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Jailhouse Jim, SASS #13104

Sleeving a 45 Colt chamber

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So I have a 45 Colt rifle that appears to have either a bulged or miscut chamber that makes extraction a PITA at times.  Do any of the 'Smiths sleeve chambers then re-ream?  


My other option is to convert this rifle to shoot C45 special.  The Smith Shop parts will not fit as this is a Chaparral that is closer to OEM specs so I am considering the set screw method.  


Any suggestions?

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Have you done a chamber cast yet to confirm that the chamber is boogered?  


Many of the .45 Colt rifles (like Uberti and Marlin) have a larger chamber than is needed for good function, due to lots of tolerance allowed by SAAMI when they set the standard chamber size back in the 1920s..


Have you checked that the extractor is tensioned strongly enough to grab and hold the rim while extracting the shell from the chamber?   Toggle rifle extractors loose tension over time and use, sometimes working well only a couple of years.  Is the bolt face supporting the case as it is being extracted (case support tab still in place on a toggle rifle)?


A .45 Colt rifle is easy to reline the whole barrel with a one piece liner and then chamber can be recut.  

If chamber can be cleaned up by honing without going way oversize, that would be another attempt to try.


But until you know WHAT is causing the extraction problems, it could be that converting to use C45Spl rounds will NOT fix the problem.


But since this is a Chaparral rifle (a brand known to have tons of problems most of the time), my serious suggestion is just to replace it and quit fighting a poor model of a lever rifle.


Good luck, GJ

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PLUS ONE to Garrison Joe.  The only good use I ever found for a Chaparral was as a very expensive Tomato Stake.  Lousy rifles.  Not actually worth sinking any money into.  The Chaparral is not worth the time, effort nor money to correct.  Cut your losses and hang it on the wall and get a new rifle from either Miroku or Uberti.


The "Set Screw" method does not work with a Side Load Rifle.  The Set Screw prevents loading the magazine and converts the rifle to a "Two Shooter." 

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1 hour ago, Kid Rich said:

Ahlmans in Morristown,MN can sleeve a chamber for you.



They TIG welded up the crater around the firing pin holes on two Smoke Wagons for us. They look perfect and are holding up well. 


Taylor's said they were not worth fixing.  A couple of other gunsmiths said it couldn't be done. 

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Before going to the trouble of relining the barrel, I would like to suggest the following.


Sort your brass and only load Starline for your rifle.

At one time I was a commercial reloader for cas shooters.

The rifles and most importantly the .45 caliber rifles have and extractor that does not fit in to the rim groove very well.

Starline has the widest groove allowing the extractor to drop farther down in to the rim groove giving it a better hold.

With Starline brass, extraction is more reliable.


Winchester brass has the narrowest groove and the extractor only drops about 1/2 way in to the groove and will pop out during extraction leaving the case half way in the chamber.


You will want to look at your extrator tip to see if it has become rounded off from use with narrow groove brass.

Clean it up with a very small file so it drops cleanly in to the extraction groove.


There are other makes of brass with larger than Winchester grooves but Starline has the best groove for rifles.


Give it a try.

It will cost you nothng but some time.

Then if this does not fix the problem, you have other options to consider.


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As a disclaimer, this is a project gun that I bought cheap to see if I could get it to run.  I don't use it at major matches unless it's a night shoot.  I have heard the Chaparral horror stories before.  That isn't a concern for me nor will I be using it for a tomato stake.  I do in fact run a Chaparral 73 in major matches that is flawless so do know it's possible for them to work correctly.


I have not done a chamber cast but have noticed what appears to be bulges in some of the fired cases similar to the Glock bulge. 


I have reworked the extractor and it works correctly.  What is happening is this, out of a ten round string, one or two is difficult to extract out of the chamber.  I shoot full case loads of BP.  The idea of using C45 special is to limit the amount of brass in the chamber to ease extraction.


This is a round barrel that is too thin at the muzzle to reline hence the desire to sleeve the chamber.  Perhaps I'll just take the barrel off and get a good look inside.

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