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View Poll Results: Which caliber 1873?

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Thread: Which cartridge in 1873 and why?

  1. #41
    Boolit Buddy hornady308's Avatar
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    It depends. If only used for general shooting, I'll take the 357. If I'm going to hunt deer or hog, I'll go with the 45 as I trust it to get the job done. I used to have a Marlin 357, but sold it when I finally admitted to myself that I would never carry it hunting.

  2. #42
    Boolit Master
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    Uberti 1873 .44 Magnum and worry not in the least as to whether or not it can stand the pressure of the cartridge. If it couldn't they wouldn't produce it.
    How about all them semi-auto rifles that were built in 17HMR......then they found it hadtoo much pressure and bolt thrust......Just say'n!
    Roy B
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  3. #43
    Boolit Master



    M-Tecs's Avatar
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    Savage is jumping into the semi-auto game http://www.gunsholstersandgear.com/2...-17-hmr-rifle/

    Volquartsen & Alexander Arms never stopped. Magnum Research stopped due to slam fires from dirty chambers. I have a Mach II and I would love to find a 17 HMR.


    Back to the 44's in a 1873. US firearm manufactures do not have to have their products proofed by a proof house. The Italian guns do so you have some checks and balances. That being said I do not exceed Colt 1873 loads in mine.

  4. #44
    Boolit Master
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    Neither cartridge you proposed for use. A cartridge the rifle was originally designed to use. That's the ambiance that comes with the ownership of a 140 year old rifle design.

  5. #45
    Bringing this one back from the dead.

    Ended up with a 357 and love it. Wouldn’t mind a 45 colt too now that I’ve played with this one a bit.
    I’m shooting 98% 38 special target loads through it but like the idea of the 357 if I ever wanted to hunt with it.
    Lucky thing my wife fell in love with the design and wants one of her own. Perfect reason to get a colt.

  6. #46
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by runfiverun View Post
    the 73 ain't set up for those kinds of pressures, the toggle link it uses to hold the bolt closed won't hold up. I'd go with the 45 colt in this situation, but would pick the 44-40 myself.
    The .44-40 is what the 1893 Winchester was designed around and is still a great cartridge with either smokeless or black.

    Dance with the girl you brought, .44-40 rocks...
    The ENEMY is listening.
    HE wants to know what YOU know.
    Keep it to yourself.

  7. #47
    Boolit Master
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    those who think the toggle link is weak better go look at the luger and maxim machine gun. it was the steel that hurt the design .

    I never did like the .45 colt in a leaver gun so I would have to go with the .357.

    I have a Rossi 92 in .357 it is a great rifle. also have real Winchesters in .44-40 .38-40 and .32-20. they all work like they should

  8. #48
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by 35 Whelen View Post

    Another real down side to these cartridges that rarely gets mentioned is they must be lubed prior to sizing, just like any other bottleneck case. Due to the volume of shooting I do, that alone is a deal breaker for me.

    35W
    I read this often its not true i never lube my 44 40 dies they are not carbide and cases size real easy. My 357 sizer is too sticky to use without lube so i would say the opposite

  9. #49
    Boolit Master 35 Whelen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruts View Post
    I read this often its not true i never lube my 44 40 dies they are not carbide and cases size real easy. My 357 sizer is too sticky to use without lube so i would say the opposite
    Since my original post of over 2 1/2 years ago, I've purchased a '66 Uberti in 44-40, three Colt 1st Generation SA's in 38-40 ( 2 ea. circa 1903, 1 ea. 1905) and three 1873 Winchesters in 38-40 (1 ea. 1886 and 2 ea. 1890). Love all of them and have now cast bullets for, reloaded and fired lots and lots of these two cartridges, especially the 38-40. When I size these cases I smear every 3rd or 4th case with a little Unique case lube. I could probably get by with no lube, but see no need in stressing the brass.

    35W
    "Only accurate rifles are interesting." -Col. Townsend Whelen.
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  10. #50
    Boolit Mold
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    if i had to choose one of those it would be 45 colt but the correct cartridge is 44-40 just joking for cowboy action by far around here its the 38/357 easy and quick follow ups on steel

  11. #51
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruts View Post
    I read this often its not true i never lube my 44 40 dies they are not carbide and cases size real easy. My 357 sizer is too sticky to use without lube so i would say the opposite
    I found this also with loading for my original '73 in .38-40. I had forgotten to lube the cases one time after I started loading for it, but found they came out just the same without the lube.

