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Loading .33 WCF from 45/70
May 21, 2016
11:38 pm
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Hey guys,

I know it's been awhile, but life got in the way and I am just getting around to making up some .33 Win rounds.

I actually had no issues resizing directly from 45-70 to .33 Win in one step with a Lee .33 Win die and just the right amount of case lube (I find resizing is sort of like making pancakes - the first couple are never perfect but then things smooth out and you get the hang of it and it gets much easier). 

The question I have is that I am trying to use the Hornady 200gr FTX bullet for which there is load data in the Hornady Manual (9th edition). When I size and trim my cases to the recommended 2.095" length and then seat the projectile to C.O.L. 2.690", the cannelure is about .130" below the edge of the case mouth and the case mouth seems to extend too far past the start of the ogive (bullet has the appearance of being seated too low to my eye).

I always start by creating a dummy round by resizing and trimming if necessary, then cutting a slot in the neck of an unprimed case with the Dremel and seating a bullet long. Then I chamber the dummy and usually the bullet will slide back into the case and I can see the slight imprint of the lands in the (this case) copper jacket and get an idea of what the jump would be to the lands inside the chamber. With this bullet, the jump seems pretty long and this projectile can sit pretty proud of the cannelure even without getting pushed back.

At Max C.O.L. (2.690") my bullet looks to me like it's wearing a turtleneck. Anyone use the FTX and have any opinions? Not sure what I might be doing wrong, is I am at all.

Thanks,

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Steve 

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May 22, 2016
11:40 am
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RCBS sells a form die set for 45-70 to .33 WCF....I've used it for years and it simplifies things....

May 22, 2016
1:01 pm
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  When I was loading for the .33 Winchester I used IMR 3031 power and the old Hornady flat point bullet.I understand that Hornady no longer offers this bullet.Too bad as it worked well in the tube magazine Model 1886.

May 23, 2016
10:39 pm
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I have not tried the flex tip bullet before and do not have a late edition Hornady manual.  Maybe verify again that the COL is supposed to be 2.69 with that particular bullet.  Obviously the cannelure is not too useful if that is the where it has to be.  Have you tried seating a dummy round to the cannelure and crimping it, then testing through the entire action to see if it will function and not jam the bullet up into the rifling?  I would be interested to know if the dummy round will cycle through without problems in the event I ever want to try the bullet (or anyone else too).

DSCN1870edited-4.jpgImage Enlarger

Above, left to right: Buffalo Arms 200 grain fp, WRA 200 grain fp bullet and a factory loaded WRA 33 WIN. with that same bullet.  You can see the cannelure locations are different, perhaps due to the shape of the bullets.  Omark Industries/RCBS cartridge drawings published in Williamson's Lever Gun Legacy book show a COL of 2.770/2.795 for the 33 WCF.  The WRA cartridge pictured has a COL of approximately 2.770.  I use the Buffalo Arms bullet, which was advertised as a continuation of the discontinued Hornady 200 grain fp.  I use the Hornady data and seat that bullet to approximately 2.69, which lines up with the cannelure and allows a good crimp.  It is accurate enough for me and functions properly.

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Regards

Brad Dunbar

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May 25, 2016
11:47 am
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I have used the  200 gr Hornady flextip with about 30 gr 4198 in an 86  33 with good accuracy results, however shooting single shot, I never crimp any cartridge so bullet neck tension is very important , controlled by my large selection of custom made 'M' die mandrels , and out of target shooting habit ,  I seat bullets to touch lands or close so also cant use mag tube and feed

(sorry I know this makes info useless for hunters)

also seating bullets out reduces pressure by increasing capacity

I meant to get back to the annealing discussion but never did, but not crimping and not FLS ing ( I dont neck size only, I partial size ,useing  FLS die backed off to suit my chamber ) is the reason Ive never needed to anneal

So the only info Im giving ,  is that if you find a way to add correct feed length COL crimp groove to the  bullet (some guys do this on lathe set-up) , or the Lee Factory crimp die will work for you , the bullet has good potential

Phil

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May 25, 2016
1:40 pm
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Phil,

Thats extremely helpful info. At least I know I'm not crazy when I try to seat to touch the lands and can't feed. Also, you reminded me that somewhere in the garage I have a Lee factory crimp die so I will continue my quest to shoot my '86.

