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  #1  
Old 12-25-2009, 09:58 AM
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Winchester Model 1873 (original) .44 WCF cartridge length


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I have an original 1873 Winchester in .44 WCF and the modern .44-40 cartridge will not chamber. I think the cartridge is too long. I have read that the original .44 WCF was changed and so does not match the modern .44-40. Is anyone familiar with this and if the original cartridge is shorter, what is the original length of the brass and/or the overall length with bullet?
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Old 12-25-2009, 10:13 AM
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I can't add any advice to this. But that must be an awesome rifle !
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  #3  
Old 12-26-2009, 05:43 AM
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The 44 WCF is still the same. I have an 1873 in 44 WCF and the new ammo fits. OAL will be between 1.585 and about 1.595. The OAL is critical in the 1873 as there is no cartridge cutoff. I have seen some of the cowboy ammo be way off and vary a lot in OAL so check that. Also there may be rust and crud in the chamber. Give it a good clean. Case length 1.30 max.
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  #4  
Old 12-26-2009, 10:11 PM
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Sometimes the obvious escapes us.
You sure it's a .44-40 and not a .38-40?
Just saying. I've overlooked basic things myself. No chatisement of you intended.
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  #5  
Old 12-27-2009, 05:52 AM
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Yes. It is marked .44 WCF and a .44 shell cartridge that we cut short does fit.
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  #6  
Old 12-27-2009, 05:59 AM
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I would have to say that in the interest of not hurting an original rifle, you could have a gunsmith take a chamber casting and find out what your dealing with.
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  #7  
Old 12-27-2009, 11:26 AM
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Is there rifling in the bore? I think some were made to fire shot with a smooth bore. Might be made not to take bulleted ammo for some reason.
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  #8  
Old 01-05-2010, 01:38 PM
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Problem solved

Thanks to all who provided advice. The problem was a partially broken off shell case that was stuck in the barrel. With that removed, standard .44-40 shells chamber fine.
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  #9  
Old 01-05-2010, 04:34 PM
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OK, now that we have that problem solved...how does she shoot?!
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  #10  
Old 01-06-2010, 06:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rscottm View Post
. . . The problem was a partially broken off shell case that was stuck in the barrel. . . .
That has to be a rare occurance. How did you get that broken shell out of your rifle? Vigorous use of the cleaning rod with an oversized brush?
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  #11  
Old 01-06-2010, 07:27 PM
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A lead slug driven from the muzzle will remove a piece of stuck case. Sometimes a brush will remove it if its not stuck tight.
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