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Original Model 1873 44 W.C.F. brings home the venison.
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November 12, 2013 - 7:07 pm
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For me, Deer hunting has to be done with a vintage Winchester. It is the feel of history in my hands, old cartridges, and using guns that the homesteaders used. This year, I decided to use my original Winchester Model 1873 chambered in what was originally called the 44 W.C.F., but eventually become known as the 44-40. The Cody records show that this rifle was shipped from the Winchester warehouse in 1889. It is in pretty nice condition with at least 85% of the original finish, and the bore is near mint. Before taking it hunting, I gave it a heavy coat of Conservator’s Wax, and then took the can with me to give it more coats as the need arose.

I had cast my own bullets out of clip on wheel weights to get a 200 grain gas checked bullet using a brass mould from Accurate Moulds. Seated over 18 grains of 5744 the muzzle velocity was 1,280 fps, plus or minus depending upon the temperature, which was ranging between freezing to several degrees below freezing with occasional snow flurries. Here is a photo I took of the old ’73 on the second day of hunting.

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November 13, 2013 - 12:44 am
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Kirk,

That is an awesome hunt you described. Good thing you set your tang sight high the first time or it would have ended too soon. I think that 44 WCF model 1873 is just getting broken in. What else could you shoot with it?

Well done!

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November 13, 2013 - 3:31 am
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Kirk,

Congrats on the successful hunt. I would love to hunt in a snow scape again. It is nice here in Texas but the beauty of a silent, white shrouded woods edge can not be beat.

I overshot a hog a few years ago at only about 35 yards. I was using an 1892 in 44 WCF and had the rear sight set for 150 yards and the hog was at about 40. I was aiming for the base of the ear and was stunned when he walked away into the woods. I check my sights all the time now!

Michael

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Model 1892 / Model 61 Collector, Research, Valuation

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November 13, 2013 - 4:43 am
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Kirk

Nice job! Good size doe. Through the ribs is a great spot. When a guy thinks about it, 150 yards isn’t long if that deer was running until the end. Glad you missed the first one clean and still had another opportunity later on…like dimrod said, you got to hunt longer!

Brad

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Brad Dunbar

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November 13, 2013 - 1:38 pm
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Great story and pictures.Reminds me of the times when I use to use my Model1886,Model 71 and Model 55 in the deer woods. 🙂

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November 14, 2013 - 2:29 pm
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Nice Kirk, brings back a lot of memories. Congratulations on a successful hunt.

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November 14, 2013 - 6:47 pm
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Congrats Kirk. Great to see one of these old guns still doing what they are supposed to do–put meat on the table. Great story to boot.

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November 17, 2013 - 8:57 am
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I second all the above positive comments and just want to ad "GREAT PHOTOS".

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November 17, 2013 - 12:40 pm
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Glad you all enjoyed the photos and report. It was a real thrill to hunt with an original ’73 like this one. Next year, I have an original ’86 45-70 that has been patiently awaiting its turn.

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November 18, 2013 - 7:44 am
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Was just remembering that many years ago I use to do a little hunting with a .38-40 Winchester Model 1873.Had forgotten about that rifle until just now. 🙂

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