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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) J. Stevens model 44 (Read 6758 times)
coondawg
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J. Stevens model 44
Apr 10th, 2018 at 8:25am
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First time posting, long time lurker.
I picked up a Winchester low-wall a few weeks ago in 25-20 winchester and have had a blast shooting it. It is a non-matching numbers gun that has a nice aftermarket barrel on it and I have to say I think have been bitten by the single shot bug. So I ran across a J. Stevens model 44 in 25-20ss on GB and end up buying it and while it was shipping I ordered some 25-20ss ammo thinking I would test it out when it arrived. Well it arrived and the ammo will not chamber fully. So I guess a chamber cast is up next to figure out the caliber. I'll post some pic's soon.
  
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Hayface
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Re: J. Stevens model 44
Reply #1 - Apr 10th, 2018 at 9:11am
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CD,

Welcome to the mayhem.  There are a number of other posts regarding the common confusion between 25-20 Single Shot and 25-20 Winchester.

Other than numerical designation, the two are very different.  The 25-20 SS uses a much longer straight tapered case than the 25-20 Win, which uses a short bottle necked case.  I'll leave it to someone who has more experience with 25-20 SS to expand on this.

I always wanted one, just never figured out where I'd find the time to sort out another cartridge atop the pile of things to do that I'm already not getting done

Hayface
« Last Edit: Apr 10th, 2018 at 9:20am by Hayface »  
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Redsetter
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Re: J. Stevens model 44
Reply #2 - Apr 10th, 2018 at 9:27am
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Investing in Barn's Cartridges of the World, Water's Pet Loads, or some similar cartridge reference book, is an easy means of avoiding such surprises.

Newly made brass (by Jamison & Bertram) can be found on-line, although I think it's currently out of production from both companies.
  
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coondawg
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Re: J. Stevens model 44
Reply #3 - Apr 10th, 2018 at 9:30am
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here are a few pictures.
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coondawg
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Re: J. Stevens model 44
Reply #4 - Apr 10th, 2018 at 9:34am
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a few more.
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coondawg
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Re: J. Stevens model 44
Reply #5 - Apr 10th, 2018 at 9:38am
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The 25-20 winchester will only chamber to just past the neck and the 25-20ss would chamber to about a half inch sticking out and tight to the point pictured above.
  
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Bent_Ramrod
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Re: J. Stevens model 44
Reply #6 - Apr 10th, 2018 at 10:22am
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You might loosen the set screw at the bottom of the frame, open the action, unscrew the barrel and look at the shank.  I have a Stevens 44 that was rechambered from .25-20 SS to .25-20WCF, and I can see where the shank was lengthened, the threads picked up, and the excess cut off at the breech so the new shorter chamber could be cut correctly.  There is also a second detent on the bottom of the barrel shank where the frame set screw now engages.

I could see the change on the outside because my half-octagon barrel now has the end of the half-octagon slightly short of the schnabel on the original forend.  (The forend screw hole also was relocated.)  Your specimen has been extensively modified and restocked so such outside inspection isn't possible.

It may be a stretch, looking at a photo, but it looks like your chamber is unmodified to me.  If that long bullet round is what you are trying to chamber, I doubt it would go into an original chamber anyway.  Does an empty, full-length resized .25-20 SS case fit in?
  
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marlinguy
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Re: J. Stevens model 44
Reply #7 - Apr 10th, 2018 at 10:46am
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The location of the rear sight dovetail sure doesn't appear to be a set back barrel to me.
  

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coondawg
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Re: J. Stevens model 44
Reply #8 - Apr 10th, 2018 at 11:09am
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Bent_Ramrod wrote on Apr 10th, 2018 at 10:22am:
You might loosen the set screw at the bottom of the frame, open the action, unscrew the barrel and look at the shank.  I have a Stevens 44 that was rechambered from .25-20 SS to .25-20WCF, and I can see where the shank was lengthened, the threads picked up, and the excess cut off at the breech so the new shorter chamber could be cut correctly.  There is also a second detent on the bottom of the barrel shank where the frame set screw now engages.

I could see the change on the outside because my half-octagon barrel now has the end of the half-octagon slightly short of the schnabel on the original forend.  (The forend screw hole also was relocated.)  Your specimen has been extensively modified and restocked so such outside inspection isn't possible.

It may be a stretch, looking at a photo, but it looks like your chamber is unmodified to me.  If that long bullet round is what you are trying to chamber, I doubt it would go into an original chamber anyway.  Does an empty, full-length resized .25-20 SS case fit in?


I do not have any empty 25-20ss brass to try unless I pull a bullet.
  
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Redsetter
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Re: J. Stevens model 44
Reply #9 - Apr 10th, 2018 at 11:09am
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Bent_Ramrod wrote on Apr 10th, 2018 at 10:22am:
If that long bullet round is what you are trying to chamber, I doubt it would go into an original chamber anyway.  Does an empty, full-length resized .25-20 SS case fit in?


