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Thread: Loading a 40-85 Ballard

  1. #1

    Loading a 40-85 Ballard

    Good evening, new to this group. I have acquired a 40-85 Ballard No.5 Pacific. I had it completely worked over by the folks at Wyoming Armory. I have acquired .408" Diameter 370 Grain Lubed Hand Cast Lead Bullets, 40-85 Ballard (AKA 40-90 Ballard) Reformed* Reloadable Brass Cases (all from Buffalo Arms Company), Primers, dies, and 1.5-F Swiss Caviar Ball Black Powder. I measured the bullet depth to the crimp and subtracted the wad and 1/16 inch compression. This allows me to put approximately 70 grains of powder in the case. At this point I am looking for advise on how much compression is the right amount and what others load in the same case...Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2017
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    using a drop tube to load????
    1/16" is light - let the rifle tell you what it likes - work your way up a grain at the time - I never shot Swiss - others tell it does well with light compression .

    If you are using a compound press - pay attention - you will have no clue as to the force of compression until you hear grains scrunching in the case

    lots of advice for Swiss powder will likely be forthcoming

  3. #3
    Thank you. Would you happen to know what shell holder I need to acquire? Online references are no help...

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    Sir, I believe you need to abandon this project at once and forward the rifle and accessories to my address in Texas.
    Seriously, I hope you find a load that really performs. The No. 5 Pacific has been my favorite Ballard configuration ever since first reading Ned Roberts's comments on it.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    What are the reformed brass made from, headstamp on the case head?

    That will tell you what you need for a shell holder.

    KW

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny Wasserburger View Post
    What are the reformed brass made from, headstamp on the case head?

    That will tell you what you need for a shell holder.

    KW
    Theis is where I purchased the brass. they do not say what it was formed from. https://www.buffaloarms.com/40-85-ba...85ballard.html I have written them to see what they suggest.
    Last edited by AKBallard; 01-22-2023 at 01:39 AM.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKBallard View Post
    Thank you. Would you happen to know what shell holder I need to acquire? Online references are no help...
    Dunno whether this helps - its from an old post that came up on a search

    I use 9.3x74R cases fire formed to .40-85, and the case rims are slightly smaller. So I'm trying to ensure the extractor stays under the rim as I chamber them.

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master


    missionary5155's Avatar
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    Good Morning
    Is your barrel stamped with a caliber designation ? Is your brass straight or a "bottle neck" type ?
    Buff. Arms sells ammo in several 40 Ballard (straight case) calibers. The powder making changes as a lighter cast is used and more powder is used.
    The 40-63, 40-70 both use the same brass. Just a different weight cast and powder.
    If you need to make new 40 Ballard straight brass 9.3x74R ( Rimmed) works as noted. Buy some "O" rings at a hardware store to place on the case to hold it firm to the breach as you fire it. Also helps center the base to the chamber.
    Last edited by missionary5155; 01-22-2023 at 10:56 AM.
    "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.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I wonder is that brass reformed from magtech 410 brass ????????

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    That is Bertram Brass 40-90 looks like.


    Kenny Wasserburger

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by missionary5155 View Post
    Good Morning
    Is your barrel stamped with a caliber designation ? Is your brass straight or a "bottle neck" type ?
    Buff. Arms sells ammo in several 40 Ballard (straight case) calibers. The powder making changes as a lighter cast is used and more powder is used.
    The 40-63, 40-70 both use the same brass. Just a different weight cast and powder.
    If you need to make new 40 Ballard straight brass 9.3x74R ( Rimmed) works as noted. Buy some "O" rings at a hardware store to place on the case to hold it firm to the breach as you fire it. Also helps center the base to the chamber.
    The rifle was originally chambered in 40-63. I sent it to Wyoming Armory and they relined the barrel and chambered it for the brass provided by Buffalo Arms, 40-90.

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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