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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  The Winchester Model 1873 (Moderator: Major 2)  |  Topic: Comparison--New Winchester vs. Uberti '73's 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Comparison--New Winchester vs. Uberti '73's  (Read 12987 times)
OD#3
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« on: May 04, 2015, 08:41:29 pm »


I've discovered that Miroku constructs their 1873 quite a bit differently than Uberti, and today I took some pics to highlight some of the more obvious ones.  Perhaps some here might find this study in pictures helpful.

First, just the obligatory intro photos...


The side plates have a different curve.  The Winchester comes to a point in the rear at a higher position than the Uberti, and the frame rises earlier toward the front...


Some other differences...


The breech areas are treated much differently.  The beveled chamber mouth on the Miroku seems to be an improvement.  The only ammo I had on hand to test cycling with was some Keith semiwadcutters crimped over the front driving band.  These are notorious for jamming on the chamber mouth on my Uberti, but they fed smooth as glass in the Miroku....


Try as I might, I cannot figure out why Miroku deviates from the originals in this next area.  First the Uberti...


The Miroku is a lot different...


Despite these differences, many of which seem to deviate from original Winchesters more than the Uberti does, the overall quality is definitely better.  You noticed the smoother machining inside the receiver.  Next, the side plates...


More authentic-looking tang, but lousy hammer knurling...


Less authentic-looking tang, but beautiful hammer...



Here's an area that is often neglected on Uberti rifles.  Sometimes, the owner has to file this bevel himself, but Miroku does a nice job here (lack of a bevel will sometimes cause the rim to catch here, which tilts the round to the side and jams things up).


I tore this Winchester down completely today.  I still haven't made it to the range yet, but my assessment so far is that the Miroku version of the Winchester '73 is sort of a "product improvement" project.  It is not as authentic a copy of the original as their old 1892's and 1886's were, but the build quality is still top notch and a cut above Uberti.  Given the close price point between the two, and pending the outcome of the range trip, I would definitely recommend the Winchester over the Uberti.
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Coal Creek Griff
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« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2015, 09:40:12 pm »

Nicely done.  Thanks for the work you put into that report.

CC Griff
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Cliff Fendley
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« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2015, 10:06:24 pm »

The mill marks on the uberti side plates are not really a bad thing with a little attention are better than if they were smooth like the miroku. All you have to do is knock the top off with a stone a few licks to take off any sharp mill edges as with any other action work. The toggle links can rub on them so holding a thin layer of lubricant is not a bad thing. That is why there is frosting on the ways of the sliding parts of machinery to hold lube so the surfaces don't drag and gall.

As you can see in your photo, the Winchester is still new but shows more signs of rubbing on the side plate than the Uberti.
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« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2015, 02:30:30 pm »

I am interested to know if all screws came out with out them being damage. Still cant get the screws out of my 73 carbine. I not going to try too hard until the new set is here.
thanks
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« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2015, 05:09:03 pm »

One other difference I've noted is the shape of the top of the carrier.  The difference causes the Uberti to eject more or less up or slightly back, while the Miroku ejects well forward.

TR
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« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2015, 06:25:22 pm »

One other difference I've noted is the shape of the top of the carrier.  The difference causes the Uberti to eject more or less up or slightly back, while the Miroku ejects well forward.

TR

I like the way Uberti's eject, they land on my hat usually or over my shoulder. Ones that go out front get lost or not recovered during CAS.

Most original Winchester 73's I've had throw them in my face.
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OD#3
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« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2015, 08:20:45 pm »

I am interested to know if all screws came out with out them being damage. Still cant get the screws out of my 73 carbine. I not going to try too hard until the new set is here.
thanks

Yes, the screws came out readily enough.  They were snug but not overly tight.  I was sweating bullets the first time I removed the two screws on the bottom of my Uberti receiver.  I had a perfectly-fitting screwdriver, but I really began to worry when I reached the white knuckle stage.  Then all of a sudden, "SNAP!"  I thought I'd broken off the screw head, but the sudden snap was just the screw finally breaking loose.  The other one was the same way.  Once loosened the first time, they've been no trouble since.  But I did note with satisfaction that the Winchester screws weren't like that at all.
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OD#3
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« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2015, 08:26:02 pm »

One other difference I've noted is the shape of the top of the carrier.  The difference causes the Uberti to eject more or less up or slightly back, while the Miroku ejects well forward.

TR

Yes, the Miroku carrier is different.  They rounded off the top right rear and beveled the inside of the left.  I think that this is supposed to make it eject to the right instead of on top of your head, but I haven't had it to the range yet to try it out.  I'm flat out of .45 Colt right now, but all of my brass is prepped and ready to load.  I was going to make some today, but I spent all my free time working on my soup sandwich of a Uberti '72 open top in .45 Colt. 
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Fox Creek Kid
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« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2015, 12:45:15 am »

Nonetheless, the Uberti is closer to the original in appearance. Incidentally, neither the Uberti or 'Japchester" use the original toggle activated safety lever to keep the gun from firing when out of battery. I always wondered why Uberti sklimped on that.  Huh
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OD#3
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« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2015, 08:40:38 am »

I always wondered that as well.  I also wondered why Uberti dropped the magazine plug retention screw in favor of threading the plug and screwing it into the magazine tube so tightly that it is next to impossible to remove.  I bet most Uberti owners have never been able to properly clean their magazine tubes after shooting black powder.  Miroku uses the retention screw, and I look forward to being able to thoroughly clean this rifle when shooting black powder.

