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Thread: Forming brass for a couple of oldies ...

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Reverend Al's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Forming brass for a couple of oldies ...

    Had a great day up at the range today fire-forming some brass for a couple of my old single shots. I formed some .40-60 Maynard "thick rim" for my Maynard 1873 Model 16 in .40-60 Maynard and some .40-50 Sharps Straight 1 7/8" for my Remington Hepburn. While I was at it I formed some more .40-90 3" Ballard for my No. 5 Pacific as well. (Forgot to take pictures of the Pacific Ballard today so will include some from the last fire-forming session a while ago). Lots of toilet tissue and yellow cornmeal drifting around the firing point today. Now I need to cast a bunch of 300 grain RCBS .40 calibre boolits to load in all this brass ...

















    Last edited by Reverend Al; 09-27-2018 at 03:46 AM.
    I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't reached my "Expiry" date!

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    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    After all the years I've made up different cases for various oddball calibers, I still have fun fire forming brass. It still amazes me how easily brass shapes itself to a chamber and looks go good after a firing.

  3. #3
    Only thing I hate is when your fire forming loads end up grouping better than anything you come up with afterward

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    Boolit Master Reverend Al's Avatar
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    These were just case forming loads with a charge of Trap shotgun powder, a 1/4 sheet of toilet tissue, yellow cornmeal to the case mouth, and then another 1/4 sheet of toilet tissue to hold it all in place and get a bit of compression to force the tapered brass out straight to the chamber. Next time they'll get the full charges with a boolit ...
    I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't reached my "Expiry" date!

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Reverend Al's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marlinman93 View Post
    After all the years I've made up different cases for various oddball calibers, I still have fun fire forming brass. It still amazes me how easily brass shapes itself to a chamber and looks go good after a firing.
    Yes, brass is amazingly flexible stuff and will neck down or blow out to a variety of shapes. Sometimes it takes a bit of patience and several steps to get it there without splitting or cracking cases. On Wednesday's fire-forming session with all 3 guns I didn't lose a single round of brass to splits or cracks and I fire-formed about 150 + rounds in total, but I always anneal the brass first which I think helps quite a lot. I'm sure glad that all 3 of these obsolete calibres can be formed from common, readily available brass since these days up here in Canada Bertram brass for any of these 3 obsolete cartridges would cost me about $100 plus tax for 20 rounds so about $5.00 each! (And I'm not impressed with Bertram's quality ... I've had a lot of them split.)
    I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't reached my "Expiry" date!

  6. #6
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    Chill Wills's Avatar
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    Reverend Al, Very nice! These are my kind of rifles! I especially like the Pacific and would love to own one if I ever come across the right one to hunt an elk with.

    What irony. This week I have been for forming 100 Graf 30-40 Krag into 40-60 Maynard (small Rim) for my Hepburn.
    There are lotsa right ways of doing this but I do it much like you do.
    Any LRP, 6.3grs Herco, cornmeal to the top. Crush a very small dab of old bullet lube into the mouth so as the unfired cases travel well in a loading block and load with out spilling.

    My 15 year old son and I were in the woods and I think he got more fun out of blasting stuff (spiders too) with the cornmeal than shooting his favorite, the Ruger Old Army.

    One shot and perfect 40 cal cases. Just trim to square. 2.2"

    Are the large rim cases small with a loose added large rim. Very cool!
    Chill Wills

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Reverend Al's Avatar
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    The 1873 Maynard "thick rim" cases use a machined brass adapter washer that presses onto the donor case. They are very snug and stay in place. If the case splits or cracks then the washer can be pressed back off the defunct case and pressed onto a new donor case. It's always fun to show up at the range with something a little bit different. Nearly everyone that was there shooting that day came over to peer at my old rifles in the rack and ask: "What the heck are you shooting?"
    I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't reached my "Expiry" date!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Chill Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Al View Post
    The 1873 Maynard "thick rim" cases use a machined brass adapter washer that presses onto the donor case.
    Yes. Neat system and that is what thought based on your good picture. Should I ever own a large rim Maynard, it is good to know about the system to modify existing cases.
    Chill Wills

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    Tom W.'s Avatar
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    I must admit that I've never seen a cartridge like that except in pictures.....Very interesting..........
    Tom
    μολὼν λαβέ

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    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Al View Post
    Nearly everyone that was there shooting that day came over to peer at my old rifles in the rack and ask: "What the heck are you shooting?"
    That's half the fun of shooting old guns at the range. But it often cuts into shooting time in a big way! I've sometimes spent more time talking to guys about what I'm shooting and how I form brass, than I spent shooting that day!

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Reverend Al's Avatar
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    LOL ... been there ... done that! (But I agree, it's all part of the fun of shooting these old rifles ...)

    Quote Originally Posted by marlinman93 View Post
    That's half the fun of shooting old guns at the range. But it often cuts into shooting time in a big way! I've sometimes spent more time talking to guys about what I'm shooting and how I form brass, than I spent shooting that day!
    I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't reached my "Expiry" date!

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