44-40 WCF Ammo (Winchester Center Fire), and .44 Largo (in Spanish-speaking countries) was introduced in 1873 by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. It was the first metallic centerfire cartridge manufactured by Winchester, and was promoted as the standard chambering for the new Winchester Model 1873 rifle. As both a rifle and a handgun caliber, the cartridge soon became widely popular, so much so that the Winchester Model 1873 rifle became known as “The gun that won the West.
Winchester released the new cartridge, called 44-40 WCF Ammo other firearm companies chambered their guns in the new round. Remington and Marlin released their own rifles and pistols which chambered the round, Colt offered an alternative chambering in its popular Single Action Army revolver in a model known as the Colt Frontier Six-Shooter, and Smith & Wesson began releasing their Smith & Wesson New Model 3 chambered in .44-40 WCF. Settlers, lawmen, and cowboys appreciated the convenience of being able to carry a single caliber of ammunition which they could fire in both pistol and rifle. In both law enforcement and hunting usage, the .44-40 became the most popular cartridge in the United States, and to this day has the reputation of killing more deer than any other save the .30-30 Winchester.
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