This is a fairly early 4th Type Winchester bullet mold for the 44-40 a.k.a. .44 WCF. The purpose of this mold was to allow the owner of a Winchester 1873 rifle to reload his own cartridges. As most early cartridges were rimfire and thus could not be reloaded, this was a major drawback to early repeating rifles like the Henry and Winchester Model 1866 should the owner run out of ammunition. The introduction of the center fire cartridge was a real game changer as the primers could now be replaced making the empty casing of a once fired cartridge "reloadable". This was a must on the American frontier as the nearest hardware store could be hundreds of miles away. As towns were built and railroads expanded into more regions that had once relied solely upon wagon freight, common items such as ammunition became more readily available but that wasn't always the case beforehand. Due to the fact that it was one of the world's first commercially available reloadable cartridges, the .44 Winchester Center Fire was called the "Frontier Caliber". Companies like Colt adapted their revolvers like the Colt Single Action Army and the Model 1878 Double Action to .44 WCF by the late 1870's so that both a rifle or carbine used the same ammunition as their handguns. This mold is called a 4th Type and dates to around the late 1870's to 1880's. The first three Winchester Molds for the .44 WCF were made of brass with the first two having solid cavities. The 3rd type uses a split cavity with double handles and looks much like this iron mold. The brass however most likely turned out to be too soft for rugged frontier use. When iron was introduced, the mold became much more sturdy and practical. The only drawback was that you had to wear a good pair of gloves when casting lead bullets because those handles got a little warm! The 5th type Mold had wooden handles to correct this. If you have a Winchester 2nd or early 3rd Model rifle or saddle ring carbine, this 4th type is the variation you need. Overall, it's in NRA Antique Fine Condition with 70% original blue and great markings. Nice cavity and complete with original sprue cutter.