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Stevens 44 1/2 Info Request

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by Sky Dog, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. Sky Dog

    Sky Dog Member

    Jun 9, 2013
    I Inherited a Stevens 44 1/2 28-30-120 with 2 spare barrels. A Win 32-20 and a 22 K Hornet.
    Any advise?
  2. huffmanite

    huffmanite Member

    Nov 1, 2010
    title was "info request", but then you ask "any advise" in the post.

    As to info, your Stevens 44.5 Ideal aka 44 1/2 Ideal was an improved action design of the original 44 Stevens. The 44 was introduced in 1894 and made up until 1916? and the 44.5 was introduced in 1903 and discontinued in 1916. Original 44 Ideal was chambered in nine different cartridges from a 22 LR to the 44-40. Seem to recall reading somewhere, Stevens didn't make the larger cartridge 44 Ideal rifles too long as its original action design was too weak for them.....actions became loose. Know the original action in the 44 was described as a rolling block design and the 44.5 as a falling block design. Mind you, in 1932 Stevens introduced the Walnut Hill series of target rifles that were made only for 22 short, LR, 22 Hornet, 22 WMR, 25RF. Various models of Walnut Hill were made from 1932 to 1947. The Walnut Hill actions were similar in design to the earlier 44.5 actions, but were capable of handling higher pressures than the earlier rifles. I have no idea what your numbers 28-30-120 represent. I own a 22 LR model 44 Stevens. Some previous owner of the rifle had its bore resleeved by Parker in England...barrel has british proof marks on the barrel and Parker stamped on the muzzle.

    As to any advise, well it you decide to sell it, you should get some decent money for it. The Walnut Hills are the most valuable, then the 44.5 Ideal and then the 44 Ideals.
  3. LoonWulf

    LoonWulf Member

    Jul 3, 2010
    If your intent on shooting it id get it checked over and the .22 K hornet barrel, or .32-20 barrel installed. Id also stick with mildish loads, as im unfamiliar with the strength of those actions.

    The .28-30-120 is an old strait wall cartridge, no idea where youll get brass or ammo for it now....its among the many of its era and design, most of us will only ever read about in CotW
  4. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Bertram makes .28-30 cases, if you can find any in stock.

    The No .44 1/2 is considerably different and much stronger than the No 44.
    Confusing nomenclature. Frank DeHaas said the highly touted Walnut Hill is a No 44 type and is overstressed in .22 Hornet.

    CPA makes a reproduction of the .44 1/2. It is somewhat beefed up for buffalo calibers but they will make parts for real Stevens.
  5. tark

    tark Member

    Nov 25, 2013
    atkinson, ill
    The Stevens 44 1/2 action is by far the best and strongest single shot action Stevens made. Frank DeHaas in is classic "Single shot rifles" states that the 44 1/2 can handle cartridges "That develop up to 50,000 PSI" (His words, not mine. Page 132. ) The rifles themselves are quite collectible and valuable. The Actions alone are in high demand among the schutzen (I think I spelled it wrong, you know what I mean) crowd, and that would be a good place to start if you want to sell or just find out value.

    Please post pics if you can. there are a number of factors that can greatly increase the value of the rifle, starting with condition and originality. Is the word "Pope" anywhere to be seen on the barrels? Harry Pope was a very famous barrel maker and he marked his barrels. An Authentic "Pope" marked barrel can hugely increase the value of the gun. The 28-30-120 was one of his favorite calibers. He was very fond of Stevens 44 1/2 rifles.....

    The 28-30-120 was a very long, skinny cartridge, employing 30 Gr of very fine black powder, (probably 4F) to propel a 120 grain bullet at 1500. You can probably forget ever shooting that caliber.

    The K-hornet and the 32-20 can be loaded as hot as you want without ever even BEGINNING to strain that action.
  6. rodinal220

    rodinal220 Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    American Single Shot Rifle Association

    Forum is a good one to learn about these. I have a 44 in 25 rim fire and I learned what you can and cannot do with these.

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