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Thread: .40-50 brass question

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold Discipulus Plumbum's Avatar
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    Oct 2011
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    Reno
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    .40-50 brass question

    Hi all -

    I have been an avid reader of this forum for a number of years, but have posted very little. This forum was the best source of information I found when I decided to try my hand at BPCR silhouette shooting (casting boolits, loading BP cartridges, ...).

    I shoot a .40-65 in iron matches and a .45-70 with scope - both highwalls. Also have a Shiloh .45-90 that I am still working up loads for to try at longer ranges. I have been kicking around the idea of a .40-50 in either Sharps Straight or bottleneck and have a couple of questions.

    Have read that bottleneck cases are formed from .45-70 brass - but for reasons best left for another two-beer story, I have an ample supply of .40-65 brass that is too short for my chamber. Was wondering if .40-50 bottleneck brass can be formed from .40-65?

    The .40-50 Sharps Straight IIRC can be formed from .30-40 Krag (or .303 British which comes out short). Krag brass now looks to be available from Hornady after a few years of no availability. Would Hornady brass be a good choice if I went this route?

    Am sure I will have more questions if I decide to pursue this. Any ideas/comments would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers -

    DP

  2. #2
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    Stephens City, VA
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    31
    The 40/50 Bottleneck is only 1 11/6" long so 40/65 will be plenty long enough to form into it. It will shorten somewhat when fireformed so leave it long to start.

    303 Brit is long enough for the 40/50 Straight. The Rem Krag brass has more capacity. I don't know about the Hornady brass capacity. Hornady brass is quality stuff and should make good 40-/50 SS cases

    My personal choice would be the 40/50 Straight case. I've got some experience with it.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master




    Boz330's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
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    Central Kentucky
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    I've been working on a 40-50 for several months now. I got brass from Graf's and just ordered 150 cases the other day that they had on sale. I had to ream my brass for the .408 boolits after fire forming. The sides are too thick otherwise.

    Bob
    GUNFIRE! The sound of Freedom!

  4. #4
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    44
    I built a target Winchester Model 71 lever rifle that is chambered for the 40-50 BN. It's got a big heavy 1 n 16 twist Badger barrel 30" long with a button magazine tube. I use MVA Soule tang sights. I've had it for about 25 years and its the most accurate lever rifle I own. I've won several long range (out to 500 yards) SASS gong matches with this rifle. While there maybe other equally good cartridges, I am completely sold on 40-50 BN. Its just the right size for using Black Powder or Smokeless. I use 45-70 cases to make my 40-65 brass, but when one of those cases has a problem, its converted to a 40-50 BN.

  5. #5
    Boolit Mold Discipulus Plumbum's Avatar
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    Oct 2011
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    Reno
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    Thanks for the replies. I hadn't even considered a lever gun for this round - it should work well for lever gun silhouette. Somewhere in my safe is an unfired "Mirochester" 1886 in .45-70 - might make a great platform to try a caliber conversion.

    I'll research this more and perhaps take on a new project!

    Cheers -

    DP

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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