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Great care and caution have to be excercised when shooting old original guns. They were intended to be shot with black powder which isn't as critical in case capacities as it is with smokeless powders. It is quite subjective as to the terms of "condition" as it is referred to in the question. A tight Model 1873, that is in very good shape, with no rust or pitting, that locks up correctly can be safely shot with smokeless powder loads, provided it isn't loaded beyond what the safe pressure that is recommended by the manufacturer.

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Q: Can modern smokeless powder ammo be fired in an original 1873 Winchester 44-40 in good mechanical condition?
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