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Winchester 73 vs Winchester 92 vs Marlin 1888 vs Colt Lightning

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Well, I had a lot of fun at the range today.  The Danvers Desperados of Middleton, Mass put on a 6 stage shoot, and I got to do something I've wanted to do for a while and have alluded to in the past.   But before I get into that, let me give a shout out to all the great pards I shot with today, and for the people who put on an excellent shoot.

Okay, at long last I have been able to compare 4 of my rifles to each other to see how they compare, and which one I am personally best with.   

The guns used were as follows....

The Shotgun.




Winchester 97, 12 Gauge, Black Diamond Trap Model.  30" Barrel.  Date of Manufacture: 1-6-1914

This was actually the first time I used this gun, and I have to say that it seemed shoulder faster and point more naturally than my "regular" 97 with the same length barrel.

Everything that follows was chambered in .32-20.


The pistols.


Top.  Third Generation Colt, 5.5" barrel.  Date of Manufacture:  2005.  (This was the baby of the group.)
Bottom.  First Generation Colt, 7.5" barrel.  This one letters as a .44-40.   No idea when it was changed to the smaller caliber.  Date of Manufacture:  1881

Rifle #1. 



Winchester 73.  24" Octagon Barrel.  Date of Manufacture:  3/28/1903


This battery in action.


For me, this was a respectable run.


Rifle #2


Winchester 92.  20" Round barrel.  Date of Manufacture:  12/21/1909


This battery in action.


Had a bit of a hiccup with the rifle, but then I recovered.   I felt like I did better with the 73, but only slightly.


Rifle #3


Marlin 1888.  20 Octagon barrel.  Date of Manufacture:  3/1/1889


This battery in action.


I felt like this was something of a train wreck.   But, I did try the rifle again for the last stage of the day.  (No recording)  I think I got the hang of the rifle that time, and it didn't give me any trouble.  Performance was on par with the 92 and 73 overall, but I'd give an edge to the Winchesters.  You may have noticed from the pic that the gun has no rear sights.   That caused me to have a lot of misses.   I'll have to find replacement ones.  I really like this gun, it has a super smooth action.  I think with time, it could edge out the Winchesters performance wise.

Rifle #4.


Colt Lightning.  26" Octagon barrel.  Date of Manufacture:  1897.


This battery in action.


 Another hiccup, and I did use it again on the next stage where I did MUCH better.  


When you come down to it, I think this was an apples of apples comparison.  All the guns were in the same caliber, of similar vintage, and for the most part, not worked on all that much, as far as I know.   Given their age, who can say what previous owners did, but I don't think they are modified any.  I have replaced the original magazine springs in the 92 and the Colt, as they were old and worn out, and the Colt was sold to me as having had an "expert action job" and "lovingly restored."

Overall, I think that I did best with the Colt, then the 73, the 92 and then the Marlin.  But, not by a very significant margin.  It was remarked to me by a couple of shooters that I run the Lightning well, and I certainly FELT like I did better with it, but that may just be preference.

Anyway, I had a huge amount of fun, got experiment with my toys, and while I didn't shoot a clean match, I think I did pretty good for me.  All in all, not bad.




Edited by H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619
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That's what it's all about for me... having fun with firearms of the old west, just how we (individually), see fit!  I missed out on shooting this weekend, having to install a water heater... TWICE!  How can a brand new product fail... poor manufacturing and worse quality control!

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