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Old February 12, 2019, 07:42 PM   #1
wizrd
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40-82 W.C.F. cartidge??

Saw a nice old Winchester Model 94 in a little shop today, this caliber. Is this strictly a black powder designation? - I've never seen this caliber before. Gun had some of the prettiest wood I've ever seen on an old Winchester. Barrel clearly says 40-82 W.C.F. -- didn't write down the numbers or dates, sorry guys.
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Old February 12, 2019, 08:30 PM   #2
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40-82 in a Model 94?
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Old February 12, 2019, 08:38 PM   #3
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I may be wrong on the '94 designation? Black powder cartridge?
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Old February 12, 2019, 09:10 PM   #4
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It can be loaded with very mild smokeless loads in old guns... Talking pistol powders and fillers and such.

New barrels can be hot rodded a bit, but best not to try it with the old ones.

Odds are it is a model 1886.
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Old February 12, 2019, 09:51 PM   #5
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The .40-82 was a black powder cartridge chambered in the Winchester M1886 rifle until 1911. The cartridge is too long and the rim too large to work in an M94 rifle.

There is some smokeless reloading data, new brass and even loaded ammo available.

.
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Old February 13, 2019, 07:52 AM   #6
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Thanks guys - looked at so many old lever guns yesterday - I got them confused. To tell the truth, I never heard of the particular caliber before. The wood furniture was beautiful though.
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Old February 13, 2019, 07:54 AM   #7
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I shoot my 1886 Winchester in 40-82 and have killed deer with it, but its heavy as sin over 10 lbs. and no way would a 1894 Winchester be in 40-82.
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Old February 13, 2019, 01:35 PM   #8
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The .40-82 WCF was one of the standard chamberings for the John Browning designed 1886 Winchester.

While never hugely popular it did make the transition to smokeless powder and was loaded commercially until the 1930s.

It used a lighter bullet to get increased velocity and thus a flatter trajectory.

It had a decent reputation on medium and heavy game.

Brass and loading information is available, but I don't know what the bullet situation is. Casting would likely be the best way to go as, unless that particular 1886 has a nickel steel barrel for use with jacketed bullet and smokeless powder it's best not to shoot it with modern components.
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Old February 13, 2019, 02:12 PM   #9
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40-82 W.C.F. runs about $75 per 20. More at Buffalo Arms($91.79 per 20. $86.48 per box for 5 or more.) Graf's lists Redding dies at $89.89. It uses a .406" bullet. That's the same bullet as the .401 SL. Graf's has both cast and jacketed in limited supply, but reasonable prices. Loaddata.com has data for a fee. Lots of forums with data though.
So it's not totally impossible or really stupidly expensive.
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Old February 13, 2019, 02:51 PM   #10
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It is supposedly tricky to make accurate ammo for this caliber. I read that it was designed to use relatively soft, hollow-base bullets that expand upon firing to fully engage the rifling. Using bullets that are sized to groove diameter usually makes for a cartridge that cannot be chambered. On the other hand, bullets sized just small enough to fit will be too small to seal the bore properly, resulting in poor accuracy. Meanwhile, with proper Winchester factory ammo, the rifle was noted for excellent accuracy and sufficiently powerful for large game such as Elk, Moose, and Grizzly Bear. Actually, it was equal to today's 44 magnum lever-guns in power.
I believe the article I read was written by Mike Venturino and appeared in Handloader magazine,....but it's been a while and I might not remember it perfectly.
It could have been an attempt by Winchester to keep the user loyal to factory ammo.... Think about it; you always have to buy their ammo.... Brilliant!
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Old February 13, 2019, 03:07 PM   #11
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.40-82 is the 2.4" .45-90 case necked down.
Full designation .40-82-260, a light bullet "express" cartridge.

There is some use in modern BPCR rifles, single shots with faster twist to handle heavier bullets.

I have a .40-65 on the 2.1" .45-70 case. It is barreled for 400 grain bullets. I think the idea was to have a .40 on common brass that would shoot like a .40-70 Sharps Straight.
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Old February 15, 2019, 01:10 AM   #12
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It's not a model 94. The only Winchester lever action 40-82 could possibly fit into would be either an 1886 or 1895. .40-82 WCF is essentially a black powder version of the 405 Winchester. Longish straight case, big rim, would never fit into a Model 94.
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Old February 15, 2019, 01:54 AM   #13
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It is a tapered down 45-90.Its not a bottleneck,but it has a lot of taper.

The 40-70 Sharps straight and 405 Win have a case head approx. like the 303 Brit and the 30-40.

If its an original old 1886 in decent shape its worth some money.Maybe enough money to not shoot it a lot. I ried to give an older gentleman an idea of how much his light weight octagon takedown checkered and color cased original was worth.I'm no expert,but IIRC the book was headed toward $10k.

That one was rather special.Plus,it had the provenance of being on the family ranch since purchased new.

Doing my research,it was strongly recommended that if the barrel did not say "Nickel Steel" that shooting jacketed ammo or even very hard cast was a bad idea.Apparently the steel was very soft and the rifling would not hold up to it.

In keeping with that idea,and assuming Pathfinder is giving good info,you'll perhaps have to experiment to find a bullet dia that will chamber.If cast of a fairly soft alloy,the "spank" of a BP charge may bump up the bullet to seal.

The Express Rifle concept was light bullets and "high" velocity.I think the 45-90 load for the 86 was a 300 gr bullet,or so. They were not twisted for heavier bullets.

I would not use pistol powder and fillers myself.Thats risky business.

There are some very slow powders that have been used for BP pressure loads. Accurate carried a few,maybe 5744? I hate to go by memory.


I'm sure Venturino wrote a book about shooting BP lever guns. Washing the brass so it doesn't turn green and cleaning the rifle properly make BP a high maintenance task but its probably among the best choices.If you form down 45-90 Starline,you may want a neck anneal. The early BP cartridges 38-40 and 44-40 are known for some taper,and very thin,soft necks.That served a purpose.Easy obturation,a good seal to keep the BP mess in the bore and not in the action. Detailed disassembly and thorough cleaning of an 1886 action is not for every horse bound travelor. .You might consider keeping your necks soft.If you size down 45-90,they might even need reaming thinner.


IF they are still in business,it might be worth a call to Mt Baldy Bullets. They make good stuff and they know the 1886.

Last edited by HiBC; February 15, 2019 at 02:04 AM.
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Old February 15, 2019, 07:16 AM   #14
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"It is a tapered down 45-90.Its not a bottleneck,but it has a lot of taper."

The .40-82 has an incredibly slight bottleneck, so little that it's rather hard to
distinguish, but it's definitely there.

The case actually starts out cylindrical at the base, has a long, midbody taper, and then the shoulder is formed about half an inch back from the case mouth.

Shoulder angle is, I believe, 3 degrees, which is very similar to the shoulder angle on the .44-40, which I believe is 4 degrees and change.

The shoulder angle on the .38-40 is even greater, around 6.5 degees.
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Old February 15, 2019, 08:53 AM   #15
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Quote:
.40-82 WCF is essentially a black powder version of the 405 Winchester.
That is the .40-72 which was chambered only in 1895 repeater and a few 1885 single shots.
There are some BPCR shooters using .405 brass to approximate it. An easier setup than .40-70 Sharps Straight.
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