Gun Review: Cimarron Texas Brush Popper Model 1873 Rifle in .44-40 Win

Gun Review: Cimarron Texas Brush Popper Model 1873 Rifle in .44-40 Win


Cimarron Firearms teamed up as soon as once more with Uberti of Italy to create the Texas Brush Popper, a Cowboy Action Shooting-focused 1873 Winchester lever motion that might be simply as nicely obtained by right this moment’s most discerning competitor because the cowhand and lawman of yesteryear.

Prior to it being discontinued by Winchester in 1923, nicely over 700,000 of the 1873 fashions had been produced and marketed as “The Gun that Won the West” in catalogs. In fact, by the point the rifle was notably standard, the West had already largely been received.

It was the large bore black powder rifles and percussion revolvers that made western enlargement protected sufficient for commerce an excellent deal earlier than any of the cartridge weapons made their day. Even so, the 1873 can rightly boast itself as the quintessential western repeater.

Cimarron Texas Brush Popper 1873

Texas Brush Popper Model 1873 Tang marking (picture courtesy JWT for

The Model 1873 is known in its use, from the Battle of Little Bighorn, within the hands of the Sioux defenders, to make use of within the hands of Texas Rangers and the outlaws they chased. But the 1873 was historic earlier than it was well-known.

Not solely was it chambered within the first commercially profitable center-fire rifle cartridge, the .44-40 Winchester, it was the primary extensively produced iron framed repeater. Henry made a number of of their 1860s in iron frames, however they’re extremely uncommon and by no means gained the recognition of the 1873.

The resurgence in reputation of the 1873 Winchester rifle, not simply the .44-40 Caliber, is nearly completely as a consequence of Cowboy Action Shooting (CAS) competitions. A Model 1873’s motion is easy and quick. Beyond that, there’s all kinds of gunsmiths who’re comfy with the design, and the platform has deep aftermarket assist. For you troglodytes, consider it because the AR-15 of lever weapons.

Cimarron Texas Brush Popper 1873

Texas Brush Popper octagonal to spherical barrel (picture courtesy JWT for

Cimarron’s Texas Brush Popper is within the “Short Rifle” configuration, with a half octagonal, half spherical 18″ barrel. As against the 1873 Winchester carbines, the Brush Popper retains its rifle standing, marked by the capped fore-end, curved butt plate, and lack of a barrel band.  There are loads of historic photographs with shortened barrels on Winchester 1873 rifles, a lot of which had been shortened by native gunsmiths all through the nation.

That historic accuracy is appreciated, however the fact of it’s that it might be troublesome to get a Winchester 1873 in a configuration that wasn’t provided by the manufacturing unit or generally altered. Barrel lengths had been standardized at 20″ and 24″, however a full-stocked 30″ musket model was produced as nicely.

Barrel configurations had been obtainable customized from the manufacturing unit in each configuration possible, and in lengths from as quick as 12″ and so long as 37.”

Cimarron Texas Brush Popper 1873

Texas Brush Popper barrel marking (picture courtesy JWT for

With its shorter, 18″ octagonal to spherical barrel, the stability of the Texas  Brush Popper is nearly excellent. At 7 1/four kilos, it’s heavy sufficient to maintain recoil to an absolute minimal.

That weight is concentrated close to the physique and within the hands, not on the muzzle. For competitors, that’s perfect. The muzzle maneuvers quick and, extra importantly, stops quick and stays down throughout strings of fireside. With the sunshine a great deal of most Cowboy Action Shooting, it received’t be recovering from recoil that slows you down, however the biking of the motion itself.

Cimarron Texas Brush Popper 1873

1873 motion elevator (picture courtesy JWT for

That motion comes easy sufficient to shoot at any match proper from Cimarron. Even so, most people within the Cowboy Action Shooting game will finally have a short-stroke motion put in within the gun, changing most of the inner elements of the receiver. In a game what place fractions of a second rely, the couple of seconds per stage a short-stroke motion buys you imply a giant distinction.

Cimarron Texas Brush Popper 1873

CAS competitors weapons (picture courtesy JWT for

There’s no scarcity of fancy completed and high quality weapons at a CAS match. One of the common shooters at my membership shoots a pair of closely engraved Colt Single Action Army revolvers for his competitors weapons, they usually get labored arduous. Fancy shares and engraving are extraordinarily widespread, if not the norm.

The Texas Brush Popper is appropriately completed for this setting. Cimarron has lengthy taken nice care with their finishes, for good causes. Although by no means cheap to supply, fancy finishes promote weapons. The Texas Brush Popper is not any exception.

Cimarron Texas Brush Popper 1873

Texas Brush Popper receiver end (picture courtesy JWT for

The rifle is beautiful.  Most of the photographs on this article had been taken after 300 rounds of firing, together with a full CAS match at a neighborhood membership. No cleansing or sprucing of the gun was completed for the photographs, apart from wiping it down with my T-shirt. If you suppose it’s fairly now, it’s best to have seen it out of the container.

