The .44 S&W American (commonly called the .44 American) is an American centerfire revolver cartridge.
Used in the Smith & Wesson Model 3, it was introduced around 1869. Between 1871 and 1873, the .44 Model 3 was used as the standard United States Army sidearm. It was also offered in the Merwin Hulbert & Co. Army revolvers.
It used an outside lubricated heeled bullet and appeared in either Boxer and Berdan priming, and both black and smokeless powder loadings.
Its power resembles the .41 Long Colt, .32-20 Winchester, or .44-40 Winchester, and it could be used to hunt small game at short range.
The .44 American ceased to be commercially available around 1940. It can be handloaded by shortening and reforming .44 Special cases. Original black-powder revolvers should only use black-powder loads; modern powders will generate excessive pressures.
During the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral on October 26, 1881, Wyatt Earp carried an 8-inch .44-caliber 1869 American model Smith & Wesson. Earp had received the weapon as a gift from Tombstone, Arizona mayor and Tombstone Epitaph newspaper editor John Clum.