Author Topic: Smokeless in an original 73 !  (Read 16559 times)

Offline w44wcf

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Re: Smokeless in an original 73 !
« Reply #25 on: July 31, 2016, 08:45:12 am »
AS THEY SAY..... "A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS" and here are pics that indicate that a barrel has let go and the ACTIONS ARE SILL INTACT!!  For you non engineering types, the cartridge locks itself somewhat in the chamber which lessens the rearword thrust on the bolt. I did a test similar to Trailrider (Thank you) and found that the case head did not contact the bolt upon ignition and that only the primer did. 

From the recent issue of Winchester Collector  - 1873 Barrel obstruction






From Handloader - 1876 destroyed by a smokeless powder charge that was way overloaded!!
NOTE THAT THE ACTION IS STILL INTACT!



w44wcf  
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« Last Edit: July 31, 2016, 08:51:08 am by w44wcf »
aka Jack Christian SASS 11993 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
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Offline tj3006

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Re: Smokeless in an original 73 !
« Reply #26 on: August 03, 2016, 08:59:30 pm »
That blown 76 is so sad !
       But likly no serious injury !


Offline Cholla Hill Tirador

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Re: Smokeless in an original 73 !
« Reply #27 on: August 03, 2016, 09:07:48 pm »
   Another story of an overloaded toggle link action that survived: http://www.downeastgunworks.com/salvaging-a-uberti--model-1876/

  The barrel split ahead of the receiver, the magazine tube was bent, but the receiver survived.
 
  CHT

Offline wildman1

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Re: Smokeless in an original 73 !
« Reply #28 on: August 04, 2016, 05:41:40 am »
Interesting read. Did you get far enough in the article to read the last sentence? wM1
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Offline Cholla Hill Tirador

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Re: Smokeless in an original 73 !
« Reply #29 on: August 04, 2016, 06:05:46 am »
Interesting read. Did you get far enough in the article to read the last sentence? wM1

 Yep!

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Offline w44wcf

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Re: Smokeless in an original 73 !
« Reply #30 on: August 04, 2016, 10:03:05 pm »
I found the story on the blown 1876...

by K.S.

I was the shooter and luckily survived the blow up intact. It was a double charge due to a primer feeding problem I had with my progressive reloader. When the primer didn't feed, I ran the press up one more time to check the primer problem and double charged the case.

This gun also shows how the 1876 held up to such a catastrophic failure, yet everyone likes to claim the '76 action isn't strong. I have a copy of an article written about the 1876 action in the 1880's, where they tried many different ways to blow up '76 actions and surprisingly, the '76 held up way beyond expectations.

I wasn't attempting such an experiment, but I can assure you and the photo attests to the strength of that action. The barrel was not only blown off the gun, but it was blown in two at the breach and another round detonated in the magazine, causing the rest of the damage.

Just like the pro's say "Don't try this at home".


No one is suggesting that the toggle link action rifles should be loaded beyond b.p. pressures with smokeless BUT as you can see, loading smokeless in these rifles is not fool proof.....unless one uses a capacity load of the right smokeless powder.

In the 44-40, that powder is RL-7.  A capacity load generates a bit less pressure (12,100) than the original b.p. load (14,000).  ;D

w44wcf
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Offline Bryan Austin

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Re: Smokeless in an original 73 !
« Reply #31 on: December 03, 2018, 09:27:21 am »
In regards to what w44wcf said about the smokeless powders.....we all have to make our own decisions on what we shoot in our firearms. Some shoot out of ignorance while others research quality information rather than hearsay generation after generation.

In John's reply#4 http://www.cascity.com/forumhall/index.php/topic,57837.msg692499.html#msg692499 he shows a photo of a red label box. The Red label signifies smokeless powder. The label also signifies it was made for the Winchester 73'. Other boxes, maybe even the one he shows included the Winchester Model 92' in smaller letters on the side label. As the powders changed, so did the label nomenclatures.

The Red labels came out on the 44WCF boxes in 1895 when Winchester loaded them with smokeless powder. John explains the different powders used. The first box labels shows Winchester 73" on top and include the Winchester Model 92' on the side label.

