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25-20 WCF Winchester 92 - TUMBLING!!!
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Having some issues with dads "new" Model 92 Winchester 25-20WCF, mfg 1902. Its polished white, don't believe nickel plated. 24" octagonal barrel, full length magazine, beautiful gun. I don't have a borescope, but rifling looks strong and I thoroughly cleaned it before our first firing session.

Shooting both Remington factory 86gr ammo and Meister 85gr cast reloads. 10.0gr IMR4198, CCI400 primer, formed starline 32-20 brass. Pretty mild load. All feed and fire perfectly.

But all shots are tumbling. And not slightly either. 50 yards, every shot is going through the paper target perfectly sideways with a loud THWACK!!! Never seen anything like it. Sounds like a 12ga shotgun slug impact.

Any thoughts or ideas? Too hot? Primers don't look hot at all. Too heavy of a bullet for a 92 Winchester? Rifling gone bad? I'm at a loss right now.

I see Hornady has a 60gr jacketed round nose available. Considering trying those.

Thanks for any ideas.
 
Posts: 111 | Location: Iowa | Registered: 04 January 2005Reply With Quote
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both of my 92's love those 60gr bullets.

tumbling is only caused by a couple of things.
not enough stabilization from not enough speed.
not enough twist rate for the bullet length.
not enough diameter in the bullet to hold the rifling.

anyway I'd try the 60's first and then if you still have problems I'd be looking a lot closer at the barrel.
 
Posts: 2900 | Location: soda springs,id | Registered: 02 April 2008Reply With Quote
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How is the crown and the last couple inches of rifling.

Wear in that area can be the cause of tumbling
 
Posts: 15888 | Location: wis | Registered: 21 April 2001Reply With Quote
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Many years ago, I experienced a friend's 92 Winchester in .44-40 doing the same thing. In that instance, the solution was to change the primer.

I suspect the pistol primers he used were not effectively igniting the powder (this was Somchem S265, a locally produced powder and all we could get here back then). A change to a rifle primer fixed it.
 
Posts: 53 | Location: South Africa | Registered: 28 April 2020Reply With Quote
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Several years ago I bought one of the surplus Martinis in 303. The patterns grouped well but every one keyholed. I didn't try to figure out the problem, I just replaced the bbl. into a 25 Krag as 25/303 dies weren't available here stateside although I understand that they are quite popular in Oz.


Never mistake motion for action.
 
Posts: 12299 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: 11 March 2013Reply With Quote
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Well, I believe I found the problem. I never even thought about trying to "slug the bore" from the muzzle end.

Anyways, using a Meister 85gr cast bullet, the entire bullet litterally FALLS into the muzzle end of the barrel until maybe only 1/16-1/8" of the rear of the bullet is sticking out the muzzle end, and the muzzle appears slightly egg shaped too.

I know very little about lever guns, other than they are cool and fun to shoot. How hard would it be to have the octagonal barrel removed and rebored/chambered for 32-20? The gun has a full length magazine tube, and Id hope to not mess with that, but I am not sure whats possible.

Anybody know a good old west lever action gunsmith specialist?
 
Posts: 111 | Location: Iowa | Registered: 04 January 2005Reply With Quote
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Why not reline it back to 25-20.
 
Posts: 3378 | Registered: 10 April 2009Reply With Quote
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Didn't even know that was possible on gun barrels.
Hows that work? Open to suggestions.
Thanks
 
Posts: 111 | Location: Iowa | Registered: 04 January 2005Reply With Quote
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quote:
Hows that work?


Drill out the barrel to fit the liner in solider or epoxy the liner in place.

Cut the chamber shoot
 
Posts: 15888 | Location: wis | Registered: 21 April 2001Reply With Quote
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Brownells did offer liners for 25-20 and 32-20.
Havnt checked in some time though.
 
Posts: 3378 | Registered: 10 April 2009Reply With Quote
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Whoa! Let's not go butchering a nice old Model 92. It sounds like your muzzle is worn from years of over-enthusiastic cleaning with the rod inserted from the muzzle. This is probably what gave it its egg shape.

Here's a better solution than replacing or relining the barrel: Have a gunsmith ream the riflings back from the muzzle until you have reached good lands. Place an "internal crown" at that point. The effective length of the barrel will be reduced by a half-inch or whatever, but externally you'll preserve the barrel at its full length and appearance.
 
Posts: 12539 | Location: Henly, TX, USA | Registered: 04 April 2001Reply With Quote
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quote:
tumbling is only caused by a couple of things.not enough stabilization from not enough speed.

Lamar, didn't someone mention something about an rpm threshold somewhere?
 
Posts: 3051 | Location: san angelo tx | Registered: 18 November 2009Reply With Quote
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yeah,, but I tend to not listen to those that can't, and totally ignore those that won't even try.
 
Posts: 2900 | Location: soda springs,id | Registered: 02 April 2008Reply With Quote
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Your M1892 may simply have an oversize bore, and tumbling may be eliminated by using cast bullets sized to actual bore diameter. Have a gunsmith cast the chamber and measure the throat and bore diameters. You may find a bullet >.257/8" is needed. A properly sized cast bullet will be your least expensive option and preclude modifications to your old Winchester.
Don't assume the bore is .257 because that's what modern .25 caliber barrels are. For example, old Winchester and Marlin barrels in .38-55 are frequently as large as .380". Using a .375" bullet in one of these old barrels will cause tumbling.
 
Posts: 157 | Location: Fayetteville, GA | Registered: 12 August 2004Reply With Quote
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That is common defect in that back when folks liked to keep their guns clean, and of course cleaned Winchesters from the crown, they thought it helped, but the cleaning rods wore out the crown and portions of the bore, common to see old Win that have been recrowned, it was the fix of the day back then..

Id rebore to a 32-20, but other options are cut and crown the barrel, rebore to a 357 magnum, or hang it on the wall! all good options..properly sized cast bullets are an option and keep the gun original but you won't be selling it as its a family gun, or at least I wouldn't..Just some options..MOst of those old guns with horrible bores seem to shoot better than most realize, you just got unlucky, but shortening the barrel might work..


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 36099 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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Take Lamar's advise,,,
Try the 60gr load and see if that doesn't solve the tumbling issue.


Slug the bore to see what you have..
It may be oversize, but you can't tell a thing w/o measuring it carefully.

Plus in a L/A you can only eye-ball the bore directly from one end. You can miss a lot of things inside there not being able to look in from the breach.
Many 'smiths now have a bore scope at hand to look inside for damage.
Or go ahead and pull it apart and remove the bolt so you can look down the bore from the breach.

That loose bore at the muzzle certainly isn't helping. But back track a bit before chopping and altering and see exactly what you have (bore) and what it's capable of (w/the 60gr load).

JMO
 
Posts: 381 | Registered: 08 June 2008Reply With Quote
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