of Winchester® 1873 Replica Rifles

By Manatee and Marauder

Manatee's Page

Warning and Disclaimer!

ALWAYS wear high-quality safety eyeglasses when installing or fitting any parts, particularly springs, to prevent injury. Always wear eye and ear protection while shooting. Never discharge a weapon in an unsafe manner or direction.

DO NOT use ammunition exceeding manufacturer's recommended specifications or pressures suitable to your firearm.

The use of an aftermarket product in your firearm, such as this carrier block, may limit or void the manufacturer's warranty.

In all circumstances, ensure the firearm is unloaded before attempting any of the following procedures. Check and recheck the magazine and action to ensure no cartridges remain in the rifle. It is a good practice not to have ammunition in the same room as the firearm you are cleaning, repairing, adjusting or dry firing.

Failure to follow strict safety practices in the assembly, test and/or operation of your firearm may result in accidental discharge, firearm damage, serious bodily injury and/or death. ALWAYS be certain that the firearm is functioning properly before use.

These procedures assume that the user has basic mechanical comprehension and skills. If you are in any doubt as to: 1) your abilities, 2) the steps to be followed, or 3) the safety or function of the firearm during or after installation or during testing and use, DO NOT PROCEED with further assembly, disassembly or use. STOP! Take the firearm to a qualified gunsmith for inspection.

We make no claim as to the completeness of these procedures, their accuracy or their suitability for your particular firearm or your intended use of said firearm.


Turn the rifle upside down on a flat surface. Loosen the Carrier Block Spring Tension Screw and the Finger Lever Tension Screw 1 1/2 to 2 turns. There is no need to remove the screws from the frame.
Turn the rifle on its right side and remove the sideplate screw and sideplate from the rifle.

Note: This document relies heavily on the following, so you may want to look it over first.


These instructions are for an Uberti® 1873 Winchester® replica rifle. While the procedures are similar to an 1866 Winchester, please follow Marauder's guide for steps particular to an 1866.  The instructions are also helpful in replacing the carrier, if you choose.

Lastly, use a high quality gunsmith's screwdriver with a bit designed for the specific screw.

Let's get started.
       For the 73 Carbine Parts Diagram

This photo shows some of the nomenclature used in the following procedures. The Uberti/Winchester nomenclature depends on gun orientation and is sometimes confusing. Therefore, specific parts are referred to by their function where conflicting descriptions are apparent.
Option1. Loosen the carrier block and finger lever tension screws approximately 1-1/2 to 2 turns. There is no need to completely remove these screws from the frame.

Option2. Use for when screws are very tight. Take off the Side plate - see below. Then use a screw driver or lever to lift the lever springs up and away from the inside to releave tension. Then you may loosen the screws if needed.

Turn the rifle onto its right side and remove the sideplate screw and the left sideplate from the frame.
Remove the lever pivot screw from the frame. If you experience any resistance in removing the screw, loosen the carrier block and finger lever tension screws one additional turn.

Please note the orientation of the right toggle link in this photo. The channel cut in the toggle link is always attached to the rear pivot pin.

The carrier lever may be removed by lifting and sliding it rearward. The hammer may have to be cocked, the bolt moved rearward and the carrier block moved vertically to "joggle" the lever out of its position in the carrier block. Now is a good time to familiarize yourself with the position of the carrier lever within the carrier block.

The carrier lever has been removed from the frame. Note its relative position in relation to the pivot hole and the carrier block frame channel. Note also that the finger lever spring was rotated out of the way to assist in removing the carrier lever.
Remove the carrier block from the frame. You may need to move the bolt to its most rearward position in order to accomplish this step. It is possible to remove the carrier block through the top of the frame but, in many cases, the dust cover latch will interfere with removal of the carrier block by this method.
This close-up shows the position of the carrier lever in relation to the carrier block when installed properly in the frame.

Insert the Carrier Block and test fit. The carrier should move freely to the top of its normal cartridge eject position. As noted above, the dust cover latch may hamper vertical movement beyond its normal operating range.

Uberti carrier frame channels vary by a few thousandths of an inch, particularly in older firearms. If a replacement carrier block does not properly fit, slightly smaller dimensional changes may be required.  Contact your supplier when in doubt.

Reinstall the carrier lever. Please refer to prior drawings for proper orientation and positioning.
Reinstall the finger lever and insert and hand tighten the lever pivot screw. Reinstall the left toggle link as noted above. Place the lever tension screw fully on the finger lever cam and gently tighten the finger lever tension screw until the finger lever returns to its rest position against the lower tang.
Holding the left toggle link in place, reorient the rifle either vertically or on its left side. Remove the right coverplate and position the carrier block lever spring against the finger lever. Gently tighten. Note: the spring must be against the finger lever or the right coverplate will not fully fit into its proper position in the frame.
Install the coverplates and tighten the coverplate screw. With the finger lever in the closed position against the lower tang, depress the carrier block with your finger. You should feel some resistance ("springy-ness") from the carrier block lever spring. If not, tighten the carrier block spring tension screw until resistance is felt and the carrier block returns every time to its "home" position under the frame.
Cycle the finger lever to its full open position. The carrier block should rise and lock in its full "up" position as the lever is closed. If not, tighten the carrier block tension screw until lockup is achieved.

Magazine Spring Replacement.

Install the magazine spring in the magazine by removing the magazine cap.

Some rifles have a cap that is actually a large screw.  There is a long, thin slot in the top.  It is very important to use the proper screw drive or you may damage the cap.  One suggestion is to use a hack saw blade cut to the same length as the groove.  Or use good quality gunsmith screwdriver with the proper fit.  The first time you remove this, it can be tight.

If it is quite tight, you may need to use an impact driver. In that case, be sure to properly support the Magazine tube in a padded vice. Be sure to put the tube in the vice rather than the barrel or gun. If the tube is not supported, you may turn the tube into the retaining pins and that can dimple it enough so that the follower won't clear. If it's a carbine it could hang the follower in the tube and you won't be able to load more than 4 or 5 rounds.

For other models, the cap may be held in with a screw that goes through the side of the magazine tube and into the cap.

In some carbines, you may also need to remove the barrel band to get the spring out – but not always.

Replace the spring (I recommend the stainless steel spring by T.G. Reaper or an OEM spring).  Lubricate the magazine cap and reinstall.

As a final test and inspection before firing, cycle the finger lever to check the travel of the carrier block in the assembled rifle. Tighten the side plate and lever screws to "snug". Do not over tighten. Cycle the finger lever a few times to ensure proper operation. Any interference problems MUST be resolved prior to live fire.

At the range, insert one round into the magazine and cycle the action through firing, while pointing the firearm in a safe direction. Stop and resolve any interference or functional issues. Multiple round tests should then be conducted to ensure proper functioning.

Abilene's Guide for a Poor Man's 66/73 Action Job
Be Safe!
Have Fun!
Winchester is a registered trademark of U.S. Repeating Arms Company. Uberti is a registered trademark of A.Uberti, Srl.
© 2004 Banana River Outfitters

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