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  #1  
Old 05-18-2007, 05:07 PM
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Location: Ashtabula Ohio
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Chaparral Arms 1876, need advice folks


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Well, yesterday i decided to take my 1876 Winchester replica apart to smooth some roughness out of the carrier travel, and was horrified by what i found. The inside of the frame had a LOT of machine grit and flash inside it, flash so severe it was interfering with the travel of the lever and toggle links. So i proceeded to take it apart, to give it a thorough cleaning and once-over. Following is a list of problems that i have found so far:

Machine grit inside all machined parts and threaded holes
Top tang screw (the long one that goes in from the top, and threads into the lower tang) has the threads COMPLETELY stripped from the lower 2/3 of the threaded portion
Carrier binding against machine "flash" on the bolt (this was the cause of my roughness)
Firing pin bore in the bolt, as well as the bore of the barrel, red with rust. I wish i could post pics of the cleaning patches that i ran down the bore....red as red paint.
The pin that goes through the hole in the lever and engages the slot in the toggles is so tight i cannot remove it, and hence cannot remove the lever from the rifle. This pin is supposed to be a slip fit
BIG PROBLEM the holes in the tang where a tang sight mounts are not in line with the CL of the bore. The forward hole is off to the right about 1/8 of an inch. This will obviously complicate the mounting of a tang sight (which i had purchased, and it does not fit correctly due to this)
Wood to metal fit on the buttstock could be much better, a rather large gap (1/8 inch) between the bottom of the buttplate and the wood

I have a funny feeling there are other issues waiting to be discovered. What should i do? The exact price eludes me atm, but it was in the neighborhood of 900 dollars. I have had problems with Italian replicas before, but most have been minor. Do i even want to let them attempt to repair this? Ideally i want my money refunded, but i doubt that will happen. Not sure i want to accept a different rifle, even if that is offered. I attempted to call them (of course they arent there, i got a recording, that, of course, didnt state their hours of operation). I have owned the gun for about 6 weeks, and as i have no cartridges assembled yet, looked it over when it arrived but never looked too deep.

Any Advice? Thanks for listening to my ranting, Azure
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  #2  
Old 05-18-2007, 05:46 PM
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Dang, it sounds like my 120 yr old and well worn .40-60 by Winchester is in as good of shape as your new Italian one. That sucks. I'd send your list of issues to Chaparral and demand a new weapon or a refund. It might take some research to find the right person to talk to, but I would contact them personally if possible as well. That is unacceptable.
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  #3  
Old 05-20-2007, 03:30 PM
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Posts: 109
I feel for you. I wanted to buy a chapperal '76 since they came out. the reports I read for the last year were either very good or bad. I have waited for Uberti to get their '76 out.I have an Uberti '73 and it is excellent.
Myself I would return that rifle for another one and if they wouldn't exchange it I would demand my money back.if it didn't leave the factory right the first time I wouldn't bet they would get it right the second. I would also say I wanted a hand picked rifle.or I would take the money and buy a Uberti.Good Luck.Jim.Geneva Ohio.
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  #4  
Old 05-20-2007, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by .45colt
I feel for you. I wanted to buy a chapperal '76 since they came out. the reports I read for the last year were either very good or bad. I have waited for Uberti to get their '76 out.I have an Uberti '73 and it is excellent.
Myself I would return that rifle for another one and if they wouldn't exchange it I would demand my money back.if it didn't leave the factory right the first time I wouldn't bet they would get it right the second. I would also say I wanted a hand picked rifle.or I would take the money and buy a Uberti.Good Luck.Jim.Geneva Ohio.
Geneva? Wow. Are you a member of any of the local clubs? I work in Geneva hehe....small world it is!
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  #5  
Old 05-21-2007, 03:10 PM
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Well, Nick from Charter/Chaparral arms called today, and asked me what i would like to do. I really dont feel like waiting for months while they "reveiw" the gun, the other option was they will send me the parts i need (tang screw etc) and he said to fire it, keep in contact with them, and anything that breaks or goes wrong they will fix, or send me parts to fix. If the gun is screwed totally, a replacement will be given, but he said to shoot it, work with it, see what it does....not real sure how i feel about the answer, he seemed genuine enough. He did confirm that they are made in italy by Armi San Marco and that they have had some issues with ASM regarding the new 1876 rifles.

My worry is the rust that was in the barrel, it was light "fluff" rust if that makes sense, like a powdery coat, and if i look in there now, its all shiny, patches come out clean...is it safe to fire? I dont know how big a deal some rust like that is?

Azure
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  #6  
Old 05-31-2007, 12:19 PM
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: North Central Texas
Posts: 5
Chaparral M 1876 Rifles

I have 2 Chaparral Rifles, both in 45-60 WCF, both most recent 'oil finish', not the fake grain. First has a 28" barrel, SN in mid 500s bought off a rack in Dec 2006. Second was a 22" barrel Short Rifle, SN in low 800s, ordered thru an FFL dealer. No comparison ... looks like they came from different makers. Neither are 'early' production rifles and there's no excuse for less than excellent fit, finish, function. Neither rifle comes close to the fit, finish, function, look, feel, etc of the new Uberti's ... amazing what another $200 buys.

