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1873 winchester action
March 27, 2021
3:01 pm
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Arizona
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Hello , have a question about a 1873 Winchester that I have. I have others but this one has a loose action. It does not have the tight snap up and down like my others do. Feels loose. I check the finger lever spring as well as the lifter spring. but when cycling the action it does not have that  sharp snap. Any ideas what it may be? Thanks fellas

March 27, 2021
3:06 pm
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Rob

What does not have that sharp snap, the lever or the elevator. Several things can have a affect on them.

Bob

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March 27, 2021
4:32 pm
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The elevator just doesn’t have the sharp snap when the action is cycled. Has a loose week snap to it.

March 27, 2021
4:57 pm
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First remove the spring and look at the end that rides on the lever for wear.  Those spring wear down quite a bit if not lubed. I have welded them back up in the old days. The spring may have become weak. The other thing that can affect it is build up of old grease, oil and grime in the pivot points

Bob

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April 1, 2021
12:58 pm
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Thanks Bob, may be that this gun is a little cleaner than the other two, just doesn’t feel as tight as the others. Have taken it part apart and checked the springs and the carrier lever. will look into it some more. Thanks again

April 1, 2021
1:16 pm
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 rob, You said you have other 73s, what about a swap of springs or lever? Does the shape and wear on  the lever cam look the same as your others? T/R

April 4, 2021
1:29 am
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The springs look the same, on my other 73’s , was wondering if the cams on the lever or carrier arm could be worn? I have one 73 44-40 with a sloppy finger lever moves from side to side, either the carrier arm or finger lever  worn, The rifle in question was refinished years and years ago, I am thinking  that  metal on the finger lever or carrier arm might have taken off the camming action? Don’t know. Thanks TR

April 4, 2021
1:55 am
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Their is a replaceable cam on the left side of the lever that holds it up and wears down with use and lack of lubrication. The side to side play like you said is a function of wear or metal removed during the refinish job but it can be very easily fixed with a shim.

Here is a picture of a removed cam that is worn badly.

IMG_20170820_134526426.jpgImage Enlarger

here is a good cam with a worn spring

good-cam.jpgImage Enlarger

Bob

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April 4, 2021
1:38 pm
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Thanks Bob, I was messing with it yesterday and thought about trying to put a shim in . I know about the finger lever cam and have a few here, I one I have in there is almost round so think of replacing. I also Have a couple other problems that I don’t like. Seems that when I cycle the action back the firing pin rides back over the hammer and hangs up on the hammer when I try to return the bolt carrier. Seems like when I cock the hammer back by hand there is a lot of slop in the hammer in the cocked position meaning I can pull the hammer back with my thumb. I checked it against my other winchester 73’s and there is not as much travel on the hammer. Could this be main spring wear  or maybe trigger and sear?  And also have a medium heavy barrel on the rifle in question. When looking down the barrel I can see a ring about 6″ from the end of the muzzle. When pushing a cleaning patch down thru the barrel I encounter little resistance pushing the patch at the end of a jag ,and when I pass I feel the tightness . Is this a bad barrel, doesn’t seemed bulged on the outside. Many thanks

April 4, 2021
3:27 pm
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Rob,

It sounds like you have multiple problems with this gun. A bulged barrel, a hammer issue and the lever. I’m guessing this gun is well used and worn. If the hammer is getting pinched down by the firing pin coming back it sounds like there is some non standard parts in the gun or there is a notch in the bottom of the firing pin the hammer is getting caught in. You need to explain it a little better  You should be able to pull the hammer back a little more before hitting its mechanical stop with the lever full forward. Does the hammer stay in the cocked position when you cycle the gun? Its normal for any lever gun to take more force to cock the hammer when cycling the action than it would if you pull the hammer back before you cycling the action. When I cycle a action of a collector quality gun I always open the dust cover and cock the hammer before I cycle the lever to reduce the wear on the part be it my own gun or a gun on someones table.  The bulge in the barrel can’t be fixed except by lining the barrel. You should post some pictures of this gun so we can get an idea of shape the gun is in and then we can give you recommendations going forward. What are your plans for this gun? is it going to be a shooter? a wall hanger? did you inherit it or buy it?

Bob

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April 7, 2021
12:10 am
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Hello., got some pictures of the73,  I bought it on a online auction. Wasn’t as great of shape as described . But trying to work a few bugs out. Will try and post the pictures for you Bob. Don’t know what I will do with it yet. Problem is that when I cycle the action the firing pin hangs  up on hammer. Havent determined  yet if the hammer is not going back far enough and the firing pin is  getting hung up on the hammer, or the  lower tab on the breechbolt is going past the carrier and sticking  in front of the reciever. Have a few picture I might have to send them to  Bob. If I hold the hamme back when I cycle the action, it works fine.

April 7, 2021
3:27 am
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20210406_090900.jpgImage Enlarger20210406_090857.jpgImage Enlarger20210406_090610-1.jpgImage Enlarger20210406_085747.jpgImage Enlarger20210406_085444.jpgImage Enlargerhere are some photos

April 7, 2021
3:45 am
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Rob

Figuring out feed issues is very hard without the gun in hand. What I can do is give you some thing to look at and some things to try. When you try to lever the action closed and it locks up, look at the bolt face to see if its hitting the elevator. If its not then you need to remove the firing pin and look for a notch in it where the hammer rides on the pin.

Bob

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April 7, 2021
4:55 am
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Thats what I think is happening Bob.  It looks like there is a slight bevel on the rear notch of the firing pin that hang  up on the hammer when I cycle the the breech carrier closed. 

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