Jump to content
SASS Wire Forum

Uberti 73 missing lever safety


Dred Bob

Recommended Posts

I've created a couple of threads on this rifle.  I just joined SASS and shot my first match late last year.  I purchased a used 73' at one of the last matches that was tuned and stroked and the price was reasonable.   I'm not blaming the seller for my issues post sale but my own inexperience and familiarity with these rifles.  I've had a few issues with it but stuff I can work through and I'm learning a lot which has value to me.   I didn't know that these rifles had a built-in lever safety and therefore didn't catch that this rifle's was removed.   I've come to the personal conclusion that I'm not comfortable shooting it without the safety and for me whatever benefits might exist don't outweigh the risks of running it sans safety.

 

I understand help is limited without pictures and details about the specific modifications (which I don't really know) all I can say is that it was worked on.  I can provide pictures if that is helpful but thought I'd get some feedback on what I'm getting into first.   Is this probably a simple fix of dropping in a couple of parts or does the process of tuning or short stroking generally mean that the safety has to be removed and the two things are mutually exclusive  (you can have a safety or you can have a short stroked rifle).   I don't have a local gunsmith experienced with these 73's.  I've received a lot great information here so thought I'd start with the forum first.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don’t know of any short stroke kit that prevents the use of the lever safety.

 

Any competent gunsmith should be able to replace the parts as needed or repair whatever may have been modified.

 

If you’re handy with tools and mechanically inclined, you can probably do it yourself with a little research.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pictures are always helpful.

 

I'd hate to put my foot in my mouth here but a lot of guys have been shooting 1866's over the years without any issues and they don't have lever safety. The safety was added when they turned the 66 into the 73. 

 

My wife and I both share a 66 and we've put a few thousand rounds through it without issue. Having said that I've heard of people on the wire seeing or getting an out of battery detonation but they seem to be rare in my short experience with SASS. (Though this could be because the majority of shooters are running 73's with lever safeties. I am definitely not the only 66 shooter. I see at least one other one (or an 1860 Henry) at most of the matches I go to and we usually only have 10 or so shooters so it's not like I'm going to big matches.)

 

Are the 73's with the safety removed any more dangerous than a 66? (This is where my knowledge is limited. I haven't torn into a 73 to see how the lever safety works.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many '73s have had the lever safety removed when they were being tuned in the belief that the rifle can be made to fire more quickly.  Others have had the spring on the safety lightened enough so that the rife can function easily enough with the part still in place.  There are parts available on the VTI Gun Parts website (under Uberti 1873 rifles , Items 91 and 94 on the schematic).  As Blackwater mentioned any competent gunsmith should be able to fit the parts or, perhaps one of your fellow shooters can help.  The only way to know for sure is to take the stock off and look to see if there has been any alteration to the lower tang.

 

Usually the parts drop in and the spring can be modified a bit so that the safety functions easily without having to eliminate it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Depends on what was actually done, but the 73’ lever safety is pretty easy to replace. The factory flat spring might need a little “tweaking” to get it nice and light or you can get an aftermarket coiled spring (about $8) from Long Hunters supply. I have switched all of my own springs to the coil version BTW. A bit more disassembly than a cleaning but I never actually was shown how to do it and I still got it done. 
Regards

:FlagAm:  :FlagAm:  :FlagAm:

Gateway Kid

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

pictures of the lever and lower tang.  If I can figure out if original parts will work I'd like to try that before sending it out somewhere.  If so, what parts are needed.

20240508_110357.jpg_compressed.JPEG

 

20240508_110349.jpg_compressed.JPEG

Edited by Dred Bob
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've witnessed three '66 out-of-battery discharge while doing TO duties. Been on the same posse for about 5 more obd's with the '66. No person was injured but I'm not sure of about their underwear.

 

If all of these '73 lever safeties have been removed, where the heck are all of the removed parts? Never see them for sale...ever. Hmm, wonder why?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My oldest '73 had the original flat safety spring break (which I've never heard of before) and the pieces fell out while I was cleaning it, many years ago.  This was before the light coil springs were available, but the safety still works by gravity.  So I can't fire it upside down, but that's okay. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, Dred Bob said:

20240508_110357.jpg_compressed.JPEG

 

20240508_110349.jpg_compressed.JPEG

 

I haven't seen this particular coil spring mod before.   I'm familiar with Pioneer's and Boogie's, this isn't them.   Just curious, does anyone know who does this one?  Looks sort of like a mousetrap arrangement.

