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Old July 20, 2012, 07:25 AM   #1
Doc Hoy
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Calling all Experts

I am ready to make a move on black powder cartridge reloading.

So I need some advice and I need some stuff.

I have decided on .45 long colt. And want to start with an 1873 blued with at least a 6 inch barrel.

As always, my tight streak compels me to look for the deal of the century. There are a couple of them on Gunbroker but the price seems to level off at USD 450.00 - 500.00 used. (Advertised as "NIB" to me is used.)

For the press I think I want to start with a single stage press and I have good experience with Lee products. It appears as though the dies will go somewhere around 30 bucks and I think I can get a single stage press on the Evil Bay for under 50.00.

I will probably start with about a hundred rounds of smokeless just to have something to shoot before I get loading and will then use those cases and purchase some additional cases for reloading. I think I have two or three hundred cases I should be in pretty good shape.

I also need some advice on the mold I should use for the bullet.

I don't presently have any of this stuff. Anyone thinning out your collection could make some money here.
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Old July 20, 2012, 07:54 AM   #2
bedbugbilly
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Doc - I've been looking at getting in to reloading as well - and am not an expert but will pass on what I have learned through research so far.

I think you are on the right track with a single stage press. You'll have to change the dies out for each stage you do but that shouldn't be a big problem. Like me, you probably aren't looking at reloading large quantities at one time? I'm looking to do maybe 100 - 200 rounds at a time. I've had guys tell me that I need to gget a multiple stage press so I don't have to waste time changing dies, etc. but as you've already discovered I'm sure - they are much more expensive.

I'm looking at 38 special as I have a 357 New Vaquero that I shoot the 38s in. I have been saving my brass from new ammo that I've purchased and have accumulated probably 400 empties so I'm all set in that respect. I have beed advised to purchase primers by the 1,000 due to the quantity price.

I'm also looking at molding my own slugs as I've molded round ball and minie balls for years and it's no big deal. For myself, since I pretty much just "plink" at cans and paper once in a while, I'm going with a wadcutter round first as that is what I usually buy for my plinking and they are accurate out of my New vaquero.

On the reloading - check out the forums on this site and others - I've received some really good help from them.

You are well aware of the GB prices (I'll refer to it as reality versus fantasy). If you put some "feelers" out and check the LGS when you are out and about, you might find just what you're looking for that is used for a better price. In my travels, I've run across several 73s that were used at what I thought were quite reasonable prices as well as other "conversion models" - very interesting pistols but weren't what I was looking for at the time.

As you stated - check flea bay as I've seen some older single stage presses on there at various times that were listed as "universal" in regard to taking several brands of dies. I probably will buy "new" just because of any warranties on the equipment and the availability of accessories.

Good luck and keep us posted. You'll enjoy "them new fangled cartridges".
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Old July 20, 2012, 08:12 AM   #3
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Doc you can get a Lee anniversary kit for around 125.00 that comes with enough stuff to get you started, minus dies. Some of it you will want to upgrade later but it's a good deal.

Barrel lengths on the 73's run 4 3/4, 5 1/2 and 7 1/2. There's a dude selling NIB and I mean brand new Uberti Hombres on gunbroker for 250 but all he has right now are .357's. Keep an eye out and he may get some more .45's. They're 4 3/4 and a matte finish tho is the only thing.

Lee makes good inexpensive molds but if you're going to use bp you might want to look elsewhere, I use Lee's standard RNFP in my 44-40's with bp without any problems but the bullets don't hold much lube.
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Old July 20, 2012, 08:44 AM   #4
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'Expert' advice on reloading "Holy Black"

You might also consider the older Lyman 'All American' turret press. They are usually available on fleabay, and run ~$65.00 in decent shape. You have 4 stations availabe, ansd can operate just like a single stage - i.e. size & deprime/reprime all brass, then rotate the turret and drop powder, rotate and seat bullets, rotate and crimp. It allows you the advantages of a single stage without having to constantly mess with changing dies between stages.

