The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The North Corral > Black Powder and Cowboy Action Shooting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old May 25, 2014, 05:18 PM   #1
Doc Hoy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 24, 2008
Location: Chesapeake, VA
Posts: 4,598
1873 Winchester with BP cartridges.

Took out my 1873 today to run some rounds through it.

This rifle is .45 Long Colt and a thirty inch barrel.

I was getting speeds consistently at 1500 FPS. Consistent groups

BUT

after about eighty or so rounds, I had a primer that failed to detonate the powder.

The primer pushed the bullet part of the way out of the case and into the bore but it held on to both the rifling in the barrel and the case. Had a tough time pulling the case out of the chamber and I am very thankful that I did.

If that case had come out without a hitch, and another round had chambered, I'd have pulled the trigger and likely blown up the rifle.

Apart from that excitement, the day was great.

Shot an 1866 in .44-40. Had two rounds for that which were identical except that some were crimped and some were not. Crimped rounds got about 200 FPS more MV.

Also took two .45 ACPs and a Tokarev.

Great day.
__________________
Doc

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. Thomas Jefferson
Doc Hoy is offline  
Old May 25, 2014, 06:00 PM   #2
Hawg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 11,755
All in all sounds like a good day.
Hawg is offline  
Old May 25, 2014, 06:38 PM   #3
Doc Hoy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 24, 2008
Location: Chesapeake, VA
Posts: 4,598
I got the rounds cleared from the rifle...

...a few minutes ago.

It was a little more trouble than I thought it would be but all is well now.

Looked at the bore of the 66 and it appears to be pretty well fouled with lead.

73 is a lot cleaner.
__________________
Doc

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. Thomas Jefferson
Doc Hoy is offline  
Old May 25, 2014, 07:07 PM   #4
Hawg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 11,755
Are you using hard lead or soft lead?
Hawg is offline  
Old May 25, 2014, 09:11 PM   #5
salvadore
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 1, 2007
Location: Idaho
Posts: 1,865
Doc I had an 1873 copy in.45 Colt that no matter what I did gave miserable accuracy. I now own a Chiappa '92 copy that will shoot into 2" 5 shots groups @ 50 yds more than 1/2 what I usually got from the '73 copy. I'm curious what kind of groups you got with your '73 copy.
salvadore is offline  
Old May 25, 2014, 11:54 PM   #6
Model12Win
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 20, 2012
Posts: 584
Sounds like a BLAST! LOL SEE WHAT I DID THERE?!!?!?

I've been thinking about getting an 1860 Henry rifle and reloading .45 Colt for it with black powder!
Model12Win is offline  
Old May 26, 2014, 05:57 AM   #7
Doc Hoy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 24, 2008
Location: Chesapeake, VA
Posts: 4,598
Three responses

Hawg,

BHN 12 to 14. I may have to go to a bigger bullet for the rounds I shoot in that rifle. I may have to light load the rounds for that rifle to keep the speeds down

Sal,

I was getting three at 30 yards. But this is the first time I fired the rifle. I am relatively certain that with some effort I could get them down a bit. I may try some color on the front sight.

I am not much of a shot because my eyesight isn't all that great. I have found that as I have grown older my ability to keep rear sight, front sight and target in focus has diminished.

Model 12,

I like .45 LC because it is an emotional experience to shoot. Lot of fire and smoke. Loud boom. Bruise on the shoulder.

I found that the .44-40 accepts about the same weight of BP. The 66 I have (.44-40) has a much shorter barrel than the 73. (24 as opposed to 30). So all of that stuff is going on closer to my nose.

That 60 Henry is my next purchase. It won't be for a while though.
__________________
Doc

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. Thomas Jefferson
Doc Hoy is offline  
Old May 26, 2014, 02:25 PM   #8
Trum4n1208
Member
 
Join Date: September 13, 2013
Posts: 68
Doc, I'm jealous of you, having a '73 in .45 colt. I'm working on getting one, but it'll be a while. Glad it was a good day of shooting.
Trum4n1208 is offline  
Old May 26, 2014, 02:49 PM   #9
James K
Staff
 
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 19,673
The first line about an 1873 in .45 Colt gave me to blink a couple of times. I have to get used to folks talking about repros using the same terms as for originals.

Jim
__________________
Jim K
James K is offline  
Old May 26, 2014, 04:26 PM   #10
Hawg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 11,755
What size were the bullets you used in the 44-40? If the bore is .429 like most modern 44-40's and you used .427 bullets like the originals that might have caused it.

Quote:
I have to get used to folks talking about repros using the same terms as for originals.
Yep, if you're going to hang around bp forums you will.
Hawg is offline  
Old May 26, 2014, 05:12 PM   #11
Doc Hoy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 24, 2008
Location: Chesapeake, VA
Posts: 4,598
As Ronald Reagan used to say, "Well..."

The .44-40 in the 66 Winchester (Navy Arms Uberti) are .429 mold and .429 lube sizer.

The .45 LC (73 Winchester - Uberti) are .452. mold and sizer.

I just got finished cleaning the rifles and found the 66 had pretty severe leading.

I haven't slugged the bore on either of these rifles.

