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Old 12-10-2010, 02:05 PM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Huffman, Tx
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winchester 1885 22 wcf low wall

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My dad stopped by today with an old rifle he picked up, It's in fair shape, I would deem it firable if I had ammo for it, and the barrel was cleaned out, pretty rough in there. Serial numbered 17xxx, actually the 3rd and 4th digits are covered by some sort of debris I couldn't get off and I haven't taken anything to it to clean it. Forearm has two pieces of wood missing on either side of the barrel. butt stock is in much better condition than the forearm but still has several dings and scratches and is a little loose. front and rear sights are both there. hammer and lever functional. Has a very dark color on metal can't tell if it has surface rust or its just the patina. He got it for $300, according to the serial number it was made in 1888 but was no safe queen. I'm trying to figure out what to do with it, either just leave it as is for a wall hanger, or have it possibly rechambered to a cartridge they still manufacture. Rifle wasn't anything out of the ordinary feature wise. What do you guys think? I'm not going to post a pic and waste bandwidth. I have no software to minimize file sizes. If someone wants to I will send them pics and they can post them for all to see. Not going to sell it just looking for opinions on what to do with it. Oh yeah it is a thinside low wall.

Last edited by smokinfz1; 12-10-2010 at 09:58 PM. Reason: bad spellin
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Old 12-11-2010, 11:29 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Huffman, Tx
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well after 2 hours of elbow grease rubbing on the serial numbers I can make them all out and according to the list of serial numbers by year that I looked up it is definately made in 1888. I need to find someone willing to part with some a few pieces of 22 wcf brass, or look into making some out of 22 Hornet brass. Anyone got any advice? I haven't been able to locate # designating which barrel it is, it is supposed to be located directly in front of the ebony piece on the forearm right?
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Old 12-11-2010, 01:36 PM
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Jefferson Parish (via N.O.)
Posts: 9,035
This is from a few years ago...but don't have much to add to it:

Am kind of hazy on the "real" bullet diameter of the .22WCF. the one measured ran about .226. Carteridges of the World has it running .228. Would certainly slug that bore and find out what size your barrel really is but i suspect something like .227". .226-.228 seems to be pretty common amount the black powder .22 centerfires of the 1880's (and one of the reasons the smokeless .22 HiPower has that odd sized bullet)

Am pretty sure you can use .22 Hornet brass with a little "tweaking". Main problem seems to be the neck diameter after seating a .226-.228" bullet. Most of the old chambers were a bit "generous", but you have to aloow for a bit of expansion for a clean bullet release.
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Old 12-11-2010, 11:42 PM
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Location: Huffman, Tx
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I'll slug it to get actual diameter, thanks for the threadlink inside is another link to get 22 wcf brass. Exactly what I was looking for.
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:23 PM
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Been some time since I aquired my 22 WCF low wall for my Hornet collection. If memory serves the hornet round chambers in the WCF and if fired would blow out the case as if fire forming. Bullet being 224 diameter it basically rattles down the barrel. I had acquired some old 22 WCF black powder cartridges and seems they measured 226 diameter. These were lead bullets without jackets of any kind. The 22 WCF round would not chamber in the 22 Hornet. There are slight dimensional differences between the two cases enough so you would really have too force things.
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Old 12-13-2010, 09:43 AM
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Location: Huffman, Tx
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Thanks for the input. I am trying to talk my dad into letting me load some for it. I'm sure he will let me if I foot the bill for everything. However being unemployed currently, and never being set up cast bullets, this is going to amount to a small fortune. I eventually want to get into casting and this gives me the excuse to get started but not economically possible at this time. I have so many questions about casting and sizing.
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