Author Topic: Smokeless in an original 73 !  (Read 17694 times)

Offline Cholla Hill Tirador

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Re: Smokeless in an original 73 !
« Reply #20 on: July 29, 2016, 11:45:31 AM »
With both links removed there is NOTHING holding the action closed.  It would not matter if you were attempting to hold the lever closed as with both links removed the lever isn't connected to anything.  This is rubbish.

  Easy there big guy.....

  The hammer spring could/would hold the bolt in place. I could see where with a limited amount of bolt thrust the bolt might only be pushed back to say, the hammers half-cocktail position. Let's not forget, Winchester tried in vain to destroy an 1876 by removing one of the links then firing grossly the rifle with grossly overloaded cartridges.

   CHT

Offline Pettifogger

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Re: Smokeless in an original 73 !
« Reply #21 on: July 29, 2016, 02:14:24 PM »
 Easy there big guy.....

  The hammer spring could/would hold the bolt in place. I could see where with a limited amount of bolt thrust the bolt might only be pushed back to say, the hammers half-cocktail position. Let's not forget, Winchester tried in vain to destroy an 1876 by removing one of the links then firing grossly the rifle with grossly overloaded cartridges.

   CHT
Yes, Winchester did that with BLACK POWDER.  BP is basically self-limiting.  No matter how much BP you put in a gun it can only generate a certain amount of pressure.  Try that same experiment in a 76 with smokeless and see what happens.  As far as the hammer spring holding the bolt shut have you tried it?  That is baloney.  With even light smokeless loads and both links in the rifle if the links are even slightly out of alignment you are going to get a pretty decent smack on your knuckles when the round, BP or smokeless, goes off.  Been there done that.  With no links you've got a straight blow-back condition.  Even half a cocktail won't make your forehead feel any better when the bolt assembly hits you between the eyes.  I too have shot lots of light smokeless rounds out of original 73s.  However, let's not put stuff on the wire that can get somebody killed.  (Oh, when I am using the word "you" I do not mean any particular person.  Just the generic "you.")

Offline Cholla Hill Tirador

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Re: Smokeless in an original 73 !
« Reply #22 on: July 29, 2016, 06:09:00 PM »
Yes, Winchester did that with BLACK POWDER.  BP is basically self-limiting.  No matter how much BP you put in a gun it can only generate a certain amount of pressure.  Try that same experiment in a 76 with smokeless and see what happens.  As far as the hammer spring holding the bolt shut have you tried it?  That is baloney.  With even light smokeless loads and both links in the rifle if the links are even slightly out of alignment you are going to get a pretty decent smack on your knuckles when the round, BP or smokeless, goes off.  Been there done that.  With no links you've got a straight blow-back condition.  Even half a cocktail won't make your forehead feel any better when the bolt assembly hits you between the eyes.  I too have shot lots of light smokeless rounds out of original 73s.  However, let's not put stuff on the wire that can get somebody killed.  (Oh, when I am using the word "you" I do not mean any particular person.  Just the generic "you.")

  Au contraire. "Self limiting pressure" is a myth according to those who know more than I :

   (pp. 194, right column)

  https://books.google.com/books?id=Dzxyneq43AEC&pg=PA194&lpg=PA194&dq=black+powder+100,000&source=bl&ots=6jk5VfyhtX&sig=W07prIcKydA6ca-sXKlQaYtRBew&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiju7zl25nOAhUE3WMKHfqGADgQ6AEIKzAC#v=onepage&q=black%20powder%20100%2C000&f=false

 (pp. 34 left column)

https://books.google.com/books?id=OF7WL7hIhA0C&pg=PA34&lpg=PA34&dq=black+powder+100,000&source=bl&ots=mTlmn7ZiKp&sig=12ql2rGrTiMuZXh-2LKfWJeCs60&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiju7zl25nOAhUE3WMKHfqGADgQ6AEILjAD#v=onepage&q=black%20powder%20100%2C000&f=false

(par. 14)

 http://www.chuckhawks.com/blackpowder_pyrodex.htm

 Why are different grades of BP? If it were self-limiting in regards to pressure, we could just pour cartridge cases full of 4f and be merrily on our way. Right?


  I've read the account of Winchesters attempt to destroy the toggle link 1876 (I'll try to find and post it as its very interesting) and they did so by driving additional bullets down the bore.

  I didn't say the hammer spring would hold the bold closed rather it seems conceivable that tension from the hammer spring could limit the rearward travel, or velocity, of the bolt. But then, that's the subject of case head thrust, not chamber pressure. Once the fired cartridge case clears the chamber or the buet clearn the muzzle, whichever occurs first, there is no more pressure.

  This is not "the wire", it's the CAS forum  ;)

  No one is suggesting dangerous loads or practices. If smokeless loads are dangerous in these old rifles, why have ammunition manufacturers been loading them and folks using them for nigh on 100 years?

  CHT

Offline dusty texian

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Re: Smokeless in an original 73 !
« Reply #23 on: July 29, 2016, 07:25:21 PM »
Dont try any of this at home! Geeze! Lets be reasonable , We all know what the old Winchesters can do and not do.  Any load in an original is a risk! BLACK OR SMOKLESS!  One thing is for sure , If your firearm is not 100 % up to snuff than you are risking the old rifle /yourself and everyone around you.  With that said I take that risk quite often ,but I never push the limits ! My 2 CENTS ,,,DT God Bless!

Offline wildman1

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Re: Smokeless in an original 73 !
« Reply #24 on: July 30, 2016, 04:43:03 AM »
The "BOLT" will not be held by the hammer spring as the bolt is too big to exit the back of the rifle, however the bolt extension can and will exit the back of the rifle with considerable force if an obd occurs OR the links fail which can happen. When WRA did their test with a 76 I'm pretty sure it was with a new rifle or at least one that had been recently manufactured. To say that the hammer spring will prevent the action from opening is just not true. When the links fail or an obd occurs it can bend the lever and still force the action open, This is with BP loads not smokiless. wM1
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Re: Smokeless in an original 73 !
« Reply #25 on: Today at 08:47:15 PM »

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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aka Jack Christian SASS 11993 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
aka John Kort
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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!

  CHT

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Re: Smokeless in an original 73 !
« Reply #30 on: Today at 08:47:15 PM »

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

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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'.


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.
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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

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!!

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

Offline 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.

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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.
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