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"PLEASE bookmark this website for reloading questions"

John Boy

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Fingers - thanks for your reply


I just went to the website and while very good it may not explain to a novice/new member that reloading .44-40 may be harder than reloading a straight wall cartridge like 45LC or 44 special. And what about opinions on reloading equipment?


Guess you didn't read the rest of the website instead of just the loading data that's there.  And don't miss out all the information in the 300 alphabetically links on a multitude related subjects and sources  ... LINKS to many other shooting related pages Over 300+ Alphabetically.

Hope you enjoy the website too

new.gif COWBOY ACTION SHOOTING: Info, links, club shoots, stages and photos, centering in SouthEast U.S.

LINKS to many other shooting related pages Over 300+ Alphabetically.

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The SASS Wire doesn't have Archives about the multiple questions that folks ask about on a recurring basis over the 25 years in existence. 

Over the years, I wish I had a dollar that I have posted MD Smith's website as the response to answer the reloading questions.  Even Grits is using it as reference to the questions.

I believe if more CAS shooters bookmarked the site,more common questions would be answered by them quickly - on the spur of the moment instead of posting and having to wait for the answer or a PM.  Also, they too could be become re-pliers to the questions to help folks out  because cowboy shooters in the aggregate don't maintain published reference books in their reloading rooms - where the answers are there also

And yes, reloading a 44 WCF is more tricky that reloading straight walls.  I only have one firearm in 44-40, a 1887 JM Marlin Ballard.  In the beginning, I crunched more cases than I want to admit - but loading that caliber and the 32-20 only comes by experience - doing it

Edited by Pat Riot, SASS #13748
Cleaning up the thread - PR
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 Why do I reference M.D. Smith's website as a recommended bookmark?  Because there is no other 'one stop reference' listing ANY WHERE ELSE FOR:

* 51 calibers with ..

* Multiple weight bullets for each caliber

* Multiple powder brands for each caliber

* Multiple powder charges for the different powder brands

* The velocity for each powder charge which would be unknown unless one owns a chronograph


For instance, a popular CAS caliber is the 38 Spl.  There are 15  bullet weights listed for the 38 Spl caliber by - multiple powder brands - corresponding powder charges  and the velocity for each

And if you note at the bottom of each caliber there is this reference footnote ...


Bullseye, Unique and 2400 are products of Alliant (formerly Hercules) Powders.
Clays, Universal, HP38, HS6 and H4895 are products of Hodgdon Powders.
IMR 3031 and IMR 4895 are products of IMR (formerly DuPont) Powder Company.
No. 2, No. 5, #2230, and #2460 are products of Accurate Arms Company
WAP, WMR, WSF, WSL, 760, 748, 231 and 540 are products of Winchester, Components Div.
VV N320, N330 and N340 are products of VihtaVouri Oy Company

References: Accurate Arms Co. 1996 Reloading booklet - - Alliant Powder Co. Reloaders' Guide (1995) - - Hodgdon's Basic Reloaders Manual (1996) - - Speer Reloading Manual, #12 - - Winchester Reloading Components Manual, 14th edition - - Lyman Piston & Revolver Reloading Handbook, 2nd edition. - - VihtaVuori Oy Company, reloading booklet (1995) - - Numerous magazine articles on reloading special calibers and personal loads where noted. Also internet references 2009


Edited by John Boy
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A lot of good information.  I had forgotten about this site.  


Bookmarked it,  



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  • Pat Riot locked and unlocked this topic

Because of back surgery (and a lot of difficulty before surgery), I cannot run and gun. So I got interested in "long range" rifle. I had purchased a Marlin 336CB 38-55 years ago and decided to start to work. I started loading in 1963. I have a couple of rifles that I load for and thought "ain't no big deal".

Well let me tell you, you ain't never run into a really confusing situation.

My point.

I am very thankful for all the responses from Marlinowners., Levergunscoundrels, and a number of forums who spoon fed me on the slippery 38-55. I also want to thank Lee Shaver for taking the time to discuss the 38-55 and the different chamber specs of the 38-55.

I totally agree on book learning. I state that book learning is specific and does not take into consideration good, honest, passed down experience.  John Boy has posted some very interesting forums/articles/posts. But............I have a question about breech seating. But wait. The original owner had the Marlin "throated". And I borrowed a reamer that removed the abrupt leade into the lands. I can seat a 260 gr bullet so that less than 1/8" is in the case and it will chamber.  Is it safe to breech seat in such a chamber?



No, a forum is a forum.


a place, meeting, or medium where ideas and views on a particular issue can be exchanged:

synonyms: · conference · seminar ·
an Internet site where users can post comments about a particular issue or topic and reply to other users' postings; a message board.
Edited by Red Cent
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But............I have a question about breech seating. But wait. The original owner had the Marlin "throated". And I borrowed a reamer that removed the abrupt leade into the lands. I can seat a 260 gr bullet so that less than 1/8" is in the case and it will chamber.  Is it safe to breech seat in such a chamber?


