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May 4, 2024 - 5:22 am
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I recently purchased this rifle on a trip to Houston and would like some opinions on whether it retains it’s original configuration or has it been modified in some way not correct for the rifle’s model and manufacturing timeframe. I’m currently waiting for the factory letter from the Cody Firearms Museum to arrive. I purchased the rifle as a shooter, but would like to make it factory correct if required.

Winchester Model 1892

Ser. # 329635

DOM 1906

.38 WCF

24″ round barrel, half magazine, crescent butt plate. There is not much bluing left on the receiver, a bit more on the barrel. The bore has some minor pitting and the rifling appears to be in good condition. The action is very smooth and tight and cycles loaded rounds perfectly.

20240425_114413.jpgImage Enlarger20240425_114152.jpgImage Enlarger20240425_114600.jpgImage Enlarger20240425_114325.jpgImage Enlarger20240425_114430.jpgImage Enlarger20240425_114220.jpgImage Enlarger20240425_114515.jpgImage Enlarger20240425_114543.jpgImage Enlarger20240425_114311.jpgImage Enlarger 

 

I’d appreciate any feedback.

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May 4, 2024 - 6:22 am
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It looks like an original (honest) clean Model 1892 Sporting Rifle with decent condition.  I see nothing that raises any red flags.

Bert

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May 4, 2024 - 2:09 pm
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Thank you Bert, that is what I was hoping to hear.

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May 4, 2024 - 2:27 pm
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Looks very nice, enjoy. There’s a lot of these in this condition out there still for reasonable money too, I dig it.

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May 4, 2024 - 2:47 pm
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Gus-

In my humble option all it needs is a handful of ammo and a trip to the range. I didn’t see a set of the appropriate dies, if you are looking I can recommend the RCBS Cowboy dies, especially if you’ll be feeding your new prize lead bullets.

 

Mike

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May 4, 2024 - 3:23 pm
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I agree with Bert. Everything looks to be correct and un-messed with. I have an identical one shipped in 1909. I don’t know what it is about the 38 W.C.F. aka 38-40, but it is one of my favourite cartridges. I’ve had mine to the range several times and have just finished developing a smokeless load that gives me original ballistics with a soft cast, air-cooled bullet from an Accurate custom mould.

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May 4, 2024 - 3:42 pm
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Yeah, I’d have to say I like the .38-40 cartridge too.  Not factoring in sling ring carbines, I have more Winchesters in .38-40 than I do .44-40.  I have more Marlins in .38-40 than .44-40.  And, while I don’t have a Whitney-Kennedy in .44-40, I do have one in .38-40 Smile

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May 4, 2024 - 4:34 pm
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All of the stamp styles and locations are correct for the manufacture time frame.  Did you get it from Collectors Firearms?

Michael

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May 4, 2024 - 4:35 pm
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Thanks for all your comments gentlemen. I stuck with .38 WCF because I’m already reloading it for an 1883 vintage Model 1873 and Colt SAA clone. The bore on this 1892 is much better than my 1873, but I’m amazed how accurate the 1873 is despite the bore’s rough appearance. I do have to use cast .403″ diameter bullets vs. .401″. The only downside is .38-40 reloading brass is hard to find.

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May 4, 2024 - 4:39 pm
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Michael,

I did. I shouldn’t go in there. My desire always exceeds my checkbook balance.

Gus

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May 4, 2024 - 4:41 pm
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Michael,

I did. I shouldn’t go in there. My desire always exceeds my checkbook balance.

Gus 

  

If you ever need something looked at I am happy to go take a look and report.

Michael

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May 4, 2024 - 7:12 pm
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twobit said

Michael,

I did. I shouldn’t go in there. My desire always exceeds my checkbook balance.

Gus 

  

If you ever need something looked at I am happy to go take a look and report.

Michael

  

I’ve gotten one thing from them, but never been in their store….I need to go one day!  JP

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May 4, 2024 - 9:15 pm
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TXGunNut said
Gus-

In my humble option all it needs is a handful of ammo and a trip to the range. I didn’t see a set of the appropriate dies, if you are looking I can recommend the RCBS Cowboy dies, especially if you’ll be feeding your new prize lead bullets.

 

Mike

  

What is the difference between regular dies and cowboy dies?

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May 4, 2024 - 9:45 pm
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Chuck,

Supposedly, they’re built to a different dimension, which allows improved sizing, seating and crimping of cast bullets. I use standard dies for reloading .38 WCF and .45 Colt, and a set of the Cowboy Dies for .44 WCF. For all, I crimp in a separate step. In my situation, I can’t really tell if the Cowboy Dies offer any real advantages over the standard dimension dies.

Gus

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May 5, 2024 - 1:57 am
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Chuck said

TXGunNut said

Gus-

In my humble option all it needs is a handful of ammo and a trip to the range. I didn’t see a set of the appropriate dies, if you are looking I can recommend the RCBS Cowboy dies, especially if you’ll be feeding your new prize lead bullets.

