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Thread: Uberti or Cimarron?

  1. #1

    Uberti or Cimarron?

    I want to buy to purchase a nice 1873 replica. Anyone out there have any experience with either the Uberti or Chimarron? I'm thinking about a short rifle with a 20" barrel in either 44-40 or 44 special. Which of the two cases would you prefer and why? Their both about the same retail price and both look the same. Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks guys

  2. #2
    Boolit Master



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    I like the way the Cimarron's are marked better than the Uberti's. Cimarron markings look more like winchester markings of the period. Also like fit and finnish better on the Cimarron
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  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy veeman's Avatar
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    Cimarron is the importer, not manufacturer. Uberti is the manufacturer, in Italy. Cimarron's are made by uberti.

  4. #4
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    I have a Uberti made, Uberti stamped 1873, now about 2 years old. One of the prettiest rifles I own. Also have a Japanese-made 1873 Winchester. Also a very nice rifle, but I'd sell it before I'd sell the Uberti. Both are .44-40 WCF. I've also got an 1892 Rossi .44 Mag. carbine, so could shoot the .44 Spec. in that if I wanted to. Between the .44-40 and .44 Spec. I'll take (obviously!) the .44-40, as I have a couple of 1873 clone revolvers in that caliber also. You asked "Why?". Just tradition, I think. The .44-40 cartridge can be a bit tricky to reload until you get the hang of it. As noted above, Uberti makes the rifles and the ones sold by Cimarron are just stamped with their name.

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  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy Prairie Cowboy's Avatar
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    As they said, both rifles are made by Uberti, with different fit and finish.

    You have a third choice in the Japanese-made Winchester Miroku 1873. You can get a plain short rifle with a 20" round barrel, magazine tube hanger, forend cap, crescent butt plate, fairly plain walnut, and a blued finish. Or you can get a more elegant version. Available in .44-40, .45 Colt, and .357 Magnum.
    The only noticeable difference is that Miroku has installed a firing pin safety inside the firing pin extension. You can only see it when the action is open, and it's pretty discrete. It still relies on a half-cock for a safety otherwise. I own one in .44-40 and I'm happy with it.

    As for cartridge choice, it depends what you want. Nostalgic authenticity or a cartridge that is less expensive, more available, and easier to hand load.
    The .44-40 is the original cartridge, but more fussy to hand load, because the brass is very thin and unforgiving. Without care you will crush the thin brass.
    The .44 Special cartridge is easy to handload, as are .45 Colt and .357 Magnum because the thicker brass is more forgiving. But, if you won't ever be hand loading, then it really makes no difference.

    If you intend to shoot it much, then I would choose .44 Special myself, given your two choices.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    I can't comment on the rifles but I would pick a 44wcf every time. If you progress to Black the thin necks of the 44wcf seal the chamber nicely and make fouling only a bore issue with almost none in the action. I would like to look at a Cimarron 1866 to help round out my collection.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by veeman View Post
    Cimarron is the importer, not manufacturer. Uberti is the manufacturer, in Italy. Cimarron's are made by uberti.
    Yes - But Cimarron gives Uberti different fit and finish specs. than the rifles marketed as Uberti
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  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy Prairie Cowboy's Avatar
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    Standard velocity .45 Colt or .44 Special smokeless loads will seal the chamber just fine without any blow-by.
    My 2018 production Marlin 1894 Cowboy in .45 Colt exhibits no blow-by with Winchester 250 grain lead bullet cowboy loads. Listed at 755 FPS from a revolver, they probably clock around 1000 FPS from a carbine.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I have a Cimarron '73 Sporting rifle in 44-40 and I think it's a pretty nice rifle for the price. It isn't a Merkel or Funk but...well, that needs no explanation. Mine is very accurate with either smokeless or black powder and the 205-210 gr. bullet from the cheapy Lee mold.
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  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy

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    Look up Taylors. They are importers also. They're criteria for blueing and wood quality are superior over Cimarron and Uberti. If that matters to you?
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  11. #11
    Boolit Man
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    FWIW, I own a Cimarron-branded 1873 Sporting Rifle and an 1860 Henry Military Model. I also own an Uberti-branded 1866 Sporting Rifle. Fit and finish on all three are equal but the Cimarron-branded rifles have more authentic markings.

    The 1873 and 1860 are in .44-40 while the 1866 is in .38-40. Either is a good choice if you'll be shooting black powder. The cases seal the chambers perfectly and no fouling gets back into the action. IME, .44-40 is a bit more forgiving to load for and has better case life if you FL resize. There's quite a bit of excellent info on this board about loading .44-40 with BP.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy Prairie Cowboy's Avatar
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    BP cartridge lovers are staunch defenders of their beloved .44-40 cartridge.
    And, for BP loads and mouse-pharte CAS smokeless loads the thin case does seal better for them.

    But, just about no .44-40 lover disputes that this cartridge is unforgiving to load for. An internet search about hand loading the .44-40 will confirm this.

