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John Kloehr

I Was Going to Ask Questions Before Buying a Rifle

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I was, I really was. I at least wanted to validate my thinking.

 

So what was I thinking...

 

I was thinking 44-40 based on an earlier thread of mine. I kind of wanted a 16" but another thread suggested my alias namesake required a 24". So I compromised at 20".

 

Although there was an incredible "in the white" 24" octagon available. With a search for the right engraver to do it justice, I would have created a nice heirloom.

 

But I do like the look of color case hardening and the one I found is just gorgeous.

 

And I wanted nice wood, the walnut on this one is amazing.

 

So I did what is probably a dumb decision I will never regret and paid what is probably more than it is or will ever be worth. But I don;'t care as I will shoot the snot out of it anyway.

 

I was torn, should I buy a good used rifle already slicked up with plenty of life in it or get a new one? And the big questions... Should I really choose an 1873? Well, my alias kind of requires that and I still hear the angels singing from the first time I handled a slicked example.

 

But that was an Uberti, and I just clicked buy on a Winchester Shot Show special. I really had wanted to go to that show, my lady and I were going to hitch up the RV and head out west for a while. But CoViD happened and the show was cancelled and here I sit at home looking at the actual pictures of the gun I just bought. And I'm wondering it it would have been the one I might have held in my hands at the show and purchased anyway...

 

So what was supposed to be a thread talking about CCH vs bluing, barrel length, Uberti's varnish vs Winchester's oil finish, options to short-strike the Uberti vs the Winchester and that the Winchester is already effectively half-stroked anyway and I should probably shoot it for a while before even considering a stroke kit...

 

So I must forgo the wealth of information I might have gleaned from this community in favor of gloating over my new rifle, gold going out on the stage soon!

 

Actually, this is a good time to talk about the options for those that come after me and find this thread. Too much money or does that matter? Stroke kits? The finish? Anything else between the Uberti and the Winchester? Options to the '73?

 

Oh, here is the actual gun I probably paid too much for:

 

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/869987738

 

 

pix725023583.jpg

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That sure is a pretty gun.  I hope it gives you many years of enjoyment.  The pain of paying for something passes soon if you get something you like.

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Nice!

 

There are no Short Stroke kits for the Winchester(Miroku) 66/73's. at this time. Pioneer Gunworks used to make one but they stopped. There are a couple of gunsmiths that can cut and weld yours though. 

 

 

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Nice, I just used my Winchester '73 20" Short Rifle for the first time today.  Coming from using a Rossi M92, even without being short stroked the lever throw is very nice.

Winchester 73 Short Rifle.jpeg

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Well, heck, it wasn't THAT much more than a pistol grip Uberti, and I think that buttstock and case colors are worth the extra.  I'm sure you will enjoy it mucho!  But get a nice large butt cover on it quick! :)

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22 minutes ago, The Verdigris Kid said:

Nice, I just used my Winchester '73 20" Short Rifle for the first time today.  Coming from using a Rossi M92, even without being short stroked the lever throw is very nice.

From what I have read, the new Winchester '73s (Miruku) have a shorter stroke than the Rossi's or Uberti's, I have seen references to them being "half-stroked" from the factory.

 

I do expect this rifle to be very stiff out of the box, just like the ones I handled at the Atlanta NRA convention.

 

My plan is to figure out want parts need smoothing/polishing and order those so I can save the originals. Then confirm the replacements are about the same as the originals. With that confirmation, I want to smooth the firearm myself. If I screw up something, I can still put the original parts back in and send it to someone with a clue.

 

But I'll shoot it stock just to find out how it runs. Next task therefore is to find some ammo for it. It must be fed.

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1 minute ago, John Kloehr said:

 

 

I do expect this rifle to be very stiff out of the box, just like the ones I handled at the Atlanta NRA convention.

 

 

Mine was NIB and it isn't stiff at all. Very smooth. Of course the only one I have to compare it to is my Rossi. LOL

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wow !! nice wood nice case harding .... you got it all with this one i bet it would love to be feed black 3f powder ha ha

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I have only ever handled the Miroku '73's when they first came out.  Those were quite smooth (not over sprung like Ubertis.  Maybe you will get lucky.  Be careful of grinding springs or otherwise modifying parts; have heard replacement parts are not readily available, but I've been hearing that for a while, seems they should be available at some point.

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4 minutes ago, The Verdigris Kid said:

Mine was NIB and it isn't stiff at all. Very smooth. Of course the only one I have to compare it to is my Rossi. LOL

The new Rossi's I handled definitely needed more work, but I am comparing to a slicked Uberti loaned to me by a fine member in Greenville. Yes, the angels sang when I cycled it.

 

 

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The lever safety spring is very heavy on the Mirokus.  That can be lightened.  Most folks I now that have them have not done anything else.  Good luck with it.  It's a nice looking rifle and the price is not out of line.

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11 minutes ago, Burn Through said:

wow !! nice wood nice case harding .... you got it all with this one i bet it would love to be feed black 3f powder ha ha

In time, in time.

 

Reloading BP (subs) is in my future. True Holy Black is not in my plans at this time but give me a few more years... Maybe then.