1906 introduced label dating and modification file codes listed on the labels. The label change date code on the lower right and the file code on the lower left of the box top label. The side label (seals) also had a date code and were separate dates in nature.

Between 1900 and 1903, the Red label smokeless loads show again the 73' on top but then eventually include both the 73' and the 92' on the top label.

At the same time, the same Red side label shows "NOT TO BE USED IN PISTOLS". Remember, these were deemed safe for both the 73' and the 92' BUT NOT THE PISTOLS indicating that the 73's action was stronger than the thin cylinder walls of some revolvers. Not necessarily Colts. As you already know there were much cheaper pistols that chambered the 44WCF that had much weaker cylinders than the better quality Colt. The Merwin and Hubbard cylinders look much thinner than Colts cylinders.

An early 1909 era "High Velocity" box shows a faded looking top, maybe Lavender color and is printed ".44-40 Model 1892 Special", indication to be used in the Winchester Model 92 BUT does say not to be used in the 73' in small letters on the side label. I for one would never use them in the 73'...my choice. Also no mention of pistols.....but again, even early smokeless non-high velocity loads were not even safe in pistols...common sense should prevail but....human "generation gaps" can cause problems with forgotten information.

1903-1938 High Velocity loads were packaged in Yellow and Lavender labeled boxes. The above aforementioned leads me to believe the early box labels were Lavender while the later boxes were Yellow. John describes one here: https://www.marlinowners.com/forum/cowboy-rifles/31917-44-40-h-v-replication-loads-yesteryear.html#post337207
It is worth noting that the date codes were changed at some point and the sample John shared has a code of K4414T . That box label is about 1930's and specifically denotes NOT FOR PISTOLS on the top label and does say not to use in the 73'. Again, I would not shoot them in a 73'. Remember these are Winchester's manufactured ammunition and would assume catering to their own firearms. However, Lyman 49th handloading manual lists at least nine of nineteen RIFLES chambered for the 44-40 cartridge that are weak that includes the 73'. The Model 92, 94 and Marlin's 89 on up are listed as Strong Actions.

So with all of that being said, sounds to me like the real "weak link" ...and the reason for the SAAMI max of 11,000psi was the thin revolver cylinder walls more than the so called "weak action" of the 73'.

« Last Edit: December 05, 2018, 05:49:29 pm by Bryan Austin »

Offline Cliff Fendley

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Re: Smokeless in an original 73 !
« Reply #32 on: December 03, 2018, 09:40:07 pm »

Interestingly the Winchester box labels never mention the Winchester Model 94...but it was manufactured specifically for the smokeless powder...so again, common sense must have been pretty widespread back then.



It probably wouldn't have been because the gun itself wasn't really designated as a smokeless only rifle. It was first chambered in 32-40 and 38-55 and around a year later the 30WCF.

It was the 30WCF that was the first CARTRIDGE introduced as smokeless. The rifles were chambered in black powder cartridges along with the 30WCF and 25-35WCF. Then a few short years later the 32 Winchester Special and there are all sorts of speculations on the later about why it and the guns chambered for it were built like they were as far as the rifle twist etc possibly designed with reloading with black powder in mind.

Bottom line is there are plenty of early model 1894's that have had a good diet of black powder in their day.

There probably wasn't much common sense or overall knowledge of smokeless powder during its introduction regarding pressure curves or anything in that day to the common user. Most probably assumed if the cartridges were available and chambered for that gun they were safe and the only thing during those very early days available for reloading was black powder anyway.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2018, 10:10:56 pm by Cliff Fendley »
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Offline Cholla Hill Tirador

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Re: Smokeless in an original 73 !
« Reply #33 on: December 04, 2018, 06:02:57 am »
Brian yours is a very good post. It amazes me that people cling to old, unproven "facts", such as "toggle link actions are weak" for generations when there's really been no proof. One can find many pictures of old Colt revolvers that have been destroyed, but I challenge anyone to find a '73 or '76 Winchester or a facimile thereof in which the receiver has been destroyed. The only one I've ever seen was an 1876 (it may be pictured somewhere in this thread) that was over loaded. It didn't destroy the rifle, but blew the barrel out of the receiver.

