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1886 Winchester Extra Lightweight Takedown -45-90 - Twist Rate
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October 7, 2023 - 3:56 pm
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I purchased a 1886 Winchester Extra Lightweight Takedown in 45-90. The rifling in the bore is in good condition.  The bore was cleaned thoroughly.

I have read that the twist rate for the 45-90’s was 1:32. Not sure if that applies to the Extra Lightweight Takedowns.  Hendershot’s recommendation was to loaded up 420 grain gas checks in both standard and medium pressure loads, standard pressure being 1550 FPS and the High Pressure at 2050 FPS.

At 25 yards, was having a tough time getting even the medium pressure loads to paper. I have orders 300 grain in both medium and High Pressure to see of the lower weight helps.

Is the twist rate any different for the ELWTD’s?  If so, what is the twist rate for this rifle?

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October 7, 2023 - 4:40 pm
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Have you tried jacketed bullets?  I use 300 grain jacketed bullets in my .45-90.  Mine is not an ELW.  Cast bullets performed miserably in it.  You mentioned your bore was, “good” – “good” can cover a lot of territory.  

Regarding your rate of twist, I have some pessimism reference books will tell you exactly what the twist rate is on your rifle.

Have you considered measuring it yourself?  Here is a very brief video of Larry Potterfield from Midway demonstrating the, “cleaning rod method” of measurement.  Given your rate of twist is much slower than the rifle he uses as a demonstration, you may have to do a bit of calculation as the flag won’t spin one full turn before you run out of barrel:

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October 7, 2023 - 6:10 pm
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In answer to your question about the rifling, Winchester used a 1:32 twist rate for all 45-90 rifles unless specifically ordered otherwise.  I have seen in the ledger records for at least two 45-90 rifles “rifled like 45-70” indicating a 1:22 twist rate. 

From past experience, the 1:32 twist rate will stabilize bullet weights up to 350-grains, but performs very poorly with the standard 405-grain 45-70 bullets.

Bert

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October 7, 2023 - 6:49 pm
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steve004 said
Have you tried jacketed bullets?  I use 300 grain jacketed bullets in my .45-90.  Mine is not an ELW.  Cast bullets performed miserably in it.  You mentioned your bore was, “good” – “good” can cover a lot of territory.  

Regarding your rate of twist, I have some pessimism reference books will tell you exactly what the twist rate is on your rifle.

Have you considered measuring it yourself?  Here is a very brief video of Larry Potterfield from Midway demonstrating the, “cleaning rod method” of measurement.  Given your rate of twist is much slower than the rifle he uses as a demonstration, you may have to do a bit of calculation as the flag won’t spin one full turn before you run out of barrel:

  

Steve – Thank you!  The new rounds ordered from Hendershot’s are 300 grain TSX- FN’s.  Understand the comment about bore condition.  I don’t have a bore scope, so my judgements are based upon what can be seen to teh naked eye.  The bore has no visible signs of pitting.  The lands and grooves are strong, but certainly not what I would consider great.  Thanks for teh video.  I have not seen the flag trick.  I used to use aluminum cleaning rods and could mark the rod, however, I am now using fiberglass Tipton cleaning rods and could not mark the rod. I will have to try what is shown in the video.  Thank you!

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October 7, 2023 - 6:50 pm
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Bert H. said
In answer to your question about the rifling, Winchester used a 1:32 twist rate for all 45-90 rifles unless specifically ordered otherwise.  I have seen in the ledger records for at least two 45-90 rifles “rifled like 45-70” indicating a 1:22 twist rate. 

From past experience, the 1:32 twist rate will stabilize bullet weights up to 350-grains, but performs very poorly with the standard 405-grain 45-70 bullets.

Bert

  

Bert –  

Thank you for the response.  I will see how the 300 grain TSX-FN’s perform.

  

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October 7, 2023 - 7:51 pm
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Scooter You had to go and bring up a bad memory again! lol  I hope you are taking good care of that light weight. Still wish i bid a 100 up. Laugh

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October 7, 2023 - 7:56 pm
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oldcrankyyankee said
Scooter You had to go and bring up a bad memory again! lol  I hope you are taking good care of that light weight. Still wish i bid a 100 up. Laugh

  

LOL.  Taking good care if it! It is a safe queen aside from range time.  I think I am going to pull the stock off and see if the tang has any markings on it.  The wood is no 2x or 3x, but does not appear to be standard!  This one took me 3 years to find!  You gave me a great run for the money.  Wink

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October 7, 2023 - 8:37 pm
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[email protected] said

oldcrankyyankee said

Scooter You had to go and bring up a bad memory again! lol  I hope you are taking good care of that light weight. Still wish i bid a 100 up. Laugh

  

LOL.  Taking good care if it! It is a safe queen aside from range time.  I think I am going to pull the stock off and see if the tang has any markings on it.  The wood is no 2x or 3x, but does not appear to be standard!  This one took me 3 years to find!  You gave me a great run for the money.  Wink

  

Yes, I remember that rifle now.  I lusted after it too!

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October 7, 2023 - 9:05 pm
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steve004 said
Have you tried jacketed bullets?  I use 300 grain jacketed bullets in my .45-90.  Mine is not an ELW.  Cast bullets performed miserably in it.  You mentioned your bore was, “good” – “good” can cover a lot of territory.  

Regarding your rate of twist, I have some pessimism reference books will tell you exactly what the twist rate is on your rifle.

Have you considered measuring it yourself?  Here is a very brief video of Larry Potterfield from Midway demonstrating the, “cleaning rod method” of measurement.  Given your rate of twist is much slower than the rifle he uses as a demonstration, you may have to do a bit of calculation as the flag won’t spin one full turn before you run out of barrel:

  

I agree with Steve.  The 45-90 was designed for 300 grain bullets or lighter.  When new the grooves were only .004″ deep and the junction of the groove and land is very sharp. Over time the lands wear and the junction gets rounded off.   Each barrel likes what it likes.  So you have to get the right diameter of bullet and the best powder charge.  Not all cast bullets are the same quality.  It takes testing.

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October 9, 2023 - 3:36 pm
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Slug the bore and see what it measures. Then shoot a 300gr bullet of 20 to 1 alloy that is .001 to .002 larger than bore size. You’ll probably want the bullet to go 1450 to 1650fps. 

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