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I've never had feed problems in a 73 with .45 or .44-40 but since I went to .38's I've had feed problems intermittently with my Uberti 73.

 

My question is the 1866 chambered in .38 spl better than the 73? In my mind it seems like it would feed better.

 

I reload my .38's to 1.45 length and my 73 works except once in a while it has a little "hitch" seems like the round doesn't chamber smoothly. Never had that problem in my 66!

What say ya'll???

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I would experiment with your bullet OAL. Your rifle may prefer a little longer OAL on the 38 bullet.  In our stable, we have 1 rifle that prefers a bit longer of a bullet than the others. We load all the bullets to that longer length and they are all happy. Just took a bit of experimentation to figure it out.

 

If you find that lengthening the OAL clears your issue, you could look into changing the angle of the ramp on the carrier and see if that helps and go back to a shorter OAL.

 

Some folks also swear by a liner in their magazine tube to help resolve intermittent feeding issues.

 

 

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If it's not chambering smoothly check your crimps. I used some nickel cases recently and noticed during a match that some weren't chambering(had to close the lever with a little more umph). After I got home I adjusted the crimp die and fixed it; maybe you're die backed off a tad?

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I don't own a 73 in 357, but the three model 92s I have used would not reliably run 38s.  My solution was to use a longer 175gr bullet specifically designed to be crimped in a 38 case but have the OAL of a 357.  While the 1873 action is a lot more forgiving than the 1892 on OAL they do still seem to benefit from running full length cartridges.

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The other two rifles you mentioned were chambered specifically for those cartridges. The rifle you are experiencing problems with was chambered for .357 magnum, a longer cartridge. To shoot .38 special in a 73 you need to keep your OAL at 1.455 inches or greater. I've also found a TCFP bullet feeds smother than a RNFP. Many shooters use the longer .357 brass but loaded down to .38 special levels to help.

Edited by Doc X
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I shot a '66 with 38 special for a little over 10 years..

No problems with 1.435 Overall length..

i switched to a Uberti '73 a few years back..

It would not cycle as smoothly..

Somtimes it would lock up..

I took the brass lifters out of both..

I used an angle gauge and changed the angle of the ramp on the  

'73 lifter to the same as my '66 lifter.. Haven't had problems since..

 

Rance ;)

Thinkin' I ain't a gunsmith tho.. :huh:

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My Uberti '73 prefers 38 SPL with a OAL at 1.500" to run smoothly.  As others have suggested above, experiment with cartridge OAL.  I have had very good success with 125 gr TCFP bullets loaded to 1.500" with a good crimp.  I followed the advice here: https://www.longhunt.com/web/index.php?page=1873-winchester 

 

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My 66 will chamber and fire 357's, although marke for 38sp Only. I suspect there is no difference in the makeup of the 66 and 73. I know the carrier is the same part, as are the links, bolt, springs. I do not thoink you would solve whatever your feed problem is by switching to a  66, unless there is just something wrong with the 73 you have.

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Put in a mag tube liner and I bet your problems go away.  All Uberti rifles use the same diameter mag tube regardless of caliber. When shooting 38s or 357s the rounds can become a little cocked in the mag tube and this occasionally causes a little hitch when cycling the action. Especially if you are one of the fast shooters.

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Hi Rye :D

 

First a CAVEAT:  I personally prefer Brass Rifles.  '66s and Henrys.  The Brass rifles have a "different" feel than '73s.  The internal parts of a '66 and the '73 (Uberti) are EXACTLY the same.  If you're having intermittent feed issues, look to your ammunition.  The Rifle may not like your bullet choice.  My "go-to" bullet for 38 is a 125Gr Truncated Flat Point.  No feeding issues at all.  As mentioned above, Uberti uses the "One Size Fits All" magazine tubes.  A liker for 38s may well improve your feeding.  Also, if you have an occasional "hitch" cycling the action, you may well get occasional feed issues.  After-Market Carrier Blocks can also cause feeding problems.

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I do have a magazine tube sleeve and I also use 125 gr tcfp at 1.45 length. I don’t have an aftermarket carrier its the original carrier. My 66 works just fine this 73 is awful fussy. I’m about ready to sell it at a good price just to be done with it. I’m thinking to get another 66. 
Thanks guys!

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8 minutes ago, Rye Miles #13621 said:

I do have a magazine tube sleeve and I also use 125 gr tcfp at 1.45 length. I don’t have an aftermarket carrier its the original carrier. My 66 works just fine this 73 is awful fussy. I’m about ready to sell it at a good price just to be done with it. I’m thinking to get another 66. 
Thanks guys!

give you $10 for it ;)

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I reload my .38's to 1.45 length and my 73 works except once in a while it has a little "hitch" seems like the round doesn't chamber smoothly.

 

1.45" is a very Short OAL length for a non-modified 73 carrier to feed well.  No, a '66 won't (on average) feed any better than a 73 toggle gun, since unmodified carriers are all shaped about the same.  

