38-40 Winchester Ammunition

Cartridge Hall of Fame

Winchester introduced the 38-40 Winchester Centerfire in 1874 as a companion to the 44-40 cartridge. Chambered in the Winchester Model 1873, it was one of the most popular cartridges of the West.

The 38-40 is considered a medium power cartridge generating less than 600 foot-pounds of energy. First dubbed the 38 WCF, there is some question regarding the name of the cartridge. Interestingly the bullet was a 40 caliber not 38 and the powder charge was 38 grains and not 40.

While introduced in the Winchester 1873 and later chambered in the Winchester 92 lever action rifle, the 38-40 cartridge was also a popular handgun cartridge with many Colt Single Actions being chambered for this round.

Most current loadings are available for 170 and 180-grain lead bullets. While designed as a self-defense and hunting cartridge, today it's most popular in Cowboy Action shooting.

The popularity of the 38-40 Winchester in the 19th and early part of the 20th century earned it a place in the Cartridge Hall of Fame.