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Uberti 1866 Question/Poll-ish

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by BobbyQuickdraw, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. BobbyQuickdraw

    BobbyQuickdraw Well-Known Member

    Now before I get :fire:'d, I did search! I've read up on pretty much everything about the Uberti 1866, as I recently purchased one and get to pick it up on Sunday.

    But my research has brought up a few things that I wanted to ask other 1866 owners, as I noticed there are a few here. I already have been bugging the SASS boys (I'm one too), but I figured I should bug the high roaders.

    Anyway, to those that own them, have you had any problems? What I hear is:

    A) Tight, tight, tight screws that are easily stripped.
    a) Did you get a gunsmith to loosen them? Did you do it yourself, using gunsmith screwdrivers?

    B) No lube on the internal mechanisms from factory.
    b) Did you shoot it without first disassembling and lubing it? What lube did you use?

    C) Loading gate breaks, generally due to bullet stop failure (little piece on back of loading gate)
    c) Did you have it break? Did you reinforce it?

    And imporantly What year did you buy it? What format is your serial number? (To help ID production runs, don't post full serial obviously!)

    I think the main formats are:
    Numerical + W
    There might be another Numerical + (H or B), but I'm not sure at the moment.

    I know this was a long one, but if anyone could help throw some light on what I may be facing when I first get this bad boy, that'd be much appreciated!!
  2. BobbyQuickdraw

    BobbyQuickdraw Well-Known Member

    self bump with no shame!!!
  3. ScottsGT

    ScottsGT Well-Known Member

    First off is that Hollywood CA or Hollywood SC? :D Or maybe even Hollywood FL?
    OK, I've got the Uberti 1866. Mine is chambered in .45LC

    A) Tight screws. Yes, they are VERY tight. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REMOVE THEM WITHOUT GUNSMITH SCREWDRIVERS. When I ordered my screwdrivers from Brownells, I also ordered new screws too. They carry them. The gunsmith screwdrivers grip the slot like nothing you have ever seen. A little tight twisting, and they pop loose. Forget it with a standard screwdriver.

    B) I just sprayed a little rem oil in the mechanism. Don't go heavy, it will gum up everything. Maybe CLP will work too?

    C) I read about the loading gate problem and had a panic attack. This is why I stripped my screws! After getting said rifle open, I could have just ordered a heavyduty loading gate, but since mine was not broke, I did the trick shown on CASS websites. I took a small triangular piece of steel, and JB welded it in place behind the tab on the loading gate. It acts as a gusset to keep the tab from shearing off.
    Now granted, I have not put a lot of rounds thru it in the 1.5 years I have owned it, but thats' due to my schedule.

    Let me add, these are some fun shooting rifles, and can be money pits if you want them to be. They make all kinds of mods for them. From shortstroke kits to highend sights, to fancy engravers waiting to get your hard earned dollars! I'm serioulsy thinking about getting mine engraved one day. First thing I did was to polish the brass with "Brasso". Looked real pretty, but now almost two years later, it looks much better with the yellowing patina it develops over time.
  4. tinroad37e

    tinroad37e Well-Known Member

    I too read the loading gate problem on CAS Forum. I tore mine apart and reinforced it with a small piece of metal and JB weld. It was easy to fix for $5and I've never had a problem. I recommend you spray the screws with penetrating oil and use a good set of screw drivers. Let the penetrating oil do its magic for a few hours. I never did damage a screw head using this method. The inside of the receiver was FULL of gunk and I recommend you clean it and oil the toggle link. Be aware the brass is soft and can be easily damaged. Take your time.
  5. BobbyQuickdraw

    BobbyQuickdraw Well-Known Member

    Well I had typed up a reply, but somehow it got lost along the line.

    I'm picking the gun up on Sunday and on that day I'll probably see if I can pick up some gunsmithing screwdrivers. If I can, I plan on doing everything myself.

    Would WD-40 be a good enough penetrating oil for the screws? If so, I'll WD-40 it, carefully open it, clean any gunk, Rem Oil the toggle link, clean out the barrel, and close it up. I'll probably fire a few times like this.

    I'm going to order a gunsmith reinforced Loading Gate from VTI, probably, and will replace the original when that arrives. Or, if when I talk to the gunsmith Sunday I might just ask what he'd charge to do all of that, but I should get familiar with the workings of this beautiful gun.

    Think that these: http://www.brownells.com/aspx/ns/store/ProductDetail.aspx?p=25547&title=CHAPMAN TORX/ALLEN SET

    Chapman Torx/Ratchet set would be good if I can't find gunsmithing screwdrivers in a store? Cabela's had a nice set, but it was backordered for like 4 weeks.
  6. BobbyQuickdraw

    BobbyQuickdraw Well-Known Member

  7. PTK

    PTK Well-Known Member

    Just a minor nitpick, but ordinary screwdrivers have no place anywhere near firearms. If you're going to tear into any gun, pony up and pay for the proper screwdriver bits - they're not that much.

    I own both the Chapman set and the Brownell's "Magna-Tip" set. Both work well, though my preference is for the Brownell's set at this point. The Chapman does have a place in my toolbox, but it isn't as often that I reach for it. But really, for less than $100 for both sets, get them both and see for yourself. If you're only buying one, just buy the Brownell's and don't look back.

