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levi littleton

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About levi littleton

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    great basin
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    ridin-shootin

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  1. Hahahah Not a day goes by here that I don't do some or forget something that causes me more work than required. Some times it is the simple things that are easy to miss that make a big difference in the end result. Nothing proves that more than loading and shooting 32-20 in a Uberti '73.
  2. Trimming? Separation? When you separate your brass do you also change the depth on your both your seating and crimp die to match brass OAL? Different length brass would require it to load reliable ammo. If brass is the same thickness I would have to wonder about the difference in annealing processes. Harder brass cracks easier. Work hardened brass cracks very easily. Crimping and shooting both work hardens the brass to eventual failure. Reducing crimp? Reducing the crimp will work your brass less and stave off brass failure/cracks. What I found is that 32-20 brass wears out pretty quickly compared to other caliber cowboy brass. But all WCF brass gets worked pretty hard with the tapered case shape. I suspect the higher pressure of the 32-20 by comparison to the others makes it even worse. I have a lot of 32-20 brass. But I shoot it in 500 round lots. When that lot of 500 starts cracking or as common splitting at the neck base I put it aside for practice and it is now a batch to sort through and see what is cracked. I suspect my attempts at humor wasn't appreciated prior. My apologies. Just my opinions on what it takes to get a Uberti 32-20 to be reliable. Hope some of the info helped.
  3. I have a new pair of the low set factory USFA hammers I'd part with and I think I have a pair of the bent ones, Longhunter did prior to the factory versions. Have to look. If you aren't sorted already send me a PM.
  4. I've got a Win TD SASS and WB ready. 100% just don't shoot it any more. PM me if you haven't found what you want yet.
  5. Right I just measured 6 different '73 lifters. One old Winchester and 5 Ubertis. All run edge to edge 1.59+ to 1.60. The Winchester is off a 1880's ' 73 in 32-20. It was 1.57". The ramp cut on a '73 is a new thing invented to allow "short" 38 special ammo in a '73 instead of the traditional cartridges that all ran 1.59"+/- OAL. If you have been around long enough you know we use to long load 38 Special to make the 1.59 so it would run through the early 73/92 conversions. The angle cut allows 44 Special, 44 Schofield and 45 Cowboy (with and insert) and the 38 Special loaded short. So lets not get confused where the ramp cut on the elevator actually came from. It wasn't Winchester's idea. Photos below are the lifter in that 1880's '73 and no ramp cut. Just the elevator feed side rounded some to make the rim of the case feed into the elevator easier. And a couple of photos showing a Uberti 32-20 lifter with the ramp cut. Another photo comparing a Uberti mag tube and a original Winchester mag tube. The Uberti OD is .64". The WInchester is .52". It is a big difference. FWIW the 110 gr bullet that was suggested previous with the driving band in short Starline brass loads to a OAL of 1.603" if crimped on the crimp groove. My Uberti 32-20 elevator is 1.595. Imagine how that works running a fast 10 rounds in a '73?! It don't. The 115gr traditional Winchester bullet I use with Starline brass measures 1.56"+. Original 32-20 Winchester elevator ramp on a Uberti 32-20 (or 38) elevator Uberti on top. Original Winchester 32-20 below What I have learned from my adventures with a 32-20 and a Uberti is simple really. Just do everything Winchester did with their '73.....including the original ammo of the day. Move on up to the '92 and things changed some But the gun basics stayed the same. What really changed with the '92 besides going smokeless was the ammo got faster with more pressure. But a '92 is only about half the fun of a '73
  6. I get what you are saying Joe. Just don't think everything you have said applies to a 32-20 Uberti. But as you say, no question the elevator guns ('73 and '76) are very sensitive to cartridge OAL. We all know that a ramp on the bigger cartridges works. But you have to be careful on the 32-20 to make sure the ramp drives the next round back into the mag tube without jamming up the lifter. Problem is made worse if the 32-20 hads a chance to go back into the mag tube and a steeper angle.