Details follow:

First, lowest SN is handsome, dark stained wood, acceptable to reasonably good mechanical fit, function. Action functions crisply and generally feeds well except for occassional mis-feed particularly on last cartridge from mag tube. Internal condition was 'rough' but 'nominally functional' finish. Trigger pull was heavy, creepy ... typical lawyer-driven stuff requiring a good trigger job to become useable. Nothing new, most all modern guns have same trigger pull problem ... all of them including the recent Winchester/Miroku 1886's and the latest Uberti 76. Marlin 1895 Cowboys may be the exception, based on my experience.

Significant problems with first Caparral M76 include a) irregular bore dimensions ... loose and tight spots with 0.456-0.4575 inch groove diameter; b) sights were junk ... rear sight leaf 'flopped' around even in up postion, elevator bar was too loose to stay in-place, sight base was loose in dovetail, front blade was bent c) barrel leads even with appropriately alloyed, sized, lubed cast bullets with any load with velocity above 1350 FPS due to tight/loose spots in bore. Bore is too tight for any available jacket bullets. Replaced both sights with sporting bead front, sporting rear ... like a few of the later originals ... light years better than what came on gun. While tang was drilled and tapped for tang sight, the tang was so warped the name brand tang sight leaned over 10 degrees to one side ... no good. Will hit cans at 30-50 yards with good handloads and aftermarket sights. Shouldn't have these problems with a $ 830 gun + tax. And this was the good luck story.

Second gun, latest production one at that time, was rec'd in deplorable, barely-functional condition. Since I ordered it from a friend and FFL dealer, I couldn't reasonably just stiff the guy so I did the 'right' thing and kept it. Keeping it was the second bad mistake, I should have sent it back immediately and demanded my money back. The first mistake was ordering anything sight unseen from a unproven maker, even if you did talk directly to the co-owner before ordering and read all the happy face BS in print.

This second gun became a 'kit gun' project ... a $950 kit gun. Wood was almost blond ... sap wood with thin oiled finish. Barrel has numerous dips and swells in flats of barrel outside. Inside it ran 0.457-0.4575 groove diameter but no really detectable loose and tight spots ... not pretty, but functional. The chamber was 'rough' and elliptical ... out of round several thousandths of an inch ... both really hard on expensive brass. Color case had weak colors marred further by rough finish of the receiver before color case process began ... just plain bad workmanship. As received, the carrier block would not index ... full up or full down. Trigger pull was creepy and very heavy. Hammer moved rearward as trigger was pulled ... obviously the full cock hammer notch was undercut. Springs were crude, irregular cross-section, poorly finished. Action was full of crud ... grit, metal chips, flakes, filings. Internal finish was rough ... tool marks, burs, file marks and what appeared to be either sand casting marks and/or very bad forging marks. Links were loose and breech pin ... the 'bolt', if you wish, ... traveled in generally a straight line ... surprising since the hole in the action thru which it passes was oversized and not round. Links were softer than a common file and had no detectable hardness testing 'dimples' indicative of quality control testing on such critical parts. During 'lock up', when the links go just into their locked position, the breech pin would move noticeably sideways. Action headspace was very loose ... marginal to unacceptable. The action was sooo loose and sloppy it would close on a 45-70 thickness rim as received ... a full 0.006 to 0.008 inch thicker than proper dimensioned 45-60 WCF Jamison case rims. Most originals survived the 120 year journey to 2007 without this much wear. My opinion - Unacceptable lack of care, attention to detail, poor craftsmanship and quality control on a 300 dollar, errrr, I mean a 950 dollar rifle.

Yes, I called, more than once. Same story... they, too, were not pleased with most recent shipment from ARMI ... or who ever makes these 'things'. Sure, ship it back ... they'd decide what to do ... by and by. What a deal ... then they'd have both my money and my 'gun'.

Yep, for better or worse ... they had my money, I had their junk . Too bad, too sad.

The project required I strip all internal parts from the action then completely clean, re-fit, polish and re-time every internal piece of the action.

Carrier block wouldn't slide freely in recess ... block and recess were both rough with flash, trash, tool marks. Cartridges would hang up in the carrier block and not slide into/thru block from mag tube due to bad, incomplete machining. Had to clean, fine file and fit the carrier block ... inside and out then polish. Carrier lever recess in the carrier block had to be cleaned out, and file finished. Carrier lever had to be polished at contact points then re-bent to make carrier block index up/down and therefore feed reliably. The carrier lever and action lever would bind-up due to inadequate clearances and rough finish along their mating/sliding surfaces. The main lever had to be re-bent to actuate the sear block safety device. Even after re-bending the main lever, the sear safety block had to be filed, fitted and polished to adequately dis-engage and allow appropriate trigger-sear-hammer function with lever at fully closed and 'tightly' gripped condition. I had to finish file, fit and polish all friction areas. Carrier lever spring spring notch as well as the spring were mis-shappened ... had to refile and polish to allow crisp carrier block action and indexing. Hammer screw was so rough it required filing and polishing so the hammer didn't drag and 'grate'. Trigger sear and hammer notches had to be re-shaped, stoned and polished to approach anywhere near a functional condition and useable trigger pull. Spring contact points had to be fine polished. Took over 20 hours of back-engineering, becoming knowledgible about the proper mechanical arrangement, relationships, fit, finish and function of the model 76, and untold cycles of try-file-fit-polish, try, ad nausium and grief before the action came to function almost as well as the first rifle.