That spitzer bullet looks about twice the length of the 86 g., flat-point, bullet originally loaded.

Has the rcvr. been BRASS plated? 
  
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Redsetter
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Re: J. Stevens model 44
Reply #10 - Apr 10th, 2018 at 11:13am
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coondawg wrote on Apr 10th, 2018 at 11:09am:
I do not have any empty 25-20ss brass to try unless I pull a bullet.


Pulling it vs. continuing to be mystified?  Easy decision, I think.
  
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coondawg
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Re: J. Stevens model 44
Reply #11 - Apr 10th, 2018 at 11:14am
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Redsetter wrote on Apr 10th, 2018 at 11:09am:
Bent_Ramrod wrote on Apr 10th, 2018 at 10:22am:
If that long bullet round is what you are trying to chamber, I doubt it would go into an original chamber anyway.  Does an empty, full-length resized .25-20 SS case fit in?


That spitzer bullet looks about twice the length of the 86 g., flat-point, bullet originally loaded.

Has the rcvr. been BRASS plated? 


Yes it looks to be brass plated.
  
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calledflyer
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Re: J. Stevens model 44
Reply #12 - Apr 10th, 2018 at 12:36pm
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Yer gonna be busy it seems. But, if you get an extra minute, can you explain what you meant in the first post when you said the low wall was non-matching numbers. All I ever owned just had one number at most. Some, with replaced tang had none at all. Curious
  

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coondawg
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Re: J. Stevens model 44
Reply #13 - Apr 10th, 2018 at 1:16pm
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calledflyer wrote on Apr 10th, 2018 at 12:36pm:
Yer gonna be busy it seems. But, if you get an extra minute, can you explain what you meant in the first post when you said the low wall was non-matching numbers. All I ever owned just had one number at most. Some, with replaced tang had none at all. Curious


oops I meant non-matching number. I was told the serial number matches a highwall.
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calledflyer
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Re: J. Stevens model 44
Reply #14 - Apr 10th, 2018 at 1:41pm
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Thank you. Tha's a good lookin' little rifle.
  

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Redsetter
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Re: J. Stevens model 44
Reply #15 - Apr 10th, 2018 at 2:00pm
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coondawg wrote on Apr 10th, 2018 at 1:16pm:
oops I meant non-matching number. I was told the serial number matches a highwall.



Number appears to have been messed with--almost looks like an electric pencil was used on it.

The early LWs (which this one is not) used same lower tang as HWs, but later ones used a different, thinner, one that would stand high in the inletting if not modified.  So maybe what someone did was grind it down in thickness, then re-mark the ser. no. with an electric pencil.


  
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Bent_Ramrod
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Re: J. Stevens model 44
Reply #16 - Apr 10th, 2018 at 2:30pm
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You’re probably going to have to pull all those bullets anyway.  Bullets for all the original small .25 centerfires had stubby noses, like the one you show on the WCF Version.

I like the retention of the “tulip” end on the rebarrel job on the Low Wall.  Gives it a nice, expensive touch.
  
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Re: J. Stevens model 44
Reply #17 - Apr 10th, 2018 at 2:57pm
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I think that 25/20 SS case will chamber after you pull that ugly looking jacketed bullet.  Ledball
  
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coondawg
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Re: J. Stevens model 44
Reply #18 - Apr 10th, 2018 at 3:59pm
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Thanks for the replies. I will pull a bullet and see if the brass fits. If it does I will pull the rest. I have considered shooting black powder loads.

I had a gut feeling that the serial number on the Winchester was ep'ed but was hoping it was the right serial number. It is a good shooter even with my old eyes.

Thanks,
Robert
  
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coondawg
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Re: J. Stevens model 44
Reply #19 - Apr 10th, 2018 at 6:41pm
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I pulled a bullet and the brass fits but was still a little tight around the neck.
  
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coondawg
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Re: J. Stevens model 44
Reply #20 - Apr 11th, 2018 at 9:00am
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I ordered a CPA breech seating case this morning. Seems like the the way to go with 25-20ss.
  
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50target
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Re: J. Stevens model 44
Reply #21 - Apr 28th, 2018 at 2:50pm
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I recently bought a Stevens 44 in 25-20SS and looked at that Jamison ammo and was not impresses  with their choice of bullets. I would think you're getting interference with the bullet in OAL. Funny they didn't choose a cast given its history and its advertised fps.
Probably buy a box for mine but pull the factory and put in an 86 gr cast. I think if you remove the bullet and powder & try the case, it will fit if chamber is factory.
Bob
  
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Re: J. Stevens model 44
Reply #22 - Apr 29th, 2018 at 3:19am
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Stevens barrels were rather soft and were intended for lead alloy bullets.  Jacketed bullets will cause unnecessary wear & will not help accuracy.
  
