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Heavily leaded 45-70

Posted by Ken on Monday, 29 May 2017, at 2:17 p.m.

I bought a parts gun online the other day. Weird thing. It has a 410,xxx serial # which should mean 1888. But it also has a breech block dated 1873, while the lock plate (and the trigger plate) is of the 1888 type with 3 hammer positions and a grooved trigger. LoL. However the breech block lockup is very tight and seems safe. The barrel stamps are of the post #93,000 type. The gun has a type 2 ramrod, not a bayonet ramrod. The ramrod catch in the stock has almost no play, so I had to use a tool to get the ramrod out (or remove the barrel bands and tang screw, etc., but a small screwdriver used as a lever was a quicker way). The hinge of the breech block does have the channel indicative of a Buffington rear sight. But the actual rear sight is of the 4th 1879 R type. The lower stock band is also of the old type.

I am not sure it would be worth my time to gather up all of the correct 1888 parts to make the rifle all correct and am inclined to just leave it as a parts gun, throw on a sling and make it a shooter.

The bore is shiny with no pitting observed. I decided to mike it.

Experimentally I began by attempting to drop or at least easily push through a lead 250 gr. .45 Colt bullet I had sized to .452. The expectation was it would just drop through. Nope.

It took a LOT of effort, all the way down the barrel to get that bullet pushed back to the chamber. Eventually it reached the chamber and I miked it.

.447 LoL, the barrel must be a sheet of lead residue. I have some serious de-leading to do.


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