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Winchester 1905 in 35 WSL --- HELP before Dec. 30!

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Gatofeo, Dec 24, 2005.

  1. Gatofeo

    Gatofeo Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Remote Utah desert
    My brother, God love him, gave me an early Christmas present: a Winchester Model 1905 semi-auto rifle in .35 Winchester Self Loading caliber.

    How do I disassemble it for transport in my hard-shell suitcase? I understand that all Winchester 1905s are takedown models. There's a heck of a button at the back of the receiver, apparently for takedown, but I have no references with me to look it up.
    I'm away from my Utah home, enjoying the sights and wonderful Southern cooking of Little Rock, Arkansas. No access to my books.
    In my internet searches, I learned that the November 1967 issue of the American Rifleman has an exploded drawing, and takedown directions for this rifle. Can anyone scan this in and send it to my email at gunbench@trilobyte.net?
    My hard-shell suitcase is large and would fit this rifle. Otherwise, I'll have to buy a rifle case to bring it back and I already have two at home that I hardly use.
    I fly out Dec. 30, 2005, next Friday! Any scanning or detailed description on how to break down this rife would be appreciated. I figure to wrap my dirty socks around it in my luggage .... NOW let some thief try to take that rifle! He'll pass out on opening the suitcase! :evil:

    Anyone reload for the .35 Winchester Self Loading cartridge?
    NOTE: This is not the .351 Winchester SL cartridge, but the one that preceded it and has less power.
    I ordered a few hundred jacketed bullets (.351 diameter, 180 gr.) from Old West Scrounger for $12.99 per 100. Oh, and that's not a misprint --- the .35WSL and .351 WSL use bullets of .351 inch diameter --- it's an oddball bore size and you cannot use .357 or .358 diameter bullets.
    This rifle is in wonderful condition: 95 percent blue, only a few light scratches on the wood, no drilling or tapping for non-factory items such as sights or sling swivels.

    It lacks its 5-shot magazine. Been all over the internet for the past few days but no luck. Will the .351 WSL magazine, made for the Winchester 1907 autoloader, fit the 1905 Winchester? Anyone know?
    Numich Arms is out. Can't find anyone who even makes a repro for the Winchester 1905. Ebay has nothing. Any ideas?
    If anyone out there loads for the Winchester 1905 autoloader in .35 Winchester Self Loading rifle cartridge, I'd sure appreciate your knowledge.
    RCBS and Redding make reloading dies for this caliber but it's quite a bit at $150 or more for a three-die set.
    One reference on the net said he uses .38 Super dies to resize the brass! Anyone have the dimensions on the .35 WSL? Is this possible?
    A few people on the net claim that you can take .351 brass and trim it back to .35 WSL length and the rest of the dimensions are fine.
    One guy claimed to SHOOT .38 Super ammo in his .35 Winchester Self Loading but I fear this: a bore of .351 with a .355 or .356 bullet rammed down it? Doesn't sound safe to me! :eek:

    Help me out, guys. How do I break down this rifle for easy transport in my suitcase? Of course, I'll declare it at the counter.
    Anyone out there with the November 1967 issue of the American Rifleman that can help?
  2. Onmilo

    Onmilo Mentor

    Jul 26, 2004
    Clear the weapon.
    Unscrew the knob at the back of the receiver and pull the upper receiver straight forward off the lower receiver.
    No other is diassembly is neccessary for transport.

    Magazines are not interchangable between the 1905 and the 1907.

    Magazines are not common for the 1905 and were supposed to be fitted to the individual gun at the factory.
    You can find one and have a gunsmith fit it up but it will take some doing and the magazine will probably cost you $100.00 to $125.00 plus the fitting charges.

    Your 1905 is in caliber 35 Winchester self loading cartridge, not the more powerful .351.
    Cases can be made from .38 special cases by full length sizing the .38 special case, inserting the case into a mandrel and turning the rim down on a drill press until it fits through a 13/32" hole in a drill guage plate.
    You then use a triangle file to turn an extractor groove in the base of the case above the rim using the reloading die shell holder as a guage.
    When the case fits the shellholder, you are done.
    RCBS still produces .35 Winchester die sets on special order, about $145.00 a set.
    You can also use a cheaper Carbide .38 Special die set if you exchange the case mouth expander plug for a 9mm Luger expander plug and use the RCBS #19 shellholder for the cases.
    A cheaper, yet still expensive, proposition is to order custom loaded cartridges from Dangerous Dave at Old Western Scrounger.
    HTH and happy holidays.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2005
  3. Gordon