    Also, I highly doubt you'd be able to find either of these sets in a store, not even a sporting goods store. If by some miracle you do find a set, you'll pay much more than simply ordering online from Brownell's.
  8. ScottsGT

    ScottsGT Well-Known Member

    I too went with the magnatip setup. I just bought the handle and about 4 to 6 bits. All I really need.
    That VTI loading gate is nice, but really unnecessary since you have a perfectly good loading gate that need a little re-enforcement with JB weld. Could pay for a little more ammo!
  9. BobbyQuickdraw

    BobbyQuickdraw Well-Known Member

    I went with the Magna-Tips. Wasn't all that much more,so I just bought them. Thanks for the recommendations.

    As for the loading gate, can it be reinforced using only JB Weld? I think I've read about some guys just putting a blob of it back there and shaping it smooth. Or does it need a piece of metal?

    I live in an apartment and dont have very many tools, so the reinforcing thing seemed like maybe it would be more difficult. But if its really not I guess I could do that by myself.

    I'll definitely look into doing it at home, which would save time (shipping time) and money (money!).

    BTW: Placed my order at Brownell's last night at like midnight, woke up and it had shipped. They are, as always, awesome.
  10. ScottsGT

    ScottsGT Well-Known Member

    I'm sure a blob of JB weld would be fine. Rough up the area first with some sandpaper. I use a gusset since I have a shop full of metal.
  11. BobbyQuickdraw

    BobbyQuickdraw Well-Known Member

    Yeah, finding a piece of metal that would fit was one thing holding me up, but I've read a couple spots now that says JB weld should do the trick. I'm wondering though ,just to make sure, where exactly do I put it?

    I'm going to try to put in a picture


    If that didn't work the pic is here
    at brownell's.

    So I see the little tab on the rear of the loading gate. Where do I put the JB Weld bead? On the rear? On the front (where the bullets would rest) ?

    And is just a dot there enough or does it have to sort of be on the tab and on the main body of the gate?

    Thanks for all your help so far and for any more you can offer.
  12. ScottsGT

    ScottsGT Well-Known Member

    Behind the tab. The first time you shoot it, you will understand. You can feel the rounds slam agains the loading gate. You want to form a gusset behind the tab. In front of the tab, and the rounds would not come back far enough to fit into the lifting block.
  13. BobbyQuickdraw

    BobbyQuickdraw Well-Known Member

    Alright, thats what I was assuming. Now looking at it again it makes a ton more sense. I think I confused myself a little bit on the gates orientation, but I get it now.

    Thanks yet again for your help!
  14. tkendrick

    tkendrick Well-Known Member

    The only problem my buddy has had with his in the past six years is that the bore is slightly oversized and doesn't shoot well unless he loads .428 bullets.

    Other than that, after several thousand rounds of both smokeless and Holy Black, it has never so much as burped, and still looks as good as it did the day it came off the assembly line.
  15. BobbyQuickdraw

    BobbyQuickdraw Well-Known Member

    Well I picked up my 1866 today!:what:

    My supplies to clean her up right and open her without damaging the screws are still on the way. A peak told me that there was, at the very least, some dust in the barrel, so it does need at least a swab through, so I didn't take it out yet.

    Was a little disappointed to find some minor scratching on the laminate of the wood that I hadn't noticed when I first handled it (hmmm....:scrutiny:) but nothing too bad. Any tips on how to conceal those?

    But I did pick up some JB weld and will be reinforcing the loading gate this week when everything arrives.

    I've got the 24in Sporting Rifle, nice, long, and heavy - which I don't mind a bit! Picked up some cowboy loads from Winchester to run through when I get the chance.

    So again, thanks for all the help and comments here.
  16. ScottsGT

    ScottsGT Well-Known Member

    Actually the wood is not a laminate. Do you mean the top finish is scratched? Hmmmm...Maybe do what the cowboy action guys do. Pull off the wood and strip off the clear coat finish and do a boiled linseed oil finish. I've seen thise stocks decorated with so many conchos and shiney buttons and things that Elvis would be proud! You might want to consider getting into reloading if you shoot a lot. .45LC in anything can get expensive real quick. If you do start reloading, think Trail Boss powder.
  17. BobbyQuickdraw

    BobbyQuickdraw Well-Known Member

    Must be the top finish is scratched. The wood itself seems untouched, but there is some white-ish scuffing and that doesn't look wood like at all, so it must be the top finish. It's not bad, just disappointing that its there. If I had scuffed it myself, I wouldn't mind. But thanks for the tip!

    I was actually considering at some point just having some fancy work done to it that could help cover any imperfections, but that's for the future.

    And currently I don't reload, but probably will start once I really start moving some lead. My 1866 is in .38Spcl (The cost of .45LC was sticker shock, maybe down the line I'll start sooting .45) but even then Winchester Cowboy Loads run around $31 for 50 at my local. Haven't shopped prices yet.

    While I'm at it, one more question:

    I hear some people warn about the weakness of the action and what not in these rifles, but as long as the specifications are in the normal range, it should be fine to shoot normal .38 loads, correct? Some people said only shoot light loads, but I find that hard to believe they would sell a rifle then tell you only to load it light.

    Also, do you fire only lead tips or do you fire FMJs too? Any reason not to fire FMJ?
  18. ScottsGT

    ScottsGT Well-Known Member

    Do you really think a modern firearms mfgr. would sell a rifle that would not hold up to ANY factory load? Too many lawyers out there!
    Your bullets HAVE to have a flat point. Think about it. Your stacking them on top of the others primer. Recoil could cause a nasty result if a sharp pointy bullet set off the one above it. But I don't see any reason not to fire FMJ. Read the owners manual? Hehehe...Mine didn't come with one either! Just shoot it and have fun! Some guys were worried about heavy hunting loads in the .45LC rifles, but others have reported no problems using it for hunting.

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