Avatar
Search
Forum Scope




Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
Lost password?
sp_Feed sp_PrintTopic sp_TopicIcon
Progress In Ladder Testing Black Powder 44-40 Rifle
sp_NewTopic Add Topic
Avatar
Northern edge of the D/FW Metromess
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 5050
Member Since:
November 7, 2015
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
41
February 23, 2024 - 2:03 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

James-

There’s a bit more to this BP thing than can be efficiently imparted in a YouTube video or forum post. I can recommend SPG Lubricants BP Cartridge Reloading Primer by Mike Venturino and Steve Garbe. At the suggestions of other members here I’m currently reading Handloading Ammunition by J. R. Mattern and he explains BP and smokeless powder interactions with lead and jacketed projectiles better than I’ve ever seen it done before. Many of the points he makes I’ve had to learn over the years by experimenting and assumptions. What’s really cool is that Mattern wrote it nearly 100 years ago. I’ve been reloading for over 40 years but I still have a few new tricks to learn.

Good luck with that obstruction. Be patient. It’s been there a long time, no urgency in getting it out if damage to the gun will result.

 

 

Mike

Life Member TSRA, Endowment Member NRA
BBHC Member, TGCA Member
Smokeless powder is a passing fad! -Steve Garbe
I hate rude behavior in a man. I won't tolerate it. -Woodrow F. Call, Lonesome Dove
Some of my favorite recipes start out with a handful of depleted counterbalance devices.-TXGunNut
Presbyopia be damned, I'm going to shoot this thing! -TXGunNut
Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 40
Member Since:
February 17, 2024
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
42
February 23, 2024 - 6:08 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hey Mike, thanks for the recommendations. That’s what I need. For the obstruction, well, I got the magazine tube opened up, looked down there with the borelight from the breech end. She’s empty. The walls are absolutely smooth. Checked out the spring, a little wimpy, but still shows 3 inches beyond the plug. The magazine follower is a little worn, but fine; no sharp edges. Put ‘er all together again and wollah! single shot operation again. Will not accept another cartridge. Happy as a clam cycling one. Then manually insert another into the sidegate. I’ve looked around on this site for this problem, and a few have described it, but not many. The two I remember are a gentleman who was able by great patience to get his magazine to take as many as 4 at a time. The other one that stands out did not resolve it, but was reduced to a single shot rifle. King’s Improvement Patent! Without this repeater functionality the gun is useless for CAS and I will have to start all over again, looking for a Uberti. That will finish it for me, the wife will never go along with it. The Winchester stays, as an investment, but maybe only with a sign that says “fixer-upper.” By the way, we used to live in McKinney. Our very first, and only ever home. The great recession tsunami washed it away. I loved Dallas. Back then we used to do the Renaissance Faire, which was a really big deal. I was Chaucer’s Sea Captain, wore a kilt, killed the English. Still have my sword, a techno-wootz blade by Angel Forge, bought at the Faire. For a while my wife was going to scatter my ashes in the water at USS Texas in San Jacinto Park. Now I’m in Florida so I will help build a reef instead.

Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 40
Member Since:
February 17, 2024
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
43
February 23, 2024 - 8:31 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Right. Well, let’s apply reasoning to this, as I’m certain it’s not a supernatural phenomenon. I’ve watched the first cartridge enter the gun with the action sideplate removed. It goes as far as the lifter cradle, and the sidegate cutoff snaps into place behind it. I am not aware that the first cartridge is under spring pressure at this point, but I believe it is snugly held in the lifter cartridge channel. The second cartridge pushes the first into the magazine tube. We know the first cartridge enters the magazine straight, without cocking to the left or right because it has been cradled in the lifter’s cartridge channel. So there is a possible disconnect between the lifter and the magazine in terms of the angle with which they are joined., but I believe it to be very small indeed. The second cartridge comes pressing nose to tail on the first, again at an angle, very acute, until the second cartridge can clear the loading gate; which has not been observed to happen even once during the time I’ve owned the gun. At about 3/4 of its length, the second cartridge, still at an acute angle to the first, is caused to stop solid. No more movement is possible, although the second cartridge may be removed with difficulty. I believe the first cartridge by now must be beyond the lifter and into the magazine tube, having entered the tube straight. I have verified that there is no obstruction in the magazine tube, the follower moves smoothly, and there is sufficient spring tension. I have pushed the first cartridge in this position at it’s base with a slender dowel and felt the presence of an obstruction that absolutely stopped the first cartridge from moving ahead in the magazine tube. Meanwhile, the second cartridge remains stopped as well, but at an acute angle to the sideplate and the lifter. It is here that I typically have withdrawn the second cartridge and cycled the action on the first cartridge, which operates smoothly and flawlessly through to the ejection phase. I am afraid to use real force on these cartridges, as they are live rounds. i will construct three dummy rounds without powder or primer, but well-crimped, and I will use a brass rod instead of a wooden dowel together with my brass mallet to hammer all three into the magazine tube, then attempt to cycle them through the action. I will purchase a new brass lifter and a new magazine spring and follower from homesteadparts.com in case I have to repair damage or cause further of it in removing the dummies. This thing must function reliably as a repeater going forward. If anybody has any ideas, or any insights please share, thanks!

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 590
Member Since:
September 19, 2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
44
February 24, 2024 - 4:09 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

James,  I am grasping at straws here in my brain.  I seem to recall many years ago I had an 1873 that the follower had, for some reason, much of its “skirt” cut off and it was much shorter than it should have been.  That may have allowed it to tip as cartridges were introduced into the magazine tube.  By any chance is the follower on yours cut short?  Also, since the receiver itself has a short section to the rear of the magazine tube, is the receiver smooth in that area?  I should hope 1873Man could weigh in better than I, so maybe this will also help him in his thought process.  Best of luck.  I would shy away from hammering any dummy into the magazine, as it should slip in relatively smoothly and easily.  Tim

Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 40
Member Since:
February 17, 2024
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
45
February 25, 2024 - 6:28 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Agreed, Tim, it should go in easily, but it persistently hits an “invisible” wall, kinda like the old sound barrier. I’ve tried everything I can think of. I was thinking it might be wear in the brass carrier or lifter, that maybe causes it to “cock” slightly as the cartridge is introduced. Hence, the notion to purchase a new lifter. I’m also very reluctant to hammer away on anything  on an antique firearm, but I haven’t ruled out the fact that just a little more effort behind the cartridge might get it past the obstacle presented by the cockeyed lifter. Of course, that’s just conjecture, an assumption on my part. The other possibility is that it is simply the wrong part somewhere in the intake chain, or else a part that was installed incorrectly in the beginning. That would explain why the gun appears so little-used; it never worked, ever.  If the hammering idea doesn’t pan out, only question will be take it to a reputable gunsmith and assume the further expense and the waiting period, or try and dismantle it myself. Whatever, I agree with you, I’m grasping at straws too.

James

Avatar
Northern edge of the D/FW Metromess
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 5050
Member Since:
November 7, 2015
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
46
February 25, 2024 - 5:24 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I’ve found the hardest lesson for me to learn is when to stop, put down my tools and walk away when I don’t understand what’s going on with a repair project. If I don’t stop in time it can get expensive or damaged beyond repair. If you don’t know what’s wrong beating on it may make you feel better but it’s unlikely to fix the problem. We’re only temporary custodians of these old guns and I want to pass them along in the same or better condition as when I received them. 

 

Mike

Life Member TSRA, Endowment Member NRA
BBHC Member, TGCA Member
Smokeless powder is a passing fad! -Steve Garbe
I hate rude behavior in a man. I won't tolerate it. -Woodrow F. Call, Lonesome Dove
Some of my favorite recipes start out with a handful of depleted counterbalance devices.-TXGunNut
Presbyopia be damned, I'm going to shoot this thing! -TXGunNut
Avatar
NY
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 6380
Member Since:
November 1, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
47
February 25, 2024 - 6:41 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

James Popoff said If the hammering idea doesn’t pan out, only question will be take it to a reputable gunsmith and assume the further expense and the waiting period, or try and dismantle it myself.
  

