Author Topic: 1876 Winchester Project Rifle  (Read 9497 times)

Offline KenH

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1876 Winchester Project Rifle
« on: November 11, 2020, 03:54:34 PM »
Hello ya'll.  This is my first post to the board.  Been reading some and learning about the 1876.  These are photos of an old rifle my son-in-law gave me.  His father purchased it at an estate sale up in Minnesota several (many?) years ago and passed it on to my S-I-L as a wall hanger.   A week or so ago my S-I-L gave it to me as an early Christmas present knowing I like fooling with these old guns.  I've got a few Rolling Blocks (all original), a Trapdoor (original), and a reproduction 1874 Sharps.  I enjoy tinkering around with gunsmith work, casting, and reloading.... and of course shooting :)

As you can see in photos there are parts are missing, but it does seem to be repairable. The bore at the muzzle is .401" and best I can tell the base of the chamber next to the rim portion of the cartridge is .490" diameter.  40-60 cal is stamped on barrel next to receiver.  Bore looks good after I cleaned it up some.  Here's a full length image:


This is an angle side view of receiver showing trigger & hammer installed.  They work good along with the lever safety pin.  The rear toggle pin is in place.


I've got the magazine tube ordered from ebay.  I'll make the magazine plug and follower.  I expect to make some of the screws also.

I placed an order with Cimarron today for a few parts.  The Cimarron is actually an Uberti, so the VTI Uberti parts should be the same as Cimarron parts.  Today I ordered the following:

1 x Part #7 Carrier Block 2500007 (will need some grinding to make fit)
1 x Part # 73 Right Side Plate 2500073(both side plates should fit nicely)
1 x Part # 74 Left Side Plate 2500074
1 x Part # 90 Lifter Arm 2500090  (hoping it will fit ok once I can find a carrier block)
1 x Part # 96 Magazine Spring 2500096
1 x Part # 98 Firing Pin 2500098 $

These parts are in stock and should ship today.
I'm still looking for the breech block w/extractor, lever (finger lever), and the toggle links. 

I've got the 3rd model made in 1883, serial number 40xxx.  A question I have for ya'll, will the Uberti breech block fit the original 1876?  The toggle links?  Will any modification be required?  I've read thru this thread a couple or 3 times with good info: https://www.cascity.com/forumhall/index.php?topic=17987.0

I know this will be a slow process to complete project.  I'll need LOTS of guidance and suggestions from this group over the process of the project and any help will be greatly appreciated.

Ken H>

Offline Black River Smith

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Re: 1876 Winchester Project Rifle
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2020, 05:06:48 PM »
Sir,
You have a great project and long road ahead.  You have a good start with a good barrel, receiver, trigger, hammer and buttstock.  There is one thing IMO, I would not expect Uberti parts to 'easily work' in an original Winchester.  I would suggest you look for new manufactured parts under Win specs from other sellers - like Winchester Bob  http://winchesterbob.com/ .

I am certain some of the gunsmiths and project builders on the site/forum will give you more and better suggestions but this would be my starting point.

Another idea would be to put your hands on a "problemed" Chapparal 1876, for a good price.  It is stated that their specs matched original 1876 dimensions, just not their quality.  I was lucky to get a good one that only had rim thickness issues at the extractor to bolt face dimensions.  I bought a new extractor from Win Bob's and installed myself.  Works fine now for modern 45/70 brass with modified rim thickness and diameters.

Good luck to you and keep us posted on all your progress.
Black River Smith

Offline Blackpowder Burn

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Re: 1876 Winchester Project Rifle
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2020, 10:59:31 PM »
You might also try Homestead Parts (www.homesteadparts.com).  They have both original parts and newly manufactured parts to fit original Winchester rifles.

Good luck with the resurrection.  Let us know how it's progressing.
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Offline ndnchf

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Re: 1876 Winchester Project Rifle
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2020, 06:13:43 AM »
Dusty Texian who frequents this site has a lot of experience reviving original M1876s.  I'm sure he'll chime in soon - heed his advice. 
"We're all travelers in this world.  From the sweet grass to the packing house, birth till death, we travel between the eternities"  Prentiss Ritter, Broken Trail

Offline Major 2

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Re: 1876 Winchester Project Rifle
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2020, 06:36:20 AM »
+ 1 to what ndnchf said...

also Winchester Bob -  http://winchesterbob.com/
when planets align...do the deal !

