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Thread: Uberti Henry 1860 out of headspace

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    Uberti Henry 1860 out of headspace

    Wasn't sure if this should be here or in the lever action section but thought gunsmithing made sense.

    So I bought a Uberti-made Henry 1860 for not all that much money but it is an engraved one so I'm quite fond of it. It had some trouble feeding rounds so I sent it to a gunsmith to look at and they said:

    "the bolt does not go far enough forward to engage the extractor or completely close on the cartridge face. Being a 44/40 which is a low pressure round it is ok to fire and once fired the round do eject as the firing forces the cartridge back slightly taking up the play. If you put a round in and do not fire it it will not extract it."

    I have shot it and there are no signs of excess pressure and the rifle seems to shoot very accurately it just won't extract unfired rounds which is not ideal. Has anyone had this sort of experience? The gunsmith said that some new links could be made to push the bolt a tiny bit further forward to fix the problem but that sounds like it might be difficult and expensive. Not sure whether to make it a wall hangar or not.

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy

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    Early Uberti toggle rifles can be interesting. I understand several shops made parts. The rifle was assembled and the barrel headspaces to the action. One of my 73's needs .010 over links. Quick check is take a fired case, then pushh the primer 1/2 way out. Insert in chamber and slowly close action. Your headspace will be the amount the primer protrudes. Ideally would be .004 to .008 I have had broken /or worn links, pins. Stock uberti parts should not be hard to find. Good luck GW

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    well my mind says,get it fixed if you want it for a gun to be used...if you want to keep it 100% origonal to retain colectable value...which possibly isnt a lot anyway as its worn.... leave it alone..
    so yeah get it fixed and enjoy using it.... you could try seating rounds longer,just short enough to function through magazine and hope they touch rifling giving a slight rearward pressure...MAYBE???

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Milky Duck View Post
    well my mind says,get it fixed if you want it for a gun to be used...if you want to keep it 100% origonal to retain colectable value...which possibly isnt a lot anyway as its worn.... leave it alone..
    so yeah get it fixed and enjoy using it.... you could try seating rounds longer,just short enough to function through magazine and hope they touch rifling giving a slight rearward pressure...MAYBE???
    proly wont work - the toggle guns will not tolerate overlength rounds at all

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Jedman's Avatar
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    I assume this is a used gun when you bought it ? If so did the former owner say anything about this problem ?
    I know nothing about the 1860 model but it sounds like the barrel would need to be set back and rechambered.
    This may be a big problem as the mounting of the magazine tube, forend mounting, and other parts attached to the barrel would be impacted.
    It sounds as if you could inspect the toggle links and find a problem maybe it could be repaired by replacing some parts if you can get them.
    I would start by contacting Uberti and see where that goes.
    Good Luck !

    Jedman

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy

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    VTI is the best source of parts for Italian replicas GW

  7. #7
    Boolit Master elmacgyver0's Avatar
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    If it is safe to fire as is do not mess with the headspace.
    Buy another extractor and try it.
    If that does not fix it, stone the extractor a bit until it extracts the unfired round.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by elmacgyver0 View Post
    If it is safe to fire as is do not mess with the headspace.
    Buy another extractor and try it.
    If that does not fix it, stone the extractor a bit until it extracts the unfired round.
    stone where exactly ? shorten the nose? top or bottom slope or both?

    I just checked feed on my early Uberti 66 - the bolt tab is intact - but extractor doesnt slip over the rim until its bolt closed

    my newer 76 picks up the case rim about halfway through the closing cycle - how I thought these guns were sposed to work

    before I panicked about this I would try working the lever fast - then I likely go for a new extractor

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Cap'n Morgan's Avatar
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    The link holes and pins are no doubt worn. It should be easy to fix for a competent gunsmith.
    Cap'n Morgan

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    About 20 years back someone sent me a brass framed Henry that had way too much head space. Turned out it had been fired with some heavy loads and stretched the frame.The side plates were loose which was a good indicator that something was not right.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Taylor View Post
    About 20 years back someone sent me a brass framed Henry that had way too much head space. Turned out it had been fired with some heavy loads and stretched the frame.The side plates were loose which was a good indicator that something was not right.
    yep that'll do it I think the actual frame of those brass Ubertis is quite weak. had a 22magnum one years ago - pulling it down to do some work on it - sideplates off and the stock wouldnt dislodge - gave the top of the comb a decent whack with the heel of my hand - when I reassembled, the bolt was binding in the action, just stiff and dragging where it had been free before - I still have difficulty believing that happened but no other explanation for it.

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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