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H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619

Reline or rebarrel?

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I'd like some opinions.

 

I have a strange desire to own a tubular magazine rifle in .30-40 Krag.  I have come to the conclusion that the most practical way to do it would be to find an old Winchester 71 [I just couldn't bring myself to do it to an 86] and convert it.   But the real question is, would I be better off replacing the original barrel with a new one on my desired caliber, or would relining bore and chamber to the new specs be a simpler, and therefore less expensive way to go?  Of course any reloads for use in this gun would be getting flat point bullets, probably one ostensibly for the .30-30, but I think it could be pulled off.  

Of course, having a large frame Lightning in this caliber would be incredible, but there's no way I'd convert one of those.

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The 71's have their own following and are increasing in price.  The Alaskan conversions have removed many original guns from the original market. If I were of a similar bent I would replace the barrel so the gun could be returned to original.  This will also allow you to get the right twist rate for the round you are converting the gun to shoot.  If you find an otherwise altered gun that has little collectibility, a reline would be cheaper and would maintain the original appearance of the gun if you don't get the barrel marked with the correct caliber...but that is a risky condition to leave a gun in for its next caretaker

 

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I figured a 71 would be cheaper than an 86, and I was thinking of one with a shot out barrel, not one is good shootable condition.   I guess I also wondered if  perhaps a 95 barrel might have the same threads, but that's way down the list of why.   Didn't know they were starting to go up in value.   

I guess a modern made replica could be an option, either a 86 or a  71.  I'm a ways off from actually trying to do this, but I am wondering about potential ways to do it.  The idea for relining came to me as keeping the original barrel would keep the look more authentic, but if I went that way, I would absolutely want to have the new caliber stamped on the barrel for safety reasons.

Thinking about it, I did see an 86 a few years ago in .33 WCF that looked to be in pretty good mechanical shape, but had a badly pitted bore with almost no rifling left.   I did consider buying it as it was less than a thousand dollars, but I didn't want to have to deal with tooling up to reload that caliber after I read that finding brass and bullets is a real chore.  Maybe that would have made a good candidate for the conversion.

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Doing anything to a M71, I'd have it bored out to .35 caliber, and chamber it for a .348/.35 with a blown out shoulder.  The only problem there would be ammo, as there isn't much .348 Winchester available nowadays.  Another possibility would be a .33 WCF opened up to .35 caliber for better availability of bullets.  Using a 71 for a .30-40 would require some changes to the bolt face and extractor.  I know you said you wanted a tubular magazine rifle, but the easiest, by far, would be to find a M95 in .30-40.

Stay well!

 

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1 hour ago, Trailrider #896 said:

I know you said you wanted a tubular magazine rifle, but the easiest, by far, would be to find a M95 in .30-40.

 

 

 

Oh I already have one of those.  

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18 hours ago, J. Mark Flint #31954 LIFE said:

If I were of a similar bent I would replace the barrel so the gun could be returned to original.  This will also allow you to get the right twist rate for the round you are converting the gun to shoot.  

 

Maybe I just don't understand how relining works, but why would relining not let you get the twist rate you wanted, where re-barreling does? 

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Probably because a far greater variety of barrel blanks as opposed to the number of re-lining ones. Look in the Brownell's catalog and you will see what I am referring to.

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Posted (edited)

Not sure this is the best idea.  The .348 has a rim diameter of .610 and the 30-40 is .515, which means you would probably have some issues with the conversion beyond the barrel.  On top of that, I would not ruin a 71 for such a project.  My advice is enjoy the 30-40 in the guns it was designed for and buy yourself a nice 86, 71, or both and enjoy them as well.  Better than spending a bunch of money to devalue a nice gun and create something that isn’t worth anything.  

Edited by Doc Coles SASS 1188
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On 8/29/2020 at 9:16 AM, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Why would someone ruin a 71?

Because someone wants a 71 that shoots a certain caliber is not ruining it is modifying, like people did back in the day!  Always being judge mental. 
My 86 year old Mother who passed away in Green Valley AZ  last year while we nursing her in a hospice mode told me if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all!  In your opinion it’s “ruining”, in someone else’s opinion it’s modifying. Objecting to using the word ruining. 

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Just now, Nimble Fingers SASS# 25439 said:

Because someone wants a 71 that shoots a certain caliber is not ruining it is modifying, like people did back in the day!  Always being judge mental. 
My 86 year old Mother who passed away in Green Valley AZ  last year while we nursing her in a hospice mode told me if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all!  In your opinion it’s “ruining”, in someone else’s opinion it’s modifying. Objecting to using the word ruining. 

Your deep need to attack me is becoming boring.

 

Winchester 71's should be preserved. This is not some decree, but an opinion.

 

Perhaps you should heed your mother's advice.

