and nostalgic appeal. It offers a unique opportunity for hand loaders to customize their ammo to align with specific preferences and remains a remarkable piece of ammunition history, showcasing Winchester’s significant contributions to ammunition design in the late 19th century.🤩❤️‍🔥

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Matteo Ross
Matteo Ross
2 months ago

Has anyone heard interesting info on the .38-40 WCF cartridge?

    Albion
    Albion
    2 months ago
    Reply to  Matteo Ross

    The .38-40 is a pistol caliber cartridge with its origins in early American firearms history. It’s unique in that it’s essentially a .44-40 cartridge necked down to .40 caliber, and it was loaded with 38 grains of black powder. It’s interesting to note that the “38” (referring to the grains of powder) and “40” (indicating the caliber) are reversed from the typical nomenclature of the time, where the caliber usually comes first, followed by the powder charge. This cartridge found use in various early rifles and pistols, most notably in Colt single-action revolvers and Winchester lever-action rifles. When it comes to Colt firearms, some of the notable models that would have used this cartridge include The Model 1873 Single Action Army, The Model 1877 “Lightning” revolver, and the Colt Lightning Rifle. Additionally, certain early Marlin firearms were also available in .38-40, namely the Model 1889 and Model 1894 (though this is distinct from the Win 1894).

      Matias White
      Matias White
      2 months ago
      Reply to  Matteo Ross

      The term “.38-40” actually refers to a cartridge with a 38-caliber bullet loaded with 40 grains of black powder. Interestingly, the nomenclature is flipped from the standard convention of the time, where the caliber usually comes first and then the powder charge. It’s worth noting that the name was eventually changed to “.38 WCF” after the introduction of smokeless powder, a move made to reduce confusion. The term “.38-40” actually refers to a cartridge with a 38-caliber bullet loaded with 40 grains of black powder. Interestingly, the nomenclature is flipped from the standard convention of the time, where the caliber usually comes first and then the powder charge. It’s worth noting that the name was eventually changed to “.38 WCF” after the introduction of smokeless powder, a move made to reduce confusion.

        Mythics
        Mythics
        2 months ago

        I wasn’t aware of any Marlin firearms that were chambered for the .38-40 cartridge. Additionally, I’ve heard that there’s an interesting compatibility aspect involving .44 revolvers potentially being used with the .38-40 cartridge. This compatibility might extend to both lever-action rifles and revolvers, although I’m not entirely sure about the details since I don’t have much knowledge about this specific round.

          Quinto Gonzales
          Quinto Gonzales
          2 months ago
          Reply to  Mythics

          I was under the impression that the .38-40 WCF cartridge had its origins in the .44-40, but it’s important to note that they aren’t interchangeable. Interestingly, a .38-40 rifle and a .38-40 revolver do share the same cartridge, making them completely interchangeable if that’s what you had in mind.

            Etheri
            Etheri
            2 months ago

            I’ve been facing some challenges in obtaining .44-40 brass or ammunition. However, I did manage to acquire a few bags of Winchester .38-40 brass. My initial plan was to resize the .38-40 brass to .44-40, but I encountered an issue with the Lee resizing die, which lacks an expander. I’ve been contemplating the idea of using a cotton “wad” in place of a bullet to fire from the brass. I’m curious if this approach would be effective or if there might be any potential issues. I’m also open to suggestions if anyone has alternative ideas that could help me save on primers and powder.

              Enzo Collins
              Enzo Collins
              2 months ago
              Reply to  Etheri

              I’m confident that the approach will be effective. Although I must admit, it will involve using up some primers. You should use a few grains of Unique powder, along with some cream of wheat as a filler, topped off with a wax cap. From what I’ve gathered, this combination should do the trick nicely. I’m anticipating that it might be a bit noisy, so it might be a good idea to carry out this experiment outdoors.

                Aberrants
                Aberrants
                2 months ago

                I own an old Winchester lever action chambered in .38-40, and I’ve been struggling to find suitable ammunition for it. Unfortunately, I haven’t had much luck locating the right ammo. I’m wondering if .40 caliber ammunition could potentially be used with this rifle as an alternative solution.

                  Colby Coleman
                  Colby Coleman
                  2 months ago
                  Reply to  Aberrants

                  It makes sense that if your rifle were compatible with .40 caliber ammunition, it would likely be explicitly marked as such. Using the wrong ammunition in a firearm can have serious consequences, both for the shooter’s safety and the functionality of the rifle itself. You should avoid attempting to use .40 caliber ammo in your .38-40 rifle.