Author Topic: 45 Colt loads and Miroku Winchester 1873  (Read 4632 times)

Offline BikerTom

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45 Colt loads and Miroku Winchester 1873
« on: March 23, 2021, 08:32:57 AM »
I'm contemplating buying a new-in-the-box Miroku manufactured Winchester model 1873 in 45 Colt.  I'm not interested in originality.  I just have stumbled upon a MW with the features I like.  CCH.  Octagon 16 inch barrel.  45 Colt.  Highly figured wood.

The reason I'm choosing 45 LC is because of the straight wall case which allows reloading on a progressive, etc.  Also, I already have the cases, dies, powder, primers, etc.  The bullets will be either plated SWC or jacketed hollow points.

Concerning the use, it will probably make a few trips a year to the range to punch paper or ring gongs.  Otherwise, it'll be a safe queen. 

Researching the 1873 toggle link action, I've read and have been given numerous caveats.  Mostly concerning 1) the fragility of the action and 2) blowback into the receiver (from light loads fabricated to accommodate the fragile action).

Concerning the allowable pressures for the 1873, in a similarly themed thread on The High Road, the late RCModel said, "SAAMI spec for 45 Colt is 14,000 PSI. That is the only pressure suitable for use in any rifle with a toggle-link action."   

I'm limiting the reloads to one of two powders: Hodgdon Titegroup and Winchester 231.  Dunno which, yet.  Yes, I know there are better powders, but given the current market, I'll stick to what I have. 

But the Hodgdon website shows, for example, the starting load for a 300 grain bullet is 5.2 grains = 11,300 CUP.  Maximum load is 5.8 grains = 12,900 CUP. 

My question is, based upon RC's post (that 14,000 PSI is suitable for a toggle link action), then the above loads for the Titegroup data should pose no problem? 

(However, given the advanced metallurgy available today, along with Miroku's computer enhanced fitment of parts, surely their 1873s are stronger than the original.)

That's question #1.

Question #2 has to do with complaints I've read about debris/soot blowback into the action because the cartridge case didn't "seal" in the chamber upon firing.  I think it was suggested that this is especially acute with 45 Colt cases with thick walls like, Starline.  (My cases are Winchester.)

Again, I'm inquiring solely about 45 Colt.  And my loads will be about in the middle of "starting" and "maximum."  I already know that the 44-40 cartridge produces no such phenomenon, but what about the 45 Colt?  Is that an issue with modern smokeless powders? 

I'm assuming the more pressure in the cartridge, the better the seal. 

Finally, question #3.  If I complete the purchase, I'll likely start with plated SWC bullets.  I'll use those until I develop a familiarity with the rifle.  I already have several lever rifles with more powerful cartridges, and a couple have tube mags, and I'm familiar with the caveats concerning pointed bullets.

But in the 1873, SWCs should pose no problem? 

Thanks for your consideration.

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: 45 Colt loads and Miroku Winchester 1873
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2021, 10:45:46 AM »

 :)  Biker Tom   ;)

Well, you have some good information as well as some "Old Wives Tales."  The toggle Link action, especially in current manufacture is a LOT stronger than some would have you believe.  It is suitable for ammunition all the way up to SAAMI spec ammunition.  I would not, however, recommend 300Gr bullets.  There is no valid reason to run bullets that heavy.  Also, toggle Link rifles DO NOT play well with Semi-Wadcutter bullets.  A Toggle Link rifle WILL jam alot with SWC.

NEXT UP:  45 Colt cartridges WILL NOT seal the chamber is OEM form.  the brass is simply too thick, no matter the manufacture.  You will not however, get much blow-By back into the action.  The Blow-By is concentrated at the front of the mortice for the Carrier Block and the front of the Carrier Block.  That Blow-By will create fouling over time that will cause the Carrier Block to jam.  Heavy loads will only mitigate the Blow-By a small amount.  The only solution to Blow-By in a 45 Cut rifle is to anneal the case mouth to soften it to expand.

You mention 45 ACP??  You cannot get an OEM rifle from anybody chambered and altered to shoot 45 ACP.

Stay Safe Out There

PS:  YES, The Miroku replica of the 1873 is stronger than an original.