 

Test - Load up a few dummy rounds with no powder or primer.  Stick several in the mag.  Cycle slowly and see if your carrier pushes the SECOND cartridge back off the carrier and completely into the magazine as the carrier starts rising from the bottom of it's stroke.   If the second cartridge rim catches even slightly on the shelf inside the carrier, the "cartridge return ramp" machined in the front face of the carrier is too steep.  

 

Making that ramp more shallow by filing and polishing is almost REQUIRED to feed 1.450" cartridges in most toggle guns!   Do not file so much off that you break into the hollow cavity behind the ramp, though, or gun won't feed at all!   The ramp gets reangled, not completely set back from the front of carrier.  In other words, take material off the ramp at the top of ramp, and none at the bottom of ramp (the bottom surface of carrier), and tapered all the way in between.

 

Your .45 and 44-40 ammo can't be loaded to that short an OAL without going to a real short-nosed slug, so that's why you have not seen this problem before.

 

Second item that causes some feed glitches (especially with a fully loaded magazine) is a poorly shaped loading gate mortise.   See details about how to check that and fix that on Pioneer Gunworks tech notes site, open the page about "Model 66 & 73 frame modification to improve feeding of the first round "  

https://www.pioneergunworks.com/technical-info/

 

 

Oh, and no real good ever comes from going to a smaller cartridge.  :o:lol:

 

Good luck, GJ

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708
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Rye, I use a 147gr. TCFP with a OAL of 1.52"  Works great.

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1 hour ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

 

1.45" is a very Short OAL length for a non-modified 73 carrier to feed well.  No, a '66 won't (on average) feed any better than a 73 toggle gun, since unmodified carriers are all shaped about the same.  

 

Test - Load up a few dummy rounds with no powder or primer.  Stick several in the mag.  Cycle slowly and see if your carrier pushes the SECOND cartridge back off the carrier and completely into the magazine as the carrier starts rising from the bottom of it's stroke.   If the second cartridge rim catches even slightly on the shelf inside the carrier, the "cartridge return ramp" machined in the front face of the carrier is too steep.  

 

Making that ramp more shallow by filing and polishing is almost REQUIRED to feed 1.450" cartridges in most toggle guns!   Do not file so much off that you break into the hollow cavity behind the ramp, though, or gun won't feed at all!   The ramp gets reangled, not completely set back from the front of carrier.  In other words, take material off the ramp at the top of ramp, and none at the bottom of ramp (the bottom surface of carrier), and tapered all the way in between.

 

Your .45 and 44-40 ammo can't be loaded to that short an OAL without going to a real short-nosed slug, so that's why you have not seen this problem before.

 

Second item that causes some feed glitches (especially with a fully loaded magazine) is a poorly shaped loading gate mortise.   See details about how to check that and fix that on Pioneer Gunworks tech notes site, open the page about "Model 66 & 73 frame modification to improve feeding of the first round "  

https://www.pioneergunworks.com/technical-info/

 

 

Oh, and no real good ever comes from going to a smaller cartridge.  :o:lol:

 

Good luck, GJ

Sounds like I need a gunsmith, I'm not ready to do all that. Thanks, Rye

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3 hours ago, Sedalia Dave said:

Put in a mag tube liner and I bet your problems go away.  All Uberti rifles use the same diameter mag tube regardless of caliber. When shooting 38s or 357s the rounds can become a little cocked in the mag tube and this occasionally causes a little hitch when cycling the action. Especially if you are one of the fast shooters.

+1 on the mag tube. Imagine this same oversized diameter tube mounted on my Uberti '73 in 32WCF. Had all kinds of feedng issues. Then someone on here told me about the 38/357 mag tube liners. It wasn't cheap but it took care of my feeding issues.

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4 hours ago, Bingo Montana said:

My Uberti '73 prefers 38 SPL with a OAL at 1.500" to run smoothly.  As others have suggested above, experiment with cartridge OAL.  I have had very good success with 125 gr TCFP bullets loaded to 1.500" with a good crimp.  I followed the advice here: https://www.longhunt.com/web/index.php?page=1873-winchester 

 

I'm running 105 gr TCFP loaded to 1.500" with a good crimp.  Never had an issue with either ,73

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7 minutes ago, High Spade Mikey Wilson said:

+1 on the mag tube. Imagine this same oversized diameter tube mounted on my Uberti '73 in 32WCF. Had all kinds of feedng issues. Then someone on here told me about the 38/357 mag tube liners. It wasn't cheap but it took care of my feeding issues.

I have one it doesn't make any difference!:o

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2 hours ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

 

1.45" is a very Short OAL length for a non-modified 73 carrier to feed well.  No, a '66 won't (on average) feed any better than a 73 toggle gun, since unmodified carriers are all shaped about the same.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How come my 66 feeds just fine with a 1.45?? Hmmm..........

