Reboring Original 1886 Winchester to .45-90

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shoe
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Reboring Original 1886 Winchester to .45-90

#1 Post by shoe » Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:12 am

I have an original 1886 Winchester rifle in .40-82 with the round barrel. The serial number dates it to 1890. It is well used with a lot of wear with about 20% finish turning to brown. Hardly a collectors piece. The bore has some rifling but a lot of pitting in the middle of the barrel. I have tried to clean it using various methods including using an electronic rust remover and then lapping it to remove some of the roughness. I slugged the bore at .408. I have been trying to get it shoot well using .408 lead bullets with various loads including blackpowder. I have got it so it does not keyhole any more but it is just not accurate. The best groups I can get are about 8" at 50 yards and it will not stay on the paper at 100.

Based on this, I am considering having it rebored to .45-90. I spoke with Jess at JES Reboring and he said it is a relatively easy job and pretty reasonably priced. I would plan to shoot it using mostly blackpowder loads and to keep the pressure low as this is an old girl. I am kind of torn because I would prefer to keep it original but if I can't get it to shoot well, I may make sense to have it rebored. I am not fan of relining so reboring to a larger caliber is my preference. I also don't have .45-90 so I think it would be interesting to have a rifle in this caliber.

Looking for other folks opinion on this and if anyone has gone this route.

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earlmck
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Re: Reboring Original 1886 Winchester to .45-90

#2 Post by earlmck » Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:07 pm

I've not done what you are proposing but it sounds like a natural to me. JES did a rebore for me a couple years ago and I was shooting the new cartridge within about 10 days of first getting the idea. He doesn't waste any time holding your rifle in his shop!

Send her off and start gathering 45/90 loading stuff.
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Tycer
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Re: Reboring Original 1886 Winchester to .45-90

#3 Post by Tycer » Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:10 pm

You could simply have a liner installed also.
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OldWin
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Re: Reboring Original 1886 Winchester to .45-90

#4 Post by OldWin » Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:15 pm

One argument for a liner is you get better steel. This allows you to shoot large amounts of jacketed if you so choose.
I had an old first year 86 that was re-bored at some time and by someone unknown. It had been a 38-56 and was bored to 45-70.
Wish I'd kept it.
"Oh Bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered another round.

shoe
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Re: Reboring Original 1886 Winchester to .45-90

#5 Post by shoe » Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:07 pm

Not really interested in a liner. Also, I currently cast my own lead bullets for the .45-70s I have so I won't be shooting many if any cast bullets.

Thanks for the input.

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crs
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Re: Reboring Original 1886 Winchester to .45-90

#6 Post by crs » Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:16 pm

Good luck with this and let us know when you get it done.
What is the length of the barrel and is round or octagon?
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shoe
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Re: Reboring Original 1886 Winchester to .45-90

#7 Post by shoe » Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:08 pm

26 inch round.

gbflyer
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Re: Reboring Original 1886 Winchester to .45-90

#8 Post by gbflyer » Sat Feb 08, 2020 8:53 pm

I’d do it in a flash. It’ll be a great shooter. JES is solid.

claybob86
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Re: Reboring Original 1886 Winchester to .45-90

#9 Post by claybob86 » Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:10 am

Do it! Let us know how it comes out and post pictures! :mrgreen:
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Re: Reboring Original 1886 Winchester to .45-90

#10 Post by M. M. Wright » Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:27 am

I have an original eighty six in forty five ninety and just love it. (my numbert keys are not working.) My rifle is old, nineteen sixteen. The bore is well worn and I intended to get it relined but it shoots gas checked pretty well after a couple hundred rounds of black powder and finding the twist is very slow so requires light weight bullets. You might want to try some light weight, gas checked bullets before doing anything else. Shoot some black powder loads or maybe just load some with fifty seven forty four.
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geobru
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Re: Reboring Original 1886 Winchester to .45-90

#11 Post by geobru » Mon Feb 24, 2020 8:58 pm

What diameter bullets did you try when you shot it? Your description of the results remind me of the results I got with .406 bullets in a .409 barrel! My 40-82 does fine with .410 lead bullets. When I started shooting mine, the barrel looked pretty rough. After shooting several hundred rounds through it, the barrel looks decent. If it were me, I'd try a bigger bullet before I bored it out. YMMV

If you do rebore it, I'd put a faster twist than the original 45-90 had so you can use 405 grain bullets in it. I tried 405s in my 45-90 and at 50 yards, anything within 10 feet of the target was in danger of getting hit by a tumbling bullet! That rifle liked 325 grain bullets, but the 350s didn't do as well.

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