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33 WCF Jacketed 200gr and lighter info
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February 8, 2024 - 4:50 am
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I would like to know any experiences you may have shooting 200gr, or lighter,  jacketed bullets out of the 33. Bullets don’t have to be limited to tubefeed style.  I’m not opposed to a 2 round lever gun. Load info greatly appreciated also. My rifle is a 1910 TD 1886. Thanks for reading. 

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February 8, 2024 - 5:38 am
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You may wish to try the 200 gr flex tip Hornady bullet.  It works in my takedown 1886 if you will unscrew the magazine tube about one turn.  That bit of extra clearance allows the tip to clear enough to feed reliably.  Else, single load.  Look into using IMR 3031 for about 2100 fps.  Tim

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February 8, 2024 - 6:03 am
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200 Grain bullets were the standard factory load from day one of production. Like Tim, I load them with IMR 3031 powder (33 grains).

Bert

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February 9, 2024 - 4:56 am
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Win1886 33 WCF said
I would like to know any experiences you may have shooting 200gr, or lighter,  jacketed bullets out of the 33. Bullets don’t have to be limited to tubefeed style.  I’m not opposed to a 2 round lever gun. Load info greatly appreciated also. My rifle is a 1910 TD 1886. Thanks for reading. 

  

Thank you,  Tim and Bert! Does magazine length matter with the FTX, or is it bullet design? Any crystal ball for when they might be available? Have either of you used the Hawk 200gr FN? Your thoughts on the need to crimp,  some say yes,  other’s no need. 

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February 9, 2024 - 5:11 am
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When loading cartridges for a magazine tube-fed lever action rifle, you must always crimp the bullet.  The FTX bullet is longer than the flat-point bullets traditionally used for the 33 WCF.  You either have to seat them deeper in the case mouth or try what Tim suggested. The goal is to get them to fully clear the magazine tube before the cartridge carrier tries to elevate them up through the action.

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February 9, 2024 - 7:28 pm
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I’d agree with Bert if I were using original 1890’s loading methods.  Which most of the time I am.  But for accuracy I prefer to adjust my expander OD to get the tightest grip I need to keep the bullets from moving. Your accuracy can be improved when not crimping.  I took a universal expander mandrel die and then used a pin gauge as the mandrel.  You need to test how much neck tension you need to keep the bullets from moving. Load powder less and primer less loads into the magazine.  Try smaller pin gauges until you find the one that gives you the tension you need.  To measure neck tension first measure the OD of a sized case then seat a bullet and re measure.  The difference in .001″ is the neck tension. 

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February 10, 2024 - 4:25 am
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Bert and Chuck, Your knowledge and experience is invaluable! Thank you for your input. I’m looking forward to shooting more of my lever guns.  I have shot scoped rifles for so long my confidence with open sights is lacking. I’ll probably shoot my ’07 1894 30 WCF OCT rifle as a less expensive option to get proficient with open sights. Thank you again. 

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February 28, 2024 - 2:27 pm
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Bert’s advice is well taken.

Hornady  discontinued the well-made 200 gr flat point bullet some years back, but they can still be found on

dealer’s or sporting goods shelves in more remote places in the outback. Hawk Bullets also makes a flat point bullet in 180-200 gr weights.

I prefer the 200 gr weight as this was the weight bullet originally used and loaded by WRA for the 33 WCF chambering in the 1886. The Hawk bullets 

have interesting copper  jacket material that is both easy on older bores and effective as a hunting choice. Flat point bullets transfer much of their energy 

directly to the target. Another option for bear, elk and moose is to single load the 210 gr Nosler .338 semi-spitzer partition bullet. That bullet can be

chambered-followed by FP Hawk or Hornady bullets.

I just received 3 boxes of Hawk 200 gr bullets with cannelures for crimping. The quality is excellent and effective as a hunting bullet.

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February 29, 2024 - 6:23 am
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450 Fuller, Thank you for the input on your experience with Hawk bullets. I’m getting ready to order some 200 gr Hawk. I have the #10 Hornady manual that lists 33 WCF data shot in a 1886. Has anyone used this data up to max loads in older 86s?

