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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All of my manuals say to trim brass to 2.095 with a maxim COAL 2.550 EXCEPT Lee's Modern Reloading 2nd Edition that lists 2.550 as the MINIMUM??? Lee does not suggest trimming the brass. He lists 2.105 as brass length. All of my loads have a COAL well below ranging 2.510 - 2.515. I'm finding that virgin Starline brass that was trimmed to 2.095 is now resizing between 2.090 - 2.095 after 4 reloads. Is this normal?

The thought behind my question is not so much safety as I've seen no issues with my loads but also accuracy. My range report yesterday had 38.5 gr of IMR4198 varying significantly round to round. Please school me.
 

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Fired brass will "grow" a-bit after firing...and "stretch" after sizing...I always trim brass after running thru the sizing die.
 
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Kwesi,

My thought is your over thinking the process.

As to cartridge over all length, and providing you are doing a proper load work up with your rifle and not starting out on the high end, the Maximum OAL is what functions flawlessly through your rifle. Personally, I would error on the long side if not crimping to a crimp groove, and if using a bullet with a crimp groove as seen on most 45/70 bullets, then the bullet controls the OAL.

If your combination is overly long to function in your rifle, then it is too long and you need to change bullets.

As to brass length, in my years of shooting straight wall cartridges, beginning in the 60s, I have trimmed so few of those cases as to not being able to recall ever doing so.

Now to achieve best accuracy and consistency from your 45/70 loads, consistency of case length sure is not going to hurt and may possibly help.

It will, for sure improve the consistency of your crimp!

Just picking up one of my loading manuals, the last Hornady publication, they list Max. 45/70 case length as 2.105" and trim length as 2.095"

Check your brass length. Are they consistent and within those parameters? If so, problem solved, load and shoot.

If they are on the long side, close to the 2.105" measurement go ahead and trim the back to a consistent length of about 2.095" and be done with it. Problem again solved, load and shoot.

As long as your cases are within those measurements, you not dealing with any safety issues.

If however, your cases exceeded the Max. length, and if your chamber is tight, this could cause the brass to be forced tightly into the throat of the chamber, pinching AND holding the case mouth tightly into the bullet, which in turn could be the cause of excessively high and dangerous pressures.

Looks to like your results with the Starline brass are well within normal!

One other point here ------- Should a bullet slip deeply into a cartridge due to lack of crimp or??, even though the cartridge would function through your action with no problem, this situation could be the cause of VERY high and possibly dangerous pressures.

No need to over crimp here, just be consistent and have a firm crimp.

Now, had a person worked up from reasonable and safe levels with a bullet seated deeply, no problem.

The problem comes when you have a load with the bullet seated to a "normal" position for which the load was developed and then the bullet slips deeper into the case and DECREASES case capacity which in turn raises pressures.

My son is shooting some of my cast .44 handgun bullets in his .444 and must seat the bullet deep and crimp over the front driving band rather then in the crimp groove to allow for the rounds to function in his Marlin rifle. NO PROBLEM! The load was worked up too, with the bullet in that position and everything works fine and safely!

Have a really great day!

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Crusty: I'm not loading @ max book and my loads are not too long. My brass is running up to 4/1000 lower than the recommended 2.095 with the Starline (2.090-2.094). I would not expect his difference to have any safety issues. I asked because of what Lee stated in his manual. My bullets do have a crimp groove so they are a bit shorter. The basis of my question on safety/accuracy was based on having a shorter COAL. My crimp has prevented any bullet setback. Thanks for covering that as it's always a good reminder. Thanks!
 

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Kwesi,

Sounds to me like your good to go.

As long as y0u have worked up to the loads your shooting, I really see no issues with being below the length Lee states.

Not being a big Lee fan, I have heard people recommend it, so?? guess it is OK.

It really makes zero difference in your Cartridge Over all length is shorter then what Lee says, unless you are using the same bullet, in which case one of you is not seating and crimping at the crimp groove.

Just as an example, my .44 handgun loads with a Lyman 255gr cast are much shorter then those loaded with my 310gr Wide Flat Nose cast when both are seated to and crimped in the crimp groove. Then as I related earlier, a son is seating the cast bullet (Lyman 255gr) so deep he is crimping ahead of the front driving band for use in his .444. No safety issues with any of it as the loads were worked up with the bullets in those positions.

Likely few of these loaded rounds match any manuals COAL specs. other then possibly the .44 loaded with the 255gr. The 310gr is from a custom mold and the 255gr in the .444 isn't even close with that bullet.

Reviewing you posts, I do not see the bullet in question identified so we have no way to compare in that regard.

I would hope you also have other loading manuals, but from where I presently sit, I can't see that your have anything to worry about.

Keep being safe and enjoy!

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It is in the title: Lasercast 405 grain HC's. I do have a few manuals which is why the Lee caught my attention.
 

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Sorry Kwesi, I see it now.

Still, it has a crimp groove as I recall, use it and I'd not worry about it not meeting the Lee info.

Very likely, that info relates to the Lee bullet of about the same weight.

Again, this should not be a problem.

I see that you are listing 38.5gr of IMR4198.

Have you worked up to this level or just jumped in at that point.

Looking at my Lyman cast Bullet book, and info for their 405gr cast, I see that they list - for Marlins - a starting load of 36.5gr and a max load of 40.5 with velocities ranging from 1533 to 1717fps.

