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Modern 1873 toggle link strength

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by spawndn72, Jan 27, 2020.

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  1. spawndn72

    spawndn72 Member

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    Both Winchester and Uberti make the 1873 in 357 magnum and Uberti even makes it in 44 magnum.
    But every time I see someone asking about loading "hot" 45 Colt loads they are told that the 1873's action won't handle anything over normal saami spec loads.
    I can't imagine Uberti making a rifle they think comes even close to being unsafe, so what am I missing here. Why is everyone so concerned about the strength of these modern toggle link systems?
    In all of the threads I have found on the subject, I can't find where anyone came to a solid conclusion, but thought I would try to start this discussion up again and hopefully learn something from it.
     
    Merle1 likes this.
  2. Rio Laxas

    Rio Laxas Member

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  3. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    Clicking on that link knocks my tablet off the 'net.

    The Winchester toggle-link design was not considered a strong action in its day. The 1876 model was the last to use the design and Winchester felt it was at the upper end of its strength; a decade later they bought John Moses Browning's 1886 design because it was much better and could handle big buffalo killer rounds.

    Did Taffin like the idea of a .44 magnum 1873? I have two 1873 models, .44-40 and .45 Colt, and a Browning 1892 in .44 magnum.
    It's hard for me to believe Uberti would make a rifle that was unsafe ...... but otoh I also am really dubious about a toggle-link Winchester, even with modern steels, being safe with .44 magnum rounds.

    I'm NOT going to say it is definatly unsafe .... but ..... :scrutiny::uhoh:
     
  4. Rio Laxas

    Rio Laxas Member

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    He notes that the .44 Mag version has a different and harder heat treatment than the other calibers. He said he was reluctant to fire factory .44 Mag cartridges in it and definitely ruled out heavy .44 Mag loads. He did eventually shoot the factory .44 Mag cartridges in it, but concluded that he would probably only use .44 Mag cases loaded to .44 Special levels for future use. I think he was skeptical of the 1873 being able to withstand a lot of use with factory level .44 Mag loads.

    I have a Cimarron 1873 in .44 Special, and I really like it.
     
  5. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

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    delete
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2020
  6. CraigC
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    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    I don't know what's different about the .44Mag version but Brian Pearce says the Uberti .45's are good to 21,000psi.
     
  7. spawndn72

    spawndn72 Member

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    Thanks, I have seen people in other threads link to that article, but the links no longer work. You wouldn't happen to have a pdf of that article would you?
     
  8. CraigC
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    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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  9. JohnB-40

    JohnB-40 Member

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  10. spawndn72

    spawndn72 Member

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  11. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

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    I don't think that it is a question of whether an 1873 with modern metallurgy will handle the 36,000+ CUP pressures of the .44 magnum, but rather how long it will withstand it.
    With enough shots fired, excessive play or lost motion in the long toggle links and their seats in the receiver will probably develop, causing excess headspace.
    With toggle-locked lever actions, all of the stresses bear on small areas at either end of the links and in the center of the links.
    With the lever actions (and bolt actions) that followed, locking lugs and bolts were one piece or integral, and their corresponding mortises were short, allowing very little opportunity for any significant loosening or lost motion to occur. The bearing surfaces were also much greater, in order to spread out the impact..
    With toggle-locked machine guns, weight and bulk were not an issue, so these could be massively engineered to reduce the stresses incurred.
    With the Luger pistol, the single toggle is shorter and heavier, which strengthens it and and reduces the opportunity for lost motion and excess headspace to occur.
     
  12. JohnB-40

    JohnB-40 Member

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    I compare a toggle link to our knee joint. In the upright position with the leg straight it can take a great weight. Pushed out of alignment from the back of the knee,the weight bearing is drastically diminished. I recon the wear factor in bolt locking links is thrust from a cartridge loaded to excessive pressure. With the knee joint,it is excessive body weight or repeated heavy load carrying. Don't use hot ammo and keep the body weight down for longevity of both. .
     
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