One of the ironies of these "Japchesters", as many of the scornful like to refer to them, is the contempt many folks have for what most often stems from the pain of seeing a Japanese-produced firearm branded with an iconic American name.  I think it was easier for people to swallow the Browning brand on Miroku rifles, because the Browning Arms Company has always existed as a marketer or importer of firearms manufactured by others--they were just usually John Browning-designed guns. 

So when Browning had Miroku make the 1892, 1886, and 1895, people were just glad to see these guns being made again and to such a high standard of quality.  And by the time they did, Winchester's reputation for quality had already fallen; if  Winchester had tried to produce them at New Haven, they would have probably been sloppily made.

Since John Browning didn't design the 1873, they never had Miroku reproduce it.  Winchester and its successor, U.S. Repeating Arms, just continued to flounder until they finally closed down entirely.  Uberti has been the only game in town for 1873 rifles, and they've been at it a very long time.  The quality of their rifles has always been pretty good, and prices have remained pretty high.  My own Uberti was purchased new a few years ago at an LGS.  Better prices are to be had online, but it cost me nearly $1,200 then, and it still required some tweaking to get it to behave like it was supposed to.

Now that FN owns both Browning and Winchester, Winchester has gone the way of Browning--it is a marketer of firearms produced by others.  But unlike Browning, people just aren't used to seeing the name "Winchester" stamped on stuff not produced at New Haven, and it is hard for many folks to swallow that.  For me, however, Winchester's acquisition was a real boon.  Miroku's rifles would no longer be limited to John Browning's designs, and the 1873 became a possibility. 

I don't like the added safeties, and some of the other departures on this "modernized" rifle appear at first glance to be neither manufacturing expediencies nor strength enhancements.  The Winchester name on my rifle carries no weight with me.  The only name on this rifle that gives me confidence is "Miroku"--that is the name that is synonymous with quality for me.  Time will tell, but the eventual irony may be that the brand "Winchester", rather than enhancing a foreign-made gun's acceptability to the majority of uninformed Americans, will regain its reputation for quality only because it was made by Miroku.
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Fox Creek Kid
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« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2015, 01:42:42 pm »

...I bet most Uberti owners have never been able to properly clean their magazine tubes after shooting black powder...

First, if you shoot 44-40 then there is no BP fouling entering the mag tube as that ctg. seals perfectly. Secondly, I cleaned my mag tubes once per yr. when I was an active CAS shooter. I never had any problems with Uberti.

I think Miroku makes fine guns. I just have a hard time with that glaring screw on the receiver for the PC safety device.
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Cliff Fendley
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« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2015, 03:23:55 pm »

I always wondered that as well.  I also wondered why Uberti dropped the magazine plug retention screw in favor of threading the plug and screwing it into the magazine tube so tightly that it is next to impossible to remove.  I bet most Uberti owners have never been able to properly clean their magazine tubes after shooting black powder.  Miroku uses the retention screw, and I look forward to being able to thoroughly clean this rifle when shooting black powder.

One of the ironies of these "Japchesters", as many of the scornful like to refer to them, is the contempt many folks have for what most often stems from the pain of seeing a Japanese-produced firearm branded with an iconic American name.  I think it was easier for people to swallow the Browning brand on Miroku rifles, because the Browning Arms Company has always existed as a marketer or importer of firearms manufactured by others--they were just usually John Browning-designed guns. 

So when Browning had Miroku make the 1892, 1886, and 1895, people were just glad to see these guns being made again and to such a high standard of quality.  And by the time they did, Winchester's reputation for quality had already fallen; if  Winchester had tried to produce them at New Haven, they would have probably been sloppily made.

Since John Browning didn't design the 1873, they never had Miroku reproduce it.  Winchester and its successor, U.S. Repeating Arms, just continued to flounder until they finally closed down entirely.  Uberti has been the only game in town for 1873 rifles, and they've been at it a very long time.  The quality of their rifles has always been pretty good, and prices have remained pretty high.  My own Uberti was purchased new a few years ago at an LGS.  Better prices are to be had online, but it cost me nearly $1,200 then, and it still required some tweaking to get it to behave like it was supposed to.

Now that FN owns both Browning and Winchester, Winchester has gone the way of Browning--it is a marketer of firearms produced by others.  But unlike Browning, people just aren't used to seeing the name "Winchester" stamped on stuff not produced at New Haven, and it is hard for many folks to swallow that.  For me, however, Winchester's acquisition was a real boon.  Miroku's rifles would no longer be limited to John Browning's designs, and the 1873 became a possibility. 

