I have a 1915 (SN#154210) M1886 Deluxe Takedown in .33WCF that I’d really like to take out to the range. I currently reload for a bunch of calibers (.308, .45LC, .44-40, 30-30, 45-70, etc) and reform my own brass from .308 to .358 for my Browning BLR so I am comfortable with that process.
I plan to turn some 45-70 brass into 33 WCF and I’m curious if any of you that load 33 WCF are willing to share your tips and/or load data? I know RCBS has resizing dies specifically for 33 WCF, and others use an intermediate die for a two-stage process. I’ve seen some guys go to 38-56 and then to 33 WCF and use Hornady FTX projectiles. I’d love to hear from some of your experience.
Thanks in advance,
WACA Member. CFM Member. NRA Lifer.
Nice gun Great choice . extremely easy to make from abundant high Quality 45-70 brass from many makers ,with my RCBS 45-70 to 33 Win. form dies. I think 38-56 (possibly many other intermediate dies would be just as good too)
My friend does this with regularity having a huge assortment of dies and years of practice he never has to spend on form dies and he often has helped me make brass out of something else. Actually he doesnt like shooting anything with available proper headstamped brass, as its too boring
I didnt need neck turning or any other cumbersome steps. I like this cal and have been thinking about it with the discussion on mod 71
Im sure 38-56 would be perfect but if you suspect you have access to other suitable intermediate dies , specify what you can get cheap, and I can ask him
In the past I had a .33 Winchester Model 86.Use to just take .45-70 brass and put it through the .33 Winchester die.It worked ,but I use to lose some cases as it is a big difference between the 45 and 33 calibre bullet.An intermediate die ,I believe would help a lot in preventing the case loss.After trimming the reformed case I was ready to go.
I started out with two boxes of custom ammunition with cases made from 45-70 brass. I’ve managed to accumulate enough REM and WRA 33WCF cases and probably reloaded those 45-70 cases once or twice and put them away somewhere. If you can ever get a later box of 33 “shooter” ammo, you might get a lot of mileage out of the cases.
I’ve had really good luck with the Hornady Third Edition loads for 33WCF with IMR 4064 and the 200 grain FP. I would imagine their FTX bullet could give good accuracy and would carry pretty good. I also have found that the cases seem to last very well, in fact I can’t remember any problems or very much case stretching with my well-used rifle, I hope you have the same result with your rifle and handloads. It is a fun cartridge paired with a great rifle. Another solid frame 33WCF 1886 in high condition is on my want list someday.
All set with your 38-56 dies
Thought this is funny that , Clyde Williamson in Winchester lever legacy pg 176 recounts how he formed 33 brass from 45-70 without intermediate die but broke his reloading bench with the force. Also in book an impressive hunting story profiling the power of this cal
(I broke my bench apart trying to swage dia. of jacketed bullets down .002)
for longer lasting brass may as well back off 33 FLS die to suit your chamber. I dont have my re-loading data here, but seem to recall that reduced loads with 4198 gave me great results from the beginning with not much work
Brad I recall you shot a Big Buck with your 33
Decent size deer Phil, rack…nothing huge. I’m not in it for the trophy antlers however, I just want to shoot a decent buck when I have the chance and the experience is more meaningful to me.
I was talking on the phone to one of my friends in WACA awhile back about the Model 1895 and he asked me if I had Williamson’s book. “Oh yes”, I said and I went on for awhile about the chapter on Teddy Roosevelt and Winchester and some other things about the history of Winchester and when I finished yapping for a few minutes he says… “I meant Clyde Williamson”. A box showed up in the mailbox a few days later, really a great gift–especially in the middle of winter.
I’m not sure that I’m interested in trying out some of his loads for my own 33 WCF, but it is a fun book to read!
Good point his loads intended for max hunting power are hot. I have never used this book for load data either and for the 33 , I never got any where near the amount of 4198 (35 gr) that he lists ( I think I was more around 25 gr) I find you can really reduce with 4198 generally and still get good ignition and accuracy . I dont want to endorse any hot loads
As I said , I had good luck using 45-70 brass with my RCBS form dies but my friend added this comment which makes sense,if you can get this brass (smaller neck dia)
” Starline 40-65 might be easier to form than 45-70. I ran some into a 38-56 die and
they looked quite good. “
Two things I’ve learned when resizing a larger case down to a smaller one:
- A 50-50 mix of lanolin and castor oil, both available at your local drug store is a superb lube to use when downsizing brass. Just a light coat, however, to avoid ripples in your re-formed brass. This lube is amazing; it is much better than the Hornady lube I usually use for regular sizing.
