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Thread: .351 winchester

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
    Lethemgo's Avatar
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    .351 winchester

    Thinking about picking up an 351 auto loader. I know the dies are expensive but the cases look like the biggest problem. So before I jump into one looking for information. Looks like they can be made from 357 maximum cases. Just wondering if anyone has played with doing it. Don't have a lathe but have a drill press and an old wood lathe. Can maybe borrow a lathe but would have to learn to use it. I did see where someone was using 223 brass...that would be a cheap option. Thanks guys!
    Last edited by Lethemgo; 09-06-2017 at 08:41 PM.
    Muzzleloaders....why don't you pick one up and smoke it sometime

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  2. #2
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    I use .357 Magnum brass and dies. I reduce the diameter of the rim with a file and drill press. I don't cut an extractor groove and they all eject perfectly. I use a .352" cast bullet and 17 grs IMR4227. I do neck size the cases with a .223 die to get some neck tension. A crimp keeps the bullet from pulling out and the powder holds it in place.
    I just saw a box of vintage .351 brass (50 cases) for $80 in a store tonight. No thanks.
    I use the same dies and brass for my .35 WSL. No ejector groove and they eject perfectly.

    It's a good idea to change out the springs and buffers on these old guns. Wolff Springs sells the springs and Numrich sells the buffers. It's not easy to change them out but I have a great method if you need help.

  3. #3
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    I have since picked up proper dies, keep your eyes peeled they are out there, but loaded for a while using a set of .357 and .38 Super dies. Brass used to be fairly available, Jamison was the headstamp I bought. Haven't checked in a while.

    Undersized bullets are a problem. Sizing down .358 bullets could be problematic. I found an old Ideal mold for a design for the .35 WSL, the predecessor to the .351. I used plain based gas checks and 2400 power and got results acceptable for deer hunting. Some of the gas checks came loose in flight and caused weird flyers. One of these days, I'll get a proper gas checked mold.

    The rifles work for what they're intended for. Not gonna win any bench rest competitions, and they are heavy, but they are seriously cool.

    Here's a thread from last Fall;

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/arch.../t-317823.html

  4. #4
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    Graf and sons.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

    this opinion brought to you by mister low-tech solution..

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Accurate mold #35-175A or #35-175AG.

  6. #6
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    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...nchester-Brass

    Cool 401WSL Winchester Brass
    These are made from 414 Supermag brass. The 414 Supermag to 401WSL is the same as the 357Max to 351WSL case.

    These will be $1ea plus shipping

    USPS money order or cash only (<----no other form of payment accepted)

    These for all practical purposes are new cases.


    i believe grumpa can do that.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Jamison brass is the best option if you can find some. Graf's was out tonight when I checked. They do have 401WSL if anyone needs some. I did the .223 deal once but didn't like the results I got and haven't tried it again. Fun gun. Does it ever toss the empties! See if you can rig up a net next to the ejection port to catch them. The correct Lyman mold is pretty hard to find but they are around. Uses 348 gas checks. Best powder probably 4227. Get one!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by cuzinbruce View Post
    Jamison brass is the best option if you can find some. Graf's was out tonight when I checked. They do have 401WSL if anyone needs some. I did the .223 deal once but didn't like the results I got and haven't tried it again. Fun gun. Does it ever toss the empties! See if you can rig up a net next to the ejection port to catch them. The correct Lyman mold is pretty hard to find but they are around. Uses 348 gas checks. Best powder probably 4227. Get one!
    I found a cheap brass catcher on Ebay designed for ARs that worked on mine, attaches with a Velcro strap and caught them OK.

    They are hard on brass. They spit them a long ways and never in the same area twice it seems. A lot of cases get bent too.

    Some guys have had good luck with .223 cases. I think it depends on the individual rifle. If it works in yours, it's worth pursuing, I haven't tried it.

  9. #9
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    .223 brass did not work for me, but a .223 sizing die used on .357 Mag brass worked perfectly. No extractor groove needed.
    I bought some loaded rounds online (made from .357 Max brass) and when I got the box I pulled a few and measured the powder - it varied from 16 grs to almost 20 grs. Too much difference.
    I bought a set of .351 dies online but they do not work on brass made from .357 Max as far as neck sizing. Maybe they'd work on regular .351 brass. That's why I use a .223 die for neck sizing.
    Like I said, once you find the right rifle, and the right brass and dies, make sure you check the springs and buffers.

  10. #10
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    Greetings
    We are gearing up for the 401. Going to make our brass from 414 Supermag Starline.
    Probably bought one of the same brass catchers off the "Bay" that was advertised for the AR types.
    All we have read on U Tube states the buffer is very important. A worn bubber means the recoil is "slamming" on the steel recoil shoulder and your shoulder becomes the buffer.
    Mike in Peru
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Display at the Cody Firearms Museum. I was able to get the dimensions for the buffer(s) from this and other photos taken at the display.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  12. #12
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    I think most all the components for these Winchester autos is available from Buffalo Arms. At least at one time it was.

  13. #13
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    if Gumpa [Matt] is making brass you know it is done correctly.

    I have heard of some rifles that would just 357 brass as is without trimming the rim or cutting a notch and would take 358 boolits.
    I haven't tried anything like that in mine I'm still shooting the factory ammo I have for it.
    mostly it just sit's in the gun cabinet glaring at the lever guns surrounding it.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

    this opinion brought to you by mister low-tech solution..

  14. #14
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    The Kittery Trading Post in Kittery, Maine has a box of 50 empty unfired .351 cases on an old ammo shelf for $80. They'll probably ship it if it's worth it to anyone. I saw it last night - the box has been there for awhile.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check