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Rifle Caliber Repeater Loads
  • Hi Guys,
    Why don't we use this area to discuss loads and loading, for our rifle caliber repeaters. I know that there are some 1876s, some 1886s, and 1895s out there right along with some Marlin 1895s and maybe even something unusual. Let's discuss them here, shall we?

    Doc
  • Only rifle repeater I have is my japchester '86 in .45-70.
    I load 14.5-15gn of Unique under a 420gn moly-coated bullet.
    LG
    Hav'n you along, is like lose'n 2 good men
  • I simply cannot go out and buy one of these right now......but I'm gonna have to.
  • My rifle caliber repeaters include the Browning 1886 that you guys saw me using that day, a high grade, Browning 1886 Carbine, and a Marlin 1895 CB in 38-55. I have a Marlin 336 in 30-30 but it is scoped for deer. I would like to get an original Model 94 in 30-30 or 38-55 someday but we will just have to wait and see about that.

    Doc
  • rusty said:

    I simply cannot go out and buy one of these right now......but I'm gonna have to.



    Maybe you should have not bought that new bow then-- :))
    LG
    Hav'n you along, is like lose'n 2 good men
  • I will have it ALL!
  • Is that after you buy Lori some Rugers, and bulk up your reloading supplies. :D
    LG
    Hav'n you along, is like lose'n 2 good men
  • A model 94 in 30-30 would work great and wouldn't cost as much as an 86 clone. Might be something to consider, Rusty.

    Doc
  • maybe. But it looks kinda like my 73. Would that also be a black powder load?
  • 30-30 ammo has always been sold as smokeless.
    You would be surprised how well your '73 would run with BP.
    That's what it was built for-
    LG
    Hav'n you along, is like lose'n 2 good men
  • I don't think that any body would confuse a "94" for a "73" Rusty. A pre 1964 "94" in 30-30 would never be a poor choice for what we are doing here. This cartridge, loaded with a heavy for caliber cast bullet, would be a great choice for 200 yard shots on steel. I have a Marlin 336 in 30-30 but it is scoped and I have never fired a cast bullet through it. I have some good data for it though! Gary is right, the 30-30 was America's first smokeless powder, commercial, sporting cartridge and the 30-40 Krag was the first smokeless military cartridge. Lay em side by side and they look like two sizes of the exact same design.

    Doc
  • Ok so if I wound up with a 30-30 it would definitely be smokeless then.
  • The 30-30 is hugely popular. I am sure that there is sufficient Black Powder data for loading it, if that's the way you want to go.

    Doc
  • Might be an issue finding lead bullets for the .30-30.
    LG
    Hav'n you along, is like lose'n 2 good men
  • I have a mold for 7.62 I haven't tried out yet, I wonder if it can possibly work in 30-30?
  • Midway USA has Meister Hard Cast 165 grainers. $55 for 500. They also have True Shot, gas checked 170s. Those are made by Oregon Trail. Oregon Trail also has 165s and 170s, no gas check, as well.

    Doc
  • I'm not sure if Rusty is expressing a desire to shoot both smokeless and black powder in what ever rifle caliber repeater he gets, but if he is, it is absolutely do-able. Just fill the case with BP until the bullet lightly compresses the charge and viola, as they say in Paris France, you got your BP load. There is no smokeless powder cartridge designed that can be overloaded with BP, the energy is just not there. You do want to maintain a very full case however as BP tends to explode rather than burn when left loose like that. Just remember Rusty, don't let the sunset on a dirty BP gun. Lumpy is correct when he says that the "73" was made for BP. That toggle action could never stand up to modern chamber pressures and the related bolt thrusts involved.

    Doc
  • I want a BP rifle like a 45-70 or 45-90. Then I can join that long conversation on the Side Match discussion!
  • Then stop buy'n bows & arrows- =))
    LG
    Hav'n you along, is like lose'n 2 good men
  • If it's to be a BP type of repeater that you are after, the 30-30 is out. You are pretty much looking at an "86" or a Marlin 1895. There is the 1876 Centennial Rifle that you could get in 45-60 chambering. That is just a shortened 45-70. You would be spending as much as on an "86" though.

