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.401 Winchester Reloading
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November 17, 2010 - 7:37 pm
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Bought some Fiocchi .401 Winchester berdan cases from Grafs and have been trying my hand at boxer primer conversion. Drilled new flashholes using a center tool and a 9mm case as a guide. Removed the remains of the anvil with a Lee primer pocket cleaner tool, swaged the primer pocket to the correct diameter with a press-mounted C&H primer pocket swaging die. Primers seat well and seem tight enough, at least for this moderate-pressure cartridge. Some of the primer pockets turned out a little too thin, some flashholes off-center, thus a better method might be in order for the next batch.

I have 10 cases prepped- will load with some .406" cast 240 gr. Lyman 410426 from Western Bullet Co. and try them out. I also have some cases converted from 7.62×39 to compare these to. Much quicker work to convert from berdan to boxer than the lathe and fireform work required to convert from 7.62×39 to .401.

Fiocchi_401_Conversion.jpgImage Enlarger

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November 18, 2010 - 4:52 am
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Interesting stuff. Keep us posted on how the conversions perform under fire.

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November 18, 2010 - 8:06 am
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If your interested, go to gunbrokers and search for items from user cowmangordon he has a partial box of .401 for sale right now, some mixed headstamps in the batch, but the price looks pretty reasonable to me. good luck with the project….Brian

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November 23, 2010 - 5:13 pm
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Thanks for the tip on the Gunbroker-listed cartridges. Most any factory-loaded .401 Win sells for premium prices. Commercially-made reformed brass and reloads are available but also command a premium price due to the case-forming work required. I consider this intolerable for a non-collectable Winchester which will likely eject the brass into oblivion without the use of a shell-catcher. Thus my endeavor to convert cases and reload for this cartridge- good cases and bullets are available and very cost-effective (from certain suppliers). Would be even easier if Grafs or Powder Valley had the Tula berdan primers in stock…

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November 23, 2010 - 8:43 pm
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RMH….don’t know if they would be considered cost effective, but here is a source:

http://www.buffaloarms.com/browse.cfm/4,248.html

max

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November 30, 2010 - 2:11 pm
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Thanks, Buffalo Arms sells brass formed from 7.62×39 and is indeed one of the least expensive suppliers out there. I know of most all the custom reloaders out there who make .401 WSL and none can beat the $0.31 per piece of newly made Fiocchi brass from Grafs. Of course they are berdan-primed, but my time spent converting to boxer is cheap.

I have a special interest in the Winchester self loading rifles and have helped put together some great resources for my fellow owners at the Vintage Semiautomatic Sporting Rifle forum:

http://vintagesemiautorifle.proboards.com/index.cgi

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February 19, 2013 - 12:31 am
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My experience with the .401 WSL is about like the other reports. You have to run something very close to maximum loads to make the rifle function properly. When loaded with #2400 powder, I get incomplete combustion with unburned powder scattered all through the action and around the ejection port. With IMR 4227, the rifle functions as intended. The converted 7.62 x 39 cases from Buffalo work pretty well, but a brass catcher is needed.

At about 35 yards, I shot at some old bricks. They were vaporized!

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April 5, 2021 - 4:04 am
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The converted 7.62 x 39 cases from Buffalo work pretty well, but a brass catcher is needed.

 

What load with 4227 did you use?

 

i have 401 brass, i have converted 7.62×39 and have converted some 7.62 myself and also modified some 414 super brass, a very easy conversion, but have not worked up loads, so if anyone has a load they used that worked would like to hear what it is>

 

Thanks

Bill

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November 4, 2021 - 11:14 pm
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So tried my modified 7.62×39, 6.5 Grendel basic brass and 414 super mag brass along with proper 401 head stamped brass from quality cartridge, all worked.

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November 6, 2021 - 5:55 pm
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I use the cases from Bell and the copper-plated bullets from Haendler & Natermann in .406 / 240 grain in front of a load of 25 grain H4895.

So my M1910 works without any problems.

20211106_182210_kl-1.jpgImage Enlarger

Of course, all information without guarantee. Every reloader acts independently.

Greetings from Germany

 

Stefan

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February 20, 2022 - 12:39 am
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Well had a fellow make up some jacketed bullets for my Winchester 1910 in .401 and he ended up making them flatpoint 260grain, I have not found any data where they used this weight of bullet, any idea of where one should start using IMR4227 powder?

Was thinking maybe 24 grains at most, but not sure.

Anyone ever see a 260 grain bullet for these?

They are a beautiful bullet.Cool

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February 20, 2022 - 7:25 pm
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Wolfe Publishing claims to have some load data but you have to subscribe.

https://loaddata.com/Cartridge/401-Winchester-Self-Loading-401-WSL-Cartridges-of-the-World/1967

24 grains of 4227 MIGHT be OK.

Cartridges of the World has some data for 200 and 250 grain bullets using 2400 and 4227.

200 grain bullet, 24 grains of 2400 or 31 grains of 4227.

250 grain bullet, 28 grains of 4227

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February 21, 2022 - 3:39 am
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Thanks for the reply, i had hoped they would make them 240, but they had a call for these first, next they said they will do 200 and 240 grain, which are more like the factory offerings.

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February 21, 2022 - 1:26 pm
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 All very interesting.Have a friend who loads and shoots his .401 rifle.He makes his from  reformed  brass and has a bullet mould to make bullets with.He fire forms his cases.Not sure what he uses as a base case or what load he uses.

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February 21, 2022 - 6:16 pm
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In Donalley’s book it says to use 9.3 x 72R brass.  Turn rim to .457″ and back chamfer.  Cut case to 1.55″ and taper expand to .401″.  Trim to length and size in a .401 die with the expander removed.  I.D. neck ream.  Chamfer and f/l size.  Fire form in chamber.

Sounds like too much fun.   Buffalo arms sells the brass. 

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