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Took the 128 year old 1873 out for a shoot...Ugh!

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by rbertalotto, Apr 27, 2012.

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  1. rbertalotto

    rbertalotto Member

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    My brass and dies finally came in for my old 38-40 Winchester. The bullet mold arrived a few days ago. I cast up a bunch of 180g bullets and loaded ten rounds to see how the "sewer pipe" barrel would do.

    Not so good! Can you say "key holing"!

    There is a whole update and pictures of the targets on the entire 1873 Winchester project here:

    www.rvbprecision.com

    Hope you enjoy it!
     
  2. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

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    Did you slug the bore?
     
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    What very often causes keyholing in old Winchesters like that is not so much the terrible condition of the bore.

    It is caused by the last inch or so of the muzzle being worn away with a cleaning rod over the years.

    That leaves little or no rifling right at the muzzle, a blunderbuss effect, and gas blow-by on the bullet just as it needs final guidance at the muzzle crown the most.

    If you are considering relining it anyway, try counter-boring the muzzle an inch or so to get back to the remaining good rifling and try it first.

    rc
     
  4. DMH

    DMH Member

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    That bore scope produced nice images for only $34.00 What Diameter is the outside of your bore scope and tube. I have a problem where mine will work in a 44-40 bore but not a .22 bore. It's too fat. That is a nice looking 1873 and hope you post more on the project after you get the barrel reline completed.

    DMH
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012
  5. rbertalotto

    rbertalotto Member

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    I would suggest some of you have not visited the web site and seen the pictures of the bore before you suggested what the problem was. When you see the pictures it will be extremely clear why the bullets are tumbling and why I will reline it..

    The $34 bore scope is available on Ebay from a vendor in Hong Kong. It is 6mm (.243)

    I bought it for inspecting chambers after I reamed them, but I've found dozens of other uses for it.

    My friends are saving big $$ on colon exams.... :what:
     
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Oh contraire mon!

    I did visit the website, and I did see the borescope pictures.

    But I also have seen worse bores in Winchesters shoot properly sized soft lead cast bullets without keyholing.
    Unless the muzzle rifling is gone due to cleaning rod wear.

    But I only been doing this old Winchester thing for about 50 years.
    What do I know.

    rc
     
  7. Vaarok

    Vaarok Member

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    Counterbore it!
     
  8. Float Pilot

    Float Pilot Member

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  9. rbertalotto

    rbertalotto Member

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    Thanks Float Pilot......I checked with Mr Redman.......6 month wait. I want to shoot the rifle at CAS matches this summer.

    If I try to slug the bore, the bullet comes out all distorted as it goes through multiple open and tight areas. Having played with benchrest and varmint rifles for 40 years, there is no way this barrel is going to shoot. It is simply too easy to make it right with a reline and then get back to having fun shooting it.
     
  10. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    There are many gunsmiths capable of relining a rifle barrel. Redman is a good one but not the only one. Check with fellows near you.

    Now, the timeline may not fit your needs. If you have a lathe, you can probably do it yourself.
     
  11. rbertalotto

    rbertalotto Member

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    I have a lathe and rebarrel my own Benchrest and Varmint rifles. I ordered a Redman liner and the special drill from Brownells. I'll rent the reamer from "Reamer Rentals". I should have this bad boy shooting dime size groups by next weekend......:D
     
  12. PRD1

    PRD1 Member

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    If you get your 73 to shoot 'dime-size' groups...

    (at more than 10 yards), you have really done something. My .38-40 Model 1873 (1885 with a perfect <really!> bore) will shoot into about 3" at 100 yards with good cast loads. This is slightly better than the known average for the original rifles and ammunition. The groove diameter of my barrel is actually .401", which works fine with available commercial cast bullets of that size. When you re-line yours, slug or otherwise measure the groove diameter and choose bullets at least that large, or 1-2 thousandths over.
    Good Luck!
    PRD1 - mhb - Mike
     
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