I love the way the rifles shot until I experienced the bullet fouled bore on the 73 and the leading problem on the 66.
__________________
Doc

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. Thomas Jefferson
Doc Hoy is offline  
Old May 26, 2014, 05:18 PM   #12
Doc Hoy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 24, 2008
Location: Chesapeake, VA
Posts: 4,598
James K

I am too cheap to buy originals.

I was looking at an original 73 in 38-40 but I gave up on it when I saw the 3500.00 price tag.

Excellent condition but just more pennies than the piggy bank holds.

Saw a 94 Marlin in 38-40 at a gun show in Dade City, FL a coupla months ago. He would have sold it cheap but it was pretty well whipped.
__________________
Doc

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. Thomas Jefferson
Doc Hoy is offline  
Old May 26, 2014, 06:21 PM   #13
Driftwood Johnson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 3, 2014
Posts: 279
Quote:
If that case had come out without a hitch, and another round had chambered, I'd have pulled the trigger and likely blown up the rifle.
Howdy

If you had gotten a bullet stuck in the bore and followed it with another one, I suspect the rifle would not have blown up. At least not with Black Powder pressures.

I had a squib in my Uberti replica 1860 Henry at a CAS match last year. With my earplugs in and under the heat of battle, I did not hear the primer go off, I assumed I had a bad primer and I worked the lever, ejecting the round. Then I finished the stage. It was not until later, when I got my brass back, and there was no unfired round that I began to suspect I had had a squib. One of my Pards confirmed that he had heard the primer pop, but I had kept shooting too fast for him to stop me. When I got the rifle home and cleaned it, sure enough there was a slight ring in the bore, down where the primer had lodged a bullet. The next round had hit the bullet and forced it out the barrel. The gun did not blow up. These rifles have very heavy barrel cross sections, not like a pistol which probably would have blown up. The thickness of the steel in the barrel is what saved the rifle. While it is true that the toggle link rifles are not the strongest action, it was strong enough to keep the rifle in one piece. Don't get me wrong, I do not intend to duplicate the mistake, but my rifle held together fine and I have shot it a bunch since then.

For the record, this was the first time I have loaded a round without any powder in it. It happens to us all some time. I have been loading cartridges with Black Powder for many years, but somehow this one slipped by me. Next time, if I don't hear a loud boom I will stop and make sure the bullet exited the barrel, even though it will cost me time.

All my CAS rifles are chambered for 44-40, none for 45 Colt. This includes the Henry, an Uberti 1873, a couple of original Winchester Model 1892s, and an old Marlin Model 1894. I also have an original Winchester Model 1873 but it is chambered for 38-40. My 44-40 load uses the exact same amount of powder as I put into a 45 Colt round for my pistols, 2.2CC (roughly 35 grains) of FFg, usually Schuetzen. My 44-40 rounds use the Mav_Dutchman Big Lube 200 grain bullet, my 45 Colt loads use the PRS Big Lube 250 grain bullet. I have slugged all my 44-40 rifles, they vary from .427 groove diameter to .429 for the Henry and a Winchester Saddle Ring Carbine 1892 made in 1916. I used to use a .427 bullet in all my 44-40 rifles, but since buying the Henry, with its .429 groove diameter, I have upped the diameter to .428 as a compromise. I use dead soft, pure lead in my 44-40s, so the bullets may be bumping up slightly in the bore to fill the .429 rifling.

I never get any leading at all when firing Black Powder, this is in rifles and pistols. I suspect it is because BP burns hotter than Smokeless, but for what ever reason, after I clean a rifle or pistol that has been shot with Black Powder, there is never any lead, not in chambers nor bore, none. If you are getting leading, you are doing something wrong. What are you using for bullet lube, are you using something BP compatible? I lube all my BP bullets with SPG.


Quote:
I am too cheap to buy originals.
You don't have to spend big bucks to buy originals, you just have to be at the right place at the right time. My original 1873 cost just a bit more than a brand new Uberti. Of course, it is not as pretty, it is pretty much devoid of finish, but I didn't buy it to look at it. Buying refinished originals is a great way to save money. I paid less for my two 1892s than brand new replicas because they had been refinished. Pretty well done too. A good refinish job can knock down the value of an original so it is affordable as a shooter.
Driftwood Johnson is offline  
Old May 26, 2014, 07:38 PM   #14
Doc Hoy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 24, 2008
Location: Chesapeake, VA
Posts: 4,598
My bullet lube it either

Roughly 50 50 Beeswax and Mutton Tallow or roughly 2 to 1 Beeswax and Lard.

Bullet is a cast lead at about BHN 12 to 14, sumpin like that.