    Doc
  • ....just bought another dozen arrows....
  • What happen to the others? :O
    Did ya loose'em---- :D
    LG
    Hav'n you along, is like lose'n 2 good men
  • don't laugh but I'm good (or bad) enough to split them now.
  • WOW! That's some awesome accuracy! Just Like Robin Hood!

    Doc
  • I'm a pretty good shot with a bow too. I hit either the ground or something on the ground nearly every time. I just can't seem to choose which...
  • and they never called you for the Katniss role?
  • I forgot to ask you at the match on Sunday, Rusty, did you make any headway toward getting yourself a rifle caliber repeater? Did you see anything on your recent travels that sparked your interest?

    Doc
  • I'm afraid to show him my '86 winny in .45-70 :))
    Probably need a couple of pry-bars to get it out of his hands. =))
    LG
    Hav'n you along, is like lose'n 2 good men
  • Saw a lot at the Cortez shoot. Fellows I shot with steering me like you guys. 30-30 to get started.
  • Good luck find'n lead, 30 cal flat nose bullets. ;)
    Look for a .45-70 lever-----
    LG
    Hav'n you along, is like lose'n 2 good men
  • Glad you found the bullets for 30 cal!!
    All you need is some LR primers and 3031 powder and your set.
    Henry's are heavy(like my '86)and only load from the front of the magazine like 22's do.
    They do stand behind there products.
    LG
    Hav'n you along, is like lose'n 2 good men
  • Well, at least you can rest confident that we aren't feeding you a big old line of bull! The reason I suggested it was because you were very cost conscious. A 94 in 30-30 would probably be the lowest cost way to get started in this area. That Marlin in 38-55 would be a nice way to go as well. She will forgive you eventually!

    My Best
    Doc
  • If I waited for forgiveness I wouldn't have any toys....
  • Are you leaning toward any one particular model? Finish level?

    Doc
  • I have a couple of 45-70 loads that I want to share with you guys for your education and entertainment.

    I have loaded Bear Creek's 405 grain moly lubed, cast bullets, with 40.3 grains of IMR-3031 seated to an overall length of 2.547. This load averaged 1402 over the chronograph making for very comfortable shooting from my "86" Rifle. I didn't test accuracy from a bench rest, but was able to keep ten for ten on an 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of paper shooting off hand, so I would say this load shoots good. I used a six-o-clock hold with the rear sight one notch down from the top so I could focus my vision on the bottom edge of the paper.

    I loaded 405 grain Laser Cast round nose flat points with 30.0 grains of Hodgdon H-4198, seated to an overall length of 2.525. This load averaged 1318 over the chronograph and were a pleasure to shoot. This load shot much cleaner than the load above, as far as combustion is concerned, but I don't want to take away from the efficiency of the moly coating on those Bear Creek bullets. The bore with those is smooth and easy to clean. This load cleaned up easily as well, as one would expect for a 1300fps load, with no leading of any kind. Same type of accuracy, off hand at 100 yards, I was able to keep ten for ten on a sheet of paper but had to use the top notch with the six-o-clock hold to compensate for the lower velocity.

    About this time in my 45-70 shooting, cast bullets that is, I got an "86" Carbine. These 405 grain loads push back a good bit more in this lighter gun so I switched to 350 grain bullets. More to come on loads for those.

    Stay Tuned
    Doc
  • Here are a couple of good 350 grain loads for the 45-70, that I have been shooting from both my "86" Rifle and Carbine.

    I have loaded 350 grain Laser Cast bullets over 35.0 grains of Hodgdon's H-4198, seated to an overall length of 2.525". All of my loads use Winchester Large Rifle Primers and I am using Starline brass. This load gives and average velocity of 1518 out of the twenty six inch rifle barrel of my Browning "86". This load is a fun one to shoot but gives the first hints of leading after a hundred rounds. It also kicks a bit much in the carbine after a hundred rounds so I backed it off a bit the next time I loaded up a batch.

