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Reverend Al
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Did it again ... Stevens Tip Up in .38-45 Stevens
Apr 6th, 2020 at 4:51pm
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Well, I've said it before and I'll say it again.  When you have too many project rifles on the go what do you do?  Buy another rifle!

Been looking for a large frame Stevens Tip Up in a shootable calibre for several years and finally found this one.  Appears to be a No. 1 Sporter in .38-45 Stevens with a good, shootable bore.  It has a few warts, but all in all I'm quite happy with it.  It is missing the rear sight elevator.  The stock has been heavily sanded and refinished and until it is below the metalwork.  It appears to have had some work done on the extractor and the action pin is likely a replacement, but all in all the gun is functional if not a beauty.  There is light corrosion in the throat area, but the rest of the bore has lots of deep, crisp rifling.  I have a Lyman mould for my 1873 Maynard in .35-30 that should fit this rifle (nominal is .363" same as the .35-30 Maynard) and it looks like "shooter" brass can likely be made from shortened and fire-formed .303 British cases.

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I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't quite reached my "Expiry" date yet ...
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SBoomer
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Re: Did it again ... Stevens Tip Up in .38-45 Stevens
Reply #1 - Apr 8th, 2020 at 9:30am
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Youíre going to have a lot of fun with that rifle. If the action is slightly loose file a little off the non-angled surface of the barrel catch, allowing the catch to sit deeper into the barrel. Iíve done this on several Tip-Upís with good results. I also found that a very light tap with a soft copper bar on the catch prior to shooting, improved groups. This is assuming that it still sits proud of the frame. That rifle is just begging for a tang sight.
  
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John Boy
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Re: Did it again ... Stevens Tip Up in .38-45 Stevens
Reply #2 - Apr 8th, 2020 at 11:51am
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Al - for an 1872 vintage rifle - it's a sweetie! Congratulations
Re: 38-45 brass ... Roberson has CNC turned cases ...
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Of note: On the 3 tip up's I have, that's the longest tang rear sight I've seen.  The 25 Stevens one has a ladder flip up sight
  

Regards
John
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dennis g
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Re: Did it again ... Stevens Tip Up in .38-45 Stevens
Reply #3 - Apr 8th, 2020 at 2:24pm
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Hi, I don't want to drift this thread, but you guys seem to be the ones to ask. I just got my 1st Tip Up and it has the plain notch sight. Is there an appropriate better barrel sight available, that's a little better? That's a nice looking one,RA.
  
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Reverend Al
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Re: Did it again ... Stevens Tip Up in .38-45 Stevens
Reply #4 - Apr 8th, 2020 at 2:48pm
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It actually locks up nice and tight so I'm optimistic that it'll shoot OK.

I looked into RCC brass and he can ship to Canada, but wants an order of 100 rounds of brass which with exchange, shipping, and import / export fees, Customs, etc. would cost me as much as I paid for the rifle!

Granted, this rifle has a few "warts", but large frame Tip Ups are pretty uncommon up here in Canada, and this one has a very good bore.  Hopefully I can cobble up some "shooter" brass from shortened and fire-formed .303 British cases.  I have a suitable (.363") mould from my 35-30 Maynard that should work OK in this rifle.
  

I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't quite reached my "Expiry" date yet ...
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Reverend Al
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Re: Did it again ... Stevens Tip Up in .38-45 Stevens
Reply #5 - Apr 27th, 2020 at 7:11pm
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OK, finally a bit of an update.† Been stuck upstairs with bad Sciatica and hobbling around on crutches on bad days and a cane on good days.† Unfortunately there are 2 sets of stairs to get down to my gun / reloading shop, but today I hobbled down to the shop with my cane and puttered around a bit to break the monotony of being cooped up in the house for so long.† I tried a shortened .303 British case in the Tip Up chamber and it's not even close ... WAY too big.† Hmmm ... tried a .30-30 Winchester case and it goes about 1/2 way in and then once again it's too large to chamber fully.† Hmmm ... tried one of the original cases from my Maynard in .32-35 Stevens and Voila!† It fits perfectly and the action closes, although the rim looks to be a bit undersized.† (Still enough to catch the extractor though.)† It's not .32-35 Stevens though since the bore is much larger.† Dug into my reference books and it's now looking like this rifle is actually chambered for the scarcer .38-35 Stevens cartridge rather than the larger .38-45 as the seller indicated.† I should be able to "massage" some .30-30 brass down to .403" at the base and shorten it and then fire-form to make some "shooter" brass.† When I'm feeling a bit more energetic I'll get at it ...

Roll Eyes
  

I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't quite reached my "Expiry" date yet ...
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ndnchf
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Re: Did it again ... Stevens Tip Up in .38-45 Stevens
Reply #6 - Apr 28th, 2020 at 6:24am
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This sounds like a great project.  I do enjoy bringing the old, odd and obscure back to life. Have you made a chamber cast or measured the chamber with telescoping gauges to see what you need?  Too bad you are not closer, I'd be glad to help out by modifying cases on the lathe.

BTW, I have a little Stevens tip up target pistol. Kind of a baby brother to your rifle  Grin
  
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Reverend Al
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Re: Did it again ... Stevens Tip Up in .38-45 Stevens
Reply #7 - Apr 29th, 2020 at 1:15am
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I have a set of dies for my .32-35 Stevens Maynard and will see if I can reduce the base diameter of .30-30 donor case down to .403".  Then I can fire-form them in the Tip Up.  I need to make some "shooter" cases for the .32-35 Maynard anyway.  If the dies won't take the base down small enough then I have a friend with a lathe and we can turn some brass down at the bases instead.

Projects ... too many projects and not enough time and energy to get to them all!

Roll Eyes
  

I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't quite reached my "Expiry" date yet ...
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ndnchf
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Re: Did it again ... Stevens Tip Up in .38-45 Stevens
Reply #8 - Apr 29th, 2020 at 7:05am
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Great - Keep us posted - with photos  Grin
  
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Reverend Al
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Re: Did it again ... Stevens Tip Up in .38-45 Stevens
Reply #9 - May 17th, 2020 at 1:27pm
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Was in my gun / reloading shop yesterday and ran two .30-30 test cases into my .32-35 Stevens Maynard sizer die.  Used lots of Imperial sizing wax and ran the cases about 1/3 of the way into the die, then 2/3's, then all the way down to the shell holder.  Took a bit of "grunt", but I used my Rockchucker to do the work and they came down at the base enough that they will chamber 95% of the way in both my 1882 Maynard in .32-35 Stevens Maynard and in my large frame Stevens Tip Up rifle in .38-35 Stevens.  Can't get them to size right down to the rim with the height of the shell holder and so now have 2 "belted" .30-30 cases, so I'll either have to turn off the "belt" or use an arbor press to push the cases all the way flush into the sizing die right up to the rim and then press them out again.

Projects ... so many projects ...
  

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