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Forming Cases and other things
11-06-2019, 03:26 PM
Post: #1
Forming Cases and other things
In the not too distant past I have been involved in some discussion on what can be formed from what cases. I tend to be a bit stubborn at times and not just take others word for things if there is another way I can find out for my self. Now I have a project in the works to build a 44-60 bottle neck and BACO brass is expensive, and being formed from 348 cases, its quite thick. Another round that was discussed with the 44-77. Some say it could be made from 45-90 and others said no way. I had to find out for sure to satisfy my curiosity.
I spend some time with prints, and some loaded ammunition and precision measuring tools. The difference in diameters on various cases wasn't as much as I thought. The 348 case is larger and would have to at least have the web area turned down, guess that is why the BACO cases are so expensive. I just didn't' know that till I got a hold of a round and made some measurements. I don't have any 45-90 cases but figured the 45-70 would be pretty close, and at least close enough to experiment a little with. It only needed to expand about .015" or so to fill out the shoulder and the body areas. Having never done any case forming I was a little nervous but figured I could try one case and see what happened.
The only issue I could see as being a problem is that my 44-77 is chambered for cases with an .080 thick rim, a bit thicker than the 45 cases. Solution was to set up and just neck size till the case would just chamber and fire a primer. I got lucky on the first pass. My next concern was the case being .150" short for the neck. OH well, wuoldn't be the first time I have had to mine lead.
I loaded up a round in a Nickle Remington once fired case with the bullet set out where they normally are for the 77 case. The case only held about 67gr of FFg Goex, that just is what was setting on the bench. Off to the range we go. I had a few other rounds to burn up and fired the 45 case last. Noticeably less recoil. I had been wipeing the bore between shots, so a few wet patches and a patch wet with Borezilla and off to home we go.
Today a dry patch, 2 passes wiht a nylon brush and a dry patch and in goes the bore scope. No lead that I could see. I was happy. The case expanded nicely in the body and shoulder area. The base (web) area is still undersized but shouldn't be a problem. Case volume is about 10 or so grains less than the Jameson brass I have.
Bottom line, it seems the conversion is doable. It may require a different extractor depending on how yours is cut and what rifle you are using. Other than that, it seems to be a workable way to get a 44-77 up and running.
My next step will be to maybe fire this case one more time and then shorten it to 1 7/8 and neck it down and see what the capacity is compared to the BACO 44-60 case I have. I am hoping it hold a bit more powder, someplace in the 50 to 55gr range. Sure will beat the heck out of paying what BACO charges for the 44-60 converted cases.
As a bit of a side note on the 44-60, I have actually met a shooter that has one. Its a roller built by Dave Higenbothem (sp). He told me that Dave felt it was an excellent cartridge and made the owner an offer, if he didn't like it, Dave would re-barrel it in any caliber he wanted. Over on ASSRA web site they recently published a list of Dave's rifles by SN, cal and configuration, there are 2 44-60's on the list.
Sam
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11-06-2019, 04:06 PM
Post: #2
RE: Forming Cases and other things
Keep us posted on this rifle build.

A wise man can always be found alone. A weak man can always be found in a crowd.
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11-06-2019, 04:14 PM
Post: #3
RE: Forming Cases and other things
I will Don, it will be on a Hepburn action from a kit. Hopefully over the winter I can make some good progress on the action. The Barrel will be a #1 heavy from GM. I have the barrel and its a little wee bit tighter than the one on my roller. Hopefully the end of the week I can go and take a look at some Maple for the stock. I am figuring sometime in a 2 year time frame to have it all completed. Some time in there I hope to be able to build a scope for on it as well as long range Unertl type mounts. I have the plans and materials just need to get my behind in gear and start making chips.
Sam
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11-06-2019, 04:40 PM
Post: #4
RE: Forming Cases and other things
Sounds pretty ambitious, but should serve well to fill cold winter days. Smile

A wise man can always be found alone. A weak man can always be found in a crowd.
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11-06-2019, 05:26 PM (This post was last modified: 11-06-2019 05:28 PM by Kurt.)
Post: #5
RE: Forming Cases and other things
Smile Sam,
There was a post here once, I think it was here Smile that you could use .45 brass and form a .44 BN and I said no the .45 case was not wide enough for the .44 BN. So I did what you did and shot one to prove my point, and this is what happen Smile
You faired better than I did. Smile

   

Just be careful you don't get a fa ce full of smoke through the firing pin canal of that Rem. Smile

The reason a dog has so many friends is because he wags his tail instead of his tongue.
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11-06-2019, 05:38 PM
Post: #6
RE: Forming Cases and other things
By the way Sam.

