Author Topic: My Uberti 1876 saga  (Read 1077 times)

Offline SiringoMN

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My Uberti 1876 saga
« on: May 27, 2021, 03:17:56 PM »
I WROTE THIS LAST SUMMER AND NEVER POSTED. I WAS WAITING TO GET MY RIFLE BACK FROM WINCHESTER BARRELS BUT THAT IS TAKING WAY LONGER THAN ANTICIPATED. SO I WILL SHARE THIS NOW AND MAYBE SOME WILL FIND THE INFORMATION USEFUL.


Gentlemen – This Winchester 1876 thread has been a wealth of information for me.  I purchased a Uberti 1876 in 50-95 a few months ago.  It was an impulse purchase and I have a friend that has one in this caliber.  Also another has a 45-75.  I could have purchased the 45-75, but I wanted something exotic.  My friend that has the 50-95 had gone thru all the work to get his to shoot.  However, my experiences were totally different.
 
First, I needed to procure reloading dies.  Cimarron Arms, Stoger Uberti and even Uberti in Italy were of no help in deciding which dies to use.  Namely CH4D or RCBS.  I had asked for chamber drawings, but none could be secured. So, I had to bite the bullet and purchase CH4D dies based on my friends experience and on-line sleuthing. 
 
Secondly, there are no commercially available cases for this caliber, without spending ones retirement income!  I ended up forming cases from 50 Alaskan initially.  So I formed the cases, trimmed, reduced the rim diameter and rim thickness.  These steps being done using a drill press and file. 
 
I slugged the bore and found the groove diameter was 0.517 inches.  In fact my friends grooves measured 0.515 inches. Interestingly, the bore diameters were nearly the same (within tolerance). So it seems that my grooves are deeper than his.  He had Accurate Molds custom make a mold (51-350CL) for him.  However, this bullet measures 0.72 inches long and must be driven to velocities exceeding 1,350 fps or faster to stabilize in the 1/48 twist Uberti uses.  He had found a good load using Trail Boss, as well as 5744, so it used that bullet in my 50 Alaskan cases.  At 50 yards I had a “pattern” of a foot.
 
I noticed using the 50 Alaskan cases and the CH4D dies, that the seating die was swaging the neck.  I pulled a loaded round and found the bullet had been reduced in diameter to 0.511.  The Alaskan case necks are too thick.  The inside neck diameter needed to be reduced to the thickness of Jamison cases.  This necessitated purchasing chucking reamers to accomplish this.  But a Jamison neck is really thin.  So this sort of worked, but not well.
 
Back tracking I purchased some 50-90 Sharps cases and formed those.  The next wall thickness is less than 50 Alaskan, but still could not be run all the way into the CH4D seater without swaging down the bullet.  So the seating plug was modified to allow the bullet to be seated without entering the neck portion of the die.  BUT now I could not crimp.  I next purchased a 50-70 seating die and that alleviated that problem. 
 
With all the trials and tribulations of the case dilemma, I still was not getting groups less than 6 inches at 50 yards.  So I decided to do a chamber cast (which I should have done in the beginning).  Interestingly, the bore size was confirmed at 0.517 inches.  Also, the neck diameter of the chamber measures 0.537 inches.  HUMMMM.  Same as a 50-70.  Interestingly enough, the neck diameter of a cartridge loaded in CH4D dies measures 0.532 inches.   Using cases with the proper wall thickness and bullet diameter, asking the bullet to bump up 0.005 inches is asking a lot.  Especially with a bullet that is so short for the diameter.  In order to get proper accuracy, the bullet, in this situation, HAS to be bore diameter of slightly larger.  You cannot rely on bullet bump.
 
So now I can use my “unreamed” 50-90 cases and a 0.517 bullet and chamber the round.  The case bullet combo being as good as it can get for accuracy.  However, I was still not getting good groups.  The round pattern was smaller, but now a couple of inches wide with vertical stringing.
 
