Author Topic: Uberti 1873 Winchester Sporting Rifle Load Question  (Read 707 times)

Offline JLayne

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Uberti 1873 Winchester Sporting Rifle Load Question
« on: November 01, 2020, 05:22:36 AM »
Hello all,
New guy here. I recently purchased an Uberti 1873 Winchester Sporting Rifle (24.25" barrel) in .45LC.  I have been reloading bottleneck rifle cartridges for about ten years, but am new to reloading straight wall cartridges and new to reloading with lead bullets. This is also my first rifle chambered in .45LC. I initially experimented with 250 grain Hornady XTP bullets, .452 diameter, and got some decent groups out of the rifle using Titegroup (5.9-6 grains) and Unique (8.5 and 9.0 grains) powders. I then decided to try loading some lead bullets over Unique, and experimented with different charges ranging from 8 grains to 8.8 grains.  The bullets used were Meister 250 grain RNFP I purchased from Midway. They were also .452 diameter, but the grouping (if it can even be called that) was absolutely terrible (like pie plate size at 50 yards terrible). I did clean all of the copper out of the bore before switching from jacketed to lead bullets, but am puzzled why the jacketed bullets performed well while lead bullets of the same diameter did not. So my question is whether anyone on here has experienced the same issue? My initial thought is to maybe try some .454 diameter lead bullets, but I thought I would turn to some folks more experienced with these guns for some advice.

Thanks in advance.

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: Uberti 1873 Winchester Sporting Rifle Load Question
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2020, 07:36:51 AM »
While I have not had exactly the results you have, I will suggest the rifle will perform differently with any change in bullets and/or propellant.  It (the rifle) will also react differently to changes in crimp.  Your first step in finding accuracy with lead bullets is to slug the bore.  Lead bullets should be 1 to 2 Thou over groove depth.  The rifle may also not like big heavy lead bullets.  You'll likely wind up trying lots of different bullets to find what the rifle will shoot well.

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Offline David Battersby

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Re: Uberti 1873 Winchester Sporting Rifle Load Question
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2020, 07:50:48 AM »
I have been down that road.....
The bullets you purchased are hard cast and in most instances (not all) will not work well in low pressure loads such as 45 Colt. Desperado Cowboy Bullets, and I am sure other vendors sell 20-1 alloy cast bullets that for me worked much better in 45 Colt and 44WCF standard pressure loads.
I also ran in to this problem. Just because the manufacturer claims that the bullets are ,452 doesn't mean that they really are .452. I have purchased hard cast bullets from different sources that were one or two thousandths smaller than advertised.
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Offline 1961MJS

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Re: Uberti 1873 Winchester Sporting Rifle Load Question
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2021, 12:09:10 PM »
Missouri bullet company sells bullets that are optimized with respect to hardness.  Bullseye and Cowboy bullets are softer while IDPA etc are harder.
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Offline Froogal

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Re: Uberti 1873 Winchester Sporting Rifle Load Question
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2021, 01:46:58 PM »
I've been shooting .45 Colt in rifle and 6 shooter for a few years now. 8.5 grains of Unique and 200 grain lead, round nose, flat point bullets. I buy bullets from Missouri bullets, or I cast my own using 1-20 lead from Roto-Metals. I don't worry about "groupings". If I hit the steel target and make it ring, I'm happy, and I can usually hit an 11" diameter target from 80 yards. If I miss, it was probably me.


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Re: Uberti 1873 Winchester Sporting Rifle Load Question
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