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Garrison Joe, SASS #60708

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Posts posted by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708

  1. 45 cal slugs?  and small pistol primers?    Were you loading small primer 45 auto cases, or just misnamed the primer size?


    Depends upon if you want to leave the bullets in "good" condition for reloading. 


    For seven hundred and just saving the lead (not reusing the slugs), I'd use a pair of large pliers and a single stage press.   Place round in shell holder, raise it up, catch the slug in jaws of pliers, and lower ram, extracting bullet.   Faster than impact hammer.   Hint - large side cutter pliers grab the bullet very well, have plenty of leverage, and span the die opening in the frame of the press.


    If you want to reuse the bullet (I would not), probably a collet bullet puller die that somewhat protects the bullet from damage.   But you would be out the price of the die, and if you don't do large volumes of this task, may not be worth it.   If hard cast slugs, will be successful.  If soft, well, good luck not damaging the slug.


    This reinforces what I tell all BEGINNING reloaders - until you get good a this, don't EVER load more than 25 or so rounds until you have range test fired the stuff you are making.   Too many hidden mistakes can occur - leading to the exact painful situation as occurred here.


    Remove primers in a press too. Just take it easy on the stroke and wear eye and ear protection.  I've never set off a primer after depriming thousands over the last 50 years.


    good luck, GJ

    • Like 3
  2.  The list of legal shotguns in SASS Wild Bunch has been expanded in the last few months. 



    The Winchester model 1897 and model 12 pump in 12 gauge, civilian or military style are allowed. The IAC ‘93/’97 reproduction Winchester is also approved. This shotgun may be identified by the numbers ‘93/’97 on the left side of the barrel and the words IAC Billerica, MA on the right side of the barrel. ... Fully accurate reproductions are allowed.
    Any side-by-side or single shot shotgun typical of the period from approximately 1860 to 1899 with or without external hammers, having single or double triggers is allowed. Automatic ejectors are allowed on single shot break action, lever, and pump action shotguns ONLY. Side-by-side shotguns may not use automatic ejectors.
    Lever action, tubular feed, exposed hammer shotguns of the period are allowed, whether original or replicas.


    Although this qualifies lots of shot guns, it does not make the Ithaca 37 design or the Mossberg 500/590 design pumps legal.  With or without heat shields on the barrels.    Those do not meet the restrictions on pump shotgun models - the rules specifically list only the legal ones.



    The rules seem to state a shotgun from that era works


    Read the paragraphs where that looser description is included, and you see that looser standard are for break-open and lever action shotguns ONLY.  


    Pumps are called out by specific models.


    good luck, GJ

    • Like 1
  3. Almost all single actions with fixed sights are made with the front sight pretty tall.   It will probably be close to the right height for a factory load, with heavy slug and good speed.


    We shoot a light bullet at slow speed, and that needs a lower front sight to force the barrel muzzle higher and put the bullet on your point of aim.  


    So, yes, this is a common problem.   Filing the front sight is common with most single actions set up for our sport.  Factory sets them to have enough height for any common factory load.   Then we come along and shoot low velocity low recoil loads and they hit low.


    But, be real careful about adjusting your sight until you as a new cowboy shooter are SURE you are controlling your trigger break well enough that you get tight groups when you shoot - like less than an inch at 7 yards.    


    You have a hard time (expensive repair) if you take off too much metal early in your shooting only to find you are flinching or pulling your shots low. 


    Have an experienced shooter test your guns and verify they are shooting low before you take metal off, as it can't be put back on easily.


    good luck, GJ


    • Like 2
    • Thanks 1
  4. 4 hours ago, Sedalia Dave said:

    I wonder ...  do the 66's in 38 special have a shorter carrier. 

    YES!   Slapping forehead.   SOME Uberti 1866 were made very early on (1980s) with a short carrier length and chambered for .38 Special ONLY.    I know this for certain, as I used to have one in the family and did have to load short rounds to fit that 1.500" carrier block and shaft.  Many were imported by Navy Arms.  As the story goes, the Italians claimed they designed their 1866 clone early on to take the ammo that the US military issued and that was a very short-nose FMJ slug in a .38 special case.  Only after importing them that way for a few years, the US customers demanded a .45 Colt version, and Uberti wised up and stretched the frame design to hold a 1.600" carrier (lifter) block.


