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Range report: 1885 in 32-40
November 9, 2020
7:08 pm
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Chuck said

The correct way to seat a bullet is to know the exact length from the base of your cartridge to the exact point (ogive) your bullet touches the lands.  You will need a micrometer and a bullet comparator.  Once you know this measurement you can then worry about how much jump, seating depth, and the max OAL that will cycle through your gun. 

That's the scientific way to do it, but loading for bolt-actions & single-shots, I do nothing more complicated that seat a bullet out far enough that it won't quite chamber, then turn the seating die down little by little until the bullet is just faintly touched by the lands.  With a SS, actually, I usually seat the bullet fairly hard into the lands.  Lever-actions, I don't fuss with at all, just match factory specs.

November 9, 2020
8:28 pm
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clarence said

Chuck said
The correct way to seat a bullet is to know the exact length from the base of your cartridge to the exact point (ogive) your bullet touches the lands.  You will need a micrometer and a bullet comparator.  Once you know this measurement you can then worry about how much jump, seating depth, and the max OAL that will cycle through your gun. 

That's the scientific way to do it, but loading for bolt-actions & single-shots, I do nothing more complicated that seat a bullet out far enough that it won't quite chamber, then turn the seating die down little by little until the bullet is just faintly touched by the lands.  With a SS, actually, I usually seat the bullet fairly hard into the lands.  Lever-actions, I don't fuss with at all, just match factory specs.  

Your method is the jam method.  NEVER go any longer than this.  The one unknown with this method is you really don't know how much of the bullet is in the lands.  Too much can cause pressure issues.  I had to do something similar with my current bullet.  I pressed a bullet in that I knew was too long.  Chambered it and then measured it.  The problem I came up against was that only the boat tail portion of the bullet (very sleek target bullet) was in the case.  Rule of thumb is to have 1 bullet diameter of straight wall into the case.  Using the tools I have I can very accurately measure everything about case formation and the bullet jump.  If you are having grouping problems you can then start trying different seating depths/jump to see if this helps.  My rifle seems to like .020" off the point that the ogive of the bullet touches the lands.  I am not seated a full bullet diameter into the case but I can control my neck sizing length and tension to help hold the bullet.

November 9, 2020
9:27 pm
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Chuck, The bore slugs .318" at the muzzle but the problem is the other end. I checked and it's not one of the "Extra Steel" barrels that had this known issue.
A .321" diameter bullet hits the lands at 3.550" from the end of the case mouth
.322" diameter bullet hits the lands at 2.077"
.323" diameter bullet hits the lands at .709"
All I did was use a wire rod through an unprimed case to push the bullet forward and then measured the distance, added the length to the land marks on the bullet and subtracted case length.  But to be honest I've had rum and bourbon since then so the details are sketchy.  Very unscientific, I know, but worked in this instance to figure out what diameter I needed to size the bullets to. I think I may work on this one some more this winter but I have a 25-35 that needs attention too. hmmm.

Technically, the glass is always full; half liquid, half air....

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November 10, 2020
2:56 am
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I use a comparator and dial caliper for spitzer bullets but custom mould makers have a better solution for lead bullets. If you’re very familiar with you rifle’s bore and chamber they can help you make a lead bullet that truly fits your rifle. Given your land diameter they can design the bullet nose with a “bore riding” section that lightly engages the lands of the bore when the round is chambered, sometimes the first driving band is the same diameter. The other driving bands are generally .001” over groove diameter but can be more or less. The bullet can also be designed to place the base of the bullet at the bottom of the neck or seated as deeply in the case as you desire while still placing the bore riding section into the grooves. This works best with rifles chambered with relatively short leades. There is also some mojo involved in front-to-rear balance. You can also specify gas checks or plain base and the computer aided design software can even adjust the lube volume of the grooves and the width of the driving bands. 

Probably a bit more than you want to know about lead bullet design but that’s just the basics. Alloys, lubes, gas checks, mould material and casting temps are just a few more things that keep casting interesting. Some guys still paper patch and some even powder coat their bullets in just about any color you desire. I even cast hollow points now and then.

 

Mike

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November 10, 2020
3:08 am
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One cool thing about comparators is once you know the “comparator” length for a given rifle you can change bullets without having to start over determining the seating depth. 

