Shooters Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I went to a gun show this past weekend just to browse around. I saw a lot of Winchester '73's for sale. Anyway, my question is about the Winchester '92. When they were originally manufactured, what calibers were they chambered for, ORIGINALLY.

I did see a Navy Arms reproduction chambered for .45. I was just wondering if the originals were ever chambered for this caliber.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
738 Posts
Two-Bits,
The original Mdl 92's were made from 1892 to sometime in the 1930's I believe.
The original calibers were, 32-20 (32WCF), 38-40 (38WCF), and 44-40 (44 WCF). Later there were some other smaller calibers such as the 25-20.
The original 92's were never made in .45 Colt.
Colt had a patent on the cartrige and never authorized anyone to chamber their guns for that cartrige.
A shame really, because it does work well in a carbine length long gun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
254 Posts
I don't believe that the .45 Colt would have been a good idea in lever-action rifles years ago.
In the 1970s, I had a hundred .45 Colt cases of balloon head design, dating back to the 1930s and 1940s, I'm sure.
These cases had such tiny rims on them, they often popped right off the RCBS shellholder when trying to extract them from the sizing die.
After about five such incidents on day, I dragged out my Lee Loader and sized them in that, because the sized cases are removed by knocking them out with a rod. No shellholder is required.
In my cartridge collection I have some black powder .45 Colt rounds. They also have very slight rims.
Such rounds work in the Colt Single Action revolver, because they are knocked out and not extracted en masse, via a star.
If the Winchester were introduced in .45 Colt way back when, it would have been a disaster, I believe.
Remember, these were the days of black powder and corrosive primers. People didn't clean their firearms as often or as thorough as we do today. Chambers would soon rust and the .45 cases would soon begin to stick.
The meager extractor on the Winchester would have easily popped over the slight rim of the .45 Colt case.
And who would be blamed?
Why, Winchester of course!
Winchester exhibited remarkable foresight in NOT chambering their rifles to .45 Colt. If they had wanted to do so, I'm sure they could have struck a deal with Colt.
Interestingly, the old .44-40, .38-40 and .32-20 rounds in my collection all have prominent rims and work fine the Winchester.
J. Miller, that's the first I"ve heard that Colt had a patent on its .45 cartridge. Interesting. Did Winchester have a patent on their 44 WCF or 38 WCF?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
738 Posts
Gatofeo,
I don't think Winchester had any patents on their cartriges. I read about the Colt deal over at SixGunners.com forum. I forget who wrote the article, but Paco Kelly sticks in my brain. Please forgive me if I'm wrong.

I know that Remington, and I believe S&W chambered their revolvers for 44-40, and so did Merwin and Hulbert(?) I believe. Other makers chambered their rifles in this caliber too.
If I can find the specific atricle I will post a link to it here.
Here is the link I mentioned.
http://www.sixgunner.com/paco/45coltrifles.htm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replys.

J Miller, that sure was an interesting article. Some of it was beyond me, but it was interesting reading.

A question on the .38 WCF. Does that designation only refer to the .38-40? What about other designations such as
.38-55?

One other question. Not that I would do this, but this is just for my own info. I have a Ruger Vaquero .45. Could black powder be used for reloading instead of smokeless powder. I know the powder amounts would be different, but I'm just curious.

Thanks!
 

·
The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
Joined
·
36,313 Posts
You can safely shoot black powder in your Vaquero, no problem. The correct amount is whatever fills up the case to the base of the bullet and then just a bit, say a sixteenth of an inch more, so that the load is compressed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
510 Posts
:) Two-Bits, the 38WCF designation refers to the 38-40 cartridge. It's a rather odd designation, though, as the bullet was actually a 40 cal.The original load was 40 grs powder and a 180 gr bullet. Winchester developed the 38 WCF in 1879 for use in their model 1873 rifle. Colt offered this chambering beginning in 1886.
The 38-55 is a different cartridge. It was first offered in 1886 for use in the Winchester model 1885 single shot rifle. The bullet diameter was .379 with a charge of 55 grs of black powder.
I like the 38-40 myself, and have taken blacktail deer with my little '73 carbine. I also have a companion Colt SA in this caliber. One of these days I'll pick up a '92 in 38-40, so I can hot-rod it a little bit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
510 Posts
:D Me thinks there was a lot of "borrowin'" goin' on back in those days. I am in no way a student of Marlin firearms, but, wasn't Ballard the developer of these fine cartridges? Marlin used Ballard cut rifling to define accuracy with it's lever action rifles. So called proprietary cartridges were used by other companies with slightly different bullet weights and powder loadings. An example is the 40-60 Marlin. Winchester had the 40-65 WCF which has the same case dimentions as the Marlin. My Colt Lightning is marked 40-60-260, yet fires the same 40-65s as the 1886 Winchester of that caliber. Competition among firearms makers was fierce in the decades following the war between the states.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
510 Posts
Howdy, Jack:
Thanks for the tip on an excellent site. I admit that I've not owned a Marlin other than an 1897 .22. I'm a Winchester guy, mostly. Especially fond of the models 1886 and 1892. I would like to find a late '93 or 336 in 38-55. To tell you the truth, the Winchester '94 does not excite me at all. The action is just too "clunky", for lack of a better word. All the Marlin talk is making a convert out'ta this old soul.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top