If you haven't done so already, I start at the bottom of their listings and shoot 3 to 5 shot groups as you increase the powder charge by .5gr per step.

I'd probably shoot the 5 shot groups, but then I'm not buying my bullets.

Then, as they say, let the rifle tell you what it likes.

You may find that your rifle does great with this powder or, and yes this really depends on powder availability, there are a number of other good 45/70 powders, 3031, H332, H335, SR4759, 5744, RL-7 and others.

Little is said about H335, but at the recommendation of my mold maker I tried it and it give better groups and consistency they any of the other powder I tried.

I recently found and bought a good stash of IMR4198 as while it may not be optimum in a given rifle, it will go bang in a push comes shove situation with many cast bullets.

Keep us posted as you work this out, we are all learning and this forum is a great place to get great info.

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Crusty: I did not work up the two loads that I started with. Both were recommended by other forum members that shot them with Lasercast 405's. My gun sure did not like the 38.5 load. We did get good consistency with the 36.5 so for now that will be my load in hopes of connecting it to my first ever hawg. My only other powder is 2400 which did well at 50 yards. I wanted something in the 1500 FPS range which is why I tried these IMR4198 loads. Thanks again!
 

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Regarding the title: min vs max COAL - this is controlled by your individual rifle, not any manual. Your manual gives you a guide to stay in a safe zone. Your rifle will not function feeding from the magazine if the COAL is too short or too long. Your action will not close if the COAL is too long and made it through the feeding into the chamber. Even if it fits in the parameters of the manual, the rifle has the last say. Lots of folks use loads that I don't care for. Others might not care for my loads. All part of the "handloading" concept. Make it what you want it to be. Again, the manual will guide, but your rifle will dictate. You just need to learn to listen to it. I believe you are doing that per your comment about the loads you tried from others. Good luck, stay safe, and have fun! CDOC is spot on!!

Jeff
 

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Kwesi,

As I'm sure you already know, verify info found on the net with a manual to be sure it is safe.

Then each rifle being an individual will have and show it's likes and should have the final say!

Sweetwater says it well!

My go to load for my 45/70 with the 465gr Wide Flat Nose bullet is, 47.5gr of H335, which along with other recommendations from the mold maker, proved to be "spot on."

The key word there is, "proved". It was proved, by a series of test loads fired above and below, each separated by .5gr, and the sweet spot for MY rifle could have been a half grain, a full grain or more lower or above that suggested by Bruce.

Example, worked up loads for a new RUGER American 30/06 last summer, using RL22 and with a 165gr bullet starting at 58gr and "working up" to 62gr which was approaching the published maximum for this bullet weight and powder.

The rifle was surprisingly easy to find a great load for, and never shot badly but 61gr gave a 3 shot group if 1 1/16", 61.5gr - 11/16" and 62gr gave a 3 shot group of 1 1/2".

Had I taken full grain steps up during the work up, I'd never have seen the 11/16" group, and would have thought the best the rifle would do with this powder and bullet combination was 1 1/16".

By the way, that great shooting 61.5gr group was verified/proven during further testing.

I gave the "06" info only as an example and the work up with the H335 in the 45/70 would have been similar in results.

It just happened that the info Bruce provided was spot on, but way more often then not, safe info provided on the net will be close but seldom that close.

Only YOUR rifle can provide the final answer for what it likes and as little as .5gr could be the difference between good and so so.

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
 

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Kwesi,

I'm seeing just over 1650fps with the 22" barrel and the 47.5gr of H335.

Make note that there isn't a lot said about using the H335 with the 45/70, when compared with H332, 3031, RL-7, 4198 and some others.

A poster came back on one of the forums soon after I first posted my results with the H335, saying that it was prone to hang fires and other bad things in cold weather.

With as well as it worked in my rifle, I didn't want to give it up, so took 10 rounds and froze them for about 2 weeks in the upright freezer, then went to an early morning testing session after taking the frozen ammo from the freezer and packing it in ice packs in a cooler.

Went to the range, set up everything, bench, bags, chronograph, targets etc. and then took the ammo from the ice packs one at a time and fired for group and velocity.

The frozen ammo ten shot 100yd. group was 2 3/4" for 9 shots (one flier out) and 1615.9 average fps compared to a 10 shot group of non-frozen ammo with an 8 shot group (2 fliers out) of 1 1/2" and an average velocity of 1652.1fps. No hang fires or any other problems, and even with the "fliers" nothing that would have prevented a clean kill on a deer or elk at my typical distances.

So, at least in my tests, I have seen no issues with the use of H335, but felt much better about it's use after the tests.

"Fliers" Nope, don't like them, and have come a long ways with improving things since beginning my 45/70 journey.

Need to have a casting session for the 45/70 before long, and will be, hopefully, ramping my up my bullet quality a bit more.

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
 

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I really like H335. The only thing I ever read was about using magnum primers in iffy situations. Tests like what CDOC performed do a lot to dispel "results of individual circumstance". I've often heard the ball and sphere powders had troubles in cold weather. I started using BallC2 in my 8x57 in Maine and brought the load to Wyoming, took it to Southern California, on up to North Idaho and back to Wyoming. Never a missed beat anywhere. I believe more "problems" are created by improper reloading techniques or improper focus on the project, ie too much interruption, than was ever created by "the weather". Just how I see it....

Jeff
 
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