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1885 Lighter Spring
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October 28, 2020 - 5:36 pm
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clarence said

Ever since Big Brother decreed that his subjects weren’t smart enough to use carbon tet, I’ve used lacquer thinner for this purpose, which will dissolve, or at least soften, even cured epoxy. 

Clarence, I’m with you.  Used to work for an electrical utility company.  We all had 5 gal. cans of carbon tet at home.  It would clean oil stains from a white shirt.  One of the electricians warned me about using it on non metal parts and even cast aluminum. He said it would dry these out to point they could crack.

We can’t even buy or have gun scrubber shipped to this state.  I get mine on Ebay.

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November 1, 2020 - 5:28 pm
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Well, I finally got the old 32-40 back together! I learned quite a bit about how the 1885 works by putting it together incorrectly….in more ways than one. EmbarassedIt was a busy week so all the pieces were simply piled up last weekend until I had the time to try again last night. I finished the cleaning process and started back together but things weren’t going well. I wisely tidied things up and walked away. Things went better today and I was actually enjoying using Campbell’s book and learning how the different pieces interact. I corrected all the earlier assembly errors and things were coming together nicely….until one of the LAST screws. I noticed the screw I was trying to install was pristine and I recalled the one I took out was buggared. That indicated to me I had a screw in the wrong place. I went back through the gun looking for that screw and practically disassembled it in the process. Turns out I’d left out one of the screws that retains the trigger housing and was trying to install it where the damaged screw belonged. The damaged screw was located, I’d set it aside while I decided to repair it or let it be. Embarassed

Every now and then I get in over my head just to remind myself I’m NOT a gunsmith. I do the same thing with cars. I’m actually a pretty fair mechanic but most of the cars I know how to work on were crushed long ago. 

Sorry about babbling on. After all that talk about springs that lesson I learned long ago was right. Sometimes all the gun needs is a good cleaning. Pretty sweet trigger and the action is somewhat improved as well. Range trip! Laugh

 

Mike

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November 1, 2020 - 5:44 pm
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Mike,

I knew you would figure it out. The Model 1885 has a rugged but quite simple action to work on after you get the feel for it. What specifically did you end up doing to the trigger spring?

Bert

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November 1, 2020 - 6:21 pm
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Bert H. said
Mike,
I knew you would figure it out. The Model 1885 has a rugged but quite simple action to work on after you get the feel for it. What specifically did you end up doing to the trigger spring?
Bert  

Thanks, almost took you up on your offer for help but the diagrams and photos in Campbell’s book finally started to make sense…and it was a bit early to be calling your time zone when I started. I didn’t want to modify the spring until after I cleaned and reassembled, especially after I discovered it was already thinner than standard (.015 vs .020”). After cleaning the trigger is actually quite good, likely very much as it was when it left the factory all those years ago. It’s hard to believe even that amount of heavy goo affected the trigger that much but it appears it did. I wouldn’t be surprised if it had never been detail cleaned.

 

Mike

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November 1, 2020 - 6:58 pm
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That is good news, nothing required other than a very good cleaning.  What does the trigger now break at?

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November 1, 2020 - 10:01 pm
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I haven’t put my scale on it yet, Bert, actually just a little lighter than I’m used to. Shot pretty well after the fouling shots. Still working on load development.

 

Mike

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November 2, 2020 - 1:44 am
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TXGunNut said
I haven’t put my scale on it yet, Bert, actually just a little lighter than I’m used to. Shot pretty well after the fouling shots. Still working on load development.

 

Mike

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I will assume that you are shooting cast bullets, but at what velocity?  What is your load data?

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November 2, 2020 - 5:17 am
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Bert H. said

I will assume that you are shooting cast bullets, but at what velocity?  What is your load data?  

Current load is 16grs 5744 under an Accurate 322170A bullet, RP 9 1/2 or WLR primer, reformed WW 38-55 cases. Haven’t chronographed any loads but suspect it’s 1450-ish. The 32-40 mould I bought from Dana arrived recently, will cast a few to see what Winchester intended. I cast the 322170A bullet for the 32WS so I pressed it into service for this cartridge. It wears a gas check but I’m open to trying plain base bullets. I understand tapered bullets were once popular for this cartridge. I ordered a tapered mould by mistake a few years ago and sold it to someone who is using it for the 32-40. 

I need to read up on tapered bullets and the 32-40. Any suggestions?

 

Mike

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November 2, 2020 - 1:58 pm
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Figured I better add the powder charge is an arbitrary number towards the low end of the range in Lyman’s CB loading manual. I have no doubt there are better loads for this rifle.

 

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November 2, 2020 - 4:16 pm
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Bert H. said

The Model 1885 has a rugged but quite simple action to work on after you get the feel for it.

Even after doing it scores of times, I still have trouble getting the block & extractor back in the receiver.  Have tried to figure out a “system,” but end up repeatedly inserting it over & over again, until it suddenly slips into place, though I did nothing different, as far as I know, that last time when it finally went together than I did the first half-doz times when it hung up.