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February 29, 2024 - 6:01 pm
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The .348 WCF followed the .33 WCF.  This prompts me to reflect that with the .348, factory loads came in 150, 200 and 250 grain.  The 150 grain turned out to be a pretty poor performer.

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February 29, 2024 - 6:29 pm
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Win1886 33 WCF said
450 Fuller, Thank you for the input on your experience with Hawk bullets. I’m getting ready to order some 200 gr Hawk. I have the #10 Hornady manual that lists 33 WCF data shot in a 1886. Has anyone used this data up to max loads in older 86s?

In my opinion, there is no need to load (reload) the 33 WCF up to the maximum listed load.  Start at the low-end of the listed loads and work up slowly to find the accuracy load and then stop.  Old Winchesters should not be fed a steady diet of “max” loads.

Bert

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February 29, 2024 - 7:21 pm
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Do what Bert said.  Find the best powder charge then experiment with bullet seating depths.   Make sure your primers are seated deep enough so the primer cup is bottomed out.  If you have the tools to measure the distance from the base of the case to the “shoulder” fire from them so this measurement is the the same.  This gets the case volume the same shot to shot. Here is a picture of a case comparator attached to a caliper.  The orange is the body and the silver colored end is a case specific comparator.  If this was a case that sets head space off the shoulder this is what you would use.  It can also used on the rimmed bottle neck cases to make sure they have the same volume.   I have a similar set up to measure the base of the case to the ogive of the bullet so you can set up your seating depth.

 

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March 1, 2024 - 3:33 am
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Thanks,  Steve,  Bert, and Chuck! I have no intention of using max loads in the 86. The Hornady #10 loads max at 2200fps. There is data published that goes 2400fps with 200gr bullets for the 86. I am fine with 2200 or slightly less. Open sight, brush hunting for blacktails in Oregon doesn’t require lazer trajectory. I was reading some of Mike Venturino’s work on 33s in 1886. He said the Hornady loads he used seized the action. He went with slow H4350, pressure gone,  accuracy improved. I don’t want a flamethrower so intend to use H4895, IMR-3031, or RL-15.

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March 17, 2024 - 12:25 am
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As Bert has indicated, our 1886 rifles are older and deserve some care in reloading if we wish to continue shooting them regularly. I tend to avoid cast

bullets in the 33 WCF, with the Hawk bullets just as kind to the bores of the three 86 rifles I shoot. An early Jan-Feb 1977 Handloader Magazine   article  by

Jim Hanson showed the best research on the 33 WCF for reloading found. Using H-4831 powder and 200 gr bullets, Hanson was able to achieve groups

as small as 1.75 in at 100 yards. His chronograph showed average velocity around 2030-2050 fps with 200 gr Hornady bullets.

That is about the velocity I am comfortable with and that works well in the type of mule deer, white tails, and bear hunting I do-as a long shot

is anything over the length of a football field. Hawk bullets can make a 33 WCF bullet as light as 180 gr, but I prefer the 200 gr weight. Also have a few pre-

war Model 71s and the 200 gr bullet works well. For serious possible bear encounters, the 210 gr Nosler backed by a magazine tube full of Hawk -loaded

cartridges should work.

LtCol Ridge

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March 18, 2024 - 2:07 pm
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One other interesting point in reloading for the 33 WCF cartridge: The Lee Die Company in WI., I believe-make an interesting Factory Crimp Die. I use it for the 33 WCF just as Lee makes it. This die allows for crimping uniformity which really aids in accurate handloaded ammunition. The FC die can also be adjusted to a really firm crimp for bullet retention in tubular magazines. The die is reasonably priced and is fully adjustable.

I have had my Lee FCD for quite a few years and it may  have been one of the first made in 33 WCF. It is very useful in crimping bullets without a cannelure. Hawk Bullets can be ordered with or without a cannelure.  I have also used it with the Hornady .33 FP bullets which were expressly made for the Marlin and Winchester 1886 rifles. The Hornady bullets have been discontinued, but they can still be found in small sporting goods or gun shops.

They come with cannelured jackets in 200 gr weight.

 

Ridge Marriott

NM-AZ mountains during deer-bear season…

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