    But, if this IS TRULY a more-modern made gun (this century), it will have a carrier shaft of 1.600", like Uberti builds all their toggle lever guns now.


    So, it would be VERY unlikely that a 1.490" Overall Length of cartridge is TOO LONG to feed it.


    So, the OP seems very confused.   He stated a 1.490" cartridge would not feed because it is too long.   I've already asked that he VERIFY the carrier block or shaft length measurement.  I've already asked the OP to verify that he really means that cartridge "won't feed" because it is too long.    I've already asked the OP if the gun fails to feed during the beginning of the rearward stroke of the lever (which would likely be a failure to return the second cartridge on the carrier due to TOO SHORT an OAL) or if the gun jams with the cartridge already partially in the chamber near the end of the lever stroke, which could be a VERY poor bullet design that he chose or a fat slug or a dirty/tight chamber or even a ring of brass left in chamber from a separated case.   We can't get a clear picture of what the REAL problem is, UNTIL THE OP REPLIES with more information!


    good luck, GJ

    • Like 1
    • Thanks 2
  5. 15 hours ago, Old Irish Shooter said:

    I was told by seller to load to 1.490 but I need to ask what bullet he was using. My bullets will not work at 1.490, too long. 

    You can look down into the carrier and SEE if your load is too short for your toggle link gun.    The shortest length that will not jam the carrier with one round cleanly on the carrier and part of another also out on the carrier, is that the rim of the second cartridge has to be on (vertically above) the downward sloping ramp  on the front edge of the carrier.  If the rim is far enough rearward to be close to or on the FLAT inside the carrier's channel, it will not be able to be pushed back into the mag tube when the carrier rises. This results in a jam of the lever as you begin to bring the lever back toward your face.   


    And the rounds are too long IF the nose of the only cartridge in the carrier is hanging up in the magazine or hitting the frame as you start to close the lever stroke.   The shaft of the carrier is 1.600" on modern made Uberti toggle links.  It was 1.500" on very early production .38 special only lever guns.


    If your gun is jamming as you try to finish the chambering portion of the stroke, then it's not due to a short length of the cartridge.  It is commonly caused by trying to shoot a poor design of slug for a lever gun, such as a SemiWadCutter (SWC) design.


    That number he supplied with the gun (1.490")  is a very short OAL for an Uberti toggle link gun, unless the carrier has been modified for a very "long" slope of the cartridge return ramp.  Or this is a gun that was made way back in the 1980s or so when a shorter carrier was the standard for a .38 special Uberti lever gun.  Measure your carrier shaft length (forward/back direction) in the frame.  It will give you the MAXIMUM working length  of your cartridges.


    Your loads are "TOO LONG"?    At 1.490?   Think you mean they are too short, if you have a gun made this century. 


    good luck, GJ

    • Like 1
  6. Rifling will spin a round ball on it's axis (perpendicular to the shaved section of the ball).  It has to - the ball is forced into the grooves of the barrel unless it is undersize.  How far the ball retains it's spin without beginning to tumble I don't have a clue.  Probably at least the first 50 yards, since the ball retains pretty good  accuracy that far, IME.  And from the experience that Dave Tutt obtained in 1865.


    good luck, GJ


    • Thanks 1
  7. 13 minutes ago, Rube Burrows said:

    What some of you fail to see is that ... some of us would like to see it back on the shelf

     No, I understand that very clearly.   Not running down your past use of TB; you now also have to know that I have never wanted to use it and never will, afaik.  So, moving on is the only real alternative anyone has right now.   Maybe it gets fixed in the future, I'll bet it does not, for years if ever.  GJ


    • Like 2
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  8. Yes, HP-38 and Win 231 are the same powder and use the same data.  Just two different brand names.   Hodgdon used to compete with Winchester powders, now they own the name and oversee the making of all "Winchester" powders.    That is why HP-38 name was first created, and now is duplicate and to some folks, confusing year after year.


    good luck, GJ

    • Like 1
  9. The professional tool is a revolver range rod.  Here's Brownell's selection:




    I don't doubt your drill extension is cheaper.   I don't doubt Brownell's range rod being accurate enough to spot even minor rotation and axis position problems.  I would have my concerns that a big box store part was not made to serve this special high-precision job.


    good luck, GJ

  10. No, I too don''t believe military has use for Trail Boss OR the same family of formulations of flake canister powders we all are missing.  


