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Thread: Anyone shoot a .351 Winchester Auto-loader?

  1. #21
    Boolit Grand Master


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    For molds, I started with a very old Ideal 350293 designed for the .351's predecessor, the .35 WSL. Using it and plain based gas checks worked. Initially, I did my loading with a set of .357 magnum and .38 Super dies.

    I've since obtained a set of real .351 dies. I haven't worked with it much yet, but got a 350447 light weight mold for the .348 Winchester which drops right at .352. That bullet has a flat nose and a real gas check shank and my early working with it suggests it is a lot better choice. It's a little heavy, so I dropped the Lyman starting data for 4227 by about two grains and it functioned the rifle and shot well. When/if I ever hunt with this rifle again, this is the bullet I'll likely use.

    There are several guys who have sized standard .38 bullets to .352 and used them, both cast and jacketed.

    This is a thread I posted about my experiences with it and a lot of guys contributed some very interesting experiences as well. http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...317823-351-wsl

  2. #22
    Boolit Buddy blackbahart's Avatar
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    as Battis mentioned you will make good ammo with 357 dies ,I use a 357 mag factory crimp die to finish my ammo
    351 cases are 1.38 long ,357 are 1.2 and max cases are 1.6
    357 mag brass is .2" shorter than 351 cases
    the 357 rim will not fit magazine so they need to be turned down to fit .408 and the extractor grove will / may need to be deepened depending on your rifles preference
    took a couple of pics to show the difference, hope this is helpful
    Peter
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  3. #23
    Boolit Master
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    My biggest expense was the mold (under $100). I did not want to size down .358 bullets. I had the 38/357 dies and brass. (I found a set of Lee 351 dies on ebay for $60 - the seller claimed he had a special order made up by Lee. Lee didn't know anything about that claim but said it could have been a special order. Anyways, the dies did not work on 357 mag brass any better than the regular 38/357 dies, so I returned them).
    As I said, the longer 357 Max brass took a beating at the case mouths when they ejected. The shorter 357 mag brass does not get damaged at the case mouth. As far as extractor grooves - all 4 of my rifles eject the cases without the grooves.
    My biggest concern would be that the buffers and spring are worn. You said that there are two different serial numbers on the receiver. Where are those numbers? Weak springs, damaged or weakened buffers could mean a cracked receiver.
    I could send you some of the cast bullets that I made if you can legally receive them in Canada.

  4. #24
    Boolit Master Kev18's Avatar
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    So .357 dies, id need some bullets. I dont mind resizing but the smallest resizer that lee has is a .356. And some brass. My only issue is how il get bullets.


  5. #25
    Boolit Master
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    I wonder which is original to the gun - the trigger guard or the receiver. It's possible that the receiver was cracked. Have you taken it apart? Replacing the buffer and spring can be tricky but it can be done. As far as bullets - you can have a special sizing die made by Lee. Go from .358 to .356 and then possibly .352. I'm not sure how much you can size down with each die. I went with the Accurate Mold - I use the same bullet for the .351 and .35.
    How deep is the crack in the stock? Has it been repaired?

  6. #26
    Boolit Master Kev18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battis View Post
    I wonder which is original to the gun - the trigger guard or the receiver. It's possible that the receiver was cracked. Have you taken it apart? Replacing the buffer and spring can be tricky but it can be done. As far as bullets - you can have a special sizing die made by Lee. Go from .358 to .356 and then possibly .352. I'm not sure how much you can size down with each die. I went with the Accurate Mold - I use the same bullet for the .351 and .35.
    How deep is the crack in the stock? Has it been repaired?
    Crack isnt deep, just on the surface. Lee doesnt have any .352 sizing dies. I could get a mould made but it costs an arm and a leg again. With the dang exchange rate...

  7. #27
    Boolit Master
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    Accurate Mold 35-175A is $76.50 plus shipping. Really nice molds. What would that be in Canadian money?
    Buffalo Arms sells these: https://www.buffaloarms.com/351-180-...-351wsl-351180
    Welcome to the Oddball Firearm Club.

