View Full Version : Loading largest calibres?
02-11-2006, 04:36 PM
For really large calibres, like 14.5mm and such, do you need to buy special presses, do you build your own special presses, or is there a way to load those cartridges by hand?
Just sort of blue-skying ideas.
02-11-2006, 05:27 PM
I guess this would qualify as a large caliber, although it isn't very long. I call it
577 / 600 Thumper. It uses a basic 577 NE or 24 gage brass shotshell hull, trimmed to .900" length. The boolit is .600 diameter, at 457 gr. weight.
CH4D said it should use 1 1/4" dies. My little RCBS press is threaded 7/8-14.
So I made my own dies. The sizing die walls are only .090" thick. I made them from O-1 tool steel. Heat treated and drawn at 600 degrees. The sizing die will form an unannealed 577 case with no problem, and the 577 has very thick walls.
If you can make your own dies, you can go quite large. Shouldn't have any problem with 14.5mm. Hope this helps.
02-11-2006, 07:28 PM
The RCBS Rockchucker press has a threaded insert that can be removed if you want to go from 7/8" to 1-1/4" dies. Also, I seem to recall that the Old Western Scrounger made a special loading press with an extra long stroke that would handle anything up to 37mm cannon shells. He sold his business to someone, but I can't remember who it is at the moment. Maybe Navy Arms/Service Armament?
Four Fingers of Death
02-11-2006, 11:20 PM
The new Lee cast presses have removable inserts also.
02-11-2006, 11:56 PM
Bent Ramrod, think you nailed it, I read something about Navy arms buying his stuff. There go the 37mm cannon barrels. Frank
02-12-2006, 02:29 AM
.................Lucky you can use an arbor press with hand dies. Lots cheaper then an outsized reloading press.
RalphH, very nice machinework. Very nice indeed. Now that I know what is involved with knurling, I can appreciate the difficulties in having it turn out well!
:hijack: What equipment are you using?
www.ows-ammo.com. Dont know who owns them, but they've left their Western Nevada digs.
02-12-2006, 10:43 AM
Great stuff, thx all. Nice to see that it is possible to create your own stuff, and have it work. :lovebooli
02-14-2006, 06:21 PM
Knurling annealed o-1 is not much fun. What are you firing that .600 thumper in. You show it beside a .577 eley, which was a handgun cartridge. Are you using it in a handgun?
02-14-2006, 07:24 PM
Buckshot---I didn't figure you would be interested in knurling. Out there skating around on ice a sweeping in front of a rock to make it go a longer distance. Besides the way you tinker,I could see you getting ejected for using a Dust Buster. Oh wait that's curling,aint too popular in Texas as you can tell---forget it.
Thanks for the link to the new site.
Dave Cumberland retained his Gardner Gun and his Rock Crusher press when he sold to Navy.
He remains in Dayton Nevada, but I do not know how he is listed. I was in his shop late last year. Presses and guns were being assembled then.
The press weighs 67 pounds and has a 1¾" die station a and lists for $1,050.00.
It has a 40mm ram diameter, 7½" stroke.
Also, he lists dies for the 23x115 Soviet and others.
Someone suggested that dies for the .577's be made from inch or more stock, then the UPPER end threaded 7/8-14 for insertion from the underside of the die station on the press. That way there is an annular reinforce around the mouth of the die.
Jim Goodwin's (NDFS) .577 dies were 7/8-14 and often failed. RCBS are 1", Lee's 1¼" and seem unlikely to fail.
Cheers from Darkest California,
02-15-2006, 10:03 AM
I made the dies on my old Pratt Whitney lathe. Have a couple old knurling tools I picked up at yard sales. Do my heat treating in a Ney electric furnace. I formed a 577 NE case to test the strength of the sizing die, and am comfortable with it.
The .600 cartridge uses a base case of 577 NE dimensions, but the rifling groove diameter is .600". The boolit weighs 457 grains, and is hollow based. I push it with 42.5 grains Goex fffg, for 680 fps. Revolver has a five inch barrel, and was made in the 1870's. Photo of "Thumper".
02-15-2006, 10:22 AM
You do damn nice fine machine work and reloading too. You may pass up our resident machinist Buckshot. He'll want to talk maching to you more then guns.
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