Who has the best quality firearm replicas?


November 19, 2008, 05:33 PM
I want to buy a replica Winchester 73 and have found the following companies. (I know they all import them from the Italian maker(s), probably Uberti, but each USA importer appears to have a few different standards.)
There is Cimarron, Chaparral, Taylor, Navy Arms, Uberti USA. I am getting the idea that perhaps Cimarron or Taylor are the two best but I do not know this for sure. I read in one reference that only Cimarron has the exclusive right to put authentic patent dates, etc on the tang in imitation of the real enchilada. That is a big thing with me because I want as authentic a replica as I can find. So, Cowboy Action Shooters, and others......tell me what you know or think you know. I thank all of you in advance for helping me out.

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November 19, 2008, 07:05 PM
I do believe that Uberti makes reproductions for many US distributors.

I have owned an Uberti Model '73 for about 11 years. I have never owned a Winchester '73 or even examined on up close so I cannot comment on how fatihful the Uberti copy is. I can say that Uberti makes a fine rifle. I have put hundreds of rounds through mine and it has never hiccupped. Watch the presure on the .45 Colt chambering if you go with that caliber. Personally, to do over again I would have bought the .44-40. That is the original cartridge for this rifle. Winchester never made the Model '73 in .45 Colt. I mostly shoot Cowboy Action loads through mine but have shot both Blazer 200 grain HPs and Winchester Silver Tip 225 grain HP without the gun coming apart. The metalurgy of today is superior to the original. However, the toggle bolt is an inherently weak system so cautiion is advised.

I used to carry mine hiking. It balances perfectly if you grip it for carry just at he base of the barrel in front of the receiver. It feels like it was made to be carried. It is accurate enough out to 80 yards or so. The bullet tracjectory is the limiting factor.

The finish polish is very good and has held up just fine all these years. No screws have worked their way out to be retightened with Threadlocker. Even with rapid fire.

I loaded blackpowder cartridges for it some years ago. As I recall it took about 15 for the rifle to foul up and jamb tight. The tolereances must be a lot closer than the Winchester, but I am no authority.

You can have a lot of fun with one of those. They also don't make much noise compared to a .30-30 or 7.62 X 39 rifle.

November 19, 2008, 08:07 PM
Uberti, eyes closed !

those are mines. I love them !

http://i44.servimg.com/u/f44/11/94/71/06/th/winchs12.jpg (http://www.servimg.com/image_preview.php?i=151&u=11947106)

November 19, 2008, 09:31 PM
Nice collection. Do you have an opportunity to shoot them living in Switzerland? I recall the country being fairly populated but then I was only around the Bodensee and Basil. Is there much open country with rifle ranges for civilians?

November 20, 2008, 12:31 AM
thank you for such a detailed analysis of your experiences. That is a big help and yes, only a .44-40 is on the list because that was the primary caliber on the originals.

And, I envy you having those wide open spaces so big that you can actually hike with a rifle bigger than a .22. I am here in Iowa and while that is not Manhattan it certainly is not New Mexico. I think I could live in your state easily.

And, Shung, thank you for sharing the wonderful photo. I just LOVE lever guns and 19th century American History.

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