    I loaded the same 350 grain Laser Cast bullets over 32.5 grains of H-4198 and kept the OAL the same as before. While I have not had the opportunity to chronograph this load as of yet, I can tell you that it shoots very comfortably from my "86" carbine and my rifle. I have never tested this, or any of my 45-70 loads from a bench rest, but accuracy seems good for informal shooting pleasures with either of these 350 grainer loads. The leading is gone, and after 100 rounds, either gun cleans up just fine. I believe that this will be my "go to load" for these two repeaters. I hope that you guys are able to use and enjoy this information and I look forward to seeing what it is you load for your rifle caliber repeaters.

    My Best
    Doc
  • So I should find a Ballard style rifling cuz I want to shoot BP?
  • Ballard is a better choice with BP use.
    LG
    Hav'n you along, is like lose'n 2 good men
  • I got the opportunity to do some loading for rifle caliber repeaters this past Sunday. I loaded up a hundred pieces of the 350 grain Laser Casts over 32.5 grains of H-4198, for the 45-70 repeaters. I hope to chronograph this load before I shoot them all up like the last couple of hundred. The loading went really smooth and I am confident that they will perform well. After I had finished those, I loaded up a hundred pieces of 38-55 Winchester. I loaded them all with the Bear Creek, Moly Coated, 255 grainers. Over 24.0 grains of H-4198 and loaded to an OAL of 2.510, these babies chronograph at an average of 1451 from my Marlin Cowboy Rifle. I didn't like the way the seating operation went though. Even though I had the case mouths flared to a s big a diameter as the seating die would allow, I still experienced some scraping of the coating on every round as I seated the bullets. I don't remember having any of this problem while loading the gas checked, 265 grain, Cast Performance bullets but those puppies are heat treated and probably a good bit harder than the Bear Creek bullets. I imagine I can check the expander plug diameter and see what that looks like but I think that I will wait until I load these again, as I am still working my way through the first loading of this cartridge's brass. Maybe once they have been forced out in diameter to the chamber size, resizing might leave them slightly larger than they were the first time I sized them as they seemed to be running fairly small and went into the sizer somewhat easily.

    All My Best
    Doc
  • Doc-Are your .38-55 bullets RN or FN?
    IF they're FN. What is the profile of the seat'n punch?
    You want it flat.......
    LG
    Hav'n you along, is like lose'n 2 good men
  • The seater punch matches the profile of the bullets pretty well so I don't think that is the problem. The bullets are a Round Nose Flat Point design, for both the Bear Creek Molly and the Cast Performance Gas Checked pieces.

    Doc
  • Put the seater in a lathe and turn it down till only the flat section of the seater touches the top of your bullet.
    Your seater (as it's profiled now) is 'cocking' the bullet in the mouth of the case to one side. That's what could be causing the lead shave'n.
    Also-expand the case mouth till it's a snug fit in the seating die.
    I hope you seat and crimp in 2 separate operations. ;)

    LG
    Hav'n you along, is like lose'n 2 good men
  • I am expanding the case mouth to the max that will fit into the seating die, but I will check to see if the bullets that I am using truly fit seater profile. On this cartridge, I have been seating and crimping in one operation. I will split that into two operations to see if that helps. Maybe I will get a separate crimp die, like a Lee Factory Crimp Die. Thanks for the advice.

    My Best
    Doc
  • I would first split the seat and crimp into 2 operations, and see what that does.
    Are you annealing the case mouth? You should be.......
    LG
    Hav'n you along, is like lose'n 2 good men
  • I just picked up a Lee Factory Crimp Die at the Lancaster Gun Show. The next time I load this caliber, I will be separating my seat and crimp operations, just like I do for 45-70. Since the bullets are .380 diameter, I might need to make a slightly larger diameter expander plug as well. I will measure its O.D. to see what it is now.

    My Best
    Doc
  • You may want to anneal the case mouth, to reduce the chance of cracks from work hardening.
    LG
    Hav'n you along, is like lose'n 2 good men
  • Been reloading straight wall and bottle neck cartridges for a very long time and have never had a need to anneal a case. I don't do high velocity loads, just work them up for accuracy. I have brass with well over 30 reloads on them.