 

But I do plan to create and shoot through a dark cloud.

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37 minutes ago, John Kloehr said:

Next task therefore is to find some ammo for it. It must be fed.

Initial supply of reloadable brass ordered. I just have to get the gunpowder and lead out of the cases first.

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2 minutes ago, Sgt. Hochbauer, SASS #64409 said:

That rifle would go real nice with my pistols.....pretty gun. I have handled my friends Miroku and it was real nice out of the box. Why wait for using the Holy Black?

 

 

Sgt H

From what I have read, HB is a bit different, does not feed well in reloading, an so on. Plus making it from scratch is another set of skills. Subs feed well in multi-stage reloading presses, are predictable and reliable, and reloading is a completely separate thing I want to do but am not there yet.

 

So, I am buying 1,000 rounds each of modern ammo for my pistols and for this rifle, with lead (not jacketed) bullets and I plan to collect the brass for the next stage of this adventure. The shotgun adds another wrinkle for BP, but again that is for a bit later on. Bullets, primers, powder, tumbler, press, ... I'm going to have to reload, it is the only way I can afford to do this long-term.

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What a stunning piece, well worth the purchase price am sure since it is so unique.

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I have loaded BP subs but if you do stick to 3f the 2f is like trying to get charcoal briquettes down the powder measure. That said I load Goex 2f through my Dillon with no problems and for my shotgun a MEC jr also with Goex 2f. If you don't reload at this time would be a good skill to acquire, as I hate to imagine how much that ammo is going to cost you. Enjoy your new toy!

 

 

Hochbauer

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My Winchester 73 got smoother Everytime I used it. The first few times though were a little stiff. The lever safety spring was stout. I put a little bend in it and it's soft as butter now. As for the lever throw. My uberti 66 stroke is 6.5" my miroku 73 is right about 6.125" and my original Winchester 73 falls in just under 6" if my memory serves me right. It's been a while since I measured them. As for if you paid to much only you can be the judge of that. But it is a nice looking rifle for sure and there won't be to many like it on the range. 

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looks great to me , we all have bought as you have , some wont admit it but others readily will , i will , i think the 16" would have been a mistake as it might not hold 10 , the 20: should , the 24" would without question , 

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2 hours ago, John Kloehr said:

From what I have read, HB is a bit different, does not feed well in reloading, an so on. Plus making it from scratch is another set of skills.

Don’t know what you’ve read, but loading BP works just fine. And making it yourself is not only totally unnecessary, but more than a little dangerous. 
 

Food for thought when you get there. Welcome to the game!

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8 hours ago, Abilene Slim SASS 81783 said:

Don’t know what you’ve read, but loading BP works just fine. And making it yourself is not only totally unnecessary, but more than a little dangerous. 
 

Food for thought when you get there. Welcome to the game!

I have read a lot, and much of what I have read conflicts with what other's write.

 

Reloading is in my future, hopefully this winter. Not just for SASS, been collecting various brass (only my own) for a few years.

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5 minutes ago, John Kloehr said:

I have read a lot, and much of what I have read conflicts with what other's write.

 

Reloading is in my future, hopefully this winter. Not just for SASS, been collecting various brass (only my own) for a few years.

 

90% of what you have read is comprised of myths and half truths that have been repeted so much that people take it as gospel.

I was given a selection of books on various shooting disciplines a couple years ago and in it was a small book on shooting Black Powder Cartridge written by a supposed CAS expert. That book was so bad I threw it in the trash rather that take the chance that some other poor soul find it and believe the drivel between its covers.

 

Starting with the most often told lie is that BP so corrosive that your guns will be rendered useless and will  turn to dust if you don't clean the immediately. The truth is that except of Pyrodex; BP and the other subs are not all that corrosive. They will corrode your cases if you don't take care of them at the end of the shooting day but other than that if you had to wait up to a week you'll be fine as long as your firearms are stored in a dry location.

 

Loading cartridges with BP is actually easier than smokeless. You cannot double charge a case and contrary to popular opinion if you have a case that failed to get a full charge you gun will not blow up.

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10 hours ago, Sgt. Hochbauer, SASS #64409 said:

If you don't reload at this time would be a good skill to acquire, as I hate to imagine how much that ammo is going to cost you. Enjoy your new toy!

The 1,000 rounds of 44-40 wasn't cheap, but wasn't $1/round either. A little over half that. But the CoViD markup wasn't to bad on them compared to the ridiculous prices I'm seeing on 9mm plinking ammo.

 

I did look at buying brass, primers, powder, and bullets separately. The per round price would have been somewhat less but getting the press and other tools would have made it a total higher price today.

 

But after I empty out the cartridges I did buy, then reloading them is easier to justify. And I have so much to learn for reloading (nearly everything to learn), I don't have the time this summer to do so.

 

So long-term, my scrap paper calculation suggests I set myself back a Franklin or two. In trade, I get quality break-in ammo I can rely on and not question if I am introducing some problem with my own ammo.

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Dillon does not recommend loading BP on their presses, some folks do it, but Dillon says don't.  I believe it's because of the static electricity that the powder hopper creates.

