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Uberti 1873 competition rifle or 20" short rifle in .357Mag?


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I am currently in the process of deciding between a Uberti 1873 competition rifle or a Uberti 20" short rifle in .357Mag.

 

Here in Denmark getting a 1873 tuned up by a professional gunsmith with experience on the 1873 is more or less not an option. There are gunsmiths who can and will do it, but for a considerable price compared to the base price of the rifle.

 

Aesthetically I prefer the traditional butt stock and metal butt plate of the short rifle, but as far as I understand the shotgun style stock and thin rubber butt pad of the competition rifle can still be considered authentic (though uncommon) for the late 1870s and onwards?

 

The price I would have to pay for either rifle is more or less the same.

 

How much real life difference does the factory upgrades done to the competition rifle make in comparison to a stock Uberti 1873?

Edited by Redbeard Jake
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These were talked about a bit here on the Wire a while back.  If I recall correctly the Competition was seen as a step up from a standard Uberti in terms of smoothness and length of throw, but it was probably more cost effective to get a standard Uberti and have a good gunsmith do a race job on it.


Given your circumstances I might go with the Competition.  You say there are good gunsmiths around but they're too expensive?  A new top performing Uberti on this side of the pond is going to run you somewhere between $1,700-2,100.  What would it cost over there?

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I seem to recall there was some discussion of the Uberti "Competition" model here and that they were an improvement over the standard 1873.  A slightly shorter stroke, etc.  I don't recall how they were "sprung", always the bane of the factory Uberti 1873.  If there aren't prohibitions against importing the necessary parts to do a short stroke kit and better aftermarket springs, I'd almost think that might be the best option.  I've been shooting factory stock Uberti 1873s for nearly 34 years, since I bought my first used one in 1987... Then about 4 years ago, I installed lighter springs... and was amazed at the difference just that made.  

 

 

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1 minute ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

These were talked about a bit here on the Wire a while back.  If I recall correctly the Competition was seen as a step up from a standard Uberti in terms of smoothness and length of throw, but it was probably more cost effective to get a standard Uberti and have a good gunsmith do a race job on it.


Given your circumstances I might go with the Competition.  You say there are good gunsmiths around but they're too expensive?  A new top performing Uberti on this side of the pond is going to run you somewhere between $1,700-2,100.  What would it cost over there?

 

A brand new stock Uberti 1873 competition rifle or 20" short rifle costs around $ 1800,- here.

 

A tune up by a professional gunsmith would be around $ 300,- + the price of any replacement parts, which would have to be imported or custom made. The only gunsmith that can be said to have any substantial experience on the 1873 here is located 160+ miles from me, shipping the rifle back and forth would be $ 170,-

 

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Another option would be buy the Competition, since it's the same price why not, then purchase a short stroke kit, aluminum carrier, springs, stainless steel mag spring and follower, and install them yourself.  I'm sure you can find youtube videos that will tell you how.  The lever on the Competition might need some work to fit a short stroke kit.

 

That's probably what I would do if I were in your shoes. 

Edited by Captain Bill Burt
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3 minutes ago, Griff said:

I seem to recall there was some discussion of the Uberti "Competition" model here and that they were an improvement over the standard 1873.  A slightly shorter stroke, etc.  I don't recall how they were "sprung", always the bane of the factory Uberti 1873.  If there aren't prohibitions against importing the necessary parts to do a short stroke kit and better aftermarket springs, I'd almost think that might be the best option.  I've been shooting factory stock Uberti 1873s for nearly 34 years, since I bought my first used one in 1987... Then about 4 years ago, I installed lighter springs... and was amazed at the difference just that made.  

 

 

 

Importing parts is no problem (if the supplier is willing ot ship), the permit is free - but takes 6-8 weeks to obtain. I would probably even be able to install lighter springes myself, I generally take my new weapons apart anyway when getting them and I have restored quite a few rifles over the years.

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3 minutes ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

Another option would be buy the Competition, since it's the same price why not, then purchase a short stroke kit, aluminum carrier, springs, stainless steel mag spring and follower, and install them yourself.  I'm sure you can find youtube videos that will tell you how.  That's probably what I would do if I were in your shoes. 

 

That sounds like a good plan to me.

 

I guess I could use the competition out of the box (more so than the standard 20" short rifle) and then upgrade it over time?

Edited by Redbeard Jake
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2 minutes ago, Redbeard Jake said:

 

Importing parts is no problem (if the supplier is willing ot ship), the permit is free - but takes 6-8 weeks to obtain. I would probably even be able to install lighter springes myself, I generally take my new weapons apart anyway when getting them and I have restored quite a few rifles over the years.

Yep.  Call Cowboys and Indians, find out what parts they recommend and which rifle they think would work best with them.  Then buy that rifle, their parts, and put them in yourself.

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If the prices of both are around the same, I would recommend the Competition model.  It is, as stated above, an improvement over the standard rifle.  Short stroking kits are available, but require some knowledge as to making them fit.  If you are comfortable with replacing springs, that is an easy fix.  Do you require a permit to import the springs?

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1 minute ago, Tex Jones, SASS 2263 said:

If the prices of both are around the same, I would recommend the Competition model.  It is, as stated above, an improvement over the standard rifle.  Short stroking kits are available, but require some knowledge as to making them fit.  If you are comfortable with replacing springs, that is an easy fix.  Do you require a permit to import the springs?