    I have seen a few splits but less than a dozen in my lifetime.

    Whatever works do it, but I'm unconvinced annealing is needed for hobby shooting.
  • Case mouth annealing is very common among serious, precision BPCR and long range smokeless rifle shooters. It's done to uniform neck tension so the bullet 'releases' the same from case to case. When you resize your case, you are work hardening the case mouth area. Even more so when a crimp is used.
    Several companies make machines just for this. Bench Source is about the best.
    http://www.bench-source.com/id81.html

    I do my anneal'n by hand, as I've done for the last 40+ yrs, using a battery powder'd screwdriver and a special holder. A standard LPG torch and a darkened room allows me to 'read' the color change of the case mouth.
    Depending on the size of case. It takes about 3-6 seconds in the flame. You do NOT want the metal to turn red in the flame. If this happens, the case is junk.
    I then place the case on a cooling rack with a small fan going. There's no reason to water quench non-ferrous metal, as the heat alone softens the metal.
    For the casual 'plinker'. I agree that anneal'n may not serve any purpose-BUT, to the serious long range rifle shooter, it's vital.
    LG
    Hav'n you along, is like lose'n 2 good men
  • Case mouth annealing is very common among serious, precision BPCR and long range smokeless rifle shooters


    That perfectly describes non-hobby shooters in my mind.

    Serious shooters do all sorts of things that are nearly useless to casual hobbyist who still have to work for a living.

    I see no need for an annealing system for someone who is beginning to shoot long distance in a casual setting at very long periods of time between such outings.

    Again, whatever works for you, do it.

    For me, it's not necessary at this time. For Doc, he's a big boy and can choose for himself as well.

    By all means keep the info flowing, it's all good information to make choices on and I for one especially appreciate any info you share.
  • BUTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT-We need to help Doc spend HIS money :D
    BTW-Yul think anneal'n ain't necessary, till you see what it does to shrink groups even at as close as 200 yds.
    BTW- I start'd anneal'n when I was rais'n a family and later as a single father rais'n 2 teenage kids. Don't understand your 'still working' remark.........
    LG
    Hav'n you along, is like lose'n 2 good men
  • I wonder how tight my hand gun groups will get if I anneal my 38 brass? I just need the groups to be within a 16" circle @ 7 yds.
  • If I can't hit a steel target at 200 yards I'm positive annealing isn't going to be the cure LOL.

    As for spending Docs money, I agree, it's far better to spend someone else's and more desirable too!!! LOL.

    The "still working" remark is plain and simple Lumpy. I (personally) could not afford to buy such equipment (or even guns) while I was working and raising my family. I (personally) got into reloading because I could not afford brand new ammo to shoot the one pistol and one rifle I was able to buy by saving over a period of time. I (personally) didn't make a lot of money raising by family and only after getting back into school later in life did my financial situation improve.

    I (personally) spent almost all my income on my children and my wife and my savings account. I am very happy for you that you did not have that same sort of situation. Really, I am.
  • My anneal'n stuff cost less than $10.00. ;)
    I didn't make allot either-Shoot'n was a family event and we all participated in it.
    Same as camping and Jeep'n..........
    Back to spend'n Doc's $$$$. :D
    LG
    Hav'n you along, is like lose'n 2 good men
  • A propane torch and thick gloves is cheap for shore.
    Agreed, Doc needs to spend his loot on one of them big ol wheel and fire contraptions (WINK).
  • Gloves?? Never use'em-I really don't need'em.
    The case rotates in a holder, spun by my electric screwdriver and I slide it into the cool'n rack.
    You'll have to stop by sometime, and I'll so you how I do it.
    LG
    Hav'n you along, is like lose'n 2 good men
  • Don't worry guys, I don't need the slightest bit of help spending my money. Just ask Montana Jewel! She'll tell you that I could "Gold Medal" in spending the bucks. I haven't had the opportunity to measure the O.D. of the expander plug, on my 38-55 dies yet but I'd be willing to bet that it is set up for .375 diameter bullets. I am shooting .379 diameter Bear Creek bullets and .380 diameter Cast Performance bullets. I will let you guys know what the expander diameter is once I measure it. I haven't looked into any annealing equipment as of yet, but I wouldn't mind having one of those two to four liter Ultrasonic Cleaners, with a built in heater. I have literally used the hell out of my jewelry sized unit and am ready to go big.

