Belted Cartridges


March 17, 2005, 04:01 PM
what exactly are belted cartridges. I know what a belt fed automatic weapon is . But i was reading in marlins catalog about the 450 marlin cartridge and it states that "marlin and hornady developed a potent .45 caliber belted cartridge that is an upgrade of the classic 45/70 gov't." then it goes on to state that the 450 marlin is the most powerfull cartridge offered in a marlin lever action rifle.

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March 17, 2005, 04:04 PM
I don't know specifically, but I think what's being refered to is an external ring around the base of the ctg..hence the name "Belted". Probably the same concept as Wheatherby magnum ctg's.

March 17, 2005, 04:28 PM
AFAIK, the "belt" is just to keep it from being chambered in a regular 45-70 rifle, many of which cannot handle the higher pressure loads.

I think the idea was to make higher pressure loads available commercially, without endangering folks with old legacy 45-70 rifles.

March 17, 2005, 05:03 PM
Cartridges are head spaced [ actually to hold it against the breech face] in different ways. Rimmed [30-30 etc] where the rim holds it, rimless [45 acp] where the case head spaces on the mouth of the cartridge, bottle necked cartridge [308 Win] where the cartridge head spaces on the shoulder, and belted [7mmRem Mag] where the cartridge headspaces on the front of the belt. Originally used in the 375 H&H mag it made sense there since the shoulder is narrow and at a shallow angle.On things like the 7mm mag it is absolutely meaningless but became a fad and no one would buy a magnum unless it had a belted case.

March 17, 2005, 05:08 PM
A belted cartridge has a belt at the base. Belted calibres include .264 wm, 300 wm, 7mm mag, 338 wm etc - and they headspace on the belt.

Belted magnums were the 'in thing' with shooters for a long time in the late 70's and early 80's.

look at any rifle case - if it has a 'ring' or 'belt' of brass at the base - it's a belted case.

more complete information can be found in most reloading manuals

March 17, 2005, 05:10 PM
TallPine and mete have it down. On the Marlin, it's just to prevent the cartridge's use in inappropriate rifles. mete's explanation of the original use for a belt on the H&H magnums is spot on. Case heads on modern ammo are plenty strong, the belt on most cartridges is there to confirm the mangum image.

Jim K
March 17, 2005, 09:41 PM
Both TallPine and Mete are correct, but the belt also serves to strengthen the head of the cartridge at a point where it may be unsupported in some rifles.


March 17, 2005, 10:22 PM
Note that belted rifle cartridges headspace on the belt for the FIRST FIRING ONLY. If you reload a fired belted case using neck sizing only (without pushing shoulder back), the cases will henceforth headspace on the shoulder just like other rimless cases. This is because the shoulder is pushed forward by pressure on first firing and form fits itself to the chamber. I personally do NOT recommend pushing the shoulder back when reloading because the exaggerated metal movement is likely to cause the brass to fail much sooner than just using neck sizing only.

Good shooting and be safe.

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