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View Full Version : Creative Reloading, or Tired of the Same Ol' Same Old?



Rory McCanuck
04-01-2013, 10:26 PM
***DISCLAIMER!***
All reloading can be dangerous, especially if you do not have a very firm grasp on what you are doing.For all reloading, only use the information published in a manual. Do Not get your reloading data from the Internet. The information in this post Will Not be found in any reloading manual, so don't use it! If you do use these techniques and blow up your gun or hurt yourself or someone else, I am not responsible! Neither is GOC, anyone associated with GOC, nor anyone else you can think of. Don't come crying to anyone!


http://i648.photobucket.com/albums/uu209/Johnny_Canuck_bucket/444Marlin%20Reloading%20Funnies/SSA52758_zps75a788c8.jpg

A couple minutes later...

http://i648.photobucket.com/albums/uu209/Johnny_Canuck_bucket/444Marlin%20Reloading%20Funnies/SSA52753_zpsde343ea2.jpg

The powder was a little bit clumped up, so I broke it apart with a wooden stir stick.
Then, into the 444 Marlin case, and the wad seated on the powder.

http://i648.photobucket.com/albums/uu209/Johnny_Canuck_bucket/444Marlin%20Reloading%20Funnies/SSA52754_zps0e2df6f1.jpg

I made up a makeshift "drop tube" to get the shot packed in a little better, and seated the shot a bit deeper with my thumb.
The tweezers are important, #8 shot is amazingly difficult to pick up, but very easy to drop!

http://i648.photobucket.com/albums/uu209/Johnny_Canuck_bucket/444Marlin%20Reloading%20Funnies/SSA52755_zps54431f7b.jpg

Now to put a wad over top of everything to hold it in place. I cut some milk carton wads with a sharpened 444 casing, but wanted something more substantial. An old Prestone coolant bottle, and a part of an oil jug got "re-purposed" after a thorough cleaning.
The plastic was harder to cut, and the brass mushroomed, but a steel 7.62x54R casing is just the right size, and easily sharpened with a file.

http://i648.photobucket.com/albums/uu209/Johnny_Canuck_bucket/444Marlin%20Reloading%20Funnies/SSA52761_zps78615603.jpg

Seat the Prestone plastic over wad with the Lyman "M" neck expanding die as a seating plug, then give it a good roll crimp.

http://i648.photobucket.com/albums/uu209/Johnny_Canuck_bucket/444Marlin%20Reloading%20Funnies/SSA52763_zps76bcb910.jpg

And the finished product:

http://i648.photobucket.com/albums/uu209/Johnny_Canuck_bucket/444Marlin%20Reloading%20Funnies/SSA52765_zpsa618dbac.jpg

Fired from a 24" Microgroove barrel from 10 paces, there is about a 3" hole at the aiming point, but a perfect doughnut of itty bitty holes all the way around the centre aiming point. The pattern was probably 18" across. I didn't worry too much about the patterning as I was pretty much elated that my rifle didn't blow up and all the shot went into the right general direction.

Very fun. Relatively quiet (I still had muffs on) and enough oomph that the third shot knocked over the pallet stuck in snow.
I giggled after shooting a couple, my buddy thought they were fun to shoot also.

I'll definitely make up some more of them, and will probably have a few in my pocket for deer season. There is one bush that every time I've pushed it, I've scared up a few prairie chickens, and this might be just the thing ;)

Strewth
04-01-2013, 10:36 PM
That's pretty awesome...if only to say you hunt grouse with a 444:) I'm glad you didn't blow up too! Great pics too, worth a thousand words and all that.

Rory McCanuck
04-01-2013, 11:04 PM
***DISCLAIMER!***
All reloading can be dangerous, especially if you do not have a very firm grasp on what you are doing.For all reloading, only use the information published in a manual. Do Not get your reloading data from the Internet. The information in this post Will Not be found in any reloading manual, so don't use it! If you do use these techniques and blow up your gun or hurt yourself or someone else, I am not responsible! Neither is GOC, anyone associated with GOC, nor anyone else you can think of. Don't come crying to anyone!



