a new member to my winchester group home arrived yesterday,1873 in 38-40
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Thread: a new member to my winchester group home arrived yesterday,1873 in 38-40

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    Default a new member to my winchester group home arrived yesterday,1873 in 38-40

    a new member arrived at my winchester group home yesterday, i needed a decent 1873 in 38-40 to go with my 1892 in 38-40 and this showed up. it took a little haggeling, but came to a deal with both the seller and buyer being satisfied. its in very good condition with a 8 out of ten bore. eastbankClick image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
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    Lucky man. Going to new show today with hopes.
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    Very very nice indeed eastbank. The 1873 is my favorite and hope to own one soon. Love the style of the receivers. Do you know what year your's was produced?

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    You have done well sir! Just the way a true gunnut wants them. Plenty of condition, fine shootable bore, everything correct, and happy with the deal. I'm sure you gave up plenty (cash,trade,promises) but happy with the deal is the most important thing in this game. Having a group home for old veterans still able to disturb the peace now and again is our sacrifice to the world of gun oil and burnt powder, eh?

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    made in 1893, after a good cleaning it will be making fire,smoke and firing lead down range. eastbank.

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    That is a nice one ,38 WCF is my favorite.You need a nice matching 1st gen Colt SAA to go with it.

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    i have a colt bisley in 38-40 that shoots pretty good. eastbank.Attachment 2107762

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    Nice Score on that '73 , That is a real Beauty ,and a shootable one at that. You are very Lucky to find one that nice that you both can be happy with the price .
    Nice !

  10. #9
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    I have my father's Winchester 1873 that he bought in 1936. It is 38-40 caliber with a special order 30 inch oct barrel, the tang sight is from
    a Winchester 1886, which fits very well. I found out it was for the Win 1886 by the code on the bottom of the tang sight. My Winchester was
    produced in 1891 and I have a factory letter too, it is quite accurate.

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    It seems that the .38-40 didn't catch on down here, lots of .32-20, .44-40 and the .25-20 later on, never had any luck finding a decent 73 or 92 in that calibre but did find a nice little low wall back in the 1980's.

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    Your 73 would go nicely with these - all 38/40.
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    The 38WCF and 38-40 are the same cartridge? These older chamberings are confusing. I recently bought a High Wall in 38WCF and it is really a 40 caliber. The ammo at Cabelas is listed as 38-40. I don't know if it is meant for a rifle or a pistol as Colt made pistols in this caliber as well. and is a Winchester Low Wall meant to use a hotter rifle shell like the High Wall? I would guess that everything is now loaded down to pistol pressures and rifles need to be hand loaded to their potential, but I don't know. Anyone with answers?

    Thanks

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    your low wall is a very strong rifle if in good condition. i load 10grs unique with a 180grs .403 cast bullet in the 38-40,s(win 1892 and a colt bisley). in the 1873 i will start lower and work up. i load 10grs unique and a 200gr .427 cast bullet in my win 53 in 44-40 and load 8 grs of unique with the same bullet in my 1873 44-40. i have killed deer with quite a few of my older winchesters. eastbank.Attachment 2160706

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    Quote Originally Posted by fullchoke View Post
    The 38WCF and 38-40 are the same cartridge? These older chamberings are confusing. I recently bought a High Wall in 38WCF and it is really a 40 caliber. The ammo at Cabelas is listed as 38-40. I don't know if it is meant for a rifle or a pistol as Colt made pistols in this caliber as well. and is a Winchester Low Wall meant to use a hotter rifle shell like the High Wall? I would guess that everything is now loaded down to pistol pressures and rifles need to be hand loaded to their potential, but I don't know. Anyone with answers?

    Thanks
    .25 WCF = 25-20;
    .32 WCF = 32=20;
    .38 WCF = 38-40, and yes it is a .40 cal;
    .44 WCF = 44-40

    I don't think they made a High Speed (we'd call them +P or +P+ these days) for 38-40 or 44-40. Certainly did, after the Model 1892 (much stronger than the 1873s) in .25-20 and 32-20.

    1873s are not that strong as originally made, and I doubt I'd want to push things in one. Your Low Wall is, as eastbank says, a strong action if in good order, and you should be safe with loads at or above the top loads recommended for pistols or 1873s.
    Absent comrades (sound of breaking glass)

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    It's interesting and somewhat confusing at the same time. Winchester made the High Wall, and Low Wall in 38-40 and they fired the same load? I suppose you could have a 22 in High Wall config, but it would seem unnecessary. I'm curious how much stronger a High Wall is over a Low Wall. I read somewhere that winchester tested new cartridges in the High Wall rifle, so I'm wondering if any loads were specifically made for the High Wall to take advantage of the action strength.