    And if Trail Boss EVER shows up again, I will be very surprised.  It is technically difficult to make it so fluffy, which makes it hard to manufacture (2 plants burned down in 10 years), and expensive.  But it is not worth the $250 a bottle that the 300 Blackout shooters are driving the price to.


    You are getting second hand info here, not first hand directly from Hodgdon management. 


    Instead of spending time asking for it for the next few years and wishing it were around, find a powder that IS being made and grab it before pricing increases.  It has already been missing in action for the last couple of years.


    good luck, GJ

    • Like 4
  11. Generally, most of the powders with a burn rate faster than or same as Unique CAN USUALLY be made to work in cowboy pistol cartridge loads, especially if you stick with the powders intended for handgun cartridges.   


    For example, I have used Bullseye, Red Dot, Clays, Clay Dot, Titegroup, Unique, American Select, Solo 100, e3, WST, Trailboss and some others in 38 special and various 45 caliber pistol cartridges.    If you can find a powder, post what you found and most likely someone here has used it like you want to, and can provide you a recipe that is safe and functional. 


    good luck, GJ

    • Like 5
    • Thanks 1
  12. I'll send you a link to that professionally pressure-tested load.  Check your private messages.


    Since you are new to reloading shotshells, I'd bet you don't have a big stockpile of old shotshell powders made 20 years or so ago.


    good luck, GJ

  13. Of those powders from the 18 year old Lyman handbook, the ones that are still made sometimes are a short list:

    Unique - usually very hard to find

    WSF - probably the easiest to find most of the time, but out of stock now

    HS-6 - in stock at Powder Valley now (but really useful for 7/8 ounce loads or heavier)

    Blue Dot - very rare to find on a shelf


    If you might have some TiteGroup (also called High Over All) powder, there's some new tested loading data  for a  3/4 ounce 20 gauge load I could point you to from another Internet forum.


    good luck, GJ

  14. Let me walk you through how to use one of these powder sites.  Let's use the Hodgdon site (Hodgdon powders are much more available right now), and let's say you found some newish Winchester AA 20 gauge, 2 3/4" hulls.   And Cheddite 209 primers.  Ok, let's find a good guess for a load recipe.


    Open up the Hodgdon link I gave you previously. 


    Pick the Shotgun section of data.


    In selections, chose 20 gauge and Ched. 209 primer and 2 3/4" Winchester Compression Formed AA hulls


    Then pick Lead Shot type, 3/4 ounce shot weight (make as light a load as you can), and you see only three powders to choose from (International, PB, and Super Hcp).   Gulp, I know that International can not be bought right now due to military demands, and PB hasn't been made for 20 years.  Pick the Super Hcp powder.  THAT at least you can buy pretty easily.   


    OK, click Get Load Data button.


    I get 3 recipes.  You should too.   Here's what I see:

    ( 3/4 ounce load in Winchester AA 20 gauge 2 3/4" hulls)            



    typical 20 gauge loads.jpg


    OK, Winchester is the powder brand, Super Hcp (Handicap) is the powder type, Ched 209 is the Cheddite primer that is easy to buy today, CB1075-20 is a ClayBusters wad that is used in a lot of 20 gauge target type loads, 12.5 on the first row is the weight of powder in grains, next number is the chamber pressure in PSI, and the final number is the velocity in Feet Per Second.


    Remember I wrote earlier that most loading data is going to be a target or hunting load?  Yep, the lightest load here is still scooting along as 1,150 FPS!


    Anyway, you could try that load, probably have to locate the particular Wad and a 1 pound bottle of Super Handicap powder.


    Here's the maker of that wad:



    The neon green wad CB1075-20 is the one in the recipe.

    Most folks selling shotshell supplies will have it.


    The powder, Winchester Super Handicap, looks like this:




    But, Powder Valley shows both a 1 pound and the 8 pound bottles are out of stock RIGHT NOW.


    Your job might be to search for a seller that has it in stock!


    See, told you it could be done, but might require some leg work!    12 gauge loads are easier to find components for, but lots of Out of Stock problems with those right now, too.   2024 is not an easy time to start reloading shotshells.


    good luck, GJ


  15. 3 minutes ago, Scrappy said:

    I reload my pistol and rifle ammo now but never ran into making case, primer decisions.


