Jump to content

Winchester 1873 - shoot or not?


Recommended Posts

I have a Winchester 1873 in 44-40 and I really want to take it to the range, but I would like some advice. First, the stock is intact and not cracked, and I’d like to keep it that way- I’d hate to crack it because I shot it. The bore is bright and rifling seems adequate. The action is smooth and everything seems okay there. My second question is about ammo- assuming I can fire it safely, what powder would be best to use to load rounds for it? I thought the 44-40 was originally a black powder round, so I’m assuming my powder selection would be limited. Thanks.

F73D7EC5-9CC2-4876-B10B-FFCF08697098.jpeg

Link to comment

Sometimes when I ask for advice, I already know the answer I’m looking for. Thank you, gentlemen- “shoot it!” Is the answer I was looking for. I’ll order some Bullseye powder and try to locate some brass. I’ll post the results. I’ve been obsessed with this rifle since I was a kid and first saw Jimmy Stewart in the namesake movie. 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to comment

Hold on there slick!.... Before you go putting pressure on that toggle lock, you best have a look at it. The toggle locks on those original guns were pretty hard and anywhere in its history of home loads could very well crack one of the 4 in the gun. I checked one for a guy once that like you, wanted to shoot it. The action worked OK by hand but one of the links were cracked in 2 but the crystalline surface of the crack mated so well it still toggled up and down matching the movement of it sister link on the other side of the bolt. IDK if the new Italian clones will swap locking links. Back when, I found an original link to replace the broken one. So, Yeah you can shoot it even with factory loads since they are watered down big time from the factory and I know on new Remington boxes they even print for "All" firearms chambered in 44-40. Just pop the side plates off and look the link joins over really close. If they are sound, hammer time!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
On 1/13/2022 at 6:04 PM, xtriggerman said:

Hold on there slick!.... Before you go putting pressure on that toggle lock, you best have a look at it. The toggle locks on those original guns were pretty hard and anywhere in its history of home loads could very well crack one of the 4 in the gun. I checked one for a guy once that like you, wanted to shoot it. The action worked OK by hand but one of the links were cracked in 2 but the crystalline surface of the crack mated so well it still toggled up and down matching the movement of it sister link on the other side of the bolt. IDK if the new Italian clones will swap locking links. Back when, I found an original link to replace the broken one. So, Yeah you can shoot it even with factory loads since they are watered down big time from the factory and I know on new Remington boxes they even print for "All" firearms chambered in 44-40. Just pop the side plates off and look the link joins over really close. If they are sound, hammer time!

Thanks for the sound advice. Although the receiver plate screw didn’t want to budge, I carefully kept at it and got it out. The link joints and associated parts were in remarkable condition, but I’m glad you suggested that precaution. I took the old girl to the indoor range just now and fired away. She shoots and cycles like a dream and grouped well, at 25 yards, anyway. Shout out to the Marine in Oneida who sold me 90 rds of 44-40 on Saturday- thank you!

D946416F-B010-429E-9317-13E2C574599B.jpeg

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment

Told ya!

It amazes me to see the quality of then standard production firearms in America 100+ years ago. Those folks worked for beans, yet took pride in their jobs to a degree almost no one today could relate to.

 

The fit and finish of a Winchester, Marlin, Colt, Remington, Smith and Wesson, etc. made around 1900 exceeds most anything available on today’s custom market at any price.

Link to comment

I’m glad you got to shoot it and enjoyed it. I picked up a Winchester 1894 yesterday in 30-30. It was manufactured in 1897. Hex barrel and 5 digit serial number. Can’t wait for some range time. 125 years old. 

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

THE FINE PRINT

Tennessee Gun Owners (TNGunOwners.com) is the premier Community and Discussion Forum for gun owners, firearm enthusiasts, sportsmen and Second Amendment proponents in the state of Tennessee and surrounding region.

TNGunOwners.com (TGO) is a presentation of Enthusiast Productions. The TGO state flag logo and the TGO tri-hole "icon" logo are trademarks of Tennessee Gun Owners. The TGO logos and all content presented on this site may not be reproduced in any form without express written permission. The opinions expressed on TGO are those of their authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the site's owners or staff.

Before engaging in any transaction of goods or services on TGO, all parties involved must know and follow the local, state and Federal laws regarding those transactions. TGO makes no claims, guarantees or assurances regarding any such transactions.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to the following.
Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Guidelines
 
We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.