32 RF Stevens converted to 25-20

Discussion in 'Large-Bore/Small-Bore Rifle/Shotgun' started by pdkfishing, Jul 16, 2020.

  1. pdkfishing

    pdkfishing Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Am looking at a couple Stevens Model 44s converted to 25-20 and wonder if the action is sturdy enough to be safe. Would appreciate any thoughts.
     
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  2. sharps4590

    sharps4590 Well-Known Member

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    pdk, I've seen them converted to 32-20 as well. I don't have any personal experience with the Stevens 44 but I do have a Jeffrey Rook rifle on the Daw action that's been re-lined to 25-20. I don't know how the two actions compare. The Daw isn't very strong and no way it would take full house 25-20 loads. As the little rifle was originally a 255 Jeffrey I load it to that cartridge's level. 3 grs. of Trail Boss under a 75 gr. Lyman cast bullet is an excellent load and I wouldn't be afraid of it in a Stevens 44.

    I'm curious as well as to how the Stevens 44 rates. Have you been able to find any CUP or PSI numbers for the action? That would tell a fella quite a bit.
     
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  3. grcsat

    grcsat Well-Known Member

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    I believe the Stevens model 44 and 44-1/2 were at one time chambered in 25-20 . but I am not familier with the 44s.
    The 44-1/2 was rated at 30,000 cup.
     
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  4. pdkfishing

    pdkfishing Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the input, gentlemen. Have also seen 32RF model 44s converted to 32-20. Haven't found any information on pressure ratings for the model 44, but several comments to the effect that it is similar to and only marginally stronger than the Favorite. It was apparently chambered in 25-20, 32-20 and some larger calibers, but tended to shoot loose with anything but reduced loads. Think maybe I'll pass on these. BTW, I have a Favorite (one of my "rescued" rifles) in 22LR that the previous owner had shot loose by using high velocity ammo. Got for a song because it usually wouldn't go bang. Put a new barrel from Numrich on it. Took what seemed like forever to fit the barrel to recover the lost headspace. Now it only shoots subsonics.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2020
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  5. Grizzley1

    Grizzley1 Well-Known Member

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    Up in the shop is an old Stevens 44 chambered from the factory in .32-20. I know Stevens chambered the 44 1/2 in .32-40 but I don't think the 44 is stout enough for the 32-40.
     
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  6. grcsat

    grcsat Well-Known Member

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    I know that the 44-1/2 is a much stronger action than the 44. How much stronger, I don't know. There dosen't seem to be much information on the 44 as apposed to the 44-1/2.
    There are people out there that do shoot VERY light loads out of the 44 but there again I don't know the difference between the two.
    Just because the 44-1/2 was rated at 33,000 cup a hundred years ago dose not make it safe to use cartridges coming any were near those those pressures.
    Due to my lack of knowledge in regards to the Model 44 , I would personaly turn it into a 22 rim fire. But that's just me.
     
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  7. Grizzley1

    Grizzley1 Well-Known Member

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    The 44 1/2 is a falling block action, the 44, although pretty much the same size and shape as the 44 1/2 is more of a tilting block.
     
  8. TRAP55

    TRAP55 Well-Known Member

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    The 44 1/2 was an improved Model 44 to handle bigger cartridges like the 38/55. The 44 was chambered in 32/40 and 38/55, as well as the 25/20.
    In 1903 with the production of the 44 1/2, Stevens dropped all chamberings in the Mod 44 that were larger than 32/20.
    The weak point in the Mod 44 is mainly the receiver pins, as is the case in almost all the Stevens single shots. With new pins made from drill rod, 25/20 isn't going to be a problem.
     
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  9. sharps4590

    sharps4590 Well-Known Member

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    TRAP, question. If the pins are replaced with harder drill rod, what, if anything, will those harder pins do to the receiver?
     
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  10. grcsat

    grcsat Well-Known Member

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    sharps4590
    You sure know how to ask a hard question that can have a complicated answer.
    To give you the short version , the answer is in regards to the receiver is nothing. But the long answer is to do with the internel parts .............
     
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  11. sharps4590

    sharps4590 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks gr! That's what I'm here for...to as those "hard questions"....lol.....:D

    Being ignorant of the internal workings of either the 44 or 44 1/2, from your answer I assume those pins pass through more than just the hammer and breech block? I'll have to get out my NRA assembly book and see if either is reflected. Again, thank you.
     
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  12. Grizzley1

    Grizzley1 Well-Known Member

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    Wisners has a few pages devoted to the Stevens single shot rifles, the sell parts for some of them and they might have an exploded view of the internals.

    I'll post a link to it a bit later.

    Meanwhile the 441/2 is a true falling block, the action has a machined channel that holds the block from moving fore and aft similar to other falling blocks you are familiar with. The pins and screws let the hammer pivot and connect the linkeage from the lever to the falling block.

    On the earlier 44 action there is a pin that goes through the reciever and the breech block, the block pivots on this pin operated by a linkeage from the lever by pushing or perhaps pulling forward on the lower part of the breech block.

    On the 44 1/2 wear in the pins will affect the up and down motion of the block slightly but the reciever itself will keep the block up against the back of the barrel and the base of the cartridge.

    On the 44 worn pins will let the breechblock have play fore and aft. Making new pins from drill rod will make the action tight again if it's already been shot loose and help keep it tight if it hasn't been shot loose yet.

    I'll look and see if I can find a schematic of the 44 and 44 1/2 actions. I have a hard copy book on falling block rifles at work that includes the Stevens actions but I can't post a link to my desk at work so you can read it.:D
    Edit-
    They do carry parts for the Favorite and the 44 but sadly, no schematics of the actions
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2020
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  13. grcsat

    grcsat Well-Known Member

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    Changing the pins is one of the best and cheapest ways of tightening an action.
    Where this really come into being is the tightening of old shotguns or any brake open rifle.
    I still have my " hinge-pin" reamers and pins. With this you can take a dbl shotgun or any shotgun that rattles ( loose barrels to receiver )in your hand and get the action so tight that you can go into negative head space. not advisable :) unless you want to ream the chamber to get rid of minor pitting.
     
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  14. sharps4590

    sharps4590 Well-Known Member

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    Ah...ok. The same as replacing the hinge pin on double rifles and drillings...and, as gr said, any break open firearm. Gotcha. Now I understand. I am familiar with it on double rifles and it can make a worn double seemingly like new. Thanks to both of you!

    pdk, why don't you take a look at that little rifle. You can always send it back, can't you? They are great fun!!
     
  15. pdkfishing

    pdkfishing Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Am also scouting for a drilling or combination gun or maybe something in 256 Winchester. Asking prices seem a little high, so monitoring in case somebody comes down (some folks are frugal; I'm cheap) :D
     
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