Red Cent - you will not find any information on Smith's website - so let me expound on the breech seating process for you.  I breech seat 32-40 and 38-55 reloads using a CPA Stevens 44 1/2 and a Uberti HiWall using custom made breech seaters.  I don't BS in lever actions but the principal is the same:

* First need a rifle with a chamber leade that is throated to accept a tapered bullet - usually 2.5 degree opening

* Next are tapered bullets, not straight wall that will allow the bullet nose to be chambered so that it is fully engraved all the way to the base, so the base is engraved 1/2 the width ... purpose, so as not to create fins on the base

* If a plugged case can be used in a lever, fine but the tool normally used is a breech seater specific to the make of the rifle and caliber

* Next reload the brass with just primer and powder.  But sure to use a pinch of cotton or a wad at the case mouth to prevent the powder spilling out into the chamber on insertion

* Put the tapered bullet in the seater with the nose extended 1/8" for wide base bullets or 1/16" for small with bullet bases ... chamber it with the action hammer block or in your case the bolt

* Then insert the charged case in the chamber - close the action and ... your now breech seating

Breech seating paper patched rounds is tricky, so stick with grease grooved bullets. 

This is what I take to to the range in addition to the charged cases 


PS:You can adjust the the nose extension in the plugged case by lengthening or shortening the round brass bar in the case 

IMO and others, a very accurate tapered bullet for breech seating is the Ideal Dr Hudon designed 375272 for the 38-55


375272. This is the famous Schuetzen bullet designed by Dr. W. G. Hudson, which gives such remarkable accuracy in

.38-55 rifles which have been specially throated for it, the bullet being loaded into the bore ahead of the case. 5 bands, front three bands .372, bottom two bands .382 (PB, FN, 310 – TP 449)

Accurate Molds has a clone of this bullet that I sent Tom an original Ideal to have him make a mold for me.  He also has the Ideal 319273, 32-40 Dr Hudson bullet mold I sent him




Edited by John Boy
Spelling correction 'lead = leade' and add source for the 375272 and 319273 bullet moldsmold
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Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have pinned 2 threads, both started by the esteemed John Boy that were put together by him to help new and experienced Cowboy Action Shooters with reloading resources that they can use to develop safe loads for CAS.


Everyone is welcome to post on these threads to comment and to discuss issues and ask questions. BUT posts and responses MUST meet SASS Guidelines on posting reloading information. The posting of load "recipes"or pet loads WILL NOT BE PERMITTED. You may direct folks to legitimate resources and websites for reload info but actual reload data will not be permitted here, just as it isn't permitted in any of the other SASS forums.


For example;

If a newcomer were to ask what's the best load for a light .38 Special load one could respond with a favorite bullet or a favorite powder that they like to use but giving exact directions on the quantity of that powder would not be allowed here on the Wire. You could guide that person to a resource like a reloading manual page or legitimate websites, like Hodgdon, Alliant, Accurate, etc...  You just cannot layout load data for someone.


If you have any questions please feel free to PM me.

Thank you,

Pat Riot

Edited by Pat Riot, SASS #13748
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On 8/14/2017 at 11:24 AM, John Boy said:


Anyone else unable to access this website?  Link opens a tab but won't connect.  Get a "Server Not Found" error using Firefox.  Get a "Connection Error" with Internet Explorer.  Can't get to it from my smartphone either.  Tried off and on for the last couple of days.  No problems with any other web sites.  Would like to know if the problem is on their end or if it's possibly a setting on my end.


Thanks in advance for any replies.



Edited by Titus A. Gnatsass, SASS #71705
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Titus - the link is good, I just opened it up with latest version of Firefox.  "Server Not Found" is an error message that your firewall software is blocking the site. 

I went through this issue a couple of weeks ago - was getting "Server Not Found"  for nearly all websites using Firefox using Avast as my firewall software.  If need be, you'll have to change your firewall software in the Security to make the link accessible.  Before you do this - log out of your computer and use Google or Explorer to open http://reloadammo.com/

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Got it figured out.  Checked Firefox, got the latest and greatest.  Cleared DNS cache.  Disabled firewall.  Still wouldn't work.  I use my phone as a hotspot for internet access.  Rebooted phone and all is good again.  Don't ya just luv technology!  Oh, and by the way John Boy, THANKS!

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The information is valuable however, some pages have not been updated in over 10 years and some as recent as three years ago... just so folks are aware. 



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The information is valuable however, some pages have not been updated in over 10 years and some as recent as three years ago... just so folks are aware. 


Scarlett - this is a fact:

* The website doesn't list loading data for many of the new powders on the market either.  These loads can be found on the vendor's databases

* Might add: if the powder on Smith's website is currently available - loading data doesn't change even if the powder is still currently available if it is 80 years or older.  

* I have copies of Philip Grant's 1937 Complete Guide to Handloading with loading data for currently available powders that is "My Go To" source for non CAS caliber data.  It was updated in 1953 with additional powders and data that I also use for reference ... 

1937 Complete Guide to Handloading (by Philip B. Sharpe) ... http://www.milsurps.com/content.php?r=423-1937-Complete-Guide-to-Handloading-(by-Philip-B.-Sharpe)

So, there is no concern that Smith's data on the website from 2009 is any different for today's powders - plus there is no other compendium of the varied recipes by multiple bullet weights on the Internet that I know of except in Grant's 1937 book and  updates in 1940' - 1950's Complete Guide to Handloading

https://www.amazon.com/complete-guide-handloading-Books/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=n%3A283155%2Ck%3Acomplete guide to handloading

Edited by John Boy
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  • 4 months later...

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