1873 38.40 Winchester

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by Burnhaven, Sep 15, 2018.

  1. Burnhaven

    Burnhaven
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    I inherited one of these that my wife's great-grandfather owned just before he died in 1903 ...seems like it's in working condition although I don't have any ammunition for it.... it's most likely destination is permanently mounted on a wall as a family Memento if I can remove the firing pin or otherwise disable it from Curious grandchildren...?????

    I'd rather not put a trigger lock on it for appearance sake... I suppose somebody could consider selling one of these

    Winchester Model 1873 .38-40 (.38 WCF) (W9525)
     
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  2. RVTECH

    RVTECH
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    Man I envy you ! Not really much danger if you have no ammo for it but it is available and if it were mine I'd give it a good cleaning, inspection and shoot it! But then I like lever action rifles. A few years ago I actually had a supply of 38-40 ammo, brass & dies and considered finding a Winchester but other gun projects got in the way and it got 'tabled'.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
  3. CountryGent

    CountryGent
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    For whatever it is worth, Black Hills makes ammo for your rifle. HSM does or at least did in the past. Naturally, you would want a competent gunsmith to confirm the rifle is safe to shoot.

    In my sojourn in California, I had a gun club friend who was still running a 1873 in .44—40 WCF which, according to said gentleman, "had been in the family a very long time." He shot it many a time when I was there. :)
     
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  4. Burnhaven

    Burnhaven
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    After watching a couple of videos I was able to remove the two side plates very easily with one screw and then slide out the two cocking links which basically renders the thing inoperable and safe with children around... I don't plan to shoot it... I was able to figure out from the serial number that it's an 1889 build..
     
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  5. CountryGent

    CountryGent
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    Should you be interested in the history and mechanical aspects, you might find this video of interest @Burnhaven. Cheers.

     
  6. titsonritz

    titsonritz
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    The original 10mm, all good things come back around.
     
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  7. Burnhaven

    Burnhaven
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    Those "links" are actually called toggles. Still not sure though if someone could manually insert a round into the breech, push the bolt closed , pull the hammer back and fire it with those toggles out. I also saw where those toggles prevent the bolt from moving back when firing so without them could be dangerous.

    WinchesterRifleToggles.jpg
     
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  8. RVTECH

    RVTECH
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    If you decide to let me know.
     
  9. Burnhaven

    Burnhaven
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    Just need to find a "gunmetal" colored trigger lock now. I now realize that removing those toggles makes the gun more dangerous since manual loading and firing could shoot the bolt out the back end.
     
  10. ma96782

    ma96782
    Vancouver, WA
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    Don't know that a trigger lock will work as the lever is brought down and the trigger is just left there hanging. It's unlike the "normal" trigger in the trigger guard arrangement.

    If I might suggest something......just use some plastic zip ties and zip tie the lever shut.

    Aloha, Mark
     
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  11. Burnhaven

    Burnhaven
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    Hey Mark thanks for the suggestions yeah you don't know my daughter-in-law ....if there's any chance a kid could cut the wire ties off it won't fly..... but I see what you mean about the trigger lock .... I have a cable lock that could be run through the lever and around the stock, I'll just have to find one a little shorter so most of the cable and the lock itself are out of view
     
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  12. solv3nt

    solv3nt
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    Best give it to me to keep the kids away from it.:p
     
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  13. ma96782

    ma96782
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    Rrrright....and you'll have to shoot it every once in awhile, just to make sure that it works.

    Aloha, Mark
     
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  14. solv3nt

    solv3nt
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    Well yeah....
     
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  15. Burnhaven

    Burnhaven
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    Ha Ha. This rifle really has a tale behind it. It appears that my wife's great-grandfather and family left Virginia and wound up in the area of Chesaw Washington around 1900, carrying this rifle with them I presume. Small pox struck down several in the down in 1903 including the Great-grandfather William Martz and his wife Elnora. One of the kids who wound up orphans and placed with other families was my wife's Grandfather --- he wound up with a family in Virginia who had known them prior to their move west.

    Thorp Cemetery - Okanogan County, Washington
     
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  16. BillM

    BillM
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    You can easily pull the firing pin. At a minimum you need to pull the left sideplate, left toggle, front pin and firing pin retainer, then hold the hammer down and pull the pin out the rear. You will probably end up pulling both sideplates and toggles. Store the pin in the compartment in the buttstock so it doesn't get lost.
     
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  17. Burnhaven

    Burnhaven
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    BillM any photos showing how to remove the front pin and firing pin retainer?
     
  18. BillM

    BillM
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    It's the pin in the bolt that the front of the toggle slips over. little retainer for the firing pin behind the
    left toggle. Disassembly video in post #7 shows it at about 16:30. You do not have to disassemble it
    as far as they did just to get to that point---sideplate(s)-toggle(s)-pin-retainer-firing pin should do it. Might need a bit of penetrating oil/cussing to get the pin out---
     
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  19. Medic!

    Medic!
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    Remove the stock and decouple the hammer spring from the hammer.
    Bolt the stock back on.
     
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