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Problems wth Cimarron copy 1873 Carbine


Sixgun Symphony #62632

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I could not hit a six inch circle at 100yds. Most of my shots were either a foot high or a foot low. I am wondering if going to click adjustable peep sights might fix the problem because the factory fixed ladder sights only graduate from 100yd to 900yds.

 

I have been using 35gr compressed Pyrodex P with the 200gr cast Lyman 42766 bullet lubed with Lyman black powder gold.

 

It's frustrating, especially when I seen a youtube video of another fellow knocking down steel plates at 300 yards with a .44-40 rifle.

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Have you slugged the barrel to determine which size bullet is best for the piece? Cimarron/Uberti's usually are .429 grooves. My Cimarron 73/44WCF slugs .428".

 

If your Rifle is like most new 73 Clones it will like a .429"-.430" size and you must use Winchester brass. Winchester has the thin neck that is required for the large bullet.

 

You will find a tang sight to be of great advantage.

 

All 73/44WCF's are not created equal. ;)/>

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Your shoot'n a .44-40 correct? That's what that mould is for.

What's the alloy in those case bullets?

What dia. are your bullets?

Are you doing anything to control fouling while shooting groups?

Have someone else try it?

LG

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And, if you have not cleaned all the smokeless fouling, oil and residue out of the barrel before shooting those rounds, now you have probably been building up some hard fouling since you are shooting BP substitute powder. Pyrodex is horrible at doing that.

 

Say, SS, didn't we go through this before with you, about a year ago?

 

Anyway, Pyrodex sometimes does not give great accuracy. Try real black, or APP, or 777 before you cuss the gun.

 

Your slugs need to be soft alloy and same size or one-thousandth larger than groove diameter on your gun.

 

The factory sights are capable of holding within 3 inches at 100 yards with no problem, if you know how to use open sights. You can put a tang mounted peep sight on, but I'd do that later, after you figure out your accuracy problem. Fiddle with one thing at a time!

 

Anyway, shooting BP for accuracy ALWAYS takes some fiddling. I've never had good accuracy with the Lyman black gold lube. I'd recommend you get some SPG lube (http://www.blackpowderspg.com/lube.html), or perhaps some Pearl II lube from Dick Dastardly. Both work much better for me.

 

So, clean your barrel really well with hot soapy water, lube with Ballistol or Bore Butter or even your new BP lube on a patch, and go shoot again.

 

Pyrodex is such a horrible powder, both for smell and the corrosion that quickly follows after you shoot it, and the fouling it leaves, that you will not be happy with it after you try any other substitute, or better yet, the real BP such as Kik or Schutzen or Swiss or Diamondback or Goex.

 

Good luck, GJ

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It's frustrating, especially when I seen a youtube video of another fellow knocking down steel plates at 300 yards with a .44-40 rifle.

 

You don''t think someone would post a U-Boob video of themselves shooting poorly, do you? He's probably been workin up that load for a year.

 

:lol:/>

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Have you slugged the barrel to determine which size bullet is best for the piece? Cimarron/Uberti's usually are .429 grooves. My Cimarron 73/44WCF slugs .428".

 

If your Rifle is like most new 73 Clones it will like a .429"-.430" size and you must use Winchester brass. Winchester has the thin neck that is required for the large bullet.

 

You will find a tang sight to be of great advantage.

 

All 73/44WCF's are not created equal. ;)/>/>

 

 

Try another powder.

 

+1

 

My '66 and '73 work best with .428 200 grain big lube slugs in front of 31/32 grains fffg in Starline cases

 

Fingers (Show Me MO smoke) McGee

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Have you slugged the barrel to determine which size bullet is best for the piece? Cimarron/Uberti's usually are .429 grooves. My Cimarron 73/44WCF slugs .428".

 

If your Rifle is like most new 73 Clones it will like a .429"-.430" size and you must use Winchester brass. Winchester has the thin neck that is required for the large bullet.

 

You will find a tang sight to be of great advantage.

 

All 73/44WCF's are not created equal. ;)/>/>

Ditto......429 for most Uberti's, and some real BP. FWIW I can't hit anything consistant at 100yd without a scope :o Good Luck :)

 

 

Jefro :ph34r: Relax-Enjoy

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The only other variable that I think has not been mentioned (all the above should be checked of course)is the crimp.

 

Crimp the blazes out of them!

 

I know that the long range big cartridge sharpshooters use paper patched bullets with little or no crimp on the case, but I don't think that is going to be a good idea for a pistol cartridge repeating lever gun. A heavy crimp promotes consistent and thorough burning of the powder in these guns and prevents bullet drift in the case due to recoil.

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The only other variable that I think has not been mentioned (all the above should be checked of course)is the crimp.

 

Crimp the blazes out of them!