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Your opinion!  I don’t attack anyone, I correct rudeness when I see it. Your need to be rude is more obvious. Who are you to decide someone is ruining something?  If you had that you wouldn’t want to see a Model 71 CHANGED, wouldn’t have commented and would go on my way. But you had to decide someone changing a rifle’s caliber is ruining it. 
Trust me, you can post all you want and I couldn’t be bothered, but I will not tolerate rudeness. If your opinion/remark seems inappropriate then I will mention it,  not attacking just calling out rudeness. Be nice. 

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50 minutes ago, Nimble Fingers SASS# 25439 said:

Because someone wants a 71 that shoots a certain caliber is not ruining it is modifying, like people did back in the day!  Always being judge mental. 
My 86 year old Mother who passed away in Green Valley AZ  last year while we nursing her in a hospice mode told me if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all!  In your opinion it’s “ruining”, in someone else’s opinion it’s modifying. Objecting to using the word ruining. 

 

To each his own, but I have seen too many nice guns that people have paid good money to ruin.  Chrome plated Lugers, colt single actions with adjustable sights and vent ribs added, nice target 1885 Winchester’s torn apart to convert to weird wildcat cartridges.  A real waste. I always advise folks not to spend hard earned money to destroy the value of good guns.  If that’s not saying something nice, then so be it.  

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3 minutes ago, Nimble Fingers SASS# 25439 said:

Your opinion!  I don’t attack anyone, I correct rudeness when I see it. Your need to be rude is more obvious. Who are you to decide someone is ruining something?  If you had that you wouldn’t want to see a Model 71 CHANGED, wouldn’t have commented and would go on my way. But you had to decide someone changing a rifle’s caliber is ruining it. 
Trust me, you can post all you want and I couldn’t be bothered, but I will not tolerate rudeness. If your opinion/remark seems inappropriate then I will mention it,  not attacking just calling out rudeness. Be nice. 

You're being rude.

 

"Always being judge mental(sic)"

"Your need to be rude is more obvious"

 

You really need to listen to your mother.

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36 minutes ago, Doc Coles SASS 1188 said:

 

To each his own, but I have seen too many nice guns that people have paid good money to ruin.  Chrome plated Lugers, colt single actions with adjustable sights and vent ribs added, nice target 1885 Winchester’s torn apart to convert to weird wildcat cartridges.  A real waste. I always advise folks not to spend hard earned money to destroy the value of good guns.  If that’s not saying something nice, then so be it.  

Exactly to each his own. What you said was not rude, but if the person doesn’t care about the value of the gun after the modification, who has the right to tell them they are ruining a gun?  Phantom seems to think he does and I don’t. It’s that simple. 

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3 minutes ago, Nimble Fingers SASS# 25439 said:

Exactly to each his own. What you said was not rude, but if the person doesn’t care about the value of the gun after the modification, who has the right to tell them they are ruining a gun?  Phantom seems to think he does and I don’t. It’s that simple. 

Nice!!

 

Hypocrisy at it's finest.:lol:

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If the owner of a gun, car, airplane, etc. knows that the value can be affected, and decides to do so, it is their right.

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1 hour ago, DeaconKC said:

If the owner of a gun, car, airplane, etc. knows that the value can be affected, and decides to do so, it is their right.

Oh please do tell where anyone said that they don't have a right to do as they please with their property...seriously, I'd like to know.

 

Oy....

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1 hour ago, DeaconKC said:

If the owner of a gun, car, airplane, etc. knows that the value can be affected, and decides to do so, it is their right.

The guy specifically asked for opinions and people gave them  No one said he can’t do what he wants.  Not sure why you are getting bent out of shape over this.  

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Folks, please...   

I appreciate all the comments, but this is not worth fighting over.  

Based on the differences in rim diameter, and resulting need to modify the bolt face, it's sounding to me like it's not feasible to use a 71, so it's pretty much a moot point.
 

Nor does it seem like an 86 would work, the rim dimensions of the .30-40 and the 45-70 are also quite different.   It all adds up to it being much more than modifying or changing the barrel, which means it would probably be prohibitively expensive.   It was an interesting thought experiment, but it doesn't look like it can be anything more without spending bookoo bucks.  

 

 

   
 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

Nor does it seem like an 86 would work, the rim dimensions of the .30-40 and the 45-70 are also quite different.   It all adds up to it being much more than modifying or changing the barrel, which means it would probably be prohibitively expensive.   It was an interesting thought experiment, but it doesn't look like it can be anything more without spending bookoo bucks.  

 

 

Would it be easier to modify a 95 to accept a tubular magazine? 

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1 hour ago, Ramblin Gambler said:

 

Would it be easier to modify a 95 to accept a tubular magazine? 

 

Oh, now that's an intriguing thought....

One that scares me just to think of the complexity of the project.  :)  Still, as I visualize it in my mind, it would be a really cool looking contraption.

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Just out of curiosity, what is the OP's desired end result?  I understand the ballistic advantage of the 30-40 over the 30-30, but almost all the advantages come from the fact that the 30-40 can safely use spitzer/spire point style bullets.  If you create a 30-40 that is limited flat nose 30-30 style bullets it would seem like you took one step forwards and two steps back. 