Cimarron Texas Brush Popper 1873

Texas Brush Popper conventional mud cowl (picture courtesy JWT for

The stunning shade case hardened end doesn’t cease at simply the receiver. The hammer, set off shoe, and motion lever obtain the remedy as nicely. The screws aren’t all timed, however they’re nitre blued.

The hardwood buttstock and foregrip are straight grained and stained a slight shade of pink. This shade seems extra just like the Marlin pink to me, but fancy stocked models from Winchester exist on this shade as nicely.

Cimarron Texas Brush Popper 1873

Texas Brush Popper fore finish (picture courtesy JWT for

The wood-stock match is much better than what passes for adequate on most of right this moment’s American made lever weapons. Tightly flush match, the one locations what place the wood stands out a bit from the metal is true what place the fore finish meets the receiver, and also you’ll have to look arduous for that.

The curved butt plate is traditionally applicable for the quick rifle Winchesters of the age. The 20″ carbines let go by Winchester had a flatter butt plate. The Texas Brush Popper’s could be very nicely completed, with an awesome wood-to-metal match, polished metal, and accurately timed and blued screws.

That consideration to element is appreciated, but additionally a little bit of a disgrace. Everyone competing will cowl that butt plate with a leather-based recoil pad. That recoil pad actually isn’t there much for recoil, however to realize higher management of the gun. The polished period-correct butt plate tends to slip round on the shoulder, making quick manipulation a problem.

Cimarron Texas Brush Popper 1873

Texas Brush Popper entrance sight (picture courtesy JWT for

The entrance sight is a straightforward darkish polished steel publish and not using a protecting hood or ears. It’s drift-adjustable from a dovetail within the barrel.

The rear sight is a standard buckhorn model. It has a deep reduce for exact work, and huge ears for quick firing up shut.  There is not any marking on the entrance or rear to make both line up. For exact firing on a darkish goal, this may be a problem price somewhat little bit of homework, however that’s probably not what this rifle is for. For the type of quick, up-close shooting that CAS is understood for, the sights are nice as is, and require no modification.

Cimarron Texas Brush Popper 1873

Texas Brush Popper rear sight (picture courtesy JWT for

The solely disappointment with the inventory Cimarron Texas Brush Popper is the set off pull. Measured on my Lyman set off gauge, the typical weight over 5 pulls is 7 lbs 9 oz, and that’s after all the shooting for the evaluate was full.

That’s far too heavy, and signifies that the shooter can’t simply deliver the set off finger again with ease whereas closing the motion to fireplace. The set off isn’t squishy or catching, it’s simply too arduous to tug. Almost each aggressive shooter will change this set off anyway, and entire lot of oldsters change the shoe as nicely.

Cimarron affords the Texas Brush Popper in all the standard CAS calibers, .38/357, .44-40 Win, and .45 Colt. This specific mannequin is within the authentic caliber that made the rifle well-known, the .44-40 Winchester.

The .44-40 Winchester was a direct competitor to the .45 Colt which was, coincidentally sufficient, adopted by the US Army the identical yr the Winchester was let go in .44-40. Elizabeth Colt, Sam Colt’s spouse and inheritor to the enterprise, didn’t enable Winchester to chamber their rifles within the .45 Colt on the time, however did chamber Colt revolvers within the .44-40 Winchester.

That meant prospects might chamber their handguns and rifles in the identical Winchester caliber. And they certainly did.

Cimarron Texas Brush Popper 1873

Texas Brush Popper caliber marking (picture courtesy JWT for

That .44-40 Winchester caliber would show extraordinarily standard, and was one of many main causes for the recognition of the 1873 rifle, carbine, and musket fashions. For the following 50 years, the .44-40 Win was probably accountable for taking extra white tail deer than another caliber in North America.

In the unique 1973 Winchesters, 40 grains of black energy would drive a 200 gr lead bullet about 1,100 fps. In these weapons, this may have been a really much max-pressure load. Looking by way of fairly a number of reloading manuals and a pair particularly for forged boolits and black powder, I can discover not a single one which recommends this heavy of a load.

However, in a contemporary firearm utilizing smokeless powders, there are fairly a number of masses listed with a 200 grain lead bullet being pushed to 1,000 fps from a 7″ revolver barrel. That’s significantly extra vitality than the “modern” .44 Special, and represents a beginning load for the .44 Magnum.

Cimarron Texas Brush Popper 1873

Texas Brush Popper lever motion rifle accuracy testing (picture courtesy JWT for

You would acquire as much as 150 fps from an 18″ carbine just like the Brush Popper over a revolver. At these speeds, the .44-40 WCF is producing sufficient vitality to reliably take medium sized game out to 50 yards, and extra for a marksman expert with the rifle and the fitting bullet. It’s inconceivable to know simply what number of deer have been killed with the .44-40 WCF (one other title for the cartridge), however contemplating its reputation, numbers within the lots of of 1000’s ought to be thought-about probably minimums.

Although it’s good to realize it’s succesful, looking isn’t what many people are utilizing the outdated caliber for as of late. Its revival is due completely to the game of Cowboy Action Shooting. (I’m Lectric Jack, SASS #109945). For that utility, the period-correct caliber simply meets the minimal energy requirement, and is extra typically loaded all the way down to the softest of masses.

