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**New member** Uberti 1873 Competition


Heisrizn

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Hello all, 

 

Please bare with me, I have been reading on here and looking online for a few weeks for info on my and other 1873 rifles. I still have a lot to learn and enjoy doing so. 

 

New here and to the 1873. Picked up a new, old stock 1873 competition model at what I thought was a great price; $800. I have a friend who does leather and some smithing and he extended the LOP, leather wrapped the lever, and covered the stock. 

 

Any owners out there that can attest to what was done at the factory to make this a "competition" rifle? 

 

Shotgun buttstock

Shorter stroke

Gold bead front sight

"trigger job"

????

 

Need some advice as well on some additions:

 

I'm looking at a few things:

*Slixxprings lever springs

*Tube alignment kit with SS spring and follower (aluminum or the composite tube version?)

*Light safety spring

*New tube cap; I see slotted brass is available but does someone make a black Allen key cap?

*Hardened screw kit

*PGW coil mainspring kit? Or custom lightened mainspring? Other than cost +/- of each?

 

Other things to consider? 

 

I have a hard time with seeing the sights. Anyone using a fiber optic front sight?

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4 minutes ago, Heisrizn said:

...

...

I have a hard time with seeing the sights. Anyone using a fiber optic front sight?

 

Fiber optic sights are NOT LEGAL.
 

Quote

 

Sights must look like sights available during the cowboy era. Bead, blade, simple post, or otherwise approved front sights (such as the XS Cowboy Express) made of materials such as steel, iron, ivory, faux ivory, brass, gold, pewter, copper, or silver are allowed.

- Colors other than those of the materials referenced above or any “fluorescent” materials may not be applied to either front or rear sights. -

 

SHB p.36

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Welcome to the Wire.

 

I've no knowledge of that particular model.

 

*Slixxprings -  lever springs I run these in a couple of 73's they are good to go.

*Tube alignment kit with SS spring and follower (aluminum or the composite tube version?) - Some folks like them, I don't see the need.

*Light safety spring - A must have.

*New tube cap; I see slotted brass is available but does someone make a black Allen key cap? - I have both kind, and Sgt Eli here is putting a stainless knurled one on a gun for me(along with a stainless mag tube).

*Hardened screw kit -  definitely.

*PGW coil mainspring kit? Or custom lightened mainspring? Other than cost +/- of each? - Lightened mainspring is all that is really needed IMO.

 

If your rifle isn't short stroked and you need a kit, get it from Cowboys and Indians; everything they have is better than PGW.

 

Palewolf beat me to the sight legality ;)

 

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Quote

*Slixxprings lever springs

*Tube alignment kit with SS spring and follower (aluminum or the composite tube version?)

*Light safety spring

*New tube cap; I see slotted brass is available but does someone make a black Allen key cap?

*Hardened screw kit

*PGW coil mainspring kit? Or custom lightened mainspring? Other than cost +/- of each?

 

Piano-wire lever and lifter springs are very worthwhile, lighten the action a little and prevent fast wear on the lever boss.

 

Tube alignment - only benefits a .38/.357 rifle, and then only slightly for most folks.  Would not start out in game with one.

 

Light safety spring - almost a requirement for easy operation of lever

 

New tube cap - yes, some folks make an allen socket cap, well worth having.   Jackaroo used to sell them, and may chime in about his source of them.  Whatever one you install, lube threads with Never Sieze.  And clean and dry-lube the inside of the magazine tube, too!

 

Hardened screws - VERY worthwhile.  I don't shoot a 73 without doing the screws and lever safety spring and light main spring.

 

Coil mainspring - not all that much improvement over a lightened flat main spring.  See the Smith Shop or Long Hunter Supply for a good one.

 

Good luck, GJ

 

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1 minute ago, Tyrel Cody said:

Welcome to the Wire.

 

I've no knowledge of that particular model.

 

*Slixxprings -  lever springs I run these in a couple of 73's they are good to go.

*Tube alignment kit with SS spring and follower (aluminum or the composite tube version?) - Some folks like them, I don't see the need.