Edited by McCandless
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Model 66s have a one piece trigger so the lever safety will not work with them.  (Some of the OLD Navy arms 66s had a two piece trigger and lever safety.)  73s have a two piece trigger to accomdate the lever safety.  (Some of the first original Winchester 73s did not have the safety.)  Some 73 tuners weld up the trigger to make it a one piece.  First thing to do is simply cock the hammer and see if there is some fore and aft wiggle in the trigger.  If there is putting the safety back in is easy.  If the trigger has been welded you will need to buy new two piece parts.  From your photo it looks like the safety lever pin is still in the gun.  Green arrow.  All that is needed is the safety lever and the safety lever spring.  The safety seldom if ever needs fitting.  A chimp working for peanuts can do the job.  Your mainspring (and answer to McCanless question) is a SLIX.  You will have to remove it as the safety goes underneath it.  I would not buy a flat leaf style safety spring.  The newer Uberti's use a coil and there are several aftermarket coil safety spring.   

20240508_110357.jpg_compressed.thumb.JPEG.30d1598688891b50bb52037a7c85c95d.jpeg

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Here is a schematic from VTI.  You need part #91.  Part #94 is the old style leaf spring.  You DO NOT want that.  VTI does not show the newer coil style on this diagram.  Part #111 is the pin the green arrow is pointing to.

 

 

Screenshot2024-05-08at8_57_39AM.thumb.png.9fa35b739a75f1bda3ece8c21490da24.png

 

Sometimes the lever might have to be modified slightly for the coil spring.  Shotgun Boogie, for example, sells the lever already modified for his coil spring.

 

73_safety_bar_1024x1024.thumb.jpg.bad1d66843632adf25eb7f2e1ffbbcdc.jpg

 

 

Screenshot2024-05-08at9_05_58AM.png.47e564a8e8af2c2439d000707a6fff01.png

 

Safety-Bar-Spring-1873-Uberti 2.jpg.webloc

Edited by Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933 said:

A chimp working for peanuts can do the job.

 

That's what I was hoping for!  I *might* be qualified but not guaranteed.  I'm willing to try

 

3 hours ago, Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933 said:

You will have to remove it as the safety goes underneath it.  I would not buy a flat leaf style safety spring.

 

remove it just to install the safety lever and spring? or remove it and replace it with a different system?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933 said:

Part #111 is the pin the green arrow is pointing to

 

I removed the Slix hammer spring assy.  This is what is underneath.  The pin you you identified has a small spring on it doing nothing.  So it looks like I just need the safety bar from Boogie and install it on that pin with the spring tensioned on top.

20240508_155506.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Yep, all you need is the safety bar itslf.  The short leg that is facing forward sits on top of the safety bar.

Edited by Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Removing the lever safety was not uncommon in the early days of short-stroking rifles.  If you own a rifle that had it removed, you should seriously consider having it re-installed.  It may save you some money and a lot of potential grief...

 

Cheers,

FJT

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, Gateway Kid SASS# 70038 Life said:

I still have my copy of big red sky!

A little scratched up but still pretty good music!

Regards

:FlagAm:  :FlagAm:  :FlagAm:

Gateway Kid

What a nice thing to say; thanks!

FJT

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/8/2024 at 9:46 AM, Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933 said:

Model 66s have a one piece trigger so the lever safety will not work with them.  (Some of the OLD Navy arms 66s had a two piece trigger and lever safety.)  73s have a two piece trigger to accomdate the lever safety.  (Some of the first original Winchester 73s did not have the safety.)  Some 73 tuners weld up the trigger to make it a one piece.  First thing to do is simply cock the hammer and see if there is some fore and aft wiggle in the trigger.  If there is putting the safety back in is easy.  If the trigger has been welded you will need to buy new two piece parts.  From your photo it looks like the safety lever pin is still in the gun.  Green arrow.  All that is needed is the safety lever and the safety lever spring.  The safety seldom if ever needs fitting.  

20240508_110357.jpg_compressed.thumb.JPEG.30d1598688891b50bb52037a7c85c95d.jpeg

A 66 lever is also rounded so cannot actuate the lever safety. With straight triggers you can hold your finger in position and use the lever as a trigger tripper if you have the lever safety in place. Curved triggers can still harpoon ya if you do that(don’t ask how I know).

 

To the OP: I have a couple laying around if you PM your address I will hook ya up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Cinch said:

To the OP: I have a couple laying around if you PM your address I will hook ya up.

 

PM sent and many thanks.  My finger also thanks you in advance for saving me both the pain and indignation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.