Not sure what you paid for empty brass but here's one supplier that I've bought once fired from DiamondK

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, Tequila Shooter said:

Dillon does not recommend loading BP on their presses, some folks do it, but Dillon says don't.  I believe it's because of the static electricity that the powder hopper creates.

Not sure what you paid for empty brass but here's one supplier that I've bought once fired from DiamondK

The brass I bought has primers, powder, and bullets in the cases. I will have to remove all of that before reloading. I look forward to removing the powder and bullets as the first reloading step :D

Edited by John Kloehr
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37 minutes ago, Tequila Shooter said:

Dillon does not recommend loading BP on their presses, some folks do it, but Dillon says don't.  I believe it's because of the static electricity that the powder hopper creates.

Not sure what you paid for empty brass but here's one supplier that I've bought once fired from DiamondK

Static... Another myth.

 

I've let spent cases sit for months and they clean up just fine.

 

1000 rounds don't last too long...yer crazy if you think that the difference in cost is only slight.

 

Reloading is easy and not all that complicated when loading for this game.

 

Phantom... Gotta love the Wire...

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10 minutes ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

1000 rounds don't last too long...yer crazy if you think that the difference in cost is only slight.

Here are my calculations for rough estimation using the first price I found for each item...

 

Clean reloadable 44-40 brass 0.42 per casing

Bullets 0.11 each

Primer 0.05 each

Powder 0.02 each

-----------------------

Total cost to reload 0.60 each the first time by buying brass (fair comparison for buying 1,000 cartridges the first time). Just a few cents more each.

 

But I can reload the brass case many times. At the extreme, lets call the brass free.

 

Reloading then has me at less than 0.20 a round, a huge savings and making just 1,000 rounds is then eyeball close to the cost of all the supplies and equipment to do so. So the first batch of reloads costs about the same as buying a second 1,000 rounds.

 

The second reload of those cases... Now the real savings is about $400. And the third time, and the fourth, ...

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1 hour ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Static... Another myth.

 

Phantom... Gotta love the Wire...

 

I agree, I was just saying what Dillon quotes.  I've never heard anyone (first person) that's had a problem with static.

 

50 minutes ago, John Kloehr said:

Here are my calculations for rough estimation using the first price I found for each item...

 

Clean reloadable 44-40 brass 0.42 per casing

Bullets 0.11 each

Primer 0.05 each

Powder 0.02 each

-----------------------

Total cost to reload 0.60 each the first time by buying brass (fair comparison for buying 1,000 cartridges the first time). Just a few cents more each.

 

But I can reload the brass case many times. At the extreme, lets call the brass free.

 

Reloading then has me at less than 0.20 a round, a huge savings and making just 1,000 rounds is then eyeball close to the cost of all the supplies and equipment to do so. So the first batch of reloads costs about the same as buying a second 1,000 rounds.

 

The second reload of those cases... Now the real savings is about $400. And the third time, and the fourth, ...

 

Reality check time.  First don't count on getting all your brass back at a match, you may show up with 100 rounds and leave with 90, some matches are even called a lost brass match, eventually you'll have to buy more.  There are countless threads and articles about the real cost of reloading, it depends on cost of equipment and cost of components.  

 

Probably one of the biggest advantages for CAS is the ability to tailor loads for the type of shooting we do.  As you know there aren't many choices with pre-made smokeless ammo and even less if you want to go sooty.

 

Yes, in the long run reloading is cheaper, you'll still have a lot of stuff to buy besides the press; dies, scale, calipers, case cleaning equipment come to mind.  I look at reloading as a chance to be alone, with no distractions, getting into a groove and enjoying what I'm doing.  So you may be better off not to think about the money end of it and enjoy it as a whole new adventure.

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Agree I will lose brass. I lose brass in controlled environments, and sometimes at competitions it is not practical to recover it.  My math was just to establish a rough go/no-go evaluation. As long as it is accurate to a multiple and not wrong by an order of magnitude, the difference is when I get to the breakeven point.

 

Tailoring loads is certainly a factor independent of direct financial savings (or return on time spent). I will also be reloading for other sports but the math for SAS is the big chunk. It establishes a clear and convincing case to put in the effort for a new skill.

 

I do also plan to reload .38 Special, .45 ACP, and .223 in smokeless. But .44 Russian and .44-40 in BP for SAS alone proves the financial aspect. And then there is shotgun... Apparently easy too, but the setup cost for them looks incremental compared to all the rest.

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38 minutes ago, Tequila Shooter said:

I agree, I was just saying what Dillon quotes.  I've never heard anyone (first person) that's had a problem with static.

In statistics, that is called "survivor bias."

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43 minutes ago, John Kloehr said:

Agree I will lose brass. ..

 

Be mindful that a lot of Mirokus throw brass forward.  Some folks get less than half of their brass back.  I hate seeing that, especially if they are shooting anything other than .38 or .45.  Some ranges and some stages are more forgiving than others regarding retrieving brass forward of the firing lne.  Consider standing back slightly at the rifle position versus leaning forward through a window.

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