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John E.B. Rawton

Uberti ‘73 and Black Powder

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I’ve got the uberti ‘73 in .45 with an 18” barrel. I have not used it but maybe once or twice since picking it up. 

I was curious as to anyone’s opinion or advice when it comes to running black powder through it. 

I’ve been using black in my revolvers and have been able to relube the commercial bullets I bought. 

I do not think they’ll carry enough lube for 18”. How is the action going to 

react to the .45 rounds?

 

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The action will likely get a little sticky after a couple of stages, assuming you're using real black powder.

 

Put in less BP with a little corn meal or grits or lizard litter on top and then a dab of crisco followed by the bullet. That might get you through 5 stages.

 

Or you could spray the action with Ballistol or moose milk(50/50 Ballistol/Water), or Murphy's mix(33/33/33 Murphy's soap/Alchohol/Peroxide) every other stage and run a snake through the bore;  although with an 18" barrel you probably won't lose much accuracy, snake might not be needed.

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I would suggest a good crimp and have some balistol handy if it gets sticky. I shoot BP out of my 66 with a 24 inch barrel. But it is 44-40 and I do use bp lubed bullets. One way to find out.

 

 

Sgt H

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Many .45 LC rifle users experience blow black.  There have been some good suggestions offered.  Another thing you should consider is annealing your brass.  This will help seal you chamber a little better.

 

I picked-up a 73 in .44-40 and it runs very clean.

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A .45 Colt rifle running BP will drive most folks nuts with the amount of cleaning and lubing needed.  A .44-40 or .38-40 rifle runs BP extremely well.   You have been warned.

 

Good luck, GJ

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I clearanced my carrier several thousands on each side.  I don't have a measurement, but they're loose... and runs fine.  Annealing the brass, sticking to heavier (not less than 200gr) bullets, heavy crimp, and in my cases, just 28-30 grains of 2f, gets me thru a 6 stage day.  See if your supplier will provide unlubed bullets.  I actually prefer a cast bullet from a RCBS mold, #45-225-CAS, it carries plenty of lube for either of my 24-1/4" barrels, and my 18-1/2" simply loves it.  @1.575" oal, 10 fit with no issues.

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It's all about how you load your rounds. I run a light load in my 66 with 0 issues on a 6 stage day. I dont wipe it down or spray it at all during a match. I run 20 grains FFFg goex followed by a .455 dry wad from circle Y wads, a grease cookie thick enough to meet the base of a 200gr lead bullet. A good crimp and i'm all set. Yes it adds a little to loading your rounds but saves a ton of work in cleaning and keeping up during a match. I tried many different ways before ending with this method. Works great in my rifle and pistols. I use bullets that have smokeless lube on them but the grease cookie that I use is more than enough. 50/50 beeswax/lambs tallow. Crisco can substitute the lambs tallow. 60/40 mix for those really hot days. 

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I use Black Powder 45 Colt through a 66, 73 and a 92 without problems. I load the 250g Big lube bullet over 24g of GOEX 2F with corn meal as a filler. If a carrier gets sticky after four or five stages, a shot of moose milk or water will free it up instantly. Rifles are fully lubed with olive oil before shooting BP. That rifle was designed for BP so have a blast!

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John,

I don't shoot .45 , but I do shoot 44-40 & 38-40. All good advice above,, but ,,, you should try some of the "Big Lube Boolits" from www.whyteleatherworks.com  . They carry a "ton" of lube. I started using them and have never looked back. I tried relubing regular bullets with B/P lube, even in 44-40 I couldn't get more than 2-3 stages with a 24' bbl. But with the Big lubes, I can go all day. I've heard of guys using 44-40 brass , expanding the necks and using them in a .45. You'll have to experiment to find "your" sweet spot.

Good luck,

Isom

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For about 12 years I shot a Uberti 1873 Short Rifle, 20 inch barrel, in .45 Colt.  I loaded home cast Lee 200 and 250 grain bullets lubed with Beeswax/Crisco over full cases of Schuetzen, Goex, and Pyrodex, heavy crimp.

 

I had lube stars on the muzzle and good accuracy with all combinations, so the 18 " barrel should not run out of lube.

 

Yes you will get blowback, more than with a .38-40 or .44-40, but it is manageable.  Lubrication is your friend.

