Questions about an early 1873 Winchedter 44 WCF
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Thread: Questions about an early 1873 Winchedter 44 WCF

  1. #11
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    I'm sure many thousands or even hundreds of thousands of smokeless rounds have been sent down range from 1873's. I've done it, with light loads. Is it a good idea? Not really. ( The sound of a dead horse being beat) Stick with black powder, clean the bore after shooting it and if you wish pull the side plates and wipe the internals down but with the bottleneck case of the .44 W.C.F. little to no fouling gets back there. Enjoy your gun. Take care, Duane
    Last edited by STARVATION; 01-14-2020 at 05:35 PM.
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  2. #12
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    Winchester didn't seem to have a problem with smokeless powder loadings in the Model 1873. As early as 1895 Winchester was offering smokeless powder loads for the 1873 Winchester with the notation on the box: "for Winchester Rifle Model 1873".

    Winchester did have higher velocity loadings for the Model 1892 that had a caution against using in the Model 1873.
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  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyP View Post
    Winchester didn't seem to have a problem with smokeless powder loadings in the Model 1873. As early as 1895 Winchester was offering smokeless powder loads for the 1873 Winchester with the notation on the box: "for Winchester Rifle Model 1873".

    Winchester did have higher velocity loadings for the Model 1892 that had a caution against using in the Model 1873.
    The smokeless of 1895 is not that of today. I have seen catastrophic failures by those either too lazy or too ignorant to use BP in a BP era weapon. It ain't pretty. The good news is that there has been a lot of progress in prosthetic limbs with the War on Terror.
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  5. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boge View Post
    The smokeless of 1895 is not that of today. I have seen catastrophic failures by those either too lazy or too ignorant to use BP in a BP era weapon. It ain't pretty. The good news is that there has been a lot of progress in prosthetic limbs with the War on Terror.
    All true, but fixing your eye when the firing pin is sticking out of it is rather tough.
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  6. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boge View Post
    The smokeless of 1895 is not that of today. I have seen catastrophic failures by those either too lazy or too ignorant to use BP in a BP era weapon. It ain't pretty. The good news is that there has been a lot of progress in prosthetic limbs with the War on Terror.
    What is your reference to the powder not being the same? Do you think Winchester would market a load for their Model 1873 that they knew would destroy the gun?

    Do you have any reference to a catastrophic failure of a Model 1873 using factory loads requiring the shooter be fitted with a prosthetic limb?
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  7. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyP View Post
    What is your reference to the powder not being the same? Do you think Winchester would market a load for their Model 1873 that they knew would destroy the gun?

    Do you have any reference to a catastrophic failure of a Model 1873 using factory loads requiring the shooter be fitted with a prosthetic limb?
    Johnny, I'm not going to argue with you as it's your eyes & hands. However, if you think that chemistry, organic & inorganic, (as well as metallurgy) has not progressed since 1895 then you are sadly uninformed.
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  8. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boge View Post
    Johnny, I'm not going to argue with you as it's your eyes & hands. However, if you think that chemistry, organic & inorganic, (as well as metallurgy) has not progressed since 1895 then you are sadly uninformed.
    No argument from me. Just ask for documentation since you mentioned catastrophic failures and prosthetic limbs.
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  9. #18
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    Unless it is labeled as high velocity, all mainstream factory 44-40, 32-20, and 38-40 ammo is loaded as the pistol ammo which is well below anything that will trouble an 1873. If you are really worried, get some blackhills ammo that is loaded even lower for cowboy action shooting.

    Stick with lead bullets, no FMJs, and preferably flat nosed but round nose will be ok as well.

    1873 switched from iron to steel in 1884. A winchester 44-40 is about the lowest pressure rifle bullet still in manufacture today. lower pressure than a 38 special, 38-40, 32-20, 45 colt, heck its significantly lower pressure than a 22LR. All that said, I do baby mine and shoot mostly black hills ammo, though the occassional winchester box does get fired. I have shoebox full of 44-40 reloads that my wife's great uncle did about 20 years ago, but I am not brave enough to shoot them, I have no idea what the loading is. I am far less worried about factory ammo in my 1873 than I am about shooting my 1917 bring back 1911.

    As far as blackpowder, I shoot it in my 1st gen colts because its cool and easy to clean out of a revolver. I find an 1873 to be a royal pain at cleaning black powder fouling, especially keeping the brass elevator clean.
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  10. #19
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    Back to the Cody letters. While they do not show the ship to location they do note special features. I have letters for some of my Winchesters to show they are factory special order guns such as a deluxe Model or a factory 34 inch barrel. I have an 1873 carbine with a factory correct rifle stock and set trigger. Many models have the shipping room records missing and can only show the date the serial number was applied. I also recently had a special order S&W backed up with a letter.
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  11. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingcobb View Post
    I find an 1873 to be a royal pain at cleaning black powder fouling, especially keeping the brass elevator clean.
    This was my concern, I shoot black powder in my flintlocks and they are not that bad to clean but repeating centerfire guns are a different story and much harder to properly clean unless taken apart which I do not wish to do with the 1873. I have a couple of boxes of Magtech Cowboy Action Loads and also could load some Trail Boss loads but would have to buy some lead bullets to do these reloads.
    Dennis


 
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