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Any experts here on the 45 Colt Winchester 1873?

Discussion in 'Firearms Chat' started by nemesis, Mar 22, 2021.

  1. nemesis

    nemesis Sharpshooter

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    I have a hankering for a Winchester 1873 in 45 Colt. But since I began my research I've learned it's a delicate action and CUP pressures for the cartridge must be observed carefully.

    However, it's also the case that with lower pressure cartridges, gas and debris flow back into the action, gumming up the works. This is because higher pressures cause the bullet case to expand in the chamber, creating a seal that allows the gas and unburnt powder only one way out: the muzzle.

    But with lower pressure cartridges, no such seal is created hence, a lot of garbage in the action. And it's a real pain to clean that out.

    Plus, with the 45 Colt, there are loads for the Ruger Blackhawk, loads for the Colt SAA, and then loads even lower for the 1873.

    Are there any lifetime collectors and shooters of the 1873 here? The gun I'm thinking of buying is a new repro Winchester/Miroku that utilizes the latest steels and metallurgy.
     
  2. Matt Giroux

    Matt Giroux Sharpshooter

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    I am by no means an expert, but do own and have owned quite a few true pre 1900 lever guns, still have an 1894 Marlin 3030 that is a blast. Best advice on ammunition for an older one is Texas Wheeler Guns and Ammo, they do custom loading to match the pressures of the older cowboy loads and dont charge and arm and a leg. for the newer reproductions buffalo bore is alright but damned expensive.
     
  3. Uncle TK

    Uncle TK Sharpshooter

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    Short History on Winchester (Not complete)
    Henry Black powder
    1873 for black powder (Weak Action)
    1892 Black Powder (Very smooth action)
    1894 Updated for Smokeless
     
  4. Cold Smoke

    Cold Smoke Marksman

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    I wouldn’t call myself an expert by any means. I picked up an Uberti ‘73 back before I turned into an old fart and have had a lot of fun with it. Mine is a .45 Colt. I noticed a bit of blow back when I first started shooting it and wrote it off as a quirk of the design. Most of the rounds have been typical cowboy loads. It will dump 13 into a half dollar at a hundred off a bag which is good enough for me.

    I have some friends up in Colorado who stuff everything including their jalapeños with black powder and that was eye opening. I was able to hit bowling pins hanging on piñon pines all the way out to 300 with their recipes. Gave me a whole new respect for my little lever stick.

    Given the prices for good originals, I’d suggest getting a spaghetti clone and give it heck. Them big slow chunks of lead will literally bounce a ‘yote off the ground and send armadillos off like pinwheels. Probably stay away from the Buffalo Bore and Hammerhead stuff as well.
     

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