Note that when you’re going to shoot very lowered masses and lightweight bullets in brass with a big case capability, be certain that the rounds go away the barrel. Yes, this can be a actual concern.

Fortunately, there are multiple ammunition firms that now make the loaded .44-40 cartridge, and most for gentle masses appropriate for any smokeless gun. This being the Great Ammunition Ammo Shortage of 2020, I had bother discovering something in any respect for this evaluate. Cimarron was capable of present me with 50 rounds of Black Hills blemished rounds in Starline instances, and that I merely reloaded these with my very own parts multiple occasions.

Cimarron Texas Brush Popper 1873

50-yard group (picture courtesy JWT for

The Black Hills business ammunition shot very nicely.  Four strings of 5 spherical teams shot off a Caldwell Stinger shooting relaxation averaged at simply an inch and a half with the provided iron sights, and three 1/2″ at 100 yards. That’s about pretty much as good as I can shoot with iron sights and this sight radius.

As this was the one business ammunition I had for the evaluate, my very own hand masses had been used for the remainder of the 300 whole rounds I fired by way of the gun.  My own hand masses, which had been additionally 200 grains at roughly 850fps (in keeping with the e book), didn’t print wherever practically pretty much as good because the business Black Hills rounds.

Under the identical circumstances, and loaded in the identical brass because the business ammo, my very own masses scored a mean of 5″ teams at 100 yards.  They additionally leaded the bore extra within the first 20 rounds than the Black Hills ammunition did in 50. I believe that’s as a result of my bullets had been sized to .429″ for my .44 caliber weapons, and the groove diameter of the .44-40 is usually at .431″.

Cimarron Texas Brush Popper 1873

Evidence of main (picture courtesy JWT for

At no level did i’ve any reliability points with the Texas Brush Popper lever gun. I cycled the rounds arduous and quick, and slowly as nicely.  Just preserve your Cartridge Overall Length inside spec and also you shouldn’t have any difficulties biking the gun in any manner. I highly anticipated nothing much less from Cimarron.

Shooting the gun in a breeze, and a blast. There’s nothing in any respect to the recoil. The pistol grip inventory, weight of the barrel, sights and pure geometry of the gun make for an awesome expertise for the novice shooter. The skilled shooter can actually make it hum.

I’ve seen the higher guys shooting a brief stroked Texas Brush Popper fireplace an eighth spherical as the primary piece of brass is simply hitting the bottom.  No matter what number of occasions I see it, it all the time appears inconceivable. Also notice that not like among the Winchester fashions, the rounds eject up and behind the shooter as a substitute of ahead of the firing line, a welcome function as you’ll actually need to acquire your brass.

Cimarron Texas Brush Popper 1873

Texas Brush Popper Uberti marking (picture courtesy JWT for

When it involves CAS, Cimarron already has actually made a giant hit with the Texas Brush Popper. I’ve solely been competing for a number of months now, however of the half a dozen matches I’ve been to i’ve but to attend a single one what place one in all these weapons wasn’t current. They appear to be universally favored, and it’s straightforward to see why.

Cimarron Texas Brush Popper 1873

CAS weapons (picture courtesy JWT for

The Texas Brush Popper lever motion rifle is beautiful, correct, and dependable. It’s additionally an excellent beginning gun for anybody desirous to get into the game of Cowboy Action Shooting. All of your fundamentals are lined proper out of the container, and the aftermarket assist is deep and various. As an added bonus, in any of the calibers provided, the quick rifle would make a high quality quick vary looking gun, and also you’d be looking in model.

Specifications: Cimarron Texas Brush Popper

Caliber: 44-40
Barrel Length: 18 in. Octagon to Round
Style: Deluxe Tx Brush Popper
Capacity: 10 + 1
Frame: Case Hardened
Finish: Standard Blue
Stock/Forearm: Checkered Walnut Pistol Grip
Weight: 7.25 Lbs.
MSRP: $1,494.64 

Ratings (out of 5 stars):

Style and Appearance * * * * 1/2
Cimarron didn’t skimp right here. The end of the gun is phenomenal proper out of the container and it might be a disgrace to alter it. Half a star off for the screws not timed.

Authenticity * * * * *
It’s arduous to create an 1873 that wasn’t both provided by the manufacturing unit or generally smithed. People have been modifying these weapons for the reason that day they had been let go. Still, in all the points that might matter, Cimarron nailed it.

Reliability * * * * *
Perfect. If your arm works the lever, the gun runs.

Accuracy * * * * *
This is pretty much as good as you’ll be able to count on from an iron-sighted 18″ barreled quick rifle, particularly with a business spherical.

Overall * * * * 1/2
My long-time readers know that the extra I like a gun, the more durable I’m on it. Half a star on this gun was taken off for the set off weight and the untimed screws. That’s all I might nitpick on this rifle. It’s a fantastic instance of one of the vital vital repeaters of the 19th century. Cimarron has taken a confirmed design and supplied the CAS shooter with an excellent place to begin, or the hunter and collector with a fantastic, useful rifle proper out of the container.


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