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Just Jim
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Stevens 44 .25-20 SS - opinions?
Jun 3rd, 2019 at 10:16am
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Hello gang-

I know we are pretty chary about the merit of various center-fire conversions on the old Stevens 44 action, but I have a .25-20 SS which is in need of a reline, and I would really like to keep the original chambering. Please note that this will be for use with black powder ONLY - no smokeless or duplex loads.

With that in mind, does anyone see any big concern? I'm retired now, and after I get a cross-country move behind me and my shop set up again, I'm anxious to get some projects completed, including this one. 

Thanks for your thoughts...   Jim

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art_ruggiero
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Re: Stevens 44 .25-20 SS - opinions?
Reply #1 - Jun 3rd, 2019 at 10:47am
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should be no problem even with moderate smokeless loads.  i shoot one with a 100 gr. bullet and 7 gr. of 4227  no problem   art
  
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Just Jim
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Re: Stevens 44 .25-20 SS - opinions?
Reply #2 - Jun 3rd, 2019 at 11:14am
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Thank you Art...
  
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Rex
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Re: Stevens 44 .25-20 SS - opinions?
Reply #3 - Jun 4th, 2019 at 10:49am
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I have the same conundrum.  I have a 25-20 Stenvens 44 with an okay bore but some scratches in the chamber.  Stuck case removal? I am going to reline it but have been debating 25-20 win or 32-20.  I would go 25-20 SS but I canít rent reamers into Canada and brass are hard to import.  What do you think 25-20 or 32-20?  I already own two 44ís in 22 LR so keeping in a small centre fire seems like a good idea.
  
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Just Jim
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Re: Stevens 44 .25-20 SS - opinions?
Reply #4 - Jun 4th, 2019 at 11:55am
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Yes, .25-20 SS is more expensive to load for, but on the plus side, I don't have to worry quite so much about some uninformed person dropping a high-pressure smokeless round into it after it leaves my hands.

I have an Ideal tong tool, and just 20 RMC cases, but I supect that will suffice for my uses. With a little luck, I might be able to roll a turkey with it next year. I was at my soon-to-be new home last month, and heard a couple of gobblers on the property.  Smiley
  
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Reverend Al
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Re: Stevens 44 .25-20 SS - opinions?
Reply #5 - Jun 4th, 2019 at 2:19pm
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I don't see any issues using the original black powder loads or even mild smokeless loads as has been suggested.  (I plan to shoot light smokeless loads in both my Maynard model 1882 and my Stevens model 44 in .25-20SS with plain base bullets cast from an original Winchester .25-20SS mould.)  Your comment about relining it back to the original chambering to prevent a future owner from shooting something over-pressure in it makes perfect sense to me.  Good luck with the project!
  

I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't quite reached my "Expiry" date yet ...
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beltfed
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Re: Stevens 44 .25-20 SS - opinions?
Reply #6 - Jun 4th, 2019 at 4:15pm
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FWIW,
There is an original (but refinished)Stevens 44 , caliber 32 WCF for sale on gunbroker at $650.
beltfed/arnie
  
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Just Jim
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Re: Stevens 44 .25-20 SS - opinions?
Reply #7 - Jun 4th, 2019 at 9:55pm
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Reverend Al-

I'm envious of your Maynard in 25-20 SS! I'm a huge Maynard fan, although I only own a few. Now that I'm retired and will soon be living in a place where I can shoot right off the front porch, I'm very anxious to get my Maynards sorted out and add a few extra barrels to the "kit."

That's another bonus to keeping the Stevens in its original chambering - I'll buy a reamer instead of renting, and see if I can cobble up a barrel in .25-20 SS to employ with my No. 16.

Thanks for all the help and good advice friends!   Jim...
  
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uscra112
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Re: Stevens 44 .25-20 SS - opinions?
Reply #8 - Jun 5th, 2019 at 12:03am
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Very authentic to have a Maynard in the .25-20 since Maynard was first to offer it.†

Been doing some bolt-thrust calculations with respect to the old 44, which is an obsession of mine.† (Just bought another one,)

The .25-20 is 20% less thrust than .32-20 at equal pressures.† You can be up above 1500 fps. with the .25-20 100 grain bullet before you pass the old standard factory .32-20 load.†

With a 60 grain bullet, which is what Rabbeth originally intended, you can be pushing past 1800.  Gas check bullet territory.   Be a nice flat-shooting turkey load.
« Last Edit: Jun 5th, 2019 at 12:18am by uscra112 »  
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uscra112
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Re: Stevens 44 .25-20 SS - opinions?
Reply #9 - Jun 5th, 2019 at 12:33am
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beltfed wrote on Jun 4th, 2019 at 4:15pm:
FWIW,
There is an original (but refinished)Stevens 44 , caliber 32 WCF for sale on gunbroker at $650.
beltfed/arnie


If you mean this one, the seller claimed to me in private emails that it is also rebuilt internally "by a friend", and that it has a "new barrel".  Skeptical about that - I asked if it was really new, or just one from another gun.  He has gone silent about that.
  
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Just Jim
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Re: Stevens 44 .25-20 SS - opinions?
Reply #10 - Jun 5th, 2019 at 12:59am
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uscra112 wrote on Jun 5th, 2019 at 12:03am:
Very authentic to have a Maynard in the .25-20 since Maynard was first to offer it.†

Been doing some bolt-thrust calculations with respect to the old 44, which is an obsession of mine.† (Just bought another one,)

The .25-20 is 20% less thrust than .32-20 at equal pressures.† You can be up above 1500 fps. with the .25-20 100 grain bullet before you pass the old standard factory .32-20 load.†

With a 60 grain bullet, which is what Rabbeth originally intended, you can be pushing past 1800.† Gas check bullet territory.† †Be a nice flat-shooting turkey load.†


GREAT data point! Thank you so much!   Jim...
  
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uscra112
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Re: Stevens 44 .25-20 SS - opinions?
Reply #11 - Jun 5th, 2019 at 1:59am
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BTW if you happen to have a chronograph, I'm always interested in knowing the M/V of factory loaded .25-20 Stevens ammo.
  
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Reverend Al
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Re: Stevens 44 .25-20 SS - opinions?
Reply #12 - Jun 5th, 2019 at 11:18am
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uscra112 wrote on Jun 5th, 2019 at 1:59am:
BTW if you happen to have a chronograph, I'm always interested in knowing the M/V of factory loaded .25-20 Stevens ammo.†


I'm going to have to watch and see if I can find a few original loaded rounds of .25-20 SS ammo at gun shows.  Last year I finally "bit the bullet" so to speak and replaced my aging Oehler 33 chronograph with a brand new Labradar unit.  It would be great to test a couple of factory rounds over the chronograph to compare them to the ammo I'll be reloading for my two rifles.
  

I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't quite reached my "Expiry" date yet ...
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