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Old 08-12-2010, 10:38 AM
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Winchester 1873

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I inherited a Winchester 1873 44/40 and am curious as to where one might find ammunition that is safe to operate in this rifle? The rifle has been well cared for and I'm not going to just put it away. It's a shooter and I intend to shoot it.

I would appreciate any and all comments.

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Old 08-12-2010, 05:03 PM
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I hope you enjoy the rifle. Mainstream factory ammo should be just fine. It has been many, many years since the factories loaded to different pressure levels for rifles such as yours. Just too many liability problems.

It wouldn't hurt to get a gunsmith familiar with those arms to check it out. After all, it is pretty darn old.

Good luck.

Originally Posted by faucettb
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Old 08-12-2010, 05:44 PM
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Mike...Thanks for the info and the timely reply. I had my gunsmith check it over and he gave it a clean bill of health.

Guess I'll put on my safety goggles and give it a try.

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Old 08-15-2010, 08:50 AM
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If the bore's not badly pitted, try using the Cowboy Action Loads that employ a lead bullet over a mild load of smokeless powder.
Jacketed softpoint bullets in the more typical ammo is usually more expensive than the lead bullet variety.
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Old 08-15-2010, 09:05 AM
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As Mike said, just about all of the commercially loaded ammo for the 44/40 is loaded to the original, low-pressure specs of the Model 1873 and the various revolvers for which it has been chambered. I have a Model '92 in 44/40 that is capable of much higher pressures, but I was not able to find any ammunition for it, other than the low-pressure Cowboy Action stuff. Since I already reload for pretty much every cartridge I shoot, I bought the dies for the 44/40.

Here is a link to a very informative article on the cartridge, as well as a decent selection of reloading information, should you be inclined to load your own. After you see the price of the stuff on the shelf, you might just decide reloading is a great idea!
"My serious suggestion is to buy one rifle and then buy another one. And another." JBelk
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Old 08-15-2010, 01:56 PM
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My thanks to all of you for taking the time to provide me with invaluable information. I plan to take a few days and gp to hunt camp and turn this baby loose. I also have a Remington Model 8 in 32 cal that I haven't fired in thirty years or so. I think it's time to shake the cobwebs out of that one as well.

My very best to all of you.
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Old 08-15-2010, 02:29 PM
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Just and atrthought, This is a very early 1873 S/N 36XX. Might that have any bearing on it's strength?
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