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Steve take your .409 lead from slugging the barrel and seat it in the brass. Then see if it will drop in the chamber of your gun. If you have to force it with your finger then its a no go.

If it fits you could get some .409 lead...not sure if anyone makes them or get .410 and size them.

If they don't fit you could ream the chamber to accept .409, but theres no guarantee on accuracy and im not sure you want to go that route!

My gun also measured .409 groove!

I loaded those soft Desperado .403's over 15 grains of IMR-4227 with 1.0cc of Poly Shot Buffer on top of the powder.

This will fill about half way up the neck of the case. Seat your bullet and it will compress.

I had excellent accuracy and 0 leading in my rifle.

This option most times gives better accuracy than the correct size lead!:biggrin:

Over the chrony!

1.....1252 fps
2.....1252 fps
3.....1251 fps
4.....1232 fps
5.....1256 fps

Shots touching at 50 yards!:biggrin:
I must ad this success was due to 30wcf and his excellent work with these old oversize barrels!
 

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Lou---
I'm going to try to stay as conventional as I can. Sounds like the PSB is going to be the way to go ---- 1500 fps sounds perfect

I have to agree, having w30wcf at our disposal is like having penicillin for our 1894's and I for one really appreciate what he does for all of us, first class in every way.

Steve
Steve with that load it was about 1250 fps. Maybe 30wcf could suggest a powder that will get you 1500 fps with enough room for the PSB.
 

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Schtoolee I use PSB even when I can size the lead to the grove measurement. In my vintage Marlin 44-40 with a groove size of .431 along with bullets sized .432 adding the PSB gives me much better accuracy in the 1500 fps range and no leading! I love this stuff! I now believe that many of these old barrels, but not all are not worn, but actually left the factory that way. My 44-40's bore looks pristine and the lands are sharp and square on the edges, but still oversize.
 

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Well it looks like the biggest bullet I could cram in to the case, would be .406, so I don't have a 41-40.
Even with modern barrels I think it's tough to get one load to shoot well in two different guns. I'm sure it can be done with enough load work. It might be tough with such a variance in groove size. Best of luck to you Schtoolee. I hope you post your results. I love reading these sort of posts. It's a learning experience for all of us!

I have noted that with undersize bullets (slightly) good accuracy is still possible using say 4198 and no PSB. This slower powder would give great accuracy where say using Unique would not, but eventually leading would ruin accuracy. This is where I believe the slower powder in oversize bores shine. Note....this has been my experience with rifle calibers like 38-55 and 32-40. I think it could be the same for pistol calibers, but more testing is necessary.
 

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Steve I also have a set of the Lee dippers like David to measure it out.

The load I used...15 grains of IMR-4227 fills the 38-40 case pretty good. Adding the 1cc of Poly Shot Buffer fills to the point of half way up the case neck so that seating the bullet will give some compression.

My point is even if you don't get a set of the dippers just adding the PSB without measuring to get it half way up the case neck will do. I have never weighed it and always used the dippers.

Maybe a set of the dippers (around $10) should be added to your reloading arsenal anyway? They are inexpensive and come in handy other ways!

EXAMPLE.... When I load small lots of ammo rather than setting up my Lee Perfect Powder Measure I pour my powder in a small shallow glass dish. I find which dipper that when full will just start to move the beam on my powder scale. I will take a full scoop, put it in the scales dish and then all it takes is a few twists of the powder trickler and I am at the weight im looking for! Quick and EZ! The Lee powder measure works great with some powders and not so with others depending on if it's flake or stick powder. I still use it when loading large quantities of ammo.
 

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30wcf.....If I am loading a qty of cartridges with PSB, I find it more efficient to use my powder measure. I will first drop the powder charge into a tray of 50 cases. Then use the powder measure to drop the 50 charges of PSB. Works great!


30wcf I too use the powder measure on quantities of ammo. I do like to weigh every 5th-10th charge or so because I have noted the powder weight changing as the hopper starts to empty. I can even notice changes if I vary in my upward and downward (light or heavy) stroke on the powder measure handle. Now it's not a lot, maybe 1/10th of 1 grain or so. It's probably nothing to worry about accuracy wise but my paranoia of it has me pretty much weighing every charge most times. Human error taking the shot probably causes more accuracy issues than the 1/10th of a grain powder variance. 30wcf what is your take on this? I would love to hear others opinions, tricks or techniques.
 

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Lever addict what brand case did you use, and what primer did you use? I didn't see it in your original post.

Ok here goes.

38-40 cal.
Starline brass
Rem #2 1/2 Primer
180 grain Desperado .403 Bore groove measured .409
15 grains IMR 4227
1.0cc Poly Shot Buffer

Chrony
1.....1252 fps
2.....1252 fps
3.....1251 fps
4.....1232 fps
5.....1256 fps
 

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This finally showed up late yesterday. Now------to get up the nerve to proceede. I must be nuts---this will be the first reloading I have ever done by myself and I have to pick the 38-40 to start out on. The last reloading I did was over 10 years ago with a friend ( his reloads not mine) and I was more of a gopher than anything else. This is going to take awhile. I have to dig everything out ( after I find it) and get it all set up, temporarily, to try this out. We shall see------I'm probably going to be way "over cautious" with this. Hope I can pull this off.

View attachment 106205


Steve
Steve we are all here for ya bro!:biggrin: Take your time and yes...be over cautious. Nothing wrong with that at all!
First set up all your dies and make a dummy round or two before you go charging cases.
Check the finished product for fit and function in your 1894!
If your using new unfired brass please full length resize anyway.
Once you prime and charge the case you will see that the 1.0cc of PSB will be about half way up the case neck.
Seating the bullet will compress the charge.
Don't worry you'll be fine.
Any questions just ask!
 

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Better top be "over cautious", than over confident, when reloading. anytime.

I have my cases primed and ready. I will try maybe 13,14, and 15gr of the 4227 with PSB. I also will try the same without PSB. And I will have to check on loads, but will try some Red Dot without PSB for the 1889.

I am also working on some 32-20 loads. I have the cases primed and ready for that also, but I wont need PSB, for those.
Schtoolee just remember Red Dot is too fast for PSB. I did note you said you were going to use it without PSB but just reminding you.

Here's a nice Burn Rate chart any reloader should refer to when choosing different powders to reload. It's nice to have when you cant find powder you use on a regular basis. Looking on the chart can find you a powder close to your favorite that you can't find during these LEAN times!

Burn Rate
 
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