45-70 Crimping Question


February 7, 2014, 11:37 AM
I'm still playing with loads for my new 45-70. MEHavey was very gracious by sending me some 535gr Lyman postals to try and the most outstanding and detailed loading instructions one can imagine. Many thanks again kind Sir.
My question is about crimping the bullet. lI have some once fired( I'm sure because it was new until I fired it in my rifle) Starline brass. I've done nothing to it except wash with soap and water and deprime with a Lee universal depriming die in my hand held press and tumble. Now when I place a .459 sized cast bullet in the case mouth, I can easily slip it down inside the case. Even with the case full of powder, should I need to extract it from the barrel, it will surely remain stuck in the barrel and leave me with a brass and powder in my hand ( well maybe the wads will keep the powder in the case) assuming I want/need to run the bullet right up to the rifling. How do you guys handle that? Maybe I should adjust the seating die to give just a tad of crimp, but I think that would be a roll crimp and I've read that a taper crimp is needed if any. I'm not sure I'm comfortable under hunting conditions with a bullet that can fall out of the case if not handles ever so carefully. Are you guys able to be "ever so careful" in the heat of the moment? If so, do tell! P..S. Its interesting to note that a brand new Starline case with the mouth expanded juuusssst enough to accept the sized bullet will not allow finger pressure to slip the bullet on down into the case, but a once fired case offers very little resistance.

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February 7, 2014, 12:11 PM
For what it's worth, I size my BPCR cases, but with the die adjusted waaaaay out so
as to get just enough diameter reduction to get it under 0.459.

I admit that I then use a 0.459 expander/bell die to get it back up to "seating spec,"
and then to simply true up the sides with the seater while barely crimping enough
get a straight mouth. (But that requires a special-order expander.)

But Not To Worry #1: Most stock 45-70 dies have a .457 (or smaller) expander.
If you size "juuuuuust barely enough" that a flat base bullet won't easily enter, and
then use the expander die, only the case mouth bell comes into play and you can bell
the case for seating. Since the case is left snug the rest of the way down, the bullet
is reasonably retained by neck tension.

But Not To Worry #2: A lot of BCPR types just go w/ the slip fit, but slather the
bullet in lube to get enough friction to pass the "fixed ammunition" test at the competition
line (where the line judge holds the cartridge by the bullet -- and if the case falls off,
you're DQ'd.) :fire:

(I prefer method #1) ;)

Option #3: Just run the slip-fit case/bullet combo back into the sizing die (again adjusted
waaaaaaaay out) to where the case is just barely squeezed and retains the bullet

February 7, 2014, 12:44 PM
Have you not run the brass through the re-sizing die?

February 7, 2014, 12:58 PM
Method # 1 sound about right to me too. I had just about figured that out when you replied. I have the Lyman M die and expander so I can get back to the .459 with no problem. I have two things working against me now, just so ya'll won't think I'm the dumbest reloader around. One is Acute bronchitis, ( I've never seen a bronchitis so I don't know if its cute or not), and the other is the walking pnemonia that it has turned in to. Why its called walking I don't know cause I sure don't feel like walking anywhere. I do know the shots and meds make me feel drained and have slowed down my thinker a bit. Yes, I meant thinker. But Not To Worry#3 I won't be handling any of the dangerous parts of re-loading until my thinker starts working quicker and more reliably. Thanks a bunch Mike.

Willie Sutton
February 7, 2014, 01:08 PM
Guys, I'm an experienced reloader who knows nothing about black powder rifle casrtridge reloading, but who is in the research and study period before entering into BP rifle purchase, which brings forth the need (and desire) to reload. So this is just towards expanding my knowlage.

It seems that you guys barely neck size, never mind do full length sizing. Being an old varmit rifle reloader, I "get it" for accuracy reasons. is there any more or less need to do this with the old BP loads than there is with modern precision rifle reloads, or is it all just an extension of the same concentricity of cartridge/bore solution as we use in smokeless loading?