Offline BikerTom

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Re: 45 Colt loads and Miroku Winchester 1873
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2021, 10:50:29 AM »
You mention 45 ACP??  You cannot get an OEM rifle from anybody chambered and altered to shoot 45 ACP.

Oops.  Sorry.  Brain freeze.  Corrected.  I meant 45 Long Colt.  Or 45 LC.

But, what is this? 
Quote
in a 45 Cut rifle

And, no SWC or 300 grain bullets.  200 grain?  180 grain?  Is there an optimum weight?   How about a 200 grain HP? 

Thanks for the response.   

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Re: 45 Colt loads and Miroku Winchester 1873
« Reply #3 on: Today at 11:04:47 PM »

Offline DeaconKC

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Re: 45 Colt loads and Miroku Winchester 1873
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2021, 11:57:09 AM »
I took Coffinmaker's advice when I started loading 45 Colt in my 1866 Yellowboy. Same basic toggle action. I am using 8.0 grains of Unique under a 230 grain cast lead RNFP and have not annealed my cases. I DO get a good bit of fouling in the action, so I clean the gun after every match, most matches seeing about 50-60 rounds through the rifle. It would probably run a good deal more, but I just clean all my guns after a match.
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Offline BikerTom

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Re: 45 Colt loads and Miroku Winchester 1873
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2021, 12:07:22 PM »
I took Coffinmaker's advice when I started loading 45 Colt in my 1866 Yellowboy. Same basic toggle action. I am using 8.0 grains of Unique under a 230 grain cast lead RNFP and have not annealed my cases. I DO get a good bit of fouling in the action, so I clean the gun after every match, most matches seeing about 50-60 rounds through the rifle. It would probably run a good deal more, but I just clean all my guns after a match.
And welcome to the place!

Thank you.  230 grain bullets.  Is that optimum for the 1873?  Because after his post I'm shopping for 200 grain flat point. 

Also, Unique is a fairly dirty powder anyway.  But I might take his advice and anneal the cases.  Maybe I'll try it both ways for comparison's sake.

When you clean the gun after matches, is it simply a matter of pulling off the side plates and blowing compressed air, dousing with Hoppes, etc? 

Or do you have to take the toggle link assembly apart?

Thanks again.

Offline DeaconKC

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Re: 45 Colt loads and Miroku Winchester 1873
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2021, 06:37:31 PM »
The toggle guns are not bad to strip down. So I just pull the plates and toggles, etc and then Hoppes 9 or CLP and a toothbrush. After a couple times, not a big deal.
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Offline BikerTom

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Re: 45 Colt loads and Miroku Winchester 1873
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2021, 10:54:06 PM »
The toggle guns are not bad to strip down. So I just pull the plates and toggles, etc and then Hoppes 9 or CLP and a toothbrush. After a couple times, not a big deal.

Understood. 

You earlier mentioned you use 230 grain bullets.  Coffinmaker said I shouldn't use 300 grain bullets. 

How would 225 grain flat tip bullets work? 

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: 45 Colt loads and Miroku Winchester 1873
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2021, 10:07:37 AM »

 :)  Biker Tom  ;)

Optimum bullet range/weight for the 1873 is a Cast Lead 200Gr thru 250Gr Round Nose Flat Point Bullet.  Flat point is important in a Tube Magazine Rifle.  The guns are designed for Lead Bullets so accuracy may suffer some with Jacketed Hollow Point.

Stay Safe Out There 

Offline Kent Shootwell

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Re: 45 Colt loads and Miroku Winchester 1873
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2021, 12:58:49 PM »
I would be shy about taking the side plates off of my 73 and using compressed air. I can invision myself crawling around on the floor looking for links in all the wrong places!  :o
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Offline BikerTom

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Re: 45 Colt loads and Miroku Winchester 1873
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2021, 01:14:42 PM »
I would be shy about taking the side plates off of my 73 and using compressed air. I can invision myself crawling around on the floor looking for links in all the wrong places!  :o

Point taken. I still remember back in my college days and a trigger return spring out of a S&W M36 flying across the room onto a carpet. 

I'm still amazed I ever found it. 

