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Recommendation on Winchester 1866 Yellow Boy vs 1873

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Sandy50, Nov 7, 2010.

  1. Sandy50

    Sandy50 Active Member

    I am beginning to think about purchasing a rifle for Cowboy Action Shooting and have narrowed to field to the Uberti Winchester 1866 Yellow Boy and the Uberti Winchester 1873, probably one from Taylor Firearms. The 1866 is real looker, but is much heavier, not necessarily a bad thing for CAS. I'm told that the 1873 is the CAS rifle that many shooters consider the best for competition.

    I would appreciate any words of wisdom from all the CAS competitors out there. Many thanks!
  2. Fingers McGee

    Fingers McGee Well-Known Member

    I have both. The '66 is a carbine with stock springs and no short stroke; but has had the action smoothed some. The '73 is a short rifle with whisper springs and a short stroke kit in it. I prefer the '66. Probably cause of the carbine buttplate vs the curved rifle butplate on the '73.
  3. Prairie Dawg

    Prairie Dawg Well-Known Member

    I have both & love 'em both.
    Either one will serve you well.
    If you get a '66, you must reinforce the tab on the loading gate as it acts as the cartridge stop.
    A blob of JB Weld will get the job done.
    A '66 has no lever safety and can be fired out-of-battery.
    A '73 has a lever safety that can be made ultra-light & still be functional

    I assume yer shooting black powder.
    44-40 is the caliber to get or plan on doing a lot of cleaning.
    44-40 effectively seals the case mouth to the chamber and very little fouling gets back into the action.

    I have carbines, short rifles and rifles.
    Even had a 30" '73 once, but it was in 45 Colt & I never shot it, so I sold it.
    I like all the barrel lengths.
    One would think that a carbine is much "faster" than a 24" barreled gun, but it is not so.
    Some of the fastest shooters I know shoot a 24" rifle.

    Just be sure to stay away from Chaparral guns.
    The low price looks attractive, but they are a mess inside.

    I recommend an action job by a competent cowboy smith.
    I have had mine short stroked & like 'em that way as it helps keep the front sight on target by minimizing movement when levering.
    I also recommend a lever wrap as it helps keep yer fingers in the lever during the stage.

    The other thing to consider is your "persona" if yer into that sort of thing.
    My Henry rifle or '66 seem to go better with my cap guns.

    Too much fun
  4. DuncanSA

    DuncanSA Well-Known Member

    Most of the replica old western rifles are fun to shoot and probably as reliable as the originals. I am now shooting a Rossi replica of the Winchester 1892 "Trapper" with a 16" barrel. OK, the calibre is .357 which is not true to the original, but I like it and that is what its all about.

    A friend uses a Uberti replica of the "Yellow Boy" and has frequent jams and
    "fails to feed". This is not a criticism of the rifle or of Uberti, I am just telling things as they are with this particular gun.

    Don't be too concerned about choosing weapons for starting CAS. A good idea would be to use borrowed guns for starters. Just out there and enjoy yourself!
  5. whipper

    whipper Well-Known Member

    I have an EMF 73 in 44-40 and love it, and everybody that has shot it loves it too. I compared it to the Uberti, and I like the EMF better and the store clerk did too. It just felt better then the Uberti. Ether way they are fun to shoot.
    Just my 2 cents.
  6. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Well-Known Member

    I am fairly sure the EMF 1873 is made by Uberti. I have a Navy Arms 1873 and it's a Uberti with Navy Arms stamp on it's barrel. I think Uberti is the only company that makes 1873 repros.
    It's possible they may send different grades to different sellers, though.
  7. whipper

    whipper Well-Known Member

  8. Fingers McGee

    Fingers McGee Well-Known Member

    There could be a number of reasons for his rifle to act that way. From overall case length to timing, mismatched parts or particular brand of brass.

    Mine is a 44-40 that does not like Remington-Peters brass. I have a '73 in 45 colt that doesnt like Winchester brass; so, all I use is Starline and have no problems.

    One reason for CAS shooters prefering a '73 to a '66 is because the sideplates come off of a '73 without having to remover the lever screw. Makes them much, much easier to disassemble, clean, and put back together. Of course, using a bottle neck cartridge pretty much eliminates the need to remove the sideplates whether you're using BP or that newfangled smokeyless fad powder.

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