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Thread: 43 spanish brass

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    43 spanish brass

    I would like to buy a few pieces of 43 Spanish brass. Need to be resized.
    Last edited by RICHP; 07-18-2019 at 06:38 AM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    I kinda-sorta got into .43 Spanish a while back with the acquisition of an 1879 model Rolling Block carbine from another forum member. I researched the information available here on the forum plus some Googling and ended up buying some brand new brass from Track of the Wolf. If you're not familiar with that company it will come up with an internet search. The brass ran about $3.35 per case, and appears to be high quality stuff. Track of the Wolf has quite a blog about the brass and what is needed to reload it on their website, and sells dies, molds, bullets, etc. I purchased a Lee die set from them plus a couple of extras they recommend, but not the mold as they were out of stock.

    Instead, I purchased a box of ready made 370 gr. RN bullets produced by Montana Precision Swaging sized .440 from Midway USA. I was somewhat surprised that the bullets were finger loose in the necks of the new brass, and so sized a couple and there was no difference at all. The bullets measured as advertised. So I was faced with just priming, charging, and then loading the cases with my fingers -- but was again surprised that the seating die would not crimp.

    Screw it in, screw it out -- nothing. It would still be o.k. to a point, as one could load the ammo with the loose bullets into the chamber and fire them, but if you desired to carry them in belt loops or even in a box with rough handling, the bullets would fall out and dump the powder. I gave it a lot of thought and decided that I would order a .43 Spanish Lee Factory Crimp Die, as if I could get the cases with the loose bullets into such a die it would crimp. It turned out that this is a custom die with a reasonable fee for them to make it, so I ordered one. Lee requires that a case be sent in with the order (non-returnable).

    I chatted with a couple of the fellows at Lee and explained the situation to them, and they asked me to send in the entire die set, which I did. It's now been well over a month with no feedback, and I did inquire and was told that at present they have no definitive answer about what the cause of the problems is. That's o.k., as I trust them, having had nothing but good experiences with Lee in the past. So, why am I telling you all of this? Because I don't know how "into" .43 Spanish you are yet, and I'm just giving you a "heads up" that it isn't all cut and dried like loading for .30-06.
    Maybe you know all this, but I'm not wasting my time as someone else will probably come along who doesn't.

    There are, as it turns out, three different .43 Spanish cartridges. The first two are bottle necks. One was longer, for the rifle, and the other shorter for the carbine. You can use the carbine version in the rifle, but not the other way around. Except for their respective lengths they look similar. The third is called the .43 Spanish Reformado and is a straight walled case, not interchangeable with the other two. So if you have a Rolling Block you want to first ascertain which case your rifle is chambered for.

    Again, getting back to buying some brass, I'd look at the Track of the Wolf website and read the information they've presented. It sounds to me like their brass is the best available anywhere, priced cheaper than Bertram, and they claim made exactly to the specs of the original cases. Also, as for dies, I'd wait a bit, as I have a feeling that Lee will soon be coming out with a new set that works perfectly.

  3. #3
    Boolit Bub
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    Thanks for the reply. All of this was unknown to me and the owner of the rifle. It is a Remington rolling block. Carbine I believe. I think I will have to get him some cerrosafe so he can do a chamber casting.

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master



    missionary5155's Avatar
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    Greetings
    Having shot 43 Spanish for over 30 years you may want to consider either paper patching or getting an RCBS .446 Egyptian mold especially if you are shooting smokeless.
    .440 40-1 will work fine with 2F Goex BP. Also the original slug was hollow based for the many fat bore military rifles that had to load always.
    Mike in Peru
    "Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
    Male Guanaco out in dry lakebed at 10,800 feet south of Arequipa.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    three different .43 Spanish cartridges. The first two are bottle necks. One was longer, for the rifle, and the other shorter for the carbine.
    Now that I did not know about the two bottle necks being different lengths. I did know about the Reformato - that's what I have. I take standard "Star" .43 Spanish bottleneck brass and fireform. You really NEED to slug the barrel to check diameter - they do vary. Especially between the standard .43 Spanish and Reformato.

  6. #6
    Once you find out what 43 Spanish you have I might be able to help. I some 43 Basic brass. These are straight cases and need to be necked down. They work for about any of the old military rounds.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master brstevns's Avatar
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    I take the Lee 45 cal .450 diameter HB minie and size it down to .443 for my 43 Spanish
    rolling block and load 12 gr Unique . May not beleive me but I am getting 2 inch groups at 100 yards with that bullet.

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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