I would also recomment the Lee Perfect Measure for the powder die. It is all plastic, so there are no spark hazards with black powder, and the internal wiper gives reasonably accurate measurements. If you decide on this, get in touch with me and I'll give you help on constructing a drop tube between the measure and the die so you can get uniform density in your powder charge.

I use this press and measure setup for loading for my 1861 Navy cartridge conversion, and my .38 Special smokeless loads (change the powder measure so there are no powder cross contamination issues).

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Old July 20, 2012, 09:20 AM   #5
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Doc I started with a Lee hand press, basically it's a hand held single stage press. Did that for a year then jumped right into a Lee classic turret (4 hole) press. It is good to start with a single stage press, but it really is slow. The turret press doesn't cost that much more. I still have my hand press and will sometimes use to deprime and resize brass while watching TV. I never got into casting bullets.
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Old July 20, 2012, 09:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
I would also recomment the Lee Perfect Measure for the powder die. It is all plastic, so there are no spark hazards with black powder,
There's no static spark hazards with bp. I use a Hornady Lock N Load.
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Old July 20, 2012, 10:46 AM   #7
Fingers McGee
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My recommendation would to start with a single stage press kit. Since you have had good experience with Lee products, Cabelas has the Lee 50th Anniversary breechlock Challenger reloading press kit for $109.99. Everything you'd need to start reloading except the dies (powder, bullets, primers, cases).

For bullets, I'd get one of Dick Dastardly's big lube bullet molds. Bullets from one of his molds gets three or four times the lube as a standard bullet. You'll never have to worry about hard fouling. I use big lubes in my 44-40 rifles. Two or three patches & the bore is clean.
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Old July 20, 2012, 11:12 AM   #8
JDBoardman
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Hawg:

quote:

There's no static spark hazards with bp.

Actually, I was referring to metal-on-metal sparking rather than static sparks. I am aware of the studies where BP has been exposed to static sparking without ignition. Sparks generated by metal-on-metal contact, however are, as you probably know, actually minute fragments of hot metal like a flint on frizzen spark. Besides, the wiper arrangement in the Lee Perfect Powder measure doesn't cut or crush the grains like many rotary measures with metal drums. I have found it to give very repeatable loads, and it is cheap!

John
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Old July 20, 2012, 12:24 PM   #9
Andy Griffith
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Number one, I'm not an expert by any means.

I don't know if I suggested this before to someone else, but since you're getting into BP cartridge reloading, I will be bold enough to ask if, possibly, you may get into loading rifle and even shotshells with holy black? If so, I would suggest going with the Lee Classic Cast press (without the breech lock) so you may take out the insert and use large, 1 1/4" dies such as those for .577 Snyder and 10/12/16/20ga brass shells and any other large dies to your heart's content. This is not only for convenience, but for vastly expanded versatility down the road. It's going to cost a good bit more than the basic Lee press, but I don't think it can be worn out, nor will I think you will regret the purchase in any way.

The one other thing besides the above I can recommend for nothing but an ease of loading or even pre-charging is getting a black powder measure like the Lyman or Hornady- it will make loading cartridges or shotshells so much more pleasurable, and less of a drudgery. I also use my Hornady to pre-charge a Pedersoli glass vial match set- I do find that charges are more consistent with it than from a flask into a measure, and no wasted or spilled powder. All those grains lost from leveling off can add up!

I can't remember which moulds I have for .45 Colt, but there are a couple of older Ideals I have (I think) for it that are RNFP. I did get a mould for 44-40 recently for those "big lube" bullets and I'd recommend them for real blackpowder loads or even smokeless- they have those for .452 also.

Just have fun!
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Last edited by Andy Griffith; July 20, 2012 at 12:30 PM.
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Old July 20, 2012, 02:05 PM   #10
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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Hey Partner. Stick with what your familiar with. If you like those Lee products go with one. Molds and alike.__ It would be nice to know what your bore measures out too? Maybe you could check on that for us Doc. Sure would be helpful info to know up front. A mold cast around 250-255 grain in weight I suspect is about right for your application. Perhaps some other threader can shed better light on this subject. I'm still in the Beginners Learning Category myself_ So lets hear from y'all professional pistolero's hang'in out there in cyberspace?
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Old July 20, 2012, 02:14 PM   #11
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250 grain is standard .45 Colt.
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Old July 20, 2012, 04:33 PM   #12
kwhi43@kc.rr.com
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I'm not a expert, so I can't comment.
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Old July 20, 2012, 05:53 PM   #13
Doc Hoy
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It appears

That the dies are pretty much interchangable between presses from the same company. Do I have this right?


