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Thread: 1873 Uberti broken shell extractor

  1. #1
    Boolit Grand Master

    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    1873 Uberti broken shell extractor

    I asked this up in Leverguns but it is probably more appropriate here. I have the remains of a shell in the chamber of my 1873 Uberti Short Rifle, the head came off and the rest of the shell remains. If the chamber were more accessable I'd pour in some cerrosafe and pop it out. I don't think I can do that without getting it everywhere else as well.

    Any other ideas, anyone who has dealt with this issue in this gun before? It's a first for me, the first shell I've ever broken like this. Really didn't expect it with cases only loaded with BP, but there it is.
    Wayne the Shrink

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  2. #2
    In Remembrance

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    Is there a way to get a round file in there? I'm more familiar with my leverguns and this just might work. Take a big enough round file (and long enough) and just snug it in there and twist and pull out gently, I've only had to do this 1 time and it worked.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    can't give you a size. get a set screw that uses an allen wrench. half inch long that will go inside the case with a little encouragemant. screw it in from the chamber till it seats. does not take a lot. then use a cleanign rod from the muzzle to push it out.
    you can use a tap but will be too long to use in the 73 action. the screw will give the same effect. you just need the threads to take up in the brass case. will not take much. geting a hold on the case is the problem.
    hope this helps. report back.

  4. #4
    In Remembrance

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    Wayne,
    If you get the thing out do us a favor and let us know how you did it.
    Click to see what I'm doing and have available, this takes you to the VS (Vendor Sponsor) section of the site. Currently..25Rem,30Rem, 32Rem, 35Rem, 257Roberts, 358Win, 338Fed, 357 Herrett, 30 Herrett, 401 Winchester, 300Sav, 221 Fireball, 260Rem, 222Rem, 250 Savage, 8mm Mauser (AKA 8x57), 25-20WCF

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  5. #5
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    Large wire bore brush

    Use a Large wire bore brush, take the bolt out, run a large (over size bore brush) run it about half way past the broken case then pull back, works every time for me and you don't damage the chamber or barrel.
    If you don't want to take the bolt out push a large brush into the chamber then run a cleaning rod down the barrel to knock the brush and broken case out. hope this helps.
    Last edited by Jjed; 03-10-2012 at 08:42 PM.

  6. #6
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    I had the exact thing happen to my 73 years ago. When it happened someone else was shooting my gun and did not realize what had happened. He kept trying to force the next round in the chamber and it would not go. Thus, he wedged the casing very tight, flush with the chamber to the bore.
    I took it to four different gunsmiths, all failed. Of course I tried the brush mehod first.

    What ended up working was a regular "Joe" took a very long pick and from the bolt end, very slowly "peeled" or "unzipped" the case.
    It took about 2 hours and of course scratched the chamber, but it did not harm the function.

    I really like Little Doc's idea, I think that is a winner.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master


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    An addition on the allen screw idea, take a three cornered file and cut grooves in the allen screw making a "tap of sorts, It helps cut into the case. Worked for me.
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    Joel 3:10

  8. #8
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    Just out of curiosity who can tell me the effect of putting it in the freezer - which will contract the most, the steel or the brass?
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  9. #9
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    You shooting BP means a dirty chamber.
    Oil it and let sit.
    Insert an oversize bronze/brass brush into the action.
    Insert a stout cleaning rod from the muzzle and screw it onto the brush.
    Pull it well and good up into the shell and gently tap the brush back into the action.

    Job done!

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I have been applying Kroil to it since Friday.
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  11. #11
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    BP and a head separating in a 73 I would guess itís a 44-40.

    You could try a wooden dowel from the muzzle. Saw a 3 to 4 inch split in the end of the dowel a make a wooden wedge to go into the split. Just think about the wedge in a wooden hammer handle. Insert the dowel from the muzzle until the split end is the case. Insert the wedge into the split end of the dowel and use the bolt or tap the wedge with a short piece of dowel to get the dowel to expand into the case. Good luck

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Smith View Post
    Just out of curiosity who can tell me the effect of putting it in the freezer - which will contract the most, the steel or the brass?
    Brass http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclo...expansion.html

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master

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    M-Tecs, I'm not a scientist, have problems with thinking about numbers (Dyslexic).

    Coefficient of linear expansion:

    Brass .0000189
    Copper .000017
    Steel .000012

    How does this relate to shrinkage when chilled?
    Is shrinkage of a cartridge diameter "linear expansion"?

    I am resistant to putting a wooden dowel in the barrel and pounding on it - splitting is a very real issue and not a problem I wish to add. Perhaps a shorter plug with a wedge and then my brass rod would work, though.
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  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master



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    Metal expands and contracts at the same rate. Steel expands or contracts .00000633” per inch per degree. Brass expands or contracts .00001000” per inch per degree. So brass expands or contracts 37% more than steel.

    Splitting the wood dowel should not be an issue. Getting the front half of the case out should take very little force.

    The only straight wall case that I have ever seen the head come off was a very well used 44-40 that had a lot of BP corrosion. Unless you had to really use force to lever it open it should only be some BP fouling holding it in.

    If you do the wedge right you still can remove it from the breech if seem to take too much force.

    What caliber and why do you think you had a head separation? 73’s are prone to headspace issues when the toggles get worn. Might be something to check.

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master

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    This is the 44-40, I really didn't know that the Uberti Short Rifle was chambered in anything else. I was shooting a lot of BP rounds before this, I really don't know why the head separated. I checked all the rest of my brass and no incipient head separation signs are present. Being 44-40 it is thin brass but I don't think that is the issue.

    44-40 is not really a straight wall case. I got a 7/16" bolt, I think if I cut some grooves in it as per Dirt Farmer's suggestion but with my Dremel tool I will raise enough burrs to catch on the neck and maybe pull it out that way. Won't get to it until Sat. though. Soaking in Kroil until then.
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  16. #16
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    Taps, wedged in files and other such things do work and also have badly scratched up chambers. 44-40 brass is very thin, part of the reason it separated in the first place. It takes a bit of time but the safest method that will work is to make up a broken shell extractor kind of like what Springfield Arsenal had for the 45-70, use a Allen cap screw for the expander. Then make up a long rod you can run from the muzzle. Carefully position that expander and tighten the expander with the long rod, not too tight but just tight enough to get a "bite" on the brass. Lightly tap the long rod with a rawhide mallet and the broken shell will pop out. It does take extra time but not nearly as long as setting back a barrel along with everything else that has to be set back equally.


  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master

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    At least initially into the freezer she goes tonite, thanks, M-Tec. This will at least allow the Kroil to break the BP stuff loose, and may allow me to get in there with a sharp hook and try to slide it out.
    Wayne the Shrink

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  18. #18
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    Brass hook please!

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    I take an EASY OUT some what smaller than the chamber DIA. and tap it into the separated rear of the case, and run a metal rod down the muzzle end of the barrel & gently tap it, and VIOLA, it is out, works for me.

  20. #20
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I have had good results with a chamber cleaning rod ( flexible) and a bronze brush 1 caliber over size. push it on and then twist and pull

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check