 

Steve

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May 25, 2016
10:05 pm
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Would either one of you gentlemen know, or have you checked, what the longest COL is with that bullet that will feed and cycle through the action?

Thanks,

Brad

Regards

Brad Dunbar

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May 25, 2016
10:54 pm
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Hedly,

The Hornady (9th) manual states C.O.L. is 2.690 specifically with their flextip bullet. I don't have it with me, but I believe the C.O.L. specified in the Lee Die Manual is something like 2.795. I attributed the Hornady data to be specific for their cartridge. 

s-l1600.jpgImage Enlarger

Looking at the photo you posted (thanks) the cannelure on the Hornady 200 gr bullet is more akin to your WRA example as far as the position relative to the length of the projectile. If it was where the Buffalo bullet is, it would probably sit about at the neck when seated as specified. The flextip is much "pointier" than the old FP and has less tangential flat at the start of the ogive than the FP bullet and thus less "meat" outside the cartridge making it appear as if it is set too deep.

As Phil pointed out, if I seat the flextip bullet so that it touches or is just off the lands (which is usually what I like to do) it is too far out to feed due to the steeper pitch of the ogive (of the Spitzer as opposed to FP). So the choice seems to be to either accept a significant jump in the chamber or single-feed.

Or maybe I should try to find a .33 Win mold and learn to cast - someplace I haven't gone yet but would like to learn.

Thanks all.

 

Steve

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May 27, 2016
9:35 am
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Brad I haven't cycled a cartridge through an action in many years , but without crimping concern ,I used to see what the the longest length I could get away with by starting at the book COL and increasing my length by about .020 at a time till bullet was dragging or touching on the way up , then reduce length for some clearance

As I recall most published COL are safely short by about .050 maybe more. Bullet configuration was not too big of a variance factor as it is really the Length being the stopping factor.   But there is a big diff in contour with the Flex tip and you may get by with a longer COL for it

Restricted by feed length COL , due to the shape of the Flex-tip it will be off the lands further than any other configuration as Steve has noted above

Unless you are adding a new crimping  cannelure to the bullet , if you want to crimp you are limited in length, and even if the bullet was intended for that cartridge , crimping ,  you will probably end up a little shorter than the published COL

This will always give a jump to the lands that accuracy wise is certainly irrelevant in hunting conditions, but I know you and others are inclined to experiment in target conditions. As I recall most properly configured bullet ( cartridge specific ) with correct crimping cannelure ,   had a jump of about .150

Our problem with liking old cartridges and guns , is the discontinued manufacture  of the old jacketed cartridge specific bullets we have used , leading to searching around more , or seeking out many options of caliber specific cast bullets with correct crimp groove, but a new game in finding the right one that will do well in Your gun (sometimes a challenge)

Phil

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May 27, 2016
12:57 pm
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Unless you are adding a new crimping  cannelure to the bullet , if you want to crimp you are limited in length, and even if the bullet was intended for that cartridge , crimping ,  you will probably end up a little shorter than the published COL

^^This is what I'm getting at and why I was curious about the longest functioning COL.  I took a glance at the 338 Marlin Express cartridge that apparently was developed with Hornady and resulted in that 200 grain .338 flex tip bullet.  I know very little about that specific cartridge beyond reading a couple of articles.  I guess the cannelure that is on the flex-tip bullet is meant for the 338 Marlin Express?  Could a cannelure be added to that bullet that would allow a crimped cartridge to run through a Model 1886?  You never know when all of a sudden there are no jacketed bullets for 33 WCF except for that Hornady flex-tip bullet, provided they still make it.  There was a pile of them for sale at a local gun store awhile back.