    Gordon Mentor

    Dec 26, 2002
    central Kali.
    A very impressive post Onmilo!:)
  4. Onmilo

    Onmilo Mentor

    Jul 26, 2004
    I owned a Model 1907 in .351 and a Model 1910 in .401 Winchester at one point in my life.
    Interesting rifles but I still like the Reminton Model 8 in .35 Remington even better.
  5. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Senior Elder

    Dec 24, 2002
    Buffalo Arms has .35 WSL stuff.
    Brass $44 a hundred reformed from something else, and BA has a good reputation for their conversions, $23.99 for 20 Bertram which will have correct headstamp but might be a little rough.
    CH/4D dies $72.55 but I'd try it in .38 Special dies first. Cartridges of the World says .35 WSL head diameter is .378" and "neck" of .374" and .38/.57 is .379" straight. I think .38 Super (.384") dies would be too big to size it down, but a Super shellholder looks good for the .405" rim. And like Onmilo says, a 9mm expander plug or one turned down even more. You do NOT want bullet setback against the feed ramp.
    Load data
    CotW says
    180 gr JSP Factory Load = 1452 fps
    180 gr JSP + 13.5 gr IMR 4227 = 1440 fps
    180 gr JSP + 13.0 gr 2400 = 1430 fps

    Phil Sharpe said (about 65 years ago)
    180 gr JSP + 8.0 gr 2400 = 820 fps
    180 gr JSP + 10.0 gr 2400 = 1060 fps 20,300 psi (really CUP)
    180 gr JSP + 12.9 gr 2400 = 1420 fps 32,000 psi (really CUP)
    180 gr JSP + 10.5 gr 4227 = 1120 fps
    180 gr JSP + 13.5 gr 4227 = 1440 fps

    Hmm, wonder if Barnes didn't just fudge from Sharpe.
    Sharpe has loads with other powders, mostly discontinued but some loads with Unique. I'll post them if you want but think you'd be better off with the slower powders. Bear in mind that this is a blowback action and you need enough pressure to function but too much will hurt. And that current production 2400 is a bit faster than old, about a grain worth in .357 magnum from what I have read.

    CAUTION: This is all reference material, I do NOT have a .35 WSL to have tried it.

    Sorry, I haven't a clue where to find a magazine. Find out what one looks like and go through the boxes of odd old magazines at the gun shows for the next couple of years, maybe.
  6. Gatofeo

    Gatofeo Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Remote Utah desert
    Jim Watson, Onmilo:
    Many, many thanks for your information. It has helped me.

    While visiting my brother here in Little Rock, Arkansas I used his computer to search the web. Here's what I've found about the .35 Winchester Self Loading cartridge and my Winchester Model 1905 in particular.

    My rifle is NRA excellent condition, with probably 95 percent bluing and only a few minor scratches on the stock. No burred screw heads, nothing like that. Made in the first year of production: 1905. It has a serial number of 4XXX. I'm one lucky ol' desert cat! :evil:

    Information on the .35 Winchester Self Loading cartridge:

    Not the same as the .351 Winchester Self Loading (I already knew that) but .35 Winchester SL cases may be made from .351 WSL brass, simply by trimming them back. From what I've observed, .351 WSL cases and ammo are more readily available.
    I haven't been able to find the trim-to length for .35 WSL brass but I'm sure it's in my old Lyman reloading books at home.

    I tried to get into the Buffalo Arms site a few days ago but it was experiencing difficulties. I'll try again later. Jim Watson, many thanks for where to get the best deal on brass. I'd like to have about 200 cases, but only load 100 at a time. Later, when the loaded brass gets weak, I'll have fresh cases to fall back on. Having a reserve is always a good idea.

    Huntington has case forming dies to make .35 WSL from .357 Magnum brass. These are rather pricey dies so I think I'll just buy my brass from companies that custom-make it.

    Quality Cartridge at www.qual-cart.com has empty brass at $54.97 per 50
    GAD Custom Cartridge has empty cases at $10 per 20, formed from .357 brass, if I recall correctly.