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Re: 1876 Winchester Project Rifle
« Reply #5 on: Today at 05:32:49 PM »

Offline KenH

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Re: 1876 Winchester Project Rifle
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2020, 08:48:45 AM »
Thank ya'll for the comments and info.  I'll be calling WinchesterBob later today for guidance and looking for Dusty Texan's comments.  It sounds like those two folks are who I really wish to talk with.  The lady at www.vtigunparts.com had notes written on some of the parts as to weather they fit or not.  The side plates I ordered she says are a "drop in" fit with no problem.  The carrier block she says will fit with some grinding required to make it fit.

Grizzly Adam's thread shows the toggle links side by side with Uberti and Original, and are not an exact fit.  I'm concerned about finding the breech block (bolt) and confirming if the Uberti will fit or not.  Since WinchesterBob actually makes some custom parts he might know what Uberti part fits, and how much work is required to make parts fit.  I'm not concerned about doing some work, maybe even a little machining.  I plan to be making a good bit of screws and pins required.

Thanks again for comments.

Ken H>

Offline King Medallion

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Re: 1876 Winchester Project Rifle
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2020, 09:46:42 AM »
You can also find original parts on ebay. I myself would not mix Uberti parts with an original, but it's not my project. Looking forward to your progress. Don't forget pictures! Mandatory here.

Offline KenH

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Re: 1876 Winchester Project Rifle
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2020, 11:19:29 AM »
My choice would be to use original parts, but those can be hard to find....  and EXPENSIVE!  I have an original magazine tube coming today that was purchased on ebay.  I'll keep looking for those parts.  As I said, this is going to be an all winter project, and maybe longer.

As I get parts to add I'll keep this thread going by adding posts and photos showing progress.  I'll be looking for a mold and brass for 40-60 before long.  Might not be able to shoot for a long while, but having the brass will be a positive feeling for me.  I'll only need a few to start, but I do love shooting my old guns.

Offline King Medallion

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Re: 1876 Winchester Project Rifle
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2020, 01:57:02 PM »
PMed you.

Offline KenH

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Re: 1876 Winchester Project Rifle
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2020, 02:31:36 PM »
Steve, I got PM, ordered brass and a set of dies.  Grafs had RCBS 40-60 3 piece die set on sale for $25!  Now to find (or make) a bullet mold.

Thanks for info - I know I'll not need the dies or brass for a long time, but it helps keep the dream going {g}

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Re: 1876 Winchester Project Rifle
« Reply #10 on: Today at 05:32:49 PM »

Offline dusty texian

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Re: 1876 Winchester Project Rifle
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2020, 11:20:41 AM »
Hello ya'll.  This is my first post to the board.  Been reading some and learning about the 1876.  These are photos of an old rifle my son-in-law gave me.  His father purchased it at an estate sale up in Minnesota several (many?) years ago and passed it on to my S-I-L as a wall hanger.   A week or so ago my S-I-L gave it to me as an early Christmas present knowing I like fooling with these old guns.  I've got a few Rolling Blocks (all original), a Trapdoor (original), and a reproduction 1874 Sharps.  I enjoy tinkering around with gunsmith work, casting, and reloading.... and of course shooting :)

As you can see in photos there are parts are missing, but it does seem to be repairable. The bore at the muzzle is .401" and best I can tell the base of the chamber next to the rim portion of the cartridge is .490" diameter.  40-60 cal is stamped on barrel next to receiver.  Bore looks good after I cleaned it up some.  Here's a full length image:


This is an angle side view of receiver showing trigger & hammer installed.  They work good along with the lever safety pin.  The rear toggle pin is in place.


I've got the magazine tube ordered from ebay.  I'll make the magazine plug and follower.  I expect to make some of the screws also.

