1895 Winchester-Lee 6mm Sporter

Copper BB
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:33 am
PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:44 am
Hello, everyone. This is my first post. Many years ago, I was looking for an 1895 Winchester-Lee straight-pull military musket. Then, as my taste in firearms changed..a sporter. I came across a few, but nearly all were badly beat up or bores were shot. Then a few years ago, I found one. Very fancy checkered stock..dealer reduced price some as he said bore looked worn..I took a chance and put down payment on it..They were good enough to let me pay over time.
In meantime, I picked up Winchester bolt action book at G.S. I learned there were some of these sporters made with checkered stocks..I had never seen one before. When I finally took possesion of rifle..I tried to look up serial # in checkered stock listing..it wasn't there! Oh no!..not factory!
Then I re-read page..of those checkered stocked rifles...3 were made with fancy English walnut..the first listed was mine!
I almost sent it back!..I wanted one to take out to range occasionally...I explaned to dealer/collector of my desire to use this rifle..I was planning on using only mild cast-bullet loads due to it's age..he thought if I were careful, no harm should come to value..but I am very careful with this one!
This rifle has been one of the most hair-pulling reloading experience I have yet encountered.
Using an old Ideal 245498 100gr. gas-check, I cast up a supply using both a hard and softer alloy..that fast 7 1/2" twist had me worried. I had to special order the loading dies from RCBS..brass made from .25-06 came from Buffalo Arms Co.
When I finally started loading..I found the throat was VERY long..I like to seat bullets so irst band contacts rifling..not this one! Even with only gas-check in case mouth..bullet still didn't reach.
Even more serious..no matter how tight I sized neck..bullets were being forced back into case..I found that throat was .0005" UNDER groove dia!
Now for smokeless..I like bullet dia. at least .001" to .002" over groove dia. I ended up sizing bullets to groove dia., sizing first band .001" under groove dia. The gas-check spring-back after sizing was .001" over groove dia. and I was hoping this would seal.
What powder? I had some very old Ideal handbooks from the late 1920's..they had cast bullet loads using IMR 4227.
Due to the open buckhorn rear, and German silver blade front..and my 50+ eyes..I decided to first try at 50yds.
Starting loads were low & carefully worked up..At 10.0grs. it was shooting to sights with a 3/4" group.
Next time out, I tried a new powder..IMR TrailBoss..again working up slowly..I was getting 3/4" groups to sights with interestingly..a 10gr. load.
Moving over to the 100yd. range, I shot a 1 1/4" group. I used a Merit adjustable appature mounted on my glasses for all shooting..it really sharpens up those open sights!
I never did get around to trying the hard alloy..there was no leading with the softer one. That "worn bore" turned out to be Metford rifling!
I learned alot working with this little rifle..and I really like this old cartridge..I wonder what a modern scoped bolt-action would do?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:48 pm
How about a few pictures of this beauty...??

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