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1866 2nd Model
April 26, 2021
1:28 pm
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April 26, 2021
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I need some expert advise. The firearm is in need of minor repairs such as a 1/2 frozen swivel which caused the weld/braze to break on one ear at some point. I’m not sure if disassembly is recommended to repair/replace the swivel as it could devalue the finish or not.  Secondly I can’t even identify the swivel being used. I know Winchester held a patent on some sling swivels. I’m not certain if this is a factory swivel or time period modification.  It may help to note this is a .44 Henry CF. 

Lastly the buttstock has some minor cracking and is missing a screw which may or may not be causing a very loose fit at the upper tang.  Most things I’ll will fix myself, but for this one I took it too a gunsmith. He is a buttstock artisan who hand crafts stocks. I respect his advice but I would like to hear from an expert with a neutral view.

Thanks!

April 26, 2021
1:57 pm
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To give advice, knowing what it looks like and its condition would be a great help.

Bob

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April 26, 2021
2:57 pm
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A few pictures would tell a thousand words.  It would help us understand what you’re talking about.

April 26, 2021
4:34 pm
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April 26, 2021
4:39 pm
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Which swivel is the problem?

Bob

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April 26, 2021
5:11 pm
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Hopefully your gunsmith is not going to replace or refinish the stock.  If so you will lose so much value to an otherwise original gun.

Your swivel is correct but the picture does not show the problem?

April 26, 2021
5:21 pm
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No the stock is not getting refinished or replaced, just looking at how to repair the cracking internally. I believe the upper tang screw hole is stripped out in the wood. 

April 26, 2021
6:29 pm
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Here are your pictures. where is the problem with the front swivel. It looks good in the pictures

Bob

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April 27, 2021
5:14 pm
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Thanks Bob for uploading those pics, it looks like I’m limited on what I can upload with my free account. Just sent you the buttstock pics that show the broken ear.

April 28, 2021
1:44 am
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Here are the pictures of the rear swivel. removing the rear is a lot easier than the front. Just take the screws out and work the base out of the wood. The trick is to not break wood slivers off when you take it out. Any good gunsmith should be able weld it back up.

Bob

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April 28, 2021
12:50 pm
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It sounds like welding it is the best repair option over finding a replacement. Am I understanding that correctly? Is this a factory swivel or do you think a time period modification?  Did Winchester or other manufacturers use this swivel on other guns. It may be a shot in the dark, but I would like to try and find a replacement before attempting a repair in the event the repair fails. Are these swivels brass which would require brazing? Any additional info or available pictures (uninstalled) on these swivels would greatly help me out. Thanks again.

April 28, 2021
1:56 pm
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That is a early sling swivel and they didn’t make repos of them that I have seen. Its possible that someone could of made one to replace a missing one. Its made from steel and steel can be brazed. If they were made from brass they probably would silver soldered them since brazing brass is very very tricky and usually ends badly. 

Bob

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April 28, 2021
2:29 pm
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 I have an original 1866 SN 27,xxx with the same swivel as yours, screws unturned. Yours looks right to me, sometime after that they went to a different design that did not swivel.  The swivel is made of low grade steel, I checked it with a magnet. Your break looks fresh, perhaps someone tried to free it. Welding that early steel is tricky especially with it being rusted. Perhaps your idea of not doing anything until you have a replacement is a good one.

 The Henry and the 1866 is different than the newer models, if you what to keep their originality you can’t clean or mess with them. The value decreases as you play with your gun. The patina on the brass goes away as you handle or rub your gun. The dark butter scotch look on the brass can not be duplicated. T/R

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