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Questions About Winchester Model 1901


Rube Burrows
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So, I have an original Winchester 1887 in 12 gauge that I only shoot black powder in but after talking to a friend of mine who has a gun shop I am about to purchase a Winchester 1901 in 10 gauge. 

 

The Winchester 1901 was an improvement over the 1887 in that it was made to handle smokless loads. The gun is in great working condition so no worries there. 

 

If anyone has one of these or similar 10 gauge please chime in

 

My questions are as follows; 

 

What is a good starting load for the Winchester 1901? 

 

I use Brass hulls in my 1887, what is a good place to get 10g brass hulls? 

 

Can anyone recommend other types of hulls? 

 

Basically looking for any info for shooting this Model 1901 both for fun and possibly for hunting. 

 

Thank you. 

 

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I've got a 1901 that I've had since the late '90's.  I never shot any smokeless out of it since a) it's a 2 7/8" chamber, so factory loads for it haven't been made since the '60's and b) it's a 10 gauge so they never developed a smokeless 'target' load' for it and full power 10 gauge loads for CAS are overkill at best and dangerous due to potential target damage or back splatter at worst.

 

I download it with BP or Pyrodex.  Max listed powder charge is around 100 gr, so I use 70gr of FFg and 1 1/2-1 5/8 oz of #8's takes care of anything you're likely to face at a match.  My shotgun's bone stock-32" barrel and full choke.  I have bounced knockdowns back upright with that load if I hit a tad too high on the plate.  The powder charge is more in the 12 gauge range, so I don't blow holes in the pattern and it kicks more like a 2 3/4" 12 gauge field load, so I can shoot a box of them in the course of a local match without getting a TechiColor shoulder that hurts for the next 3 days, too.  Nobody that's seen me shoot it or tried it themselves seem to think that it was down loaded too much.

 

I use fiber wads from Circle Fly (at that age of a gun, fiber wads shoot better out of it than plastic- and you don't have to clean melted plastic snot out of the barrel) and I've still got a few hundred OX Yoke Wonder Wads left to help keep the BP fouling soft.

 

I don't know if anybody's making 2 7/8" 10 gauge brass hulls nowadays.  When I bought mine from in the 90's from Rocky Mountain Cartridge they were $4 each, so I wouldn't want to see what they are going for these days.  For plastic hulls, I buy whatever 3 1/2's I can lay hand on and trim them down to length.  With BP, you only get 2, maybe 3, shots from each before they melt through.

Edited by Smuteye John SASS#24774
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33 minutes ago, Smuteye John SASS#24774 said:

...

I don't know if anybody's making 2 7/8" 10 gauge brass hulls nowadays.  When I bought mine from in the 90's from Rocky Mountain Cartridge they were $4 each, so I wouldn't want to see what they are going for these days.  For plastic hulls, I buy whatever 3 1/2's I can lay hand on and trim them down to length.  With BP, you only get 2, maybe 3, shots from each before they melt through.

 

Track of the Wolf

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What PaleWolf said. I bought a dozen of ‘em a few years ago. I had a little over a dozen original Winchester brass shells and that made it so’s I could shoot a five stage match with all brass shells.

 

 I have loaded as much as 140gr of FFFg and an ounce and a half of #7 shot for a fun load that shot well out of my 1901 and my Remington double. ‘Bout one of those every stage makes enough smoke and noise to put a smile on any true darksider’s face!

 

For plastic hulls, I have bought primed Federal high brass hulls cut to my size from GAD Custom Ammunition, 100 at a time.  They were reasonable and I held up well.  I bought my own skiver and roll crimp tools from Ballistic Products and have had great results with Black Powder and smokeless. I get several reloads out of the smokeless shells.  You CAN trim off the scorched part of the plastic hulls and use ‘em a couple more times if you’re so inclined.

 

I recently acquired a set of CH4D 12ga dies for my brass 12ga shells. After using them, I aim to get a set for my 10ga brass.  They’re expensive as HELL, but they are the ticket for brass shotgun shells!!

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I’ll add that I have missed targets by as much as a foot with the 10ga and the targets still went down!!  And that’s with a 70gr one ounce load!!:rolleyes: :o :lol:

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13 minutes ago, Blackwater 53393 said:

I’ll add that I have missed targets by as much as a foot with the 10ga and the targets still went down!!  And that’s with a 70gr one ounce load!!:rolleyes: :o :lol:

Fear.... on the part of the targets will do that you know! :P

Regards

:FlagAm:  :FlagAm:  :FlagAm:

Gateway Kid

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The first time it happened, I was shooting a large Black Powder match.  I put two rounds in rapid succession past the last two targets of the match. OBVIOUS clean misses!! As the smoke cloud whipped past the targets, both went down.  The TO turned to me and said with astonishment, “The concussion knocked ‘em down!”  All three spotters said clean and everybody on the posse shook their heads and laughed!!

