Author Topic: What are my 38/40 38WCF Rifle options?  (Read 1159 times)

Offline Black River Smith

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What are my 38/40 38WCF Rifle options?
« on: March 22, 2021, 04:16:40 PM »
I need/want a 38/40 rifle with a 24" octagon barrel.  I do not need brand new.  Don't want to give $1200 to $1600 for a Uberti new, I might as well then look for an original.  So..........

Besides an original Winchester '73 & '92, what are my replica options and from whom?  Also, opinions on best places to look.

I really would like this rifle to be an 1892 model but I do not know if any replica's (Rossi) ever offered a 38WCF chambering.

Being the oddist of the calibers what are my chances of finding one.  I know my local area does not have a selection.

Thanks
Black River Smith

Offline Martini450

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Re: What are my 38/40 38WCF Rifle options?
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2021, 09:01:12 PM »
Not sure if they still offer it, but Chiappa made that exact configuration (Octagon 24" Model 1892) in 38 WCF a few years ago.  I handled one in Taylor's showroom eight or nine years ago, and almost bought it.  Ended up going with the same rifle in 44 WCF instead, as I already had dies and moulds in that calibre.  Very nice rifles, both of them.  I'm still happy with the one I brought home.

Offline Trailrider

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Re: What are my 38/40 38WCF Rifle options?
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2021, 11:53:06 AM »
I think Marlin (the original) chambered one of their leveraction rifles in .38-40 (they called it that so as not to advertise Winchester's term, .38 WCF).  Can't recall the model Marlin.
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Offline Dave T

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Re: What are my 38/40 38WCF Rifle options?
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2021, 01:18:42 PM »
I think Marlin (the original) chambered one of their leveraction rifles in .38-40 (they called it that so as not to advertise Winchester's term, .38 WCF).  Can't recall the model Marlin.

I believe it was the original 1894 Marlin, which chambered all the WCF pistol length cartridges but re-named them the 44-40, the 38-40, and the 32-20.

Dave

Offline Black River Smith

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Re: What are my 38/40 38WCF Rifle options?
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2021, 01:47:48 PM »
Not sure if they still offer it, but Chiappa made that exact configuration (Octagon 24" Model 1892) in 38 WCF a few years ago.  I handled one in Taylor's showroom eight or nine years ago, and almost bought it.  Ended up going with the same rifle in 44 WCF instead, as I already had dies and moulds in that calibre.  Very nice rifles, both of them.  I'm still happy with the one I brought home.

Thanks for the lead.  I checked Taylor's website, it appears they do not offer the 38/40 as an option.  I would hate to spend $1500 then another $500 to line it to 38/40.  I would do this to a Rossi at $700 or used pricing.


I have checked all the gun selling sites and while they have some listings, they are priced out of my league.
Black River Smith

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Re: What are my 38/40 38WCF Rifle options?
« Reply #5 on: Today at 05:05:20 PM »

Offline bear tooth billy

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Re: What are my 38/40 38WCF Rifle options?
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2021, 03:01:04 PM »
Check Rock Island Auction, they sell a lot of original Winchesters

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Offline Abilene

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Re: What are my 38/40 38WCF Rifle options?
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2021, 03:09:53 PM »
I believe it was the original 1894 Marlin, which chambered all the WCF pistol length cartridges but re-named them the 44-40, the 38-40, and the 32-20.

Dave

I was thinking the same thing about original Marlins.  I checked Wikipedia, and we know that site is not always 100% accurate but they did not list the 38-40 as an original option (32-20 and 44-40 were listed), so I don't know about that.  I know a guy with a modern 38-40 Marlin, but I'm thinking he might have had it rebarreled, I don't recall.  Either that, or it was a quite rare offering.

Offline LongWalker

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Re: What are my 38/40 38WCF Rifle options?
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2021, 06:00:20 PM »
I owned an original marlin 1894 in 38WCF, and have seen several others.  Not as common as the 32-20, but they are out there. 
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Offline ira scott

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Re: What are my 38/40 38WCF Rifle options?
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2021, 10:32:50 PM »
The first Marlin chambered in .38-40 was the Model 1888,  top eject, Approx. 4800 mfg. 1888-1889.  The Model 1889 was the first solid top frame side-eject chambered in .25-20,  .32-20,  .38-40 and .44-40.  Blue Book of Gun Values says 55,000 were mfg. 1889-1899. Described as having a "short throw lever action",  FACTORY SHORT STROKE 1889 style!

