View Full Version : Loading bottleneck BPCs

03-11-2008, 02:41 PM
I am loading up some 577/45 Martini Henry ammo. This is a necked case. In trying to duplicate an original load of 80gr of BP, the level of the powder in the case is below where the neck of the case starts.

Recommendations as to solving this issue? Filler use? Different powder (this is FFg)?


03-11-2008, 02:50 PM
my first question is how are you getting 80 gr loads? are you weighing the 80 gr or loading 80gr by volume which is the proper methed

03-11-2008, 03:02 PM
80gr volumetric

03-11-2008, 03:05 PM
well as long as you get some powder compreshion when you seat the boolit you shouldn't have any problem

03-11-2008, 03:08 PM
The bullet only goes part way down the neck, does not extend into into the body of the case. There is quite a gap between top of powder and bottom of bullet. Can't simply put a card there being that some of the open space is in the body of case (i.e., the .577 part of case). Use a filler than add a card (at base of bullet)?

Don McDowell
03-11-2008, 03:12 PM
I wouldn't use any fillers in that. Best to fill it with powder till the powder meets the bullet and wad. Keeping the base of the bullet and wad well above the junction of the neck so the exploding powder doesn't get a chance at distorting the sides of the bullets.
Those big old cartridges were designed around 1f so you'll end up with a good bit more powder by weight and volume when you try to load 2f.

03-11-2008, 03:18 PM
Do you think switching to 1f would be a better idea and then do as you say, put in enough to reach base of wad in the neck area? Thanks. I'd rather not OVERLOAD the round with 2f

Don McDowell
03-11-2008, 04:01 PM
Yes in all honesty I do think 1f would be a better bet in that ol darlin. No sense in putting any undo stress and strain on that grand ol maiden if its not called for, and by all means leave the thoughts of smokeless or bp replacements out of it.

03-11-2008, 04:04 PM
Thank you very much. Makes sense to me.

03-11-2008, 04:22 PM
Snowman, the original load was 85gr 1 F but that is still short of the neck. Two methods that I have used is Kapok filler up into the neck. Should be able to get 7+ gr in there. The other method is an active filler. This is a cream of wheat and 3F BP mixed 50/50. Some folks don't like this method. The theory is that the BP burns up the COW so it doesn't act as an obstruction.
If you go to the link,
There is plenty of loading info there on Martini Henrys and Sniders.


PS you can't overload the MH with 2F BP, but you sure won't like the recoil!!!!!!

Don McDowell
03-11-2008, 04:28 PM
Snowman ubecha. Be sure and let us know how the olgal shoots for you.
I have an old roller in 43 egyptian that would be a pretty good shooter I think, but someone somewhere in time "sporterized" it and it looks for all the world like they used a pipe cutter and chamfering tool to shorten the barrel:( But it doesn't do terrible bad, but its sure not ever going to win any longrange matches.:mrgreen:

03-12-2008, 02:27 AM
................I have a MkIV Martini-Henry in 577-450. I loaded up 20 rounds ONCE with a charge of BP :-) I used Goex 2Fg. This was some considerable time back. Being mindfull of the "No Airspace" requirement, I just kept on adding powder til it got to about where I felt I could commence stacking in cardwads and a couple lubed felt wads in. At that point I vibrated the powder down and added more in back to that point again :-)

I was using Bertram brass, and for sure this drawn brass holds TONS more powder then the old foil wrapped cases! I don't recall now how much powder was in there but it was up around the 'Copious' mark in anyone's books. Closest boolit I had to HM's 480grainer was the Lee 450gr design, so I paper patched it up from as cast with some 20 lb paper which gave me a OD of .472". Good for the MkIV.

At the range sitting at the bench I knew right away at the first shot that my interest in shooting off the remaining 19 had dimmed quite suddenly. I did manage to shoot most of them myself but was a successfull enough salesman to get several other morons, er onlookers to handle some of the load. You know you've had recoil visited upon yourself when the left side of the rifle is covered in slobber :-) My desire to shoot BP in the 577-450 was well quenched.


You CAN shoot smokless in the 577-450 very handily. My favorite load is the Lee 457-405RF patched to .472" from as cast, with 20 lb typing paper. Under this is loaded 38.0grs of IMR 3031 with a good wad of dacron. This is a very fine accurate load that is very pleasant to shoot, going a bit under 1300 fps. These 60 rounds pictured had been loaded up to take up to Winnemucca for the '04 Cast lead shoot and the above load is what was in them.


03-12-2008, 05:03 AM
Are you forming your own brass for the 577/450? I've been thinking about getting one from IMA and 50 or so 24ga brass hulls from magtech but I don't want to pay $600 for forming dies :coffee:

03-14-2008, 01:39 AM
Are you forming your own brass for the 577/450? I've been thinking about getting one from IMA and 50 or so 24ga brass hulls from magtech but I don't want to pay $600 for forming dies :coffee:

.............No, all my brass is Bertram. You can go to the British & Militaria forums at................

...............and check in with them about it. You don't need any special steenking reforming dies :-)