 CHT
« Last Edit: December 04, 2018, 06:16:26 am by Cholla Hill Tirador »

Offline Bryan Austin

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Re: Smokeless in an original 73 !
« Reply #34 on: December 04, 2018, 06:15:41 am »
It probably wouldn't have been because the gun itself wasn't really designated as a smokeless only rifle. It was first chambered in 32-40 and 38-55 and around a year later the 30WCF.

It was the 30WCF that was the first CARTRIDGE introduced as smokeless. The rifles were chambered in black powder cartridges along with the 30WCF and 25-35WCF. Then a few short years later the 32 Winchester Special and there are all sorts of speculations on the later about why it and the guns chambered for it were built like they were as far as the rifle twist etc possibly designed with reloading with black powder in mind.

Bottom line is there are plenty of early model 1894's that have had a good diet of black powder in their day.

There probably wasn't much common sense or overall knowledge of smokeless powder during its introduction regarding pressure curves or anything in that day to the common user. Most probably assumed if the cartridges were available and chambered for that gun they were safe and the only thing during those very early days available for reloading was black powder anyway.

LOL, not sure what I was thinking there...brain overload!! I need to edit that!!

Quote
Cholla Hill Tirador....Brian yours is a very good post.
Thanks Cholla!!  John did all the homework with original cartridges and their components. I really miss his posts!!
« Last Edit: December 04, 2018, 06:31:42 am by Bryan Austin »

Offline Cholla Hill Tirador

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Re: Smokeless in an original 73 !
« Reply #35 on: December 04, 2018, 06:20:51 am »
  By the way, I don't know if any of you were aware, but John Korth aka w44wcf passed away earlier this year. He was such a compendium of information as he was constantly shooting and testing old black powder cartridges. He will be missed!

  CHT

Offline Bryan Austin

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Re: Smokeless in an original 73 !
« Reply #36 on: December 04, 2018, 06:34:03 am »
  By the way, I don't know if any of you were aware, but John Korth aka w44wcf passed away earlier this year. He was such a compendium of information as he was constantly shooting and testing old black powder cartridges. He will be missed!

  CHT


https://www.44winchestercenterfirecartridges.com/john-kort

Offline dusty texian

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Re: Smokeless in an original 73 !
« Reply #37 on: December 14, 2018, 10:46:15 am »
Thanks for the link. Miss old John a lot. Still have a few packs of his cast bullets  unopened that he sent for testing wrapped in his oatmeal box cardboard . Think he would say open them up and do some shooting . ,,,DT

Online Coal Creek Griff

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Re: Smokeless in an original 73 !
« Reply #38 on: December 14, 2018, 12:35:05 pm »
I had a small handful that he had sent me too.  I loaded them up and shot them in his honor after his passing.

I miss him too.

CC Griff
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Offline scrubby2009

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Re: Smokeless in an original 73 !
« Reply #39 on: December 16, 2018, 11:36:14 am »
You oldtimers are rough, looks as though the OP, tj3006, disappeared after this thread became populated by folks with experience. I hope he and his rifles are well. I am going to add my two-cents regarding "weak-action" togglebolt rifles and the much maligned 1st Model. I walked my smokeless reloads right up to 15.8 gr of 2400 under  200gr of pure lead molycoated bullets. Both of my 44wcf rifles are standard 1st Models and after literally thousands of rounds both are none the worse for the wear and I'd like to think I learned a few things. I really prefer shooting Goex 3f, but the 2400 came to me at such a ridiculous price I have filled several 30cal cans with the rounds my son and I build together. I am going to guess that many new shooting enthusiasts have not been inside of these old weapons, (or they purchased new reproductions) for cleaning, inspection, maintenance, or repairs. Without the intimacy that servicing my own rifles has built, I might also fall prey to worries about safety and design strength. Everyone has their own comfort level, but over 4 decades of ownership, my '73's continue to amaze me with the toughness and reliability the original design renders.
Responsive, timely, tactically accurate, and strategically precise fire.