Average gunsmith today has never had a ’73 in his hands; putting your gun into them is asking for trouble.  I can give you the name of one who knows enough to solve the problem, but make sure you’ve reached a dead end before you take that option, because it may be expensive; even shipping the gun is expensive.

However, rather than put yourself through further cost & aggravation merely to shoot CAS with an original ’73, a questionable proposition anyway, I think, buying yourself a good repro that doesn’t have to be pampered is far & away the better plan.

Avatar
Kingston, WA
Admin
Forum Posts: 10845
Member Since:
April 15, 2005
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
48
February 25, 2024 - 7:17 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

James Popoff said
Agreed, Tim, it should go in easily, but it persistently hits an “invisible” wall, kinda like the old sound barrier. I’ve tried everything I can think of. I was thinking it might be wear in the brass carrier or lifter, that maybe causes it to “cock” slightly as the cartridge is introduced. Hence, the notion to purchase a new lifter. I’m also very reluctant to hammer away on anything  on an antique firearm, but I haven’t ruled out the fact that just a little more effort behind the cartridge might get it past the obstacle presented by the cockeyed lifter. Of course, that’s just conjecture, an assumption on my part. The other possibility is that it is simply the wrong part somewhere in the intake chain, or else a part that was installed incorrectly in the beginning. That would explain why the gun appears so little-used; it never worked, ever.  If the hammering idea doesn’t pan out, only question will be take it to a reputable gunsmith and assume the further expense and the waiting period, or try and dismantle it myself. Whatever, I agree with you, I’m grasping at straws too.

James

  

James,

One thing I can tell you… that gun did not leave the Winchester factory with anything mechanically wrong with it.  Whatever has happened to it since that has rendered it inoperable was at the hands of a past owner.  

Like Tim mentioned, I highly encourage you not to “hammer” on it.  The old axiom “if it doesn’t fit, use a bigger hammer” is positively the wrong approach as it applies to antique firearms!

Bert

WACA Historian & Board of Director Member #6571L
High-walls-1-002-C-reduced2.jpg

Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 40
Member Since:
February 17, 2024
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
49
February 26, 2024 - 12:38 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

You all raise very good points most persuasively. Let me moderate my original venting a bit, and say that I have reason to believe that pushing the second round in a determined, committed way will at least eliminate the possibility of a faux obstruction of some sort, and either load the round or positively demonstrate that it is decidedly stopped.  Right now, my fear of detonating the cartridge keeps me from pushing  harder than thumb pressure. So, hammering is out, but applying steady pressure with a 1/4″ brass rod (no hammer) will take the investigation to the next level. My dies come this Wednesday, and I have ordered the bullets to arrive this week too, so by next weekend I will have tried pushing 3 dummy rounds to a successful conclusion or to no avail. 

Avatar
Northern edge of the D/FW Metromess
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 5050
Member Since:
November 7, 2015
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
50
February 26, 2024 - 4:48 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Cool! Which dies and bullets did you order? I’m sure they will perform much better than those Cowboy loads.

 

Mike

Life Member TSRA, Endowment Member NRA
BBHC Member, TGCA Member
Smokeless powder is a passing fad! -Steve Garbe
I hate rude behavior in a man. I won't tolerate it. -Woodrow F. Call, Lonesome Dove
Some of my favorite recipes start out with a handful of depleted counterbalance devices.-TXGunNut
Presbyopia be damned, I'm going to shoot this thing! -TXGunNut
Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 40
Member Since:
February 17, 2024
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
51
February 26, 2024 - 7:01 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi Mike,