After mechanical re-work, I refinished the stock. The wood is soft and otherwise inferior ... it dents and mars easily from even light handling and didn't take a moderately dark' stain or good quality oil finsih ... but looks light years better than factory original.

Sights were even worse than the first gun ... front blade was loose in base, rear sight was bent, warped and loose, elevator bar was 'cock-eyed' on ladder body. Replaced both with sporting front bead and sporting rear like many originals. Installed a tang sight for distance shooting. Tang was a little 'off' but tang sight was shimmed to proper alignment.

(Well, Azure ... at least my tang screw wasn't stripped out and my barrel wasn't rusted.)

The payback is that this gun now outshoots the first one ... kills pop-cans at 120 yards, steel pigs to 200 yards from a 'rest'. It eats proper diameter (0.475-0.4755") 300 grain jacketed bullets and good, properly sized (0.458) 300-335 grain cast bullets with 'very good' hunting gun accuracy. All with smokeless powder loads.

Smokeless loads, what data? It appears no 'public domain' smokeless powder data exists except for very anemic, very low pressure loads which should be safe even in originals ... yep, the 'fool factor' strikes again. Same problem ... given the low, highly variable quality and loose tolerances of these guns (based on the two guns I have) ... I can't afford to state my loads or devulge my numerical analog system (developed from available public domain info) used to develop my starting loads from published pressure test data. There's just too many personal injury lawyers looking for the next granny who pours hot coffee on herself then wants to sue somebody, anybody, everybody.

Yes, I spent days trying to pry pressure and muzzle velocity data for smokeless powder loads from 'knowledgable' sources on 2 continents. No 'useful' info was forth coming ... 'your on your' was the reply.

Reportedly, one well known powder supplier reportedly 'may' be/'may have been' tasked with working up pressure, velocity data for smokeless loads. Don't hold your breath, I'm told ... long lead time, not any time soon, low priority, limited application, too much liability. References back to the early 1900s yeilded no useful info on smokeless powder loading for the 45-60 WCF. Not surprising since John Browning's Model 86 made the 76 instantly obsolete ... as soon as the first 86 hit the shelves. Smart business for Winchester and others to just walk away from the M76 and it's early generation cartridges when smokeless powder came on the scene.

Given few options and since the short rifle was obviously 'my' gun and no warranty (???) would ever apply after the required rework, I used it as the platform to work up a modest array of smokeless powder rounds. Yes, smokeless loads. Note that very short overall cartridge length, very short case neck and limited bullet and mold selections severely limit options.
With due regard for the toggle link design as well as liability driven mis-information floating around about the 76 replicas even with modern steels and the low quality/poor dimensional control/loose headspace of these replicas (atleast mine), smokeless powder load development and validation for the Chaparral 76 is not for either the timid or the daring/foolhardy.

Unsubstantiated info seen on info-blogs indicates these 'modern' barrels and actions, despite their crude dimensional control, undersized bores and irregular internal and exterior shapes, are 'reportedly' proofed overseas to 2500 BAR ... something around 36 ksi. I've asked at several levels and no one will reply and/or substantiate proof load data. Post manufacturing dis-assembly overseas, shipment and re-assembly in the US is reportedly followed by re-proof to some undisclosed pressure ... reportedly to a 25% overload ... no reference pressure stated for either.

My loads? Let's just say that extensive research into internal ballistics and the numerical analog systems around, nights of 'homework' ... method development, checking, validating, cross-checking built on 40 years of reloading, gun building and gunsmithing experience, slow methodical load work-up and validation with continuous measurements and observations and appropriate amounts of caution have produced 'accurate' loads with chrono-ed velocities in the 1400-1600(+) fps range for 300-340 grain cast (WW+1% tin) as well as with properly sized soft copper jacketed bullets from the short rifle with its' 22" barrel. Gas checks are almost manditory for lead alloys soft enough to seal the irregular bore at these modest pressures in order to minimize leading.

I will say that I quickly left fast burning powders and that no pressure signs were observed with good handloads and bullets in the stated velocity range in my short rifle with medium to slow burning powders. No case stretching, either. Both, probably in no small measure, due to the superior properties of modern brass, modest pressures, sound load development practices and the almost straight wall design of the 45-60 with resultant minimal bolt thrust even with the 'loose' headspace condition of the as-received short rifle.

I've now fired over 200 rounds from the long gun and well over 300 from the reworked short rifle. No mechanical distress or malfunctions resulted except when unburned grains of slow burning smokeless powder drifted down and back into the action. The caution for slow burning powder is that unburned powder can end up in the full cock hammer notch and prevent full sear engagement without which, the sear can fall into the half cock notch with little force applied to the trigger.

Before you attempt the same at home ... there is absolutely NO warranty implied or stated in/on/related to any of the foregoing info ... just like me, you're on your own. Given the poor fit, finish, quality of these guns and lack of control over how the info is interpreted or used, I can't afford the liability, either.
---------------------------------------------------------------------

You judge for yourself.

If you want an expensive kit gun and an education in retrofit engineering, go ahead, buy one, or two Chaparrals.

I admit, I think made an expensive mistake. I should have waited.

I have 3 Cimmaron/Uberti M76s on order in 50-95 with an option to buy if they come in 'as advertised' and with appropriate quality, fit, function, finish.

