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1885 Hi Wall action question
February 9, 2021
5:46 pm
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I have an 1885 Hi Wall that requires an excessive amount of effort to open the action.  Is this something that can be adjusted?  Once the initial movement of the lever is started, the action moves smoothly and there is no binding.  The closing of the action is some what stiff, but shows no binding.  The action snaps shut when closed and it is really closed tight.  Any opinions?  Suggestions?  Thanks, RDB

February 9, 2021
5:57 pm
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Kingston, WA
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Roger,

It sounds to me like the breech block is contacting the barrel breech face too soon (not enough head space).  This is often caused by a replaced barrel.

In answer your question, NO, there is nothing that can be “adjusted”.  If I am correct, the only option is to shorten the barrel at the breech face by a few thousandths of an inch (I would start with .002″).

Bert

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February 9, 2021
6:44 pm
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Thank you Bert.  Yes, the barrel has been replaced and I failed to mention that Embarassed  I will leave it as is. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.  RDB

February 9, 2021
7:32 pm
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rogertherelic said
  I will leave it as is. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.  RDB  

That’s my cardinal rule, except in this case, I would say it is broke, or at least, not working right, & a big annoyance to shoot.  Is the replaced brl an original Win?  Most of the time, they will screw up without headspace or other problems.  Whoever replaced it did a poor job to leave it in this condition, as having a barrel vise & wrench, it would have taken very little time to unscrew it & shave the breech end. 

February 10, 2021
1:10 am
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The replacement barrel is not Winchester.  In fact, it is unmarked and still in the ‘white’.  My decision to buy the rifle was kind of a fluke.  It hadn’t been used much with the new barre and it was topped with a Winchester A-5 scope.  But the real buying incentive for me was, it came with a brand new set of RCBS 50-110 WCF dies and they were selling in the $400.00 range at the time with a several month wait. I had recently purchased a 50 EX. Model 86 and wanted the dies.  Sometimes I don’t weigh all of the pros and cons with a proper thought process.  But, I liked the gun and figured “what the hell?”.  I am not a highly regarded collector of perfect guns, so no damage done to my reputation.  So I have a Model 1885  with a replaced 34″ heavy barrel, octagon top flat side receiver, single set trigger.  There is no serial number that I can see on the lower tang, but the “PAT. OCT. 7th 79” is clearly present. Just a “BRUTE” for fun.  RDB 

February 10, 2021
1:15 am
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Roger,

I would definitely have that barrel shaved just a few thousandths.  It is an easy and realtively quick task for any gun smith.

Bert

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February 10, 2021
3:21 am
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rogertherelic said
The replacement barrel is not Winchester.  In fact, it is unmarked and still in the ‘white’.  My decision to buy the rifle was kind of a fluke.  It hadn’t been used much with the new barre and it was topped with a Winchester A-5 scope.

Strange combination for a rebarreled rifle, esp. considering this cartridge!  Not surprising it hadn’t been used much.

February 10, 2021
3:28 am
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Bert H. said
 It is an easy and realtively quick task for any gun smith.

Bert  

But preferably NOT the one who installed this brl!  His carelessness is going to cost Roger, or somebody, an unnecessary expense.

February 10, 2021
2:37 pm
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Thanks Burt and Clarence for the urging.  I only know of one person in the San Jose/San Francisco area that I would trust with doing the work and his time is usually booked up.  I will see if he will work this adjustment in to his schedule.  From past experience with gunsmiths I have found a lack of dependability in return policy.  I will keep you posted just for fun.    RDB

February 10, 2021
4:38 pm
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rogertherelic said
Thanks Burt and Clarence for the urging.  I only know of one person in the San Jose/San Francisco area that I would trust with doing the work and his time is usually booked up.

So is every other one who’s any good at all!  In fact, even the poor ones stay busy because there are plenty of new customers who don’t know any better.  But you’re lucky if there’s one close enough that you can avoid shipping–that’s the obstacle that stops me from doing certain things I might like to have done. 

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