Gary "OLR" has some .44-77 brass for sale if your needing some. https://www.assra.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB....1572602776

The reason a dog has so many friends is because he wags his tail instead of his tongue.
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11-06-2019, 06:47 PM
Post: #7
RE: Forming Cases and other things
I saw that but I think its the reformed 348 brass and I don't really want that, and I am setting on about 100 fired Jameson cases and have another 100 that are untouched and all have the .080 rims. I think I am in good shape for a long time.
Mostly my experiment was just for educational purposes and I am satisfied with the results. I know what I can use in a pinch if need be and I know that I can use the 45 cases to form the 44-60 brass when the time comes. Also gave me another excuse to use the now endoscope and get used to it.
This is a view of my 44-77 throat this morning.
Sam
   
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11-06-2019, 08:10 PM
Post: #8
RE: Forming Cases and other things
That's a very good photo Sam!! what are you using for a scope?

Smile when I was up at Mayo last month to get more junk burned off my vocal cords I asked the Doc if I could buy the scope when they up grade. Smile

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11-07-2019, 06:46 AM
Post: #9
RE: Forming Cases and other things
Kurt that is a 5.5mm endoscope I got off of Ebay. I would recommend a larger diameter one for over .30 cal rifles. Mine has a 6' lead and plugs into my laptop. It can, if you have a newer one, be used with your smart phone. There are lots of them on the market and the prices do vary some. For the most part I am happy so far with mine but am thinking of getting a larger diameter one for the larger barrels. When I purchased mine I did buy the extended warranty and my total cost came to $10.20. It was a bit of s struggle to save up for it but I think it was worth it. It does come with a few accessories, an angled mirror but the focal length is such that its kind of useless in a bore, a magnet and a hook are also included. The camera head is aluminum and is threaded for the mirror to screw on. There is some software you have to install on your phone or PC but thats not much of a biggy. I was looking this morning and now they have some that are a little more expensive but connect via WiFi. That kind of sounds line a good alternative.
Sam
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11-07-2019, 10:18 AM
Post: #10
RE: Forming Cases and other things
Sam,

Back in August of this year, as part of having Shiloh put a .44-77 barrel on my old Sharps .45-70, I did pretty much the same thing with some old 45-90 brass I had. I first trimmed them to 2.3" and then fire formed them in my original roller in 11.7 x 56mm. That was done to expand the case body out to about .513". I then sized them in a Lee .43 Spanish die and filled the case to about 1/8" from the mouth with 2F Goex. I seated a wad on the powder with just a touch of compression.

I did a few from .45-90 and a few from .300 Win Mag brass with the belt turned off and a larger rim swaged on the cases. I brought all of them to Harris, Minnesota and I seated some paper patch bullets that Kurt brought with him. Kurt let me fire formed them in his very nice .44-77 Shiloh. We did have a little trouble chambering them because the Lee die was a little long to the shoulder, but Kurt got them in and I fired them offhand and hit the 1000 yard berm with most of them.

The end result is all the cases look pretty darn good to me. I may have to refine the process a little to make cases but these will work. The .300 Win Mag cases look very good but are a lot more work to make.

I did push the rims forward on the .45-90 and increase the diameter to .620" so I don't see any extractor issues doing it that way. They extracted from Kurt's rifle without any problem.

There's no sense in doing to much more until I have my rifle back from Shiloh, but I'll have some cases to work with then and many more I can convert if I need to.

I'll post some pictures of the fireformed cases this evening.

Jim Kluskens
aka Distant Thunder
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