Inaccuracy from the beginning was primarily caused by a poorly assembled rifle.  Specifically, the forward magazine tube ring was loose on the barrel.  The nose cap retainer would fall out of the dovetail (it was not tight).  When the rifle was assembled, the tech cranked one of the nose cap screws down firmly, essentially pulling the retainer up tight against the magazine tube.  Also the length of the magazine tube was a few thousands to long.  Another factor is the handguard had to be levered into to place.  All these deficiencies imparted stresses on the barrel.  There are some good you tube videos on accurizing lever guns and this was a great help to repairs these problems. 
 
By properly fitting the handguard and magazine tube to the barrel and provided a cartridge to match the chamber is was able to get the rifle to shoot groups at 50 yards in the less than 3 inch range.  However, this is not where I want to be.  I really want to see groups under 2 inches at 50 yards.
 
As a foot note, my rifle has a 1/48 inch twist.  This twist is on the ragged edge for stability for a 0.72 inch long bullet.  Anything longer will not give the best accuracy.  I have purchased a mold from accurate that is 0.67 inches long and I should be able to stabilize that bullet down to a velocity of 1250 fps.  Sure would have been nice if Uberti would have made this in a 1/42 twist!
 
Forward to 11/4/2020, I sent the rifle onto Winchester Barrels to have a new barrel installed.  Groove diameter of 0.512 and a twist of 1/32.  I am still waiting for my rifle and parts to be returned as of 5/27/21.  But that is an entirely a different saga. 

Offline greyhawk

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Re: My Uberti 1876 saga
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2021, 09:50:05 PM »
I have a Uberti 76 in 45/75
Different journey for me
It has never had a smokeless load in it - never will - dont need to do that

I made brass from 348 winchester cases (had some - bought some more cheap from midway on a trip to the US) 50 Alsakan (same basic case anyway) is an option but I have found neck expanding up an easier deal than reforming down. My Uberti chambers the factory rim ok so didnt have to mess with that (I thought Uberti likely considered brass availability when they put these guns together)

I fireformed my brass with full case blackpowder loads and a 335 grain boolit - later moved to 405 grain (both from a modified LEE 459-405HB mold) I bought LEE dies - had RCBS 45/70 dies- and 348 dies, switched bits around from all three to get the best fit   

Have not neck sized a case since I started shooting it !!! dont need to - not going there ---the 348 brass ends up way thick in the neck - fired brass from my rifle measures .485 OD  .460 ID - I size my boolits to .460  = fits like a glove - just shoot em and reload em - just like you would do with an olde fashioned tong tool back then.

So I made a little outside swage die at .485 and I run the loaded rounds through that - just in case I made a bump at the neck with the crimp and also those 405 grain boolits will expand the base of the neck just a tad (theres a bump in the brass inside the case where the old 348 shoulder was - needs reaming out a tad - dont have the reamer - doin its a PITA anyway - rounds shoot fine - not goin there) So a trip through that swage die just irons out the bumps and everything is good - .486 in this chamber is sticky or a no go so its kinda neat !

My rifle shoots nice - yeah it walks em up the target as it heats up and that is a project needs doin but if I manage the heat I have done a few groups (three and five ) inside two inches at 100yards - me and the tang sight being the limiting factor most times. I am pretty pleased with my Uberti - its the best barrel I have owned I think.

If that 50/95 was mine I woulda
1) full case blackpowder from the get go with a decent overpowder wad - should get you around 1500FPS = enough to stabilise that boolit
2) a boolit that full fits the bore- softish led 
3) throw the resize die in the trash after you get through case forming or at least hide it someplace.
4) figure out some way to put a very light crimp on it - just enough to stop the boolit falling out and let it chamber nice
5) be satisfied with 3 to 4 inches at 100yards - its a close quarters express rifle - made for shooting angry snarly things that eat ya (lions tigers etc)   

I am sure you will be happy with your winchester barrel - keep us posted on it . Dusty Texian here has several and speaks very high of them. Seems like everywhere gun stuff is backed up . Tom at accurate delivered molds to Aussie mates in ten days a couple years back - he says 12 weeks backup on his website now.   

