"Read up on the tests Winchester did when they designed the 1876 rifle. They actually tried to blow one up."
But that was before the Winchester toggle action met up with a new substance called nitro powder.
Starting around 1902, Winchester (and later other ammo makers) brought out a line of High Speed cartridges loaded with smokeless powder.
Cartridges so loaded included .32-20, .38-40, .44-40, .45-70, and perhaps a few others.
Obviously, these rounds were intended for use only in Winchester Model 1886 and 1892 rifles, which had MUCH stronger actions.
The ammo boxes had big, red warnings on them, too, saying not to use the ammo in 1873/1876 rifles or any handguns.
But, many people back then, being afflicted with the same strain of dubmassitis that is so rampant today, used the ammo, and destroyed their guns.
The big issue with 1873s was that the side plates were blown off, but I have heard from some that often the linkage was broken as well.
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza
Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.