 

I know that the long range big cartridge sharpshooters use paper patched bullets with little or no crimp on the case, but I don't think that is going to be a good idea for a pistol cartridge repeating lever gun. A heavy crimp promotes consistent and thorough burning of the powder in these guns and prevents bullet drift in the case due to recoil.

 

My best Long Range 44WCF load is crimped twice, roll then a LeeFCD. And it likes the heavy bullet, not the 200 grainer. More bullet on the rifling = greater accuracy.

 

Good luck,

 

LD

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My best Long Range 44WCF load is crimped twice, roll then a LeeFCD. And it likes the heavy bullet, not the 200 grainer. More bullet on the rifling = greater accuracy.

 

Good luck,

 

LD

 

 

Great minds... :lol:

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I'd suggest chronographing your loads. The suggestions put forth by everyone here regarding loading procedures are good, but you'd have to have some SERIOUS velocity deviation for a 24" vertical span in your points of impact at 100 yds.

If you don't have a chronograph, start by first checking your sights. Blacken your front sight with a match or lighter and try it again. A glare on a front sight will make bullets go all sorts of crazy places. Glare on the top of the sight will cause your point of impact to go high, on the left sight of the sight to the left, and so on. If you have one of those enormous brass beads on your front sight, lose it, except for up-close, fast shooting and get yourself an ordinary flat top blade (Patridge) front sight. Depending on your age, the problem could also lie in the fact that older eyes don't do well with open rear sights. If this were the problem it could easily be remedied with some sort of aperture rear sight.

If that's not it, try firing the rifle with the forearm and magazine removed. Anything that interferes with the harmonics of the barrel such as an ill-fitted magazine or a forearm touching the barrel, will affect accuracy.

 

Good luck,

CHT

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Not finding a good reference picture of your bullet mold. It most likely has pretty small amount of lube on it. A Big Lube mold that will carry a lot of lube is what most of us would be tempted to try out. The 200 grain bullets will typically shoot well from a 73 clone. That is what I use, but I shoot a .429 sized soft lead slug with lots of lube.

 

If you discover hard fouling right near the muzzle and no indication of lube blowing off the slug at the muzzle to create a "lube star" (deposit of gre3asy lube on the muzzle crown), you are running out of lube. This lack of lube and the build up of fouling creates havoc with accuracy. You can fight it with a bullet that carries lots of lube, or lube cookies (felt wads saturated in lube), or regular cleaning of the bore with patches soaked in soapy water or other BP fouling cleaning solution while at the range, maybe between strings of 10 or so shots.

 

Here's one typical solution - the 44 Mav-Dutchman slug, one caster who makes them is Springfield Slim - see http://hstrial-mwhyte2.homestead.com/BigLube.html

 

 

Good luck, GJ

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I am shooting from a bench and could not even get on paper at 100yds.

 

Thanks for the replies and yes it's been about a year when I last had problems. I will try the suggestions here. I hope I don't have to use .429 bullets because they will not chamber in my revolvers. I got the '73 Winchester clone to match my Frontier Six Shooters and Sheriff's Model revolvers and they only accept .427 bullets.

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As folks have discussed in previous replies to this thread and other threads recently about 44-40, sometimes a shooter does have 44-40 guns with both 427 and 429 groove diameters. Then, they have a real experiment on their hands. The first and usually the quickest way to solve the dual-groove diameter problem is to shoot a real soft lead bullet. Nothing more than a 1:20 tin:lead alloy. Definitely not the commercial cast "hard" bullets, and not even wheelweight or range lead home cast. They just don't bump up to fill the large barrel, ESPECIALLY at the low pressures that BP and subs generate. And with BP or pyrodex, you have to be using a good BP compatible lube, and Lyman's product is not one that I would use. For highest pressure generation, you could go to a case full of 777, but use ONLY the FFg granulation, not the triple-F, which is not recommended for use in cartridge guns! And, no significant compression of 777 - load just to base of bullet.

 

 

As we have lamented before, it is a sad situation that the standards for 44-40 have been very loose through the 140+ years of the cartridge's life. I guess no one used to think of it as a target cartridge. Now, when we try to push it to that, we find it does have a few limits that can be conquered with the right amount of engineering and tuning.

 

Another solution that some folks to try, would be to have your rifle barrel relined with a tighter liner, bored out to only 427 groove diameter. But, most folks don't want to spend that $300, so they tinker with bullet hardness and let chamber pressure force-fit the bullet to the barrel.

 

 

Good luck, GJ

 

 

Oh, and no, you probably don't have "velocity variation problems" as another poster suggested. This really sounds like fouling and bullet fit problems. Especially if this carbine has shot well for you with this bullet and smokeless powder in the past. You can run a chrono on your loads, but rarely does that tell you anything except when you have a really crummy load because you are trying something way outside the range of normal, published data. You are not in that regime. And the suggestion to shoot this carbine after removing the magazine tube and forearm has a low chance of telling you anything useful, as well.

