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loading for the 40-72 Winchester
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February 18, 2024 - 6:21 pm
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I’ve noticed recently that quite a few folks are searching for 40-72 Winchester dies including myself. The lead time on ordering these is close to ridiculous. I came across an article where a fellow stated he used 405 Winchester dies to load for the 40-72. I located a new set of Hornady 405 dies on Ebay for a paltry sum of $45 so I thought I would give them a try. They worked perfectly fine with one exception, that being I can’t achieve proper neck tension with a jacketed 300 grain bullet in .406 diameter. Before I can get enough tension with a taper crimp the case will start to buckle. I am sure this is because of the .406 bullet VS. the .411 bullet the 405 Uses. I’ve got some .408 gas checked cast bullets arriving shortly and I am hoping the extra .002 diameter will be enough to achieve a proper neck tension. I did get in contact with Lee precision and have a factory crimp die coming for the 40-72 which will take care of the problem. They are special order but the cost is only $30 plus shipping with a 5-6 week lead time. So, there is a cost effective die solution out there for the 40-72. I will update this after I receive my cast bullets.

On another note, if anyone has smokeless loading data for the 40-72 other than what is published in “shooting lever guns of the old west” and cartridges of the world please share.

Erin

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February 18, 2024 - 9:15 pm
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Where is it buckling? The 405 neck diameter is .005″ (.436″) larger than the 40-72 (.431″) neck.  You need to slug your barrel and shoot bullets at least .001″ larger than the groove diameter. You need a way to squeeze the necks.  No easy fix that I know of.  Let’s say .407″ is what you need. You can make a hole in a piece of metal that is .002″ smaller in diameter that what you need.  Anneal the brass.  Push the necks into the hole until you reach where the end of bullets would be.  You may have to test what is the best hole size because the brass may expand some that’s why I said .002″ smaller.  Once you squeeze the neck take a measurement of the neck OD.  Seat a bullet and remeasure the neck.  You need at least .003″ difference or neck tension.

The 40-72 is a longer 40-65 so the same type of powder can be used but a smaller amount. The 40-72 bullet is heavier.

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February 18, 2024 - 10:28 pm
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Chuck,

Adjusting the seating die (designed for a tapered crimp) down in very small increments, trying to achieve neck tension leads to the case starting to buckle about 1/3 of the way down the body before neck tension is achieved.

The Lee factory crimp die (collet type) will alleviate this problem, it just adds an extra step.

My bore slugs at .406, the jacketed .406 dia. Hawk bullets should shoot just fine. The cast bullets I ordered are .408 dia.

Erin

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February 18, 2024 - 10:31 pm
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Erin,

Which specific flavor of smokeless powder are you intending to use?  If you have not settled on a specific powder yet, I recommend exploring 4198.  Start with 29-grains and work it up slowly from there to get your desired velocity & accuracy load.

Bert

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February 18, 2024 - 10:48 pm
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Erin Grivicich said
Chuck,

Adjusting the seating die (designed for a tapered crimp) down in very small increments, trying to achieve neck tension leads to the case starting to buckle about 1/3 of the way down the body before neck tension is achieved.

The Lee factory crimp die (collet type) will alleviate this problem, it just adds an extra step.

My bore slugs at .406, the jacketed .406 dia. Hawk bullets should shoot just fine. The cast bullets I ordered are .408 dia.

Erin

  

Sounds like your brass is too tight at the neck or the seating die is set too low. Did you run an expander of some type then chamfer and deburr?  What diameter is your expander?  You want the expander to be about .003″ smaller than the bullet diameter. When you seat the bullets, measuring from the base of case to the ogive of the bullet, sets your jump/leade from the lands.  The neck tension is done by the difference of your sized neck diameter and the size difference after the bullet is seated.  This is measured in .001″ of an inch.

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February 19, 2024 - 12:17 am
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Bert,

I was leaning towards IMR 3031, if it does not give the desired results I will give the 4198 a try.

Thanks for the tip!

Erin

Chuck,

Great point on the expander ball, the one in the 405 dies will be to large, I will pull the one out of my 401 dies and see what happens.

Best,

Erin 

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February 19, 2024 - 12:36 am
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Erin-

You may have some luck getting a custom neck sizing die and Lyman M case mouth expanding die. I believe Buffalo arms may be able to supply them for you.

 

Mike

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February 19, 2024 - 5:39 pm
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TXGunNut said
Erin-

You may have some luck getting a custom neck sizing die and Lyman M case mouth expanding die. I believe Buffalo arms may be able to supply them for you.

 

Mike

  

Mike that’s great info.  I didn’t realize that these were being made.  I have been making my own.  If I would buy one of these I’d buy the straight shaft.  I like the expander to be the same diameter all the way down the neck.  I’m assuming the variable ones get larger as you go farther into the neck?  I usually use expanders that are .002″ smaller than the bullet diameter.  If your bullets won’t stay in place during recoil go to a smaller diameter expander.

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February 19, 2024 - 5:56 pm
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Erin Grivicich said
Bert,

I was leaning towards IMR 3031, if it does not give the desired results I will give the 4198 a try.

Thanks for the tip!

Erin

Chuck,

Great point on the expander ball, the one in the 405 dies will be to large, I will pull the one out of my 401 dies and see what happens.