Also I found the Uberti Cattleman in 7 1/2 inch barrel from Taylor's for 481.00.

At that price, I think I might start out with a new one.
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Old July 20, 2012, 06:36 PM   #14
Hawg Haggen
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Dies are interchangeable no matter who makes them except for the ones made for an Ideal tool. I have Lee, RCBS and a Redding. Some don't like Lee dies because of the o ring but I'd rather have them.
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Old July 21, 2012, 05:14 AM   #15
Doc Hoy
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This is all good stuff...

...I have learned enough to know how to buy a press, dies and the revolver.

Much of the rest will be experimentation. (That is the fun part.)

No fewer than nine of you made a reponse. Every response added knowledge.

I should be thanking each of you individually.


But Y'all know how rude I am.
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Old July 21, 2012, 06:07 AM   #16
Jim Watson
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Ol' Mike has some good information together in one place. You have to buy used, the book is out of print.

http://www.amazon.com/Shooting-Singl...ions+venturino
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Old July 21, 2012, 09:17 AM   #17
Hawg Haggen
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Jim has a point Doc. As long as you stick with BP you're pretty much ok just filling the case to within 1/16 of the top and seating a bullet. A long drop tube will get a little more powder in it. If you start reloading smokeless tho you do need some reloading manuals. Another good reference book is the ABC's of reloading if you can find a copy.
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Old July 21, 2012, 09:44 AM   #18
Andy Griffith
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Get a Lyman Blackpowder Book from your library, or have them get it for you on loan if they don't have it.
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Old July 21, 2012, 04:40 PM   #19
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Here's some posts regarding static electricity spark ignition of black powder.
I didn't write these and they are from "The muzzleloading forum", but some of those members are also members here. Since electricity is not my forte, I take no position on them personally and present them strictly for member's evaluation.

Quote:
BrownBear wrote:
You know, there's static spark and then there's static spark.

Get up into the Alaska Interior in winter at -30 or -40 with zero % humidity in the air, and you'll scare yourself silly. I'm talking about walking on a synthetic carpet in a hotel hallway, and reaching for the door knob of your room. You can jump a 1" blue spark from your hand to the knob with a crack loud enough to make you jump. And I'm here to tell you that it has enough energy to sting like the dickens when you do it.

Not sure what it has to do with anything, but this kid isn't going to be using any plastics for holding powder in really cold dry weather. I'm also not going to be wearing a nylon jacket.

Sure the word is out that it takes heat rather than spark, but at some point sparks generate heat, and there's no way around it. I'm not willing to test the limits, and I'm not going to stand next to you while you test them either.

I figure if static spark is enough to cause explosions with fine dust in flour mills, coal mines and fireworks factories, there's going to be some point at which you get enough static spark to turn the whole "no danger from static spark" into a very loud wives tale. YMMV, but as I said, don't stand next to me while you test it.
Quote:
MyKeal wrote:
Interesting experiment, and it does illustrate some interesting physics. But it's incomplete.

Yes, electricity does not 'flow through' the bp cyrstals. And yes, (for that reason) does not heat them up. And yes, heat is what is needed to get the crystals to ignite. All that is fine and dandy. Gee, bp must be safe to handle without concern for static electricity, right?

Wrong.

The issue is not the bp crystals, it's other impurities that DO conduct, with significant resistivity, and thus DO get heated up by static electricity. All we need is a small bit of resistive material in the powder to get sufficiently heated by a static electricity spark and, well, the results of the experiment are just a bit different.

So, if the plastic container can generate a spark, and if the powder contains some foreign material with the right dielectric properties, we have the potential for a problem.
Quote:
Rod L wrote:

I doubt there's much to worry about with the small sparks we're talking about here, but static electricity can do weird things. Lightning is static electricity, after all, and anyone who believes there's no heat there to set off blackpowder can experiment by standing on a hill during a thunderstorm while holding a metal can of 2F over their head.

