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War Grizzly

Uberti 1873 38-40 short throat/ freebore

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This is a follow-up post to a post I put up about a year ago. The initial problem was this rifle would not chamber a round without the rifling cutting into the bullet. I took pictures of this for the original post and it's on the wire somewhere. 

 

I popped the barrel off for a closer inspection. Incidentally this barrel came off harder than expected and I had to pull some tricks out that I've never had to employ before even on old Mausers. The chamber is cut from the factory with no freebore. 

 

My remedy was to run a ptg combination reamer in to give some freebore. This particular reamer is made for both rifle and revolver chambers. I chose to run the reamer in by hand for a host of reasons that boil down to not wanting to waste time on the lathe when this rifle will be used for cowboy.

 

Pictures are before and almost after (I have about .010" to go in the after picture.) Rounds chamber without resistance now. If the stars align I'll get this put back together and shoot it this afternoon.

IMG_20190316_233259624.jpg

IMG_20190317_002005181.jpg

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For some reason, this has been a pretty common problem with rifles chambered in 38WCF.  You performed the correct fix.

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Grizzly - Much Thanks for your post, informative and always nice to read posts on the Wire that are educational instead of WTC's and match schedules.  Have to add - excellent bore scope pictures ... really shows the issue and the final results which probability 99.99% of 38-40 owners have never seen nor the tools to see

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20 hours ago, Jailhouse Jim, SASS #13104 said:

For some reason, this has been a pretty common problem with rifles chambered in 38WCF.  You performed the correct fix.

 

Yes, I had to have this done on about a half dozen '73's in 38-40 Win.

I talk to Cimarron & Uberti years back & was told it was O.K. .

It is as long as you use bullets that follow the original profile. (not the very common "Magma" style bullet)

 

 

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Grizz,

this was brought up quite  a few years ago. When I went to the dark side, I went to 38-40 from 44-40.  That was about 04-05, it took abut 6-8 months to find out what the problem was and correct it. I started out with 1, now I've got 4. After that 2nd one , whenever I got a new one (38-40), I just pulled the bbl and reamed it. I was using Big-Lube bullets. At first I was casting them ,,, which I don't like casting. If I can buy the bullet I like ,, I'll buy it. That's the only part about shooting I don't like. I don't know why Uberti short chambers their 38-40's. I've heard of other people trimming their brass, putting the bullets in deeper, changing bullets  and a few other things, and all they'd have to do is to pop the bbl. and run a reamer through it. I thought Uberti would have fixed that problem by now. I guess not.

Oh well,

Isom

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6 hours ago, Earl Brasse, SASS #3562 said:

It is as long as you use bullets that follow the original profile. (not the very common "Magma" style bullet)

This,

 

2 hours ago, Isom Dart, SASS#8096 said:

At first I was casting them ,,, which I don't like casting. If I can buy the bullet I like ,, I'll buy it.

and this is precisely why I went for recutting the throat. I gave away most of my casting equipment a few years ago to a new shooter that was way more excited by the process than I.

6 hours ago, John Boy said:

Much Thanks for your post, informative and always nice to read posts on the Wire that are educational instead 

Thanks, I feel ya. I love all things SASS but love shooting and tunning guns more than rule clarifications. Something for everybody. 

I did get a chance yesterday to shoot this rifle. It was snowing and raining so nothing scientific as to accuracy. Rounds chambered without resistance, rifle functioned smooth and rang steel.

Now I'm ordering more bullets. 

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There is no SAMMI spec for the 38-40....I have 8 of them and chamber casts prove the chambers are all over the place......Recently ordered 2000 bullets and the vendor sent me coated bullets by accident (pretty red!)....I kept them but they only chamber easily in two of my rifles. All the other you need to close the action tightly as the bullets impact the rifling. On the 1866s it feels like the action is closed, you pull the trigger, and it fires out of battery....Ouch!

 

I had a reamer cut by Manson Reamers to the most common dimensions, but it still has a problem with these coated bullets.

 

I have a few Uberti rifles and all have different throat dimensions. Uberti obviously uses different reamer dimensions at different times.

 

But all in all, the 38-40 is a fantastic cartridge for CAS. Low recoil with 180g bullets, just about zero blowback into the action with smokeless or black powder. Because of a bottlemeck configuration they feed great in a 66/73 and a 92....

 

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War Grizzly, That's why I had mine all cut.  I was casting & shooting original Lyman bullet & it worked great.  Then tried APP since I could shoot up about 10K of magma style hard cast I got into right.  Worked great after recutting.  Now I'm looking at casting again as I'd rather shoot BP. But... at least I have bullet options now.

Looks like you did a great job & are going to get to the good part (the shooting) & making the "dings" happen.

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Posted (edited)

Yes, poor standards from SAAMI for the chamber dimensions in the WCF cartridges are the root of the problem.  A common solution for what the OP found is to load Truncated Cone bullets rather than round nose or RNFP bullets, and seat so the nose cone starts right at the mouth of the case.  This lets the taper of the nose fit in a chamber that is cut without a forcing cone or leade.

 

Proper sizing of the selected bullet diameter to the groove diameter of the barrel then can fix the problem of hard chambering when the neck is cut tight.  When neck are of chamber is cut TOO SMALL (and not compatible with the barrel groove diameter), as a few manufacturers often do, then recutting the chamber's neck area is needed (chambering finish reamer). 

 

And especially with Ruger production, you can find the throat of the revolver cylinders cut way too small - which does not hurt chambering rounds, but it can play Hobbs with accuracy.  This is solved with a throating reamer run through all the chambers of the cylinder.

 

With these sloppy standards, each gun then becomes an adventure to figure out exactly what part is "too tight" and what is the effective way to correct that problem.   With a WCF cartridge that is causing tight fit problems, a chamber cast and groove slugging are often the very first steps one should take, to make sure you are fixing the right part of the chamber and throat that will cure the real problem.

 

Good luck, GJ

 

 

 

 

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708

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