*Light safety spring - A must have.

*New tube cap; I see slotted brass is available but does someone make a black Allen key cap? - I have both kind, and Sgt Eli here is putting a stainless knurled one on a gun for me(along with a stainless mag tube).

*Hardened screw kit -  definitely.

*PGW coil mainspring kit? Or custom lightened mainspring? Other than cost +/- of each? - Lightened mainspring is all that is really needed IMO.

 

If your rifle isn't short stroked and you need a kit, get it from Cowboys and Indians; everything they have is better than PGW.

 

Palewolf beat me to the sight legality ;)

 

You mentioned that he was putting on a stainless steel mag tube....I haven't seen anyone in recent years that had any.  So he has them and is installing them?

 

Kajun

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1 minute ago, Krazy Kajun said:

You mentioned that he was putting on a stainless steel mag tube....I haven't seen anyone in recent years that had any.  So he has them and is installing them?

 

Kajun

Yes, he fabricated one from what I understand. Saw him at Evansville and he had them on his rifles.

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I would shoot your rifle a bit to see how you like it now before spending a bunch on it. Had a uberti competition a few years back and it ran nice. Just a thought.

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20 minutes ago, MBFields said:

I would shoot your rifle a bit to see how you like it now before spending a bunch on it. Had a uberti competition a few years back and it ran nice. Just a thought.

 

 

^ This X 1,000

 

You may grow into all the mods you listed but you may find out they're just neat whiz bang toys.  Save you money for now and then do one upgrade at a time.  If you use the shotgun approach and find you don't like the new feel you'll have no idea which mod you don't like. 

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Welcome!

 

For the '73, if you are looking to do a little at a time or all yourself vs. sending it off to a smith to do everything, I would suggest:

  • Mag Tube insert to align everything (super easy install) - This would be near the top of my list.
  • Slixx Springs to lighten and protect wear (there will be some fitting with these but easy) - This would be at the top of the list.
  • Light Lever spring (easy install) - Near the top of the list.
  • For the mainspring, I would skip the coil over and just get a tuned spring from Slick or a number of others (easy install), I had issues with the coilover I had and others report the same.  Same as the above, at the top of the list.
  • Tube cap - I think this is just a nice to have.  I really only remove mine maybe 1 or twice a year.
  • Hardened screw kit - these are great, but pricey.  Maybe wait until you bugger up a screw a bit  :)

I would also look into the following:

  • I prefer a straight trigger, but they are an acquired taste.  See if you can find a rifle with one and see if you like it.
  • For the front sight, you may find you like a larger/smaller bead, there are lots of options for that as well.  Time will tell what you like/need.
  • Gunsmith screwdrivers/bits - if you don't have them already!  If you don't, those hardened screws will be needed sooner.

I always go the route of having someone just build it for me.  There are a lot of good 73 smith's out there that specialize in our game.  For Uberti '73's, Lefty Wheeler is my go to.  His rifles will flat out run.

 

Totes

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I've only shot in four monthly matches so far, so maybe my opinion doesn't count yet.   

 

But my Uberti 1873 is box stock.  All I did to it was disassemble it and gently file or stone away any burrs.  I like the idea of learning the ropes before spending more money on firearm mods.  So far my biggest issues are staying calm, remembering the rules/stage instructions, and transitions between firearms.  As for the firearms, the rifle is the least of my worries.  When it becomes my limiting factor I'll start working on it.

 

Ask me again next year and I might have a different answer!

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2 hours ago, Diamond Jake said:

I've only shot in four monthly matches so far, so maybe my opinion doesn't count yet.   

 

But my Uberti 1873 is box stock.  All I did to it was disassemble it and gently file or stone away any burrs.  I like the idea of learning the ropes before spending more money on firearm mods.  So far my biggest issues are staying calm, remembering the rules/stage instructions, and transitions between firearms.  As for the firearms, the rifle is the least of my worries.  When it becomes my limiting factor I'll start working on it.

