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Thread: Breech loading rifle cases

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Ontario, Canada
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    Breech loading rifle cases

    Hi
    Hope i am in the right forum.
    I have been wanting to start breech shooting.
    I have a .32-40 high wall.
    I am curious, as to how the cases them selves are put together.
    I plan on using 3f Goex powder.
    Anyone shed some light for me?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    226
    First, Question: are you referring to breech Seating
    as in seating a bullet ahead of the case into the bore
    and then loading a case with powder behind it?
    beltfed/arnie

  3. #3
    Boolit Master


    Join Date
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    My rolling block is set up for breach seating but I have not gotten a seating tool yet. The pivit pin for the front block is extended to the right, hok the tool ovet the press the bullet in the barrel. A case with Old Ensford with a card and a lube cookie in the muth of the case for power.
    Don't buy nuthing you can't take home

    Joel 3:10

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I shoot a number of rifles using breech seated bullets. With black powder you basically fill the case to the top and add a 0.030" wad to hold the powder in. I generally compress 0.050" after adding the wad. You can seat the bullet with a plugged cartridge case, or one of a variety of breech seating tools. This can be done with paper patched and grease grooved bullets. With paper patched bullets I seat the bullet with a 0.030" LDPE wad underneath.

    The one suggestion I would make is to reconsider using FFFg powder. Breech seating is generally harder on brass than shooting fixed ammunition. You will likely stretch your cases quite a bit, and maybe even rip them in half . Believe it or not, plain Fg works quite well for breech seating in the .32-40. Swiss 1.5 is also a good choice.

    You might want to consider joining the ASSRA forums as most of the people there shoot breech seated bullets, although primarily with smokeless.

    Chris.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Another thing. I'd recommend getting a copy of Randolph Wrights book "Loading and Shooting Traditional Schuetzen Rifles". It has everything you need to get started.

    Chris.

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Anyone shed some light for me?
    Breech seating reloads is different than shooting fixed cartridge reloads"
    Here is an ASSRA post with the difference between a plugged case breech seater and ordering a true breech seater from Russ Weber .... http://www.assra.com/cgi-bin/yabb/Ya...num=1382732115

    This is the Russ Weber breech seater which comes with 2 sized caliber brass cases. The box is what I made for a HiWall 32-40 - have another seater kit for a 38-55... left click on picture for larger view

    After the bullet is seated - the charged powder case is capped with a felt wad or a pinch of pure cotton to preclude the powder spilling into the chamber - then the case is chambered and just pull the trigger. Reason for breech seating is: bullet is aligned with the bore and with proper adjustment of of the seater (1/16") the bullet base engraved by the leading bore cuts and is not deformed
    PS: The reason for the black stick on felt wads on the bullets in the tray is so when the seater plug chambers the bullet, the push plug in the seater does not mark the bullet bases. Others don't use them but I do
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by John Boy; 02-16-2019 at 06:34 PM.
    Regards
    John

  7. #7
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Ontario, Canada
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    Hi Everybody
    This has been very helpful.
    I just wasn't sure about "Any" gaps between bottom of bullet and case with regards to black powder.
    Golden Rule: No Air Gaps.
    Chris I will look into getting that book.
    Thanks
    Sean

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Golden Rule: No Air Gaps.
    Throw the rule out ... the case mouth is up against the bullet base when breech seating and there is always air in the case unless the case is COMPLETELY filled with powder which not going to happen with a normal data book reload powder charge....
    Regards
    John

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    All of my breech seated bullets have an air gap between the bullet and over powder wad. It's not much though, could be anywhere from 0.050" to 0.125" depending on the load I'm using. This kind of thing has been done for a very long time.

    I have heard that very large air gaps resulting from short starting a bullet in a muzzleloader can cause problems, but certainly 1/8" isn't going to hurt anything at all.

    Chris.

  10. #10
    That golden rule drawn up by an anonymous internet poster.... I've shot more than 1,000 bp reloads with air inside the case in original rifles - more specifically, 577-450 reloads for the Martini-Henry. I actually consider using filler - especially in BN cases - more dangerous than an air gap.

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master
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    I actually consider using filler - especially in BN cases - more dangerous than an air gap.
    Martinibelgian is Spot On ... Set the filler in a bottle neck down against the powder charge ... and not a matter IF but WHEN = BOOM
    Regards
    John

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
    Chill Wills's Avatar
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    For breechseating I use floralfoam. It has been a safe standard for more years than I can remember.
    Chill Wills

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
    Markopolo's Avatar
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    What about this from RMC....

    Click image for larger version. 

