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Stormy_LaSalle

Are 1873 Rifles finicky on crimp, too little or too much?

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Posted (edited)

Howdy,

 

I am new to 1873 rifles and setting up my .38 dies for both my pistols (Cimarron Frontiers) and 1873 rifle.

 

Since it is a lever action and I would assume more apt to get "hung" up, does crimp matter on the rounds? I know with over crimping it can cause accuracy issues.

 

Thanks for reading!

Edited by Stormy_LaSalle

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You need a good crimp so the bullet doesn't push back into the case while in the magazine tube. Your rifle may also be overall length sensitive. You'll have to find the length that feeds well

 

Randy

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Posted (edited)

Not so much on the crimp but somewhat sensitive to overall length. These rifles are made to run .357 Magnum rounds, running 38 Special will work if the overall length is within the range the rifle can tolerate. 

 

Here is a recommendation from one of the '73 rifle gunsmith that a lot of champion shooters have used. Palo Verde Gunworks, LLC

 

"If your rifle is a .357, it may like ammo loaded between 1.510 and 1.550” over-all length. The ’73 will likely lever smoother and your Marlin or Rossi will likely feed better. Personally, I like around 1.530 in a .357 case with a broad-pointed RNFP bullet. The narrow pointed, truncated 105g bullet in a .38 case can be problematic in some rifles if loaded to .38 spl OAL. Some Marlins prefer around 1.510”OAL, others like up to 1.570”. Most Rossi’s like around the same length. Marlins can be very sensitive about the over-all length and, reportedly, sometimes the shape of the bullet." Palo Verde-Arizona

 

TB

6

 

Edited by Turquoise Bill, SASS #39118
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Over crimping may bulge the crimp so it'll be hard to chamber.  You generally only need enough crimp to keep the bullet from telescoping into the case while in the magazine.  OAL will be determined by the length of the ramp in the front of the carrier.  It's this ramp that allows a case partially in the carrier to be get pushed back into the magazine as the carrier rises upward on the forward stroke of the lever.

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I have found a small roll-crimp best. It is barely noticeable, but it does the trick for me. Others I talk with have about the same roll-crimp. I make it fit in the bullet's crimp ring. Here is a picture of mine. I have an OAL of 1.46 which fits the range set by Pioneer Gun Works (1.44 to 1.56). I use Chey-Cast bullets and Dillon 550 with CCI, Federal, or Winchester small pistol primers. Chey-cast bullet on left, next is roll-crimp, and on the right is no crimp. Hope this helps. This works very well in my Uberti and my Miroku (Winchester) 1873s1581878873_BulletCrimp.thumb.jpg.7396b008d1ca08b3327d091ae67ead2c.jpg. I've only run a few thousand rounds through both guns, so others here may have other information to offer.

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Posted (edited)

Overcrimp is not usually a functional worry.  May be detrimental to accuracy, may overwork the brass case mouth, or may be bulging the case below the crimp so that the round does not chamber.

 

 

Too little crimp will, as mentioned above, lead to the bullet being pushed into the case with the recoil and spring pressure that the cartridges in the magazine are under.   No crimp at all can leave a sharp edge that will catch on the rear face of the barrel, preventing smooth chambering.

 

Here's how you check that the crimp is firm enough.  First, try to twist the bullet of a test round.  Should be difficult to twist by hand.   Second, hold the round in your hand, press the bullet firmly into a solid object with fifty or more pounds of force.  An easy way - stand by a (garage, or little used) doorframe, press the bullet straight into the jamb a little above the door knob level.  When you lean into that press, bullet should stay exactly where you crimped it. If it collapses into the case, crimp more firmly.

 

Bullet crimp should look like pictures above, or a lead bullet factory load if you have one.

 

Good luck, GJ

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708
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I have only had issues with semi wad cutters

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2 hours ago, Russ The Red said:

I have found a small roll-crimp best. It is barely noticeable, but it does the trick for me. Others I talk with have about the same roll-crimp. I make it fit in the bullet's crimp ring. Here is a picture of mine. I have an OAL of 1.46 which fits the range set by Pioneer Gun Works (1.44 to 1.56). I use Chey-Cast bullets and Dillon 550 with CCI, Federal, or Winchester small pistol primers. Chey-cast bullet on left, next is roll-crimp, and on the right is no crimp. Hope this helps. This works very well in my Uberti and my Miroku (Winchester) 1873s

 

I literally run the same bullets and primers. So I will give that a try also. Makes sense. I appreciate the response

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3 hours ago, Turquoise Bill, SASS #39118 said:

Not so much on the crimp but somewhat sensitive to overall length. These rifles are made to run .357 Magnum rounds, running 38 Special will work if the overall length is within the range the rifle can tolerate. 

 

Here is a recommendation from one of the '73 rifle gunsmith that a lot of champion shooters have used. Palo Verde Gunworks, LLC

 

"If your rifle is a .357, it may like ammo loaded between 1.510 and 1.550” over-all length. The ’73 will likely lever smoother and your Marlin or Rossi will likely feed better. Personally, I like around 1.530 in a .357 case with a broad-pointed RNFP bullet. The narrow pointed, truncated 105g bullet in a .38 case can be problematic in some rifles if loaded to .38 spl OAL. Some Marlins prefer around 1.510”OAL, others like up to 1.570”. Most Rossi’s like around the same length. Marlins can be very sensitive about the over-all length and, reportedly, sometimes the shape of the bullet." Palo Verde-Arizona

 

TB

6

 

 

Thanks for the recommendation from Palo Verde. They seem to know their stuff. It's the first time I have been loading .38 so it's good to know!

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im still setting up for this caliber so i appreciate the info as well , 

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My 73 likes 38sp to 1.45 to 1.46 OK. Roll crimp is just below bullet grove. Crimping in the grove caused sporatic problems on 125g. Use same setup for 105g for pistols. Had problems with Marlin until I got it widdomatic. Now takes ant OAL length

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I have run a .38 with an OAL of 1.52 for 15 years.  I started with a 92 and that length ran well in that gun.

 

Currently, the wife and I both run 1873 Ubertis and that length runs perfectly in those rifles and the two Marlins that we shoot occasionally. 

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A good crimp IS very important unless you don’t care if the bullet goes back in the case!

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