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December 17, 2018 - 9:45 pm
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I recently purchased a Winchester 1873 2nd model. Went I attempt to cycle the action, the lever goes down smoothly but great force is needed to return the lever to its firing position. However, if I hold the rifle vertical the action works smoothly. Could it be something in the “toggle-link” action? I am a little reluctant to disassemble the side plates, because I am not familiar with this rifle.

Anybody else have this problem, was able to fix it?

Thanks, Dick Pike

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December 17, 2018 - 10:11 pm
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Dick,

I would say you have some worn parts or you might be missing a toggle on one side.. If its lack of lubrication it will usually be hard to move in all directions. Opening it up is not that complicated, Just put down some carpet and lay the gun on its right side, the carpet will keep the right sideplate from dropping out and letting the right toggle fall out. Remove the left sideplate and then you can operate the action while laying on its side and see what is binding. You might want to put your hand under the right sideplate so it doesn’t come loose while you action the gun. If the toggles fall out you just put them back in with the gun upright until you put the sideplates on.

Bob

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December 18, 2018 - 2:53 pm
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Bob, Thank you very much for this information.

Dick

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December 22, 2018 - 2:13 am
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Hi Bob, I think I found the problem. When my 1873 rifle is held in a horizontal position, after pushing the lever all the way forward, it won’t return. This is due to the carrier dropping down about 1/8 of and inch, when I start to return the lever. Then the bolt doesn’t line up with the carrier channel, preventing the lever from returning to the firing position.

With the left side plate off, if I move the carrier lever up, thereby moving the carrier up to it’s maximum height, the bolt will slide in the carrier channel and the lever returns easily. 

Do I need to replace the carrier lever spring? Should I replace the lever spring at the same time?

I appreciate any help you can give me on this.

Thank, Dick

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December 22, 2018 - 2:28 am
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Dick,

The sign of a weak or worn carrier spring is the carrier lever drops down after you push it all the way up. It should stay in the full up position until its pulled down the the carrier lever. Now the carrier can get worn inside the slot the carrier lever goes in since its a soft metal and can cause a problem.

If the lever stays up against the bottom of the lower tang then your lever spring is good. The other issue you can have is the cam on the lever that the spring rides on wears down and can cause the same problem.

Bob

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December 22, 2018 - 7:03 pm
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Bob, thank you for this information. I will proceed accordingly.

Thanks again, Dick

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December 22, 2018 - 10:07 pm
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Play with the carrier adjustment screw on the underside of the receiver.  One screw is for the carrier and the other is for the lever.  Most of the time you find these all the way tight.  That is not how they were designed.  Do not tighten them any more than necessary to do the job.  If this doesn’t help do as 1873man says. 

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