The lockwork as Browning designed it is much simpler than Wm. Mason’s re-design of it for Winchester.  I wish he’d left a record of why he wasn’t satisfied with the original design.  Compared to other major single-shots–Remington, Stevens, Ballard, etc.–the 1885 has more moving parts between trigger & hammer.

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November 3, 2020 - 12:00 am
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TXGunNut said

Current load is 16grs 5744 under an Accurate 322170A bullet, RP 9 1/2 or WLR primer, reformed WW 38-55 cases. Haven’t chronographed any loads but suspect it’s 1450-ish. The 32-40 mould I bought from Dana arrived recently, will cast a few to see what Winchester intended. I cast the 322170A bullet for the 32WS so I pressed it into service for this cartridge. It wears a gas check but I’m open to trying plain base bullets. I understand tapered bullets were once popular for this cartridge. I ordered a tapered mould by mistake a few years ago and sold it to someone who is using it for the 32-40. 

I need to read up on tapered bullets and the 32-40. Any suggestions?

 

Mike  

I’m taking an 1885 in 32-40 to the range tomorrow.  I will let you know what it does.  These are loaded with 180 gr. cast bullet, CCI 200 primers, 14 grs. of RL-7.  Supposed to shoot 1,400 FPS.  Winchester-1885-32-40-L.jpgImage Enlarger

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November 3, 2020 - 2:08 am
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Thanks, Chuck. Beautiful rifle! I’ve been wondering about RX7 powder, it’s one that has worked well for me in other cartridges. Which cast bullet are you using!

 

Mike

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November 3, 2020 - 2:17 am
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Bert H. said
That is good news, nothing required other than a very good cleaning.  What does the trigger now break at?  

Average trigger pull is 1lb, 11.4 ozs. Very crisp and consistent, feels much closer to 1 lb. To follow up on the other thread the rifle weighs 11.4 lbs. 

 

Mike

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November 3, 2020 - 2:41 am
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TXGunNut said
Thanks, Chuck. Beautiful rifle! I’ve been wondering about RX7 powder, it’s one that has worked well for me in other cartridges. Which cast bullet are you using!

 

Mike  

Mike I can’t remember.  I loaded these in 2004.  Let me look around and see if I can find out. Since I bought this gun in 2006 the loads were for a 1894.

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November 3, 2020 - 3:19 am
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TXGunNut said

Average trigger pull is 1lb, 11.4 ozs. Very crisp and consistent, feels much closer to 1 lb. To follow up on the other thread the rifle weighs 11.4 lbs. 

Mike  

Very nice!  I have a fair number of 1885 rifles with set triggers (all three types), and I tune all of them for a 24-oz pull.  My favorite set trigger of the three is the Schuetzen double set, followed by the original single-set.  The close-coupled set trigger is in my opinion clumsy to use.

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November 3, 2020 - 3:31 am
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Not sure I’d like the close-coupled set trigger, Bert, would probably like the single set. Haven’t paid much attention to the Schützen trigger, if it’s like what’s on my 1874 C. Sharps I would probably prefer it too. I’m pretty impressed with this trigger, wish I’d put the scale on it before but I don’t think I did. Pretty sure it was close to five pounds. Night and day.

 

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November 3, 2020 - 3:51 am
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TXGunNut said
Not sure I’d like the close-coupled set trigger, Bert, would probably like the single set. Haven’t paid much attention to the Schützen trigger, if it’s like what’s on my 1874 C. Sharps I would probably prefer it too. I’m pretty impressed with this trigger, wish I’d put the scale on it before but I don’t think I did. Pretty sure it was close to five pounds. Night and day.

 

Mike  

Schuetzen DST…

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November 4, 2020 - 5:25 pm
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TXGunNut said
Thanks, Chuck. Beautiful rifle! I’ve been wondering about RX7 powder, it’s one that has worked well for me in other cartridges. Which cast bullet are you using!

 

Mike  

Mike, I looked around my garage and can’t find any 32-40 bullets.  That doesn’t mean I won’t.  I have things stuffed everywhere.  I shot 15 rounds through the chronograph.  Fastest was 1430 FPS and slowest was 1327 FPS Extreme spread was 103 FPS. Mean was 1384 FPS and the standard deviation was 25.  Only 3 shots were above 1400 FPS.  I could not see the notch in the rear flat top sight so I was having a hard time.  I did not use the tang sight and the Lyman 5B was in the lower position.  Was on paper at 50 yds right away but not as accurate as I hoped.

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November 8, 2020 - 11:35 pm
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Chuck-

Lyman lists 16.5 grains of Rx7 as an accuracy load for their 165 grain 319247 bullet. I saw that and remembered your post so I decided to give it a try as the Lyman bullet resembles the Winchester bullet. Things didn’t go well but at least I got a little trigger time and I’m doing better with that light trigger.

 

Mike                                 

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May 6, 2022 - 3:09 pm
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I just bought an 1885 , 32-40 Winchester.  Also new to this forum.

This is a very interesting thread because I am thinking about taking my rifle apart to clean the interior parts, but worried about getting it back together.

It helped me some but still nervous about it.

On a side note… does the firing pin have a spring to keep tension on the pin?

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