By the way, there is an interesting account of a Union soldier durning the CW who was struck by lightning--he was wearing a pair of revolvers. All the charges went, shredding his legs. As I recall, the lighting didn't kill him, instead he bled to death.
Quote:
Paulvallandigham wrote:
In response to Rod L

The metal of his guns provided the resistance that got hot enough to ignite the charges.

There are accounts of people being struck by lightning and suffering no burns, or ill effects.
Quote:
Zimmerstutzen wrote:

In response to roundball

Whether static electricity can generate enough heat to ignite black powder???? Of course it can. I have seen static eletric burn holes through playing cards and I have seen the melted glass that can be caused by static.

Now while the normal static electric from walking across a carpet in winter may not generate that kind of static, keep in mind that a lightning bolt is also static electricity. Static electricity, like any other electric comes in small and large quantities. Now, I'm not sure that your powder container ever stands the same risk of being set off as fastening a can of powder to the top of a lightning rod. I just find the statement that it can't happen to be an over generalization that is most certainly untrue. If it were totally impossible under all circumstances,the electric ignition muzzleloader couldn't possibly fire.
Below are several links to actual experiments with lots of photos showing electricity raining onto powder. Nice pics, that say more than enough. It looks just about impossible in normal handling to generate enough energy to cause an ignition. Would a lightening bolt (static electricity) do it? I don't know. Just read the links below and make you own conclusions.
Lots of urban myth surrounding BP... The static electricity one seems to be one of them. Could it happen? I honestly don't know. Judge for yourself. Also, Swiss powder is shipped in plastic cans so obviously the Swiss aren't concerned with plastic creating a static spark to set it off. Both good reads with great illustrations.....

http://www.ctmuzzleloaders.com/ctml_...eignition.html

http://www.ctmuzzleloaders.com/ctml_...ks/sparks.html


.
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Old July 26, 2012, 03:25 PM   #20
Doc Hoy
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First two purchases

Picked up the Lee 90496 three position multi stage press from a distributer new on eBay for 77.00. delivered.

Also got the dies for .45 Long Colt.

I'll get the bullet mold elsewhere since noone on eBay presently has the mold.

I am going to start with a 200 grain round tip and I think it comes from Lyman.

Question.....

That is a lighter slug than some of you suggested. I am hoping to get more speed from it but I am not certain that I could say why I want that.

Am I barking up the wrong tree?
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Old July 26, 2012, 03:32 PM   #21
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You will get more speed from the 200 and a little less recoil but you get a lot more wallop with the 250. You need to stop thinking in modern terms when dealing with these old warhorses.
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Old July 26, 2012, 03:49 PM   #22
Doc Hoy
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I guess....

....the only thing I am hoping to kill is a piece of paper.

I will probably add a different mold or two later.

What is a good powder charge for that cartridge and bullets? (200, 230, and 255)

I am still thinking the Uberti 7 1/2 inch barrel Cattleman blued at 481.00 for starters.
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Old July 26, 2012, 03:50 PM   #23
Andy Griffith
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The 200gr may only hit a little lower than 250gr and may be an issue with some guns- nothing that powder charge modulation (if using smokeless) and Kentucky windage can't help.

If you are going to be using holy black, your only choices are to fill it up so there is about 1/16" compression under the bullet, or add a wad under the bullet to take up a bit of room, and create a better seal and thus shoot more cleanly. Forget the wads at first to keep it simple.
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Old July 26, 2012, 04:29 PM   #24
Doc Hoy
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Just picked up....

....the mold 90234 (200 grain flat tip) for 19.49 from Titan Reloading.

Need primers and cases

Most of the other stuff I already have or can make.


Oh



Still need the revolver(s)
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Old July 26, 2012, 06:57 PM   #25
Hawg Haggen
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I thought you said you were loading bp? That's a smokeless bullet. You really need bigger grease grooves. Having said that I use a smokeless bullet in my 44-40's but it does have an extra groove.
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