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Colt Frontier Six Shooters will chamber .429" sized bullets with Winchester brass. I have proved this on more than one occasion. My own Colt 44WCF's will chamber .430" size.

 

One must have the proper dies(RCBS Cowboy) and brass.

 

If you are using Lee dies, they are your chambering issues.I have also proved this to others.Lee dies in 38WCF &44WCF are made for jacketed bullet reloading. I use some Lee dies, not in 44WCF.

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Yes, Lefty Dude. The 44-40 44WCF cartridge does benefit greatly from using top quality dies, and RCBS Cowboy dies are my choice for this cartridge (because a large diameter (429-430) expander button is included). For a final crimp/profiling die, I find the kinda expensive but very accurate Redding profile crimp die to be very useful in making sure the neck will fit every chamber, too.

 

Good luck, GJ

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As folks have discussed in previous replies to this thread and other threads recently about 44-40, sometimes a shooter does have 44-40 guns with both 427 and 429 groove diameters. Then, they have a real experiment on their hands. The first and usually the quickest way to solve the dual-groove diameter problem is to shoot a real soft lead bullet. Nothing more than a 1:20 tin:lead alloy. Definitely not the commercial cast "hard" bullets, and not even wheelweight or range lead home cast. They just don't bump up to fill the large barrel, ESPECIALLY at the low pressures that BP and subs generate. And with BP or pyrodex, you have to be using a good BP compatible lube, and Lyman's product is not one that I would use. For highest pressure generation, you cold go to a case full of 777, but use ONLY the FFg granulation, not the triple-F, which is not recommended for use in cartridge guns! And, no significant compression of 777 - load just to base of bullet.

 

 

As we have lamented before, it is a sad situation that the standards for 44-40 have been very loose of the years. I guess no one used to think of it as a target cartridge. Now, when we try to push it to that, we find it does have a few limits that can be conquered with the right amount of engineering and tuning.

 

Another solution that some folks to try, would be to have your rifle barrel relined, and bored out to 427 groove diameter. But, most folks don't want to spend that $300, so they tinker with bullet hardness and let chamber pressure force-fit the bullet to the barrel.

 

 

Good luck, GJ

 

 

Oh, and no, you probably don't have "velocity variation problems" as another poster suggested. This really sounds like fouling and bullet fit problems. Especially if this carbine has shot well for you with this bullet and smokeless powder in the past. You can run a chrono on your loads, but rarely does that tell you anything except when you have a really crummy load because you are trying something way outside the range of normal, published data. You are not in that regime. And the suggestion to shoot this carbine after removing the magazine tube and forearm has a low chance of telling you anything useful, as well.

 

Actually I didn't suggest velocity variation problems, rather I was referring to the posts that suggested his problems might be with the way the cartridges are crimped; how much or how little they're crimped. Handloaders (with chronographs) long ago established the fact that the amount of crimp applied affects the velocity of a bullet, so any discussion of crimps would, either directly or indirectly, refer to velocity variations. My point was there'd have to be a substantial amount of velocity variation for his loads to impact 12" above AND 12" below point of aim, AND that I think a variation of this magnitude is unlikely. Be that as it may, a simple way to eliminate this possibility would be to chronograph a sample of the loads in question noting their standard deviations and extreme velocity spreads. Scoff at the use of a chronograph if you wish, but load development for anything but very light loads where accuracy is not a concern really benefits from the use of a chronograph.

 

If I am understanding correctly, there may be a difference in the groove diameter of the rifle's barrel and the cylinder throat diameters with the cylinder throat diameters running relatively small at .427". I'm no gunsmith but it seems it would make more sense to open the cylinder throats to .429" than to reline the barrel. Cylinder throats a thousandth or two larger than the groove diameter of the pistols barrel is not a bad thing at all and this would allow ue of .429" in both the rifle and the pistols. I think opening cylinder throats is a fairly simple process and even purchasing the necesary reamer would be less expensive than lining the barrel. The Cylindersmith does this for around $30 per cylinder, but I'm not sure he does all calibers, so check with him. He also has a section on his page that explains the benefits of opening cylinder throats.

 

Have you fired the rifle at short range? Grouping it at 25 yds. will tell you alot about what's going on. If it groups 6" @ 25 yds. you can pretty much eliminate shooter error and proceed with load and rifle diagnosis. If however your groups are small at say 25 yds. but disproportionately large at 100, you probably need to look at shooting technique or sights. Shooting a 6" circle at 100 yds. is worlds away from shooting a 16" circle at 25 yds. simply because there are so many more elements to be factored in such as sight picture, cheek weld, trigger pull, breathing, etc.

