Rifles of 1892 – 1916

Smokeless Powder and The Need For Stronger Actions

44 ½

The 44 ½ action was introduced in 1903 and produced through 1916. With the advent of smokeless powders and the higher pressure of the cartridges, an action stronger than the cast steel 44 action was required. The forged steel 44 ½ action was the answer. Credit has been given to Harry Pope for creating the action. He did work at Stevens at the time the action was introduced, but it is not possible to verify that he created the action. The 44 ½ action guns had their own serial number range, and pictured in the collection is the highest known serial number gun at 12434. Making production about 13,000 units.

044 ½

The 044 ½ action is a smaller version of the 44 ½ action by 1/8 inch. Introduced in 1904, its production ended in 1916. Again, the need for the 044 ½ action was caused by smokeless powder. The Favorite Action did not have sufficient strength for .25 centerfire offerings; thus, a stronger smaller frame action was required. The 44 ½ was scaled down, resulting in 044 ½. Production of rifles with the 044 ½ action was limited.