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Offline Navy Six

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Re: What are my 38/40 38WCF Rifle options?
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2021, 07:24:10 PM »
I handled a 1889 Marlin in 38-40 about 10 years ago. It was for sale, but I passed it up because the interior of the barrel was in extremely poor shape. A shame as I am always looking for 38-40's.
Over the last 20 years I've managed to find a new 66 & 73 Uberti in 38-40 and actually had another Uberti 66, that started out as a 45 Colt, rebarreled to 38-40.
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Re: What are my 38/40 38WCF Rifle options?
« Reply #10 on: Today at 05:05:20 PM »

Offline ira scott

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Re: What are my 38/40 38WCF Rifle options?
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2021, 09:27:14 PM »
I have not personally had it done, or even know the cost, but it is possible to have barrels relined.

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Offline Galloway

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Re: What are my 38/40 38WCF Rifle options?
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2021, 12:47:05 PM »
I was ready to buy a uberti but reloading components are zilch right now for 38wcf

Offline ira scott

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Re: What are my 38/40 38WCF Rifle options?
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2021, 01:11:41 PM »
I was ready to buy a uberti but reloading components are zilch right now for 38wcf

And everything else,  the only thing I have found recently is a very few Shotgun primers and a few projectiles I could use.

B.N.Scotty
It is far better to remain silent, and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt!

Offline Buckaroo Lou

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Re: What are my 38/40 38WCF Rifle options?
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2021, 07:43:59 PM »
I know this doesn't help the OP, but I once had an exceptional original first year Winchester 1892 rifle in .38-40 back in the day when I was not very knowledgeable about older Winchesters. It had an excellent bore and very good wood. I sold it for $1000 to a guy who wanted it bad. I have long regretted it.  :'(
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Online Jubal Starbuck

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Re: What are my 38/40 38WCF Rifle options?
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2021, 06:05:30 PM »
     I bought an 1889 Marlin rifle with a broken hammer spur and a poor bore some years back at a local gun show.  A friend allowed me to look through a drawer of old Marlin parts he had and there was a hammer exactly like mine only complete!  I installed my new hammer and took it out to shoot.  My groups were not to my satisfaction, so I ordered a Rapine hollow based mold for .38 WCF.  I was still not satisfied so I got it relined and have been happy with it ever since.  I only shoot black powder loads in it, as I was told the 1889's were not as strong action wise as the later 1994 models, which is okay as I prefer to shoot black powder loads anyhow.  I have had a '73 Winchester in .44WCF and a Winchester 1886 in .40-65 both relined and am very pleased with both of them too.

Regards,

Jubal Starbuck

Offline The Pathfinder

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Re: What are my 38/40 38WCF Rifle options?
« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2021, 06:28:25 PM »
Every now and then an old refinished '92 will show up on GunBroker, that's how I got mine and for well under the $1000 mark. Collectors, I guess, don't really pay too much attention to the refinished guns. Course that was before covid, and before most found out what a joy the old 38-40 was to shoot. Good luck.

Offline Colt Fanning

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Re: What are my 38/40 38WCF Rifle options?
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2021, 08:16:44 AM »
I have a colt lightning in 38-40
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Colt

Offline Abilene

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Re: What are my 38/40 38WCF Rifle options?
« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2021, 11:13:27 AM »
I have a colt lightning in 38-40
Regards
Colt

Oh yeah, there's that!  The OP did not say "lever action"  :)

Offline Navy Six

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Re: What are my 38/40 38WCF Rifle options?
« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2021, 02:37:07 PM »
I was ready to buy a uberti but reloading components are zilch right now for 38wcf
A similar situation is what got me started into bullet casting. I was looking for 38/40 components beginning about 35 years ago. I would go into a gun store and ask for 38/40 lead bullets and the clerk would come out with 38 Special stuff.  It was a blessing in disguise as I can now make whatever I need.
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