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Win. 1873 overbore question

yonsonyonson Member Posts: 577 ✭✭
edited February 2015 in Ask the Experts
My well-worn 1873 in 38-40 has a belled-out bore at muzzle (.006 or so extending several inches in) and is now a scattergun. Am considering having it rebored to 44-40. Redman's turned it down for relining as barrel diameter at muzzle is insufficient. Can anyone recommend a gunsmith for the job? Thanks guys.

Comments

  • rufe-snowrufe-snow Member Posts: 18,453 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    You might try counterboring first. This was done to a lot of Russian Mosin-Nagants, to make them usable during the war.

    The hourly rate for a competent gunsmith, able to rebore a 38-40 to 44-40. Even if possible? Might approach the value of a "well-worn 1873".
  • nononsensenononsense Member, Moderator Posts: 10,575 ******
    edited November -1
    yonson,

    Call Dan at Classic Barrels and Gunsworks:

    http://www.cutrifle.com/reboring.html

    This is a routine question for him since a large part of his business is reboring.

    Best.
  • v35v35 Member Posts: 13,200
    edited November -1
    Some of these old guns have oversize bores.
    Does yours reduce beyond two inches in from the muzzle?
    I'd drive a 44 or 45 lead ball or bullet in from the muzzle to the breech to be sure. Use a soft mallet and brass rod.
    If it's as I suspect. you may need to load oversized bullets.
    I found both a Colt 38-40 New Service revolver and Lightning rifle had oversized bores.If I recall, the 1860 Army .44 (actually .45) measured about .460.
    Black powder bumped bullets up to size.
  • gartmangartman Member Posts: 572 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Just do what the old timers did, take a hacksaw to the offending part. I have seen plenty of old rifles "fixed" this way. Sort of like fixing a male dog by removing unwanted troublesome arts.
  • yonsonyonson Member Posts: 577 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have slugged the barrel about 2 inches deep on muzzle end & bore gets smaller from there. Have not investigated further. I assume someone in the distant past got overzealous with "scrubbing" the bore clean. Rufe may have the most practical solution, will have to know more about the bore before I proceed. Wondering what options are available for counterboring.
  • MG1890MG1890 Member Posts: 4,649
    edited November -1
    Please don't hacksaw the barrel; counterbore it if necessary.

    No pilot necessary. As long as the reamer has a lead in chamfer, it will follow the existing bore fine.

    Grab a 7/16" chucking reamer, ream 1" deep, then shoot for accuracy. If it still won't shoot, go 1" deeper, and so on.

    You will not affect the ability to line the barrel at a later date.
  • rufe-snowrufe-snow Member Posts: 18,453 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by yonson
    I have slugged the barrel about 2 inches deep on muzzle end & bore gets smaller from there. Have not investigated further. I assume someone in the distant past got overzealous with "scrubbing" the bore clean. Rufe may have the most practical solution, will have to know more about the bore before I proceed. Wondering what options are available for counterboring.


    Need a reamer, with a pilot that is bore diameter. Should be approximately, .400 for a .38-40. The actual cutting diameter behind the pilot should be large enough to clean out all the rifling. 7/16 would be the closest fractional dimension, and easiests reamer to come by.
  • mango tangomango tango Member Posts: 3,829
    edited November -1
    I bought a '73 a few years back, it's a 44WCF, and the bore was relined by the previous owner, it was a beautiful job. I don't know who did the reline, this link comes to mind, I remember the guy saying it was up in the northwest.

    http://www.redmansrifling.com/relining.htm
  • yonsonyonson Member Posts: 577 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I did mention in my first post that Redmans chose not to take on the job of relining due to insufficient barrel diameter at muzzle. After consideration of advice given on this forum, I am leaning toward the counterbore option, but not knowing at present how deep it would have to go from muzzle end to clean up, the length of boring tool is yet to be determined. Would also need to leave enough material in the bore for a complete overboring job in case counterboring does not produce the desired result. Classic Barrel & Gunworks website advertises a price of $345 (plus return freight) for overbore/rerifling/rechambering but advise that some old Winchester barrels may have hard and soft spots possibly causing the tooling and barrel to be ruined, so the customer assumes some risk (I have not contacted them yet on this particular job). Despite having a fair amount of machine shop experience, this is still, for me, a daunting project due to the unknowns.
  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,348 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    You might look with a bore scope if someone you know has one. You can tell a lot about a bore with a really tight patch.
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