Reloading 43 Mauser

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Feb 1, 2006
Hi folks,

Looking for your info on good loads for 43 Mauser in a 71/84 rifle with FFg.
My bullet is a 340 grain from a Rapine mold sized .446 with SPG lube. I have read the old military round used 77 grains FFg with a 385 grain bullet.

When I vibrate down the FFg in a case, stick in a thin PVC wad, then seat the bullet so the crimp groove is at the case mouth and solid on the wad and powder, I have about 82 grains powder in the case. The throat in the rifle goes way out and I can stick bullets way out accordingly, giving that much extra space in the case to be filled.

What would be a good upper limit on amount of FFg?

Assuming less powder is wiser and that I'll need a wad thicker than the PVC (0.023inch), how much does it matter how compressible or incompressible it is. How would say wads cut from cardboard boxes soaked in Crisco or some such thing work? Or should I just stack up the PVC wads to get the right height?:confused:

Any help appreciated.
Unfortunately I can't help you on the amount of powder, but I can tell you not to use PVC for a wad.

Cardboard would work, but felt would be even better. Look here for how to do that.

Welcome to THR.
Thanks for the welcome, Third Rail.

Seems like not too many are into shooting BP in 43 Mauser. I'll make up some lube soaked wads as the thread recommends. I've gotten good accuracy with smokeless loads, it will be interesting to see what BP will do.
Loaded this cartridge some years ago, with black powder either Swiss 1.5 or WANO, hard/dense cardboard wads with a lubricant wad sandwiched between, and most important, swaged 1 to 20 Tin/Lead alloy wire bullet PAPER-PATCHED, after loading, would hold each cartridge by the base and dip up to case mouth the seated bullet in melted beeswax/paraffin mix. Sounds like a great deal of work, systimatically approached it wasn't a problem to put 200 rounds out on a Sunday afternoon.

Rifle would shoot better than i can or the sights/trigger would allow!
Thanks for that info, Manyirons. Unfortunately I went to the range before reading your post and fired my reloads. As I had gotten good results with smokeless I was puzzled when my first group at 50 yds was 7in. I wasn't even on paper at 100 yds. My first 10 rds used virgin Bell brass. Then I tried some once fired Dominion brass with a shorter wad and the bullet seated deeper.

On the 16th round I had case failure, and damage to my glasses. When I got the gun home I used some WipeOut designed for BP and after waiting 1/2 hour went to put a patch through, and using a single factory cotton patch on a .40 cal jag had to tap the end of the cleaning rod to get the jag down the bore. IOW it was fouled beyond belief.

It appears as if this fouling lead to high pressure/case failure:( .

I had no idea fouling could build up so quickly and strongly. I'm guessing there wasn't enough BP lube on my reloads to keep the fouling soft. The grooves on the Rapine bullet are not particularly wide or deep.

The time I got good accuracy with smokeless bullet speed was around 1200fps while these loads were probably over 1400fps (77 grains BP).

Next time I'm not going over 55 grains of BP and use corn meal for filler, and plenty of lube and beeswax. And check the bore every 5 rds.

So pleased to hear no damage to eyes!!!!! 'Hindsight' issue now yet when; 'Things not as expected, slow down, stop, LOOK'.

Question; What TYPE of blackpowder are ya usin? If GOEX, change to Swiss or WANO.

Recall please, this was a MILITARY cartridge and rifle, meant for extensive use without any particular care, correctly loaded, one might not get 1,000 yard match accuracy but ya CAN expect just LOADS of 100/300 yard man killin' interrupted only by need to reload.

So! Recapping (Pun!) Moderately hard bullet (1-20 Tin-Lead Mix) LUBE, Hard Card Wads LUBE, When ya can, PAPER-PATCH (And LUBE).

Check that bore for diameter (Slug the bore) and check bore for tight/loose spots.

Let me know how it goes!
Lube mix that has worked well for me is a 50/50 mix of Bore Butter and beeswax. Holds well, dosen't melt(at least here in South East Texas) and keeps the fouling soft. Mix in a double boiler, place bullets in a tray and pour hot mix to the top of grooves. Use a case to cut lube cookies.

Livin in Texas

I got the BP for free, all I had to do was pour it out of a drum. I can't recall the name on the drum but it was painted black and may have had Dupont on it somewhere.

My alloy was 18 lbs wheelweights to 2 lbs linotype. I haven't slugged the bore, but I tried Cerrosafe once and because of some minor pitting couldn't get it out, i.e. it locked in, and had to pour boiling water over the chamber to re-melt it.

When I tried 30 grains of IMR3031, about 6 yrs ago, the group was 1 inch wide by 2.5 inch high, at 100 yds, so this gun shoots great. It was dead calm and the white cardboard target backing was 17 inches wide and filled the notch of the rear sight perfectly. Trigger and action are buttery smooth.

I don't think I have any molds close enough to be paper patched, the next ones down being .40 cal.

I also have a Model 71 where I know the grooves are up around .45 inch. There's a local gunsmith who says there is a technique for opening the chamber neck, so you can load .452 bullets in the case and get aceptable accuracy. I'm wondering if one of those hollow base .45 molds, the bullets sized down to .446, would work in the unaltered gun.
Goex will work just fine.

If GOEX, change to Swiss or WANO.

And if he's shooting older DuPont FFg, that's icing on the cake. (Wish I had a stock of vintage DuPont!) No need for the expensive foreign stuff. Goex, however, does like a good bit of compression, I'm using .25"-.30" in my .45-70 Sharps these days. Goex Cartridge eliminates the "fines" (those loose powdery remnants one sees between grains), and tends to leave less fouling.

I'd work the bullet diameter angle again, and try some different lube combinations to keep the fouling down, maybe even a lube cookie between a couple of the fiber or card stock over-powder wads. My 32" barrel has been doing very nicely with a beeswax and lard mix, the bullets are pan-lubed after the mix is microwaved to clear liquid.

What's the bullet design, does it have a long bore rider section, does it have ample lube grooves, and how far into (or off of) the rifling does the bullet sit when the rounds are chambered?
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