  7. Well Sam ya made me laugh. We breed cow horses for a living. You know what they say about horses and water. Your answer reminded me of my horses. Here is how you get a Uberti 32-20 1873 clone to work reliably. Pretty simple equation most of us doing it agree on. My friend, with all due respect, you have no clue why your gun is jamming. You are just going off what you see when the gun jams. You don't actually know what is causing the jams. What you are seeing could be any of the following. If it were me I'd fix all of them. Aint that hard. Mag tube? If the round is sitting side ways one time and straight the next it makes the cartridge shorter than if it were straight. Jam the lever open with some force and the lifter comes up and the round behind it feeds too far into the lifter. Instant jam. Lifter beats up both rounds. A failed crimp should be no surprise. If you aren't using a traditional roll crimp and making it a hard solid crimp actually in the bullet's crimp groove you need to be. You have is inconsistent cartridge OAL when fed from the factory Uberti 32=20 mag. Instant unreliable gun. May be you hand sort every piece of brass you own. (I learned to eventually, then finally just went to a single brand of brass). You admittedly have Remington, Winchester and Starline brass on hand. You want to jam up a '73 in 32-20 and have a night mare reloading ( crimps will be all over the map or non existent) or have to trim every piece of brass you own...just mix it up. But I can guarantee you shorter is always better in 32-20 brass. Here is how you get a Uberti 32-20 1873 clone to work reliably. Pretty simple equation most of us doing it agree on. Use just one brand of brass. Ditch (best answer) or trim ( it should be splitting by that many reloads) it when it gets too long. Use a mag tube liner. If you don't understand how the side stack effects reliability and that it is mandatory on a elevator gun ( as apposed to a lifter like a '92) get into a rocket science class asap. I have no interest in selling you one. But it is also the one thing that will instantly help any Uberti 32-20 be more reliable. Chop your dies off shorter than you think is needed so your case gets necked down below your bullet shank. (I cut mine down on a bench grinder at least twice...may be three times till I got what I wanted) Use a .313", 115gr traditional Winchester 32-20 bullet Make sure your cartridge OAL is appropriate for your 73 lifter's OAL length. Polish up your lifter's feed ramp but make sure the ramp angle isn't over cut. Over cut, as in too much angle on the front of the lifter, which allows the 2nd round to come into the lifter too far while the 1st round is there and then...you guessed it...instant jam no matter how good your ammo is. Original ramps on the lifter were hardly cut at all. If the ramp is over cut, then the cartridge stack in the mag (too big of mag tube) will be even worse as you will have a round on the lifter and one part way on the lifter. Never a good thing for a reliable '73 no matter the cartridge (I'd make sure to look at that if I was having problems) New lifters are cheap. Light weight, milled out brass aren't but also really nice in the 32-20 '73. The lwt aluminum ones get beat up too fast with the smaller rims.
  8. One would think or at least stick a insert in them at the factory. Winchester had tubes for the 44-40 and 38-40 which was the same tube And another tube for the 32-20. To do it right Uberti would need one for the 45. A slightly different one for the 44-40 and 38-40. And another one for the 38 Special. Finally they would need a specific tube for the 32-20. All of which they could do with specific inserts if they had the mind to do so. They could even be made of plastic tubing if done in the right plastic material.
  9. I load 44-40 on a Dillon and find a good lube makes it easy peasy.
  10. Ken Water's book is a good one isn't it? Had it at least 30 years and still use it as a reference all the time. I understand how you got to where you are. BTDT and came to different solutions. I think you are having a couple of issues. First would be the improper mag tube size for proper stacking in the tube. It needs to me smaller that what 32-20 Uberti's are delivered with . Not the best but the 38 size works OK and is reliable. I've thought about making one for the actual Winchester .32 specs. Might have to get around to that. Money well spent and my impression it is mandatory in a .32 Uberti. http://www.cowboygunworks.com/rifleupgrades.html The 115gr bullet you are using is the original Winchester bullet and perfect for the '73. Plenty of groove there to crimp on. You are using a traditional roll crimp right? The 100gr bullet others have suggested does have a shoulder and a nice crimp groove but it is also short in the base and makes the cartridge OAL too long for a '73 to be reliable IMO. So right bullet in your reloading room now. .313" is the proper size. I've switched to the coated bullets from lead and lubed to eliminate the hassle of lube in the dies and on my hands. Makes everything a lot cleaner and they shoot just as good if not better. I understand the longer brass should give you more neck to crimp on. But after using Win and Remington brass I found way more failures with them than with Starline. My take is the Starline is either annealed better or it is thicker brass. Either way once I stopped using Win and Rem my failure rate went to zero with everything else being equal. Finally I found that I needed to grind off the bottom my dies to use on a Dillion shell plate. That in turn allowed for a longer neck with the shoulder pushed back when I resize and a obviously a tighter roll crimp as the tie goes deeper. You can see the outline of my .313" bullets in the neck but they also drop in and out of my cylinder I use for a chamber check. I want my crimp to be just shy of crushing the cases. Which is why I only want one size OAL length on brass in my tumbler. Check out the difference between you neck and ammo compared to mine using the same bullet and how much longer the 100 grain bullet with a shoulder is for OAL in the same Starline brass. The 100gr bullet is fine in or Colts and the '92s but won't run in a '73 because the OAL is too long. My suggestion...and I know it is a PIA to adjust everything but is cut some off the dies, buy 100 Starline and see if you have better results. I suspect you will. We load and shoot 10s of thousands of 32-20 a year with the same 115gr. bullet/Starline receipt. A big part of our problem at one point was having all three brands of 32-20 brass in the shop. I don't now and seldom have a issue with the .32s. these are the kinds of groups the ammo is capable of
  11. I run a lot of 32-20 through a Uberti '73. More yet in several Browning 53s besides the handguns. My key to reliability was the smaller mag insert for the tube of the '73 Uberti. The insert keeps things aligned a running smoothly. Not as small as a real Winchester 32-20 tube but small enough inside with the insert to sort things out good enough to make the Uberti 32-20 much more reliable. I use Starline brass (after shit canning RP and Winchester. I think both are too thin and won't hold proper bullet/neck tension for the rifles) . I also use 115 grain .313" bullets with a solid roll crimp. I've cut the bottom off my crimp and resizing die that I use on a Dillon 550. Chamber check is done with a old Colt 32-20 cylinder.
