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Thread: Do I Need Dies

  1. #1
    Boolit Master



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    Do I Need Dies

    I just bought an antique single shot BP rifle. It is chambered in 8.15x46R. I have ordered the correct cases for it and a 8mm mould from Lee. My question is do I really need to buy dies for it?

    My reasoning is IF the fire formed cases provide enough resistance/friction to hold the boolit in place, I may not need dies. I can make inserts for my Lee universal expander. One to expand the case so I donít shave the boolit if needed and another to use to seat the boolit. Since I load one at a time, as long as I am careful, I shouldnít need a crimp, except maybe to reform the case neck if it was expanded, to insert the boolit. Of course they will always be used in the same gun and I will not be loading a tremendous amount.

    Am I missing something? Do I really need to invest in dies?

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy


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    I load BP 45-70 for my highwall using fire formed cases. I do crimp them however. You may need to buy a crimp die

  3. #3
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by foesgth View Post
    I load BP 45-70 for my highwall using fire formed cases. I do crimp them however. You may need to buy a crimp die
    I use a taper crimp for my .45/70 BP loads and wouldn’t mind getting one, but I doubt if one is available for this caliber. I think it’s a two die set or nothing. I haven’t looked, but am sure Lee doesn’t make any. I’m looking at a minimum of a hundred bucks with shipping.

  4. #4
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    Try it and see how it works.you can always add does later if needed
    I started out with nothing and I still have most of it left.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master kywoodwrkr's Avatar
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    Ch4d ?

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master Nobade's Avatar
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    Most of those rifles were made to use a stop ring bullet. No dies needed, just pour in powder and set the bullet in the case mouth. Pretty handy! Plus you really only need one cartridge case.

  7. #7
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    I saw a guy at the range one time with his powder measured into little test tubes of measured powder, and a Lee tool to de & re-prime.

    He'd shoot.
    Then re-prime the case, dump in the powder, set a bullet on top, chamber it, and shoot again.

    It seemed to work for him, he had one hole in the target the sometimes got a little bigger after a shot.
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master



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    Iíve now found out more about this boolit. Itís not a simple 8mm. It has several different dimensions. One more than 8mm another less. I think to start I can shoot a boolit cast from the Lee 8mm mould I ordered, but to get the accuracy these rounds are known for, I will have to have the correct mould made.
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  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master Nobade's Avatar
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    Yep, that's the one.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by kywoodwrkr View Post
    Ch4d ?
    ^^This^^

    They can make anything.
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  11. #11
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    You can always breach seat a bullet with a plugged case and not need dies.

    I’d be inclined to do a chamber cast and see what you have.
    Match a bullet and case then.
    You can’t size them and need to dip/pan/finger lube you bullets as cast.

    It works well if everything just fits!

    I have done similar in 30-30 and 310 cadet with much success.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master bedbugbilly's Avatar
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    Greg - interesting thread - I like reading about stuff like this. I hope you'll follow up with some info on how your rifle shoots, etc.

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy


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    Well, I tried some 45-70 loads with no crimp. I use a LDPE wad over the powder. I just compressed the powder with my compression die. I boolits flop around in the case but they fired fine. So it seems to me as long as you are not going to try to load up a pocket full of rounds for field use you should be fine with no crimp. You might try a paper patch on the Lee boolits to bring them up to proper fit. Just get the right sized wad to hold the powder firmly. If you get a chance it would be fun to see some photos of this shootin' iron.
    Nothing gets rid of tension like shooting your old computer with a 10 gauge.

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Greg, Heres a way to make a light duty sizing die for an low pressure odd ball cartridge. I read about it in a NRA loading manual from the 60s.

    Thus makes a Lee loader style die to use in an arbor press or vise.
    You will need a short length of tubing copper steel brass will work, wax, Epoxy ( J.B weld) wood dowel in caliber of cartridge. a cartridge case. Basic hand tools and some masking tape.

    Start out by cleaning tubing cartridge case
    sand dowel down to just over bullet dia longer than bullet. Ideally this should make case and dowel together as long as the tube
    seat dowel into case if loose super glue in place.
    Wax case and dowel with 2-4 coats of wax, (release agent) cut 1/4" wide strips of masking tape and wrap aroud base to build up to pipe dia a snug fit here. One last coat of wax for good measure This will center the round in the tube. stand upright in tube on a flat surface.
    Mix JB weld according to instructions. and pour in tube slowly letting air escape. You may want to check several times while curing and add if needed
    Let cure completely
    Block up on a nut or stack of washers and press case dowel out of epoxy.
    remove masking tape and again wax.
    Set case back into die ( here if there is a shoulder seat it snug to the shoulder
    Mix JBs and pour in filling gap left from tape up to base of case. let cure
    Press out of die
    Break sharp edges with fine sand paper.

    You now have a light duty die to use.

    The epoxy gains strength from the tube. It will lightly size cases. Lube cases as normal. a small press is better than a mallet but either will work. Make sure case mouths are deburred and smooth, sharp rough edges will speed wear on the die.

    I made a die in this manner and used a press for it. It lasted decently and did a fair job. I pulled a bullet from a loaded round fit the dowel bullet dummy and used it. One recommendation is make the bullet dummy long enough to set into case and rest against the inside of case head, this makes pushing it out easier when cured. Also if you can get a steel or aluminum rod turned to dia this makes pushing out easier also.

    Polish out the bullet dia portion a little and you can seat bullets also.

    While not a high use die it will load accurate useable ammo.

    Devcon plastic steel could also be used

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Harter66's Avatar
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    Have you a set of 338 Fed dies ?

    I don't know if that would clear the base or not , the only one I've had my hands on was a 8◊56R . I didn't mess with it much past ID and rehoming of 10-12 cases with 1939 Nazi headstamps . Typical over sizing might allow you to use the 338 as a neck die .
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  16. #16
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    It's the journey it seems. I'll bet you get it figured out. Out of curiosity, how did you find this rifle?

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    You might wish to go over to the forum on www.assra.com. Those guys are often a good source for info about the care and feeding of German as well as American single shot rifles. BTW, for stop ring and outside lubed bullets especially, you will probably get best results shooting unsized (as cast) bullets.

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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