    At the moment, proper bullets for the .35 WSL or .351 are not a problem. I think it can be, as the proper bullet is a 180 grain roundnose in .351 or .352 diameter --- hardly a common diameter.
    Old Western Scrounger has 100 full metal jacket or plated bullets at $12.99 per 100. I whipped out the plastic and ordered 700 plated bullets. They should be waiting for me when I get home.

    www.customcastbullets.com offers 500 cast bullets for $50, which is a good price. They are produced in the proper Lyman 350319 mould and weigh about 180 grains. I have NO idea what alloy they're cast from or the Brinell Hardness. I know that with autoloaders, you almost always need a hard bullet to withstand the slam-bang of loading without deforming the bullet.
    The Custom Cast Bullets are presumably lubed and gas-checked. The Lyman 350319 mould is designed for a .348 inch gas check, NOT the typical .35-caliber gas check as you'd think. Something to keep in mind should you ever find one of these moulds.

    Bob's Gun Shop in Royal, Arkansas offers newly made Model 1907 magazines. When I return home, I'll contact him and see if he might produce a run of Model 1905 magazines. From what I can tell in web photos, there's not a huge difference between the magazines of these two models. Perhaps a special run of 500 or even 1,000 Model 1905 magazines, in .32 and .35 caliber, would be a good moneymaker for him.
    Interestingly, every message board that had a Model 1905 entry shared a common trait: everyone needed magazines, or an extra magazine. Might be a good opportunity for Bob's Gun Shop.

    The American Rifleman of May 2003 has an article on Winchester's early autoloaders. Can't wait to get home and read it!
    The American Rifleman of November 1967 has an exploded view of the Model 1905 and illustrated takedown instructions. I'll have to check to check that out too.

    Ammunition for the .35 WSL?
    GAD Custom Ammo has it for $18 per 20 cartridges. Lots of other obscure calibers in there too. Add this site to your favorites list! It's a goodie!

    Reloading dies?
    CH4D has a three-die set for .35 WSL for $72.45. Not a bad price, considering that RCBS and Redding charge twice that for .35 WSL dies.

    Shellholders for the .35 Winchester Self Loading? Here's what I gleaned from the web:
    CH4D --- 5
    Hornady --- 12
    Lee --- 19
    Lyman --- 15
    RCBS --- 27 or 19 :confused:
    Redding --- 5

    Loads for the .35 Winchester Self Loading? I found some on the net but haven't verified them against my reloading books so I won't post them here. Undoubtedly, they were taken from older reloading books, back when Unique and 2400 were not as energetic as they are today.
    One site reported that with the Lyman 350319 cast bullet of 171 grains, 2400 was the most accurate powder. IMR4227 was also used. I'll have to tinker with all three.

    I'll have to break down and buy a rifle case for this rifle, rather than breaking it down and securing it in my hardshell suitcase. Seems that the airlines demand that long firearms go in approved firearms cases. Presumably, this means cases with more than one lock. My suitcase only has the tumbler lock.
    Oh well, it's not so bad. My brother has two old German swords he wants to give me. Our father picked them up in the wreckage of a bombed building in Germany in World War II. They are in very good condition, with only a few minor dings.
    When I get home, I'll start looking into a value of these swords. Should be a fun search.
    So, I'll buy a case for the rifle and the two swords.

    Thanks to both of you for a very fine response!

    In looking at what info I've accrued so far, I'm amazed at what you can find on the web with a little dillgent searching. A scant 20 years ago it could easily have taken me months or years to learn as much as I did in a few evenings.
    The internet is truly an amazing tool.

    Nowwwwww ... if ONLY I could find me a gorgeous redhead with a boat that owns a gun store and likes grumpy ol' desert cats! :evil:
  7. Gatofeo

    Gatofeo Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Remote Utah desert
    I got the Model 1905 broken down today. Easy as pie. Just unscrew the takedown nut at the rear of the receiver and the upper receiver and barrel pull away from the lower receiver and buttstock.
    Bought a nice, relatively inexpensive rifle case at the new Gander Mountain store in North Little Rock, Arkansas today. I'll check it in tomorrow as luggage (declared, of course), when I fly back to Utah.
    Thanks to everyone for their help. Looking forward to getting the ol' girl shooting again.
  8. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Senior Elder

    Dec 24, 2002
    A good metalworker might could shorten one of Bob's $35 .351 magazines to fit the .35's well. Looks like it is only a matter of the .27" difference in OAL.

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