 

I greased the carrier and bolt with whatever was handy, Hoppe's gun grease, white lithium, etc, then sprayed the action with aerosol Ballistol prior to the first stage, and then every other stage of the day.  (Ballistol diluted with water would work just as well.). Then cleaned the gun after the first five or six stages if it was a multiple day match. Yes, the action was dirty, but if you keep it juicy it will work fine.  If one shoots blackpowder, expect soot. 

 

Otherwise we would not be Soot Lords!  :D

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I shot 45 Schofield rounds loaded with real black and big lube bullets for 10 years with very good results. I did try APP once and didn't work out at all. The rifle would cycle 8 rounds and then not cycle the last two rounds. Tried all the lubes with no luck. There was more blowback with the 45 round but easy to clean after each match. I switched to 44/40 5 years ago and not much blowback now. I agree with enough lube a 45 in a 73 will work out just fine. 

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On ‎5‎/‎5‎/‎2019 at 4:51 PM, John Barleycorn, SASS #76982 said:

APP with coated bullets. No lube needed, you can also use smokeless lubber bullets with APP.

X2! - SCJ

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Both my cowboy levers (1860 and 1873) are chambered in .45LC, and I shoot black exclusively; real black - both 2f and 3f Goex, depending upon what I have on hand (prefer 3f). 

 

Lots of good advice listed above.  All I'll add is to consider throwing in a lubed felt wad on top of your powder: gives some extra lube while using "regular" bullets and doesn't add too much to the loading process.  Keep some Ballistol and a wiping stick on hand for those "uh-oh" moments when things get sticky at the range, and you'll be fine.  Combine those full cases with a heavier bullet (abour 250gr) and you'll minimize blowback.  I had a Henry in .44-40, and while it was cleaner, it didn't make up for the additional caliber I had to reload.  Having all my toys in .45 lets me just crank out ammo as I have spare time.

 

I save the fancy loading for my Sharps. . . :D

 

Keep your powder dry,


Wild Ben

 

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If your bullet supplier sells .454" bullets, those will help as well.(my several(!!) sets of 45 pistols over the years have always chambered and shot the larger bullet fine)  I load 30grs real BP, lube wad and commercial cast, hard lube 200gr bullets.  I usually spray the carrier with some watery substance (Windex usually) after a couple stages to keep the carrier nice and free, but it's not usually necessary for a 5-6 stage match.  As Wild Ben says, loading for another caliber is a pain.   When I was running Schofield brass, there was even less fouling, but unless you run the "shorts" in your pistols, its another caliber.

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I'll just address the rifle.  You will need to run BP lube bullets in your rifle.  You can go thru the hassle of melting off the smokeless lube and re-lubing, or I suggest calling Springfield Slim (MyWytheLeatherWorks) and ordering up some big lube bullets.

 

Personally, I shoot APP and don't need lube although I have a ton of smokeless lube bullets and the rifle runs them just fine with the Blue/Red crayon lube.  

 

Now for your real problem.  Blow-By.  The 45 Colt case is heavy enough, it won't expand (tech work for obturate) to seal the chamber.  Many recommend a real heavy load and a really really heavy bullet to get the case to almost seal.  Horsereathers.  Two good solutions.  First is to start with 44-40 cases.  Run em through your 45 Colt dies (carefully).  they come out funny looking but fire form just fine and seal the chamber very well indeed.  Second and "best" solution ..... Anneal 45 Colt brass.  Or 45 Schofield brass.  Or C45S brass.  Annealing your brass will soften the brass so it expands.  It will also serve to prolong case life.  You don't have to mess with heavy loads.  I run 20Gr APP, topped with Cream-0-Wheat to the base of the bullet.  Since I run 45 Schofield cases, I run 200Gr RNFP bullets.

 

Annealing ....... Annealing is a Skull Numbing, dead boring, time consuming process.  But worth it.  My 45 Rifles will run a 12 stage 2 day match without any attention.  At the end of the match the Carrier Block is as clean as a 44-40 or 38-40.  I shoot a '73, a '66 and 4 Henry rifles.  Same results with all.  Another bottom line.  If you have a Uberti 45, it WILL Blow-By.  Uberti rifles have HUGE chambers.  Just a fact to deal with.

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