 

Mike

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November 11, 2020
8:54 pm
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TXGunNut said
One cool thing about comparators is once you know the “comparator” length for a given rifle you can change bullets without having to start over determining the seating depth. 

 

Mike  

When you change bullets the ogive of the new bullet may or may not hit the lands exactly the same as the old bullet.  So, I'd measure the jump with the new bullet.

November 12, 2020
1:56 am
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Chuck said

When you change bullets the ogive of the new bullet may or may not hit the lands exactly the same as the old bullet.  So, I'd measure the jump with the new bullet.  

I bet that’s true, Chuck, I only tried it extensively on one rifle. I tried several 30-06 bullets and it was pretty close, wound up going back to the original bullet though. I figure it was better than starting over again. IIRC they were mostly Hornady and maybe some Remington bullets. The ogive of the Hornady bullets other than the SST’s were all very similar but I think the Remington bullets had different profiles. I tried a lot of stuff to make that rifle work, probably at least three or four powders and even some Federal match primers. Lost track of how many different load variations but my notes and load details filled about ten pages. Even tried some factory loads. Winchester(FN) ended up replacing the rifle, an early Super Grade redux and then repairing the replacement rifle under warranty. If the rifle hadn’t been a gift I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have bothered.

 

Mike

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November 15, 2020
1:44 am
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Update:

The 1885’s bore slugged .315 lands/.321-.3215 grooves. I think the .320 bullets from the old Winchester mould should have worked a bit better but they may have been too hard to obturate at that low pressure. I have some 20-1 alloy but I think I’ll wipe that mould down and set it aside for display. 

Loaded up more of the Accurate 322170A bullets over 16.5 grains of 5744, a slight increase over the original load. Verified the seating depth. Applied a very slight crimp to help fireform the undersize cases. We’ll see.

 

Mike

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November 15, 2020
5:58 pm
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TXGunNut said
Update:

The 1885’s bore slugged .315 lands/.321-.3215 grooves. I think the .320 bullets from the old Winchester mould should have worked a bit better but they may have been too hard to obturate at that low pressure. I have some 20-1 alloy but I think I’ll wipe that mould down and set it aside for display. 

Loaded up more of the Accurate 322170A bullets over 16.5 grains of 5744, a slight increase over the original load. Verified the seating depth. Applied a very slight crimp to help fireform the undersize cases. We’ll see.

 

Mike  

Mike, if your barrel slugs out at .3215"  I'd be shooting .323" bullets at the smallest.  I've been taught to use .001" larger than the groove diameter.   I have a caliper that goes to the ten thousands too.  The only digit is a .0005".  So if it reads .0005" it means it is at least a .0005" or greater but less than .001". I tend to not use this number.  Most calipers, including the Mititoyo that I have, are only accurate to +/- .001" anyway. 

Doesn't Lee make a device that can squish the bullet to increase the diameter?  If you go this route and you don't have a Lee press you have to change the bushing on your press to accept their lock type dies.  I'm currently waiting on the parts for my press to turn .452" bullet to .445".

November 16, 2020
3:45 am
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Well, it is just a dial caliper but it was pretty certain it liked the space between .321 and .322. My caliper at work is like yours with the .0005 value but it’s a digital caliper and that’s pretty useless for big truck and driveline parts. I suppose I could swage the Winchester bullets but I haven’t seen dies for that. Not sure how that would work without deforming the nose. Only bullets I mash are OO buckshot and I use them for slugging .30 and .32 bores. The Accurate bullets are sized at .323 but I’d like to get away from gas checks. I’m having some misgivings over that because my 38-55 likes gas checks and the velocities are very close. I’m thinking pretty seriously about having a tapered bullet mould made but I’m still mulling over nose shape and bullet weight as well as the gas check. What do you think, Chuck? 

Rifle likes the slightly faster load, wind was a bit tricky and I wasn’t very happy with the loose nut behind the butt. It was a beautiful day and I got to shoot some skeet with some youngsters on the way out. It’s great to see kids at the club.

All pics are turned 90 degrees for some reason. Not sure where the high fliers are coming from but it’s probably the guy writing this post.