Did not slug the bore. So I can't swear that .429 is right.
__________________
Doc

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. Thomas Jefferson
Doc Hoy is offline  
Old May 28, 2014, 11:27 AM   #15
salvadore
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 1, 2007
Location: Idaho
Posts: 1,865
Doc, I put a so called fiber optic front sight on my 73, made it easier to see but didn't help the accuracy. I also managed to work up a great flinch off the bench with that rifle style buttplate.
salvadore is offline  
Old May 28, 2014, 06:54 PM   #16
Driftwood Johnson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 3, 2014
Posts: 279
Doc Hoy

Your bullet lube sounds fine for Black Powder. Most Uberti 44-40 rifles made in the last few years are running .429. That is what my Henry slugs out to, it is about five years old at this point. Dunno anything about brinell hardness, I just use pure lead. If you have a .429 bore, you might consider .430 bullets. Also, you are not by any chance inserting things like lube cookies and wads in there are you? A bunch or years ago I was putting a card wad on top of the powder, then a soft lube cookie, then I seated the bullet. Turned out the lube cookie was gluing the wad to the base of the bullet and making them unstable. Terrible groups. When I got rid of the extra stuff accuracy improved tremendously.

salvadore:

By 'rifle style' buttplate, I assume you mean a crescent style buttplate. That style of buttplate is not meant to be placed on the meaty part of the shoulder. It is meant to be placed farther outboard with the crescent encircling the shoulder joint. Very stable when standing and shooting, the crescent prevents the butt from slipping up or down. A fairly mild load like 44-40 or 45 Colt should not hurt at all when fired from a relatively heavy rifle, standing up. Of course, shooting at the bench can be a bit more problematic. Try hiking the rifle out farther, try to get it off the meaty part of your shoulder. A buttplate like that really should not hurt with mild cartridges. 45-70 is a different matter.
Driftwood Johnson is offline  
Old May 28, 2014, 11:20 PM   #17
salvadore
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 1, 2007
Location: Idaho
Posts: 1,865
No kidding DJ, finding a sweet spot off the bench is problamatic, or as I like to say 'OMG that hurts'. When shooting for groups, of course, the bench is what you do. Anyway the carbine butt plate is easier on the shoulder.
salvadore is offline  
Old May 29, 2014, 03:54 AM   #18
Doc Hoy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 24, 2008
Location: Chesapeake, VA
Posts: 4,598
DJ and Sal..

DJ,

No lube cookies or cards in these rounds.

Sal and DJ,

The bruise on my shoulder after shooting is part of the enjoyment.

I like shooting the rolling block carbine because it leaves a bigger bruise.
__________________
Doc

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. Thomas Jefferson

Last edited by Doc Hoy; May 29, 2014 at 04:53 AM.
Doc Hoy is offline  
Old May 29, 2014, 04:35 AM   #19
Hawg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 11,755
The curved but plate goes against your upper arm, not your shoulder.
Hawg is offline  
Old May 29, 2014, 09:14 AM   #20
salvadore
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 1, 2007
Location: Idaho
Posts: 1,865
Golly, mine goes against my shoulder.

Doc, I took the '92 copy out yesterday to shoot up some GC Ray Thompson SWCs I wasn't sure what they were loaded with, they chronoed @ 970fps out of the carbine. With the Marble Tang sight I had to hold about a foot low, but I was popping cans @ 50 to 70 yds regularly samo with my S&W 28 that followed me out. Few weeks ago went to Montana and my little boy and I were ringing a gong out at 200yds I'm lovin the Chiappa, wish it was as purty as the '73.

Pain at the range just makes me flinch.
salvadore is offline  
Old May 29, 2014, 01:50 PM   #21
Doc Hoy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 24, 2008
Location: Chesapeake, VA
Posts: 4,598
Can't remember where my 92 shoots...

...In terms of MV. It is a Rossi in .45 LC.

That 92 is a nice rifle to carry in the brush. It is balanced pretty well so as to be carried by the wrist of the buttstock, almost like one would carry a pistol when not holstered.

It is the shortest carbine I own at 16 inches of barrel.

As Gene Autry always said, "I like it."
__________________
Doc

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. Thomas Jefferson
Doc Hoy is offline  
Old May 29, 2014, 09:45 PM   #22
Hawg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 11,755
Quote:
Golly, mine goes against my shoulder.
Try it on your arm, you'll be glad you did. Putting those points on your shoulder cant help but hurt.
Hawg is offline  
Old May 30, 2014, 01:13 AM   #23
Driftwood Johnson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 3, 2014
Posts: 279
Quote:
Anyway the carbine butt plate is easier on the shoulder.
These are very mild loads. 45 Colt or 44-40. Even at the bench, it should not hurt. When I bought my 45-70 Sharps, that was a different story, I bought one with a shotgun style buttstock. But a levergun chambered for 45 Colt or 44-40 should not hurt, even with a crescent butt plate. Rearrange yourself so the butt is encircling the shoulder joint, keep it off of your shoulder.
Driftwood Johnson is offline  
Old May 30, 2014, 05:18 AM   #24
salvadore
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 1, 2007
Location: Idaho
Posts: 1,865
I appreciate the advice Hawg and DJ, the '73 is gone after years of trying to get some type of accuracy out of it using lead bullets. Doc's experience with 3" at 30 yds is about right for my very best loads, 5" 50 or worse 10"@ 100 or worse. I think the cowboy guys are alright with this type of accuracy. When I'd go out on the net looking for advice no one seemed surprised at the lack of accuracy.
salvadore is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:47 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.11889 seconds with 9 queries