Best,

Erin 

  

Erin, I’ve seen mention of using 40 grains of 3031 with a 330 grain bullet.  I have no experience with this data.  I’d start low and work up.  If you don’t have a chronograph you’re just guessing. 4759 may be another choice but with this one you need to start much lower. Somewhere around 20 grains or lower?

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February 20, 2024 - 2:39 am
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Chuck said

TXGunNut said

Erin-

You may have some luck getting a custom neck sizing die and Lyman M case mouth expanding die. I believe Buffalo arms may be able to supply them for you.

 

Mike

  

Mike that’s great info.  I didn’t realize that these were being made.  I have been making my own.  If I would buy one of these I’d buy the straight shaft.  I like the expander to be the same diameter all the way down the neck.  I’m assuming the variable ones get larger as you go farther into the neck?  I usually use expanders that are .002″ smaller than the bullet diameter.  If your bullets won’t stay in place during recoil go to a smaller diameter expander.

  

Chuck-

The expanders I’ve bought from BACO are made to order, not variable. Probably very much like the ones you made. They fit in a standard Lyman expanding die. I’ve never ordered a custom neck sizing die as they’ve had the ones I wanted as stocking items. I haven’t bought one in awhile, I try to avoid the site as it has proven to be an expensive place to visit.

 

 

Mike

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February 20, 2024 - 6:14 pm
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TXGunNut said

Chuck-

The expanders I’ve bought from BACO are made to order, not variable. Probably very much like the ones you made. They fit in a standard Lyman expanding die. I’ve never ordered a custom neck sizing die as they’ve had the ones I wanted as stocking items. I haven’t bought one in awhile, I try to avoid the site as it has proven to be an expensive place to visit.

 

Mike

  

I think I need to get one of the Lyman dies and give these a test.  Sure would be a lot easier any maybe cheaper than what I have been doing.  I have a few for my modern guns but they aren’t available for most of our obsolete cartridges.  I use one of the modern dies and insert a pin gauge but once installed the pin gauge is not removable.  Here is what the modern ones look like and a 30 cal expander.

https://21stcenturyinnovation.com/buy-online/ols/products/expander-die-body

https://21stcenturyinnovation.com/buy-online/ols/products/ss-expander-mandrel/v/E30

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February 20, 2024 - 10:07 pm
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Chuck said

 

  

 

Erin, I’ve seen mention of using 40 grains of 3031 with a 330 grain bullet.  I have no experience with this data.  I’d start low and work up.  If you don’t have a chronograph you’re just guessing. 4759 may be another choice but with this one you need to start much lower. Somewhere around 20 grains or lower?

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Chuck, The 40 grains of 3031 load is listed in cartridges of the world. I am going to do a bit of old school with some BP also. I’ve got about 4lbs. of FFG to “burn up”

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February 21, 2024 - 1:54 am
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Chuck said

TXGunNut said

Chuck-

The expanders I’ve bought from BACO are made to order, not variable. Probably very much like the ones you made. They fit in a standard Lyman expanding die. I’ve never ordered a custom neck sizing die as they’ve had the ones I wanted as stocking items. I haven’t bought one in awhile, I try to avoid the site as it has proven to be an expensive place to visit.

 

Mike

  

I think I need to get one of the Lyman dies and give these a test.  Sure would be a lot easier any maybe cheaper than what I have been doing.  I have a few for my modern guns but they aren’t available for most of our obsolete cartridges.  I use one of the modern dies and insert a pin gauge but once installed the pin gauge is not removable.  Here is what the modern ones look like and a 30 cal expander.

https://21stcenturyinnovation.com/buy-online/ols/products/expander-die-body

https://21stcenturyinnovation.com/buy-online/ols/products/ss-expander-mandrel/v/E30

  

Chuck-

The Lyman M die is standard equipment for a bullet caster. As you know the standard 2-die bottleneck case rifle sets are made with jacketed bullets in mind and the included FL sizing die quite often leaves the case neck and often the case body somewhat undersized for a cast bullet shooter. We also need a bit of a bell to start a bullet. Erin can almost certainly make the expander for a M-die, quite possibly a neck sizing die as well. I don’t know how to address the need for a roll crimp.

 

Mike

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February 21, 2024 - 10:07 am
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I started going down the 21st Century equipment wormhole a few years ago.  But, when I received the expander and examined it, I realized I already had the tool I needed to reload all the calibers in my possession.  All I do is chamfer pin gauges to easily start into a case mouth and clamp them in a collet-style bullet puller and voila!  I find that .003″ under bullet diameter gives perfect interference (some call it neck tension but it’s not- it’s a slip fit) to keep bullets in place under recoil. Regardless, the interference is consistent and that’s what we want during reloading.  

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February 21, 2024 - 5:35 pm
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rwsem said
I started going down the 21st Century equipment wormhole a few years ago.  But, when I received the expander and examined it, I realized I already had the tool I needed to reload all the calibers in my possession.  All I do is chamfer pin gauges to easily start into a case mouth and clamp them in a collet-style bullet puller and voila!  I find that .003″ under bullet diameter gives perfect interference (some call it neck tension but it’s not- it’s a slip fit) to keep bullets in place under recoil. Regardless, the interference is consistent and that’s what we want during reloading.  

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That’s a good idea.  I have a bullet puller.  I need to order some more pin gauges and give it a try.

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