    I don't know if it's the thin wall of the cartridges, or a tight chamber fire forming them, but I no longer bother lubing them at all and have never had a stuck case, or even close to one.

    They require less pressure to load than .357 with carbide dies.

  12. #52
    Boolit Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    To answer your question as posed- 45 Colt because my friend had a Uberti .45 LC 73 and it was flawless. BUT- I wholeheartedly agree with run5run and nobade on the WCF cartridges and would extend that thinking to the 1892 as well.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  13. #53
    Boolit Master



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    Good morning
    I do not do the Cowboy shoots. We are primarily hunters.
    With a round ball I can load our 45 Colt lever rifles (3) to pop wabbits and tree rats or whatever offending can needs exterminating. Super small game load ! Our a light wad cutter will do the same. 800 fps is all a bunny needs out to 50 yards.
    But with 45 Colt we can go with a 300 grain FNGC for any critter this side our world and not have to fear we are for sure going to get eating. A 300 grainer at 1750+fps is one potent chunk of lead. Add 5+ more on target and the target is going to be hard pressed to last very long.
    WE have a couple 357's. OK for small game or corn crunchers up close with 200 FNGC. But no way would I consider big pigs or large game critters that weight more than our 2 wheelers. The 45 Colt with the right shaped heavy slug is going to get the job done.
    Mike in Peru
    "Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
    Home built Matchlock similar to what an early 1600 Colonial soldier might have.

  14. #54
    Boolit Buddy 15meter's Avatar
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    Already had a pair of vaquero's in 45 Colt and my 94 trapper only held 9 rounds. I needed something that held 10 rounds for cowboy shooting. Stopping to load the tenth round on stage really whacked my time. Found a used 73 in 45 Colt in new condition CHEAP.

  15. #55
    Boolit Buddy 59sharps's Avatar
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    The 44/40 's have it. Go w that
    14th VA. CAV.
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  16. #56
    Boolit Buddy
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    Given the choices, I chose the 357. That being said, I shoot a 73 in 44-40 for cowboy action shooting!

  17. #57
    Boolit Buddy
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    .45 hands down


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  18. #58
    Boolit Buddy OlDeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prsman23 View Post


    44-40 of course!
    1873 made in 1883
    The 44-40 is the only 1 ..........If you have the other ones go with the and I hate to say it but the .45Colt

    Ol Deuce
    Do the Best with What you have !

  19. #59
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I voted 45 colt, but i'd probably go 357. I originally was thinking 45 colt was a cartridge of the same vintage as the rifle design. Really, I think that the versatility of the 357 really sets well with the original 73 design. If I had to strike out homesteading with just one rifle, the 357 would be the best choice for an all around cartridge.

    If I ever come up with the money, I believe i'll get me another marlin 1894c. I've owned 3 or 4. The first few I traded off when I was trying to figure out what I liked. That last I lost in a house fire. We cant use centerfire for squirrel or rabbit here, but deer or varmint critters are fine. Sure loads cheap too.

  20. #60
    Boolit Man kaiser's Avatar
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    My take is: that the '73 was not offered in a .45 Colt by Winchester because Colt threatened to produce a rifle to compete with Winchester's offering, a "corporate" decision. The "balloon head" explanation makes more sense, but I would point out that 1870's brass metallurgy design made many cartridges, ie. .44WCF, 38/40, etc. pretty "weak" and they had design flaws. Starline, Winchester, and Remington, today, makes much better cases in all of them; additionally, today's replica 1873's are made of much stronger steels. I chose the .45 Colt in the '73 and load it to .44 Mag "Pistol" load velocity (not pressure) because it is more powerful than either of the original cartridges (38/40 or .44WCF) without "stressing" the toggle link action and is a "near perfect" fit for the 7 to 8 pound '73. The .45 Colt is easy to load; has "scads" of cast molds available; and is very accurate in the Uberti made firearms. I am not a "Cowboy shooter" and believe the .45 Colt is an upgrade over the original loading in diameter and velocity, just like the .357 is an upgrade over the .38 Spl. In the .357, I chose the '92 over the Marlin 1894 and 1873 due to size, weight, and strength over either of these designs. My .02.

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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