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Loading tools and moulds
November 4, 2020
1:16 am
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With the help of our friend in Maine I’ve finally added a few representative loading tools and moulds to my modest Winchester collection. As a reloader and caster I feel they belong in my collection and Dana recently had some for a couple cartridges I really enjoy, the 32-40 and 32WCF. They’re mostly eye candy but the 32-40 mould is very interesting. I’ll probably scrub it a bit and cast a few for research purposes. All pieces are well-used and well maintained, I suspect they’ll gather dust on my coffee table for a few months while I admire them and wonder about the kindred souls who used them. Workmanship is quite impressive, I believe with minimal cleaning I could put them to work loading quality ammunition.

 

Mike

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November 4, 2020
2:06 pm
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Mike,

Be careful otherwise you might catch the tool bug like me. I'd just make sure the die chambers are good and clean. They'll do just fine for small quantities of reloading. Now you just need are some of the original de-capping pins for the tools. I've gotten to where I just use a universal decapper and do all my cases at once.

You got a good start!

Sincerely,

Maverick

November 4, 2020
2:25 pm
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If you’ve seen my loading room you probably know I’m very susceptible to the tool bug but I am only planning on these for a representative sample. I’m not really interested in pursuing this section of the hobby but I’ve very much enjoyed your posts on the subject. 

I use a universal decapper for many rounds, makes cleaning easier and I prefer sizing clean cases. 

 

Mike

Life Member TSRA, Endowment Member NRA
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Smokeless powder is a passing fad! -Steve Garbe
I hate rude behavior in a man. I won't tolerate it. -Woodrow F. Call, Lonesome Dove
Some of my favorite recipes start out with a handful of depleted counterbalance devices.-TXGunNut
Presbyopia be damned, I'm going to shoot this thing! -TXGunNut
November 5, 2020
2:11 am
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Finally put my dial calipers on the 32-40 mould; I believe it’s tapered! I was suspecting that since I first looked it over but my progressive lenses have fooled me before! Best I could tell the first driving band is .320” and the lowest band (just above the plain base) is .330”. I was kicking around ordering a tapered mould to replace the one I foolishly sold several years ago. I think NOE made that one but if Al doesn’t have one I’m sure Tom at Accurate can make one if I send him a bullet from this old Winchester mould. Now all I need to do is cast a few “old school” target bullets and see if what I’ve heard about seating a tapered bullet into the lands will work as well as it did 100 years ago. I’m wondering if I’ll need to use 20-1 alloy or if wheel weight alloy will work.

Thanks for the warning, Maverick, but this is the most excited I’ve been about a reloading project in years!

 

Mike

Life Member TSRA, Endowment Member NRA
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Smokeless powder is a passing fad! -Steve Garbe
I hate rude behavior in a man. I won't tolerate it. -Woodrow F. Call, Lonesome Dove
Some of my favorite recipes start out with a handful of depleted counterbalance devices.-TXGunNut
Presbyopia be damned, I'm going to shoot this thing! -TXGunNut
November 5, 2020
3:20 am
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6C7687A1-EF62-4AB1-ABAA-F9AB2390051A.jpegImage EnlargerMike, I also had some help from the fine gentleman in Maine. It’s my first purchase of anything reloading, it just felt like the right thing to do. I feel like it makes a nice addition to the my carbine in that caliber. I only took one picture,but the box is for a 38-55 and so is the mould. 

November 5, 2020
3:55 am
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Congrats, Bill! I looked long and hard at those after Dana sent me pics. That loading tool is pretty spectacular but I felt it should go to a serious collector. I’m just looking for something to piddle with and/or display on my mantle or coffee table. I have an early 1894 in 38-55 that probably “needs“ a loading tool and mould but I’m trying hard to resist.

If you get interested in reloading with modern tools don’t hesitate to contact me. I truly feel that being a reloader is the best way to experience the old Winchesters. 

 

Mike

Life Member TSRA, Endowment Member NRA
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Smokeless powder is a passing fad! -Steve Garbe
I hate rude behavior in a man. I won't tolerate it. -Woodrow F. Call, Lonesome Dove
Some of my favorite recipes start out with a handful of depleted counterbalance devices.-TXGunNut
Presbyopia be damned, I'm going to shoot this thing! -TXGunNut
November 5, 2020
4:08 am
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I will keep that in mind and really appreciate the offer. Reloading intrigues me very much,it’s  just one of those things on my ‘want to’list right now. But someday........