Offline Cholla Hill Tirador

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Re: Smokeless in an original 73 !
« Reply #40 on: December 16, 2018, 06:32:39 pm »
You oldtimers are rough, looks as though the OP, tj3006, disappeared after this thread became populated by folks with experience. I hope he and his rifles are well. I am going to add my two-cents regarding "weak-action" togglebolt rifles and the much maligned 1st Model. I walked my smokeless reloads right up to 15.8 gr of 2400 under  200gr of pure lead molycoated bullets. Both of my 44wcf rifles are standard 1st Models and after literally thousands of rounds both are none the worse for the wear and I'd like to think I learned a few things. I really prefer shooting Goex 3f, but the 2400 came to me at such a ridiculous price I have filled several 30cal cans with the rounds my son and I build together. I am going to guess that many new shooting enthusiasts have not been inside of these old weapons, (or they purchased new reproductions) for cleaning, inspection, maintenance, or repairs. Without the intimacy that servicing my own rifles has built, I might also fall prey to worries about safety and design strength. Everyone has their own comfort level, but over 4 decades of ownership, my '73's continue to amaze me with the toughness and reliability the original design renders.

 Completely agree. For some reason we gunny types seem judge things by how they "look" rather than facts and data.

  CHT

Offline Bryan Austin

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Re: Smokeless in an original 73 !
« Reply #41 on: December 16, 2018, 07:15:53 pm »
FACT - 1895: Winchester Red Label cartridge boxes.
Smokeless powder was offered for the .44 Winchester during this year. It is believed that Dupont #2 Bulk powder was used and had a similar burn rate as today's 4227. Dupont #2 was a caseload but 4227 is not. Also "NOT FOR PISTOLS" is noted on the side label. The Nomenclature on the label specifically states "for Winchester Rifle Model 1873"...eliminating the myth that smokeless powders should not be used in original Winchester 73' rifles BUT does confirm smokeless powders should not be used in black powder frame revolvers. Other changes to he labels included Winchester 92 on the side label and eventually both 73' and 92' on the top label.


I urge these hard core old timers to get a current copy of Lyman's 49th and check out page 299 and page 300.

MYTH BUSTED!

MY LOAD DATA.....my data COULD BE WRONG!
Using factory  Buffalo Bore 44-40 "Heavy" as my "Control" @ 11,300 psi...

During my amateurish strain gauge testings, I found that 18.5gr of IMR4227 with a 200gr JHP Speer #4425 (by the book) resulted in 9,205psi. SAAMI max pressure is 11,000 PSI (13,000 cup).

16gr of 2400 with the same Speer 200gr JHP resulted in an average 10 shot pressure of  8,992 psi

Black powder loads, 40gr of Skirmish FFFG, 200gr Biglube = 8,900 psi
Black Powder loads, 32gr Kik FFFG, 217gr 43-215C (Lyman 427098 replica with crimp groove) = 6,043 psi

THE FOLLOWING IS NOT FOR THE WINCHESTER 73'

Lyman 49th also lists high pressure loads NOT for the 73'
10.5gr of Unique with a 205gr Lyman 427098 gave me 17,837 psi...Lyman lists this load @19,700 cup
20gr of 2400 with a Speer JHP gave me 15,618 psi...Lyman lists this load @ 19,000 cup

For a list of Winchester cartridge box color label descriptions and dates, check here: https://www.44winchestercenterfirecartridges.com/44wcf-cartridge-boxs

and here: https://www.44winchestercenterfirecartridges.com/single-post/2018/12/01/Winchesters-Colorful-Cartridge-Boxes
« Last Edit: December 16, 2018, 07:34:35 pm by Bryan Austin »

Offline Buck Stinson

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Re: Smokeless in an original 73 !
« Reply #42 on: December 17, 2018, 07:02:12 pm »
I 've been shooting original 1873's for 50 years.  The shooters I use most often were made in 1876, 1887 and 1899.  The load I use is 7.5 grains of Unique, with a 200 grain hard cast bullet.  My rifles and carbines are in very fine condition, so make sure your gun is tight and crisp.  There are many other smokeless loads out there for the original 73's.  Experiment and pick the one that works best.

 

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