I use the Missouri Bullets 200 grain hy-tek coated round nose flat point, with crimp groove (Brinnell 12). I don’t lube but rely on extended lubricity from bore butter treatment every 3 cylinders or 18 rounds. As for dies, I always get Lee with a Redding S-type bushing resizing die; would love to be able to afford Short Action Customs dies, but these are solid performers in my other smokeless calibers. This time had a hard time finding 44-40 dies in stock, but did finally locate a Redding 3-die set. Tried Swiss 2FG yesterday practicing offhand in SASS Duelist mode with my sixgun, and was very pleasantly surprised with copious smoke, lower recoil (not that 32 1/2 grains produces much recoil!) and easier loading (‘way) than with my previous Goex 3FG. I realize it’s not done to have 2 differenct load levels for pistol and rifle but since we’re also talkin 2 different calibers, 45 Colt and 44 WCF I guess it don’t actually matter. I’ll start out with 10 rounds loaded to 40 grains and an Academy Sports 24″ archery target at 100 yards. After firing the first 5 round group I’ll hike the 200 yards and replace the target and repeat. Then do that for every 2 1/2 grain decrement until I’ve tested down to 27 1/2 grains. A LOT of walkin, probably over two days. Substituting an enlarged target operates like using a telescopic sight, so I think I’ll be able to put the train back on the rails after the disaster of having tried 6″ roundels at 100 yards with my iron sights. The rifle should almost shoot itself, which is why this magazine thing is so exasperating. Apart from that, the main skill I am mastering for CAS is the offhand Duelist pistol shooting. That, reloading, and slowly acquiring the clothing to augment my Alias is what presently occupies my time. My wife has decided to wait and see. She may come and watch me perform, but she wasn’t up for much socializing of late because of health issues she is confronting. Thank Goodness we both seem to be fundamentally sound. 

Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 40
Member Since:
February 17, 2024
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
52
February 27, 2024 - 10:53 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Okay, it’s embarrassing to admit this. When I was a young man I eschewed school and went to work in the building boom that occurred when I graduated high school. Eventually i employed several framing crews on multiple contracts. I paid well and taught those farm boys how to be framing carpenters, and enforced my will with respect to safety habits. I was strong and fit and those were the happiest years of my life. Now, I have arthritis, like most older folks, and I protect my hands with leather gloves cause they’re sensitive to heat and cold and any jar or touch. With my enfeebled bare hands I’ve been trying to load the Winchester and failing to get the second round all the way in, as I’ve complained about repeatedly. I don’t know why I thought I needed to be bare handed, maybe because that’s how I saw it done on the youtube videos I’ve been watching to show me how it’s done. I forgot, and typically do forget that I’m no longer a man with normal grip strength; not even a boy’s strength. Then, I just bought and read the illustrated disassembly manual for the 1873 Winchester from Homestead Gun Parts, and it only confirmed that there are no mystery parts that are mismatched or incorrectly installed. On a whim, I left my leather gloves on and took up the weapon again. I inserted the first round, and, thinking maybe a shallow angle was what was needed i tried the second round, which hung up again. I pressed down (into the rifle) on the rim and she slipped in. I got a 3rd round and tried it again. She slipped in too! So it was pilot error all along after all. I’m taking her out to the range as soon as they open and trying out grouping with bigger targets at 100 yards, to finish up my 70-odd remaining cowboy action loads. I appreciate all y’all’s listening to me throughout and making suggestions and supportive or critical remarks. Thank you!

Avatar
Northern edge of the D/FW Metromess
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 5050
Member Since:
November 7, 2015
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
53
February 27, 2024 - 1:50 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Good news, James! It sucks getting old, we just need to learn to deal with it and have fun in spite of our infirmities. Sometimes we just have to study on things for a bit to find a solution. Good job, looking forward to a range report.

