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"Big Boston"

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  1. IMHO I don't think it is a good powder for the cowboy game. I used lots for loading 20 ga skeet loads back in the day, so had some left when I began cowboy. Early on in testing had a squib that stuck a bullet in the bore. After that I just didn't trust the powder. It seems position sensitive and sometimes didn't ignite reliably. IIRC there was also some unburnt powder. It may work well at certain power levels, in some calibers, but I don't have confidence in it. YMMV. My load for 45 LC was with Trail Boss. I will be again when ADI starts making it again. In the mean time I've been working on loads for 45 S&W Schofield. 3.7 grains of 452AA and a 230 gr 45 Auto bullets makes a dandy cowboy load. It doesn't seem to mind what primer I use, very small difference in performance. Tomorrow will be my first match with my pair of open tops in 45 Schofield. Love the caliber, fun shooting guns, but the fit and quality control of Uberti handguns is a real disappointment BB.
  2. As with any toggle link lever gun, the gun has to be tuned correctly to run well, and the ammunition has to be correct for smooth feeding. I've tried a few bullet shapes and some shapes will not feed smoothly, so without seeing your ammo or knowing the specs, specifically OAL, your question can't be answered. If the bullets shape is proper, a 38 Special cartridge will feed and shoot properly if the OAL is between 1.45" and 1.55". I need 38 special ammunition for my '66 and because it is a Trapper I load to an OAL of 1.5" and my cartridges will also run fine in my Winchester (Miroku) 73 as well. The carrier on both rifles and most toggle link levers is 1.6". If the ammunition for the 38/357 gets any longer than 1.6" the action will jam up. They seem to run better with ammo that is around 1.55" than with ammo exactly at 1.6". > Try and find a bullet shape that will reduce the powder chamber volume as much as possible. I load wadcutters in my handguns so i can run low velocities that are not powder position sensitive and have consistent velocities. It does get a bit challenging to find a bullet that will seat and crimp properly at the OAL you want. Most cast bullets, if crimped in the cannelure are a bit short of ideal if seated in a 38 Special case. And some of those same bullets may be too long in OAL if loaded in a 357 case. There are many threads on this forum that cover ammo for the 66/73, It may be productive to do a search for them. I've posted this picture before, and it shows my 38 Spl cartridge and it works fine in a '73 as well. The bullet shape is smooth and the case is crimped into the bullet hard enough that there is no edge to catch on when the cartridge is being fed into the chamber. [img]https://i.imgur.com/tnNLR0S.jpg[/img] If you use 357 brass, a bullet like a 125 to 135 gr RN FP will seat to an OAL of around 1.5" and it will be golden. If you load to a touch over 1200 fps you will get a nice "crack" as the bullet will be going supersonic. It is easier to load 38 Special ammunition with a heavier bullet in the 140 to 150 gr at a lower velocity and still get consistent velocities. Such bullets tend to seat to a longish OAL in a 357 case. Depends on what you want to do. BB
  3. Even with smokeless I would never consider lubing the carrier on a 66. When apart I wipe the carrier and where it rides with Iso, clean and dry. It is brass on brass in a 66, lube will just collect cred. It (the carrier) can stand a bit of slop, it can rattle around, side to side a bit more than fore and aft, but it can rattle around. I neck size for 38 Spl and 45 Colt. You want about 0.003" clearance in the chamber max, 0.002" min. That lets the brass expand and touch the chamber walls without exceeding the elastic modulus. Annealing is a bit tricky, if you burn out the zinc you'll be left with a copper rich alloy, too soft IMHO. The trick is not to overwork the brass in the first place. Minimum size, don't overbell and don't overcrimp. Induction annealing looks like a good idea, it may be the preferred method. Uberti rifles do seem have large chambers. I have at least half a dozen 38/357 firearms, and the chamber on my 66 is the largest of them all.
  4. I began shooting cowboy about 5 years ago and the rifle I use for the majority of my shooting is a Uberti Yellow Boy 66 chambered in 38 special. I've got it running nicely but it did not start out that way. Out of the box it wasn't 100% reliable and would occasionally hang up. I followed some of the online advice and did a bit of shaping and polishing in the right spots. I also found that I needed a bit shorter stroke so I installed a kit from Pioneer. Just the normal kit, not the super short as I still wanted some of the mechanical advantage. I also got the aluminum carrier. In addition I had issues with breaking the ladle and did a JB weld upgrade. My third ladle has been good for several years now. My only complaint is that my rifle doesn't eject with much authority, the shells eject, but just a bit lazily. My rifle has a 16" barrel and loading 10 required a trim on the spring. I cannot load any longer than 1.5" and somewhere below 1.45" it starts having feeding issues as well. OAL is important as is the shape of the bullet. Certain bullets work better than others. I use a 147 gr 9mm shape that is cast large. I buy commercial cast, coated. I am in the market for a mold, but so far the search for a perfect one hasn't been successful. Other shapes may work but IMNSHO, this shape is the best. It also feeds well in my 73 Winchester (Miroku). The thing to remember is that the Uberti 66 still has the same length of carrier as the other calibers, 1.6" and is not tailored to the somewhat shorter 38 Special cartridge. In addition, the 38 Special ammunition that you load for the rifle won't be the best for your pistols. With the rather long OAL the powder charge needs to be a bit more to keep powder position sensitivity to a minimal. Also the bullet weight is a bit heavy to give you the length needed. My rifle load chronos at almost 800 in the pistol. That is more velocity than is needed. To that end I load wadcutters in my revolver ammo. I also load for my revolvers with 357 brass as my revolvers are all 357. They are near 800 fps, and shot very close to the sights on just about every 357 revolver I have. Up until this year I loaded them in 38 Special but cleaning the crud ring got a little old. YMMV.