 

Was’t the last time it’s happened…. :unsure: :lol:

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9 hours ago, Blackwater 53393 said:

I’ll add that I have missed targets by as much as a foot with the 10ga and the targets still went down!!  And that’s with a 70gr one ounce load!!:rolleyes: :o :lol:

:D

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11 hours ago, Smuteye John SASS#24774 said:

I've got a 1901 that I've had since the late '90's.  I never shot any smokeless out of it since a) it's a 2 7/8" chamber, so factory loads for it haven't been made since the '60's and b) it's a 10 gauge so they never developed a smokeless 'target' load' for it and full power 10 gauge loads for CAS are overkill at best and dangerous due to potential target damage or back splatter at worst.

 

I download it with BP or Pyrodex.  Max listed powder charge is around 100 gr, so I use 70gr of FFg and 1 1/2-1 5/8 oz of #8's takes care of anything you're likely to face at a match.  My shotgun's bone stock-32" barrel and full choke.  I have bounced knockdowns back upright with that load if I hit a tad too high on the plate.  The powder charge is more in the 12 gauge range, so I don't blow holes in the pattern and it kicks more like a 2 3/4" 12 gauge field load, so I can shoot a box of them in the course of a local match without getting a TechiColor shoulder that hurts for the next 3 days, too.  Nobody that's seen me shoot it or tried it themselves seem to think that it was down loaded too much.

 

I use fiber wads from Circle Fly (at that age of a gun, fiber wads shoot better out of it than plastic- and you don't have to clean melted plastic snot out of the barrel) and I've still got a few hundred OX Yoke Wonder Wads left to help keep the BP fouling soft.

 

I don't know if anybody's making 2 7/8" 10 gauge brass hulls nowadays.  When I bought mine from in the 90's from Rocky Mountain Cartridge they were $4 each, so I wouldn't want to see what they are going for these days.  For plastic hulls, I buy whatever 3 1/2's I can lay hand on and trim them down to length.  With BP, you only get 2, maybe 3, shots from each before they melt through.

Thanks. I am not looking to use this one at a match. Mostly just shooting fun and maybe some hunting if I can get a load I am comfortable using on game. 

10 hours ago, Blackwater 53393 said:

What PaleWolf said. I bought a dozen of ‘em a few years ago. I had a little over a dozen original Winchester brass shells and that made it so’s I could shoot a five stage match with all brass shells.

 

 I have loaded as much as 140gr of FFFg and an ounce and a half of #7 shot for a fun load that shot well out of my 1901 and my Remington double. ‘Bout one of those every stage makes enough smoke and noise to put a smile on any true darksider’s face!

 

For plastic hulls, I have bought primed Federal high brass hulls cut to my size from GAD Custom Ammunition, 100 at a time.  They were reasonable and I held up well.  I bought my own skiver and roll crimp tools from Ballistic Products and have had great results with Black Powder and smokeless. I get several reloads out of the smokeless shells.  You CAN trim off the scorched part of the plastic hulls and use ‘em a couple more times if you’re so inclined.

 

I recently acquired a set of CH4D 12ga dies for my brass 12ga shells. After using them, I aim to get a set for my 10ga brass.  They’re expensive as HELL, but they are the ticket for brass shotgun shells!!

Thanks for the input. 

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Regarding hulls, Track of the Wolf already mentioned above, Rocky Mountain Cartridge, figure at least $10 per hull, plus shipping or going to gun shows (or maybe online auctions) and buying the old "antique" ones, most of which can be reloaded using a large pistol primer.

 

My side by side load is 120 grs of 1F or 2F and 1.5 oz of shot.  Lots of fun and recoil is a "shove" rather than the "punch" of a smokeless round.

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4 hours ago, Chantry said:

Regarding hulls, Track of the Wolf already mentioned above, Rocky Mountain Cartridge, figure at least $10 per hull, plus shipping or going to gun shows (or maybe online auctions) and buying the old "antique" ones, most of which can be reloaded using a large pistol primer.

 

My side by side load is 120 grs of 1F or 2F and 1.5 oz of shot.  Lots of fun and recoil is a "shove" rather than the "punch" of a smokeless round.

 

Thanks. I would really like to also hear some smokeless loads because I would love to shoot some smokeless in this one since it can handle it and use my original 87 for my black powder loads. 

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From what I have found you may have trouble finding a smokeless 2-7/8" published load.

 

The early Lyman Shotshell books listed 2-7/8"; but shothell loads are very component exact & the hulls listed were Win. Paper & Rem. plastic SP with early type 57 primers..

These were also Hunting loads.

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Earl Brasse, SASS #3562 said:

From what I have found you may have trouble finding a smokeless 2-7/8" published load.

 

The early Lyman Shotshell books listed 2-7/8"; but shothell loads are very component exact & the hulls listed were Win. Paper & Rem. plastic SP with early type 57 primers..

These were also Hunting loads.

 

 

You're right. I have not been able to find much in the way of published loads for this. 

 

I thought I might hit you up for some 10g reloading tools also. Loving my 12g stuff I got from you. 

