25-20 reloaders - Page 113
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Thread: 25-20 reloaders



  1. #1121
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    Yes. The carrier is volatile so if it gets a little sludgy add a little mineral spirits. It will outlive you. Literally.

    It is similar to autobody rustproofing, believe it or not.
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  2. #1122
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    Quote Originally Posted by LtFrankDrebbin View Post
    A couple of aspects in reloading for the 25-20 that may be worth a post here.They have been brushed on in the passed but may be something of worth in a bit more depth.
    In my triumphs and failures in load refinement one thing came to light earlier in 2014. Bullet crimp!
    Here I was feeling smitten with good groups happening then the next batch of loads went real bad. After much I realized I had tweaked the crimp.
    Lesson learned, a crimp has a bad outcome for my set up. Backing the crimp die so it just closes the case mouth enough to ensure ease of cartridge chamber and things got a whole lot better. This does not have any ill effect for the tube magazine on my gun either. Case neck tension seems more than enough to resist the bullet being pushed back into the case in my magazine.

    Directly related to crimp is case length. Knowing now for me crimp is bad I keep all cases to what I guess a close tolerance. Last batch of brass I bought the shortest was 33mm (1.29") so that decided my trim length. As it stands right now my trimmer is set to trim to 33.05mm (1.3") and I call 33.1mm max. Soon as 33.1mm (1.303") is hit after resizing and flaring in the trimmer they go ( giving the cases the quick measure helps in detecting faulty brass). In turn it also works well for COAL with the 257-420 bullet. At 40.2mm function through my gun is flawless, the tiny bump of a crimp is right at the very tip of the top lube grove ensuring the bullet cannot be pushed back into the case and groups thus far have been well in the 1.25" at 50 meters.

    I would be interested if others have found the same with the application of a crimp.
    Good thing that you raised those issues for a number of folks struggling with successful reloading of the 25-20, especially in the Marlin Classics, or old well used guns. The consistency of the crimp is most important because it has an impact on the bullet start timing and gas pressure when the big primer/powder flash hits your bullet's base. Imagine one bullet loose and one tight because of standard crimp pressure with inconsistent boolit diameter! Not good at all Same is true of consistant bullet diameter with an inconsistant crimp. Not so good at all.

    On trim length, if you measure case length of enough samples of your new, one lot and headstamp of cases you might be able to say they fall into 4 length groupings per 100. Simply segregating your case reloading that way will help your case length consistency, thus accuracy, or you might find that some trimming helps consistency of sub-lots even more.

    That is, do not mix short and long cases. BTW do not mix headstamps either for similar reasons.

    Now this might not matter much at foxes at forty yards, but you will see what happens on small paper targets at 50/100 yards. Groups open up !
    I prefer to trim cases to make more cases of the 100 count batch the same, even though it may mean cutting some a bit shorter and maybe having a bit larger tolerance of case length. Get a Lee FCD die for 25-20 to apply crimps lightly but uniformly in straightening out the little M-die flaring needed to seat cast boolits to your chosen depth. You must use that M-die also, not that universal Lee die. They are not the same.

    Since marlin chambers in the Classic 25 are a bit sloppy, try to cast above nominal diameter and maybe try sizing 258.5 or 259.5, but size somewhere for consistency and test results after you have slugged your bore.

    Another aspect of reloading consistency is making sure cases are all of the same lot and headstamp because of powder capacity or volume. Starlines reformed, Remingtons, and Winchesters all hold noticeably different amounts of AA1680 for instance, and come new at different lengths, with different diameter necks. BTW, cast Boolits need as much scrutiny as the cases. As the lead pot heats up and you cast, temperatures change, casting sizes change thereby and similar when adding to the pot. Weigh a sessions production, cull bad boolits, and establish weight groupings. My highs and lows get recast, as my experience shows me that bullet quality is more important than most weight variances.

    This makes you think of annealing. I believe you get better neck sizing consistency with annealing than without and that means the case neck's grip strength of the seated bullet. I already addressed split necks due to work hardening in case prep WITHOUT annealing in a post quite a while back. (visit Varmint Al's site on the annealing process).

    Hope this information is helpful. Better shooting takes harder work.

    Durleigh
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  3. #1123
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    I use a Lee factory crimp die and have never noticed engraving on a lead bullet crimped into the crimp groove. Too short to avoid the jump?

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  5. #1124
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2.B.retired View Post
    I use a Lee factory crimp die and have never noticed engraving on a lead bullet crimped into the crimp groove. Too short to avoid the jump?
    I only use the FCD to straighten out the very slight belling of the case mouth (25-20) caused by my setting of the "M" die.
    The first part of the die spud before the belling takes effect opens up the inside neck diameter of the partially F/L resized neck(without the expander ball), as I do not have a custom neck die that would make for better neck dimensions in the first pass. I only partially neck size to start reloading in any event. The F/L die neck sizing ball is really not the best way to size the case neck to accept a cast bullet, generally distorting to some degree the neck diameter dimensions and generally overworking thin brass.

    The crimp groove in a Lyman mould is irrelevant because of those crummy Marlin Classic 25-20 chambers and the frequency with which Lyman has changed dimensions of the 257420 moulds they made over many years of production and changes of management.