 

Mike

  

What is the difference between regular dies and cowboy dies?

  

Chuck-

As a bullet caster there is a considerable difference. Cowboy dies for the 38WCF consist of three dies. The first die resizes only. There is some debate whether the outside dimensions are the same as the two-die set but I don’t own a two-die set for this cartridge. For other cartridges I feel the two-die set reduces the outside dimensions excessively but that could be normal variance. All my Cowboy dies expand very little when fired in my old Winchesters. The big difference, at least for me, is the case mouth expander dies. A two-die set tries to do this with the sizing die but folks who load cast bullets like to expand the case mouth to a few thousandths under bullet diameter and bell the case mouth to allow the bullet to enter the case without damage. Crimping is a bit tricky for the 38WCF and the 32WCF and I understand the same is true for the 44WCF and 25-20 repeater as well. As Gus mentioned a separate crimping die may be required but I’ve been lucky with my Cowboy dies in 32 and 38(40) and the bullets I cast.

 

Mike

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May 5, 2024 - 5:02 pm
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Regular 38-40 dies are a 3 die set too.  The f/l sizing die has a de capping pin.  An expander die and a seating die that also crimps.  When you chamfer the mouth this aides when seating the bullets but I have had to use a tapered punch to bell some mouths.  I also have used a Lee crimp die.  The only cases that I have that use a 2 die set are for rimless cartridges that headspace off the shoulder.

I bet the differences are in the dimensions of the f/l die?  I have made some of my expanders so I can get the exact neck tension I want.  Normally I use one that is .002″ under the bullet diameter and don’t crimp.  You need to test to make sure that this is enough so your bullets don’t back out on recoil.  If they do use an expander that is .001″ under the bullet diameter.  Load a handful of dummies rounds with only a bullet in them. No primer or powder.  Single load a bunch of live rounds and shoot them.  Eject the dummies and see if any of them have moved.

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Edit:  I went on a SASS forum and all they talked about is the different expander dimensions.  One guy said that the f/l die may reduce the body differently but nobody gave any dimensions.  These guys want the fired cases to unload quickly so I can see where they would want to control case expansion.

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May 5, 2024 - 5:34 pm
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Thanks, Chuck. I’ve never opened the regular RCBS 38-40 set, figured it was like other rifle die sets. My RCBS 30WCF die set has two dies, I bought a set of Cowboy dies to replace it after using a three die Cowboy set for the 32WS. I use an M-die to expand case mouths for some cartridges where the die set does not include an expander or the size doesn’t work for me. Buffalo Arms makes custom expanders for the difficult combinations.

 

Mike

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May 5, 2024 - 5:47 pm
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TXGunNut said
Thanks, Chuck. I’ve never opened the regular RCBS 38-40 set, figured it was like other rifle die sets. My RCBS 30WCF die set has two dies, I bought a set of Cowboy dies to replace it after using a three die Cowboy set for the 32WS. I use an M-die to expand case mouths for some cartridges where the die set does not include an expander or the size doesn’t work for me. Buffalo arms makes custom expanders for the difficult combinations.

 

Mike

  

After looking my 30 WCF dies are a 2 die set also.  At some diameter they are able to include the expander on the de capping pin shaft  .  Did not know about the Buffalo Arms stuff until recently.  I use to use an expander mandrel body and insert a pin gauge of the desired diameter.

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May 5, 2024 - 6:16 pm
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Chuck-

I consider the 38WCF a rifle cartridge, most RCBS pistol die sets contain three dies. Hadn’t occurred to me that RCBS might consider it a pistol cartridge. I haven’t bought a set of dies in several years, just now found a set of 22-250 RCBS Competition dies that I thought I gave away over 20 years ago. Now I’m wondering how many of my rifle die sets have an expander die. 

 

Mike

 

ETA I I believe incorporating the expander in the sizing die works the brass too much and doesn’t bell the case mouth to facilitate loading lead bullets. For my purposes the Cowboy dies are ideal.

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May 5, 2024 - 6:42 pm
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TXGunNut said
Chuck-

I consider the 38WCF a rifle cartridge, most RCBS pistol die sets contain three dies. Hadn’t occurred to me that RCBS might consider it a pistol cartridge. I

ETA I I believe incorporating the expander in the sizing die works the brass too much and doesn’t bell the case mouth to facilitate loading lead bullets. For my purposes the Cowboy dies are ideal.

  

My 44 WCF set is 3 dies.  I believe incorporating the expander in any sizing die does a poor job.  When accuracy counts I use expander mandrels that are all longer than the bearing surface of the bullet so uniform expanding is accomplished.  One other thing, when moving brass around you should let the die rest and let the brass settle before removing the brass from the die or the expander from the case.  There is always some rebound of the brass.  Especially if the brass has not been annealed.

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