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1873 38.40 Winchester

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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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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'.
 
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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. :)
 
OP
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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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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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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.
 

ma96782

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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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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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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
 

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.
 

BillM

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