Don McDowell
February 7, 2014, 01:54 PM
If you're not going to resize, then the bullet needs to be big enough that it will be a tight slip fit into the case. Pedersoli chambers will require a bullet at .460 minimum to do this.Other wise there will be to much blowby and accuracy probably won't be much to talk about. You can crimp the case mouth enough to hold the bullet but that's probably not going to get you much for accuracy, and may cause some leading in the throat. Also be cautious with trying to stick the bullet in the case with lube, this won't do much but cause you lots of grief.
If resizing the cases then the best bet is to use a Lyman M die or similar expander to give the slightest tension on the bullet sides so that you don't disturb the sides of the bullet. Flaring the case mouth will be important so that you don't shave any or bugger the nice square edges of the bullet base. Then just using enough crimp to take the flare out of the case mouth.

February 7, 2014, 03:11 PM
Willie, I'm with you. Trying to learn all of this I can. Been reloading and casting for a lot of years and this is my first attempt at BPCR reloading. I've come to learn that just cause you are good at reloading with smokeless powder doesn't mean you don't have a lot to learn when it comes to the Holy Black. I have even been shooting flintlocks for years and still, this is all new to me when it comes to cramming in it a brass tube lol. Don and Mike above have been ever so patient with m questions and as I posted above, Mike sent me some bullets to try. Pictured ( I hope) is one of those bullets and a loaded round with one. The load worked out to 64.5 grains of Swiss 2F. The brass is once fired, washed and tumbled Starline and the primer is a Win Large Pistol. The bullet is sitting on two .030 veggie wads. The compression is .0200. Hopeful about Sunday, I can consider myself well enough to slip out to the range and see if I can hit a piece of paper with them. Dang...I never knew five days of "resting" could just wear a fellow out! Again, thanks to you guys for the support and help. Just proves what we all say, " There are no better folks to be found than those in our sport." Another question. With the alloy in this bullet being Lyman #2, will I cast a smaller diameter id I switch to say a 30:1? I don't think I want to go any smaller, but I do like a softer load for hunting.

February 7, 2014, 03:43 PM
Been at this BP cartridge shooting since I bought my first Roller 43 Spanish in Phoenix near 30 years ago. For me it was an eye opener also.
One thing I learned is that every barrel demands it's own set of factors to shoot the best it can. So do be versitile and ready to try most anything.
Some basics though.. Match the bullet diameter to the barrel. A soft 40-1 bullet will bump up. Even 20-1 with get fatter in the base if the bullet is heavy. But the better the bulet fits the throat the better start it will get in that fast journey down the barrel.
Good BP lube... there are many recipies but all the good ones use NO petrolium base liquids. Beeswax and all sorts of natural lubricants work well.

I never resize my cases full length. My brass is dedicated to a certain rifle-chamber. It is a perfect fit (some case heads are marked for specific orientation) and I want that perfect centered fit. Some of my cases have never been resized and do not get a bullet in them until at the range when I insert it on top of the wad/charge and it gets chambered.
Hunting loads are different. That is another story.

Do not overlook 3F as your propellant. My 50-95 groups half the size at 100 yards than I could get with 2F. But other rifles refuse to group 3F as well as 2F. Just another factor to experiment with.

Wads.. One rifle shoots best with one cereal box wad. Another likes one vegi wad. Another demands a lube cookie... Change bullet weight and nothing seems to be the same.

So in the end one rifle with various bullet weight and styles can end up being a book of information... but then that is the quest we enjoy. One day instead of just hitting a 12 inch gong at 300 yards you will see roundish groups you can near cover with the palm of your hand. Not all my BP cartrige rifles will do that. That 43 spanish Roller still eludes that accuracy but it will hit the gong when I can get the wiggles out of my body behind the cross sticks.
Mike in Peru

February 7, 2014, 09:47 PM
Even with my trapdoor and their notoriously sloppy chambers, my fired brass is a tight fit for the Ideal 457125 bullet as cast. If I size them to 458, the fit is still snug enough to hold the bullet in the case without crimping.

