1873 in .44 Special

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Scott Tschirhart
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1873 in .44 Special

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

It shoots as good as it looks. This is a Uberti 1873 US Marshal IT (Indian Territory) carbine in .44 Special. It actually appears to be chambered in .44 Magnum.

Favorite load thus far is 16 gr of 2400 under a 240 grain flat point cast bullet. I imagine that is fairly close to .44-40 ballistics.
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Scott Tschirhart
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Re: 1873 in .44 Special

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

I shot a sack full of shells this morning. It is a good day.
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Grizz
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Re: 1873 in .44 Special

Post by Grizz »

good looking rifle. good deer gun I'd guess
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JimT
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Re: 1873 in .44 Special

Post by JimT »

As far as I am concerned, that's about the perfect caliber for that action.
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Re: 1873 in .44 Special

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

Jim,

This particular model was originally chambered for the .44 Magnum. They found out that it was a bit much, so they marked them .44 Spl. on the barrel and they installed lifters with no mark on them whatsoever.

They tell me that it can take Keith's .44 Special load all day long. I don't need to go there. 16 gr of 2400 is fine and the bore looks squeeky clean after firing 10 rounds fast.

I think it will spend most of the time shooting 7.5 gr of Unique (my regular load) or 5.5 gr 231 (which is a real pussycat).
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Re: 1873 in .44 Special

Post by 2ndovc »

Very nice! Does that model model have a saddle ring on the other side?

jb 8)
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Re: 1873 in .44 Special

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

Indeed it does.
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Re: 1873 in .44 Special

Post by mickbr »

Scott Tschirhart wrote:
Sat May 08, 2021 2:00 pm
It shoots as good as it looks. This is a Uberti 1873 US Marshal IT (Indian Territory) carbine in .44 Special. It actually appears to be chambered in .44 Magnum.

Favorite load thus far is 16 gr of 2400 under a 240 grain flat point cast bullet. I imagine that is fairly close to .44-40 ballistics.
Hi Scott, very nice gun. Just looking up Brian Pearces handloader magazine article. He uses that load and gets 1150fps from a revolver with 22,000PSI.
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Re: 1873 in .44 Special

Post by hfcable »

that is a beauty ... perfect all around
cable
Scott Tschirhart
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Re: 1873 in .44 Special

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

[quote=mickbr post_id=911482 time=1620543131 user_id=

Hi Scott, very nice gun. Just looking up Brian Pearces handloader magazine article. He uses that load and gets 1150fps from a revolver with 22,000PSI.
[/quote]

I like Brian and I’ve spent some time with him. He comes up with very useful loading data and I trust him as a resource based on my experience using his data.

But I wonder where he gets his pressure information from?

I’m not going to worry about it as the .44 Magnum is rated for a top pressure of 36,000PSI. I think I have a pretty good margin of safety at 22,000PSI.

I would like to run this load over a chronograph though.
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Re: 1873 in .44 Special

Post by black river smith »

Scott,

You may want to consider the following load. I used a 44Mag Marlin for CAS back in the early '90's. I used a Lee 214 gr bullet and 8.0 gr of Unique in a 44Mag casing. That was very close representation of a 44/40 smokeless load. Mike Venturino recommended 8.0gr of Unique for the 38/40, 44/40 and the 45Colt as a general standard, in his books.

I went and checked the case volume capacity for the 44Mag, it is 37.9gr of water and the capacity for the 44/40, is 40gr of water. The 44Mag load may be a little hotter than the 44/40 but your rifle should handle it. My Marlin liked them and they were easy to shoot.

The only unfortunate thing is that the Lee 214gr bullet is no longer available, but you could use the Lee's 200gr FN bullet as a substitute. Again a little velocity increase with the lighter bullet.

Like the looks of your new rifle. I am desiring a 38/40 caliber rifle and it appears my only option is Cimarron 1873 rifle, also. I want the option to shoot both smokeless and BP.
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OldWin
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Re: 1873 in .44 Special

Post by OldWin »

Well that's just cool!