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4 hours ago, Rube Burrows said:

 

Thanks. I would really like to also hear some smokeless loads because I would love to shoot some smokeless in this one since it can handle it and use my original 87 for my black powder loads. 

 

http://www.ballisticproducts.com will probably be your best chance for hulls and other components, especially 10 gauge.  They do have a load manual for 10 g that has 10 loads for ITX shot and the lightest load is 1 1/4 of #4 ITX-10 #4 at 1200 fps.

 

You might also try https://www.doublegunshop.com/forums/ubbthreads.php some of the posters might have some 10 gauge loads as well.

 

Not too many people shoot a 10 gauge with smokeless just for fun so there isn't much load data that I am aware of.

 

IF you use brass hulls (except RMC) you'll need to go up to 9 gauge wads, overshot cards, etc 

 

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Glad you're having fun with them.

I know I have more old 12 ga but I'll have to go digging to see what I have in 10 ga.

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4 hours ago, Chantry said:

 

http://www.ballisticproducts.com will probably be your best chance for hulls and other components, especially 10 gauge.  They do have a load manual for 10 g that has 10 loads for ITX shot and the lightest load is 1 1/4 of #4 ITX-10 #4 at 1200 fps.

 

You might also try https://www.doublegunshop.com/forums/ubbthreads.php some of the posters might have some 10 gauge loads as well.

 

Not too many people shoot a 10 gauge with smokeless just for fun so there isn't much load data that I am aware of.

 

IF you use brass hulls (except RMC) you'll need to go up to 9 gauge wads, overshot cards, etc 

 

Thanks for the great info. 

2 hours ago, Earl Brasse, SASS #3562 said:

Glad you're having fun with them.

I know I have more old 12 ga but I'll have to go digging to see what I have in 10 ga.

If you find some stuff let me know and I’ll see if it’s something I could use. 

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Picked up the gun today. Dates to 1917 and is pretty nice. Just need to find a stock buttplate. This one has a rubber one that’s seen better days. 

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7 hours ago, Rip Snorter said:

Maybe here - I got a nice one for a '97 https://vintagegungrips.com/?s=winchester&post_type=product

Well, I found the correct one there but I was worried about fitment. I pulled the one of my original 1887 and now realize that my 1901 stock was cut to put the recoil pad on it. The metal buttplate wont fit properly. 

 

So now, I guess I will try to figure out how to go back with some type of recoil pad that looks vintage and will help the gun rather than hurt it anymore. 

Here are a couple photos of it with the old degrading recoil pad and then a couple with my original 87.

 

IMG_0096_Easy-Resize.com.jpg

IMG_9200_Easy-Resize.com.jpg

IMG_9208_Easy-Resize.com.jpg

IMG_9201_Easy-Resize.com (1).jpg

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Just some thoughts...

 

Compare length to see how much was cut.

Measure what length works best for you.

The "stock" length may not have been optimum for you.

Look to see who makes a really good recoil pad.

I think they sell stock spacers to put under the recoil pad to add length.

Make or buy a nice leather butt cover.

Klickitat Bob makes some real nice ones & does excellent custom work.

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If the stock length is good, it is very easy to trim the hard plastic repros from vintage.  Simply score and use a drum or belt sander.  Brownells has various spacers as well. which trim the same way.  I never much cared for recoil pads or butt covers but I'm probably in a minority.

 

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6 hours ago, Rip Snorter said:

If the stock length is good, it is very easy to trim the hard plastic repros from vintage.  Simply score and use a drum or belt sander.  Brownells has various spacers as well. which trim the same way.  I never much cared for recoil pads or butt covers but I'm probably in a minority.

 

I don’t particularly care for either of them either. I prefer the metal or plastic buttplates. But, since the stock was cut I don’t have much of a choice. I’ll keep searching in hopes to find an unmolsted stock but for now I want it shootable. 

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7 hours ago, Earl Brasse, SASS #3562 said:

Just some thoughts...

 

Compare length to see how much was cut.

Measure what length works best for you.

The "stock" length may not have been optimum for you.

Look to see who makes a really good recoil pad.

I think they sell stock spacers to put under the recoil pad to add length.

Make or buy a nice leather butt cover.

Klickitat Bob makes some real nice ones & does excellent custom work.

Thanks. I’m still looking at and weighing my options. The recoil pad is about one inch thick and that makes the length of pull about where I need it. 

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These come in different thicknesses and look period correct.

 

Link is for a 1" thick pad but they come as thin as 1/2".

 

Pachmayr D752B Decelerator Old English Recoil Pad Grind to Fit Leather Texture

Edited by Sedalia Dave
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10 hours ago, Sedalia Dave said:

These come in different thicknesses and look period correct.

 

Link is for a 1" thick pad but they come as thin as 1/2".

 

Pachmayr D752B Decelerator Old English Recoil Pad Grind to Fit Leather Texture

Thanks. That might be the best option at this point. 

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