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40-60 WCF
February 21, 2015
2:50 pm
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Hey Guys

I need some information on 40-60 WCF, I am getting ready to reload this  cartridge and having difficulties getting right shell holder. I just received a #49 RCBS shell holder and it does not fit original ammo I have. The brass that I have had on order since last summer still has not arrived yet .  I don't want a shell holder to hold me up from making my old 76 talk. Any body have any experience reloading these old girls . The brass I ordered is Starline ,recommend from a few of you on this forum. I also know that Jamison makes this brass and was not sure if  different dimensions.

Any help is much appreciated .

Bruce

Aim Small ,Miss Small

February 22, 2015
2:22 am
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I have some 40-60 cartridges that were made with 40-65 brass I purchased a long time ago, never shot any of it.  If that is the case it would require a 40-65 RCBS shell holder #17. Below is the link with the shell holder info.

http://www.buffaloarms.com/Content.aspx?PAGE=Shell%20Holder%20Chart

 

I also found another site that states it should be an RCBS #15.  Another that said it was a Lyman #17.

You might try searching on your own to see what you come up with or try contacting Buffalo Arms, Aardvark Laboratories, or Old Western Scrounger and see what info they can give you. 

Someone may also have the info handy and chime in soon. 

DSC_0245-Copy-3.JPG1892takedown @sbcglobal.net ......NRA Endowment Life Member.....WACA Member

"God is great.....beer is good.....and people are crazy"... Billy Currington

February 22, 2015
4:26 pm
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You may want to talk to RCBS and give them the dimensions of the rim diameter and width.

I'm thinking that perhaps the problem might be the rim diameter since the originals have a slightly larger diameter than the current brass.  I ran into that issue when I tried using a .45-70 shell holder with original W.R.A. CO. .45-60 head stamped brass.  I found the rims to be just a bit larger than current .45-70 brass so I trimmed, as I recall about .010", from the diameter and after that they worked fine.

w30wcf

February 23, 2015
10:29 am
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I appreciate all the help I get on this forum from you guys, wealth of knowledge.

Bruce

Aim Small ,Miss Small

February 23, 2015
1:45 pm
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I reload 45-60 and make brass from 45-70 easily for a late production 1876 , .I dont have to do anything to the rim at all ,  just shorten case mouth ( Perfect headspace ) I asked my buddy Bill , a knowledgeable case former and wildcatter ,about 40-60, and he gave some good points

  "The 40-60 can some times be made from 45-70 cases , but the 40-60 has such a taper that the shell holder won't let me size the solid head
enough to chamber in the reproduction and I think the originals are actually tighter.
If you polished the heads or pushed the cases up into the dies with a flat shell holder
and knocked them out with a rod you might be "OK". I read in an article on 40-65wcf.
that if you found some old Remington 45-70's they had about a .002 smaller head and would
work better so the first 40-60's I made were on 45-70 Remington brass that I had sorted with a mic.( for a Chapparell repro )
The Starline 40-65's fit just by trimming them and seemed an easier solution and were only
$10.00 more for 50. I believe Rusty Wood has them in stock now. Maybe even Bullet Barn."

Bill

PS tHE TAPER of the true fomed 40-60 would explain the difference of shellholders ,  depending on what ever parent brass you are using (that will fit your chamber )

 

Phil

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February 23, 2015
2:46 pm
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The rim thickness of original Model 1876 cartridges is less than modern 45-70 brass. The lever will not close, or close only with undue force, if the headspace is still close to original spec. I have made 45-60 brass from 45-70 casings and had to thin the top of the rims in order to close the levers, as they were still to original factory specs. I have also used Rocky Mountain Cartridge brass instead of making my own. I wrote an article about the '76, that includes a discussion on rim thickness here http://www.leverguns.com/articles/1876.pdf 

February 23, 2015
2:59 pm
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Kirk I was lucky that untouched rim thickness of   Rem , Win  ,and Starline 45-70 's are perfect for my 1876 45-60 , even tho mine is very little used condition . The slight consistant touch I feel upon closing action is taking the slack out of the toggle system, and a coincidence that it fits that well. 

 Most of my rimmed rifles are headspacing on the shoulder like a rimless, or maybe on taper , as I back off my F.L.S. die and check fit in the gun. I dont care where it head spaces, as long as the rear cartridge rim face is against bolt , doesnt matter if there is a touch of clearance on inner rim. Brass fits my chamber , lasts longer thru less work , and is most accurate ,locating  and sitting consistently. I know hunters want a bit of clearance for best feeding, but I dont need that

Thats why I say there is no such thing as excessive head space , (just some variant of an 'Improved' capacity  cartridge ) if you have reloading dies you can custom make brass to fit anything, if you are  thinking outside the box like a wildcatter or Benchrest shooter would

 

Phil

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February 24, 2015
12:10 am
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 Great reading.I really enjoy reading about hand loading and shooting the old rifles.Smile

January 21, 2018
2:25 pm
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Doc Bluegrass
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I have been trying to reload .40-60 WCF for my 1876 replica made by Chaparral Arms, Italy (meanwhile discontinued) ever since 2014.