I placed an order with Cimarron today for a few parts.  The Cimarron is actually an Uberti, so the VTI Uberti parts should be the same as Cimarron parts.  Today I ordered the following:

1 x Part #7 Carrier Block 2500007 (will need some grinding to make fit)
1 x Part # 73 Right Side Plate 2500073(both side plates should fit nicely)
1 x Part # 74 Left Side Plate 2500074
1 x Part # 90 Lifter Arm 2500090  (hoping it will fit ok once I can find a carrier block)
1 x Part # 96 Magazine Spring 2500096
1 x Part # 98 Firing Pin 2500098 $

These parts are in stock and should ship today.
I'm still looking for the breech block w/extractor, lever (finger lever), and the toggle links. 

I've got the 3rd model made in 1883, serial number 40xxx.  A question I have for ya'll, will the Uberti breech block fit the original 1876?  The toggle links?  Will any modification be required?  I've read thru this thread a couple or 3 times with good info: https://www.cascity.com/forumhall/index.php?topic=17987.0

I know this will be a slow process to complete project.  I'll need LOTS of guidance and suggestions from this group over the process of the project and any help will be greatly appreciated.

Ken H>
                          Welcome Ken H , Sorry for the delayed response  nice project you have there .  I do not know if the Uberti parts will fit , have never tried . I can say the toggles and bolt from a Chaparral will fit . I have installed a Chaparral Bolt and toggles into an original and it functioned , even had a usable headspace . I have put one Chaparral toggle along with one original toggle in an original and it functioned fine . Made a short video of the Chaparral internals functioning in an original ,  but cant post it here .  I got your info and will try and send the video to you . What barrel length is on your rifle ? Looks shorter than 28 " may be just the angle . If you shop around the parts will turn up sooner or later . I would try and get original parts but fully understand the challenge and feeling of accomplishment by making the parts you are able to.   Wish you the best of luck with your project , and will be glad to assist in any way I can .,,,,,DT

Offline KenH

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Re: 1876 Winchester Project Rifle
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2020, 11:51:46 AM »
Thank you for the response DT - I would LOVE to see the video, please do send a link or the video file to my email.

Yes, it's a neat project and one I never really considered getting involved with.  I've got a few old rifles and a Pedersoli 1874 Sharps.  The old guns are 3 original Rolling Blocks, one of which I "blueprinted" the action and installed a new 45-70 barrel.  Also have an old Trapdoor in 45-70, and had Jes to rebarrel an old Western Auto (Marlin 336) 30-30 I got by trading a BSA motorcycle for back in late 1960s.  I just like the old guns {g}.

I have installed Uberti sideplates - took some filing to get them to "snap in" correctly, but that's not a big deal.  I got a Uberti carrier block and it only took a small amount of "touch up" to get it to fit.  I made the #8-40 screw for sideplate.  The Uberti loading gate should be here tomorrow also.

I've got the breech bolt from VTI to be delivered tomorrow, and the dust cover from Dixie Gun Works coming.  Just couldn't beat DGW's $19 price on the dust cover.

The big item now is the lever (finger lever) - it's on backorder from Italy with both VTI and Cimarron, and not sure when it will be delivered.  The toggle links are also on backorder.  A really nice guy in Oklahoma has promised to loan me a set of toggle links to use for building my own set.  Making the toggle links will be pushing my abilities I'm sure.  Screws 'n pins are pretty easy.  I've got a Grizzly G0602 lathe and a G0619 mill, both is which I'd added a nice DRO.  Boy do I LOVE those DROs.

This is the current image showing the original tubular magazine I purchased, and the forearm I'm working on.  I used a piece of scrap walnut I had laying around.  The end cap should be here tomorrow from VTI also.  The barrel is 22" long.  From what I've  read the carbines were 22" barrel, but ALL carbines were round barrels?  If so I suspect down thru the years the barrel got cut off.



Thank you for any and all suggestions and help,
Ken Holland



Offline King Medallion

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Re: 1876 Winchester Project Rifle
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2020, 12:13:17 PM »
How is the bore? You could have it relined if it's bad, or get a  new barrel made to order. I think you should get it working fist, then shoot it before doing anything to the barrel. Sometimes even a sewer pipe bore will shoot good with the right bullets. Also, if it were mine, I'd keep at the 22" length, with the same length tube. Just what I like to see.