 

Our laws state that you require a permit for importing "parts essential for making the gun function". I would say that includes springs, but honestly I am not sure. The word here is; if in doubt, apply for a permit.

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7 minutes ago, Redbeard Jake said:

 

Our laws state that you require a permit for importing "parts essential for making the gun function". I would say that includes springs, but honestly I am not sure. The word here is; if in doubt, apply for a permit.

If you are not aware of it, according to the SASS club listings, there is a club in Tonder, called Association of Slesvigske Blackpowder Shooters. 

They might be able to give you some advice/support.  The contact is:  Captain Wildbeard cortanasail@yahoo.dk +4560201365.  If we can help out on this end, don't hesitate to contact us. My missus is from Malmo, Sweden.  No next door, but close enough.

 

Tex

 

Edited by Tex Jones, SASS 2263
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15 minutes ago, Tex Jones, SASS 2263 said:

If you are not aware of it, according to the SASS club listings, there is a club in Tonder, called Association of Slesvigske Blackpowder Shooters. 

They might be able to give you some advice/support.  The contact is:  Captain Wildbeard cortanasail@yahoo.dk +4560201365.  If we can help out on this end, don't hesitate to contact us. My missus is from Malmo, Sweden.  No next door, but close enough.

 

Tex

 

 

Thank you, I really appriciate that.

 

I am in contact with two clubs more local to me atm. But due to the covid, everything is closed down right now. As soon as the ranges open up, I will be heading out to shoot.

 

I already have a full 1880-90s kit ready (I am a long time multi period re-enactor, building kits is a thing I really enjoy). The only things I am missing is one revolver (and leather for that), a rifle and some shotgun shell holders (maybe a bandolier).

Edited by Redbeard Jake
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  • 4 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

This morning I picked out and paid for an Uberti "Winchester" 1873 Competition in .357Mag at a local gunstore.

 

Now I just have to await the paperwork. It will take a while, it always does here.

 

I had the pleasure of trying out a very nicely tuned example of this rifle - as well as a Rossi 1892 - at my first CAS match last saturday. Both are nice rifles, but for me the 1873 had a definite edge on alle accounts.

Edited by Redbeard Jake
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The competition model isn't too bad.  If I had only the options you describe, I'd certainly run one at a match, and I would never do that with one that was stock out of the box.  I don't know how good the internals are, or how long they'll last.  But Wildbeard should bring you up to speed!

 

Cheers,

FJT

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  • 2 weeks later...

I broke down and bought one myself last week.  1873 20" Octagon Short Rifle Straight Stock Cimarron / Uberti .357 / .38 Tuned Short Stroked CA271.  I think we both made a good choice.

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  • 3 months later...

Uberti1873CattlemanElPatronCompetition_001.thumb.jpg.52ef1a0cbb31c6cdb741f194352a7d55.jpg

 

Uberti1873Competition357Mag_001.thumb.jpg.e77032a4e1106a8a2347627becd788aa.jpg

 

I ended up with a pair of Uberti 1873 Cattleman El Patrón Competition and a Uberti 1873 Competition Rifle - all in .357 Mag

I have so far shot the rifle in one match - and found it to my expactations. The revolvers will have their first go tomorrow.

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I think you answered your own question, if you don’t have access to a gunsmith looks like you have to go with the Competition rifle. Taylor’s also offers a comp rifle. There’s no comparison to a slicked up short stroked rifle to a stock version. I’d go with the competition model!

 

Good luck;)

Edited by Rye Miles #13621
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I just bought one from Cody which already included his short stroke and action job for $1,548.

 

Cody Conagher
Gunsmith

Home Of The
"Cody-Matic"
The Only Generation You Need to Know

 SPECIALS
GOOD THRU 
July 31, 2021

 

Model 1873 pistol grip deluxe rifles - 20" and my new 18" (Taylor's Exclusive) model -
with choice of front sites
 and SASS compliant "Cody-Matic" action job - $1,548 plus shipping

also;  New Mod Model 1873  20 inch straight stock, checkered grip and forearm 
with choice of front sites and SASS compliant "Cody-Matic" action job - $1,488 plus shipping

http://www.codyscowboyshop.com/badgemv.gif Model 1873 straight stock rifles - 20" and my new 18" (Taylor's Exclusive) model -
with choice of front sites
 and SASS compliant "Cody-Matic" action job - $1,448 plus shipping

Half Round / Half Octagon Barrel, Straight Stock - $1,503 plus shipping

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Howdy,

Just saw this tread after being off the Wire for some time.  But I just opened up my Competition .357 to look inside yesterday.  (I have not shot it for some time nor matches due to some age/health issues).  But three things.  Mine came with what looks like Wisper springs installed, and lighter lever/tang safety spring installed. Also lighter main hammer spring. Finally, it does have a shorter stroke than my original Deluxe and 1866 yellowboy.  But interestingly enough, the toggle links look standard.  Looking closer I think Uberti got a shorter stroke out of modifying the lever profile and/or the carrier lifter profile only.  If I recall from a couple of years ago doing a side by side comparison to a standard lever it looked like more metal was added to the lever where it makes contact with the carrier lifter, thereby not having to throw the lever as far.  

 

I like mine, works good. Might actually still be a little stiff still cause of not being shot much yet.

Regards,

 

Edited by HIGH CARD, SASS #17242
added lighter hammer spring
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