I have been using an Ideal double adjustable nut cracker in 45-90 to load my cases. That just barely crimps the 458 bullets but ever so slightly because a thin wall case could still have a loose bullet.

My Double adj Ideal tool for 50-70 Government does crimp the bullets quite tightly

February 7, 2014, 10:50 PM
I would not resize the fire-formed cases to start with. Just push the bullets in with your hand to the wad.. The more variables that you can remove from the process the better off you should be. If you later want to experiment with things like neck tension then you can. But it's my belief that you are just adding variables that don't need to be there.

I do thumb seat into the lands, so as you say, if I unload my rifle all I get is a case and powder...the bullet has to come out with a rod. ( I just shoot em out) I think seating to the lands is important because it provides consistency...Especially if you load with no neck tention.

Run-out is another variable that is reduced (if not removed) with the gentle thumb seat method.

For hunting bullets back your seater stem out all the way and just barely bump the crimp ring enough to hold the bullet in. You may still be able to twist the bullet, but it won't fall out.

If you need to add more crimp so that you can unload your rifle with out the bullet staying in your barrel I strongly suggest that you anneal your cases so that the crimp will "let go" easily as the gun fires.

If you use the 20:1 or 30:1 alloy don;t worry about undersized bullets...the powder column will bump the bullet up to the right size as the gun fires. Paul Mathews even went as far as having molds made in the .455 range because he saw better accuracy with the bumped-up bullet. I don't belive blow-by happens at the throat, because the softer alloy bumps to seal before the bullet even leaves the case...This is why annealing is so important if you resize your cases.

This may not hold true with Paper-Patch as I believe the paper may hold the bullet diameter just a little further down the barrel(?)

The oversized (.460etc) bullets can cause accuracy robbing fins to form on the back of the bullet where the rifleing engages and swages the bullet down.

The harder alloy (Lyman#2 etc) is just about nessesary for the money bullet type profiles...if you use a softer alloy with the Money you may as well just start with a Postel or Creedmoor because that is the profile it will have as it leaves the barrel.

One thing about lube...there is a reason we don't pour a bunch of beeswax, pariffin or other crap in our engines...When you rub two metals together it takes real "oil" to deal with high heat and pressure. I like to blow-tube...but when it gets real hot and dry I go to wiping...and Yep, I use a petrolium based Napa soluble oil mix for this too.:neener:

Here is a group I just shot with a slip fit Baco 520 money (M3) Very Cold Day!! LOL And yes this is a Petrolium based lube. I would have liked to put 10 shots into this group but I was freezing my tail off!:D

If you wipe instead of Blow tubing that first "clean-bore" shot will be a lot closer to the rest of the group.

Don McDowell
February 7, 2014, 11:49 PM
Wes some of the bullets Kurt has captured show some real signs of gas cutting.. it does happen, and it will leave a lot of lead in the throat.

February 7, 2014, 11:56 PM
Wes some of the bullets Kurt has captured show some real signs of gas cutting.. it does happen, and it will leave a lot of lead in the throat.
I saw a bunch of those pics Don...One of them was nearly folded in half!! But I can't produce it with the bullets I have recoved from my snow bank. Even using just a single wax paper wad and nothing else...

So why do you think we can shoot the undersized PP bore dia bullets without roasting the paper off at the throat? Do you think they are bumping/sealing in the case?

Don McDowell
February 8, 2014, 12:37 AM
All the bullets are bumped up in the case, the difference is with the patched there's usually extra wads, etc, and the paper should keep the lead from contacting the barrel.
When Dick Trenk was Pedersoli's US rep, he came up with the "victory" bullet (actually got it name from the outfit making the mould) but it's size was .460 to better fit the Pedersoli chamber.

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