I don't like the added safeties, and some of the other departures on this "modernized" rifle appear at first glance to be neither manufacturing expediencies nor strength enhancements.  The Winchester name on my rifle carries no weight with me.  The only name on this rifle that gives me confidence is "Miroku"--that is the name that is synonymous with quality for me.  Time will tell, but the eventual irony may be that the brand "Winchester", rather than enhancing a foreign-made gun's acceptability to the majority of uninformed Americans, will regain its reputation for quality only because it was made by Miroku.

Are you not aware there have been Winchester branded guns made in Japan as far back as the 1960's? Some very damn fine ones at that because I have owned many of them.

It's not where the gun is made because Miroku makes some dang fine guns, I have a few myself, it's the designers that let some of us purest down on this new Miroku 73.
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Tommy Reb
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« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2015, 04:56:46 pm »

Hello Fox Creek Kid.  Not sure what safety device you are referring to on the Miroku '73's??  Only "safety" that I am aware of other than the first cock notch on the hammer, is the "safety" in the firing pin extension.  That one is not obtrusive and is easy to remove.

TR
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Tommy Reb
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« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2015, 06:34:23 pm »

He's probably referring to the screw on the very top of the receiver near the rear that secures the stud, which communicates with the safety nub on the firing pin extension.  And yeah, this bothers me a little bit too.  I've been playing around with my Miroku and my Uberti.  My Uberti is every bit as slick as the Miroku, but that's because I worked on the Uberti; it didn't start out that way.

I'd be very interested to know why kind of steel Miroku uses and how it is heat-treated.  When Uberti came out with their .44 Magnum version of the 1873, they explained that it was possible only because of a superior steel and heat treatment they were using for that model.   It may be blind faith based upon my experiences with Miroku's 1886's and 1892's, but I suspect that the metallurgy they use in their 1873's is superior to the run of the mill Uberti, and that they'll hold up better in the long run.  But this is completely unsubstantiated conjecture based solely on my experiences with Miroku's older rifles and the many Uberti revolvers I've had the misfortune to have to work on.
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yahoody
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« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2015, 02:50:39 am »

Nice write up, thanks.
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« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2015, 02:54:18 pm »

One thing that you did not mention, but is readily apparent in the photos, is that the forend on the Uberti is nicely inletted into the receiver, as was done on all lever action Winchesters up to 1964. On the Miroku the forend is flat where it meets the receiver, with no inletting, making it less secure. This tilts the balance, for me, in favor of the Uberti.
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Cliff Fendley
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« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2015, 11:12:45 pm »

Hello Fox Creek Kid.  Not sure what safety device you are referring to on the Miroku '73's??  Only "safety" that I am aware of other than the first cock notch on the hammer, is the "safety" in the firing pin extension.  That one is not obtrusive and is easy to remove.

TR
Old thread but since it's been brought back up. I think FCK was referring to the firing pin retractor activated by the toggle link in an original Winchester 73.

Neither the Uberti or Miroku are made that way although Uberti is similar in construction but uses a spring to return the firing pin and the part that replaces the retractor on the originals just holds the firing pin extension in on current made Uberti's. That part is just called a firing pin stop on current production Uberti rifles.
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Fox Creek Kid
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« Reply #17 on: December 25, 2015, 01:31:51 am »

Old thread but since it's been brought back up. I think FCK was referring to the firing pin retractor activated by the toggle link in an original Winchester 73.

Neither the Uberti or Miroku are made that way although Uberti is similar in construction but uses a spring to return the firing pin and the part that replaces the retractor on the originals just holds the firing pin extension in on current made Uberti's. That part is just called a firing pin stop on current production Uberti rifles.

Yes, the new Uberti rifles post circa. 2008-09 have that.
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FJ Hutch
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« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2016, 06:03:36 pm »

Good article and I did learn a few things.  I have the Muroku-73 and have done nothing with it except putting rounds down the barrel and it works pretty good so far.  Better than the 92 that I had a smithy smooth out, it will often jam up on feeding the first round.
The 73 seems a little clunky when working the lever, but from what I've seen this can be smoothed out by doing some careful polishing on a few parts.
Thanks.
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« Reply #19 on: January 01, 2017, 12:02:15 pm »

There is no doubt Miroku is making a really nice replica '73.  Unfortunately, there are very few replacement parts available and even fewer performance parts.  Still, all in all, a nice rifle.

Coffinmaker
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nativeshooter
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« Reply #20 on: January 03, 2017, 01:34:43 am »

I wouldn't mind a miroku '73, i like how the wood looks. Though I wish that they made it in a carbine along with the short rifle one that they offer. I know that the uberti is roughly cheaper than the miroku but there's something about the miroku that I like. However for now Im still paying for my 66 yellowboy and I really like that one.
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FJ Hutch
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« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2017, 04:18:16 pm »

There is no doubt Miroku is making a really nice replica '73.  Unfortunately, there are very few replacement parts available and even fewer performance parts.  Still, all in all, a nice rifle.

Coffinmaker

I agree with trying to find parts and it is really hard from Canada.
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yahoody
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« Reply #22 on: August 06, 2017, 11:10:59 pm »

bump for additional  comments/comparisons
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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  The Winchester Model 1873 (Moderator: Major 2)  |  Topic: Comparison--New Winchester vs. Uberti '73's « previous next »
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