  5. I believe that the replies have pretty much nailed it down. I have a "66 in 38 Spl and several 73s in other calibers. In my 38 Spl I like to run 1.50", any longer and 10 will not fit in the magazine as the barrel is only 16". I've tested at 1.55" and didn't notice much difference. In the small caliber when the length approaches 1.45 there is a bit more effort when the lifter pushes the cartridge back in the magazine. The cartridges get a bit crooked. I believe a liner would be an advantage as it would keep the column of cartridges straighter inline. IMO to keep the rifle running smooth you want the cartridge a bit shorter than max. In 44-40 and 45 Colt, 1.55 is pretty much where most of the common bullet cannelures want the OAL for a decent crimp. 38 Spl is unique to the available calibers in that the design OAL of the cartridge is 1.550 and not 1.6"(ish) like 44-40 and 45 Colt. The second issue is that most bullet molds today are designed to seat properly in a 357 Mag and therefore 1.45" is a very common length if you seat to the cannelure. If the rifle runs at that OAL, good. Bullet shape is important, more so on the 38 Spl than on the bigger ones. In addition you want a meplat on the large and flat side. Too large is an issue as the meplat will catch on the mouth of the chamber if too large. Too small and the cartridges in the magazine will be crooked and movement will not be smooth. I prefer a 9mm 147 grain truncated cone 9mm bullet and i crimp into the bullet shank. I crimp deep enough so that the moth of the case even with the shank, it will not catch. It is a balancing act. The carrier has a ramp to push the cartridges back into the magazine, and that ramp becomes a gap that the cartridge has to slide over. You do not want to move that ramp back and increase that gap, IMHO. The 45 Colt works as the rim is such that the cartridge lies flatter in the carrier, and tends to feed straight. The 44-40 works because of the bottlenecked and tapered case and the bullet is much smaller than the entrance to the chamber. When the 32-20 was chambered in the 73, the tapered cartridge helped it work smoothly. The 38 Spl/357 Mag is less than ideal with its straight walled case and generous rim. This makes bullet shape a bit more critical. Still not bad, just a bit more finicky. [img]https://i.imgur.com/tnNLR0S.jpg[/img] These work well, unfortunately that bullet is NLA. BB
  6. Posted twice, error on my part, sorry. Deleting not an option.
  7. I'd like a bit more clarification/information on the glue. i did dabble with a box of Magtech 12 ga brass, before my Cowboy days so saw no need for pursuing the project any further at the time so I sold all the brass and related components. I do remember the glue being an issue, not with holding the card wad down, that was never an issue. My issue was with removal of the glue afterwards. I used hot glue and Elmer's. and both were hard to clean out afterwards. I did not try water glass. The glue issue was one of the factors for putting the project behind me. If I were to go down that rabbit hole again, I'd use fiber wads, mostly to control the height and put a light roll crimp onto/over a card wad. IMHO annealing the case mouth would be a good option to extend the life of the case. My thought being that you can roll crimp a 45 LC case 10 times without having issues, so a similar roll crimp on a 12 ga should be OK. I did load in paper hulls, and was very happy with the ammo, but paper hulls develop pin hole burns on the first firing. Back in the day when paper hulls were an option load for trap and skeet 1F were cheap and plentiful, but the recommendation was to only reload once. BB
  8. Shooting the wrong caliber ammunition happens more often than it should, not that rare. For the most part the shooters are aware and responsible shooters. We are enthusiasts and have a desire to experience different guns and varied calibers. A testament to todays brass is it's ability to survive a fair amount of abuse. 44-40 in a 45 colt expands the mouth and seals adequately for cowboy loads. It does make a rather anemic pop, and looses several hundred fps. It would be better if i didn't have 44-40, 44 Mag and 45 Colt firearms, and they are in Vaqueros or 73s. I have a policy of only taking one of those calibers to a meet at a time. Back in the day, the government told the firearms industry to simplify the number of different calibers and marking caliber on firearms. In addition the color coding of shotgun gauge ammunition came into being. I remember one shooter saying that if you shoot enough ammunition long enough you will have a XXX moment. And then he looked at the group and said, and don't be smug, it can and probably will happen to any of us. IMHO the rules for shooting cowboy are pretty extensive and seem to do a good job of keeping us safe. BB
