View Full Version : Winchester model 40 70 ss 7 oct 1879

February 24, 2011, 01:02 AM

I have a Winchester model 40 70 ss 7 oct 1879 I would like to buy ammo for this rifle but it is to old to find in stores. Please email me if you know where I can get some ammo for this.

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February 24, 2011, 01:53 AM
I'll just post,rather than E-mail.
To get loaded ammo,or ready to go brass,I'd check with Buffalo Arms.They have a site,or you can call them.They offer a number of versions of dies for reloading.
Some good news is Hornady makes .405 Winchester brass.It is a very good case to make 40-70 SS from.
I do not know your skills and experience,but,you will need to slug your bore.The old rifles were a bit variable.It may have had a .406 bore new,but who knows what it is.This is implortant for what bullet you use.I am not the guru,but groove diameter to + .001 is close for your cast bullet.do not consider jacketed,old barrel steel is soft.
You wil want a cerro-safe chamber cast made.The .405 brass will have to beshortened a little,about 1/16 in(i am doing this from memory,i do not have drawings in front of me).They need to e shorter than the chamber,but not much..005 is not bad.
Odds are good the rim thickness may need to be adjusted,too.Seems like a little will need to be faced off.
I'd suggest getting Venturino's book on "Shooting Buffalo Rifles" and the SPG Bullet lube booklet.
I suggest black powder,read those books,and you will learn what you need to know.If a person reads Paul Matthews books on black powder cartridge reloading,there is a wealth of experience in them.
That sounds like a fine rifle!

February 24, 2011, 01:58 AM
duplicate post

Ideal Tool
February 24, 2011, 02:04 AM
Hello, sroach. Am I correct in what you were meaning to say was a Winchester 1885 High-Wall chambered in .40-70 Str.(2 1/2") ? There was a bottleneck made also..check chamber. If you are looking to reload or just buy ammo, your best bet would be Buffalo Arms Co. www.buffaloarmsco.net
They have the correct brass..your bore's groove dia. can vary all over the place from .403 to .410..Best to slug it with soft lead oversize ball. Best of luck!

February 24, 2011, 02:12 AM
I got to see a J.M Browning Hiwall once,SN #3,made in Ogden,Utah.It was a pre Win.

Jim Watson
February 24, 2011, 09:15 AM
Buffalo Arms is a good place to shop for BPCR (Black Powder Cartridge Rifle) supplies. Their actual website is at

They carry .40-70 Sharps Straight ammunition. There are three different options at:

I would phone and talk to Mr Gullo about which one would be best for a real period Winchester.

I don't think they made many if any Winchesters in .40-70 Sharps Bottleneck but it would be smart to find out before you buy ammunition.

As you see, loaded ammuntion in such an obsolete caliber is quite expensive, $3 a pop and more. Handloading would be a big money saver if you meant to shoot the rifle very much. It would also allow you to tailor the load to the rifle.

Depending on condition and originality, any Winchester 1885 Single Shot ('Highwall") is likely to be quite valuable. Take care of it. Shooting with standard loads will not hurt it; I have used mine a good deal.

February 24, 2011, 12:29 PM
If it is chambered in 40-70 and only has the 1879 patent date, it is likely a black powder era rifle. Buffalo Bore black powder cartridges are a good choice, as also reloading with black powder. Since it is a strong action, you might be able to get away with mild smokeless loads, but I would not.

The rifle also has quite a bit of collector value, so if you are not going to shoot it and care for it appropriately (BP firearms require careful cleaning and greasing to prevent corrosion), you could probably sell it for several times the cost of a new bolt action rifle and not risk damaging its value.