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 Black Powder and Cowboy Action Shooting
 38-40 ammo for original 1873 Winchester
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1923model12win
Junior Member

USA
105 Posts

Posted - 10/06/2011 :  06:51:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am looking for a place to get ammo that won't blow up an old winchester 1873. It is a 3rd model 38-40. It is in good shape now that I have been able to get all of the screws and sights and wood. Thank You!

Ian L. Lester

yonson
Junior Member

246 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2011 :  9:21:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Factory Winchester 180 gr. FP. Works in mine (same gun as yours).
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tsr1965
Advanced Member

USA
7107 Posts

Posted - 10/12/2011 :  08:27:45 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There is an ammo company by the name of UltraMax, that not only remanufactures ammo, but they also load new stuff too. They have a line of new Cowboy Action ammo. I baught a case of the 38-40 for my Colt SAA's, and Winchester 1873's, and 1892's. It is relatively mild, like a 180 grain LFP at 650 FPS from the Colt's. It shows to be decently accurate and functions great. I have also acquired a supply of the 41 Colt ammo, and shoot it in my Colt SAA's.

Best
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machine gun moran
Advanced Member

USA
5054 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2011 :  10:36:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
But be careful when using very lightly-loaded ammunition in a rifle. Lyman recommends minimum loads for the 38-40 that are actually over the maximum loads listed by some others, and Lyman is known for their conservatism. Apparently, a too-lightly loaded 38-40 cartridge can allow the premature collapse of the case walls away from the chamber walls, permitting gas leakage around the case and producing a stuck bullet.

Control is an illusion, because nobody knows what's going to happen next.
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v35
Advanced Member

USA
12589 Posts

Posted - 11/13/2011 :  01:04:16 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Use lead bullet loads only at velocities not exceeding black powder
velocities.
Look at "Cowboy Loads".
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1923model12win
Junior Member

USA
105 Posts

Posted - 11/13/2011 :  07:14:54 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by v35

Use lead bullet loads only at velocities not exceeding black powder
velocities.
Look at "Cowboy Loads".



Why only use lead? This is what I thought. But, my grandfather says I can use copper jacket. I will reload myself. I def can't afford to shoot store bought at $70 a box!
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eastbank
Advanced Member

3655 Posts

Posted - 11/13/2011 :  1:30:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
most of the old winchester and marlin,s had soft iron barrels and will wear out early with a steady diet of jacketed bullets, i use hard cast lead bullets and can not find any disadvantage in there use. i load for all the pistol lenth cases(25-20,32-20,38-40,44-40) and a few odd balls. lead bullets can be bought cheaply if you do not cast your self. eastbank.
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v35
Advanced Member

USA
12589 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2011 :  5:35:59 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Barrels used to be very soft. I've seen Colt SAA barrels worn at the muzzle almost to the bore from holster wear.
The big factories discontinued high velocity loadings of the 32-20, 38-40 and 44-40 and only load the original light pistol loads.
Probably for marketing reasons, they load jacketed soft point bullets in them.
There is some choice now with small companies getting into Cowboy Loads that use only lead bullets.
At the slow velocity any of this ammo is loaded, there is no point in jacketed bullets.
In fact it's quite the opposite. Many old barrels are oversize and lead bullets upset to properly fill rifling grooves.
They will therefore be more accurate.
I proved this out on one of my rifles, a 38-40 Lightning, recently.
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