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1866 CCH Chaparral


Red Cent

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First I am aware of the bad rep.

But the 1866 a new friend and a new shooter dropped off the other day is really neat. Picking up the Chap and shouldering the rifle makes one think the rifle had been put on a diet. Slim fore end, slim receiver, noticeably lighter, and it just feels good. Seems to have a 20# mainspring but that can be fixed. I really am enamored by this rifle. 'Course, I have not fired it or run a number of rounds through the rifle. I have four 73s and three of them have the original Cody Conagher-Lone Dude short strokes so I can attest of how slick a good rifle can run. And I have 97s by Lone Dude and I shoot three screws that was owned by Cody, sold to Dude, and then I bought them. You ain't seen slick when you handle these little Rugers.

 

I would like to hear the specifics about the problems with this rifle. Please inform me.

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Where do you get parts if it breaks?

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They had very poor or non-existent QC and most were junk out of the box.. If you got replacement parts under warranty the replacement parts frequently fit worse than the originals. There are no replacement parts now. None of the after market go fast parts (short strokes, etc.) fit. As you have already found out the Chapparal receiver was not brass. They were blued or CCH steel. There will always be a few posters that say their's is the slickest thing since sliced bread. Then there is everyone else that hates them. Take your choice of advice.

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I worked on a lot of them before I and others actually gave up on them. Head space was often off somewhere east of San Francisco with the fit of the Breach Block very sloppy in the frame. Often, the links were of a different length side to side and the Breach Block would bind. The

firing pin assembly was seldom aligned with the bore in the rear of the frame causing binding. the cartridge support tab at the bottom of the Breach Block was often ... not there when new or broken within a few rounds. The replacement parts from Chaparral were worse than the parts that needed replacing, then there were no parts. I have gotten two of them to actually run well. Only one is still in service.

Maybe your luck will be different, but mostly Chaparral guns were a black hole into which you poured money.

Good Luck

 

Coffinmaker

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Hey, I have no thoughts of "tuning" this thing. Probably will weaken the main spring. The "feel" of this rifle is very nice and it is a shame it cannot be "fixed".

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Anything can be fixed if you throw enough time and money at it. :wacko:

+1. Some original style Winchester parts will work after some stone work. They will never be a go fast gun but I have been using a '73 in 38WCF that has been dead reliable for 6 or 7 years.

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(No real need to come on the Wire and try to justify something a pard already bought, from lack of good advice.... :lol:)

 

Is it enough of a shame that you want to try to solve problems a bankrupt company could not solve? Now that is an engineering challenge!

 

You can either plow on, on your own course, or take advice of some of the best gunsmiths in SASS.....

 

With two fine 73 gun makers out there, I wouldn't have time to troubleshoot and fix a generally lousy gun. I'd just grab a Miroku or Uberti and sail away happy.

 

Good luck, GJ

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The rifle was used very little. Little wear on the toggles or other parts. Lot of slop in the action but cycled relatively smooth. Worked on the hammer spring and it really smooth and lightened stuff up. I cycled 10 rounds through it and it did good.

New shooter stopped by and I showed him the posts on the thread. He is a retired LEO and he said I'll put over the fire place. :P

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Anything can be fixed if you throw enough time and money at it. :wacko:

Anything can be fixed if you throw enough time and money at it. :wacko:

Yep that about nails it...$$$ have been spent on a Chap '73..could've bought a nice Uberti for the same money..FYI it now runs with pioneer parts, it is 'Lady McGinty's rifle..took some time to get it ironed out with a good mate helping but hopefully it will do the job.

Would I buy another ...No !

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I have a Chaparral in 45 LC and my wife has one in 38 special. When we first bought them we gave them to Jimmy Speer's and he did his magic on them to the best he could. He said the 38 really gave him fits to work on. He smoothe them up the best he could now that was almost 9 years ago and they are still running. I have had to really take care of them but we have worked them on the range and my 45 is used both in cowboy and wild bunch. So it has seen thousands of rounds so has the 38 just not quiet as many as the 45. The only part we have changed is the magazine to a stainless steel. Other than that I tried to go to a light weight carrier but that did not work. But we are still shooting these two rifles since 2006.

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I have a Chaparral in 45 LC and my wife has one in 38 special. When we first bought them we gave them to Jimmy Speer's and he did his magic on them to the best he could. He said the 38 really gave him fits to work on. He smoothe them up the best he could now that was almost 9 years ago and they are still running. I have had to really take care of them but we have worked them on the range and my 45 is used both in cowboy and wild bunch. So it has seen thousands of rounds so has the 38 just not quiet as many as the 45. The only part we have changed is the magazine to a stainless steel. Other than that I tried to go to a light weight carrier but that did not work. But we are still shooting these two rifles since 2006.

Not suprised at that. Jimmy can make a farmers jack feel like a precision tool. His talent and innovation is amazing.

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I had a seasoned well known Wild Bunch Shooter and gun dealer, very happy to sell, The new Cowboy Shooter (me) a used 1866 Steel Frame Chaparrel Rifle. It was a beautiful rifle to look at ;) firing pin broke almost immediately! Getting a new one was a nightmare! When trying to get it fixed, is when I learned they're junk, not be reliable and no parts available :wacko:

Lost Money on that Deal :wacko:

Regards,

Ringer

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I don't know about that 75% Nate. When I was working on em, ASMs were a mess. With Richards Conversions, one in seven would work.

Not necessarily work well, just work. I never ran into a Chaparral rifle that was OK. They ALL needed work just to make em work right.

Spare parts was a nightmare in it's own right.

The real sad part, their SAA reproductions were really really close to the original.

 

Coffinmaker

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It was before my time in CAS, but I heard the early ASM SAA's were very good. I do know a few people shooting the Chaparral rifles that have no problems, but they are not fast shooters. One person did tell me that on his Chaparral '73, it was binding until he loosened the sideplate screw. Tightening that screw was actually warping parts inward enough to cause problems.

 

Another bit of ASM history I just recently heard was that ASM was in Gardonne (sp?) with the other Italian manufacturers. They moved the factory to a place some distance away out in the country, presumably for financial reasons, but some of the experienced gunsmiths working for them did not want to leave the area where they lived and there was plenty of work for them, so they quit and ASM lost some of their good labor, leading to quality problems.

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The rifle was used very little. Little wear on the toggles or other parts. Lot of slop in the action but cycled relatively smooth. Worked on the hammer spring and it really smooth and lightened stuff up. I cycled 10 rounds through it and it did good.

New shooter stopped by and I showed him the posts on the thread. He is a retired LEO and he said I'll put over the fire place. :P

Take the firing pin out.

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