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Thread: What can .43 Spanish be made from?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    What can .43 Spanish be made from?

    I know this subject has probably been beaten to dust But... I just got a screaming deal on a military model Remington rolling block with a great bore and was thinking about putting it to work. What can .43 Spanish be made from that's not as expensive as Bertram cases. Will .348 Winchester or .50-90 sharps work I'm not worried about forming or trimming. I can get everything needed except brass Maybe I should have it bored out to .50-70 Govt.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Well if you aren't onto long range shooting then the 50/70 should be right up your alley. Get a faster twist barrel than the old times used to better stabilize those big bullets. Brass is available from starline so the quality is there. I have one of the swedish rolling blocks but undecided as to caliber.Was thinking of a carbine style with 22 or 24" long barrel in half octagon but cannot think about a caliber. Frank

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    Bent Ramrod's Avatar
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    The usual case to start with is the .348 Winchester. It generally has to be thinned near the base, and the rim diameter may need turning down, depending on the chamber.

    Then it needs neck expanding, forming in a .43 Spanish die, and trimming to length. The neck may need outside turning or reaming, as well.

    After making up 50 cases, you may wind up wondering how Bertram can sell theirs so cheap.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I recently noticed that Starline is offering 348 Winchester brass. Their pitch is a minimum quantity of 250 cases for a modest charge of $425.00! At that price you really want to be careful in forming your .43 Spanish. At that rate each "oops" you have will cost you $1.70 in penalty.

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master
    Mk42gunner's Avatar
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    I just looked at Track of the Wolf, they have .44-77 brass https://www.trackofthewolf.com/Categ.../CASE-44-77-SH but it is $3.39 a piece. It should be a simple neck down.

    When I got my 1879 Argentine, I bought the reformed .348 brass from Buffalo Arms. It worked, but some of it needed to be sized farther to fit my chamber.

    .348 brass was readily available then so I bought a few bags thinking I would do the conversion myself, utter failure. The Lee dies that I have and the Pacific Super C press weren't strong enough to squeeze the base of the cartridge down far enough to chamber, I don't remember if I ever tried doing it once I got my Rockchucker or not.

    When I bought my rifle, the guy I talked to at TotW made a comment about most of the people there had the chambers reamed to use .348 brass. Not something I would do at least without clearly marking the gun.

    One of the biggest drawbacks to converting .348 Winchester brass to .43 Spanish is the need to increase the thickness of the rim from the normal 0.060"ish it comes as to about .090". That alone makes it worth waiting for Buffalo Arms to do another run of conversions, at least to me.

    Don't get me wrong, the .43 Spanish is a lot of fun to play with, but it isn't as cheap or easy as the .45-70.

    Robert

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    buy the ready made brass, at least one box, go shoot. I believe there a lot of peeps who use 45-70 as a donor case. it will head space on the shoulder after full throttle fire forming.

  7. #7
    Track of the Wolf also lists 43 Spanish available, CASE-43-SPANISH $3.39 ea.
    https://www.trackofthewolf.com/Categ...ASE-43-SPANISH

    This is the way I'd go, AntiqueSledMan.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy Remmy4477's Avatar
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    I played with a 1879 argentine in 43 spanish years ago.
    I had bell and Jamison brass. My problem it was only good for maybe 3 reloads if you were lucky then it would split towards the shoulder of the case. All my loads were black powder rounds.
    I got tired of replacing brass so it went down the road and was replaced with a rebarreled roller in 45-70 and have not looked back.

    A 50-70 would be a good one to think about! Not sure if theres enough meat in your barrel to have it rebored?

  9. #9
    Boolit Master



    curator's Avatar
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    With a mini-lathe you can turn down the .348's head diameter to chamber in your gun. Do a chamber cast so as to turn the least amount and not get the brass too thin. A simple .030 thick "O" ring will compensate for the .43 Spanish's .085-.090 rim thickness. Anneal the neck/shoulder area before fire-forming. I fire-formed my brass with 10 grains of Unique and a full case of Cream O' Wheat cereal held in place with a bee's wax wad. Once-fired .348 Win brass is often for sale for a lot less than $1 per case if you look around. I made 50 cases from .348 brass for my Argentine roller several years ago and they are still holding up after 20+ loadings with black powder. I do not resize these after firing just reprime, load and shoot. My #439186 Lyman mould drops slugs that measure .441" when cast of 50/50 COWW/plumber's lead. Unsized these are large enough to thumb seat and chamber in my rifle. .43 Spanish is do-able and not all that difficult. Bell, Jamison, and Bertram brass do not hold up well and often crack after 2 or 3 loadings despite their high cost. Buy, borrow, or steal: "Shooting the .43 Spanish Rolling Block" by Croft Barker (Cistern Publishing Company) It has a lot of good information that will guide you successfully without having to learn everything the hard way.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I found Track of the wolf will have the Best matching 43 spanish and 44/77 on the market. there brass matches original rifle with the thicker rims. all older remingtons have that rounded rim. .I purchase Bertram in the past and if you do not adjust your headspace for your Rifles they will not fire. Now if You have 1 rifle thats Fine but i have 6 different 43 spanish Tracks works in every one.
    NRA Endowment Member
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    New York, the Empire State Where Empires were Won and Lost

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntiqueSledMan View Post
    Track of the Wolf also lists 43 Spanish available, CASE-43-SPANISH $3.39 ea.
    https://www.trackofthewolf.com/Categ...ASE-43-SPANISH

    This is the way I'd go, AntiqueSledMan.
    Thanks for the link SledMan. I gave 'em and order.

  12. #12
    Boolit Mold
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    Imade mine from 24ga brass shot shells.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    I made 43 Span for RB out of 348win. I did turn some off cases toward the base. The form die I had
    was home made by some machinist and would start to dig into the brass, it had to be turned. I did
    nothing to rims because they fit and fired in the RB. The 348 brass was Remington 1x from old Red & Green Kleanbore box days. I only loaded 3 times but didn't loose any cases. I don't know how you would make 43 Span out of 45/70.

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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