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    i,m sure the high walls and low walls were more than strong enough for the calibers they were chambered for. and i think most of the calibers were in the 25-30 thousand psi range. i have a low wall browning repo in .260 rem that has not given me any problems in the 56-58 thousand psi range. eastbank.

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    I agree they were more than strong enough for whatever they were chambered for.
    I'm not sure of this, but I don't imagine people reloaded to the capability of their rifle back in the 19th century like is done now. Did they only have manufactured ammo in 38-40 (38wcf) that had low pressure so pistols made in this caliber stayed together. It also seems questionable that the Low Wall could handle the same pressures as the high wall or the high wall would not have been needed. With that thought were any rounds developed especially for the High Wall in 38wcf? Possibly they were labeled 38WCF and not 38-40. I'm trying to make sense why they named the cartridge backwards in relation to everything else(25-20,32-20,45-70,etc) I also saw in a description of the 38-40 cartridge(on you tube) that it was designed as 40 caliber with 38 grains of black powder. Which seems fairly hot for a pistol and a short barrel. I wonder what pressures would be experienced with that load? Could it be that 38WCF had actually 38 grains of powder? Winchester also had the 22WCF, but that was 22 caliber wasn't it? This is why I'm confused with the 38-40/38WCF and the firearms it was chambered for.

    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by fullchoke View Post
    I agree they were more than strong enough for whatever they were chambered for.
    I'm not sure of this, but I don't imagine people reloaded to the capability of their rifle back in the 19th century like is done now. Did they only have manufactured ammo in 38-40 (38wcf) that had low pressure so pistols made in this caliber stayed together. It also seems questionable that the Low Wall could handle the same pressures as the high wall or the high wall would not have been needed. With that thought were any rounds developed especially for the High Wall in 38wcf? Possibly they were labeled 38WCF and not 38-40. I'm trying to make sense why they named the cartridge backwards in relation to everything else(25-20,32-20,45-70,etc) I also saw in a description of the 38-40 cartridge(on you tube) that it was designed as 40 caliber with 38 grains of black powder. Which seems fairly hot for a pistol and a short barrel. I wonder what pressures would be experienced with that load? Could it be that 38WCF had actually 38 grains of powder? Winchester also had the 22WCF, but that was 22 caliber wasn't it? This is why I'm confused with the 38-40/38WCF and the firearms it was chambered for.

    Thanks
    When the 25-20, 32-20, 38-40 and 44-40 were first introduced, they were for the Winchester 1873 and were known/called "W.C.F." (Winchester Center Fire) rounds. When other makers (Marlin, etc.) and ammo makers than (IIRC Western) made them, they wanted to avoid the Winchester name. Especially gun makers that might be in competition (Colt wasn't so they often made pistols - or rather revolvers - marked for "W.C.F." rounds) like Marlin. So they either had a proprietary round or used a different designation, in the cases we discuss 25-20, 32-20, 38-40 and 44-40.

    .22 WCF was indeed a .22 (.223"), introduced for the 1885, and was a BP round. Parent of the .22 Hornet. Completely different case dimensions from the other WCF rounds (and of course the 32-20, parent of 25-20 and later .218 Bee, was different from the 38-40 and 44-40).

    45-70 was originally .45 Government, a military round for the Model 1873 Trapdoor. It was known in commercial form as 45-70-405, for the bullet (.458" for use in a .45 bore), powder charge (70 grains of BP_ and bullet weight (405 grains, later 500 grains in military service).

    The nominal powder charge was 40 grains of BP. Cartridge was originally introduced for the 1873 Winchester rifle, and later adopted for various handguns, including Colt SAA in 1884.

    You are in a moderately complex area, and one that is sometimes very confusing. Sorry, just the way it is and logic often seems lacking.
    Absent comrades (sound of breaking glass)

  20. #19

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    Thanks Clyde for making some sense on this. You explain with logic why the WCF had their substitute names. I had not thought of that.

    Did the Colt SSA actually use the same 1873 rifle charge in the revolver? or was there a lesser handgun charge? and if they did use the same charge, was there a +p charge developed for the High Wall? It would make sense if there was a +p round, but as you state, "logic often seems lacking". I can certainly agree with that.

    Thanks

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