  8. #28
    Boolit Master Kev18's Avatar
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    Il probably get the non-gas check one. 180grains.

    Its 23$ shipping. Comes up to 99.50$ USD.

    I guess il wait a little since with the exchange its 131.10$ CDN.

    Atleast I know which mold to get. Thanks. I ordered a 40-82 mold from them, and its great quality.

  9. #29
    I'm just wondering if trimmed down 350 Legend brass would work. Starline has it.

  10. #30
    Boolit Master Kev18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldsalt444 View Post
    I'm just wondering if trimmed down 350 Legend brass would work. Starline has it.
    It might, and would probably only need to be trimmed length wise too.

  11. #31
    Boolit Buddy
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    After reading that Battis uses common 357 brass, I decided to cut down the rims and recut the deeper extractor groove on the cheaper 357 brass, and loaded 5 rounds with 4227 and a 200 gr lyman 358430 bullet, sized to .351. Shot 5 rounds and everything functioned well, so I'm going to load some more. Will be a fun little rifle, I think.

  12. #32
    Boolit Master
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    For the heck of it, try some cases without cutting the extractor groove. I'm curious if it works for anyone else.

  13. #33
    Boolit Master Kev18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battis View Post
    For the heck of it, try some cases without cutting the extractor groove. I'm curious if it works for anyone else.
    Yeah thats what il do first

  14. #34
    Boolit Buddy
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    I just took off the forend , and discovered the buffer is either gone, or completely collapsed, so no more shooting till I order a new one. I will try some cases without recutting the extractor groove, that would save a lot of time preparing cases.

  15. #35
    Boolit Master Kev18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gewehr-Guy View Post
    I just took off the forend , and discovered the buffer is either gone, or completely collapsed, so no more shooting till I order a new one. I will try some cases without recutting the extractor groove, that would save a lot of time preparing cases.
    Alot of buffers are used up but still shootable. If you have a space between the receiver and the Buffer housing( The part with the spring behind it), enough to fit a decent size flat head screwdriver, you still have a buffer.

  16. #36
    Boolit Master Kev18's Avatar
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    Also, what shell holder do you guys use for the turned down rims?

  17. #37
    Boolit Buddy
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    Just takes a little patience: Over the last 10 years I have collected up all the dies for the various WSL's and molds off fleabay and resold duplicates. Also found new brass in the 4 calibers with .351 being the easiest to acquire. Even sold 75 or so new 351 cases here a year or so ago. Keep looking at Gunbroker and fleabay and you'll find everything you need. I even found a copy of 'The Forgotten Winchesters' some time back...

  18. #38
    Boolit Master
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    I just took off the forend , and discovered the buffer is either gone, or completely collapsed, so no more shooting till I order a new one.
    Wolff Springs sells the springs.

  19. #39
    Boolit Buddy
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    Well I disassembled the recoil spring and removed the buffer, it was compressed enough that the recoil ring or washer? was just touching the buffer housing. It looked to be in good condition,so I drilled out two 1/4 inch flat washers, and placed them under the old buffer, and now have about .100 clearance. I will order a new buffer and spring, but I think the old buffer will work as long as I'm going to shoot this rifle. I need to find a better method to install the spring, as Logcabinlooms method worked, but there has to be an easier way.

  20. #40
    Boolit Master Kev18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gewehr-Guy View Post
    Well I disassembled the recoil spring and removed the buffer, it was compressed enough that the recoil ring or washer? was just touching the buffer housing. It looked to be in good condition,so I drilled out two 1/4 inch flat washers, and placed them under the old buffer, and now have about .100 clearance. I will order a new buffer and spring, but I think the old buffer will work as long as I'm going to shoot this rifle. I need to find a better method to install the spring, as Logcabinlooms method worked, but there has to be an easier way.
    Im still waiting for an easier way... Hopefully it will have a video demonstrating how to do it also!

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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