    Shotshell loading is VERY much more specific upon the EXACT components you put together, because in the low-chamber-pressure world of shotshells, things can get dangerous when combined incorrectly.  And, besides the low pressure limits, there are the volume requirements.  In cartridge loading, air space inside a brass case is not a big deal.   In shotshell loading, the components have to stack up such that the combination of the powder, wad, and shot stack to a point that supports the crimp of the hull (unless you make a roll crimp).  So, the volume that each component, including what volume the hull holds,  is important.  It adds the additional requirement that not only does pressure matter, but also the stack volume (height inside the hull of all the components).  In loading cartridges, you just match your powder to a bullet weight, and read off what weight of powder you should put in the case.  Bingo, you're done, unless you have to jigger the overall length to match what your gun works with,


    With shotgun shell loading, you load hulls that are made to one exact length - usually 2 3/4" long for the FIRED hull, but about 2.45" long for a 20 gauge shotshell when a folded (star) crimp is placed on the filled shell.  So, all the components have to fit in the hull, and the crimp has to fold over onto the top of the shot and get pressed down by the reloading machine to make a firmly closed shotshell without a central hole that shot can leak out.  And come out very close to the same 2.45" overall length that the factory made the shotshell to at the factory.


    So, variations exist in EACH of the components used in shotshells (lack of standardization in the shotshell industry) -

    * Hull type (different internal volumes, different wall tapers) (none of the different brands are anywhere near as close to other brands as brass cases are)

    * Primer (sometimes vastly different powder burns due to the power of the primer) (where cartridge primers are much more interchangeable)

    * Powder (some powder is very dense, some is fluffy,  some carries lots of energy and makes high pressures and velocities, other powders carry less energy and makes low pressures and velocities)

    * Wad (lots of variation in the wad lengths, the amount of cushion space under the shot cup, and wads that fit either a tapered hull wall or a straight hull wall, but usually not both)

    * Shot (since we use only lead shot in cowboy shooting, not much variation other than the weight of the shot that you put in the hull - more weight means a bigger volume taken up by the shot) 


    All those variations mean there are thousands of good combinations of hull-primer-powder-wad-shot, and probably millions of BAD dangerous or non-working combinations that you do not want to use, including loads that turn out squibby, poofy, or that won't crimp well.   Loading manuals and published loading data web sites will show you SOME of the good (tested and safe) load combinations. (And none of the unsafe loads)  So, you look through those combinations to pick one that uses the hull, primer, powder name, wad name that you have, and you follow the weights for powder and shot to make a good load.   "Absolutely No Substitutions" from your recipe is the wise place to start with when loading shotshells.


    Other than the Lyman Shotshell loading handbook, there is shotgun data on the Alliant and the Hodgdon powder company sites - here are links to them:





    Get a copy of the Lyman book because it has GREAT instructions for HOW to load.   The recipes you find in there are now at least 18 years old, and the wads and powders, even the primers and hull types, are obsolete.   Just like that PB powder you mentioned - has not been made for at least 20 years now, and you wont get to use it ever, most likely!   So, look at Alliant or Hodgdon web sites for the best current recipes.


    That's the good news.  Now the bad news.   Most of the loads you will find are "factory power" type loads.   Useful for hunting or shooting clay targets, not so comfortable for cowboy shooting.   But, to practice making some loads, pick a low velocity, light shot load designed for the hull type that you have, and load that just to see how you like loading and if you want to "go to lighter loads yet" - which most cowboys who load eventually get around to making.  When you get to that point, we (or your local reloaders) will be around to make some suggestions.   But, be aware, most cowboy shooters use 12 gauge guns and shells.   You will find less advice available for 20 gauge reloading.   And many fewer components like wads.   Loading 20 gauge to begin with is kinda tough, compared to 12 gauge.


    good luck, GJ.


  16. I have an very lightly shot Winchester 1894 Angle Eject model in .45 Colt that I'd part with, but I've resisted ever trying hard to sell it as I don't want the buyer to hate me!  :lol:  It's very slow to run the action, as it suffers from the "factory rough action no tuning" philosophy of the builders in the 1990s and beyond.


    No, don't ruin the gun converting it to 45 Colt.    It's fine as it is.  GJ

  17. 9 round mag capacity to make sure they dodge current or possible future hi-capacity-mag laws?  