 

Mike

Life Member TSRA, Endowment Member NRA
BBHC Member, TGCA Member
Smokeless powder is a passing fad! -Steve Garbe
I hate rude behavior in a man. I won't tolerate it. -Woodrow F. Call, Lonesome Dove
Some of my favorite recipes start out with a handful of depleted counterbalance devices.-TXGunNut
Presbyopia be damned, I'm going to shoot this thing! -TXGunNut
Avatar
NY
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 6380
Member Since:
November 1, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
54
February 27, 2024 - 4:16 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

James Popoff said Now, I have arthritis, like most older folks, and I protect my hands with leather gloves cause they’re sensitive to heat and cold and any jar or touch.

Well, when I buy 50 lb bags of cracked corn for my bird feeders, I’m now reduced to asking the man at the feed store to open the bag & pour half of it into a 2nd bag, which I bring with me.  It’s even hard for me to maintain a grip on the 30 lb bags of dog food I buy, because all brands are now packaged in slick plastic.

Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 40
Member Since:
February 17, 2024
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
55
February 27, 2024 - 9:56 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hey Guys! Took her to the range, but Academy was out of archery targets! Just used some larger versions printed by my range, but results are indifferent as I still cannot really see the target. I need to get a 2 or 3 foot target and aim at the same point on the 6 o’clock circumference location. Will go shopping around tomorrow and if I find suitable will use my last 46 rounds  to get a set of 100 yard groups. Then the black powder reloads can begin by the weekend. Thanks for being understanding. Getting old is not for the weak and faint of heart! I got to the range  maybe 10 minutes early, and was the first one there. Woke up to knocking on my window, and there was a long line of cars waiting behind me and the gate was unlocked and wide open! Got quite a few looks at the pro shop where we check in. I just gave ’em my s__t eating grin!

Avatar
Northern edge of the D/FW Metromess
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 5050
Member Since:
November 7, 2015
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
56
February 27, 2024 - 11:18 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

First one to the club range has to unlock the gate and the clubhouse. If you want clay targets you open up and turn on the houses. Not a big deal, just don’t shoot before 8! Range employee shows up later so he can close and secure stuff after we get done playing. We don’t have one of those printers, though. I want one!

 

 

Mike

Life Member TSRA, Endowment Member NRA
BBHC Member, TGCA Member
Smokeless powder is a passing fad! -Steve Garbe
I hate rude behavior in a man. I won't tolerate it. -Woodrow F. Call, Lonesome Dove
Some of my favorite recipes start out with a handful of depleted counterbalance devices.-TXGunNut
Presbyopia be damned, I'm going to shoot this thing! -TXGunNut
Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 40
Member Since:
February 17, 2024
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
57
February 28, 2024 - 1:57 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Ours is a commercial range; it’s a franchise. They have software for the target printer but nothing like what I want, a 2 to 3 foot diameter  target with a 12″ inner roundel with shading. They print zombie or commie silhouettes with organs overlaid, and variations on the 12″ targets I use for my scoped smokeless rifles. So I’m stuck looking for archery targets at sporting goods stores, which are the closest thing I’ve been able to find. Fella next to me today was shooting a 200 yard NRA target, I think it’s 16″ or maybe 18,” and he was grouping his M1A using the issue peep sites. He’s 78, and this was the rifle he trained on during his 4 years in the military back in the day (actually, it was an M14). His groups were about 4 or 5 inches, so I know it can be done, but my Winchester ladder sights, together with the bayonet lug front post just don’t produce a repeatable sight picture for me at a hundred yards with a smaller target like that. We’ve got a Cabellas and a Gander Mountain, so I’ll see what turns up for a big target tomorrow. 

Forum Timezone: UTC 0
Most Users Ever Online: 778
Currently Online:
Guest(s) 169
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Top Posters:
clarence: 6380
TXGunNut: 5050
Chuck: 4600
1873man: 4323
steve004: 4260
Big Larry: 2346
twobit: 2303
mrcvs: 1727
TR: 1725
Forum Stats:
Groups: 1
Forums: 17
Topics: 12773
Posts: 111283

 

Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1767
Members: 8860
Moderators: 4
Admins: 3
Navigation