    Having loaded the .44 Special and .45 Colt for many years, I have found both cartridges are very easy to load and possess excellent case life.

    The .44-40 is a great cartridge to shoot, but be prepared to take extra pains so that your brass survives if you reload it.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Doesn't Uberti make Cimarron?

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by veeman View Post
    Cimarron is the importer, not manufacturer. Uberti is the manufacturer, in Italy. Cimarron's are made by uberti.
    Not all. My Cimarron Frontiers are made by Pietta.

  15. #15
    Boolit Man
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    "But, just about no .44-40 lover disputes that this cartridge is unforgiving to load for. An internet search about hand loading the .44-40 will confirm this."

    If you use Starline brass and put enough flare in the case mouth, .44-40 is no big deal to load. The difficulty of loading it is way overblown, in my experience. A lot of what you read on the Internet is repeating old myths, not based on personal experience.

    Are .44 Special or .45 Colt easier to load? Sure, but mainly because you can use a carbide sizing die and don't have to lube the cases like you do with .44-40.

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy Prairie Cowboy's Avatar
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    I have loaded .44 Special and .45 Colt with and without carbide dies.
    With one sizing die you lube to size, with the other you don't. That's all.
    It is equally easy to size and load these cartridges with regular or carbide dies.

    The reason why these cartridges are easier to load is because the brass is thicker and more tolerant of damage due to collapsing the neck during bullet seating and case crimping.


    The .44-40 is almost paper thin compared to the other two old time cartridges. The .44-40 brass that I have purchased (Starline) often has a few cases that are slightly dinged, new in the bag. You need to use a small steel rod inside to iron them out, back to round, in order to be able to use them.

    The following article is from "American Rifleman" which I regard as a very credible source of information. I hardly think that they would repeat old myths or exaggerate anything. Yet, they caution the .44-40 hand loader about collapsing case necks during bullet seating and crimping operations.

    https://www.americanrifleman.org/art...the-44-40-win/

    Also, read this discussion from the SASS wire forums. These guys are the pros when it comes to loading .44-40.

    https://forums.sassnet.com/index.php...em-with-44-40/

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    I have to agree with Dave. I got my first 44-40 in the mid-80's then went without one for about 30 years. I now have one again. I never noticed any difference in difficulty in loading it from the 45 Colt or 44 Spl. The 32-20 is the one I find more tedious to load.
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  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have been loading the .44 WCF for 30 years and find it as easy to load as the .44 mag! You need to set you dies up for the .44-40 just like any round you reload for. I shoot a lot of black powder so like the .44 WCF as it will hold as much powder as the .45 case. I don't have a rifle that will shoot the .44 sp, they don't cycle good in my .44 mag rifles. The Marlin I have thinks the .44 sp is to short to cycle good in it. If I was looking at both I would go with the .44 WCF. Before cowboy shooting the .44-40 was loaded as either "not for use in pistols" or pistol ammo. As for the guns I would look at Taylor's, Navy Arms, EMF, and Uberti. All are made by Uberti but to different specks. Remember John Wayne used a Model 92. My .44-40 Navy Arms 73 has taken more deer than any rifle I have using Pb RNFP bullets.

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy Prairie Cowboy's Avatar
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    I find that the .45 Colt cycles very smoothly in my Marlin Cowboy. It also cycled very well in an 1866 Uberti Winchester that I owned.

    Since this cartridge is fatter than the .44 Special, and about the same length, I would think that .44 Special would cycle more easily in an 1894 Marlin, if it were chambered exclusively for .44 Special, rather than the opposite.

    In a .44 magnum 1894 Marlin the shorter .44 Special may not feed well, just as .38 Special may not feed well in a .357 magnum 1894 Marlin.

    However, the OP wants to buy an 1873 Winchester clone, not A Marlin. Cartridges in a toggle link Winchester action feed straight in to the chamber. In fact, if you throw the lever down to lift the cartridge elevator, and tilt the barrel downward, a cartridge will slide into the chamber by gravity. It makes no difference whether the cartridge is .44 Special, .44-40, or .45 Colt. The extractor does not even snap over the rim until you close the action.

    And while .44-40 lovers love to extoll the virtues of the round, I respectfully disagree that it is as easy to reload as .44 Special.
    The two sources that I linked to in my post #16 confirm this.

    I also confirmed this with my own .44-40 1873 rifle. I embarked on reloading for .44-40 only because I wanted an 1873 replica in the original cartridge, and was willing to take the extra precautions to reload for it. Otherwise I would have gone for .44 Special or .45 Colt.


    I don't think that the OP can go wrong with either of his brand choices. They are both excellent.

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    Me being a 44WCF lover, I would like to point out that not everyone hand loads or shoots for the same reason. When I started out money was the reason, then accuracy became the driver, and now loading old obsolete cartridges seems to be where I'm at, so the pitfalls are some of what is appealing to me. With all of this said I do still crank out 38specials on a Dillon for volume shooting so can also appreciate the ease of loading also. Next years goal for me, a Whitetail with my 73 44WCF Black powder hand load.

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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