Friday, June 15, 2007

.45-75 winchester Updated, Again

Well, I've got 23 cases ready to final trim to 1.88" and with which to do load development work. I've really learned a lot in the preparation and fire-forming of these cases. I've gone ahead and counted out enough .348 Win cases to make a full 50 and formed those. Unfortunately, I lost 4 cases to split case mouths. On these cases I neither annealed nor dipped the case mouths in powdered graphite to lube the cases over the expander plugs. This is my current process.

1 - Start with .348 Winchester unfired brass.
2 - Run .348 case just far enough into .348 Win sizing die to round out the case mouth.
3 - Chamfer case mouth
4 - Dip case mouth in powdered graphite (lubricates inside of case neck)
5 - Expand in .38-55 (.375) expander.
6 - Expand in .444 (.429) expander.
7 - Expand in .45-70 (.458) expander.
8 - Full length size in .45-75 sizing die.
9 - Trim to 1.90"
10 - Load with fireforming load (in fact, any smokeless load can be used without modification for this purpose, BP or Pyrodex loads must be modified to work with the unformed case capacity).
11 - Fire
12 - Clean, size, expand in .45-75 dies and
13 - Trim to 1.88"
14 - Load and shoot to taste.

It is likely that some lots of .348 Win brass will require annealing. I've not run into that, yet, but I've a couple of hundred cases to make.

While my rifle will apparently use, just, cartridges loaded to an overall length of 2.306" a shorter overall length of 2.25" is likely better to ensure functioning. I've found that either the Sierra 300 gr. JHP or Hornady 300 gr. JHP are usable and loadable at this length in the 1.88" cases. This is useful info for those without access to suitable cast bullets. However, they do not feed easily through the action. If one has nothing else or is willing to single load them, they will work. Otherwise, look for the correct bullets. Mt. Baldy Bullets has the Lyman 457122 for sale...

I'm really looking forward to loading the Lyman 457122 HP cast bullet. It seems to me that this will be the best all around bullet for this rifle. Now, I've got no grizzly bears with which to "interact", so, my performance demands aren't too difficult. I've no idea which powder to use and will likely try several. One goal is to reach original velocities with black powder, Pyrodex and smokeless powders. I'm waiting to see if I'm going to use mostly BP or not.

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