I have encountered several problems with that rifle, it went back and forth to a gunsmith and still does not work as I expected. Friend of mine, very experienced shooter and hunter, had the very same problems with his 1876 of the same make. But that's a different story.

Loading the .40-60 WCF has proven equally demanding...

I acquired .40-60 WCF brass made by Ten X and some made by Jamison (meanwhile discontinued, I was told).

The Jamison brass worked fine with shell holder # 14 by RCBS, and so did nearly 85 % of the ones made by Ten X, the others did not fit the # 14 shell holder. I put the ones that didn't fit into the chuck of my lathe and took just enough material off the case rim,  to make them perfectly round and slip into the shell holder.

Besides not having found the perfect powder charge yet, I did encounter another problem: 

My seating dies (I own a .40-60 set of LEE dies, as well as a .40-60 seating die mad by RCBS)  

will n o t  put a reliable crimp on the bullets (cast from a Lyman die LRN 403169). 

I have addressed LEE about that problem, few days ago.

I will report on any suggestions LEE engineers might have, but would also appreciate any advice by members of this forum.

January 21, 2018
10:47 pm
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 I use new Remington 45/70 brass. I cut it to 1.870", anneal it, and reform it in a original Winchester 1894 hand loading.tool. When you anneal it use a pan of water with about 1/4' of water in it to keep the rim cool when you heat the brass, you do not want the rim to soften. You could use a new type die instead. The 45/70 brass uses a #8 Lee shell holder. I use 28 grs of 3031 with corn meal as filler. I cast a 210 grain bullet in a original Winchester mold, do not size, and hand lube. Overall length 2.10". 1345 fps. They fit, feed, and fire accurately for me. I've used them in 8 different antique 1876 40/60s. Bores varied from ok? to excellent, the better the bore the tighter the group. I bought an original Winchester 1894 tool and mold, it's a lot of monkey business but a lot of fun to do it the old way. An old set of tools may cost $300. Winchester made those tools to load their guns in 1894. Do not use antique brass. T/R        

January 21, 2018
10:52 pm
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 I forgot to mention that 40/60 Marlin is not the same as 40/60 Winchester, two different sizes. T/R

January 22, 2018
4:06 pm
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Doc Bluegrass said
I have been trying to reload .40-60 WCF for my 1876 replica made by Chaparral Arms, Italy (meanwhile discontinued) ever since 2014.

I have encountered several problems with that rifle, it went back and forth to a gunsmith and still does not work as I expected. Friend of mine, very experienced shooter and hunter, had the very same problems with his 1876 of the same make. But that's a different story.

Loading the .40-60 WCF has proven equally demanding...

I acquired .40-60 WCF brass made by Ten X and some made by Jamison (meanwhile discontinued, I was told).

The Jamison brass worked fine with shell holder # 14 by RCBS, and so did nearly 85 % of the ones made by Ten X, the others did not fit the # 14 shell holder. I put the ones that didn't fit into the chuck of my lathe and took just enough material off the case rim,  to make them perfectly round and slip into the shell holder.

Besides not having found the perfect powder charge yet, I did encounter another problem: 

My seating dies (I own a .40-60 set of LEE dies, as well as a .40-60 seating die mad by RCBS)  

will n o t  put a reliable crimp on the bullets (cast from a Lyman die LRN 403169). 

I have addressed LEE about that problem, few days ago.

I will report on any suggestions LEE engineers might have, but would also appreciate any advice by members of this forum.  

I've been reloading 40-60 W.C.F. since 1986 with no problems.  I shoot my loads in an original Model 1876 from 1885 and a High Wall from 1902.

The cases I used back in the '80's were formed from W-W 45-70 Government cases, cut, annealed and formed in a standard RCBS reloading die (3 die set).  For bullets I used the Lyman 41 Mag mould.  The shell holder is a Lyman # 17.  

For years I used these reformed cases and fired a charge of 9.5 grains Unique which was a fairly accurate load producing a velocity of 1328 fps. and an SD of 20 (factory loads are 1550 fps.) in my old Model 1876.  A few years ago I acquired the 1885 and around the same time got 100 cases of Jamison. Have tried loads of 16.5 grains of Accurate that produced 1638 fps. with an SD of 23 and good accuracy.  This load I've only shot in the 1885 as it is stronger than the factory load.  Have a batch of Accurate 5744 with loads from 15.5 to 16.4 in .1 increments but haven't been to the range with those yet.

Hope this is of some help to you.

1876-4-1.jpg

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