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Seamus McGillicuddy

.44-40 Uberti Winchester 1873 Bore Size

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I understand that Uberti .44-40 rifles currently have .429 bores but that at “some time” in the past they were .427.  Does anyone know this change occurred?  According to the export mark my 73 was made in 2000 and I am trying to determine which bullet will fit best. 

I am also trying to avoid having to slug the bore.  

Thanks for any input.

 

Seamus

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That "should" be .429.  Folks will tell you to slug to be sure, but there it is.

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Posted (edited)

Howdy

 

My 44-40 Uberti 1873 was made in 1988. Its groove diameter is .427.

 

My 44-40 Uberti Henry was made in 2007. Its groove diameter is .429.

 

I don't know why you are trying to avoid slugging the bore, it is the best way to determine exactly what you have. Slugging a bore is not difficult. I would be glad to post my method for slugging a bore.

Edited by Driftwood Johnson, SASS #38283

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9 hours ago, Driftwood Johnson, SASS #38283 said:

Howdy

 

I don't know why you are trying to avoid slugging the bore, it is the best way to determine exactly what you have. Slugging a bore is not difficult. I would be glad to post my method for slugging a bore.

Not trying to hyjack this thread but yes, please do post your method of slugging!  I have hesitated to slug mine also.

 

jim

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Msgtarmor said:

Not trying to hyjack this thread but yes, please do post your method of slugging!  I have hesitated to slug mine also.

 

jim

Use a .440 round ball if you suspect a .430 or .429 bore ,pound it in the muzzle with a hammer, no...dont hit the muzzle...lol........then drive it home with a wood dowel or an aluminum cleaning rod being careful not to damage the muzzle or any other part of the rifle. 

If you think it is a .427 bore, use a .429 bullet

Edited by Savvy Jack

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Don't slug a barrel with a hard alloy bullet.  Pure soft lead (muzzleloader balls) or a lead fishing sinker upsets so much better.  Watch out for zinc sinkers (can be labeled non-toxic) - they don't work well.

 

Good luck, GJ

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Howdy again

 

Here is my handy dandy method of slugging a barrel.

 

Slugging a Barrel

There are lots of ways to slug a barrel. Here's how I do it.

First off you need to come up with a slug. I have used all sorts of things to slug barrels. Ideally, your slug should be just a few thousandths larger in diameter than the grooves you are slugging. If it is too big, you spend a lot of effort driving it into the muzzle in the first place. I have used soft cast bullets, hard cast bullets, soft lead round balls, whatever I have laying around that is just a tad larger than the bore I am trying to measure. I have even taken a 44 caliber soft lead round ball and hammered it down to a rough bullet shape in order to slug a 30 caliber rifle. Some folks also use lead fishing sinkers, if you can still buy them where you live.

When I slug a rifle I lay the gun down on a soft towel on my bench. Or else I support it in a felt lined rifle rack. I do not jam it in place so it does not move. I allow it to slide slightly with each hammer blow, hence the soft towel or felt to protect the finish. I used to slug bores completely dry, but lately I have taken to running a patch dampened with Ballistol down the bore. You don't have to soak the bore. Frankly, I don't think it makes much difference if the bore is lubricated or not, I've done it both ways and don't really see much difference.

Whenever possible, I will slug a bore from the chamber end. However with revolvers and most lever guns it can only be done from the muzzle end. I start with a short rod, only around 8 or 10 inches long. It is much easier to control a short rod when you are whacking it than trying to whack the end of a 3 foot long rod while still trying to hold onto the gun. I grasp the muzzle in my left hand, and jam the slug into the muzzle so it holds still. I also hold the rod in place with my left hand, leaving my right hand free to use the hammer. I place the end of the short rod on the center of the slug to get it started, grasping both the muzzle and the rod in my fist. I like to use brass rods. Some prefer wood, but I find wood splinters and shatters. I start with a brass rod about 10 inches long. I have a few lengths. 5/16" diameter brass will work for everything from 38 (.357) on up to 45.

Most any hammer will do, I have a nice 8 ounce ball peen hammer that works well.

The key here is to not hit the muzzle with your hammer. I start with the short rod. Getting the slug completely into the bore is the hardest part. Once it gets into the bore, it moves more easily. Don't be scared, I have never gotten a slug stuck in a barrel. Just be careful. I change the short rod to a longer rod long before my hammer gets anywhere near the muzzle so I don't risk striking the barrel. I change over to a 3 foot rod to run the slug all the way out the bore of a rifle. I keep a soft cloth by the chamber, so the slug will fall out onto the cloth without marring it.

With a revolver I stand the gun up with the barrel horizontal and the butt resting on the towel on the bench. The procedure is the same. I grasp the muzzle and the rod with my left hand, I jam the slug into the bore, and I control the rod with my left fist. The right hand is for the hammer. A 12 inch long 5/16" rod usually works for all my revolvers.

A few facts about slugging a barrel. The slug only measures the narrowest diameter of the rifling. If there is excessive wear near the chamber, like with some old rifles, the slug will slide along easily through the worn part, it has already taken the shape of the narrowest part of the bore. With a new gun, this should not be a concern. However with an old gun, it can give you a feel for if there is wear in the bore.

The slug must completely fill the rifling grooves. If the slug did not completely fill the grooves, any measurement you take off of it is meaningless. When your slug emerges, look for lengthwise drag marks on it. You should see these marks on both the low spots on the slug, corresponding to the lands of the rifling, and the high spots, corresponding to the grooves. If you don't have drag marks on the high spots, you may not have completely filled the rifling grooves, and any measurements taken from the slug are not as useful.

I hear a lot of guys say you have to measure a slug with a micrometer so you can measure it right down to the .0001 level. Frankly, I think a standard caliper is fine for measuring a slug. Measuring down to .001 is fine, particularly on a dial caliper, where you can interpolate what the dial is telling you between the tick marks. A digital caliper will round off to the nearest .0005, so you may not get as accurate a measurement. But using a micrometer that measures down to .0001 on a soft lead slug is overkill, in This Cowboy's Humble Opinion. Just the act of closing the tool on the slug will deform the lead a couple of tenths, killing the usefulness of the accuracy of the micrometer.

Obviously, you want to measure across the high spots of the slug, to get your groove depth diameter. This is simple if the rifling has an even number of grooves, so that you are measuring across the diameter of the slug. Some barrels though, like many S&W revolvers have 5 grooves. It is very difficult to get an accurate measurement on a slug run through a barrel with an odd number of grooves with a caliper or a micrometer. If you try to add the depth of one side of the rifling, there will usually be some error involved. It ain't impossible, but it is tough.

Slugging a bore is really very simple, I have made it sound complicated. It usually only takes me about 5 minutes to set up to slug a bore, and about 5 minutes to run the slug all the way through. The key is finding a suitable slug just a little bit oversized, and don't whack the muzzle!

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Thanks for the input. Driftwood especially always provides good info, and even stays up late waiting for us Left Coasters to ask questions!  I can slug the barrel if necessary but am still hoping that someone will have information about just when Uberti made the change to .429.

 

Seamus.  

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I have an Uberti 73 that I bought in 2001 or 2002. It slugged .429. Like Driftwood I load .428 bullets with good accuracy and no leading.

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I've for 44-40 guns with 427 429 and 430 barrels.

I shoot 427 in all of them with no issues for CAS

and 427 is easiest to load in the case

YMMV

 

 

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