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Thread: Winchester Model 73 Gunsmith?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy Babbott213's Avatar
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    Winchester Model 73 Gunsmith?

    Looking to talk to someone thatís very versed in the Winchester Model 73. Someone that knows them inside and out. I have a couple of questions Iíd like you to ask ask if possible about a spacer thatís in one of mine. Itís in the Breech Bolt where the firing pin goes through. Itís 1.9mm thick.

    And the other is the guide on the bottom of the Breech Bolt that runs in the groove of the carrier. On my 3rd Gen, itís broken off flush with the face of the bolt. The one I removed, was broken flush and the one I replaced it with, after about a dozen chamberings, it broke off flush with the bolt face as well. The rifle still functions and it doesnít seem to affect the performance, but what would cause this? My 2nd gen is fine and so is my Uberti made as well. Seems this 3rd gen model likes to shear that flush with the bolt. The area Iím talking about is circled in the photo in red. Shears just tip right at the face of the bolt.

    You can contact me at: babbott213@gmail.com to discuss more.





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  2. #2
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    John Taylor here is where I would ask.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    That little ear on the bottom of the bolt is to hold the cartridge up so the extractor will hold it till it ejects. I have welded up a few over the years. Don't know why they break. Might be the carrier hitting it or a cartridge rim in the carrier if the action is opened fast. Timing could be off, carrier going up before the bolt is clear.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    Agree with everything John Taylor said above. I usually blame the broken tab on timing. The tab has to retract completely into the receiver before the carrier comes up. GW

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy Babbott213's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Taylor View Post
    That little ear on the bottom of the bolt is to hold the cartridge up so the extractor will hold it till it ejects. I have welded up a few over the years. Don't know why they break. Might be the carrier hitting it or a cartridge rim in the carrier if the action is opened fast. Timing could be off, carrier going up before the bolt is clear.
    So what would need to be done to correct the timing? The bolt that was in the rifle seemed to work ok as it was, but the action did seem to be loose, and the bolt did seem to have well beaten up over the past 130 years, so I replaced it with one that is in much better shape and it did tighten up the action to a degree. With the little ear broken, the rifle still runs good, with no feeding or ejection issues that I can tell. But if the timing is off, I would like to fix that anyway. Thanks for all of the input so far everyone.


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  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy Babbott213's Avatar
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    Also, any idea about the spacer in the breech bolt? Itís 1.9mm thick and the firing pin goes through it.


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  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Babbott213 View Post
    So what would need to be done to correct the timing? The bolt that was in the rifle seemed to work ok as it was, but the action did seem to be loose, and the bolt did seem to have well beaten up over the past 130 years, so I replaced it with one that is in much better shape and it did tighten up the action to a degree. With the little ear broken, the rifle still runs good, with no feeding or ejection issues that I can tell. But if the timing is off, I would like to fix that anyway. Thanks for all of the input so far everyone.


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    Toggle links or pins worn. Bent lever between the pivot point and link pins. The bolt movement is controlled by the lever, the lifter arm is controlled by a cam on the side of the lever.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Babbott213 View Post
    Also, any idea about the spacer in the breech bolt? It’s 1.9mm thick and the firing pin goes through it.


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    Not knowing what a "spacer" is.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy Babbott213's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Taylor View Post
    Not knowing what a "spacer" is.
    John, this ring is up in the breech bolt. It works like a spacer. If itís left out, then when you lever the rifle, the hammer does not stay back in the cocked position. The ring fits around the firing pin and in .071Ē (1.9mm) thick. This is the only 73 that Iíve seen this. Could this rifle have the wrong length firing pin? It looks to of been in the gun for a very long time. Definitely not something recently placed.







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  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    Looks like a home made firing pin. The originals never had that. There are a couple places that have firing pins, run around $50. I usually make them when needed or repair the old one.

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy Babbott213's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Taylor View Post
    Looks like a home made firing pin. The originals never had that. There are a couple places that have firing pins, run around $50. I usually make them when needed or repair the old one.
    Interesting. Would my firing pin from my 2nd model, work in this 3rd model? I might have to remove it and compare the two. That was kinda my leaning was the next thing was to replace the firing pin.


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  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy Babbott213's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Taylor View Post
    Looks like a home made firing pin. The originals never had that. There are a couple places that have firing pins, run around $50. I usually make them when needed or repair the old one.

    Ok Mr. Taylor, hereís what Iíve done. I removed my firing pin from my 2nd Model 73 and the 3rd Model 73 and there is a difference between the two. Especially in the shoulder to the tip of the pin. About the thickness of the 1.9mm shim difference. So like you, Iím now suspecting that this firing pin was made and someone got their dimensions off about 1.9mm. When this was done, I have no idea. Iíve had the rifle about 4 years now I guess.

    So with that said, Iíll keep running it like it is for now, as it hasnít never not fired and it ejects the rounds every time. I will though be giving you a call in a day or two to check on the availability of the proper firing pin.

    Thatís what I like about having a beater of a old gun, because it doesnít hurt it to take things apart and take a better look, and you end up learning something new about it as well.

    I still donít know too much about the timing issue as Iíve slowly worked the action and the block moves back well before the carrier gets to it. Iím kinda thinking that this 1.9mm spacer might be the culprit on this as well, by not allowing the block to move further enough back so as to allow clearance between the carrier and bottom tip of the block. Just a hunch anyway.

    Thanks for all your help Sir.










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  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    Then there is the 22 rimfire with no firing pin. The breach block has two tinny ears on the bolt face and a sloppy hole for the link pin. The whole bolt is driven forward to fire. It's been a few years but I have made a couple new bolts for the 22s with an added firing pin. My own 73 is in 32-20. It was found under a house that was being torn down. It has a nice coat of rust on the outside ( a little beyond patina ). One of my customers supplied me with a better looking barrel and I installed a liner in it. The mag tube was shot so that's the only new part other than the liner. I finished the mag tube with plumb brown to come close to what the barrel looks like. Surprising, the action works very well.

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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
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GC Gas Check