Someday, I'd like one more Colt SAA. I want a 4 3/4 and I think I want a 44 Special. In a perfect world I'd like a Frontier Six Shooter with an extra 44 Special cylinder, but that's a winning lottery ticket away.
Anyway, if the day ever comes, it would be most excellent to have a 73 carbine chambered in the great old cartridge to go along with it. What a sweet setup for woods loafing, hunting, and plinking away. Quick and easy to load for too!

Thanks for posting that, Scott!
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Re: 1873 in .44 Special

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

I have a couple of USFA SAAs in .44 Special. To tell the truth, I have a bunch of .44 Special revolvers. The cartridge seems to be a good balance for me between recoil and effectiveness.

At any rate, all of my revolvers are easy to load for and generally give good results with Skeeter level loads (250 gr Keith at 950). That load is pretty much good for anything I need a revolver for.
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Re: 1873 in .44 Special

Post by OldWin »

Sadly, I'm down to one 44 Special at the moment.
Just an old Rossi 720 3" 5 shot carry revolver.
I really like the cartridge. Like you said, it sits in that "just right" sweet spot.
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Re: 1873 in .44 Special

Post by Griff »

I have never owned a .44 revolver, did own at one time a .44Magnum Winchester 94 (1969 production) and shot a stuff load of .44 Specials thru it! The 1st 6-months I owned it, I was on deployment and only got to shoot it when we had small arms practice and could get the "ship's store" to order some for me. Had to ask permission to get it out of the gun locker every time... Cap'n was always amenable, as invariably he'd wander down to the fantail to take a few shots with it himself!

Nice looking carbine Scott, I hadn't seen them in a blued receiver... thought only the Miroku "Winchesters" came that way!
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Re: 1873 in .44 Special

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

Good story Griff.

I’ve already reloaded all that brass and I’m planning on taking a file and a brass drift out to the ranch this weekend to tweak these sights to be just right.
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Re: 1873 in .44 Special

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

You guys were right! This gun does not feed the Keith bullet smoothly.

But it feeds an LBT LFN, and the OWC which is almost a wad cutter just fine.
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Re: 1873 in .44 Special

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

That’s a stubby bullet!
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Re: 1873 in .44 Special

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

Testing proceeds. I shot it over the bar on my Ranger. Not a bench rest, but a common rest for me.
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Re: 1873 in .44 Special

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

It piles them up at 50 yards. And I was able to confirm that the chamber is actually a .44 magnum and it feeds and shoots .44 magnum as well.
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Re: 1873 in .44 Special

Post by black river smith »

Scott,

Earlier I thought you had already confirmed that the chamber was cut for 44 Mag length. I suggested my 44Mag load to you so that you would not end up with common issues of shooting a lot of short brass bullets in a longer chamber. 1. That being the build-up of lead between the brass mouth and the start of the rifling which will lead to poor accuracy over time. 2. The possible jamming of the shorter rounds loading on to the lifter or not allowing the slide by of the lifter past the following magazined round.

I will shoot shorter cases in revolver cylinder because I can do a complete cleaning easily. But I do not like the extended use of shorter brass in rifles.

I would stay with light loaded 44 Mag brass in this rifle. Just a suggestion. Then every now and then use the 44 Spec loads. Nice bullet choices, also.
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Re: 1873 in .44 Special

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

It ended up not liking the OWC so much. But it did like the LFN.

Black River,

You are probably right about this. Unfortunately, some of my favorite handguns are chambered for .44 Special and I like using the same load for convenience. Here is my most carried single action and if I had to get by with only one revolver, I could happily live with this one. Shootist USFA #30.
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Scott Tschirhart
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Re: 1873 in .44 Special

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

I found a really clean original 1873 SRC. It looks remarkably like my gun( or vice versa)
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OldWin
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Re: 1873 in .44 Special

Post by OldWin »

Wow! I have an original 73 carbine in 38-40.
But it don't look like that. :D
The action and bore are excellent, but the finish is mostly gone.
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Re: 1873 in .44 Special

Post by black river smith »

Scott,

You 'found one' or did you 'make yours'. Referring to the original 1873. Very nice looking carbine. I have owned an original Win '73 rifle (24") since 1993. It is vintage 1889 in 44/40 and I matched it with a 44/40 - 7.5" Cim 1873 revolver for my early CAS days. But I have always wanted to own and shoot a 44Spec SAA design.