    Oh, and the MUST-HAVE threaded barrel for a suppressor.  Gonna be a great Special Ops  gun or a prairie dog sniper.  :lol:


    And the $1279 version?  It's stainless with a plastic stock/forearm.   And a couple of M-lok slots in the forearm.  THAT might more sense for throwing in the back of your Soul while off-roading and overlanding.....


    good luck, GJ

    • Haha 2
  18. Quote

    the first cartridge you feed in comes right out the back of the carrier and jams the mechanism.

    You mean the last cartridge you have shoved in the loading gate of the gun, which is the FIRST cartridge that you will try to fire.


    VERY high probability your Uberti has the "loading gate mortise jam" - as about 25% of Uberti rifles have had for the last 15 years at least.


    If the last cartridge you load which should sit straight inside the carrier block, instead sits cocked crooked with the rim over toward the loading gate, you have the mortise jam.   You can temporary prevent this by pushing the last round you load another 1/2" into the carrier block t(pushing with finger or stick through the loading gate), until when you release the round, it sits straight ahead.


    But the real fix is to put the proper amount of bevel into the frame of the gun.


    Here's the description of the problem and nice photos of how to fix it.   click on the article "Model 66 & 73 frame modification to improve feeding of the first round"  half way down this page on the Pioneer Gunworks site:




    I've done many of these to fix the last-round-loaded, first-round-to-fire problems in Uberti rifles and carbines.  Your smith may not have noticed this problem if he is accustomed to making sure the cartridges are pushed through the loading gate a long way (half an inch or more), instead of just stopping as soon as the gate snaps shut.


    good luck, GJ

    • Like 3
    • Thanks 2
  19. To minimize the overworking of .45 Colt cases during sizing, I went to the Redding 2-ring carbide sizer.  Lower ring several thousandths larger diameter than the upper ring that sizes the mouth/neck of the case.  Unfortunately, I believe they are no longer made.   Sigh.  Great design and function, I no longer get hardly ANY case splits midway way down the shell.  


    Perhaps folks can convince Redding to make them again?  GJ 

    • Like 1
  20. Absolutely not a SWC bullet.  It won't feed reliably in any of my lever guns. Use either a Truncated Cone (TC) or a RNFP (round nose flat point).   I run a 200 gr TC bullet with no crimp groove, but cast soft (at 8 Brinnell) so that I can put the OAL where I like it.   Usually about 1.550"   A crimp as firm as I can without bulging the case right below the crimp.  Which with the thick case walls of .45 Colt, means a very firm crimp is obtainable.   The firm crimp helps ensure the cleanest possible burn and less blowback gasses.


    good luck, GJ

    • Like 2
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  21. A spray can of CLP, a shotgun chamber brush and a squib rod.   For a big match, a .38 and .45 broken case extractor and a shotgun shell checker/sizer.


    Serious cleaning gear is back at the casa.  Either the permanent one or the traveling one.  


    Clean guns most evenings, especially if using a 1911 that gets fouled pretty quickly.  GJ

    • Like 3
  22. I didn't know there was a cartridge named the .45 Vaquero.  ;)


    The .45 Colt revolvers as built can shoot at least 3 commercial and popular wild cat cartridges of course -



    Cowboy Special


    Smallest case capacity of these is the Cowboy .45 Special, and with the very low pressures that the large volume cases suffer from when trying to make a light load, the Special wins out for easiest to load a light load into.


    Allowable within SASS rules?   Must make 400 FPS and 60 PF.   So the math says a really dedicated shooter trying to make a .38 Special out of a .45 Colt revolver might try a 130 grain bullet at 461 FPS.    Several powders might make that load work; I'd start with Extra Lite or Tite Wad, maybe even Bullseye.


    I've seen a shooter or two show up whose loads did not MAKE 400 FPS.   I was entertained watching the slugs rainbow into the targets 7 yards out.  Pards will laugh some.   A shooter firing that load will not magically become lightning fast.   But, there you go.



    • Like 4
  23. Swap Meet is Thursday, Feb 29,  per the posted schedule (as of today)  "6:00 PM – 8:00 PM Swap Meet – Main Tent, Out of Respect for Our Vendors,
    Please, NO Selling Until 6:00 PM"


    I'd think you will want to get a "Conventioneers" badge so that you can bring in and sell guns at the event.  If you haven't yet done that, contact Sunshine Kay at

    register@endoftrail.org for details.


    good luck, GJ

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