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impalacustom
August 17, 2012, 04:18 AM
I have an 1885 Winchester that was butchered sometime in it's 118 years of life and is now a 38-55. It has a few extra holes in the receiver that are going to be welded up and then I'm going to re-barrel it, and restock it. It left Winchester as a 30 Gov't but I'm debating either go back to original or make a 45 x 3 1/4. I know it's collector value is pretty much shot with out the original barrel but something in me says I should bring it back to what it was. I have no real intentions on hunting with it. If i go with the 45 I'll put a Soule tang sight and globe on it, the 30 I'd probably put a midrange sight on it and a German silver blade on the front (Rocky Mtn type). Brass isn't an issue with either one.

Any thoughts on what you'd do if it was yours?

taylorce1
August 17, 2012, 08:04 AM
I'm guessing when you say .30 Govt you are talking about what is commonly known today as .30-40 Krag. Very neat cartridge IMO, but it is even more cool when paired up in an old Springfield rifle. I'd say build whatever your heart desires, since it isn't a collector but a shooter. My only word of caution is instead of welding have some plugs made for those extra holes.

If you really wanted a restoration done I'd look towards Doug Turnbull. It would cost far more money than customizing it to the .45-3ΒΌ", but it would be correct and a thing of beauty when he gets done. He might even be able to locate an original barrel for your rifle.

g.willikers
August 17, 2012, 09:35 AM
What kind of holes are in the receiver?
Doing something other than welding seems safer.
No telling what all that heat will do to the integrity of the frame.

Hawg Haggen
August 17, 2012, 09:38 AM
I'd plug the extra holes and leave it a 38-55 and shoot tha thang. Collectability is shot. Complete restoration is pricey. Nothing wrong with a 38-55, its a pretty decent cartridge.

kraigwy
August 17, 2012, 09:46 AM
I'm guessing when you say .30 Govt you are talking about what is commonly known today as .30-40 Krag

Nah, I had a '95 that was a 30 Govt. It was the 30-03, or the forrunner of the 30-06. It was designed for the 220 grn RN Bullet. The neck is a tad ( I thing 1/8 or 1/10 in longer then the 30-06.

Although the Model 95 Winchester was chambered for boty, the 30-40 and the 3O Govt (30-03). Also chambered for the 405 Win and 7.62X54 R Russian.

taylorce1
August 17, 2012, 10:51 AM
OP said his rifle is 118 years old that would predate the .30-03 by about 8 years hence my question about the .30-40. I've seen the old Krag 1895's stamped .30 US/GOVT before as well.

dab102999
August 17, 2012, 10:54 AM
I think you need to put a pic up so we can see what you are talking about.

Hawg Haggen
August 17, 2012, 01:33 PM
The 30-40 was called the 30 Government. The 30-03 replaced it but only lasted a couple of years before being replaced by the 30-06.

PetahW
August 17, 2012, 01:47 PM
I have an 1885 Winchester that was butchered sometime in it's 118 years of life and is now a 38-55. It has a few extra holes in the receiver that are going to be welded up and then I'm going to re-barrel it, and restock it. It left Winchester as a 30 Gov't but I'm debating either go back to original or make a 45 x 3 1/4. I know it's collector value is pretty much shot with out the original barrel but something in me says I should bring it back to what it was. I have no real intentions on hunting with it. If i go with the 45 I'll put a Soule tang sight and globe on it, the 30 I'd probably put a midrange sight on it and a German silver blade on the front (Rocky Mtn type). Brass isn't an issue with either one.

Any thoughts on what you'd do if it was yours?


My first thought is: If there's no issues with the .38-55 bbl, why rebarrel from a pretty nice shooting iron ?

My second thought: The tang sight & restocking sounds like winners, easily paid for with the $$$ saved by not rebarreling.

My third thought: Don't weld on it, unless there's NO other way.

My last thought: WHERE'S THE PICS ? ?


.

math teacher
August 17, 2012, 06:28 PM
Hawg is correct.

Scorch
August 17, 2012, 07:15 PM
30 Government is almost always 30-'03, otherwise it is 30-06 (often marked 30 Govt '06). 30-40 was marked 30 US Army or 30 Army.

As far as what to do with it, I would pick a chambering that was relatively rare (40-70 Winchester is my favorite rare one). Whatever you choose, I can put you in touch with someone who will correctly mark the barrel for you. I can do the wood with the proper checkering patterns, as well.

taylorce1
August 17, 2012, 10:15 PM
The .30-40 Krag (also called .30 U.S., .30 Army, or .30 Government)

Found that on Wikipedia so TIFWIW, but I swear I've seen rilfes stamped .30 Govt that were chambered for the Krag.

impalacustom
August 17, 2012, 10:40 PM
This rifle was made in 1894 and shipped in 1895 so yes it was for the 30-40 Krag, but originally Winchester called it the 30 Gov't as it was the "new" government round from the 45-70. It had 40gr of nitro powder and pushed a 220gr. The barrel that is suppose to be on this rifle is a #3 round 30 inch with a 1:10 twist. This was the very first smokeless round ever made for the 1885's and the barrels were nickel steel. Basically the 30-40 is really close to a 308 today.

While there is nothing wrong with a 38-55, the barrel is what bugs me the most, it's an odd duck and just doesn't look right on the rifle. It's a half octagon, which is ok, but underneath where the wedding to the round barrel is, it is just ugly.

It will be TIG welded with low carbon mild rod to match the steel. I have my own furnace and will anneal and then re-treat the steel, it appears that the receiver is a blued one and not cased. Just the lever, breech block and hammer are cased. A good amount of case look is left on the hammer, won't know until I get it all apart to know for sure.

Someone put a Lyman #41 sight on it, think of the Winder Muskets, and I absolutely find receiver sights appalling on 1885 Winchesters, especially when there are tang sights that are just as good.

Here are a few pictures too.
http://s618.photobucket.com/albums/tt265/joeschmoe_01/Strong%20Fire%20Arms%20Single%20Shot/

Scorch are you talking about Mr. Woody? I am going to send him the lower tang to recut the serial and patent dates as it's been hit and metal is pushed out of place. I have given some thought to the Winchester Express rounds as well Scorch.

I am going to put it in my barrel vise and use an action wrench to remove the receiver this winter, it is sort of on a back burner as I am working on another 1885 in 22WCF.

taylorce1
August 17, 2012, 11:13 PM
Sounds like you got more skills than you let on in the first post. I still say go for whatever you want. You could put it pretty close to original from the sounds of it and get the barrel stamped to match.

Scorch
August 18, 2012, 04:48 PM
Scorch are you talking about Mr. Woody?
Not familiar with Mr Woody. No, I am referring to people who own the original Winchester roll-marking dies.