  12. There is a wonderful thread about tuning the '73 Miroku in archives. I'd asked about a couple of problems I had with my rifle that never got answered. It is answered now. I had until this morning a problem on closing the lever. Never took the time to really sort it out but seems I am not the only one with something similar happening. El Cubano sent me a PM and mentioned his problem a few days ago and what he was seeing. I hadn't had the side places off mine since last year and never bothered to look at the bolt. Bingo! Cubano saw if before I even thought about it. "Noticed you have the same issue I do, the lever seems to have to cam the links in even before it hits the lever safety. Did you ever figure out how to clean this up? Seems to me like the bolt actually has too much material on that block in front of the links and my links are actually deflecting out a bit to account for being too long. One side is more or less perfect, it cams in just as the lever closes and is just a very slight lock, the other side needs a plastic mallet to unlock it. " El Cabano The camming action on my carbine was hard enough it gave my wife a full set of blisters across her fingers after just one short 5 stage match. I just found how hard the lever was to close really annoying. We have other guns to shoot so it wasn't a big deal. I had set the miroku aside and figured I'd sort it out later...….now a year later I got back to it. I had thought it the cams. It isn't. It was the bolt and how the bolt is fitted by the factory. Just too much steel left where the bolt is faced off and fitted to the receiver on my gun. It would have taken a lot of rounds to beat this one into submission. Literally 3 minutes and the careful use of a #2 Swiss file recut the bolt and now the action is typical, '73 smooth. If you look at the first picture at the bolt where it engages the frame there is a V there where metal contacts and then there is open space going up towards the receiver. Not a lot of metal contact where the bolt meets the receiver. In the 2nd photo you can see how Miroku fits the bolt by cutting the front edge to mate with the receiver. My gun had just a tiny bit too much metal left here which made the lever really hard to close on full battery at closing. A few strokes with a fine #2 Swiss file solved the problem. But it would be really easy to cut too much here...so I would recommend going slow and testing as you go. Also worth pulling the links out one side at a time, then working the bolt and making sure the bolt was cut square to the frame originally. Mine was. El Cubano's was not. Hope this helps someone else and thanks again El Cubano for pointing me in the right direction. rt reply Upper left hand corner of the photo you can see space between the bolt and the receiver. hard camming to get the lever closed was caused by too not enough metal taken off the bolt in fitting. Compare the difference in contact area between bolt and frame on these two rifles above and below. Upper one has a problem closing the lever into battery...lower one does not Toggle links still in place and bolt all the way to the rear. The milled surface of the bolt shows metal in the white. That surface is what I cut down a tiny bit while still keeping the cut on the bolt square to its mating surface on the receiver. Pressure relived once I did and the lever t was much, much easier to close.
  13. 1873 Winchester shipped in 1886 as a 26", set trigger, 32wcf. Winchester letter included with the sale. $1500 firm plus what ever the USPS priority mail shipping is.Gun is currently in 19.5" half mag gun that looks to be professionally done at some time in its life. Comb of the stock has a relief cut for a peep sight. Gun functions fine. Set trigger does not. But can be repaired. It is a project I am not likely to finish so it is for sell. I love half mag tube guns and the 32wcf. 19.5" barrel, half mag holds 6, with one in the chamber 7. Clean chop job on the barrel and the to put it back together. Bore is as expected for a black powder gun built in 1885. Wood is original and pretty good. Only one major ding where someone cut a notch in the comb for a tang sight. Every original I've owned has had a really nice trigger even without use of the set trigger. No exception here. Barrel still has some blue although likely a reblue when it was chopped. Rest of the metal is pretty much in the white. Gun reminds me of the '73 Paul Neman used in "Hombre".
  14. In the FWIW category.. I did some testing last summer and had no predisposed opinion other than may be I'd rather keep shooting 45 Cowboy Special and a 165 gr bullet. (or lighter if I could find one) I did all my testing with 4 3/4" SAA guns. I used a pair of 32-20s, same in .38 Specials, and of course .45s. Weight of the guns go up as the caliber gets smaller in a SAA. Frankly I was pretty shocked by the difference a light loaded 165 gr. C45S compared to a 115gr. 32-20. Not much powder in the 32-20. A similar lack of recoil ( but still not in the same league) from a light loaded 38 Special. But the gun's weigh change between calibers if hand and arm strength are an issue. By comparison 32-20 is neither cheap or as easy to reload for as the 38 or 45 but the advantages shooting a 100 or 115 gr bullet with small powder charges are pretty clear when you try them all side by side even with the heavier guns in .32-20. My pair of 32-20s on top here. No excuse to miss shooting them! Bottom SAA is a 44-40.
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