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Winchester 1873 Cycling Issues
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June 3, 2024 - 4:05 am
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All,

I have a 1st Series model 1873 that I’m having issues getting to cycle. In short, when I remove the right side toggle, the rifle functions perfectly. However, when I put that toggle back, the action binds up. I think I’ve gotten it narrowed down to the right side toggle doesn’t allow the bolt to fully retract, thus not letting the lifter pop into place. I’m at a complete loss as to what would be wrong with the right toggle to make that happen. 

SO, any advice or information would be super helpful and very much appreciated. I’ll work on getting some pictures posted of the action. 

thanks!

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June 3, 2024 - 4:16 am
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June 3, 2024 - 4:30 am
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Wyatt,

The right toggle does not look like its machined correctly and is causing a jam. Also the firing pin retractor is installed upside down.

Bob

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June 3, 2024 - 5:00 am
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Wyatt,

I checked some of my right toggles and what I was seeing on your toggle is correct. They are not mirror images of each other. so your right toggle was made like that. Have you tried with just the right toggle in it?

Bob

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June 3, 2024 - 5:16 am
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Thanks for the help Bob!

I have tried it with just the right toggle and it binds still. it happens right before the lever is fully forward, the toggle locks up and then the bolt doesn’t fully retract. 

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June 3, 2024 - 11:49 am
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Try loosening right hand spring and swing out of the way. If the rifle then functions it is because the spring is not installed correctly. I seem to remember this being the case in my 73. Don

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June 3, 2024 - 1:52 pm
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Loosing the spring would be common to both toggles not to just the one side.

Bob

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June 3, 2024 - 4:38 pm
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Bob is right, the firing pin retractor is in up-side-down.

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June 3, 2024 - 7:39 pm
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The springs have nothing to do with the toggles. The left spring places pressure on the finger lever and snaps it up into position against the tang and keeps it in place. The right hand spring snaps the lifter into place. The springs are independent of each other. The rifle functions without the right toggle in place. This is because the right toggle is not striking the mislocated right spring. As I stated this happened to me. To correct, loosen the right spring. swing it out and with an upward pressure on the end swing it back into position and tighten.

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June 3, 2024 - 11:37 pm
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Wyatt,

Lay the toggles side by side with the slot up and compare them. Is there any thing different to the slots? Verify the right toggle hinges correctly out of the gun. Any differences to the pin holes? Are the length of the toggles the same length when measure hole to hole with a dial calipers. Are any of the pins bent?  Is the end of the lever with the pin through it square to the gun? Quickest way to figure it out is if you had another gun you could swap parts to find out which one is defective.

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June 4, 2024 - 2:07 am
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I did try and cycle the rifle without the right hand spring installed and that didn’t help. 

upon investigating the toggles more closely I believe I may have a bent pin. I’ve attached a couple pictures of each toggle and there is a slight gap at the center point when fully extended in the right toggle that doesn’t exist on the left. Also are a couple measurements of the toggles, they’re within .005 of each other. 

im thinking I may need a new set of toggles for the rifle. Sadly I don’t have a second 1873, I only recently picked this one up at a pawn shop. It’s a 1st series musket, so I couldn’t resist even in the non-operating condition.

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June 4, 2024 - 2:42 am
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The forward hole of the right toggle is oblong for some reason as well. A new set or at least the right one is a good start. If you look close at the center hinge of the right toggle you might find its cracked.

Bob

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June 8, 2024 - 4:42 am
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Bob,

I wanted to say thank you for all the help and information on this issues. I was lucky enough to come across an old used set of toggles on Ebay earlier this week and got them installed tonight. The rifle cycles like a dream now! Super excited to get take this one out and shoot it a bit! I did go ahead and add a few more photos for those interested! 

Thanks again,

Wyatt

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June 8, 2024 - 5:02 am
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Wyatt,

Glad it was a simple fix. Looks like you need a rear sight for your musket.

Bob

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June 8, 2024 - 5:29 am
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Me too! I Actually have the sight and bayonet/scabbard for it in the safe. Only missing piece I need is a new center barrel band screw and the sling swivel for the butt stock. Original screw was broken off in the stock when I purchased the rifle and sling swivel was gone.

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