November 5, 2020
4:26 am
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Bill Hanzel said
I will keep that in mind and really appreciate the offer. Reloading intrigues me very much,it’s  just one of those things on my ‘want to’list right now. But someday........  

I can help you with that as well. If you’re not a detail oriented tinkerer or want to “save money by reloading” I’ll try to steer you towards the custom commercial loaders. Hand loading is applied physics, pure and simple. Getting started is quite simple but high quality loads sometimes require a fully equipped loading room. No serious loader ever saved a dime handloading, he likely IS able to shoot more and/or shoot cartridges not readily available or affordable. 

If you are a tinkerer and fall off the deep end into reloading and (heaven forbid!) casting be prepared to send thousands of dollars and countless hours pursuing this new obsession. It may cost less than collecting Colts or bass fishing but I won’t make any promises.

 

Mike

Life Member TSRA, Endowment Member NRA
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Smokeless powder is a passing fad! -Steve Garbe
I hate rude behavior in a man. I won't tolerate it. -Woodrow F. Call, Lonesome Dove
Some of my favorite recipes start out with a handful of depleted counterbalance devices.-TXGunNut
Presbyopia be damned, I'm going to shoot this thing! -TXGunNut
November 8, 2020
3:45 pm
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Mould update:

At first I wanted to cast a few bullets with the 32-40 mould to get better measurements. Then I decided to cast enough to get a feel for the bullet (and mould) to help decide whether to order a modern mould and guide that process. 

As sometimes happens, the experimental process raised more questions. I selected wheel weight alloy as my custom mould makers use it as a default...and my favorite furnace was already filled with it. After scrubbing the mould a bit I warmed it on a hot plate while the lead came up to temp. The first session was a bit disappointing, mould was too cold and bullets were hanging up on the right side. Second session after a bit more time on the hot plate was better after I increased the tempo and mould reached about 370 degrees. I’ll post a pic in case you missed it elsewhere.

The resulting bullets were interesting; a bit lighter at 161-162 grains than I expected. Measurements are a bit puzzling; driving bands were all .320“ except the top band, it was a bit under .318” as was the short bore riding section above the top band. I’m wondering if this design is a predecessor of the tapered designs I’ve seen and read about for the 32-40. I’m not accustomed to seeing a beveled base on the bullets I cast but I’m willing to give it a try. I was expecting a pointed bullet instead of one with a meplat of .175” 

I lubed 20 of my new/old bullets last night and I’ll load them after another cup of coffee. I’ll be attempting to seat the bullets at a length where the bore riding section touches the lands when the cartridge is loaded. If the sun will come out I’ll head for the range and touch a bit more history. 

Couldn’t help but wonder how old this mould may be, any ideas?

 

Mike

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Life Member TSRA, Endowment Member NRA
BBHC Member, TGCA Member
Smokeless powder is a passing fad! -Steve Garbe
I hate rude behavior in a man. I won't tolerate it. -Woodrow F. Call, Lonesome Dove
Some of my favorite recipes start out with a handful of depleted counterbalance devices.-TXGunNut
Presbyopia be damned, I'm going to shoot this thing! -TXGunNut
November 8, 2020
6:40 pm
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 Mike, The wooden handle tool came out in 1889 as it first showed up in the 1890 catalog and was last listed in the 1914 catalog. That's according to Lewis Yearout  Publication in WACA.

 If you pace your cast rate you can make nice bullets with those old molds. I use them in all the bigger calibers, cast not sized. T/R

November 8, 2020
7:04 pm
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Thanks, TR! I ran these through a .323” lubrisizer die to fill the two lower grease rings. Loaded them up and about to give up on the sun coming out. I’m mainly fireforming cases so I might as well head out and make some noise & smoke.

 

Mike

Life Member TSRA, Endowment Member NRA
BBHC Member, TGCA Member
Smokeless powder is a passing fad! -Steve Garbe
I hate rude behavior in a man. I won't tolerate it. -Woodrow F. Call, Lonesome Dove
Some of my favorite recipes start out with a handful of depleted counterbalance devices.-TXGunNut
Presbyopia be damned, I'm going to shoot this thing! -TXGunNut
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