  9. Similar to the one in the picture. BB These were probably discontinued in the 60s.
  10. I used a few bags of the LAGE (LOGIE) Uniwads in the 20 ga and some in the 12. IMHO a good wad, versatile and decent patterns. Not all that popular back in the day. Still have a few hundred 20 ga in my tickle trunk. IIRC the Farmer Bros were in the mix, invented them or ??? BB
  11. Thanks for clarifying that. You were right to ask, and as you can see from the answers is that the consensus is that is not an approved way to go. I shoot lots of different calibers and there are two shooters in out family, it's better is the headsatamp on the cartridge is actually what the caliber is. BB
  12. I saw one like these at a recent gunshow, almost picked it up. To me this would be what a frontiersman may have had. I don't have any details on the design, but I believe it has it's origin in Europe. Perhaps it's time to add blacksmith to my list of adventures. A true cowboy knife (today) has a fairly short blade for utility work, like cutting bales open, etc. Pre cartridge revolver days, the knife was the first line of defence. One carried a big knife, in plain view, as a deterrent to other ne'er-do-wells. I see pictures and the knife was worn on the strong hand side, and the handgun was on the off side. Men were a bunch tougher back then. IMHO.
  13. I admire your diplomacy Colorado Coffinmaker, I lack that trait. Doc Moses, you were correct in thinning the neck, without that your ammo would not fit in the chamber. However you did not taper the transition between the thinned neck and the body, that may introduce a point of stress. After than you lost me. As a proof on concept, if you were defending yourself in times of war, it has almost as much merit as shooting 44 Russian in a 44-40 chamber, perhaps a bit better, but not something I'd try or recommend. I'm not sure of the limits on fireforming, but at the base the brass is thick and resists expansion much less fireforming. At or just above the web, 0200" up from the base, the clearance between your modified 44 Mag case and the chamber is. 0.019" approximately, and that would be too much for me to accept as reasonable. In error I have fired 44-40 in a 45 Colt. Expansion was only to half way down from the case mouth. To get any sort of fireforming you will need more pressure than most 44-40 firearms can safely withstand, IMHO. Or are you loading with Black Powder? Even here in Canada 44-40 brass is available. 500 44-40 brass costs about $70 more than what 500 44 Mag brass cost. Cowboy shooting and reloading are not hobbies for the faint of wallet anyways. BB
  14. To my way of thinking a shorter chamber should increase velocity. The chambers seem a bit tighter in the open tops as well. The cylinders that is in the open tops have throats all over the map, from 452 to 454, yest ES/Sd doesn't seem to reflect that. Ruger has uniform 451 throats and the groove. dia also 451, It has always worked well, not an issue IMHO. Of the open tops the one with a 454 groove has lower velocity than the 452 grooved barrel. That would seem to indicate the larger grooved barrel isn't sealing as well. I think my old friends expression, "It's just FM" seems to apply. (FM, Flipping Magic) BB
  15. Life can be interesting. Several years ago i bought 100 45 Schofield brass to "experiment" with. Recently I purchased a pair of 71/72 open tops chambered in 45 S&W Schofield. before they arrived i used the opportunity to work up a load so that when they came I'd have something to shoot in them. The cylinders are chambered 45 S&W Schofield. the revolvers are sequential serial numbered Uberti early model 71/72 open tops catalog 11114. They have seen a bit of previous service as cowboy guns and I'm working on them to clean up a few issues. Yes, online purchase and pictures do not tell the whole story. Another learning opportunity paid for by yours truly. To the point, My load was developed in a 4 5/8" barreled Ruger Vaquero (original version) and as it was with some left over 452AA powder that load was posted in a previous thread. In that gun, with its 4 5/8 barrel the chronograph results were: Velocity Av 648.7/643.6 Es 26/23.4 Sd 10.63/9.53 Shots 5>/5< A decent load with bullets I had on hand. Although a sequential pair, my 71/72s were not entirely the same and there were issues. One had some timing and lockup issues so I concentrated on the other first. After a brief inspection and clean/lube I completed a chrono test. Velocity Av 598.3/588 Es 35.7/15.2 Sd 14.7/6 Shots 5>/5< No what I expected at all, shorter chamber/cylinder and a 5 1/2" barrel, I though there would be a velocity gain. The barrel is a bit on the loose side, groove at app 454, but still not what I expected. I addressed the timing issue, will have to order parts to correct the timing, but as it was safe to shoot, I ran it over the chrono as well. Velocity Av 633.4/636.7 Es 19.55/4.16 Sd 8.42/2.0 Shots 5>/5< The groove diameter on this one is 452, and that seems to have restored some of the velocity, but still not equal to the velocity with my 45 Colt. This is the first time that I have owned firearms where testing of this kind were possible. I've used 38 Spl in my 357s and 44 Spl in my 44 Mag, but don't own a 38 or 44 Special chambered firearm. Is a velocity gain in a longer chamber a phenomenon or are there other factors in play that I've not considered. BB Reference: Calibre 45 S&W Schofield Date Loaded 2022-05-04 Powder 452AA (Ontario) Weight in Grains 3.7 (4S) Bullet Cactus 230 gr. 45 ACP - pit run Weight in Grains 236 Primer CCI 300 LP Loaded OAL 1.375 Case ¬ 45 ¬ SCHOFIELD Weight in Grains 99 That is the load, IMO not much different that what you'd get with the same or a bit more Bullseye.
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