 

Mike

3FFEAD18-8A6E-407E-83C8-AAAC2D5BF7E5.jpegImage EnlargerC70346A2-7068-4EE0-88B1-6D28173A191F.jpegImage Enlarger292E983A-60D6-400B-BFC9-2935B79FA420.jpegImage Enlarger

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November 16, 2020
6:52 pm
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TXGunNut said
Well, it is just a dial caliper but it was pretty certain it liked the space between .321 and .322. My caliper at work is like yours with the .0005 value but it’s a digital caliper and that’s pretty useless for big truck and driveline parts. I suppose I could swage the Winchester bullets but I haven’t seen dies for that. Not sure how that would work without deforming the nose. Only bullets I mash are OO buckshot and I use them for slugging .30 and .32 bores. The Accurate bullets are sized at .323 but I’d like to get away from gas checks. I’m having some misgivings over that because my 38-55 likes gas checks and the velocities are very close. I’m thinking pretty seriously about having a tapered bullet mould made but I’m still mulling over nose shape and bullet weight as well as the gas check. What do you think, Chuck? 

Rifle likes the slightly faster load, wind was a bit tricky and I wasn’t very happy with the loose nut behind the butt. It was a beautiful day and I got to shoot some skeet with some youngsters on the way out. It’s great to see kids at the club.

All pics are turned 90 degrees for some reason. Not sure where the high fliers are coming from but it’s probably the guy writing this post.

 

Mike

3FFEAD18-8A6E-407E-83C8-AAAC2D5BF7E5.jpegImage EnlargerC70346A2-7068-4EE0-88B1-6D28173A191F.jpegImage Enlarger292E983A-60D6-400B-BFC9-2935B79FA420.jpegImage Enlarger  

Mike those are pretty good groups. I have no experience with gas checks.  Since you are shooting a single shot you can do what you wish with the nose of the bullet and if, where or how much you want to crimp. I shoot a lot with no crimp and not always is the case mouth inline with the bullet groove where you would normally seat/crimp the bullet.  If you see excess powder blowing back on your case you need to crimp. Try doing what Clarence said.  Load a bullet too far out and chamber it and let the gun seat the bullet.  This is a simple way of getting the length of your chamber.  Measure this length from the base of the case to the tip of the bullet and try seating the bullet at least .030" inches shorter.  Then .020" and .010" and see if this makes a difference. 

Here is what Lee makes to reduce the diameter of a cast bullet.  I had to order one of these, the die kit and a bushing to adapt it to my regular press.

https://leeprecision.com/bullet-szr-punch-.323.html

I read somewhere on their site how you can do the reverse and expand the diameter but I can't find it right now??

November 17, 2020
2:06 am
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Thanks, Chuck, but I’m pretty sure the rifle can do better. May need to get a little trigger time in with my Winder Musket. I use Lee sizing dies for cast bullets that have the shallow “tumble lube” grooves or even conventional lube grooves. It’s a quick and easy way to lube and size a lot of bullets. Lee Liquid Alox is a pretty amazing bullet lube.

 

I’ve already established maximum length with the bullet I’m using. I haven’t tried backing them off in awhile but I know it sometimes works. I try not to use a crimp in a rifle like this but sometimes a light crimp reduces or eliminates vertical stringing. 

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November 17, 2020
3:03 am
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TXGunNut said
 I try not to use a crimp in a rifle like this but sometimes a light crimp reduces or eliminates vertical stringing.   

The crimp increases pressure, but before I did that, I'd use a faster burning powder. 

November 19, 2020
2:35 am
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It’s a very light crimp, Clarence, little more than straightening out the flare I use the ease the bullet past the case mouth. I hadn’t really thought about it that way, though. Next faster powders I keep on the shelf are a small amount of 296 and some 2400. I don’t think 296 is well suited to this cartridge but I have used 2400 in reduced 30WCF and 30-06 loads. OTOH a heavier bullet may match up better with the 5744’s pressure curve and one mould I’m considering drops a 200 grain bullet.

I’m getting ahead of myself, I just fire formed the cases and haven’t had a chance to trim the cases to uniform length. I need more data and trigger time. I really like this load and I think it will do very well with minor tweaking and a better effort on my part. Winder Musket is definitely going along on the next trip!

 

Mike

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