Overworking cases during sizing

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Overworking cases during sizing

Postby jmoore » Tue Oct 11, 2016 3:16 am

Got a fair amount of cases (Starline .32-20 and RP .25-20) with DaveC's .25-20 Contender, along with several dies (RCBS seater, Lee full length sizing die and Factory Crimp Die, Redding neck sizer) and a selection of jacketed and cast bullets.

Most of the cases were already loaded, so I commenced to learning the combo a bit, thus generating empty cases to refill.

Pleasant pistol to shoot with cast bullets!

But sizing the empties? Nightmarish! The Lee die sized the necks less, but could only do about 1/3 the length before it started sizing the body as well. The Redding neck sizing die reduced the neck's ID to about 0.244-6". Almost 6mm size! And that was with the thinner walled Starline 32-20 brass.

The expander button (only one in the whole kit) measures 0.256" which isn't ideal for cast bullets at 0.258-0.259"

So....

Found a carbide reamer and opened up the Redding die to 0.268" and honed it to 0.270". Much better! Neck IDs now about 0.253" before the expander ball. Could have gone a wee bit bigger, but leaving a little room in case some very thin walled brass comes along.

Turned down a couple of Lyman 0.263" (6,5mm) expander plugs to 0.257" and 0.258" for cast bullet use but had to make an adapter for the Redding die. Here's hoping it'll increase accuracy and case life, as brass doesn't exactly litter the countryside.

:)
Last edited by jmoore on Sat Oct 15, 2016 6:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Overworking cases during sizing

Postby Richard Pickering » Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:45 am

Jonathan, keep notes on your path to success. Someone may need this information later. RP
I have served as assistant match director, Southern Silhouette club, 1980s. Also, the Griffin Gun Club for Silhouette during the 1990s, to about 2005. For a short period I authored the ''Cast Bullet'' section of The IHMSA News. Joined IHMSA March 1979.
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Re: Overworking cases during sizing

Postby jmoore » Sat Oct 15, 2016 6:36 pm

Much easier sizing the empties now! And the Magnus 85gr cast bullets can be seated about to the rear lube groove by thumb pressure. final seating on the press no longer tends to shave lead with which Dave was having dramas using the smaller expander. Still using his seating depth of 1.645" even though at barrel closure the nose gets rifling engraved and the front driving band gets a ring from full engagement with the grooves. Pushes the bullet in about 0.020" but haven't yet had a problem removing live rounds....We'll see!

Loaded some cast bullet test rounds using both Dave's data and info from an article by Glen Fryxell from the LASC site. IMR4227 and 4198.

Did a SWAG and also loaded some rounds using a bit more Reloder7 than 4198. Almost fills the case to the base of the seated bullet, so high hopes.

Wondering if SR4759 wouldn't do well, but can't find ANY info! Not that I have an unlimited supply, there is enough to run in these small cases for quite a while!

Scoped the TC for upcoming testing but it only required removing the Palma sight with the Lipsky adaptor off the odd Ken Light modded (I think) Weaver base. But as finned up as those Magnus bullets are at the base, it may be non=productive for accuracy testing. At least until I get the gear to do my own casting/sizing etc. There's 600+ Magnus bullets on hand, though!

BTW, doing this as sort of a free form diary, per RP's suggestion. Less apt to forget odd details than waiting for definitive results.
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Re: Overworking cases during sizing

Postby jmoore » Sat Oct 22, 2016 12:54 am

First tests at 50 yards of the .25-20 cast bullet loads went surprisingly well, given the nasty looking projectiles! IMR4198 was probably the best, Somewhat more recoil than the IMR4227 but less tendency to lead at the throat and less powder position sensitivity, I think. Both shot ten shot groups only about 1 1/2" wide and 3-4 inches high. Did ten rounds standing using the 4x rifle scope without drama except for I still haven't quite sorted out how to actually shoot the thing! (A looong running bother with TCs.)

The Reloder7 load, on the other hand, REMOVED lead from previous shooting, but was much less accurate. Also the most "recoil-y". Not terrible, just somewhat disappointing. May tweak the load up and down a bit to see if that helps. Guessing down is the likely way to go. I would prefer up, though, to get the case full!

Dave's HS6 loads weren't working out well enough to shoot them past 25 yards, and had one bullet about go sideways even at that distance. Lots of throat leading, too. No wonder he had switched to jacketed bullets!

OT, but how do y'all deal with all of the misfires with TC's? Safety block didn't drop or something quite a few times, resulting in barely dented primers. All went off after cycling the action again. Given that the gun has to be closed multiple times to fully seat the round, it's not excess headspace, and I always cycled it until it shut easily. (Generally three times opening and closing) Shaking it appeared to help after cocking the hammer, yet it seems there ought to be a better way!


Whilst on overworking cases, also did some .45 Colt loads which only required thumb pressure to seat the 200gr HiTek coated cast bullets 90-100% deep. They shot very well, indeed, using wildly different loads of Universal and IMR4198 powders which turned out to have to the same 50yd POI! Best part is that the Hornady sizing die and a flaring die were all that were needed to recondition the cannulered cases. No expander used. Once the cannelure is flattened out from repeated firings, we'll have to mod the reloading procedure, however, these cases are on their third cycle without drama.
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Re: Overworking cases during sizing

Postby Richard Pickering » Sat Oct 22, 2016 8:10 pm

Jonathan does it close easily on empty cases ? If it does; are the bullets out too far or does it still close easily ? When you close it on an empty or a dummy round, can you watch the transfer bar drop as you trip the trigger holding the hammer ? Do you check each case ? If the rim to shoulder is correct, are the necks too long ?
I have served as assistant match director, Southern Silhouette club, 1980s. Also, the Griffin Gun Club for Silhouette during the 1990s, to about 2005. For a short period I authored the ''Cast Bullet'' section of The IHMSA News. Joined IHMSA March 1979.
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Re: Overworking cases during sizing

Postby hammer47 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:53 pm

Use bushing dies and throw the expander ball away.... all is solved.
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Re: Overworking cases during sizing

Postby 260 Striker » Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:11 pm

Your action is not completely closing so the safety bar is not dropping fully down thus the light primer hits. Take a piece of 1/4" rod, if metal wrap with masking tape, and drop down barrel against the breech face. Make a mark even with the muzzle. Then take one of your cast bullets and drop into the chamber and "lightly" tap the bullet so it won't fall out. Then "gently" insert the rod again, same end in first, until it makes contact with the bullet nose. Make another mark. Measure between the two marks and you have your maximum cartridge length. Subtract about .020 from that and try that as your seating depth. When you gently tapped the bullet into the chamber that seated the bullet against the rifling so subtracting .020 will still get you very close to the rifling but will allow the gun to close and the safety to drop every time. TCs are very sensitive to long seated bullets. Some work OK and some won't. I always go for 100% ignition and don't like hard closing TCs. Don't know if you where shooting your 45 Colt loads out of a TC but if you were I bet they went off 100% of the time.
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Re: Overworking cases during sizing

Postby jmoore » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:27 am

The .45 Colt loads were for S&W revolvers.

I had failures to fire with .22s in one TC frame. Probably the one that the 25-20 was on. But the 25-20 went on to be moderately successful in matches after this initial work up was done.

OT, but I have yet to beat my .44 S&W 629-6 FPAS scores with either the .25-20 or a .22 Hornet. The only thing else besides the .44 that has gotten over 30/40 was the .45 Colt S&W 625-7! I don't know why exactly, except that the revolver feels more comfortable in the hand. TCs always seem to be a fight. Especially whilst restricted to production grips!
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