Offline SiringoMN

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Re: My Uberti 1876 saga
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2021, 10:57:14 PM »
I finally got my new barrel blued (rust) and installed. I only shot at 50 yards, using cases i made from 50-90 sharps brass and a previous load. Mostly just to get the sights set. The bullet I cast from Accurate Molds (51-335V) sized to 0.513. Load was 22.5 grains of Trail Boss sparked with a winchester large rifle magnum (all I have considering primer shortage). Trail Boss is not the best for accuracy, but it works for short range. My first groups were 1 inch at 50 yards. That is way better than the 4 inch groups I was getting with the previous barrel.

Offline dusty texian

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Re: My Uberti 1876 saga
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2021, 08:28:34 AM »
Glad you finally got your rifle back together . That must have been very gratifying to see your new barrel and other modifications have improved the accuracy .    1'" groups with 1/2 " bullets aint bad ! Any idea what the TB load is doing FPS ? ...... DT

Offline SiringoMN

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Re: My Uberti 1876 saga
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2021, 10:51:07 PM »
DT - a pard chrono'd this load using the Accurate 350cl bullet at 1370 fps.

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Re: My Uberti 1876 saga
« Reply #5 on: Today at 02:22:19 PM »

Offline dusty texian

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Re: My Uberti 1876 saga
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2021, 02:52:12 PM »
DT - a pard chrono'd this load using the Accurate 350cl bullet at 1370 fps.
      Thanks SiringoMN . ,,,,DT

Offline SiringoMN

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Re: My Uberti 1876 saga
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2021, 08:55:24 PM »
This past weekend I had the honor of participating in an annual "Buffalo Camp" shoot in northern MN. We bring lots of guns and shoot at various size buffalo knock down targets. I brought the '76 with me and was not disappointed.  Shooting offhand at various sized knock downs from 50 yards to 100 yards was a piece of cake. As a visual, the sizes were 1 foot square plus or minus.

I used three loads, all using a bullet from an Accurate Mold "51-335V". This was sized to 0.513".

WLRM primers were used because that is all I have.

Load 1 was Ten X cases (these are 1.85 inches long) and 20 grains of Trail Boss.
Load 2 was formed 50-90 sharps cases  (1.90 inches long) and 35.0 grains of 5744.
Load 3 was formed 50-90 Sharps cases and 52 grains by weight of Pyrodex "P".

I have shot these on paper and the all grouped about the same. But my next step is to put them on paper at 100 yards. So stay tuned.

As a side note I had shot at knockdowns at 150, 200 and 250 yards. I do not have target sights but when i got the range, i knocked down a few.

Overall I'm pleased.

Another item, is that my cases were all sized in CH4d Uberti 50-95 dies. The chamber on the new barrel is an actual spec Winchester 50-95 chamber. So I ordered and have just received today a new set of Winchester spec 50-95 dies from CH4d. I will be listing the Uberti style dies for sale on a separate thread.

Offline SiringoMN

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Re: My Uberti 1876 saga
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2021, 06:05:27 PM »
Shot three loads today at 50 yards and 100 yards.  Here are the 100 yard groups.  My rear sight is a Marbles Bullseye and the front is a green fiber.  The green dot covers the 50 yard and 100 yard target. Pyrodex P is the clear winner.  There are errant 1st shots from a cleaned barrel.  Trail Boss falls apart because of the extreme velocity variations with this powder.

Offline SiringoMN

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Re: My Uberti 1876 saga
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2021, 06:08:13 PM »
Here are the same three loads at 50 yards.

Offline dusty texian

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Re: My Uberti 1876 saga
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2021, 06:14:54 PM »
 Good news a rare thing lately , Glad for ya . Its been a long wait but sure looks like it was worth it , and the right move replacing the barrel .  I think it will just get better .,,,,DT

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Re: My Uberti 1876 saga
« Reply #10 on: Today at 02:22:19 PM »

Offline dusty texian

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Re: My Uberti 1876 saga
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2021, 07:58:19 AM »
My load for the 50-95 WCF is cast from this mold and seated in this tool . Bullet drops @ 513" and weighs 330 Gr. I stuff as much 2ff Swiss Bp. as I can get into a case that allows about 1/8 " compression and still leaves  leaves room for the bullet to be seated to correct OAL  with no pressure on the bullet base  .  This load will group in tiny little clusters at 50 yd. and about like your targets at 100 yd . They are fun to shoot . ,,,DT

 

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