View Full Version : OT__RB worth?
11-11-2007, 08:30 AM
Local show had a RB in 43 spanish. Kinda rough with little finish, but seems all there. Bore could use a little TLC, but no big pits. What are these things going for and anyone load for this cartridge or is it a waste of time. Thanks
11-11-2007, 10:44 AM
There's a lot of stuff on-line about loading the .43 Spanish. Lee has dies to do so and I believe the slack has been taken up the mould line by Rapine and NEI.
The crux of the matter for loading is that the boolits are somewhere in the .440" size and the barrels are often as large as .450" groove diameter. Putting a larger diameter boolit in the case neck often increases the diameter to the point where the round will not chamber. Some people have good luck with blackpowder loads slugging up the boolit to groove diameter, others have none and give up, and a few have gotten frustrated enough to ream out the necks of their chambers so they can fit a .451" or larger boolit and still be able to chamber the cartridge.
I found a Peabody in this caliber, spent a lot on RCBS dies (this was before Lee offered them), scrounged the obsolete Ideal 438186 and the Sharps-Bailey 451112, bought early Bertram cases, and in general had all the woes described above, including very short case life. (Bertram seems to have improved their metallurgy somewhat since.) Haven't tried to ream the chamber out yet. The "Whhuuzzzz!" of an underbore sized cast boolit tumbling its way down a 500-yard range with no chance of hitting anything but the ground (eventually) is mainly what I remember from those early trials. One day I'll get the neck reamed out and try it again. I never did try smokeless in the Peabody, but can't see that it would improve things.
Rolling Blocks in that condition generally run around $400 and up around here. The cases and moulds are available and the Lee loading dies are pretty cheap. It's kind of up to you as to what you want to pay for undertaking this challenge.
11-11-2007, 12:04 PM
I had one that slugged at .446"
11-11-2007, 10:16 PM
............There are 2 so called "43 Spanish" rounds (actually 3 if you count the Spanish carbine cartridge). One is the Reformando and it's bullet does have a .454" base band. The other is the 43 Remington-Spanish, which is pretty much a copy of the BN Remington 44-77 with a supposed .439" groove and it took a 370gr slug.
Pretty obviously the RB is on the bottom. Just above it is a bayonet for it. With the bayo on it's about 7' long! Mine is an 1879 Argentine contract item. It is said to have the best rear sights of any military BPC rolling block made, and is apparently a copy of that on the Werndl. I picked this up about 10 years ago for $165 at a small gunshow, and it was a steal then at that price.
When Argentina obsoleted the RB's they were all brought back in and completely re-furbed before being stored away. They were originally made with tin plated actions for corrosion resistance and they are VERY scarce. Most were freshly re-blued, and got whatever else was needed. The barrel on mine has a .440" groove. As is common with early BPC arms, the chambers can be tight, as most were designed around a paper patched boolit of bore diameter.
Luckily I can just barely chamber a loaded round with a .440" slug. While that is the groove diameter, engraveing in the lands must upset enough lead to hel pseal as I've never had any serious leading issues. After firing 20 or more rounds, upon cleaning you'll get some slivers and sparkles of lead on the patch. The bore is shiney with sharp tall lands, but there is some mild pitting and cleaning rod wear at the muzzle.
I have the Lyman mould which is a copy of the RN boolit design, the RCBS mould which is also supposed to be 370grs but actually drops at about 390grs and is a FN. I also size down the Lyman M71/84 Mauser design from .446" to .440".
This is the .43 Remington-Spanish with the Lyman and RCBS offerings. The inverted boolit was for a throat depth test. Dan at Mountain moulds was wanting to offer a BP type slug for the round. I'm embarrased to say I've not done a chamber cast. I should. I've heard that there is no ledge or end to the chamber at the casemouth and like some 22 revolver chambers, the throat is an extension of the chamber neck OD. And as you can see, the throat length is substantial.
This is the slug Dan came up with. It will span the gap from casemouth to leade, and will engrave. I've only tried once shooting a BP load with these slugs cast of pure lead. While it was sure a lot of fun, it wasn't very accurate. I reported about it on the BPC forum here. The Bertram cases will hold over 80.0grs of Swiss 2Fg powder.
The rifle has proven nicely accurate with WW alloy boolits and smokless powder at velocities to 1600 fps. Due to the age and design/materials of the old rifle I've trimmed those loads back to a max of about 1400 fps.
I sure can't imagine some South American trooper standing maybe 5'4" dragging one of these beasts around the Patagonia with 50 rounds of ammo on manuevers and enjoying it very much.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.1 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.