I'll sell my long M76 Chaparral as soon as the Uberti's get here. May be not everybody will read this and I too can find a willing sucker and it'll have a new home.

The short rifle represents a 'diploma' of sorts. I'll keep it to remind me of a hard, expensive lesson learned. It has a history now ... priceless!

Graybeard 1948
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  #7  
Old 10-19-2008, 05:30 AM
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HeyGreybeard, sounds like I'm on the same track as you were! I picked up a Charles Daly '76, and after shooting it 3 times, the sear wouldnt engage on levering a new round. I had to pull back on the hammer PAST the piont of cocking to get the action to cycle, otherwise it would lock up in the half-cock position. I took side plate off to examine internals, and noticed that the trigger sear was rounded. I pulled the trigger out and lightly stoned it square, correcting the cocking problem. BUT, if I squeeze off a shot, the trigger doesnt clear the half-cock position,and I have to manually recock it and 'snap' the trigger to get it to clear that half notch position. Any tips on how to remedy this? I realize tha gun is lower quality than my Uberti, but love the looks of it, and really do want to knock the bugs out of it, to get it fully functional. Mine's in 40-60,any ideas on where to find smokeless load info? Thanks for any help you can offer.
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  #8  
Old 10-26-2008, 06:21 PM
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Any good or bad things to say about the Cimarron Winchest 92 clones?
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  #9  
Old 10-27-2008, 07:42 PM
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: North Central Texas
Posts: 5
Crapperal M 1876 Challenges

I encountered a similar problem to the one you mentioned. In 2 of my Crapperal m76s ... hammer and half-cock nub and notch were shaped incorrectly as recieved. Once I got the trigger pull light/right and release crisp, the darn thing would drop the trigger tip into the hammer half-cock on the way down. Have read others also encountered the same problem.

(Beware ... they are still producing 'brothel born' stuff and passing it off as guns. Parts from a third Crapperal M76 I recently bought for 'spare parts' turned out to not be interchangeable with either of the first 2 ... surprise, surprise. Too light for a trotline weight, too flemsy for a bat, too expensive to junk. I should have expected it.)


NOTE - I take no responsibility for any modifications, re-engineering and/or re-work by others on any gun ...

What I did to my guns with a similar problem was carefully lower (file) the half-cock 'nub' on the hammer and recut the half-cock ever so slightly in a cut-fit-polish-trial and error procedure so that the trigger would clear the half-cock recess when it was released from the hammer notch. The trigger-hammer full cock notch engagement is critical here and required careful squaring up and polishing. A slight, ever so slight, under cut with careful polishing produced a useable, crisp and relatively dependable trigger pull. Not a job for the fast, less than careful nor faint hearted.

One note, the trigger finger should ride low on the trigger (down toward the lever bow) during fitting trials and during shooting as 'choking up' on the trigger toward the top of the trigger will result in trigger release with inadequate trigger tip-hammer notch clearance and will sometimes results in the trigger falling into the hammer half-cock recess regardless of proper fitting ... not good.

Given the really crudy fit-finish-function and sub-standard hardening of the crapperals, the trigger and/or hammer half-cock won't last long if the trigger falls into the half-cock recess too often from full-cock. Also, beware of unburned smokeless powder granules which can find their way down and into the full-cock notch and cause a dangerous trigger-hammer letoff situation. Careful powder selection, careful monitoring of crud build-up and appropriate thorough cleaning are essential to prevent this from developing.

Despite all the trials with the 2nd gun described in the previous post, I still use it. It's a relatively dependable, rough and tumble piece which is now quite functional despite it's humble birth 'without benefit of clergy', so to speak. And it shoots 'very well' ... at least as well as my 60 year old eyes can see to point it.

Made meat yet???, you ask. Well, as a matter of fact ... Fall 2007, a six-point buck never heard what turned him upside down. The re-engineered 1876 and one 300 grain Remington HP at about 1500 fps over medium/slow burning smokeless powder in a cut down and formed 45-70 Starline case sent Thors Hammer thru his spine, set his spirit free and the rest to the freezer. My oldest son was quoted as having said when he heard the echo from my shot, "Dad-gum ... tha Old Man has gone and killed another buck ... and this time with a 45-60!"

The bullet mushroomed perfectly to about 65 caliber (not uncommon with this soft lead, thin jacket bullet at modest velocities and woods ranges), went clear thru and burrowed up about 5 inches in the forest floor beyond. The buck nearly fell onto the hole in the forest floor.

The case, the bullet and the bucks crown reside in the hunting cabin ... a story worth retelling to Grandkids (8 and counting) raised in the age of magnums. They will be raised to know that all we mortals, especially we mammals, hang by so very fragile a thin silver thread. It doesn't take 'megatons' to cleanly 'make meat' or otherwise accomplish the required 'deed' ... just good hunting skills and shot placement.

