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Cleaning an 1873 .357 Uberti


Quiet Burp
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I would really like to get some information and advice on cleaning the action on a 1873 .357 Uberti rifle.

Its looking a lot more complicated that slipping the bolt out of a bolt action rifle and cleaning the action.

 

How far do I have to get into the innards of the 1873 to clean it? How's the best way to oil it?

 

How many rounds between a basic clean and oil and how many rounds to a more thorough clean and oil?

 

Appreciate any advice, I'm new to lever guns and this was expensive and I want to take good care of it.

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You tube is your friend here.  It’s actually not too hard…. Lot’s of videos showing assembly and disassembly. 

 

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Different people have different cleaning schedules and invasiveness.  I fully disassemble mine after every 10 stages or so.

 

  Look over a few videos and try what you see.  The hardest part is loosening the lifter and lever springs, which are under significant pressure.  The screws will strip if you don't first remove the side plates and gently lift the spring ends off of their articulations.  Then, with the side plates removed,  the disassembly and reassembly will be straight forward, until you try to close it up.  You have to be sure the two above springs are back on their proper articulations or the side plates will not go back on. 

 

Many people in local clubs are very familiar with the assembly and disassembly and cleaning.  I strongly suggest that you ask one of them to mentor you on your first go at it.  

Edited by Dusty Devil Dale
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The first time you open it up and the toggles fall out on the table, there will be a very slight moment of panic.  No worries, it's really easy as long as you don't need to remove the bolt.  That is a little more involved.  How often you need to clean out the firing pin channel and under the extractor will be a YMMV situation.  There are some recent threads on here about cleaning under the extractor.  It becomes more important if your loads are light (more fouling into the action).  My .357 carbine, made in '97, has had a mere 10,000 rounds through it because I shoot others as well, but my loads are BP with no filler or mid-range smokeless.  The action does get dirty (especially with BP) but I have never had to remove the bolt.

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Not the best video I have seen. The only reason to remove the stock and lower tang is to be able to remove the bolt, and he never removed it. Normal cleaning involves removing the side plates, loosen the lifter and lever springs, remove the links, lifter arm, lever, lifter. Clean all these parts and the inside of the receiver of carbon. You can usually clean the bolt face without removing it. Once a year or so, you should remove the bolt and thoroughly clean it. Light 38s have a lot of blowback leaving carbon on these parts. I use RIGG gun grease on the links and lever, CLP on the bolt and lifter area where the most carbon will build up.

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You can remove the bolt with the lever in place, if you need to. The extension should clear the hammer enough to pull it out. Some come that way, & some don't. For the ones that don't, you can dremel enough off the top of the hammer so it will clear. Some don't clean the goodies under the side plate but once per year. I like to clean there after 12 stages or so. You can spray the carrier & bolt area with CRC QD electronic cleaner after each shoot & spray a little BreakFree.

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I clean out around the carrier before every monthly match or after practices, including using a q-tip with break free in the corners where the carrier travels. I run the carrier dry. I will strip the rifle down, including taking out the bolt for every big match.  Just last Friday my son started having problems at Bordertown with his rifle.  There was carbon build up under the extractor allowing the cases to slip off.  Palo Verde gave him a new one and we were back shooting.  It was my fault for not checking it.  Every three months I do take off the side plates and clean the carrier and all parts accept taking out the bolt, re-grease the links and oil and grease the side plates.  This is a good time to inspect you lifter springs.  Many great shooters will strip their firearms much more frequent!!!  I use  STOS and break free for lubrication.  Good luck!!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'll be the contrarian here. 

 

I took the bolt and carrier out of my Uberti last month for the first time.  Thanks @Palmetto Travellerfor showing me how to do it.   At that point I'm estimating I had about 25,000 rounds through it.

 

Prior to that the only cleaning I did involved taking the side plates off, and cleaning the mag tube.  I guess I won't wait so long next time.  I'll mark my calendar and take the bolt and carrier out again probably in 2023, or if I'm busy 2024.

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