school me on the 1873 Winchester..and other levers as needed


Leaky Waders
January 2, 2010, 04:20 PM

So i've really gotten into reloading 45 long's fun. Right now I'm using a S&W model 25-15 and old vaquero to empty my brass so i can reload again.

I don't do CAS...but my vaquero does reside in a mernickle holster.

I want a 45 LC, preferably lever action, to help me empty my brass, so I can reload, and empty more brass...

I thought I wanted a model 92, but today I looked at some model 1873's - an uberti and a berretta. It's the first time I've ever handled an 1873.

So I have a few questions:

1) Is the dust cover on the top of the receiver that moves backwards with the action until you're done shooting period correct?

2) Is the catch on the butt that swivels out of the way to hold the lever down when not in use correct?

3) Are the Uberti and Beretta's true toggle actions? How do they compare in strength with the pump actions in 45 long colt?

Thanks again for your expertise,


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January 2, 2010, 04:24 PM
Yes, the dust cover & lever locking stud where standard features on the 73 Winchester.

As for strengh?
If it's a 73 repro, it is a toggle-locked action.
If it wasn't a toggle-locked action, it would not be a 73.

I don't know how they compare with a Colt Lightening repro.
But neither one are nearly as strong as a Winchester 92.

It's safe to say that both were designed and intended for use with nothing stronger then standard pressure (14,000 PSI) .45 Colt, or even lighter .45 Colt Cowboy loads..

The 92 can handle up to 40,000 plus in the .218 Bee, though not when chambered in the much larger cased .45 Colt..


Jim Watson
January 2, 2010, 04:30 PM
1. Yes. I don't know which minor variant of dust cover the repros use, but it is generally correct.
2. Yes.
3. Yes. They are pretty faithful copies.
Ken Waters lumps the '73, the Lightning, Marlins through 1888, Stevens 44 single shot, small frame Rolling Blocks, and revolvers in Group I best limited to black, nitro for black, and SAAMI spec factory loads. Winchester '92, 1889 and '94 Marlins are stronger actions that fall in Group II.

Leaky Waders
January 2, 2010, 05:09 PM
Thanks guys - that's exactly the kind of answers i needed and couldn't satisfy via google.

I think my wife regrets the Young Guns, Tombstone, and 3:10 to Yuma Christmas dvd's ;)

January 2, 2010, 07:46 PM
About the only differences between the replica 1873's and the originals are:

The replicas use a spring loaded ball to power the sliding cover instead of the flat spring of the original.

The replicas use a separate spring loaded firing pin with a long striker rod.
The originals use a one-piece firing pin/striker rod.

The carbine models now use a front sight that's made on the barrel band.
Originals, and older replicas had the correct front sight mounted on the barrel.

The magazine caps on the replicas are permanently attached to the magazine tube.
Originals were removable and held on by a screw.

Checkering on the replica hammers isn't up to the standard of the original Winchester.

Other than that, they're very close to the originals.
The 1873 is a fine shooter, and there's just something about the sound and fell of the action as the brass elevator lifts cartridges.
One word of warning. The 1873 design is very sensitive about overall cartridge length. Too long or too short and the rifle will not feed and will jam.

Leaky Waders
January 2, 2010, 09:15 PM
I also read on a few posts that people were having blowback problems with straight walled cases in the 1873. Although, when I see Hickok45's youtube video and others they didnt mention any problems in that caliber (about blowback).

Right now I'm loading hornady 230 grain lead round nose for my revolvers, is that ok in the 1873? I know you can't shoot spire points in it, my only recent lever gun experience besides a 30/30 is a 9422 and a winchester 1895 in 3006.

January 2, 2010, 09:52 PM
I bought the '92 this year. No experience with others, but I sure like mine. I've just loaded up some stout 340gr Beartooth bullets over 2400 to try something more than the pistol loads I've been shooting. Also put a Marbles tang sight on it that needs sighted in.

January 3, 2010, 01:17 AM
I was shooting my original 1873 (nee 1889) in 38-40 today.

I load 180g lead round nose, flat tip over 4.5g of Trailboss.

No blowback issues, very accurate at 25 yards, and one of the smoothest actions you can imagine.

Don't know what the replicas are like, but if it's anything like this 110 year old beauty, you're going to like it.

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