This year ... another woods prince roams free ... just waiting for his appointed date with destiny, his mortality and Thors Hammer administered by 'Big Medicine'. Yep, that's my Uberti 50-95 Model 1876 ... beautiful piece, great fit and function. Launches a 345 grain lead flatnose cast bullet at 1475 fps over a really clean smokeless load (at lower pressure than BP!). Didn't have to do a thing to the Uberti except slug the barrel (don't believe the Italians ... they can't measure nor produce consistent bore/groove dimensions ... I've measured groove diameters in 4 so far, all 50-95 WCF ... 2 at 0.5105"/0.5115", one at 0.5125" and one at 0.5165" which went back to Cimmaron); cast, size and lube a Lyman cast bullet 0.001" bigger than the groove diameter; and change the sights ... added a big (3/32") ivory front bead, added a better barrel sight as well as a Lyman #2 tang sight to match real world deep in the booger woods hunting conditions in Central Texas.

Will it shoot??? Does it ever! ... despite a less than perfect bore from the factory!!!

Destiny ... this week end, Lord willing and the rut is on.
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  #10  
Old 10-31-2008, 03:40 AM
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Great point about pulling the trigger from the bottom- thanks for the response. Do you think perhaps changing the angle of the half-cock notch so it rounds inward more would aid in letting the trigger sear jump past it without hanging up would help? My Chaparral was made for Charles Daly, the guts didnt appear to be near as gritty as yours-perhaps a slight speck of QC was in force by Daly. Gun is accurate as **** with 250 round nose cast bullets from Western Bullet, with a few 1 1/2" 5 shot groups at 100 yds from the rest. I DID put a Marbles tang sight on it, and had to shim the right side of the mount to get it perfectly vertical- ended up using a small black tie wrap, about 3/16" thick, under the right edge to get the height needed. Rounded edges to follow contour of Marbles base, and WHALA! cant tell its even shimmed at all. Not trying to dig deep in your load info, but what smokeless powders ya working with? Thanks again for the info.
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  #11  
Old 11-03-2008, 08:44 PM
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Bestshot

Tang sights are great on these M76s ... one on both my remaining Chaparrals and my Uberti. Problem with Lyman #2 is lack of stem length for use beyond about 150-200 yards. Glad the Marbles worked for you.

I wouldn't change the half cock angle much. I thinned the leading edge of mine down to decrease the profile and chance it'd catch the trigger tip during hammer fall while I was doing the more major reshaping. This left the half cock at full section at full depth to hold the trigger tip same as factory trigger when in the half cock position.

I have no basis for powder types or charges for the 40-60 WCF.

Standard disclaimer for not being responsible for anybody elses use of any comments or such with respect to anything I say or write about reloading especially for the Chaparral M76 rifles. Fit, finish, function and hardness are highly variable and my network has reported no less than 4 being 'wrecked' by inappropriate handloads. Not surprised based on some of the less than rationale blog comments floating around out there. As appropriately noted by one of the few really astute bloggers out there, when you exceed BP pressures, while you may not 'blow your self and your gun up' (as prognosticated by some uninformed sources) until you reach obscene pressure levels, you will over stress the toggle link machine works resulting in loosened headspace with increasing probability for case head seperation and gas escaping into the action and your face with each subsequent firing ... not good practice. Unfortunately, the Chaparrals I've shot several hundred times all loosened up regardless ... I'm guessing likely due to poor dimensional control, fit, steel composition and hardness even with BP pressures. Likely they would have loosened up just by cycling the action a few thousand cycles as they wore in and 'smoothed up'. Firing just hastened the process. So far, none of the Ubertis have loosened up as yet.

As for my experience, I've used a variety of smokeless powders in both the 45-60/Chaparral and the 50-95/Uberti... both replica M76s. List includes H4831SC, H4350, AA/XMR 2495, AA/XMR 2015, H4198 and AA 5744. Bigger the case vol, slower the powder is a good rule with the exception being AA 5744 which isn't terribly charge position sensitive. AA/XMR 2495 is especially dirty and leaves 'considerable' unburned powder granules but gives extremely consistent velocity with very modest powder charges and pressures. H4831 SC is about as dirty but equally consistent with appropriate loading density. H4350 is much cleaner than either but still dirty. H4198 and AA 2015 are cleaner but faster burning and require much smaller charges to keep velocities and pressures to about BP levels.
Regardless, there's no need to exceed BP velocities or BP pressures ... these old cartridges work extremely well on NA game at ranges for which they are designed over 120 years ago even at their relatively modest original BP velocities.

Fortunately we have great modern smokeless powders to use giving about every relative burning rate of practical use. These maximize the fun and performance and minimize the cleanup afterwards.

Unfortunately, none of the gun makers or powder companies will admit to having have done nor have yet reported rigorous pressure and velocity testing with modern smokeless powders for these early cartridges. If they have info, they won't publish theirs for fear of liability. Some (a limited amount) of low liability/low performance load data exists on maker sites and in high word count/low information articles (5000 words but only two or three meaningful sentences or a limited table of really conservative load data) floating around out there. Regardless, all makers hedge their bets by stating that use of handloads and reloads voids their warranty ... so you're on your own anyway. Seems a sad state of affairs that the greedy lawyer syndrome and fool factor combine to limit development of sane load data. I can't assume responsibility for use of my data by others either ... my pockets aren't nearly as deep as theirs.

My future direction will be to soften my 50-95 WCF lead alloy down to increase expansion at practical ranges while maintaining accuracy to allow deadly shot placement and terminal velocity sufficient to fully penetrate game but without barrel leading or pressures beyond BP levels. Modern high performance lubes help a lot in the leading department. Lyman orange works best for me. I'm nearly there with harder alloys but lack 'good' expansion as yet.



