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Thread: WTB 25-20 Reloading brass, bullets, boolits, dies

  1. #1
    Boolit Master .45Cole's Avatar
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    WTB 25-20 Reloading brass, bullets, boolits, dies

    I recently bought a vintage 1894 marlin in 25-20 and need to get set up to reload this. Really need the brass (I have a 32-20 and can resize, but I figure I'll try. Looking for bullets before boolits as the barrel is a little rough.

  2. #2
    Banned
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    Duck Creek Sporting Goods has C&H 25-20 2 die sets in stock. The current RCBS dies I had sized the neck down so far you could have seated a 6 mm bullet and I don't recommend them.
    Denny at duck Creek is a marvelous person and a joy to deal with

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy

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    Visit the 25-20 reloaders forum on the Marlin Owners Forum
    over 100 pages of reloading info for both cast & jacket

  4. #4
    Boolit Bub
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    I was just at my local gun shop yesteday and on his used/trade-in table was a bag of 25-20, pm me if you would like me to check them out for you and the price.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master .45Cole's Avatar
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    @cbashooter - thanks for the advise, I was chasing on some RCBS dies on fleabay but I'll steer clear - think I can get a set of reddington 3 set for cheap down the street.

    @wc870 - thanks, PM sent. I have a couple 32/20's so I'd like to try to keep headstamps separate.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    PM sent

  7. #7
    Boolit Master and Dean of Balls




    fatnhappy's Avatar
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    I have a set of CH 25-20 dies if you're interested. No box. They're in good shape. $25 shipped

    Pics if you're interested.
    Quote Originally Posted by Theodore Roosevelt
    No man is above the law and no man is below it: nor do we ask any man's permission when we ask him to obey it.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have sized 32-20 down to 25-20 with ease. Lube the neck of the 32-20 case . Remove the bullet seating stem from the 25-20 bullet seater die.Run the 32-20 case in & you end up with a case of about 27 cal. Relube the neck & case body only. Not the shoulder. Now run the case up thru the 25-20 FL sizer. Woks for me.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master .45Cole's Avatar
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    @fatnhappy - thanks for the offer, I'm going to try to run down the Redding dies as they're a 3 die set. I'll PM if that falls through

    @Dom - The 25-20 brass seems pretty hard to get my hands on, I may resize some nickel 32-20s I have so it's easy to separate the 32s from the 25s, eas going to use the nickel 32's for my pistol and the brass for the rifle but ??

  10. #10
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    garandsrus's Avatar
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    Nickel cases may crack more than brass cases.

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    Sorry to hear about your lack of 25-20 brass. If worst comes to worst let me know. I have an abundance of 32-20 brass I can let you have a few. Also I cast 25-20 bullets form the Lyman 65gr GC mold. They come out at 73grs when cast from my scrap WW. Then powder coat. Sized .258 they are deadly from mu Marlin 94CL 25-20. Can supply you a few if needed. Pictures of the 25 cal bullets along with some 45's.Attachment 294697 The 25 cal are on the right.Attachment 294699
    Last edited by Dom; 01-16-2022 at 11:55 PM.

  12. #12
    Link sent through PM.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

    Baja_Traveler's Avatar
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    I've been using the RCBS Cowboy 3 die set, and it works great. Of course all the Cowboy dies are specifically made for cast bullets, so that may be the difference.
    Brass is really hard to find since Winchester has not done a run of it in 10 years or more. A bunch of us at one time tried to persuade Starline to make it (as well as 218 Bee), but they were determined not to. I have about 100 with the proper head stamp, and formed 100 more from 32-20 - it is really easy to see the difference between the two, so no worries of one ending up in the wrong place.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master .45Cole's Avatar
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    @Dom - thanks for the offer, I'd be pretty temped to just to have those cool looking green boolits! I have time to get some bullets/boolits lined out and if need be resize some of my virgin starline I really do appreciate the offer though. By the way I'm assuming those are 458 boolits, looks like a cool Miha HP!

    @Baja Traveler - I'm not super sold on Redding dies, but I'm going to give the 25-20's a try as I'll probably be shooting red pills as the bore is suppose to be pretty dark. Maybe a good cleaning will show a strong barrel? I have RCBS cowboy dies in 40-60 and really like them. I'm concerned about somebody I would go shooting with opening up a case of resized 32-20's loaded as 25-20s and stuffing one into one of my 32s. Wouldn't really hurt anything, but would take a lot of cleaning of the copper out of the 32 bore.

  15. #15
    Boolit Bub
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    Howdy Pard

    Wish ya luck in getting that old smoke pole up and running. Bot a 92 Winchester in 25-20 in 1957 … still got it … and have cast bullets for it and reloaded ever since.

    I use the Lyman 65 gr mould. I cast em with Linotype, gas check, and Lee tumble lube. They come out right about 70 gr. After experimenting with several load combinations I settled on 9gr of IMR or H4198. Super accurate in my rifle. Use the rifle for Cowboy Action and
    Lever Action silhouette. It takes down the 100 meter Rams with authority (when I hit em … LOL) and flings the 40 meter chickens over the berm.

    A cautionary tale on sized-down 32-20 brass (side note to Starline: why in the ‘H’ don’t you make 25-20 brass? You’ve brot so many obsolete/unusual cartridges back into production. Why not 25-20? Oh well, plz forgive the venting.)

    Back to the cautionary note. I’ve not had luck sizing down 32-20 to 25-20. Higher up in this thread a good Pard had a suggestion that I’ll try out. Cautionary? A few years back I bot some sized-down 32-20 brass that apparently wasn’t done properly. Some wouldn’t chamber and those that did tended to have a short reloading life.

    Again, good luck and good shooting.

    Fort Reno Kid

  16. #16
    Boolit Master .45Cole's Avatar
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    thanks ftrenokid, The rifle arrives Thursday and I can see what's left of the rifling/lands after a good cleaning. I have a pretty good hunch I'll be shooting red pills out of this one, I have a few hundred I found at a local auction. I'm shooting for 25-20 brass so I don't have to deal with all the headaches and I can avoid a shooting buddy dropping 25-20's into one of my 32-20s.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Why would a 25-20 be dangerous fired in a 32-20? I know accuracy might not be the best. I had to anneal 32-20 before resizing to 25-20. I know most say just run 'em up the 25-20 die, but mine would always get a crease in the neck.

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by WALLNUTT View Post
    Why would a 25-20 be dangerous fired in a 32-20? I know accuracy might not be the best. I had to anneal 32-20 before resizing to 25-20. I know most say just run 'em up the 25-20 die, but mine would always get a crease in the neck.
    The neck will snag the vent hole in the finish sizing die. That's why you need to run the 32-20 though the 25-20 seat-crimp die first, no vent.

    Bill

  19. #19
    Boolit Master .45Cole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WALLNUTT View Post
    Why would a 25-20 be dangerous fired in a 32-20? I know accuracy might not be the best...
    The 32-20 that one would reload without ever seeing the bottleneck would be the 1905 S&W: pull the 32-20 headstamp 25-20 out of the ammo box (all facing nose first) and directly insert it into the cylinder nose first, never seeing the bottleneck. The 25-20's will be loaded to a higher pressure than I'd like the old pistol seeing, and without seeing the bottleneck and ejecting formed 32-20 cases the problem may continue. Lots of what if's, probably not going to really blow anything up but would mess up a day shooting and then have to clean up all the copper on the cast boolit bore. Just easier to avoid if I can. I buy yellow diesel cans and red gas cans for the same reason, maybe not me but I'll suffer the consequences.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    sending you a pm.

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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