Do it yourself kit makes for an efficient improvement to your 1873 rifle.
- Written by Ken Amorosano
- Published on June 16, 2012
Short Strokes in lever action rifles have been around for quite a while since the start of Cowboy Action Shooting. Simply put, a short stroke reduces the distance it takes to lever cock your rifle by up to two and a half inches.
What this does is allow for faster cocking of the gun with less lever travel. For mounted shooters, this makes for an efficient and more accurate approach to killing rundown balloons.
While you can buy a rifle already configured with a short stroke for mounted shooting in the Taylor’s and Company 1873 Runnin’ Comanchero, you can also purchase a kit to achieve the desired results in the Italian made 1873 rifles.
The kit is a series of internal parts that you replace in the rifle to reduce the lever travel. Some of the most reliable kits on the market come from Pioneer Gunworks (www.pioneergunworks.com) and the Cowboy and Indian Store (www.cowboysandindianstore.com).
Each kit consists of right and left toggle link assemblies, a new lifter arm, and installation instructions. If you can disassemble and reassemble your rifle, you should be able to install your own short stroke kit.
The kits sell for $160 and will fit into any Uberti made 1873, 1866 and Henry model rifle.
For those who would rather have an experienced professional do it, there are several gunsmiths with short stroke experience that can not only install the kit, but also add a few other smoothing and timing techniques to get your rifle up to speed. Some of the best include Cody Conagher (Don Jones) of The Cowboy Shop (www.codyscowboyshop.com) and Jim Finch of Long Hunter Shooting Supply (www.longhunt.com).
This of course brings the price point up several notches but sometimes it’s better to let experience and a good guarantee be your guide.