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reloading 38-40 wcf
March 22, 2014
12:20 pm
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December 12, 2011
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im trying to reload 38-40 wcf for my 1892.i have cast bullets from my original winchester mold.problem is there is no crimp groove so the bullets get pushed into the brass when loaded into the magazine tube.some one told me the 40 grains of black powder compressed in the case prevented this.black powder is a mess to shot and i would like to avoid it.i was wondering what other people are doing with a bullet without a crimp groove.i was thinking of trying tail boss powder filled case to prevent the bullet from sinking in.any ideas would be great.

March 24, 2014
4:18 pm
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South Texas
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If your looking to add a crimp groove to your bullets you will have to invest in a cannelure machine to create the groove in the bullet. Just looking on the internet there are a few options.

http://www.corbins.com/hct-1.htm may have what your looking for. Your other option is to purchase bullets with the crimp groove, there are many out there to choose from.

DSC_0245-Copy-3.JPG1892takedown @sbcglobal.net ......NRA Endowment Life Member.....WACA Member

March 24, 2014
4:54 pm
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Without a crimp groove, it is hard to crimp the bullet hard enough on the 38-40 to keep the bullet in place because the brass is so thin around the neck. I use RCBS 40-180-CFM mould for my 38-40's and it works perfectly for both the Model 1873 and Model 1892.

Model-53-brighter.jpg

Winchester Model 53 circa 1929

Old lever action Winchesters, corn fields in the fall, cedar rail fences, Ringnecked Pheasants rising out of a fence row, the smell of woodsmoke, and a Whitetail buck framed in the semi-buckhorn sights of a 38-55 ... ahhh yes.

March 25, 2014
7:17 pm
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win1906
What Tool or Tools are you using to reload the cartridge?

Maverick

March 26, 2014
1:28 pm
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Win1906,

Here are a few options based on my experience.

Lee Factory Crimp Die
After seating the bullet, the Lee Factory Crimp Die will push into the mouth of the case from the side and will form a crimp groove into the bullet.

See the .44-40 bullet on the right (same profile as a .38-40 bullet) which was pulled from a .44-40 cartridge after using the Lee FCD. Note the crimp groove that the die made
.
44-40bullets.jpgImage Enlarger

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/618362/lee-factory-crimp-die-38-40-wcf?cm_vc=ProductFinding

Use a slow burning powder
I would suggest not using a capacity load of Trail Boss. A capacity of Reloader 7 would be a much better.

use a slow burnng powder + PSB
Use about 18 grs. of 4227 + PSB (Polyethylene Shot Buffer) to fill in the space between the powder and the base of the bullet to support it. After placing the powder in the case, fill the rest of the case with PSB up to about 1/2-2/3 up the case neck. Seating the bullet will compress the PSB, keeping the powder and bullet in place.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/695248/bpi-shot-buffer-original-500cc-approximately-1-2-lb?cm_vc=ProductFinding

Have a machinist remove about .10" from the bottom of your sizing die
THat will allow the case neck to be longer to help keep the bullet in place.

w30wcf

March 27, 2014
5:05 am
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continued......

I did have .10" removed from the bottom of my sizing die and it worked well. I could then set the die to the neck length I wanted. Shorter for bullets with a crimp groove and longer for the Winchester and Winchester type bullets with no crimp groove.

For those, I sized the neck back about 1/16" below where the base of the bullet would be located.

Note the longer neck length on the Winchester brass....
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/1390379221/winchester-reloading-brass-38-40-wcf?cm_vc=ProductFinding

I have used the other methods I described and they worked well also.

Regarding black powder.....
It is not as dirty as most think, especially when using Olde Enysford or Swiss. Believe it or not, the bore cleans up just as fast as smokeless using just normal b.p. solvents. The only downside is that the cases have to be cleaned to remove the powder fouling. I use 50/50 white vinegar & water. Just soak the cases for a few minutes rinse and lay them out to dry.

Accuracy wise, it is pretty tough to beat the accuracy that can be produced by a compressed load of b.p. The capacity smokeless loads referenced above can come close.

44-40shots31-40a.jpgImage Enlarger

w30wcf

July 29, 2014
8:00 pm
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This is really the long way around the horn on this. Dump that mould and get one with a crimping groove. It is easier than all the other things you would try and don't be filling that case with Trail Boss...

August 5, 2014
4:06 pm
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I use the RCBS .40-180-CM bullet mould. It gave excellent accuracy in both my Model 1892 and two different original Model 1873's. The crimp groove is placed such that it fed through my '73s without any issues at all.
http://smg.photobucket.com/user/3855Win/media/38-40-bullets.jpg.html

38-40-bullets.jpgImage Enlarger

Model-53-brighter.jpg

Winchester Model 53 circa 1929

Old lever action Winchesters, corn fields in the fall, cedar rail fences, Ringnecked Pheasants rising out of a fence row, the smell of woodsmoke, and a Whitetail buck framed in the semi-buckhorn sights of a 38-55 ... ahhh yes.

August 5, 2014
5:30 pm
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Ontario Canada
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Kirk nice looking cartridges in a great old caliber , and good input John !

Phil

Phils-Schuetzen-compressed.jpg 

March 20, 2017
2:45 am
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Gale M
Guests

This is an old string but just in case anyone still has the same question about bullets and crimp grooves, here's the answer.  A Model 1892 will handle a cartridge longer than 1.59". It has no problem cycling cartridges with either the original Winchester mold or the Lyman 401043 bullet, crimped in the top grease groove.  

 

On on the other hand cartridges must be no longer than 1.6" to cycle in an1873, so the proper length is critical. 

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