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coondawg
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Re: J. Stevens model 44
Reply #23 - Apr 30th, 2018 at 8:22am
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I pulled all the bullets from my Jamison brass and I'm breech seating .258 85gr cast SPG lubed bullets. I've been shooting them with a case full of 2FFG Goex with a small lube patch on top and they are fun to shoot. I'm fixing to try some 4227 in the 6.7-7gr range with a tuff of cotton in the neck to see if the groups tighten up. My plan is to get some Swiss black powder and try it, but I want to see how 4227 recoils and groups first.
  
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Re: J. Stevens model 44
Reply #24 - May 5th, 2018 at 7:38pm
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When did Jamison offer assembled ammo for the .25-20?   Did I miss something?
  
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Re: J. Stevens model 44
Reply #25 - May 11th, 2018 at 4:56pm
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Quote:
here are a few pictures.

Did I read somewhere that Stevens made ~ 4000 rifles with a gold wash action like the one in the picture?
  

Regards
John
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Re: J. Stevens model 44
Reply #26 - May 11th, 2018 at 9:58pm
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John Boy wrote on May 11th, 2018 at 4:56pm:
Did I read somewhere that Stevens made ~ 4000 rifles with a gold wash action like the one in the picture?


I remember that too; Mad Magazine, wasn't it?
  
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Re: J. Stevens model 44
Reply #27 - May 11th, 2018 at 11:15pm
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Dang, I forgot to renew my subscription for Mad Mag.

My first 25-20SS was and is a nice Hopkins & Allen 3925 which I fed lead to with an original Winchester mold marked 25-20SS which appears to be the  same mold as the Ideal #4 tool for both the SS and the 25-20R/WCF.  Shoots good.  Also have a Stevens 44 with a worn muzzle which I had done back to 25-20SS of course.  I had bought a partial box of jacketed 25's, but see no good reason to use them.

James
  
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coondawg
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Re: J. Stevens model 44
Reply #28 - May 31st, 2018 at 8:38am
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I finally got to shoot some rounds loaded with 4227. I loaded up 6 rounds each of 6.5, 6.8 and 7gr. 6.8 shot the best with a .258 85gr SPG lubed breech seated cast bullet and a Federal small pistol primer and a tuff of cotton in the neck to keep the powder in place. It put 6 shot in the tape at 50 yards off the hood of my truck with tired old eyes. I do need to find a better rest next time. This Gold gun is pretty nice shooter.
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Re: J. Stevens model 44
Reply #29 - May 31st, 2018 at 9:12pm
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A Stevens rifle with a pristine original bore is a treasure.  Looks like yours is doing well.
  
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Re: J. Stevens model 44
Reply #30 - Jun 3rd, 2018 at 9:32pm
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50target wrote on Apr 28th, 2018 at 2:50pm:
I recently bought a Stevens 44 in 25-20SS and looked at that Jamison ammo and was not impresses  with their choice of bullets. I would think you're getting interference with the bullet in OAL. Funny they didn't choose a cast given its history and its advertised fps.
Probably buy a box for mine but pull the factory and put in an 86 gr cast. I think if you remove the bullet and powder & try the case, it will fit if chamber is factory.
Bob


I bought a few boxes of the loaded Jamiso mm ammo and pulled the bullet & replaced with 87 grain commercial bullet & it shot really good at 50 yds. Found some Jamison brass at Huntington's & ordered 2 boxes.

As to IMR 4227 I have found with 25-20WCF, that 6.6 to 6.7 gr is a sweet spot.
My Stevens has a great bore & from the first outing I knew we were going to get along great. I read somewhere that their neck dimensions were large. My mikes out at .280, a little large. Just ahead of the rim is dead on at .315.
Enjoy it
Bob
  
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Re: J. Stevens model 44
Reply #31 - Sep 3rd, 2018 at 5:57pm
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Coondawg - I can't get a cartridge with an 86 Gr bullet to chamber unless it is set in almost as far as a factory round.  Factory Peters are at .278 from crimp to flat nose.

I would also be leery of the powder charge behind that big of a bullet as far as the pressures that might be developed with the "standard" charge.
  
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Re: J. Stevens model 44
Reply #32 - Sep 3rd, 2018 at 8:37pm
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My 44/45 is very happy with the 68 grain Lyman 257420s sized .257 over 6.8 grains of H108. The factory twist is 1:13 and I think I've seen reference to the early bullet weights being lighter than the 85 grain ones for the WCF. I have a Schoyen/Peterson mould that drops a 25-20 SS bullet at 77.5 grains with a fairly long nose and those guys probably knew what they were doing.
  
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