Modern toggle links

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wvfarrier
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Modern toggle links

Post by wvfarrier »

Ive been thinking of picking up an 1873 in 45 colt, I already have a 357 mag and got to thinking. How much stronger is the modern 1873 toggle link compared to the original. Im imagining that with modern metallurgy the material should be substantially more durable than the original. Am I incorrect? Im not suggesting 45 colt +p but full power (standard load) shouldnt harm it or is it still only bp loads?
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Re: Modern toggle links

Post by M. M. Wright »

I replaced the links in my original 73 (it's a 44WCF of course) just to get the modern steel and maybe mine from 1895 were worn just a little bit. But the barrel is still made from questionable steel although I do have one of the Marukos made of modern stuff. I still stick to fffg mostly but have a load of H-110 and the 200 grain XTP that is just plain murder on whitetail and coyotes.
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Scott Tschirhart
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Re: Modern toggle links

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

I've got one chambered in .44 Magnum but I run it mostly with warm .44 Special loads. I know that they aren't the strongest action out there, but I don't think they are as weak as some people think.
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2ndovc
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Re: Modern toggle links

Post by 2ndovc »

I bought one of the new Winchester '73s in .45 Colt about 6 months ago and have been thoroughly impressed with the rifle. Most of my shooting has been with a "warmish" Titegroup load and a 200 LRNFP. I've been really pleased with the accuracy so far. I have shot some of my JFP ammo that runs quite a bit hotter, but the accuracy falls off. I didn't have any issues with extracting, split or flattened primers, though with this particular rifle I lighter loads better. It's just more fun to shoot.
I know that doesn't really answer your question, but I'm just getting started with this one. I wanted a companion to my .45 Bisley.

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Re: Modern toggle links

Post by piller »

No direct knowledge. The modern metal technology has earned a reputation among the Cowboy Action Shooters for being durable. I would think that their low pressure but high volume shooting would catch most issues over time. Just extrapolating from their experiences, it would seem that the modern reproductions are plenty durable.
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Bryan Austin
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Re: Modern toggle links

Post by Bryan Austin »

Are toggle links really the weak point?

44-40 Winchester - MAP/13,000cup/11,000psi
45 Colt - MAP/14,000cup/14,000psi
38 Special - MAP/17,000cup/17,000psi
44-40 W.H.V. - Winchester Claimed/22,000cup...possibly 18,000psi
44 Rem Magnum - MAP/40,000cup/36,000psi
357 Magnum - MAP/45,000cup/35,000psi

Let's just let that sink in for a while on any modern Winchester 73's strength. All those high pressure cartridges that are chambered in new 73's but yet only the 44-40 WHVs will brake anything ;-)
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KirkD
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Re: Modern toggle links

Post by KirkD »

The toggle link action wouldn't be a good idea for cartridges such as the 30-06, but they are much stronger than most people think. Observe how the links go into a straight-on, 'lock up' when the cartridge is chambered and how the link pins are not actually taking the force when locked up. I've owned and put a lot of rounds through original '73's and '76's and none of them had link problems even after a century. I've seen photos of a couple of blow-ups from overloads, but it is always the chamber/barrel join area that lets go, never the toggle links. If you are shooting factory ammo in a toggle link action designed for that factory ammo, you have nothing to worry about. But if you are jacking up the pressure way up there, then you have a good chance of blowing up the chamber area.
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Re: Modern toggle links

Post by .45colt »

If the '73 toggle link action wasn't up to the task Uberti would never have sold them in .44 magnum. THE GO TO GUY on the forum about one in .45 colt is Buck Stinson . He has been shooting one in .45 colt with heavier loads for quite a while. Look Him Up and shoot Him an E-mail . or He may see this thread.
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Malamute
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Re: Modern toggle links

Post by Malamute »

Steve of Steves Gunz has mentioned that they do wear out/loosen up with fairly extensive use, but I believe they can be re-fitted with oversize links and perhaps larger pins and get more miles from them. I think in general you would be talking a much larger investment in ammo or components than the gun cost to wear one out, though I dont recall what numbers Steve mentioned in the past. The brass frame 66s and Henrys dont last as long as the 73s, I do recall him mentioning that. I for one wouldnt let it bother me if I liked the gun and wanted to shoot it a lot. How many of us get to actually wear out a gun from use? And then theres that rebuild thing.... I think I could rather enjoy trying to wear out a 66 carbine. Give it the old college try, eh?

The usual internet comments about toggle links seem to run along the lines of "youll get the bolt through your eye when those toggle links let go...", but the failure point seems to be the bottom of the chamber/barrel for the most part (like Kirk mentioned), and otherwise seem to just get loose over time, not catastrophically fail/blow up like most pronounce. Ive seen quite a few old loose 73s over the years. It looked like most would probably still fire if need be.