    My Best Regards
    Doc
  • Doc. the U/S cleaners really don't clean BP brass well. A wet tumbler with ceramic media makes the brass come out clean and shinny, both inside and out.
    Try to get the expander where it's .0015-.002 under bullet dia.
    The anneal thing is easy-It also goes along way with helping to get the correct/consistent neck tension.
    Dang good bullet supplier..
    http://www.bigskycastbullets.com/br38-55.html
    LG
    Hav'n you along, is like lose'n 2 good men
  • I have a nice 2 liter U/S cleaner that I really like. It works great on parts and on my short barrel revolver. I also drop my cylinders in and they come out great.

    I use about 1/3 teaspoon of Limi-shine dish washer conditioner and it does a great job. I used too much (about a tablespoon) and it took the bluing off of my Rossi double action revolver (ouch) and it messed up the bluing on my Marlin lever and sliding block (whatever you call it). But it cleaned everything up right nice! I backed off the amount of Lemi-shine and I've not had any more issues.

    I recommend getting a unit with a basket if possible. A friend got one without a basket and he wishes he got one.

    As for cleaning BP brass... it sucks. Gets them clean but they are still ugly. I agree with Lumpy on that one. I still use my vibratory tumbler with Lizard Litter media from the pet store. Much cheaper than brand name corn cob or Walnut media and a third the price.

    I'd like to try ceramic media and a rotary tumbler one day. I have the tumbler but not the media. I've heard good things about it.
  • Yeah, I would not be interested in one for brass cleaning, but if I had one big enough, with heat of course, to sink a 4 5/8" barreled revolver into, I'd use the heck out of it! Still aint measured the diameter of my expander plug as of yet, but I'll get around to it eventually.

    My Best
    Doc
  • Well, the long range extravaganza is over so, now it's time to talk about the guns and ammo used. I took my trusty Marlin 336CB in 38-55 and it got shot by a couple of fellas. The load was the Bear Creek Moly Coated bullet that we had been talking about, regarding the moly scraping off some, and performance was pretty good. This load chronographs with an average velocity of 1451FPS, and hits came pretty regularly at 200 yards on the buffalo and the range lollipop target. I finally measured the expander plug of my RCBS Cowboy Die Set for this caliber and found it to be .3775 in diameter. it is marked .379, so it is for bullets of that diameter, and the set contains another marked .375. Lumpy is probably right, that one solution here would be to anneal the case mouths, but before I invest in that laborious task, I am going to try another brand of bullet. Midway USA has a couple of other choices that use more traditional lubricant. Other than the small moly scraping problem, I like this load a lot.

    My Best
    Doc
  • Good info Doc.
    I've never used the moly coated bullets myself but I've been reading about them.
  • Bear Creek Moly Coat is all that Ima and I use in rifle/pistol, SASS ammo.
    I really like them for when I run BP, SASS loads.
    I also use a moly 420gn bullet, in 'lite' loads for my Winny '86, in .45-70.
    LG
    Hav'n you along, is like lose'n 2 good men
  • Doc. I'll bet, you know somedangbody that could make you a .380 dia expander plug. ;)
    Hav'n you along, is like lose'n 2 good men
  • Thought I would give a quick status update on the long range write up. Well my computer is dead...dead. All of my editing software is on this one computer. So I need to buy another and then go through the pain of setting up the dev environment. PITA. But I will be out of state for a couple of weeks so it will have to wait until I get back.
  • That SUCS-Will you bring that 'puter as a target for the next shoot them? :D
    LG
    Hav'n you along, is like lose'n 2 good men
  • That reminds me of a digital phone book that my Dad gave me, some years ago. The batteries went dead and I lost more than half my friends! I hope it all works out for the best Rusty.

    Doc

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