 

Ask me again next year and I might have a different answer!

 

 

Common sense opinions like those always count. :)

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Shoot the rifle as is.  If it needs a little “slicking up” do that as you see the need.  The fine tuning and go-fast stuff can be added later as you see the need.  Shooting the stock rifle is fine and will give you the chance to get some experience under your belt before you jump in with both feet.  
 

The one improvement that you will really need, other than competition springs, is a coil spring for the lever safety.  The stock lever safety spring makes the gun almost unworkable in competition.

 

It’s best if you learn to do a lot of the work yourself rather than having a “race gun” built for you.  Regardless, there will be a multitude of glitches that are better worked out by you in the field than sending it back to the gunsmith.

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Heisrizn, first of all, that is a very good price with the short stroke.  I agree with shooting it first.  This might be perfectly fine for you, at least until you feel someone else's that is better.  Then who knows.  However, you do want to get that mag tube cap off to clean it inside.  Once you get the tight cap off the first time it is much easier.  Not much need for a brass one IMO unless you just like the looks. Just try not to mess up the slot. To get it off the first time, there are some dedicated tools for the purpose from a few vendors, might be a Brownells bit for it, or take a piece of hacksaw blade and turn it with a vicegrip or such that gives you leverage.  Put a little penetrating oil around the seam a while beforehand.,  Good luck and go watch Jimmy Stewart in Winchester 73. :)

 

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I ordered the light safety spring, lifter/lever Slixxprings, light mainspring and hardened screws. Pretty inexpensive upgrades that I'll do myself. 

 

Is there a guide to lubrication points? I can make out most of the contact points, pins for toggles, lifter lever into carrier etc. Just wasn't certain as to if someone has a guide. 

 

Thx for the help guys. Please keep commenting as you see fit. 

 

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I've shot my 1873 rifles (Uberti) bone stock until just a few years ago, (1st one bought in 1987).  All I've done so far is install Slix Springs for the carrier & lever springs, and the trigger block safety spring.  All done to make the rifle easier to manipulate.  Even the lever throw on mine are stock, and while it does limit how fast I can shoot, I'm not trying to run stages in the teens.  Everyone has their idea of fun, develop your own, and if going fast is it, then do the rifle mods as you progress.  Developing and then practicing transitions between guns will gain you the most time.

 

If you're not planning on shooting your 1873 in cowboy action competition, then ignore the "go fast" comments.  But, for ease of operation the springs are a real joy.  The mainspring is fine as stock.  As lightened mainsprings may contribute to light primer strikes, I've always given them a pass.

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I actually disagree with "shoot the rifle a while" because some of the springs are too strong. 

The best example of that are the lifter/lever springs.  The strong spring WILL wear your lever. 

Do you want to have to replace or repair your lever?  (I had to.)

 

The hammer spring is not as critical, but it will increase wear.

 

These are easy to swap out.  You can then shoot the gun with reduced wear.  Then decide where you may or may not want to go.

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9 hours ago, Heisrizn said:

...Is there a guide to lubrication points? I can make out most of the contact points, pins for toggles, lifter lever into carrier etc. Just wasn't certain as to if someone has a guide. ...

 

 

Some good videos available on youtube, here's one by Lefty Wheeler showing how to assemble the gun and where to lube.

 

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22 hours ago, Marauder SASS #13056 said:

I actually disagree with "shoot the rifle a while" because some of the springs are too strong. 

The best example of that are the lifter/lever springs.  The strong spring WILL wear your lever. 

Do you want to have to replace or repair your lever?  (I had to.)

 

The hammer spring is not as critical, but it will increase wear.

 

These are easy to swap out.  You can then shoot the gun with reduced wear.  Then decide where you may or may not want to go.

 

I don’t disagree with that but question how many rounds it would take before it happened. 

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I've seen damaged lever bosses on Uberti toggle guns after 250 rounds fired.  I'm with Marauder - get rid of the heavy and shard edged factory lever and lifter springs, immediately!

 

Good luck, GJ

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