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3 hours ago, July Smith said:

Just out of curiosity, what is the OP's desired end result?  I understand the ballistic advantage of the 30-40 over the 30-30, but almost all the advantages come from the fact that the 30-40 can safely use spitzer/spire point style bullets.  If you create a 30-40 that is limited flat nose 30-30 style bullets it would seem like you took one step forwards and two steps back. 

 

I just think it would be something "nifty" to have.   I really like the cartridge, but its usability in our game for the long range events is limited.   If there was a tube fed rifle for it, I could theoretically create custom loads for it that would be safe to use.   Heck, the original loading was a round nose bullet, and I have seen factory round nose .30-30s if I wanted to go that route.  

I like unusual things.   Among others I have a vintage 1860 Colt that's been converted to .32-20.   Ultimately, having a 30-40 tubular mag rifle would just be something with some good novelty difference to it, and I think that would be fun to have.

Then again, I like the Colt Lightning.   So I am already the odd man out.   :)

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On 8/30/2020 at 2:28 AM, Ramblin Gambler said:

 

Maybe I just don't understand how relining works, but why would relining not let you get the twist rate you wanted, where re-barreling does? 

 

It might, depends upon liner availability.  Do what floats your boat.  There are lots of reasons for preserving a gun, but they aren't holy relics.  If you buy it make it how you want and damn the naysayers

 

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15 hours ago, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

 

Oh, now that's an intriguing thought....

One that scares me just to think of the complexity of the project.  :)  Still, as I visualize it in my mind, it would be a really cool looking contraption.

 

Well my first thought was that you'd have to design your own gun.  So this isn't the scariest option. 

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20 hours ago, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

 

I just think it would be something "nifty" to have. 

Fair enough.  Wouldn't a 1894 Winchester be a better platform to start with?  Plenty of 94s out there.  Already tube fed.  The action is long enough for a 38-55, so a flat or round nosed 30-40 can probably be loaded short enough to fit.  Not sure about the difference in rim size between a 30-30 and 30-40, but perhaps simply re-chambering a 30-30 rifle to 30-40 and a little bolt face work can get you close to what you want.  If strength of the 94 action comes into question just use one of those 94 "big bore" actions, only the die hard collectors will care what you do to those guns :lol:.

Edited by July Smith

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36 minutes ago, July Smith said:

Fair enough.  Wouldn't a 1894 Winchester be a better platform to start with?  Plenty of 94s out there.  Already tube fed.  The action is long enough for a 38-55, so a flat or round nosed 30-40 can probably be loaded short enough to fit.  Not sure about the difference in rim size between a 30-30 and 30-40, but perhaps simply re-chambering a 30-30 rifle to 30-40 and a little bolt face work can get you close to what you want.  If strength of the 94 action comes into question just use one of those 94 "big bore" actions, only the die hard collectors will care what you do to those guns :lol:.

 

Well, if I went the 94 route, it would have to be a pre-83 model.   I would not own anything with angle eject or the other subsequent "improvements."

 

Still, it is a workable hypothesis, assuming the .30-40 isn't too long.

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Back to the original post....

The Win 1886 receiver seems to be the only one that can handle the 3.04 OAL of the .30-40 Krag.

A Japanese Browning 1886 can like be found for a grand or so.

Rebarreling would be my choice since that chamber cut would be so large that it may cut through any liner.

Hard to find good 'Smith's for any project these days.

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If you are thinking about an Octagon barrel better have deep pockets.  Rifle caliber octagon barrels for lever actions are almost unobtanium. Green Mountain only sells then in pistol calibers. All their other octagon barrels are for single shots and are way too big for a lever action receiver.

 

After an exhaustive search I have only found 2 individuals that will rebarrel a lever action with an octagon barrel. In both cases the work will set you back the cost of a new rifle.

 

Now if you want  round barrel they can be had for a dime a dozen.

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On 9/2/2020 at 5:55 AM, Sedalia Dave said:

If you are thinking about an Octagon barrel better have deep pockets.  Rifle caliber octagon barrels for lever actions are almost unobtanium. Green Mountain only sells then in pistol calibers. All their other octagon barrels are for single shots and are way too big for a lever action receiver.

 

After an exhaustive search I have only found 2 individuals that will rebarrel a lever action with an octagon barrel. In both cases the work will set you back the cost of a new rifle.

 

Now if you want  round barrel they can be had for a dime a dozen.

Unobtanium??  Not really, I have had several lever actions fitted with with Octagon Barrels (including a couply of Win 71s, oh no, I mostly will go to hell for that LOL).  I buy barrel blanks and have them milled to octagon then fitted to the actions.  It does cost some, but easly done.  C. Sharps Arms did the last ones for at very reasonable cost.

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I greatly appreciate all the comments and advice.   I've pretty much come to the conclusion that it's way to difficult of a task to pull off.  

I think I'd be better off buying a Pedersoli Lightning and having it converted to .44 Special.

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