Sunday, February 11, 2018

Loaded Up a Box of Black Powder .38-40s

Today I loaded up a box of black powder .38-40s using bullets I cast yesterday. I planned to use the Ideal Number 6 tool but I found that because it doesn't resize the brass, I had insufficient neck tension and crimp on the bullets. With a slightly compressed load, the powder sometimes pressed the bullets back out of the case.

I therefore ended up using the Lee seating die and the factory crimp die. Going forward, I'm only going to use the Ideal tool for priming at most. Between the flashing I got on most of the bullets and the inability to use it to seat and crimp bullets, it's a collector's item.

After I loaded 50 rounds I had to clean up the flashing on many of them with a file, which was a tedious PITA. Since life is too short to shoot crappy bullets, the remaining ones that I cast yesterday are going back into the pot.

I'll probably order a mold from Accurate Molds, probably the 40-185C. It's basically a .40 caliber version of the 43-215C that has worked so well for me in .44 WCF. This will give me bullets that will work well with smokeless but still carry enough lube to use Goex black powder in a 24" barrel, in case I get another rifle in .38-40.

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