Ive heard of one failure that resulted in the breech pin, firing pin extension, or whatever the proper name for the round thing that comes out the back is coming out the back and injuring a shooter. I dont believe it was fatal, though someone else may know more about it. Its not the bolt, the bolt is contained within the frame opening where the carrier (lifter) is.
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Bryan Austin
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Re: Modern toggle links

Post by Bryan Austin »

I perform frequent inspections on my 73'. I pull out the guts and closely inspect for signs of wear. Unless that part is defective, it's not gonna just "let go", it will "talk to you if you listen"! A lot of guys shoot their guns like they drive their truck....they never work on it.
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Re: Modern toggle links

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

Bryan Austin wrote:
Mon Sep 13, 2021 7:25 pm
I perform frequent inspections on my 73'. I pull out the guts and closely inspect for signs of wear. Unless that part is defective, it's not gonna just "let go", it will "talk to you if you listen"! A lot of guys shoot their guns like they drive their truck....they never work on it.
Wise advice here. I've been shooing my 73' a great deal. Not the volume that the CAS folks shoot theirs, but my loads are considerably more than what they typically shoot. No signs of any issues at this point. I get to drive my trucks hundreds of thousands of miles because I change the oil and the drivetrain fluids when I should. When I see a problem, I fix it or get it fixed. Same with my guns.
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Griff
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Re: Modern toggle links

Post by Griff »

I have 3 toggle links in 45 Colt. One I've used since 1987 in cowboy action shooting. It is fairly stock, having just replaced some of the springs. The trigger block safety spring, and both the lever & carrier return springs with "wire" versions. Otherwise the links and action are stock. The only other work that's been done is the "clearance" the carrier an addition .010"-.015" to help control the "gumming up" of the action when shooting BP. The links are stock, and many tens of thousands of rounds later, show no signs of loosening up.

My typical cowboy action load is around 6 grains of RedDot behind a 200 grain RFN. The BP load is 28 grains of Goex "Cartridge" behind a 230 grain cast bullet from a RCBS 45-225-CAV mold and lubed with SPG. Neither is a weak sister load, but not overly stout. But quite a bit stouter than the typical cowboy action shooter. If I just happened upon a deer at an appropriate range, I wouldn't feel that it won't do the job quite handily.

The biggest problem with the 45 Colt in lighter loads is the amount of fouling that follows the case back into the carrier mortise as the action is opened after firing. Most folks seems to attribute the fouling they observe as "blow-by"... however, I theorize that it's the residue fouling that isn't pushed completely out of the case upon firing and as they quickly open the action that fouling gets sucked into the mortise and hence sticks to the metal there. With my clearance carrier, I can shoot 3 days of competition without cleaning the rifle, time wasted from enjoying a post competition adult beverage! YMMV.
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Re: Modern toggle links

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

Griff,

That's interesting. Is the clearance of the carrier just front to back? or all around?

I have been thinking about taking a .38/.357 carrier and opening it up internally just enough to accommodate a .44 Special case (which is somewhat smaller in diameter than the rims on a .45 Colt/.44-40). But I never considered the clearance you are talking about.
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Re: Modern toggle links

Post by Bill in Oregon »

Very informative thread, gentlemen.
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Re: Modern toggle links

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

Last night I read in John Taffin's excellent new "Book of the .44 Caliber" about his contact with Beretta (who now owns Uberti) and how they have changed the heat treatement on the frames and upgraded the internal parts for the .44 Magnum chambered 1873s to withstand the increased pressure. See pg. 432-436 for the complete discussion.

Apparently this heat treatment and internal parts upgrade is not applied to 1873s that are chambered for .45 Colt, .44 Special and .44-40.

I'm still planning on sticking with loads that run 1100 to 1200 fps with a 240-250 gr bullet in mine. But that is a pretty good range to be in and lots of game has been taken with lead bullets at such pedestrian velocities.
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wvfarrier
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Re: Modern toggle links

Post by wvfarrier »

Heck after a search I didnt fine one 73 in 44 mag
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Re: Modern toggle links

Post by Griff »

Scott Tschirhart wrote:
Tue Sep 14, 2021 10:31 am
Griff,
That's interesting. Is the clearance of the carrier just front to back? or all around?
I have been thinking about taking a .38/.357 carrier and opening it up internally just enough to accommodate a .44 Special case (which is somewhat smaller in diameter than the rims on a .45 Colt/.44-40). But I never considered the clearance you are talking about.
Sorry to take so long to get back to you, (@ reunion of shipmates from Navy days), and just saw your question. Specifically, I concentrated on the side to side clearance. The main area the fouling seems to concentrate is probably the first 3/8" - 1/2" along each side. After 3 days of shooting BP and no cleaning, it'll get quite thick in that area. Atmospheric conditions will either alleviate or exacerbate that buildup.
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Scott Tschirhart
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Re: Modern toggle links

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

Thank you my friend.
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