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5 minutes ago, Tex Jones, SASS 2263 said:

Rye,  this is all very confusing.  Get a new '66 and be done with it.  ;)

Exactly what I’m thinking!! :)

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How come my 66 feeds just fine with a 1.45?? Hmmm..........

 

Because the cartridge return ramp is a little different.   I have found I can make ANY toggle gun feed down to 1.400" with the correct return ramp angle.  But, the lever has to do a little more work pushing the stack of cartridges back into the mag each stroke.   That is why almost all toggle guns run better up around 1.53 to 1.55" OAL.

 

Good luck, GJ

 

 

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708
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5 hours ago, Rye Miles #13621 said:

I reload my .38's to 1.45 length and my 73 works except once in a while it has a little "hitch" seems like the round doesn't chamber smoothly. Never had that problem in my 66!

What say ya'll???

 

 

Your OP says the "hitch" consists of not chambering smoothly.  But most everything talked about so far seems to deal with feeding.  In my mind those are two separate issues.  Can you clarify? 

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Garrison Joe might be on to something.  Replacing my worn carrier with a new skeletonized brass carrier modified by one of the top cowboy gunsmiths has finally solved all my feeding issues with my re-built .357 Uberti 1873.  I did all of the following, but the new "tuned" carried was the final step that really solved all my remaining issues:

 

  • 1.53 OAL cartridge length - I'm also using a chamber checker on fired brass to weed out cases that "balloon" when fired 
  • aluminum magazine tube liner
  • new 4th gen short stroke - properly timed
  • de-carbonized chamber
  • new hammer, lever, sear, and fitted trigger 
  • new bolt assembly with replaceable bottom tab
  • new carrier

 

 

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50 minutes ago, Shooting Bull said:

 

 

Your OP says the "hitch" consists of not chambering smoothly.  But most everything talked about so far seems to deal with feeding.  In my mind those are two separate issues.  Can you clarify? 

I may not be using the correct term, the HITCH is happening when I’m closing the lever , therefore it’s not chambering smoothly. Would FEEDING be the round going on the carrier??? Is that what you mean??

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Get Rye is u decide to sell lmk. ;)

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8 minutes ago, Dirty Dutch Brody said:

Get Rye is u decide to sell lmk. ;)

Huh???

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Rye, I had a 73 in .357 and have a 66 in .38, I had a similar problem with my 73 when shooting .38's in it even though they were set up the same. For some reason I just shot the 66 better. I traded the 73 off to somone here for a couple pistols and some cash.If I shot .357 mag in it I had no problems.

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Your lifter timing may be off a tad.  With dummies run it slowly and then at speed.  Is the carrier rising enuff?

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3 minutes ago, Cheyenne Culpepper 32827 said:

Your lifter timing may be off a tad.  With dummies run it slowly and then at speed.  Is the carrier rising enuff?

I think it’s rising enough since it works like maybe 8 out 10. Sometimes I can get all 10 rounds out okay. It’s very intermittent. :blink:

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I just want to know why 38. You know real calibers start with 4.:P:D:P

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36 minutes ago, Rye Miles #13621 said:

I may not be using the correct term, the HITCH is happening when I’m closing the lever , therefore it’s not chambering smoothly. Would FEEDING be the round going on the carrier??? Is that what you mean??

 

To me feeding is the transition from the magazine onto the carrier and then up to the chamber.  Chambering is the round actually going into the chamber.  Both of those obviously happen when you're closing the lever, feeding first then chambering. 

 

Something else occurred to me.  You said it doesn't happen all the time.  How much checking do you do on your ammo?  I used to have a horrible problem jacking out live rounds during a match.  I always thought it was me (Which isn't out of the realm of possibility) but then it occurred to me it may be my ammo. Since I started using a case gauge on all my rounds and throwing out the bad ones that problem has virtually disappeared.  In your case the tolerances on your '73 might be a bit tighter than on your '66 so it's not happy with the odd round that slightly out of spec.  Just a guess. 

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5 minutes ago, Sixgun Seamus said:

I just want to know why 38. You know real calibers start with 4.:P:D:P

You mean those 45 cowboy specials you use with LESS powder than I use in my .38’s?? Yea right!!:P

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Just get an Original .38 ,,,,,, .38 WCF ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ( Really a .40 ) in a 66...

And skip past the feeding problems .... And 34 grains by weight of Goex under a 180 gr. bullet Will put a mile wide smile on your face and a tear in your competition's eyes...

 

Jabez Cowboy 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Jabez Cowboy,SASS # 50129 said:

Just get an Original .38 ,,,,,, .38 WCF ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ( Really a .40 ) in a 66...

And skip past the feeding problems .... And 34 grains by weight of Goex under a 180 gr. bullet Will put a mile wide smile on your face and a tear in your competition's eyes...

 

Jabez Cowboy 

 

 

No more black for me! I had about 8 years of it, I'm done but thanks for the suggestion anyway!;)

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