My dad did get a chance to shoot the Winchester 38-40 for the first time in at least 67 years.

  • Last Post 23 December 2022
Bryan Austin posted this 18 December 2022

Made in 1911

The story is that my grandaddy purchased it from a mailman in 1935 and never fired it. My dad and my uncle wanted to shoot it when they were about 13 (1957). They only had five cartridges (my dad found the 5 empties in the stock from where they shot them back then). My granddaddy told them to tie it to a tree and if it didn't blow up, then they could shoot it.  Eventually it was stored in an attic for years and moved in the early 1980's. By the mid 1980's, my uncle acquired it.

I picked up some 38-40 cartridges a month or so ago and away we went! First time he shot it in about 67 years, he will by 80 in January. He picked up a buck a couple years ago with his Winchester 1886 45-70 and now wants to hunt with the 73'

44-40 Website - ..................................... 44-40 Videos -

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Aaron posted this 18 December 2022

Very cool!

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2frogs posted this 20 December 2022

That's awesome. Happy for him.

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Lucky1 posted this 23 December 2022

It's fantastic when you get to bring a fine old firearm back to life. I know from experience on the 38-40 because I bought a 73 at a gunshow about 20 years ago. It has absolutely no finish and a cobbled up rear sight but it was half the price of a replica. How could you go wrong with something from the 1880s? I looked down the bore or at least tried to. It was so full of dust and debris you could barely see the light at the end of the tunnel and it explained the pricing. Not fired in decades for sure. I still bought it and hoped for the best. Cleaned it and rounded up the necessaries and loaded it with some cast 180 grainers for the 40 S&W. One day I loaded it up and took it in the tractor with me, intending to test fire it down by the creek. I was in the hayfield and later 2 coyotes came trotting across the field a little over 100 yards away. Not being one to resist, I poked the rifle out the door and took a shot. A miracle happened and I hit him broadside, he rolled but managed to get up and stagger in the adjacent corn field. I'm not sure which of us was more surprised! I quick levered in a 2nd shot and aimed at his buddy who was now doing 60 on the straightaway. I gave him some lead but saw the bullet kick up dust under his tail. He went into overdrive then and made it to cover just as I readied the next shot. I am still amazed that a rifle that I had never fired, with an untested load combo, not used in decades yet the sights were still about right on. Shear dumb luck. I used it at several Cowboy matches to and people couldn't believe I would use an original 73. I prefer to believe it was happier there than in a closet. So I'm glad you got yours going again and I'm sure it'll make everyone happy including the rifle.

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