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Thread: 401 WSL via 7.62x39mm

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    401 WSL via 7.62x39mm

    I read an amazingly complete account on how someone was making 401 WSL from 7.62x39mm brass and I'll be darned if I can locate it!! It had photos and vivid detail. Anyone have any help? My 14 year old left 2 magazine's worth in an aspen grove shooting at a raghorn bull - hence my question.

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  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    following closely

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I make it out of 414 Super Mag brass. Don't think I ever tried the 7.62x39.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battis View Post
    I make it out of 414 Super Mag brass. Don't think I ever tried the 7.62x39.
    Would you mind sharing your process?


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  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I cut the 414 Super Mag brass to length (1.495"). I do not cut an extractor groove.
    Reduce the head diameter (.460") with a drill press and file
    I use Accurate Mold #41-208L (206 gr bullets)
    Or Western Bullets 250-gr. lead plain base #410426
    IMR 4227: 22 grs minimum

    I found an old .401 die set somewhere.

    This is from a 2004 post on another forum. I did try it but had no luck at all.
    "7.62X39 to .401WSL.
    1. Run the well lubed 7.62X39 case into a .41 mag. sizer die...it won't go all the way, just up to the solid head of the case. When you withdraw it, will look like a mini-belted mag. case.
    2. Remove the belt. Lathe would be nice, but you can do it with a drill press and a file. DO NOT reduce the rim size...with the body reduced, that rim-less case will be come a semi-rim and you need that semi-rim to headspace.
    3. Fire form load: 7gr. of Bullseye, fill with grits (or cream of wheat), plug with bulllet lube to compress it slightly, point in a safe direction, and fire. NO BULLET! You'll eject a nearly perfect .401case.
    4. Trim the cases to an even length. This is usually a bit less than the 1.5" recommended, but it's better to have them all even at 1.45" than uneven at 1.5"."
    Last edited by Battis; 11-04-2019 at 09:44 PM.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    Battis

    Thank you so much for your help! I ordered some brass from Starline.

    Cheers!

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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I actually found the 401 die set before I found the gun. Yesterday, another poster on this forum, blackbahart, told me that Wolff Springs sells a recoil spring for a Winchester Model 1911 shotgun that is basically the same spring as that for the WSL 401. The 1911 spring is longer but it can be cut to the proper 401 length. I ordered one - no one else sells springs for that WSL. Good, strong buffers and springs in the WSLs are important.
    I took this pic at the Cody museum in Cody, Wyoming.
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    Last edited by Battis; 11-11-2019 at 11:49 AM.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    Thank you for the information! I replaced all of my WSL springs about 2 years ago with custom made jobs from Lee Springs. I was pretty much told that they would all be junk when I disassembled. I was surprised to find there was little wrong with 3/7 of them, but I replaced them all the same. I also replaced buffers at the same time, big difference! The slap recoil feel isn't normal it turned out!


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  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    The only WSL that I have that had buffers and springs in good shape is the .32. The gun is in great overall shape, and I think it's because it wasn't used very much. I read that the .32 WSL is the most useless caliber ever made - too small for big game, too big for small game. But it's a great gun to shoot. I also noticed that the .35 has more felt recoil than the .351.

  10. #10
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    badgeredd's Avatar
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    I found this after a search, post #13. Hope it helps anyone wanting to try making brass for their 401SL.

    https://www.shootersforum.com/rifles...0-sl-ammo.html
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    I thought that method was worth a try a few years ago, so I tried it, with no luck. For me, 414 Super Mag brass is a no brainer.

  12. #12
    Boolit Mold
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    Hi, made cases out of 7.62 brass with mixed results. First I expanded case necks to 40 caliber. Second I sized the cases in a 41 magnum die. I soldered a flat piece of steel to a shell holder so the cases went all the way in the sizing die, this left no step on the base. I then knocked them out of the die with a 3/8" steel rod.

    That all went well, but when I would seat bullets a lot of the cases would buckle where the shoulder points used to be. Also, if you go this route, use new brass. Once-fired brass will split at the crimp segments on the case mouth when expanded, annealing didn't help this.

    Tim

  13. #13
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    I have made 414 Super mag brass from 30-30 win. The case head is a little small on the 30-30. You get a wasp waist looking brass full length sizing with a 41 mag die then seating a 41 cal bullet. I say this only to show that a 38-55 win case with the rim turned should work OK in a pinch with a 40 cal bullet.

    Not always easy to find but if you can get 9.3 X 72R cases. Turn rim to .457 dia and back chamfer. Cut case to 1.55 and taper expand to .410 dia Trim to length and size in .401 die with the expander removed. Inside neck ream, chamfer and F/L size and fire form in chamber.

    .401 WSL from Starline .414 super mag brass will be much easier!
    Last edited by Loudenboomer; 02-12-2020 at 08:25 AM.

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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