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    They are selling the business, but they also make cases for a whole bunch of different BP cartridges that are hard to come by these days... as well as true diameter 12g brass shells that let you use normal shotshell wads and such... good folks to deal with. If you wanna order stuff like this, better do it now.

    Marko
    Any technology not understood, can seem like Magic!!!

    I will love the Lord with all my heart, all my soul, and all my mind.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by martinibelgian View Post
    That golden rule drawn up by an anonymous internet poster.... I've shot more than 1,000 bp reloads with air inside the case in original rifles - more specifically, 577-450 reloads for the Martini-Henry. I actually consider using filler - especially in BN cases - more dangerous than an air gap.
    How large an air gap??

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Depends on the maximum limits of the caliber pressure of the caliber - correct type of powder charged in the case - burn rate of the powder (Relative Ignition Pressure) and under or over charging of the correct powder
    Example: for my breech seated 32-40 rounds I use 14.2grs of Allient 300-MP. It's fine grain pistol powder and leaves the majority of the case with air space, but the correct charge is below the peak rated pressure curve for the caliber & charge
    Regards
    John

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks for the post John - your Allient 300-MP is a smokeless powder. I was thinking more along the lines of the Black Powder used and how much air space was allowed there. I remember from muzzle loading it was always impressed to be sure there was no air pockets allowed with BP. Then I read about breech loading and it seems like there is sometimes air gap left even with BP. I was wondering if 1/8"? 1/4" more? Just how much air gap was allowed then. And "why" an air gap was ok in breech loading but not muzzle loading?

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Ken, my breech seated loads all use a small air gap with black powder. When using grease grooved bullets it's pretty small. It depends on the chamber shape, but generally the bullet is seated deep enough that the base band is partially or fully engraved by the rifling. This usually results in a small airgap, like maybe 0.050-0.1". With bore diameter paper patched bullets I go deeper, usually around 1/8".

    I think that when there is trouble in a muzzleloader it's because the ball was short started and there is a much bigger gap. I'm not sure why this is a problem, but there seems to be no shortage of people who say they've bulged a barrel by short starting a ball. I don't shoot muzzleloaders though so don't have firsthand experience.

    Marcopolo, those tools are different than a real breech seating tool. They are really just designed to help seat a loaded cartridge that is too long to be pushed into the bore with your thumb.

    Chris.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is my Webber breach seater. The wad is on top of the powder flush with the case mouth with a slight roll crimp holding it in. I seat the bullet just so when I load the car the case makes contact with the bullet base.
    I hesitate leaving a gap between the wad and bullet base because I rung a couple chambers with cartridge rifles plus one muzzle loader.
    The first was a .43 Spanish roller I loaded light loads of black powder because at age 14 I didn't know any better and the recoil bothered me and I shot several rounds before the case would not extract and at that time I did not use any wads. The second rifle I rung a chamber in was a Pedersoli Quigley rifle chambered in the .45-120/3.25 chamber. Back that time I used Wim Mag primers and I had a hang fire, CLICK......BOOM. The only thing I can figure what happen is I might have dropped powder in a wet case and this caused the hang fire and rung the chamber by the primer pushing the bullet ahead before the charge went off.
    The muzzle loader was a TC .54 Renegade with a fairly thin barrel and and after several shots I fouled the barrel and I must not got the ball on the powder and it ended up blowing a walnut about a 2" ahead of the breach plug.
    There was a guy with a brand new .45-120 IBA Sharps at the range and he came over and showed me what he had. I asked him what his load was and he said he has 60 grains of 1F with a 500 gr Gov bullet. I asked him if he used a wad and he said yes, I told him to take the rifle and loads home and pull the bullets because you will damage the barrel shooting this load. Well he went to the 100 yard line about 50 yards from where I was shooting the 200 yard and I saw him shoot twice before I saw him working on the rifle before he came over to me and asked me if he could use my cleaning rod. I asked what's the matter? I can't get the case out.
    I have breach seated bullets as deep as 1/8" ahead of the case but it's not worth the worry about what might happen......Kurt

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks for the info - .050" to 1/8" range is what I'm reading. I've always been careful with BP in cartridges to have not space, and prefer at least a slightly compressed charge. If I want a light load, I'll put a filler, and darn it I can't remember what that filler is. It's some type of small seed that was recommended from a man on the ASSRA board.

    edit: I finally figured what I use for filler: Organic Amaranth 3 Lbs Whole Grain - I think that's just Amaranth seed.

    Thanks to both for such good detailed replies.

    Ken H>
    Last edited by KenH; 02-20-2019 at 03:26 PM.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    If you do decide that you want to put something in to avoid the air space you can try a felt wad stuck into the case such that enough of it pokes out to fill the gap. I tried that for a while but no longer do it.

    Chris.

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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