CAS TOPICS > Gunsmithing

Oversized and/or worn chamber?

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Mad Miles:
I'm new to old lever guns with limited knowledge of them
I have an 1889 Marlin chambered in 38-40.  I shot 10 rounds earlier in the week and measured the cases after fired.  The neck of the loaded cartridges before firing was 0.4145" between the crimp and the start of the shoulder taper, the neck of the fired cases are 0.4475".  The fired cases look like straight cases not bottle neck cases.  Seems to me the chamber should be shaped with the neck a few thou. larger than the neck of the un-fired cartridge, but it's almost as large as the unfired cartridge between the head and the shoulder.  I realize 120 year ago things were not as standardized as they are these days, but to me it looks like the chamber is just worn/shot out.  The bore is in real rough shape. Any thoughts?

Sounds like you have a 44/40 The 44/40 has a neck  dia. Of .443 before firing.

Also, when you shot it, did the bullets hit the target cleanly or did they keyhole?
Oh, and welcome to the place!  ;D

Mad Miles:
Thanks for the reply, Willy.
It's stamped 38-40 on the barrel and rounds go through the bore.  I cannot put a bullet into the muzzle.  The diameter of the bullets are 0.401" and the 44-40 bore diameter I think is 0.427"?  I'm quite sure it's a 38-40.  What is the diameter of the neck of a 44-40 after it's been fired?

Mad Miles:
Thanks Deacon.  They went into the target with a nice round hole, which kinda surprised me with the rusted looking bore.



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