Note - Chaparral bores I've owned are rough, irregular, egg-shaped and require oversize cast bullets with gas checks for accuracy and to prevent gas cutting and leading. Jacketed bullets may work but slug your barrels' groove diameter to ensure proper/not oversize fit. Their chambers are horrible ... mis-shaped and over cut ... plays the very devil with expensive brass. The barrel wall thickness is much thicker than comparable Ubertis in the same caliber ... a good point for strength and balance. When you do find a barrel that shoots good ... they really shoot good despite all the other factors. One of the three I've had shot really great, the others were barely 'okay'.

Note - Uberti bores are highly variable as to groove diameter although groove diameter seems consistent from end to end for each barrel ... at least the 3 of the 4 I've owned, inspected, slugged and shot. Bores are not very smooth either. Two of the Uberti 50-95s prefer cast bullets ... old Lyman pattern 345 grain FNPB ... and smokeless loads. Youngest son used his opening day this year (last weekend) to harvest 2 whitetails ... both one shot kills at 50 yards, one spine and one lung shot, both bullets passed completely thru and were not recovered. Exit holes were only slightly bigger than entry holes. Lungs were jellied in both from bullet and 'secondary' pieces of bone. Third Uberti 50-95 prefers Barnes Original 300 jacketed bullet over smokeless powder at velocities slightly less than original Winchester smokeless loadings and lower pressures ... strange since it has the largest/oversized groove diameter.
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  #12  
Old 11-03-2008, 09:01 PM
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: North Central Texas
Posts: 5
Bestshot

Tang sights are great on these M76s ... one on both my remaining Chaparrals and my Uberti. Problem with Lyman #2 is lack of stem length for use beyond about 150-200 yards on the M76s. Glad the Marbles worked for you. I probably need to ty one on my Uberti.

I wouldn't change the half cock angle much. I thinned the leading edge of mine down while I was doing the more major reshaping to decrease the profile and chance it'd catch the trigger tip during hammer fall . This left the half cock at full section at full depth to hold the trigger tip same as factory when in the half cock position.

I have no basis for powder types or charges for the 40-60 WCF.

Standard disclaimer for not being responsible for anybody elses use of any comments or such with respect to anything I say or write about reloading especially for the Chaparral M76 rifles. Fit, finish, function and hardness are highly variable and my network has reported no less than 4 being 'wrecked' by inappropriate handloads. Not surprised based on some of the less than rationale blog comments floating around out there. As appropriately noted by one of the few really astute bloggers out there, when you exceed BP pressures, while you may not 'blow your self and your gun up' (as prognosticated by some uninformed sources) until you reach obscene pressure levels, you will over stress the toggle link machine works resulting in loosened headspace with increasing probability for case head seperation and gas escaping into the action and your face with each subsequent firing ... not good practice. Not sure about the real failure mode observed for these 4 Chaparrals but reported failure of an original widely seen and cited in one magazine appeared to be the result of the BP soft iron barrel splitting due to a reported inappropriate load of fast burning smokeless powder ... not the action. Unfortunately, the Chaparrals I've shot several hundred times all loosened up even with BP pressures. I'm guessing likely due to poor dimensional control, fit, load point contact finish, link steel composition and hardness (or lack thereof). Likely these would have loosened up just by cycling the action a few thousand cycles as they wore in and 'smoothed up'. Firing a few hundred times likely just hastened the process. So far, none of the Ubertis have loosened up as yet.

As for my experience, I've used a variety of smokeless powders in both the 45-60/Chaparral and the 50-95/Uberti... both replica M76s. List includes H4831SC, H4350, AA/XMR 2495, AA/XMR 2015, H4198 and AA 5744. Bigger the case vol, slower the powder is a good rule with the exception being AA 5744 which isn't terribly charge position sensitive. AA/XMR 2495 is especially dirty and leaves 'considerable' unburned powder granules but gives extremely consistent velocity with very modest powder charges and pressures. H4831 SC is about as dirty but equally consistent with appropriate loading density. H4350 is much cleaner than either but still dirty. H4198 and AA 2015 are cleaner but faster burning and require much smaller charges to keep velocities and pressures to about BP levels. Various sources cite Western Powder recommendations for their 5744 powder. It's clean burning and okay for appropriately alloyed, sized and lubed cast bullets. Buy and use a good chronograph. Don't fire smokeless handloads in these guns or attempt load development without one.

Regardless, there's no need to exceed BP velocities or BP pressures ... these old cartridges work extremely well on NA game at ranges for which they are designed over 120 years ago even at their relatively modest original BP velocities. Having seen it work first hand, the 50-95 is very effective on whitetails with 345 grain cast FNPB bullets over smokeless at less than 1500 fps ... just like BP loading developed. Same for the 45-60 with a 300 grain bullet at equivalent BP pressure.

Fortunately we have great modern smokeless powders to use giving about every relative burning rate of practical use. These maximize the fun and performance and minimize the cleanup afterwards.

