Sunday, April 17, 2016

First .44 WCF Rounds Loaded With The Winchester Tool

Today I loaded my first .44 WCF rounds with the Winchester Model 1882 tool. Since I'll be shooting the bullets I cast yesterday unsized, I pan lubed them with my homebrew mix of beeswax, mutton tallow, and a little canning paraffin. An electric hotplate was used to melt the lube.

In the picture above, the lube in the top pan has mostly cooled while the lower pan still has some liquid lube in the center. Once the lube solidified I used needle nose pliers to pick out the bullets.

In the picture below, you can see the loading tool with a cartridge in the seating chamber, a complete cartridge, a round with the bullet waiting to be seated, and a lubed bullet.

When used with the components it was designed for -- .44 WCF case, black powder, and a bullet cast from the Winchester mold -- this tool is very easy to use. Because the seating chamber is not adjustable, it has to be used with bullets cast from the matching mold in order for the cartridge to have the correct overall length. Also, because the bullet doesn't have a crimp groove, it needs to be supported by a full case of powder or powder plus a filler, to prevent it from telescoping into the case under the pressure of the magazine spring.

I only had time to load 15 rounds today but plan to finish up a box of 50 later this week. I'm hoping to get a chance to try them next weekend.

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