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05-24-2011, 04:33 PM #1
Uberti 1873 Sporting Rifle: A Review
A few weeks back I acquired a Uberti 1873 Winchester sporting rifle replica in .45 Colt. I also purchased a Marble Tang Sight to mount on it. Initially I planned on taking it to a gunsmith to have it mounted, but then I decided to do it myself. I watched the installation video on the Marbles web site several times and then ordered the correct tapered tap from Brownell’s. I am sure that to a lot of you guys the idea of drilling a hole and tapping it is no big deal, but it was nothing short of traumatizing for me. I have always heard the adage measure twice and cut once, well in this case I measured 50 times to drill once. The thought of drilling a hole in my beautiful new rifle was virtually debilitating. Finally I worked up the nerve and it was no big deal. I drilled and tapped the hole and mounted the sight. Today I hit the range to try out my handiwork.
I worked up 3 loads to try out. Two of the loads had a 255 grain RNFP bullet and one had a 200 grain RNFP, both bullets were cast from Lee molds using wheel weights. I did not size the bullets and tumble lubed them in the Lee alox. I loaded the two larger bullets with 8 grains of Unique and 5.5 grains of Trailboss respectively. I loaded the 200 grain bullet with 6 grains of Trailboss. I used Starline brass. I sighted in at 50 yards. The Marble sight is adjustable for elevation and windage and comes with 3 aperture discs. I chose the middle size. Once I was sighted in I pumped 200 rounds through the rifle. It functioned flawlessly. What a delight. Below is a target that represents 50 rounds fired at 50 yards. This was slow deliberate fire for accuracy. The 255 grain bullet with Trailboss was the most accurate load.I then started banging away at a steel target at 75 yards. As fast as I could pump that lever it went clang, clang, clang. I don’t think I missed once.
Also someone had left a golf ball at the 50 yard bunker and I could not resist giving it a go. Hit it with my first shot.
This Uberti is extremely well made and really a hoot to shoot. Like many folks here I grew up watching the westerns in the 50’s and had developed a somewhat jaded opinion of the old Winchester rifle that was so ubiquitous in those shows. I never thought much about the rifle and what it must have meant at the time. A man alone in the wild places armed with a Winchester 44/40 (the 1873 was never actually chambered in .45 Colt) and a pair of revolvers was a force to be reckoned with. It was the gold standard for personal defense at the time. Fast, accurate and reliable. Maybe not the best choice for a charging Grizzly, but for deer sized animals and men it was unsurpassed. Shooting this piece of history gave me an appreciation for what a truly marvelous rifle the Winchester 1873 was at the time.
05-24-2011, 05:41 PM #2
As always, well written and a great read. Thanks!
05-24-2011, 06:17 PM #3
Getting a horse next.
I want one.Licensed Journeyman.
05-24-2011, 07:16 PM #4
We'll make a Cowboy out of you yet!NRA, GOAL, SASS, IDPA, AZA
Member Copicut Rifle Assoc., Rod & Gun of New Bedford.
NRA Pistol, Home Firearm Safety Instructor; Range Safety Officer
"Guns dont kill people, dads with pretty daughters do."
05-24-2011, 09:04 PM #5
05-24-2011, 09:55 PM #6
Nice write up."Wisen up because on election day we'll see who's banned in the USA" - Banned in the USA by 2 Live Crew
05-25-2011, 08:59 AM #7
- Join Date
- Jun 2006
Another beauty added to your collection. Thank you for sharing.
Last edited by MARINE96; 05-25-2011 at 12:37 PM.
05-25-2011, 10:21 AM #8
- Join Date
- May 2005
- Dedham, MA
I own a '73 Short Rifle in the same caliber and use the regular rear sight it came with but added a big brass doorknob of a front sight. It's used for CAS shoots.
Every Uberti made '73 can benefit from action work to slick up the action. It will be smoother to run and quicker to lever. You can then add a ton of different mod's to it as and if you want them from a short stroke kit that will give less lever travel to do the same work to better springs that never really need any adjustment. Stainless Steel Mag Tube Spring and Stainless Steel Mag. Follower.
Most of mine has been replaced and shoots a lot better and faster than I can once the RO hits the button.
It really doesn't matter who imported it as most of them are made by Uberti except Chippawa (spelling?)
Good luck with it. Nice rifle.
Come on down to a SASS match and see what you're missing.
05-25-2011, 11:11 AM #9
Is it still Uberti's policy to not ship to Mass?
I know a lot of dealers in the past have had a lot of trouble getting anything from them.
05-25-2011, 01:53 PM #10