Unfortunately, none of the gun makers or powder companies will admit to having have done nor have yet reported rigorous pressure and velocity testing with modern smokeless powders for these early cartridges. If they have info, they won't publish theirs for fear of liability. Some (a limited amount) of low liability/low performance load data exists on maker sites and in high word count/low information articles (5000 words but only two or three meaningful sentences or a limited table of really conservative load data) floating around out there. Regardless, all makers hedge their bets by stating that use of handloads and reloads voids their warranty ... so you're on your own anyway. Seems a sad state of affairs that the greedy lawyer syndrome and fool factor combine to limit development of sane load data. I can't assume responsibility for use of my data by others either ... my pockets aren't nearly as deep as theirs.

My future direction will be to soften my 50-95 WCF lead alloy down to increase expansion at practical ranges while maintaining accuracy to allow deadly shot placement and terminal velocity sufficient to fully penetrate game but without barrel leading or pressures beyond BP levels. Modern high performance lubes help a lot in the leading department. Lyman orange works best for me. I'm nearly there with harder alloys but lack 'good' expansion as yet.



Note - Chaparral bores I've owned are rough, irregular, egg-shaped and require oversize cast bullets with gas checks for accuracy and to prevent gas cutting and leading. Jacketed bullets may work but slug your barrels' groove diameter to ensure proper/not oversize fit. Their chambers are horrible ... mis-shaped and over cut ... plays the very devil with expensive brass. The barrel wall thickness is much thicker than comparable Ubertis in the same caliber ... a good point for strength and balance. When you do find a barrel that shoots good ... they really shoot good despite all the other factors. One of the three I've had shot really great, the others were barely 'okay'.

Note - Uberti bores are highly variable as to groove diameter although groove diameter seems consistent from end to end for each barrel ... at least the 3 of the 4 I've owned, inspected, slugged and shot. Bores are not very smooth either. Two of the Uberti 50-95s prefer cast bullets ... old Lyman pattern 345 grain FNPB ... and smokeless loads. Youngest son used his opening day this year (last weekend) to harvest 2 whitetails ... both one shot kills at 50 yards, one spine and one lung shot, both bullets passed completely thru and were not recovered. Exit holes were only slightly bigger than entry holes. Lungs were jellied in both from bullet and 'secondary' pieces of bone. Third Uberti 50-95 prefers Barnes Original 300 jacketed bullet over smokeless powder at velocities slightly less than original Winchester smokeless loadings and lower pressures ... strange since it has the largest/oversized groove diameter.
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  #13  
Old 11-03-2008, 09:06 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: North Central Texas
Posts: 5
Bestshot

Tang sights are great on these M76s ... one on both of my remaining Chaparrals and my Uberti. Problem with Lyman #2 is lack of stem length for use beyond about 150-200 yards on the M76s. Glad the Marbles worked for you. I probably need to try one on my Uberti.

I wouldn't change the half cock angle much. I thinned the leading edge of mine down while I was doing the more major reshaping to decrease the profile and chance it'd catch the trigger tip during hammer fall . This left the half cock at full section at full depth to hold the trigger tip same as factory fit when in the half cock position.

I have no basis for powder types or charges for the 40-60 WCF.

Standard disclaimer for not being responsible for anybody elses use of any comments or such with respect to anything I say or write about reloading especially for the Chaparral M76 rifles. Fit, finish, function and hardness are highly variable and my network has reported no less than 4 being 'wrecked' by inappropriate handloads. Not surprised based on some of the less than rationale blog comments floating around out there. As appropriately noted by one of the few really astute bloggers out there, when you exceed BP pressures, while you may not 'blow your self and your gun up' (as prognosticated by some uninformed sources) until you reach obscene pressure levels, you will over stress the toggle link machine works of these actions resulting in loosened headspace with increasing probability for case head seperation and gas escaping into the action and your face with each subsequent firing ... not good practice. Not sure about the real failure mode observed for these 4 Chaparrals but reported failure of an original widely seen and cited in one magazine appeared to be the result of the BP soft iron barrel splitting due to a reported inappropriate load of fast burning smokeless powder ... not the action. Unfortunately, the Chaparrals I've shot several hundred times all loosened up even with BP pressures. I'm guessing likely due to poor dimensional control, fit, load point contact finish, link steel composition and hardness (or lack thereof). Likely these would have loosened up just by cycling the action a few thousand cycles as they wore in and 'smoothed up'. Firing a few hundred times likely just hastened the process. So far, none of the Ubertis have loosened up as yet.

As for my experience, I've used a variety of smokeless powders in both the 45-60/Chaparral and the 50-95/Uberti... both replica M76s. List includes H4831SC, H4350, AA/XMR 2495, AA/XMR 2015, H4198 and AA 5744. Bigger the case vol, slower the powder is a good rule with the exception being AA 5744 which isn't terribly charge position sensitive. AA/XMR 2495 is especially dirty and leaves 'considerable' unburned powder granules but gives extremely consistent velocity with very modest powder charges and pressures. H4831 SC is about as dirty but equally consistent with appropriate loading density. H4350 is much cleaner than either but still dirty. H4198 and AA 2015 are cleaner but faster burning and require much smaller charges to keep velocities and pressures to about BP levels. Various sources cite Western Powder recommendations for their 5744 powder. It's clean burning and okay for appropriately alloyed, sized and lubed cast bullets. Buy and use a good chronograph. Don't fire smokeless handloads in these guns or attempt load development without one. Stay at or below BP velocities.

