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50 EX (110) HAND LOADING DATA
October 12, 2017
7:20 pm
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1886-001.JPGImage EnlargerI have a 1908 vintage 1886 that has a history of going on safari to Africa, back in 1914.  When I acquired the rifle a Winchester Letter was included with the rifle and I was able to get a little information from the grandson of the original owner.  It seems the family, over the years, was not interested in the trophies taken on the safari or documenting any information about the safari.  I was told the original owner had taken an elephant, a rhino, a cape buffalo, a lion and other various species of game, but no pictures or other documentation was available.  The rifle is in very good condition and I would like to shoot it.  I have not been able to find any current loading data for the 50-110 W.H.V. cartridge (specified in the Letter).  I have the dies and Barnes 50 cal. 300 grain bullets, but no loading data.  I hope some one out there can come to my rescue.  Thanks!  Roger

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October 12, 2017
9:20 pm
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  Roger,   The 1907 Winchester Catalogue lists the 50-110 W.H.V. at 2150 fps. at the muzzle with a 300gr. bullet. I do not recommend you try to duplicate that velocity, I loaded my guns to 1620fps and it kicked like a 12ga shotgun but never caused any damage. I never found the 50-110 to be as accurate as other 86 calibers but it does cut a big hole. I used new B B brass, 300gr Barnes jacketed bullets, 44grs. 4198 with a thin paper wad over the powder and 1.5 sheets of toilet paper folded and rolled like a tampon as a filler. The over all length 2.72 inches. 3 inch groups at 100 yards. The filler was necessary to keep velocity to plus or minus 25fps. My Barnes bullets were .510. When I used cast bullets I sized to .509, I had leading issues; I do not use gas checks.          This is not a recommendation, this is what I did in my rifles. T/R  

October 12, 2017
11:31 pm
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Thanks for the reply.  Now I need some specifics, as I have never tried wads or paper filler.  For the wad material, thin cardboard, playing card material or what do you recommend?   After powder is loaded the wad is placed over the powder and the toilet paper is just to fill the void between the paper wad and the bullet.  Am I understanding correctly?  Is there any problem with paper residue between shots or ok to use as a repeater?

Please understand, this is my first experience trying this and I certainly do not want to make a mistake.

Roger

October 13, 2017
2:01 am
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  Roger, The thin paper wad is .500 in diameter, is cut out of magazine paper, and neatly placed on top of the powder.The wad keeps the powder against the primer and prevents the powder from mixing with the toilet paper. The toilet paper is neatly folded then rolled and installed on top of the wad, placing it between the wad and the bullet. The large case size of the 50-110 was designed for bulky black powder not small amounts of smokeless. Some smokeless powders if let lay loosely on their side without a filler create a shaped charge and can cause velocity variance between shots or even chamber damage. The use of fillers gives less variance of velocity. I have never had an issue with the paper, it just blows out the barrel in the from of  confetti. I also use magnum primers. I would start with a lighter load, that 110 year old figured wood looks nice but can crack in the wrist. A good book on loading for old Winchesters is “The Winchester Lever Legacy” by Clyde Williamson. He shot 750,000 rounds to gather data for his 664 page book. I read his book before I loaded my first 86 round. Clyde’s loads are hot so start light. T/R

October 13, 2017
3:07 am
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A little tidbit I came across. In the handout titled, “The proper loads of smokeless powder for Winchester Rifle and Pistol Cartridges” made by the company in the early 1900s, it shows using 45 grains of Laflin & Rand’s Sharpshooter powder for the .50-110 W.H.V. Also have a sheet from the 1890s that shows the velocity for .50-110-300 W Express to be 1540 fps. 

TR , I guess your loading obtaining 1620fps was not to far off to the original, a decent warm loading. I wish IMR would update a loading list for all the old calibers. You’d think they’d have the formulas to make new powder just like the old powders used, as seeing as they have history with all the old powder companies. The transition goes from Laflin & Rand to Dupont to IMR and IMR being sold to Hodgdon in 2006.  But then again powder companies aren’t what they used to be. I think its kinda sad that there is only one company making Black Powder in America. I guess to many Issues with Insurance Companies, lawyers and having to deal with the EPA. 

Sincerely,

Maverick

October 13, 2017
12:48 pm
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http://www.kynochammunition.co.uk/miscellaneous.html

Here is a link to Kynamco, the current maker of Kynoch ammunition. I use their foam wads in 450 No. 1 and 50-95 ‘nitro for black’ loads. Kynamco uses the foam wads in their factory loaded NFB cartridges.

GMC(SW) - USN Retired 1978 - 2001

October 13, 2017
3:16 pm
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Thanks guys!  Hope to get some shells ready this weekend and try a few out on Monday when our club range is available to members only.

I have a .50″ leather punch that cuts magazine paper perfectly, 50-110 WCF loading dies, large magnum rifle primers, several powders to choose from, Barnes .510 300 gr. bullets and if I can find some t. p. I should be set.

I will post some results when I have them.

