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1887 Jams?


H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619

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Recently, I picked up an original 1887 Winchester made in 1888. It's a really sweet gun, action is smooth as butter, and it looks almost new. I'd say 95%+ of the original finish is still there, marred only by a couple of minor scratches.

 

It loads and ejects a singly loaded shell no problem.

 

If I stick one in the chamber, push down the carrier and then drop one down, the action will close, fire, and cycle the next shell with no problem.

 

But, when I try to use the magazine, something odd happens. Sometimes when working the lever, the next shell does not pop out of the magzine into the action. I am fairly certain that this is due to me running the lever too softly, as when I remember to run it hard, the problem does not seem to reoccur.

 

The magazine seems to have space for 5 rounds in it, but while the first 4 go in smoothly, the 5th is a little harder to push in. No problem, I'll just stick 4 in the tube when I wanna use it.

 

But here's the real kicker, sometimes, after running the lever with shells in the magazine, the thing jams. By jams I mean, you lever a round into the chamber, and then the lever does not want to be thrown again. Doesn't matter if it the gun is cocked or fired, that lever is stuck, and it takes quite a bit of "oomph" to pull it open again.

 

Questions.

 

1. Has anyone else ever experienced this problem?

2. Could it simply be a symptom created by not working the lever with enough authority?

3. Could the action just need a REALLY careful cleaning? (I did do a basic cleaning when I first got it, but to be honest, the gun seemed fairly clean when I got it.)

4. Could it be something else I need to have looked at?

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Have your local gunsmith check the chambers to see if they are for 2 1/2 or 2 3/4 shells. I had an original that was chambered for the shorter shell and I had a smith run a reamer to lenghten the forcing cone and the chamber length. After that no problems. Good luck, Castalia

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Have your local gunsmith check the chambers to see if they are for 2 1/2 or 2 3/4 shells. I had an original that was chambered for the shorter shell and I had a smith run a reamer to lenghten the forcing cone and the chamber length. After that no problems. Good luck, Castalia

 

I will have that checked.

 

Based on the age of the gun, I am assuming 2-1/2" shells, and as such am running only 2-1/2" all brass ones in this gun.

 

Still, it can't hurt anything to check.

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The first thing I would do is pull the spring and follower out of the mag tube and make sure all three are clean. It almost sounds like the follower is getting hung up. when the action is closed the follower is in direct line with the carrier and pushes the next shell onto it. So there really isnt much to keep the shell from coming all the way out other then dirt or a week spring. Have you tried running it with plastic shells, I'd run some dummy rounds thru it and see if that helps. It could be the brass shell rims are a bit bigger or sharper on the egdes and catching on something.

 

Just a few ideas,

 

 

Good luck and best regards,

 

Chili

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My '87 was made in 1890. I had the chamber lengthened to 2-3/4" and a new golf-ball bead installed. I shoot APP (BP-sub)7/oz loads at around 1050 fps. The 28" barrel is muzzle heavy and keeps recoil to nothing.

My suggestions:

1. Magazine spring and follower: spring strength, rust in the mag tube, roughness on the follower

2. Check the carrier stop screws to make sure that they are undamaged

3. The 2-3/4" shell is limited by the chamber length not the feeding action.

4. The '87 was made to be handled robustly. Mine requires a pretty positive action to get the empties of the bolt face.

Spare parts are available at wisner.com and e-gunparts.com.

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