Regardless, there's no need to exceed BP velocities or BP pressures ... these old cartridges work extremely well on NA game at ranges for which they are designed over 120 years ago even at their relatively modest original BP velocities. Having seen it work first hand, the 50-95 is very effective on whitetails with 345 grain cast FNPB bullets over smokeless at less than 1500 fps ... just like BP loading developed. Same for the 45-60 with a 300 grain bullet at equivalent BP pressure.

Fortunately we have great modern smokeless powders to use giving about every relative burning rate of practical use. These maximize the fun and performance and minimize the cleanup afterwards.

Unfortunately, none of the gun makers or powder companies will admit to having have done nor have yet reported rigorous pressure and velocity testing with modern smokeless powders for these early cartridges. If they have info, they won't publish theirs for fear of liability. Some (a limited amount) of low liability/low performance load data exists on maker sites and in high word count/low information articles (5000 words but only two or three meaningful sentences or a limited table of really conservative load data) floating around out there. Regardless, all makers hedge their bets by stating that use of handloads and reloads voids their warranty ... so you're on your own anyway. Seems a sad state of affairs that the greedy lawyer syndrome and fool factor combine to limit development of sane load data. I can't assume responsibility for use of my data by others either ... my pockets aren't nearly as deep as theirs.

My future direction will be to soften my 50-95 WCF lead alloy down to increase expansion at practical ranges while maintaining accuracy to allow deadly shot placement and terminal velocity sufficient to fully penetrate game but without barrel leading or pressures beyond BP levels. Modern high performance lubes help a lot in the leading department. Lyman orange works best for me. I'm nearly there with harder alloys but lack 'good' expansion as yet.



Note - Chaparral bores I've owned are rough, irregular, egg-shaped and require oversize cast bullets with gas checks for accuracy and to prevent gas cutting and leading. Jacketed bullets may work but slug your barrels' groove diameter to ensure proper/not oversize fit. Their chambers are horrible ... mis-shaped and over cut ... plays the very devil with expensive brass. The barrel wall thickness is much thicker than comparable Ubertis in the same caliber ... a good point for strength and balance. When you do find a barrel that shoots good ... they really shoot good despite all the other factors. One of the three I've had shot really great, the others were barely 'okay'.

Note - Uberti bores are highly variable as to groove diameter although groove diameter seems consistent from end to end for each barrel ... at least the 3 of the 4 I've owned, inspected, slugged and shot. Bores are not very smooth either. Two of the Uberti 50-95s prefer cast bullets ... old Lyman pattern 345 grain FNPB ... and smokeless loads. Youngest son used his opening day this year (last weekend) to harvest 2 whitetails ... both one shot kills at 50 yards, one spine and one lung shot, both bullets passed completely thru and were not recovered. Exit holes were only slightly bigger than entry holes. Lungs were jellied in both from bullet and 'secondary' pieces of bone. Third Uberti 50-95 prefers Barnes Original 300 jacketed bullet over smokeless powder at velocities slightly less than original Winchester smokeless loadings and lower pressures ... strange since it has the largest/oversized groove diameter.
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  #14  
Old 11-04-2008, 03:29 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 13
Hey Greybeard! Great response. I was shooting the Chapparal .40-60 Saturday, and after several rounds and subsiquent cleanings, levered out the link pin that was in the center of the right side toggle set up. Its reasuring to know that all that was between my face and that loooong bolt becoming an intrigal part of my cheek was the left side toggle set up! I dont think that Marble's peep would have even slowed it down! Dont know how many shots transpired between it falling out and dropping out. Good thing I was sticking with light loads! Re installed it at home and peened the side to hold it in, Ill periodically check it now, can peek in just by removing the plates. Ill say one thing, these are really simple actions.
I went ahead and checked the half-cock on the hammer, and there was a burr that ran the width of the cut- angled out- no wonder it would grab the sear periodically and suck it in to the half-cock notch! I took a fine metal file and removed the burr, then used some 400 wet and polished it real smooth. Havent been back to the range yet, but Kinda think that may solve that problem. Kinda feelin' intimate with this Chappy all of a sudden- Ive been in it so many times!!!
What dies did you pick up for that .50-95? Im thinking that just may be my next adventure. What did you form your brass from? And, lastly, where do you get the .513 bullets for it? Thanks!
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  #15  
Old 11-12-2008, 08:03 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 13
Hey guys- I just ordered a Chaparral from CDNN for the amazing price of $699!! Gun arrived today, and let me tell ya, it looks great! Got to get some cases loaded up for it, but wood looks good, inletting is on the money, and case hardening on the reciever is gorgeous. Scrubbed out the barrel- got a fine layer of rust out of the bore- perhaps from blueing salts? Bore is now shiny and crisp. Didnt have to go inside as the gun levers smoothly. Ill save that for a later date. Ive been looking ALL over for one of these in a .50-95, and this is the best price Ive come across. Stock isnt finished to the degree of the Uberti models, but it isnt that English red, either. I like the oil finished walnut, looks more authentic to me. I think Chappy has cleaned up their act. Nothing negative here. My gun's serial is in the 1900's. I think maybe they got most of the kinks ironed out?!! Cant wait to get it out to shoot it. Got the brass formed, waiting on a set of dies and a 45-50 neck expander. Took .348 brass up to .460- will use the 45-50 expander to take it the rest of the way. What fun!!!!!!!!!
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