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Old May 24, 2020, 01:38 PM   #1
bsparker83
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Pre-64 Winchester model 88

As title says, pre-64 win #88 in .243. In great condition, but cycling the next round after a shot fired is becoming more difficult.

I tried purchasing a new magazine (manufactured on original winchester machinery), but it did not solve the issue. Would trying a different style or age magazine help? It appears I have a type 4, newer model, magazine. With the current magazine, there is some vertical movement where it doesn't feel as if it is seated properly. In other words, I can push the magazine upward and when I do that the bold head won't slide forward.

Right now I have to be rather forceful with the lever. Or start the action then back it out and push it forward again. I'd like to make this a little smoother to cycle, although, I feel like I've read in the past that they weren't considered the smoothest to begin with.

Is this normal? Any thoughts?
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Old May 24, 2020, 08:38 PM   #2
603Country
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My Dad had one in 308, and he eventually had action problems with it. The local gunsmith couldn’t fix it, so he sold it. It’s always possible that a more knowledgeable gunsmith could have fixed it, I suppose. He sure did love that gun though.
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Old October 20, 2020, 12:28 PM   #3
jrothWA
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Go to "Wisner's gunparts...

theybhave the Win tooling [for making the magazines]and they sell an adapter for using the later magazines.
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Old October 20, 2020, 12:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
theybhave the Win tooling [for making the magazines]and they sell an adapter for using the later magazines.
Who is “they”?




.
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Old October 20, 2020, 01:43 PM   #5
T. O'Heir
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OP 5 months old.
"...cycling the next round after a shot fired is becoming more difficult..." You ever cleaned it?
What ammo? Factory or reloads? Reloads for a semi-auto must be full length resized every time.
Look at the mag catch and the mag lips too but it's more likely an ammo issue.
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Old October 20, 2020, 03:00 PM   #6
44 AMP
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Reloads for a semi-auto must be full length resized every time.
The Winchester model 88 is not a semi auto. It's a lever action.
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Old October 20, 2020, 03:05 PM   #7
Bake
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Originally Posted by 44 AMP View Post
The Winchester model 88 is not a semi auto. It's a lever action.
Lever actions too...

If possible resize with a "Small Base" resizeing die . . .
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Old October 20, 2020, 05:38 PM   #8
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If it's getting harder to cycle the action, my bet would be on on taking it apart to figure it out. The 88s are headaches, but when clean and properly lubed, they are one of the slickest lever actions ever. Better look around, there aren't many of us old gunsmiths left that know how to work on them.
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Old October 21, 2020, 09:31 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by TX Nimrod View Post
Who is “they”?
Go to "Wisner's gunparts...
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Old October 23, 2020, 10:40 PM   #10
jrothWA
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Sound like you need to DETAIL IT.
I have a set of takedown for the 88, PM your email. I'll sned.

You'll need to make a pair of 5/16 diameter by .720 long pins to drift out the two pin for and aft of the trigger, and center the "slave pins to allow the trigger group and linkage to drop out for cleaningand lubing.
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Old October 29, 2020, 12:20 PM   #11
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The hard lever movement of the 88 is normally, but not all ways associated with metal surface scoring at the hammer contact to bolt belly where the hammer is in full pre load condition. once the bolt moves forward far enough to be no longer in contact with the now cocked hammer, the action goes into battery smoothly. It doesn't take much metal scoring to create drag on this fast camming bolt over lever design. In summery, remove the bolt and trigger assembly from the action and closely examine the hammer face that glides against the bolt under belly. polish it smooth and its corresponding rub marks on the bolt belly. clean & lube all movement contact points and reassemble. One thing to note is the metal surfaces on these parts are their very hardest at their surface, once the original surface is worn away, the metal under the surface is softer and so its "stickier" when pressure contact is made as a rub between 2 parts like whats described above. Active gun parts are hardened much like a grade 8 bolt. harder on the outer surface but softer as you go toward the center. This gives the part its durability and safeguard against cracking. Most of the time, once this 88 hard lever condition starts, it will never be as smooth as it was when new despite a heavy lube job. You can make it better to varying degree but most times not exactly like new. Unlike is sister gun, the 100, the 88 is a pretty decent action. The 100 was designed to self destruct with super flimsy action bars that will crack and break with use. Winchester made an extra run of these action bars before they discontinued this brain fart of a design. By the end of the 1980's, all those replacement action bars were gone from stock. Good luck with your 88.
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