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I was told you could shoot modern loads through the Winchester as long as they weren’t high pressure or copper plated? I don’t know much about these old firearms so any advice would be greatly appreciated as they have been in the family a long time and I don’t want to mess anything up. I want to pass them along to my son’s some day.
Listen to DallasCowboy. BP only. The Winchester 1873 uses a weak toggle link action. Yours is considered an early 1873 being made in 1885 and the metallurgy wasn't quite up to snuff at that time for smokeless ammo. Buffalo Arms has black powder 44-40 ammo in normal times in stock at a reasonable price. Hopefully it will be back in stock sometime this year.
 

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Doesn't have to be Winchesters, surely!



All in 38 WCF.
The Marlin is oldest. Made in 1890.
The Colt New Service is next with a birth year of 1899.
The Colt Bisley is the youngster. 1903 by serial number charts, or 1906 by the Colt web page lookup.
I just noticed we appear to have the same carpeting as a backdrop.
 

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Terrible picture but these came as a pair from a local ranch. Cant remember the exact dates but the Winchester is 1916 and the colt is 1906(337,xxx cant remember) please correct me if I'm wrong with that year for the colt. .38 WCF 20210506_201004.jpg I'll have to post better pictures in better light
 
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