Offline Reverend P. Babcock Chase

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Re: 45 Colt loads and Miroku Winchester 1873
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2021, 01:23:08 PM »
Howdy BT,

For what its worth, I shoot a 200gr. over American Select for my regular matches, sixgun and rifle. For long range (100yds.) I load a 250gr. over American Select. That works well for me, but I suspect I could use either for for each application.

Rev. Chase

Offline Cliff Fendley

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Re: 45 Colt loads and Miroku Winchester 1873
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2021, 08:35:12 AM »
Just fyi, and maybe you know this but just going by your original post, it doesn't have to be a straight wall case to load on a progressive press. I don't really do a single thing different on straight wall cases or tapered.
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Offline BikerTom

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Re: 45 Colt loads and Miroku Winchester 1873
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2021, 06:27:49 AM »
I bought the gun (in my initial post) and it was supposed to arrive at my dealer in Tulsa yesterday (4/6/21). He said allow 72 hours to process since they're pretty swamped. 

But the FFL at the point of origin messed up and sent it to an entirely different state. I checked tracking and USPS tried to deliver it to Akron, Ohio, instead of Tulsa, OK. The seller apologized profusely and the FFL accepted responsibility. It's now got to be mailed back to the original FFL who will put the correct address on it.     

Anyway, I’m still deciding on loads.  I have 200 grain Xtreme flat point plated bullets and Xtreme says as long as they stay under 1200 fps the bullets are fine. 

I'm contemplating using Vihtavuori N330 powder since it has a reputation of being a much cleaner buring powder than, say, Unique.  That should reduce blow back.

Under the category of cowboy shooting, Vihtavuori lists the N330 powder 8.0 grains at 876 fps. Max for N330 is 8.6 grains at 978 fps. 

Also, since my OP, I've anaged to purchase two pounds of Accurate #5.  For a 200 grain jacketed bullet, Accurate lists 10.5 grains as minimum for a velocity of 908 fps.  Their maximum is 11.5 grains for 1032 fps.  The pressure is 13,400 at their maximum load, which is under the 14,000 psi for the 45 Colt in the 1873 action. 

I've never used #5 before, but it would seem to fill more of the case which results in more uniform ignition?

Opinions?

Offline Tronicst1

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Re: 45 Colt loads and Miroku Winchester 1873
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2023, 02:01:12 PM »
I use 6 different 45 Colt rounds ;

-HDY XTP, .452", 250 GR / 9.9 GR of ACC #5, @ 740 FPS.
-HDY FTX, .452", 225 GR / 9.0 GR of ACC #5, @ 1000 FPS.
-Montana Bullets LSWC, .452", 255 GR / 9.3 GR of ACC #5, @ 800-900 FPS.
-GT Bullets LSWC, .452", 255 GR / 9.3 GR of ACC #5, @ 800-900 FPS.
-GT Bullets LRNHP, .452", 255 GR / 9.3 GR of ACC #5, @ 800-900 FPS.
-GT Bullets LRNFP, .452", 255 GR / 9.3 GR of ACC #5, @ 800-900 FPS.

I shoot these rounds out of my Uberti Dalton and my Winchester 94AE
both in 45 Colt, without any issues.

I looked up your Xtreme 200 GR FP because I am always shopping for
bullets, is there any particular reason you are using .451" bullets in your
1873. I use .451" bullets for my 45 ACP rounds.

Offline River City John

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Re: 45 Colt loads and Miroku Winchester 1873
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2023, 01:42:09 PM »
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Offline Major 2

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Re: 45 Colt loads and Miroku Winchester 1873
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2023, 02:53:47 PM »
Thanks RCJ, he is history.
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Offline RoyceP

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Re: 45 Colt loads and Miroku Winchester 1873
« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2023, 07:52:58 PM »
I was fairly unimpressed with Titegroup. I have shot it in 38 WCF. It caused the barrel to get mighty hot. None of that will ever be used again.

In 45 Colt I find that Unique and W231 are my favorite powders. Contrary to your ideas, Unique is not dirty as long as you use the maximum load. It only gets dirty if you use too little of it.

The toggle link will be fine so long as you don't do anything dumb. Like using too heavy for caliber bullets or heavier than SAAMI loads.

 

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