    What is critical is the cast bullet seating depth as cast in your mould and then fitted to your reloaded cases and their relationship as a complete cartridge to your gun's chamber. I would expect for example that a Cooper Rifle's 25-20 chamber would be far superior to my early Marlin Classic lever rifle chamber. So you have to make changes to account for the problems.

    I modified my lifter in the rifle to accept a longer loaded length and commonly load my cartridges to a greater length that lets the bullet very lightly engrave the rifling when closing the lever. I don't crimp either. That changes dimensions on a lead bullet. A correctly neck sized case , needs the belling to ease the entry of the sized bullet into the sized case neck. The FCD simply makes the case mouth straight again, and the bullet is snug in the case in the magazine and through the levering process.

    Although I do have several low velocity (think 22 subsonic, 22lr, 22M) loads with the 25740, the rest of my 257420 loading is for a field load generally running at 1750 +/- fps. I use 1680, 2200 for these full house loads and red dot type powders for the others. I generally can produce HS loads that will shoot 5/8" at 50 yards, and 1 1/2" at 100 yards with a low power scope off a bench or a bit larger in field shooting. Now I do have 2 or 3 flyers per 10 shot group of the bench, and certainly in the field that I attribute to me doing something wrong. When these errors increase from that level it is time to clean. Lead in the 25-20 is like lead in a 22lr. When your accuracy goes, it is time to clean the barrel. But for hunting the group size is greatly in my favor, despite the flyers. I haven't shot jacketed bullets for years. I do like this rifle for sure. Hope this helps with another viewpoint. Durleigh
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  6. #1125
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    I'm loading for accuracy, not hunting.
    Is there any advantage to use Small Pistol primers rather than Small Rifle primers in my .25-20?
    On my last trip to the LGS I noticed that there were no Small Rifle Primers in the shelves, but there were some Small Pistol.
    I using H4198 and 75gr FN jackets bullets.

    Michael

  7. #1126
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    As long as they are not Remington 1 1/2's they are fine for 25-20 loads. When +P levels are reached Remington 1 1/2 small pistol primers will pierce. I've never had that problem with Winchester or Federal or CCI small pistol primers.

    I'm not sure advantages to accuracy will show up every time, but small pistol primers will work well. I regularly use them to light even 4198.

  8. #1127
    Tinhorn
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    NOE bullet moulds are on sale, if anyone is interested. .257, NOE Bullet Moulds

    260 89Gr. FN

    Jim

  9. #1128
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    That is the design 2520 WHV and I collaborated on. The intent was to eliminate the weaknesses of the RCBS design and also offer a GC variant.

  10. #1129
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    To expand on the above, the RCBS design carries too much lubricant, and the overlarge lube grooves are deficient from a bullet strength standpoint, although this can be avoided by not casting them too soft. Too much lube means flyers and very sensitive bore conditions. The redesigned bullet has much shallower lube grooves that are about the same width as the originals with a much thicker base band than the RCBS bullet has. The two middle bands are very slightly narrower. The shallow lube grooves and thick base band limit undesirable and possibly unbalancing upset of the bottom lube groove even with softer lead alloys.

    If minimal lube is needed for the lighter/lightest loads the bottom lube groove only should hold lube. Lube is correct when it is enough for the job and no more, so be sure to experiment with lubing one or both lube grooves and see which holds accuracy for a string of shots. In addition, one might want to shoot the rifle, lay off for a couple of weeks and see where the first short cold bore strikes after said long layoff.

    If the rifle proves sensitive to bore condition try lubing only the bottom lube groove.

    The redesigned bullet has a bit larger meplat than even the RCBS's large front end, making it the widest for the caliber available consistent with good aerodynamics. The moulds on sale are cheaper than the RCBS type with equivalent cavity numbers (2) and the option exists to get these in plainbase and GC and in multicavity format as well, thereby maximizing casting time. With linotype alloy my samples (I have both PB in 5 cavity and GC in two cavity) cast to .262" making them suitable for any rifle. I'd suggest investing in a .259 or .260" sizing die, preferably a push through design made by Lee or Buckshot on Castboolits.

    They are the usual very good NOE quality and I'd also suggest spending some very little cash outlay for the mould lube as it's great stuff, preventing the sprue plate from galling the top of the mould blocks. The moulds fit Lee six cavity mould handles.
    Last edited by 35remington; 01-13-2015 at 08:26 PM.

  11. #1130
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    I shot a lever action silhouette match this weekend. The fellow I shot with was using a 25-20 loaded with the Missouri Bullet Company coated bullet. He used the IMR4227 load mentioned earlier in this thrread. And, he was using Puff-Lon filler. He was overall match winner, as he usually is...so he, his rifle, his load and other mo-jo worked well for him - regularly.

    The Puff-Lon filler goes on top of the powder instead of Dacron. He reported that he put in his powder charge then fill the case to the rim with Puff-Lon and compressed it with the bullet. I asked if he noticed anything different when he cleaned the bore. It seems that Puff-Lon is a filler, lubricant and keeps the bore quite clean too. The instructions say to dry swab to bore, then use an oil patch. And before you shoot it again you run a dry patch through it to remove the oil.

    I was spotting for him and I can assure you the combination worked well for him. I inspected one of his cases - no issues there.

    Looked like a winning combo to me. I'm going to try Puff-Lon.

    Michael


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