- It can be helpful to first anneal the brass before downsizing, to make it less brittle. It is also a good idea to anneal after the downsizing, to undo the work hardening that occurs during the downsizing.
The 40-65 would be better to use than the 45-70 brass.
Thanks. I’ve never tried lanolin/castor oil but I have been using exclusively a mix of lanolin and iso-heet fuel additive. The iso-heet evaporates fast and leaves just enough lube and I’ve never had a problem with ripples.
I anneal before resizing but I’ve never done so after.
WACA Member. CFM Member. NRA Lifer.
September 19, 2014
Some really good info has already been brought out here on the subject. I will add that I have shot a .33 Win quite a bit over the last 20 years or so in our silhouette competitions. Generally I use reformed .45-70 brass due to its ready availability. Yes, in reforming I do lose a certain amount to creases in the neck region. Of those, many will still hold up to several firings before the crease becomes a crack. I use those for “fun” shooting, but have seen little of any detectible loss of accuracy–it just works on my mind though. I have yet to find a fool proof technique. Some things that help are to use fresh brass and ensure the necks are perfectly concentric to begin with. Once fired brass tends to be a little more brittle and has a higher failure rate (I have thought about annealing but have yet to actually do so. It can not hurt). I then have tried taking the necks down in stages with a .40 caliber die, then the .38 caliber die, then finally the .33 die. Some times it works better, then other times the moon is in the wrong phase and going with the .33 die from the word “go” seems to work about as well, and is quicker. I definitely use a lube (made by my friend for resizing) other than the normal case lube. Get going with the program as the .33 is a lot of fun to shoot!
I tend to believe that no good deed goes unpunished. Without knowing the person who will do the reloading, etc, I tend to not give out specific data. I did that once and the fellow followed my recipe to the “T”, and when detonations occurred it was obviously my fault. Then we found out, he did it exactly, except for this minor change, then that one, etc. Anyway, I go old school with IMR 3031. Been using it for many, many years. I am thinking of changing, but have experience with the 3031 and am getting too old to change! I did change to the Hornady flex tip 200 grain bullets. That is enough change for this decade. I load to achieve about a 2200 fps velocity to help assure the rams and buffalo silhouettes go down when hit. By the way, even at 100 yards a poor hit with the old flat tip bullet can ring the ram without it going down! The pointed bullets tend to get there with a little more remaining energy and so far take the ram each time it is hit. The non-quantifiable part is “where” the bullets hit.
Good luck, good shooting, and enjoy the rifle and the caliber!
Thanks Tim, and everyone.
I completely understand sharing the specifics of loading data, and there are plenty of publications (I think I have all of the current ones, not to mention a collection of about 50 old manuals in pdf form that are fun and informative) so there’s no shortage there. But I do really appreciate the tips and suggestions. When starting a new load the choices are sometimes so vast that there is nothing that can replace a little experience. I have quite a bit of 3031 in the garage so your experience with that, Tim, is encouraging.
Not to mention that the round trip to the range and back from here in Los Angeles is a couple of hours so it’s nice to make some informed decisions before loading up and heading out to test.
Thanks again everybody.
WACA Member. CFM Member. NRA Lifer.
September 22, 2011
It would be nice , but sometimes its fun to do something a little different ,
and this is an Extremely easy conversion with the special form dies (RCBS brand ) I have that were made for forming 33’s from 45-70 ‘s .
I never annealed or did any other steps other than trim . Brass has lasted many firings, never lost any in converting operation or firing . Ive used plentiful Starline, Win , and Rem , 45-70 new and once fired cases. Correct amount and placement of Imperial die Wax lube probably helped
and I suspect that 38-56 dies used as the intermediate die , instead of the form dies ,would be equally effective.
making some casings such as 40-82 from 45-90 was more trouble , including lots of neck turning, so in other instances it is better to let someone else make the brass for you and just buy off the shelf if available
February 27, 2005
Jamison does offer 33WCF brass.
Rapid taper, standard taper, extra heavy. All 45 caliber.
Just found my 1886 rifle CB FM standard barrel 33 data sheet from last outing Nov 9 2013 , tang and ft sight target sights round apertures
30. 0 gr H4198 Hornady 200 gr Soft point CCi Mag primers
300 Meters , 8 shot , 6 inch group
also show with incomplete details
24 gr 5744 with GC cast (dont have bullet # info ) CCI mag primer
28.5 H4198 200 gr Hornady flextip CCI mag
32.5 H4895 200 gr Hornady Flextip CCi mag