So, back about 6yrs ago I bought another all steel Uberti SAA in 44/40 but with a 4 3/4" barrel. Then I installed a 44Spec cylinder. I really like that revolver. The sights, as-is, puts the lighter 44/40 bullet 2" low and the heavier 44 bullets 2" high. I can work with that. You have a very nice looking USFA. I went looking for one back 6 yrs ago but gave up. Still would like to own an USA manufactured SAA but it is not in my cards.
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Re: 1873 in .44 Special

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

Around here the USFAs are bringing as much or more than a Colt SAA. I picked one up a few months ago that looks brand new (.44 Special) and I just put it away after test firing it. The dang grips are so rough that I need to get a set of one piece grips made in some smooth finished wood.
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Re: 1873 in .44 Special

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

Well, the verdict is in and I have filed the sights to a favorite load. It is a variation on the Skeeter load of 7.5 gr of Unique but under a Montana Bullet Works .431 diameter LBT 250 gr. LFN-GC.

At 50 yards, it just piles them up. I havent shot it on paper, but I can keep a full magazine of 10 rounds inside the 2 inch hole in my flapper target at that range. (It really hammers that little flapper!). I don't know that I even have a gun anymore that I have shot on paper in many years.

I had high hopes for the Keith bullet, but I could not get it to feed reliably. The 7.5 gr of Unique load seals up the chamber well and it doesn't have that "crack" that hurts the ears when shooting without ear protection. (I generally wear ear protection on the range, but this gun is destined to be used as a knockabout gun.).
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Re: 1873 in .44 Special

Post by piller »

I like the LFN LBT style bullets in my .480 Ruger. A mild load of 4227 and they hit right to point of aim at 100 yards. About 2 inches high at 50 yards. They are 410 grains. By keeping the load and the velocity mild, recoil is comfortable. Nothing about that type of load which is anything new to most of the folks here. Heavy slow bullets do not kick painfully, and they punch through a target quite well. Sort of a freight train idea.
As far as using 4227 powder in my .480 Ruger, Mike Rintoul suggested that to me. It has been more accurate at moderate loads than W296/H110 has been, and runs much cooler than L'iL Gun does.
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Scott Tschirhart
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Re: 1873 in .44 Special

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

I have always thought about using 4227 as John Taffin often wrote about it. But the truth is that most of my shooting is covered with Bullseye or 231, Unique and 2400. I guess I am too lazy to look into another powder too much.

I have some more bullets from Montana Bullet Works being delivered today, I may test a bit more with 2400 before I wrap this up. I had some real promise early on with 16 gr of 2400 under an LFN-GC in this rifle. But I find these to be a bit much for a lightweight gun like a SAA or a five shot GP100. The gun will take it, but it reaches a level where it isn't enjoyable for me.
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Re: 1873 in .44 Special

Post by Sarge »

Thanks for sharing this Scott. Some time back I read of these '73s in 44 Mag and yours is exactly the configuration I like in the 66-73 pattern guns. While I'm positive yours won't see Elefunt Loads, it is obviously plenty accurate.

FWIW I see and shoot better on 3D targets and most of my 'group shooting' is splashes on steel. Paper gets used for 25 yard and closer zeroing or getting a scope sorted out. I leave a stubby hammer (don't trust myself with an long handled one) file and aluminum drift in the door pocket of my old farm truck.
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Re: 1873 in .44 Special

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

I keep a brass hammer and drift in the tool box in the Jeep. I need to leave a bastard mill file in there too, but files get beat up if you let them bounce around in a tool box. I need to make a cover for one. I rather think that my ancestors shot their rifles in on cactus and rocks. I shoot a lot of steel because it is convenient and it limits the amount of lead flying around.
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Re: 1873 in .44 Special

Post by M. M. Wright »

Image
My old 73 in 44WCF of course but if you use your imagination you can tell all the SRCs were full blue. Well, unless they were special order. The guy I got it from said it's a wall hanger but I've killed a decent buck with it. I did replace the links with a new set from Lee Shaver so they are the latest metallurgy though I mostly shoot black in it.
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Scott Tschirhart
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Re: 1873 in .44 Special

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

Very nice!
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