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1886 manufactured hi wall m1885 in 22 WCF
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Ted Schmidt
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February 29, 2024 - 5:43 am
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I purchased a beautiful hi wall Winchester with a four digit serial number and a drop dead gorgeous fiddleback walnut stock at the Las Vegas gun show in 1964 for $125. The gun was tagged as a 22 hornet but in fact it was really a 22 WCF that as a 17 year old gun nut I soon discovered after trying a few 22 hornets in it.  A bit later in 1967 when I was slogging through Vietnam rice paddies my Dad sent the gun to P.O. Ackley to rechamber the gun in 22 hornet but something went south in the process and my beautiful octagon barrel was gone and in its place was an Ackley installed 22 inch bull barrel chambered in 6mm-225 Winchester. 
The rifle shoots half inch groups with about any 90 grain bullets with 24.5 grains of 4895. It is still my favorite rifle after using many rifles over the last half century. 
My question for this very knowledgeable forum is what would be some other powders for this gun and is the action strong enough to get close to 3000 ft per second with 95 grain bullets? Any load suggestions would also be appreciated. I have been using cci primers but getting some failures to fire. If I can find some Federal match primers would that perhaps work better to eliminate the primer failure problem? Have been reloading for over 60 years but still learning. One last item is I would like some idea of value since I am soon going to give my 100 plus gun collection to my grand children and want them to know approximate values for insurance purposes. 
Thanks for any assistance,

Ted

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March 4, 2024 - 6:33 pm
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Hello Ted,

In answer to your first question (about the action strength), most definitely Yes, it is plenty strong enough.  A 95-grain bullet @3000 fps is well within the pressure range that the high-wall action is capable.

The Single Shot action was specifically used by Winchester to develop a large number of cartridges up to the early 1960s (the last was the 300 Win Mag).

In regard to your question about the value of the rifle, unfortunately most of the value was permanently lost when the rifle was sent to P.O. Ackley and converted to shoot your wildcat 6mm-225 cartridge.  In addition to the replaced barrel, the breech block was most likely converted to a smokeless (small diameter) firing pin, and the extractor was replaced.

In regard to your question about what powders to use, you are on your own due to it being a wildcat cartridge.  In your shoes, I would contact Hodgen’s technical support and ask them.  I suspect that the 22-inch barrel length is going to require using a faster burning powder.  That stated, you might find this website useful – Reloading Data 6mm-225 (P.O. Ackley Data) Metallic (loaddata.com)

Bert

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March 6, 2024 - 5:37 am
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Hi Bert,

Thank you for your informative reply! I did follow up today with your suggestion to contact Hornady for powder and load advice. They recommended using data for the 6mmPPC and with a 22 inch barrel start with Benchmark and IMR 8208 XBR. 
If you can endure one more question where would you send the rifle to have a single set trigger installed? 

TedIMG_0810.jpegImage Enlarger

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March 6, 2024 - 5:56 am
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I do not have a recommendation for who might be capable of installing a single set trigger in an original high-wall action.  There are very few people still in the business who work on the original Single Shot rifles.

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March 6, 2024 - 10:34 am
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Welcome Home Ted.

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March 6, 2024 - 4:14 pm
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William Schmidt said
If you can endure one more question where would you send the rifle to have a single set trigger installed? 

Still gunsmiths doing trigger work, mainly on revolvers, who could stone the sear tip & reduce sear engagement, but they’d have to have the rcvr, which means high shipping costs.  What you could do yourself is work red grease into the hammer full-cock notch with a tooth-pick which will reduce apparent pull wt somewhat.

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March 6, 2024 - 7:26 pm
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Thanks for tip. Could not find my red grease so being an impatient soul I put two drops of Kroil in same location and waited a few minutes and wow trigger got way better instantly.  Probably flushed some old grease out that was stiff as a Mallard duck’s pecker. 
Sure was a lot cheaper than a trigger job and way more satisfying. 

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