Roger

October 13, 2017
4:16 pm
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 Roger, I have also used 3031 with TP or corn meal as filler but the 4198 and TP worked much better. TP varies in thickness, what I do is measure the distance between the wad and back of bullet when seated ,(example 1 inch), fold the sheet of TP  the long way 1 inch over and over until it is long, skinny, thick rectangle, then roll it tightly. It will look like a paper plug, (tampon), then insert in case over the paper wad. If your 1 inch measurement is not right adjust the width of the fold accordingly, if the tampon is to thick to fit the case, shorten the sheet, if to thin lengthen the sheet. It is important to use the same amount of TP in each case to keep the velocity the same. I hand weigh every charge. Do not use antique brass, used brass is not as strong as new. Wear eye protection. I used an antique balloon head case in a 40-82 once and temporarily lost my eye lashes and brows when the case head blew off, no damage to the $20,000 deluxe 86.  Be safe! T/R       

October 13, 2017
7:33 pm
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Thanks for the precaution advisement.  I am doing my best to be careful.  Checked the lead bullets that were purchased as being 300gr..  Glad I did!

They weigh 396.8 gr. to 397.9.  Then I checked the $95 “300 gr. Hollow Point” bullet mold I bought and found that the sample bullet weights 396.7.

I will load accordingly for the lead bullets and save the expensive jacketed 300 gr. Barnes bullets for later experimentation and take into consideration the age of the special order wood stock.  Haven’t had any elephants or other ‘Big Game’ on the block recently so no need for the W.H.V. shells at this time.

Roger

October 13, 2017
8:32 pm
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 Roger, When you increase the weight of the bullet that much you are in uncharted territory. I only shot 300gr. bullets in my guns, I do not know what you will have for chamber pressure. Roger, this is a big gun, but not indestructible. The price of the Barnes bullets is relative cheap compared to the gun. T/R 

October 13, 2017
10:51 pm
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 I have shot my .50 Express using 300 grain Barnes ,with about the same felt recoil of a .30-30.However when I tried shooting 450 grain cast bullets out of it, the recoil was extensive to say the least.Not a pleasant bullet to shoot at all.:)

October 14, 2017
12:56 am
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Information duly noted!   I will only use the 300 gr. Barnes bullets in the ’86.  I have an early ‘thick frame’ 1885 that has a very fine (like new) 50EX barrel that is rifled for lead bullets. (very deep grooves).  I bought it because of the nice condition and the new Lyman 50-110 loading dies that came with it.  It has a Douglas barrel, 33 3/4″ long and 7/8″ across at the muzzle, plus a single set trigger.  Just so you will know, there is no serial number and it came with a Malcolm scope, vernier midrange and brass knife blade front.  This should do the job to test some loads.  Thanks for all your input.  Roger

October 17, 2017
3:10 am
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rogertherelic said
Thanks for the precaution advisement.  I am doing my best to be careful.  Checked the lead bullets that were purchased as being 300gr..  Glad I did!

They weigh 396.8 gr. to 397.9.  Then I checked the $95 “300 gr. Hollow Point” bullet mold I bought and found that the sample bullet weights 396.7.

I will load accordingly for the lead bullets and save the expensive jacketed 300 gr. Barnes bullets for later experimentation and take into consideration the age of the special order wood stock.  Haven’t had any elephants or other ‘Big Game’ on the block recently so no need for the W.H.V. shells at this time.

Roger  

Who made the $95 “300 gr. Hollow Point” bullet mold that your referring to?

Sincerely,

Maverick

October 18, 2017
3:27 pm
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“The best laid plans…….”

My wife also questioned my decision to shoot the ’86.  This immediately sent up a red flag!  Any time she questions my decisions, it has proven results that I should avoid continuing with the current direction of my actions!  So I reconsidered and  shooting the 107 year old deluxe “Big 50” ain’t gonna happen.  I will shoot the Frankenstein 50 some time soon.

The 50 cal. hollow point mold I bought, with the assumption that it was a 300 grain mold, is an Ideal mold marked 512 on the left, 128 on the right and 51 on the bottom.  I did find I paid a bit more than the $95 I stated.

Thanks to all who jumped in to help and offer information.  At least I have a clear conscience.

Roger

November 18, 2020
6:05 am
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Win-Mod-86-WHV.JPGImage Enlarger  My Model 1886, 151590, 50 Express WHV at 50 yards.  2,156 feet/sec.  I’ve never taken a photo of the rifle but it appeared on the cover of the WACA Journal over a year ago.  It’s the one with the straight grip and short magazine.  I’ve shot 5 rounds, the avg being 2135 ft/sec.  As loaded, it kicks like a Model 71 from a shooting bench.

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November 18, 2020
2:49 pm
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Bruce Koligian said
Win-Mod-86-WHV.JPGImage Enlarger  My Model 1886, 151590, 50 Express WHV at 50 yards.  2,156 feet/sec.  I’ve never taken a photo of the rifle but it appeared on the cover of the WACA Journal over a year ago.  It’s the one with the straight grip and short magazine.  I’ve shot 5 rounds, the avg being 2135 ft/sec.  As loaded, it kicks like a Model 71 from a shooting bench.  

Nice shooting!

Does this rifle have an “A” stamped behind the serial number ?

Bert

WACA 6571L, Historian & Board of Director Member
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