 

Please keep us posted as this is a very interesting thread

 

CHT

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I'm no gunsmith but it seems it would make more sense to open the cylinder throats to .429" than to reline the barrel.

 

 

Yes, that is the conventional way to bring all the guns to being able to use the same ammo. And, usually it is found that the neck area of the chamber is tight, too. (That would explain the OPs complaint that he cannot get ammo loaded with .429 slugs to fit in the cylinders of the revolvers). But, since the OP owns Colts, sometimes an owner gets a little scared of fixing two $1500 pistols, and would rather consider fixing the $1000 rifle, even if the work is a little more expensive.

laugh.gif/>

 

Myself, I'd ream out the revolvers in a split second, rather than continue to fight the problems. But, guns are tools to me, not collector's items.

 

Good luck, GJ

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Yes, that is the conventional way to bring all the guns to being able to use the same ammo. And, usually it is found that the neck area of the chamber is tight, too. (That would explain the OPs complaint that he cannot get ammo loaded with .429 slugs to fit in the cylinders of the revolvers). But, since the OP owns Colts, sometimes an owner gets a little scared of fixing two $1500 pistols, and would rather consider fixing the $1000 rifle, even if the work is a little more expensive.

laugh.gif/>

 

Myself, I'd ream out the revolvers in a split second, rather than continue to fight the problems. But, guns are tools to me, not collector's items.

 

Good luck, GJ

 

You and me both!! You hit the nail on the head; guns, for all their fun and beauty, are tools. That being said however, I certainly respect a mans choice of what he does or doesn't do with his equipment.

I read an article by Brian Pearce in Handloader recently that addressed the issue of undersized cylinder mouths and he stated that certain generations of Colt's were produced with typically underized cylinder throats. Dave Scovill, the magazines editor, has written the same thing.

 

I shoot .44 Special's; two Uberti SA's and an 1873 Carbine. My bullets, sized .430" will just fall through the cylinder mouths of both pistols and while I haven't slugged the barrels yet, I suspect they're .429". My rifle slugs at .428", so I size all my bullets .430" and they work in all three just fine. I haven't done much shooting yet past 50 yds. with the carbine, but it groups 170 gr RNFP's and 250 gr. SWC's well under 2" at that distance.

 

CHT

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I have been using the RCBS cowboy dies for my .44-40 handloads. I will buy a LEE factory crimp die and I hope that will fix the problem. If it don't then I will take the guns down to the smith to check the bore. If it's .429 then I am thinking that my cast bullets (Lyman 427666) should have bumped up the .002 difference. I will have to really consider changing my Colts to .429 if it does, though I am tempted to try heavier bullets. I am only finding 200 grain bullet designs available in .427.

.

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I have a cimmeron 73 in 32/20 for the past 12 years and the accuracy is very good, using a lyman tang sight, only problem has been an extractor after 5 years of heavy use.

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I have a cimmeron 73 in 32/20 for the past 12 years and the accuracy is very good, using a lyman tang sight, only problem has been an extractor after 5 years of heavy use.

 

I do wonder if click adjustable sights would be the only fix it needs.

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Ok, this is a shot in the dark :)

But my Marlin trapper was shooting all over the place and could not figure it out regardless of load.

Had the late Bob Shaw (RIP) take a look-see.

It seems the muzzle was not crowned square.

He recut and trued it square and .... Whamo. Problem solved!

Dang I miss his ability to figure out gun bugs.

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The 200 grain bullet is the conventional cast weight for a 44-40. That's why the molds are available in that weight. A few 180 molds are around, too, but you seem to be wanting to go the other way. Not to say a 44-40 won't shoot a heavier bullet, but I don't find a need to use more than a 200 grainer for the CAS shooting I do, including long range pistol caliber side matches.

 

An adjustable sight does not give you more accuracy automatically, just makes for easier adjustment to move the center of the group to the center of the target (making point of impact match point of aim). Have someone with some open sight experience shoot your gun at 50 or 100 yards. If they can make it group well, then you are not doing your part with the sights or trigger. Some folks never really master an open sight, as it takes keen alignment both vertically and horizontally between front and rear sight, then alignment of that "good sight picture" onto the target, and holding well as you squeeze the trigger. But, an experienced rifleman can tell in five or ten shots what that load is capable of doing.

 

It is possible, especially if you have older eyes or a vision problem, that you can hold a peep rear sight picture much better than you can an open rear sight. But, you're talking $100 for a good tang sight (Marbles or better) and $50 to have the upper tang drilled and tapped and the sight mounted. See how much cheaper it would be just to talk a pard into shooting your rifle? You could have $150 to put into your pocket.

 

A hint - it's almost never the sights' fault.

 

Good luck, GJ

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