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1876 chambering : 45-100, what is it?
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May 7, 2022 - 11:19 am
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Hello,

in a discussion about 1876 rifles, somebody posted a copy of the 1878 catalog presenting the model 76.
It is presented as shooting a 45-100 cartridge, wen I thought the 2 only chambering in .45 were the 45-60 and 45-75 ?

 

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Any clue as to why it is advertised in this unknown to me winchester chambering?

many thhanks in advance

Gilles

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May 7, 2022 - 12:34 pm
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Gilles,  That is a new one on me.  I DO know of the .45-90 version, and if I was to guess, the .45-100 is an experimental version or else the catalog has a “typo”.  The .45-90-500 and .45-90-450 were unheadstamped cartridges that were to be single loaded for long range target work.  Supposedly one rifle made it out of the factory marked for this cartridge, but it has yet to be found.  The cartridge in question uses the .45-75 case, with a longer bullet that is paper patched and seated well out to make room for the powder charge.  The example I have weighs enough compared to a normal, WCF .45-75-350 cartridge, that it MAY (note heavy emphasis on “may”) contain a bit more powder than the 90 grains, but unlikely to be 100 grains.  Even compressed, I doubt there is room for that much powder.  Once loaded into the chamber singly, it would require teasing the loaded round out of the rifle if it was not fired as the length exceeds the length of the opening for the elevator, etc.  Look in the book on the 1876 by Herb Houze and he has a drawing of the subject cartridge with a short discussion.  The subject cartridge was not loaded very long.  I suspect it was overly hard on the rifles.  Tim

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May 7, 2022 - 2:26 pm
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Hi Tim,
thank you for your answer,
I had already read about that “single shot” proposition for the model 1876 (probably here to be honest Laugh), but after digging a bit further, one of my friend may have found the solution on another page of the same catalog:

 

when we read “caliber”, we think cartridge, when obviously the catalog stated silmply the caliber, hence the diameter of the bullet, in 100th of an inch, so 45-100.

Which was offered in two flavour for this model, 45-60 and 45-75… why make things simple?

 

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May 7, 2022 - 4:35 pm
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Thats very interesting, and something new to me, although I don’t study the M76 very much. 

I also couldn’t help but notice the paragraph about lids at the bottom. I always thought the early ’76 rifles were lacking the lid for the same reason the ’73s didn’t have them for a while, patent infringement or something of the sort. The verbiage about the lids being omitted to essentially allow for cartridge heads to blow off seems a bit disturbing. Maybe a better route to take would be to correct the problem of exploding cases! I do see they reference “other manufacturers”. 

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May 7, 2022 - 5:34 pm
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When that 1878 catalog was released the only cartridge available for the Model 1876 was .45-75.  The Winchester Express (.50-95) and .45-60 were introduced in 1879.

Also, as has been previously discussed, the 45-100 refers to bore size.  Look in the 1866 or 1873 section of an early catalog and you will see it shows 44-100 in the caliber row.  At some point they changed this but I don’t have a complete set of catalogs, so not sure of the exact date.  I have a September 1882 catalog that still has the 44-100 reference.  The April 1886 catalog just shows caliber as .45 for the 1876.  Then at the bottom near the price list it says “This model can be furnished adapted to Central Fire Cartridges .45-75, .45-60, or .40-60.”  The Express rifle is listed on a different page as a separate model.

The strange inconsistencies of Winchester catalogs and advertising.

I call myself a collector as it sounds better than hoarder

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May 7, 2022 - 8:46 pm
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pdog72 said
Thats very interesting, and something new to me, although I don’t study the M76 very much. 

I also couldn’t help but notice the paragraph about lids at the bottom. I always thought the early ’76 rifles were lacking the lid for the same reason the ’73s didn’t have them for a while, patent infringement or something of the sort. The verbiage about the lids being omitted to essentially allow for cartridge heads to blow off seems a bit disturbing. Maybe a better route to take would be to correct the problem of exploding cases! I do see they reference “other manufacturers”.   

The reason the first model 76’s did not have a lid was due to the Patent lawsuit.  Once settled the 76’s could be ordered with a lid.  Eventually the lid was standard.  Never heard of an explosion issue?

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May 8, 2022 - 2:52 pm
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All, its obvious the catalog indeed listed the caliber as a fraction.  I was predetermined to answer based on past questions about the .45-90-500 cartridge, and jumped to a conclusion without really READING the offered catalog page!  Refer back to the military abbreviation of RTFQ!  Ah, well.  There will be further opportunities!  Tim

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