Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Chaparral "Winchester Model 1873 in .45 Colt-Cowboy Action

This is a 22 inch octagonal barrel rifle in .45 Colt, Charter Arms and Chaparral Arms joined together in this production. It is an historically accurate reproduction of the Model 1873 Winchester lever action saddle gun with case hardened receiver and butt plate, brass case lifter and brass front blade sight.
The rifle being an accurate reproduction does not utilize modern "safes." The hammer down rests on the firing pin and half-cock can be overridden with a blow, therefor it should not be carried with an unspent round in the chamber. The rifle was designed for the black powder .45 Colt cartridge and is unsuited to higher power smokeless cartridges.

The lever incorporates a trigger locking pin which disables the trigger unless the lever is closed to the stock, requiring pressure. When the hammer is in half cock the trigger is also disabled. These safeties are of modest utility in preventing accidental discharge. The receiver has a dust cover which can be manually closed to keep dust and debris from the receiver, it is opened by either drawing it back with fingers or opening the lever. At the rear of the lever is a toggle for locking the lever against the stock.

It is available in the following calibers: WCF 38-40, WCF 44-40, .45 Colt, .357, and .44 Special. Because this is a tubular magazine rifle only flat nose or soft lead round nose ammunition should be used.

The rifle is considered unserviceable by the consumer and there is no exploded drawing with the manual. It is warranted for one year.

The rifle is quite pretty, fit and finish is outstanding and it fairly comfortable to shoulder. You can expect to pay close to $900 for this gun. The 1873 Winchester is a popular Cowboy Action Shooting rifle, which is my intended use for it.

Right click picture for full size

5 comments:

KISS said...

"The rifle is considered unserviceable by the consumer "I am not sure what that means. The 45 caliber is terrific and should bring down any game in Oregon. I'm wondering what kick back it has?
the "83" was THE GUN in its day. Would this be considered the original " Saddle Rifle"? Now it will ride in the back window of a pick-up

Zak J. said...

Were these the same as the 45-70s?

There's a really funny passage in Seven Pillars of Wisdom where Lawrence describes "leading" a camel charge against a Turkish position. All the Arabs are riding with no hands and shooting rifles one-handed. Lawrence tries to use a pistol, but only manages to shoot his camel in the back of the head and is nearly trampled by the troopers behind him when it goes down. Perhaps a rifle is better on horseback for the same reason--the barrel length might keep you from shooting your own mount? Don't know. Looks like a sweet piece, though.

Chuck Butcher said...

Kiss,
The manual states that the internal parts require fit and adjustment that is beyond consumer abilities, they strongly discourage user disassembly and therefor provide no exploded diagram.


This is a weak cartridge though it is in .45 caliber. I would trust it for deer as a reliable kill. A 250gr .45 with muzzle velocity of 700-800 fps has serious penetration issues. By comparison the Ruger Bisley Vaquero 5 1/5" revolver will handle loads like the 360gr .45 gas-checked at 1250+ fps and I have read of 330gr at 1350 fps; here you are dealing with a "hand cannon" which will deal with most big game, I'd be hesitant to try such a thing with a Kodiak.

I am an advocate of "fair chase" and "clean kill" as a sportsman, one of the basic requirements for a clean kill is penetration which requires sufficient lb/ft of energy and bullet survival. I tend to use the most powerful practible round for the game I stalk. I have taken a mule deer with a 200gr .45 ACP Colt Commander in a heavy load, I was disappointed with the results, while it was a killing shot it did not exist which made the tracking very difficult.


It is the "saddle rifle" though a more likely barrel length would be 16". It came with a very nice carry case which could easily double as a saddle scabbard. I don't own a horse and won't, I much prefer Key start or foot.

Zak,
I'm pretty sure shooting your own mount is not a desired outcome. I'd say there's less risk on a horse, but over-excitement creates odd results.

It is real pretty and as an authentic period gun has that appeal. Modern weaponry has some real advantages though. (soon to arrive - Ruger #1 in 45-70, new)

Chuck Butcher said...

I missed it Zak, no not 45-70, .45 Colt (long colt) pistol cartridge.

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