Offline KenH

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Re: 1876 Winchester Project Rifle
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2020, 12:16:17 PM »
The bore actually looks darn good.  I'll try to get the bore camera out and get a pic of bore before long.  I agree, I like the 22" barrel - never really cared for those long 30" barrels.  Got a couple of long barreled rifles and they're just awkward to handle, for me anyway.

Offline Major 2

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Re: 1876 Winchester Project Rifle
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2020, 12:53:05 PM »
I'm loving this thread  :D
when planets align...do the deal !

Offline Buck Stinson

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Re: 1876 Winchester Project Rifle
« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2020, 06:57:19 PM »
I can tell you what is was as shipped from the factory, but I need the complete serial number.

Offline KenH

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Re: 1876 Winchester Project Rifle
« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2020, 07:09:46 PM »
Thank you so much for the offer to supply info on how rifle was shipped from factory.  I've been wanting that info.  I've sent you a PM with the info.

Thank you again,

Ken H>

Offline ndnchf

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Re: 1876 Winchester Project Rifle
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2020, 08:48:37 AM »
I'm going to grab some popcorn, sit back and enjoy following this thread  8)
"We're all travelers in this world.  From the sweet grass to the packing house, birth till death, we travel between the eternities"  Prentiss Ritter, Broken Trail

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Re: 1876 Winchester Project Rifle
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2020, 03:12:27 PM »
Love following a sweet project like this!

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Offline KenH

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Re: 1876 Winchester Project Rifle
« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2020, 03:17:14 PM »
OK, time for an update:

I got the VTI order today with rear part of firing pin - now have both parts with a spring I've got that seems to work. Next is to make the firing pin stop to fit the Uberti breech bolt to hold firing pin in place.

I got the Uberti breech bolt and without the lever it's really hard to tell how well the breech bolt will function, but it seems to. There is an issue with the tab on bottom of bolt face preventing the bolt from fully closing and extractor grasping the rim of cartridge. From what I can see that tab (tit?) shouldn't extend past the thickness of the cartridge rim because there is not a relieved place in barrel (bottom of chamber) for it to extend into. The barrel face is flat, and I can see where a tab (tit) has pressed against the barrel face in the past. There is a nice extractor slot into the barrel on top for the extractor to fit into. I'm thinking that tit needs to be "touched" with a file to the same thickness as the cartridge rim. Does that make sense?

The above was struck out because it was all in error.  The problem was due to difference in size of 40-60 cartridge rim thickness and diameter of Starline brass vs the Uberti bolt face.  The thread on "Uberti 1876 in 45-60 ejector issue or brass" confirmed the problems I was having with the Uberti bolt and Jamison brass.  I've turned down a few rounds of Jamison brass so the rim is .600" range  rather than the .615" diameter rim it comes with.  Since I set my headspace for the Jamison brass (rim .055" thick) Star 45-70 brass is pretty tight with .064" rim thickness so does need to be thinned a tad to chamber properly.  It seems there are two rim sizes for 40-60 brass.

The right and left lever springs seem to fit and work as they should, again without the lever no way to really tell. The carrier block does hold down as it seems like it should with the right side spring.

The forearm protection cap seems to fit as it should, including the tenon holding the forearm cap. The forearm I made won't work with the end cap. I was concerned about it being thick enough on bottom at the forend. I'd picked up a scrap piece of walnut that was laying around to do a practice forearm. Now to cut a piece of walnut that will fit and do the forearm right.

Thanks to a GREAT board member here I've got a set of toggle links coming to use as a pattern to make a set. Yes, it will push my machining ability, and might have to make a couple sets to get them right. That's the beauty of being retired - plenty of time to work on projects {g} Once the links are made, then the lever will be the big thing. Both VTI and Cimarron have the lever and toggle links on backorder from Italy and no idea when they'll get them. Hopefully this winter sometime?

Thanks to all ya'll nice folks with suggestions and guidance 'cause I NEED all the help I can get {g}
Ken H>

 

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