Avatar
Search
Forum Scope




Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
Lost password?
Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 620
Member Since:
March 14, 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
1
February 10, 2024 - 1:08 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

This has probably been covered before but with regards to frames & cartridges model 1873, I have two 24” rifles DOM 1882 & 1885. it is my understanding pre-1884 were iron frames and post-1883 were steel. I’m inquiring as to what cartridges are safe to shoot providing the gun is inspected by a qualified gunsmith and deemed safe. 
I currently only use the Winchester target factory load 750 fps in the 1882 DOM but wondering if newer 44-40 cartridges are safe in it as well where it’s an iron frame. 

 Rick C 

   

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 1738
Member Since:
June 4, 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
2
February 10, 2024 - 2:47 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

  I don’t know when the steel was changed on 73 frames and barrels but I expect it was upgraded over time. The fact that it shot pistol cartridges makes me think it was always strong enough to handle a modest smokeless load.

  I have shot every 1873 I ever owned with smokeless powder over the last 35 years, never any damage. That is in excess of 40 guns, many were first model guns. I take off the side plates, inspect and determine if it is safe. Make sure everything is in good working condition, then use my loaded smokeless ammo. My ammo is loaded to original black powder velocity. That said, this is what I do and not a recommendation. T/R

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 620
Member Since:
March 14, 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
3
February 10, 2024 - 3:07 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

TR said
  I don’t know when the steel was changed on 73 frames and barrels

  I have shot every 1873 I ever owned with smokeless powder over the last 35 years, never any damage.. My ammo is loaded to original black powder velocity. That said, this is what I do and not a recommendation. T/R

  

Thanks for replying T/R. Just knowing one other person hasn’t had any issues with the pre-1884 73’s which have iron frames and smokeless cartridges loaded to black powder is nice to know. Like you said gun needs to be in normal working order. 

The information I obtained about the iron frames pre 1884 came from the WACA website model page.

 Rick C 

   

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 1738
Member Since:
June 4, 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
4
February 10, 2024 - 3:35 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

RickC said

  

Thanks for replying T/R. Just knowing one other person hasn’t had any issues with the pre-1884 73’s which have iron frames and smokeless cartridges loaded to black powder. Specs is nice to know. Like you said Gun needs to be in normal working order. 

The information I obtained about the iron frames pre 1884 came from the WACA website model page.

  

 Thanks for the info. I looked thru the Winchester Catalogues and in September 1884 is the first time they use the term steel in a description of a 1873 receiver. Before that it’s iron. T/R

Avatar
Great Basin
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 493
Member Since:
November 27, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
5
February 10, 2024 - 6:14 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Rick,

According to George Stone’s “The Winchester 1873 Handbook”, the transition from forged iron frames to forged steel frames took place around serial number 42,000 or 1880.

Like TR, I’ve shot several early iron frame 1873’s with smokeless loads at, or lower than, black powder velocities with no problems.  In my opinion, the condition of the barrel/bore, the condition of the internals and any headspace issues are much more important than the metal type in the frame when considering options for ammunition types.

Enjoy the shooting experience.  Mark

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 620
Member Since:
March 14, 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
6
February 10, 2024 - 6:34 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Mark Douglas said
Rick,

According to George Stone’s “The Winchester 1873 Handbook”, the transition from forged iron frames to forged steel frames took place around serial number 42,000 or 1880.

Like TR, I’ve shot several early iron frame 1873’s with smokeless loads at, or lower than, black powder velocities with no problems.  In my opinion, the condition of the barrel/bore, the condition of the internals and any headspace issues are much more important than the metal type in the frame when considering options for ammunition types.

Enjoy the shooting experience.  Mark

  

Thank you for replying Mark. I can’t think of anyone more qualified to answer that question. Much appreciated. 

 Rick C 

   

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 1738
Member Since:
June 4, 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
7
February 10, 2024 - 8:29 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

  Thanks Mark. I have that book but I guess I’m better at turning pages than reading them. It does say 42,000. Can you tell by looking at the receiver?

                                                  T/R

Avatar
Great Basin
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 493
Member Since:
November 27, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
8
February 11, 2024 - 2:40 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

TR said
  Thanks Mark. I have that book but I guess I’m better at turning pages than reading them. It does say 42,000. Can you tell by looking at the receiver?

                                                  T/R

  

I haven’t noticed a difference in appearance.  Next time I have an early ’73 apart, I’ll test the hardness on the side of a tang and compare it to the hardness of a forged steel receiver.  It’d be interesting to see if there’s much of a difference.  Mark

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 1645
Member Since:
May 23, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
9
February 11, 2024 - 2:56 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

It may be all in my head, but regarding appearance in my humble opinion. There appears to be a slight difference in the color of the bluing for the iron vs steel. Anyone else have the same opinion?

Sincerely,

Maverick

Avatar
Wisconsin
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 4360
Member Since:
May 2, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
10
February 11, 2024 - 3:49 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Your talking about the early 73’s having a darker blue.

Bob

WACA Life Member---
NRA Life Member----
Cody Firearms member since 1991
Researching the Winchester 1873's

73_86cutaway.jpg

Email: [email protected]

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 1645
Member Since:
May 23, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
11
February 11, 2024 - 5:03 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

1873man said
Your talking about the early 73’s having a darker blue.

Bob

  

Yeah Bob. Do you think it was a difference in the formula of the bluing? Or the difference in the metal used in construction?

Sincerely,

Maverick

Avatar
Wisconsin
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 4360
Member Since:
May 2, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
12
February 11, 2024 - 5:00 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Brady,

I do think there could be something to that since since the transition from the early dark blue to the lighter blue happens about that time that they changed to steel receivers. I know bluing takes differently to different types of metal but I’m not a expert on the types of bluing.

Bob

WACA Life Member---
NRA Life Member----
Cody Firearms member since 1991
Researching the Winchester 1873's

73_86cutaway.jpg

Email: [email protected]

Forum Timezone: UTC 0
Most Users Ever Online: 778
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Top Posters:
clarence: 6631
TXGunNut: 5267
Chuck: 4732
steve004: 4397
1873man: 4360
Big Larry: 2380
twobit: 2326
mrcvs: 1803
TR: 1738
Forum Stats:
Groups: 1
Forums: 17
Topics: 13030
Posts: 113947

 

Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1819
Members: 9001
Moderators: 4
Admins: 3
Navigation