Brad

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Brad Dunbar

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May 28, 2016
5:14 pm
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I would buy some 338 flex tips while available because it could happen that slow selling caliber s will not be manufactured going forward

I have good accuracy with it , and I think the flex tip will be fine in tube mag so advantages there . Driven at intended velocity should be a good flat shooting accurate and effective hunting bullet (or target ) especially at the longer ranges

at COL I think the bullet will be full dia at the end of the neck so a cannelure could be added by a good lathe man who would set a stop locator in the set up to do 200 at a time

at your calculated dimension 

no experience with Lee factory crimp die , but friends say they work if set properly to force a slight indent and crimp in it . Watch for neck dia bulge with exessive crimp

for curiosity try a few un crimped , at your max COL. that will feed thru action,  with tight neck tension, single shot , and test suitability for your gun

Phil

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May 29, 2016
3:47 pm
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Folks,

   I shoot the .33 WCF a fair amount at metallic silhouettes.  All the cartridges I shoot in that sort of venue are single loaded, so have but limited experience to add for the hunters who wish to have cartridges in their magazines.  I will say that I have shot the flex tip bullet and appreciate its better ballistic coefficient when shooting at 200 and 300 yards.  I had remembered cycling a few through my 1886 Lightweight with the crimp in the cannelure on the bullet, but just tried some I have on hand and ready to go and the cartridge hangs up when trying to push it into the magazine tube, etc.  Not sure why.  Once I back the magazine tube out slightly (yes, it is a take down which makes experimenting less adventurous) the cartridge then feeds just fine.  The overall length is 2.836.  I take it this is a case similar to the .45-90 and 50 Express where the length is such it won't barely quite "turn the corner" to load into the magazine tube reliably.  However, as said it will feed just fine if I back the magazine tube out a couple of turns which allows it to feed into the tube and out in a straight fashion.  The length does not preclude lifting up to the chamber and chambering just as slick as the flat nosed bullets.  I DO retain what I hope is a lifetime supply of the old Hornady flat nosed bullets which I acquired many years ago when I found they were discontinued.  Back then Hornady would sell direct, unlike today!

  Good luck to you shooting the .33, and I hope this helps at least some!

Tim Tomlinson

April 3, 2018
2:47 am
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LtCol Ridge Marriott
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Interesting subject on the 1886 in 33 WCF. I have a couple of these fine rifles in nickel steel for the smokeless ammunition

available in the early 1900s. Mine are a rapid taper takedown version and a Deluxe special order with checking and 2/3 magazine-pistol grip stock.

They are superbly balanced rifles. They were also strong. Forget any comments to the contrary. Harold Johnson in Alaska originally used 

1886 late rifles to develop his 450 Alaskans, as they required less internal action work than the Model 71s. 

            For headstamped brass-try Quality Cartridge in Hollywood, MD.  For re-forming: try 40-65 brass (Midway)  and 348 resizer for intermediate steps.

Do Not skip the annealing step. Use the candle method on necks-annealed when the rim is too hot to hold any longer.  Then clean.

Hawk Bullets still make the 200 gr FP bullets-the best all round since Hornady ceased their 200 gr FP. For serious work-try the 338 210 gr by Nosler.

The light weight rapid taper half magazine 86s are a joy to carry. Winchester removed a bit of wood under the buttplate-which were hard rubber.

Good place to put a $10 bill in the old days. (To buy a box of 33 WCF). They are as light as a 94 carbine for carrying-and more effective.

 

Ben Lilly, the famous Govt. and bounty hunter in NM-AZ carried an 1886 in 33 WCF with his dogs after mountain lion and the last grizzlies in the Southwest in the early 1900s-including Mexico.

Much to the chagrin of Aldo Leopold

April 3, 2018
5:07 am
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Please consider adding your 33 WCF caliber Model 1886 rifles to the research survey.

Bert

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April 3, 2018
4:01 pm
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LtCol Ridge Marriott
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Bert H. said
Please consider adding your 33 WCF caliber Model 1886 rifles to the research survey.
Bert  

Bert: 

John Madl near Sault Ste. Marie, MI. is a friend and we compare 1886 notes. I think John is doing an article for the WACA Newsletter.

I need to renew my WACA membership, as I have been gone awhile.

 

I would be happy to add my 4 smokeless 1886 rifles to the research survey. Also own an 1885 in 45-60WCF and more than my share

of Model 71s.

 

Let me know the requisite procedure required.

 

Thanks.

 

Ridge Marriott

April 3, 2018
4:33 pm
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Hello Ridge.

Please contact me at Win1885@msn.com and I will send you a list of the information desired for each survey.

Bert

WACA 6571L, Historian & Board of Director Member
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