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Uberti 1873 Winchester clone .44 WCF


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I just bought a '73 Winchester rifle clone made by Uberti in .44 WCF. It is new in the box. What kind of gunsmithing needs to be down to make it reliable?

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It will function fine out of the box but if you want to shoot it to compete with here is a list. None of this is absolutely necessary, but to run a race gun it does need some fine tuning.

 

1) New lever safety spring from the Smith Shop

2) Whisper Springs from the Smith Shop

3) 5th Generation short stroke kit, Cowboys & Indians or Pioneer Gun Works

4) Action Job

5) New front sight (Grabber or White sight)

6) Stainless steel magazine spring and follower the Smith Shop

7) Lever wrap.

 

Pick and choose what you want but 1 & 2 almost a must.

 

I have 3 of these, 24", 20" and 18" Texas Bush Popper.

 

TB

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Howdy,

Look for a local cowboy gunsmith and have a conversation with him, and determine what you might need, the botom line is you will be happy even if you only do an action job. OL#4 is in your area and does a fine job.

 

KK

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I'd add to TB's fine list a few more things.

 

Check the frame's loading mortise. Some are not beveled to allow the round on the carrier to move up the shaft. The first round will jam in that mortise and look crooked instead of laying on the carrier straight. It's a simple bevel that sometimes the factory skips.

 

Lots of folks dehorn the factory buckhorn sight. Flatten it to be a flattop sight - lots faster for most folks. Turn the white diamond insert around to the black side showing.

 

In .44 caliber, a 5th gen short stroke kit is sometimes "a generation too far", as it can require more muscle to run than a longer 3rd generation stroke. Especially if you shoot BP through it, sometimes you need the extra leverage that a longer stroke gives you.

 

Lightened main spring, to let you cycle the lever faster, especially if you go with an aggressive short stroke. Normally included in an action job, but Smith Shop has a nice replacement spring, And the SlixSpring mainspring is nice, too. Going with a lightened mainspring can sometimes require going to a lighter firing pin extension too.

 

A leather butt pad to keep the butt planted on your shoulder while you are cycling the lever - the slick steel plate tends to slide around on most folks.

 

Clean and lube with Eezox or Boeshield dry-wax lube the magazine tube to remove any factory-installed rust. Then lube the mag end cap with anti-seize sparkplug lube.

 

Reinforce the loading gate tab with some JB Weld or a soldered steel reinforcing gusset.

 

When folks ask about "which speed parts", the usual root cause is they have not put enough trigger time in with the gun to know what they really need. You don't have to buy all the speed parts yet. In fact, most folks don't have the budget right now to buy them all at once - puts the price on a new gun up to almost $2K. When you can answer that question you asked, your-own-self, you will be sure you are buying the right amount of speed.

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I do intend to shoot blackpowder loads, it's why I got a lever action rifle in .44 WCF. So I am really focused on fuctional reliability rather than speed. I will ask the smith about checking the frame's loading mortise for the proper bevel.

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Plus one to Manatee. For some reason (Physics) 4th & 5th generation SS kits don't seem to run as well in large bore guns as 3rd generation kits do. C & I doesn't have their 3rd Gen anymore. Best bet there is "The Ottaway Smith, AKA: Ron Snover @ IXL Enterprises or Pioneer Gunworks "Standard" Kits. .38s run very well on Super Short Stroke.

 

Probably the most important change just to make the gun last longer is to change the lever side springs. I happen to like Slixsprings. Work a treat.

 

Coffinmaker

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I just got a 66 in 44-40 and put in the springs from The Smith Shop........WOW how slick is this gun now.I am not sure if I am going to short stroke the rifle.But those few changes made a tremendous difference.The only thing is the gun does not reliably shoot Winchester primers..........Federals go bang every time.

 

 

 

Sgt H :FlagAm:

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Plus one to Manatee. For some reason (Physics) 4th & 5th generation SS kits don't seem to run as well in large bore guns as 3rd generation kits do. C & I doesn't have their 3rd Gen anymore. Best bet there is "The Ottaway Smith, AKA: Ron Snover @ IXL Enterprises or Pioneer Gunworks "Standard" Kits. .38s run very well on Super Short Stroke.

 

Probably the most important change just to make the gun last longer is to change the lever side springs. I happen to like Slixsprings. Work a treat.

 

Coffinmaker

 

I agree all the way as Manatee said too.

 

Definitely get a lighter lever spring or you WILL wear the lever and that can be expensive to replace or possibly repair.

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I just got a 66 in 44-40 and put in the springs from The Smith Shop........WOW how slick is this gun now.I am not sure if I am going to short stroke the rifle.But those few changes made a tremendous difference.The only thing is the gun does not reliably shoot Winchester primers..........Federals go bang every time.

 

Howdy

 

If you add an action job to remove the extra friction that Uberti leaves in the gun, then it will fire Winchester primers reliably all the time too.

 

If you change springs, without also doing an action job, you are only addressing part of the issue.

 

I am inserting a link here to a thread from just a few days ago.

 

Scroll down towards the bottom where I have posted a long, boring answer. I state the logic behind reduced springs and action jobs, and why replacing springs without also removing as much friction as possible from the action is only half of the job.

 

 

link

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I shoot the 73 in 44WCF with BP. I had Cody do my work because he uses the original parts and does a great job with the brass carrier. The carrier on most speed conversations is made of aluminum and for me does not feel as smooth as the work by Cody. Add a leather butt pad and lever wrap along with the .130 front sight and flat rear as has been posted above and you are ready to go. Don't be taken by some one telling you that you need a super short lever kit, Cody's rifles have won more than once.

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