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Thread: 450 577 Martini Henry

  1. #1
    Boolit Grand Master
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    450 577 Martini Henry

    So I get some 24ga brass, Magtech, and noticed the rim is kind of small.
    Looking at the dimensions of other shotgun brass, I noticed that the 20ga rim size is the same as the MH case.
    Has anyone tried making MH case out of 20ga instead of 24ga brass?????

  2. #2
    Boolit Mold
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    It's not the rim size that is important, it's the body size! 20 gauge is too small.

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master
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    The 20ga body is around .698, the 24ga is around .661, at the base.
    So the 20ga is bigger.
    Not a shot gunner, so don't know much about them.
    Just going by what I can find on the web.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Shotgun bore sizes are based on the number of round balls cast from a pound of lead.
    12 to the pound get you 12 gauge.
    Thats why a 20 gauge is larger than a 24 gauge.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Over the years ,CBC (Magtech) has increased the rim thickness and squared off the shape from the original very angled shotgun rim......neverthe less ,the rim thickness is still a lot short of spec for a 577/450 or for a 577Snider.........this does not cause any problems in operation.....if you use sane loadings .......Insane loadings being 110gr of 2F ,which fits in the case.

  6. #6
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    skeettx's Avatar
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    24ga brass, Magtech works great in my 577-450
    NRA Benefactor 2004 USAF RET 1971-95

  7. #7
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    If your planning on forming your newly aquired 24 gauge cases and have or order the Lee 577-450 die set .
    Order a 24 gauge shell holder at the same time , they fit the rim a whole lot better

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    my LEE dies work just fine on my 24 gauge MAGTECH brass.

  9. #9
    Boolit Man
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    To the original question about using 20 gauge brass hulls--it won't work nearly as well as using 24 gauge, and I don't think it would work at all. To use a 20 gauge you would have to swage the head down by about 30/1000ths (.030). In the context of case forming, that is pretty extreme--I haven't heard of it being done. Case head swaging is usually thought of in terms of a few 1000ths, with .010 to .015 being a very large reduction that usually involves some degree of lathe work. I don't know if a brass shotshell would stand for that kind of treatment without deforming in ways you don't want. Also, Magtech brass hulls are pretty thin, so not much material to work with if you're thinking of turning the head to a smaller diameter.

    Conventional wisdom is to use a 24 gauge hull for forming .577 and .577/450 (or obtain correct cases made by Betram, Ten-x, Kynoch, or others) and find a shell holder that works with the cases you use.

    --DJ

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by toot View Post
    my LEE dies work just fine on my 24 gauge MAGTECH brass.
    I'm not saying the Lee dies don't work just fine , they do .
    Just saying to use the 24 gauge shell holder that matches the cases .
    It is a much better fit then what comes with the die set and will save some mangled up rims .

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Who makes a 24ga shell holder????
    I've checked Lee, RCBS.
    According to Buffalo Arms it's the same as a 577 shell holder.
    I have the one from Lee.

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master


    missionary5155's Avatar
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    If you want the brass head up firm against the breech face, get yourself some thin "O" rings at a hardware.
    "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.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    many years ago ,when the CBC 24ga with Berdan primers first became available,I made my own shellholder to suit the sloped shotgun rim........i have since bought two Lee shellholders ,which are just as suitable .....Incidentally,the Lee sizing dies are way too small ,and this accounts for the high percentage of crushed cases in forming.......If you must use a Lee die ,first enlarge the neck of the die to .5".......this is the correct size for a MH ,and reduces the forming force appreciably.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    do you mean slide the thin O-RING over the case to the rim, then fire it?

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Yes!
    It holds the case firmly against the boltface even when the firing pin pushes it forward under firing.
    Only needed firing once formed cases.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by skeettx View Post
    24ga brass, Magtech works great in my 577-450
    Want to share loading data there LtCol.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    17nut, thank you for the reply to my question. so just use it for fireforming, not after?

  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master
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    I normally do the "o-ring" thing on first firing, to set the head space.
    Then neck size only.
    Got the Lee dies set to help form the dies.
    It's a three dies set.
    Full length, seater, expander, shell holder.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master elmacgyver0's Avatar
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    If you are really ambitious you can make cases from scratch using not so conventional methods, kind of have to think outside of the box.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    The original cases were brass foil ,paper,and an iron two piece base.........solid drawn cases went issued until 1883 ,and then only for tropical areas.......the foil cases lasted into the smokeless powder era.

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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