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Thread: Winchester 1892 problem

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Winchester 1892 problem

    I bought a 1892 rifle (not carbine) with a 24" octagon barrel last week at an estate sale. Today is the first time I had a chance to load some ammo for it.
    Rifle made in 1904
    Loads are 117 grain fn cast and lined with bens red.
    13.5 grains of IMR 4227
    Remington 6-1/2 primers
    No crimp, I've been single loading the chamber.

    Edit: forgot to mention I full length resized these.

    Now for the problem. The primers are backing out after firing and metal is flowing back around the firing pin. This is never fired brass I pulled down from bp loaded ammo.
    After seeing this I grabbed my 218 bee go/no go gauges and iirc they work for 32/20 and 25/20 as well. My bolt closes easily on the no go gauge.

    So what say you?
    Excessive pressure?
    Excessive headspace?
    Should not be full length resized?
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    Last edited by labradigger1; 03-18-2017 at 03:49 PM.
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master buckshotshoey's Avatar
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    Grab a micrometer and measure the difference between the FLR brass and the once fired and let us know what you've found. Mainly near the case head area.

    It might be the firing pin hole in the bolt is too big and causing the cratering effect.
    Last edited by buckshotshoey; 03-18-2017 at 03:33 PM.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    After inspecting the fired cases for damage I found 2 that have split in the web area.
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    Boolit Master buckshotshoey's Avatar
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    You posted that at same time as I did! Lol. Time for a chamber cast. Could be dealing with a rechambered rifle?

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckshotshoey View Post
    Grab a micrometer and measure the difference between the FLR brass and the once fired and let us know what you've found. Mainly near the case head area.

    It might be the firing pin hole in the bolt is too big and causing the catering effect.

    .351 against the rim on fired cases
    .347 on full length sized and loaded cartridge.
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  6. #6
    Boolit Master buckshotshoey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by labradigger1 View Post
    .351 against the rim on fired cases
    .347 on full length sized and loaded cartridge.
    I assume they shrunk in lenght also?

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckshotshoey View Post
    I assume they shrunk in lenght also?
    Nope.
    1.30 unfired
    1.32 fired
    The grew in length .02
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master Dan Cash's Avatar
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    Look at your bolt face/firing pin hole as it looks like it is too large. Erosion from lots of old time corrosive powder and primers. There are other things going on as well. Agree it is time for a chamber cast.
    To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, the trouble with many shooting experts is not that they're ignorant; its just that they know so much that isn't so.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master buckshotshoey's Avatar
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    Headspace shouldn't be a problem. It is controlled by the rim. I suggest a chamber cast. And to cover bases, slug the barrel.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I'll see if I can find my cerrosafe.
    Why the reccomendation to slug the barrel? I will need to know for proper bullet size but what would it help with the other issues?
    The bore isn't the best or the worst. It is pitted and if I experience leading I can't fire lap out I was planning on installing a liner and rechambering to 218 bee.
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master buckshotshoey's Avatar
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    Just to check if it's been altered. Possible. .351 seems to be right on for a .32- 20. You did say that's what it was, correct?
    Last edited by buckshotshoey; 03-18-2017 at 04:07 PM.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Bad Ass Wallace's Avatar
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    Goodness, how old is that brass, don't be a scrooge buy some new ones!
    Hold Still Varmint; while I plugs Yer!

  13. #13
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    I agree with Wallace, that brass is old, looks like it was made in the '40s, maybe even the 30's. Brass does get brittle. Buckshot gave me some 30-40 Krag ammo and some of them were stamped REM-UMC. All those so marked split on the first firing. I would think twice about altering that rifle. It will cut its value a lot if altered. It may surprise you how well it shoots when you get the brass problem sorted out.
    A GUN THAT'S COCKED AND UNLOADED AIN'T GOOD FOR NUTHIN'........... ROOSTER COGBURN

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad *** Wallace View Post
    Goodness, how old is that brass, don't be a scrooge buy some new ones!
    Ha, not a Scrooge but a few weeks back I reformed every 32/20 I had into 218 bee. If no problems with the gun I'll buy 500 from star line. This was old loaded ammo I had on hand. About 20 fired and he rest had bad primers
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master buckshotshoey's Avatar
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    It would seem your fired dimensions are kosher. I concur with above. C**p brass. With an unknown previous owner, I would still chambercast and slug. Couldn't do any harm and may provide some insight.

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    Looks like you have a black-powder era firing pin -- they were considerably larger in diameter with consequently larger diameter firing pin hole so you get that poofy look with warm loads. And you are loading a pretty warm load for old brass and an old rifle (QuickLoad thinks you are somewhat above 30K psi). Drop down a couple grains of that powder (maybe even 3 grains) and see if things don't look a lot better.

    I shoot a 25/20 of similar age with similar looking primers if I load it warm. I quit loading warm and everything looks better and the brass lasts longer.

  17. #17
    A lot of old Winchesters back out their primers slightly, including my 1886, made in 1887, and I suspect that they always did. It is pretty harmless, and an indication that the brass is adhering momentarily to the chamber walls. Nor is that sort of clearance in the rear chamber diameter unduly large. I bow to the expertise of those who know the cartridge better than I do, and it might be advisable to reduce the charge slightly. It certainly shouldn't make a material difference to the effectiveness of the cartridge, unless you count having a little powder left when the canister could have been empty. But those primers don't suggest that excessive pressure is the problem.

    For the brass splitting, I would be surprised if different brass wouldn't solve the problem. It isn't the head separation, total or incipient, which arises from a headspace and brass stretch problem. For the cratered primers, I would suspect a large firing-pin hole and/or a small or badly shaped firing-pin tip. Two or three removals of rust from pin and hole in its long lifetime could have done that, and it could have been done by someone who had been conscientiously cleaning the bore.

    It is certainly worth seeing how it will shoot, possibly trying different loads, before doing anything drastic with the bore. Sometimes jacketed bullets work better, or even clean up the bore that subsequently improves its performance with cast. It isn't in outstandingly collectible condition, but yes, relining the bore would reduce its value... a bit. This is a delightful rifle to shoot, and nobody has really matched it with a modern clone. Plenty of people would like - really like - one with a mint bore, no matter how it got one. You just have to decide whether the formula pans out (cost price, gunsmithing price, enjoyment and resale price), and reflect on what Mr. Browning would want done.

    CP + GP + E = RP

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks for the replies so far guys.
    I'm working on getting some new brass to see how much that alone solves
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  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Primers backing out is an indication of excessive head space, but not necessarily dangerously excessive. Yes, rimmed cartridges will not alleviate excess headspace. At around 30K psi, excessive headspace can be a problem; mainly with brass life and possibly causing peening of the locking bolts and their mortices.

    The two likely causes of excessive headspace are a too deep rim cut, or wear in the locking bolts and/or their mortices.

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    Hi mate, what are the chamber specs like?

    To me sounds like this would be a headspacing issue, barring any major issues with the bolt face.

    Have you made any progress on this? Sorry if I have missed this, but have you tested the difference between low velocity loads and higher velocity?

    Take a scientific approach; manipulate one variable at a time and record results. As you probably know, if you are tweaking multiple variables at one time, you cannot determine possible correlation. Take your time, work through potential causes one by one.

    Keen to hear how you go, the 1892 is, in my opinion, a very fine rifle that serves for both hunting and defense.

    Cheerio

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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