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Loading Gate Question on 66 SRC
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April 3, 2024 - 12:47 am
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I have a 66 SRC – 23,XXX – 1869 – second model.  It was converted to .44 CF at some point in its life. 

At a recent cartridge show in St Louis, MO I obtained a few rim fire cartridges just to cycle through the gun.  I was advised that the RF is the same dimensions as the CF.  I visited with several cartridge experts at this show and they were all telling me the same story as to what would cycle.  The cartridges, hand loaded into the chamber, fit perfectly and they eject well.  When I try the loading gate to load rounds into the magazine, they lack apx 1/8″ of dropping into the magazine.  The sabot of the round binds up against the side of the lifter.  When examining the interior of the depressed loading gate I observe about the same thickness of the loading gate. (1/8″)  The loading gate is not concave all the way to the end.   I am puzzled, but am suspicious that the wrong loading gate was installed at some point in time.  Are there other reasons I should investigate?  I am open to reasons why the round won’t load into the mag. 

Respectfully,  Dimmick  

Pardon my ignorance in referencing part names.  

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April 3, 2024 - 1:30 pm
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Dave,

Take a photo of the loading gate from the rear looking forward so we can see the concave area. You would have to post the picture to a third party picture host site and put a link to it  in your post or email them to me at the below address.

Bob

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April 3, 2024 - 2:45 pm
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Hi Bob,  Just emailed you a couple pics.  If not what you need, Ill get a different angle. 

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April 3, 2024 - 3:00 pm
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Here are the pictures Dave.

It looks like you have a 73 loading gate in there. A later 66 would have the concave go all the way to the front.

Bob

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Researching the Winchester 1873's

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April 3, 2024 - 4:04 pm
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  Dimmick,

 Putting a live round through the action of a 1866 regardless of it’s age is high risk. The conversion to center fire can be primitive and if done wrong or the piston or striker rusted could cause a accidental discharge. Granted old rounds seldom go off but they can. Few people actually shoot their 1866. T/R

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April 3, 2024 - 4:39 pm
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Thanks Bob for your opinion of a 73 loading plate which I suspected and TR for the warning of accidental discharge.  I do NOT EVER plan to fire this weapon but understand the risk associated with cycling rounds.  The round I experimented with was a RF as CF are way too pricey to scratch up. Laugh  Overall length of the two are very simular thanks to Hal Ferguson who measured a CF he had at 1.326″ and my RF at 1.346″.  For now I plan to leave the loading gate as is.  The rounds I have are good examples of what was fired in the old girl except they are RF instead of CF.  To display with the gun.  

Thanks to all!

Respectfully,  Dave Dimmick  

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April 4, 2024 - 2:23 am
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Dave,

Here is a picture of one of mine.

Bob

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