As long as we are on the topic of doing stuff a little bit out of the ordinary...
.458" musket balls, run through a .429" Lee push through sizer. Rolled along a file with another file on top, to give some grooves to act as lube grooves, then give it a good dose of Lee liquid alox, resize, lube again.

http://i648.photobucket.com/albums/uu209/Johnny_Canuck_bucket/444Marlin%20Reloading%20Funnies/SSA52766_zps0e6338e9.jpg

What possiblities lie here?
Let's re-arrange things slightly.

http://i648.photobucket.com/albums/uu209/Johnny_Canuck_bucket/444Marlin%20Reloading%20Funnies/SSA52768_zps766d21a7.jpg

Add a whole bunch of toilet seal wax ring wax as a lube behind each milk carton wad, a plastic wad to keep the powder clean, and 20.5gr of H-335. Seat each ball with the Lyman "M" die, and push it right down with a highly customised section of 7/16" dowel. I really, really wanted everything seated together tightly, as a ball getting a running start at the ball in front of it could get pretty ugly in a hurry.

http://i648.photobucket.com/albums/uu209/Johnny_Canuck_bucket/444Marlin%20Reloading%20Funnies/SSA52771_zps24a7740b.jpg

So, we end up with three balls, each weighing about 147gr, coming out at probably about 1300 fps.
Recoil was pretty mild, the powder charge could be upped a bit, but again I was just happy nothing went wrong.

At about 20 yards, the balls hit about 6" low of the aiming point, with all three balls just about touching.
Balls blew through the 7/8" oak of the pallet like nobody's business, so there is some real power there.
I'm not really sure what use these could be put to, but they sure are fun.
I'm going to have a look at the turkey hunting regulations...

Camo tung
04-01-2013, 11:16 PM
Winter is dragging on for you? :tounge:

Very creative for sure, much braver than myself too.

Strewth
04-01-2013, 11:29 PM
Balls blew through the 7/8" oak of the pallet like nobody's business, so there is some real power there.
I'm not really sure what use these could be put to, but they sure are fun.
I'm going to have a look at the turkey hunting regulations...

Whoah, tough turkeys your neck of the woods:p They'll definitely know they've been kissed...

blacksmithden
04-01-2013, 11:37 PM
Once you start to understand what's happening with powder speeds vs projectile weight, you can start to experiment safely. Last summer, we did a fair bit of experimenting with some old shotguns. They would take a 4 times normal charge all day long without fail. Plug the end of the barrel, and it's all over...boom. I really like the shot shells Rory. I might have to try that one myself with some 44 mag cases.

Rory McCanuck
04-02-2013, 12:15 AM
The 444 is long enough that I could get the powder, wad and shot in, and still had room.
With the 44, you'd want a shorter wad so you could still get a decent shot charge.
I've been thinking of a 7/16" hole in a 2x4, and heating some of the Prestone plastic up in boiling water.
Take two thin strips, lay them in an "X" over the hole in the 2x4, and push the plastic into the hole with a punch.
Hopefully, it'd hold it's shape somewhat when it cools, and the petals of the X should open up soon after leaving the barrel.
Easy, custom wads, cut to whatever size is appropriate for your application.

Yes, it has been a long, dragging winter, :p and I have too much time to dream and scheme ;D

BrotherRockeye
04-02-2013, 02:19 AM
let's have a look at the shootin iron!

I've been shoppin for a 444 for a while and need a fix.

Southaffygunner
04-02-2013, 08:10 AM
That looks cool to shoot, I need to start reloading !

JustBen
04-02-2013, 08:17 AM
Does the wad foul the rifling at all? That'd be my biggest concern at this point.

Rory McCanuck
04-02-2013, 09:07 AM
let's have a look at the shootin iron!

I've been shoppin for a 444 for a while and need a fix.
Mine's a first year 1965 24" Micrgroove barrel, Monte Carlo butt, honed chamber, gold plated trigger, spring loaded lifter on the carrier.
Williams 94/36 receiver sight and a gold bead up front. I've put three round at 50 yards into one hole several times, so it'll shoot as well or better than I can. When the bullet gets there, it a bit of authority, too.

http://i648.photobucket.com/albums/uu209/Johnny_Canuck_bucket/Forearm%20Calamity/SSA52633.jpg

I didn't "Indian" up the forearm without good reason. Load testing some big recoilers, the magazine tube jumped its screw and worked it's way forward. The bulge in the tube wedged the forearm apart, resulting in a loooong crack.
There may have been some tears when I saw that, I'm trying to block it from my memory :(


http://i648.photobucket.com/albums/uu209/Johnny_Canuck_bucket/Forearm%20Calamity/SSA52622.jpg

This was Friday, deer season started Monday, need something quick.

http://i648.photobucket.com/albums/uu209/Johnny_Canuck_bucket/Forearm%20Calamity/SSA52626.jpg

A hole drilled at the end of the crack to stop it from growing, some brass rod I had in the garage, and a whole bunch of epoxy.

http://i648.photobucket.com/albums/uu209/Johnny_Canuck_bucket/Forearm%20Calamity/SSA52628.jpg

Some work with the file, and everything was ready to go Manday morning. Didn't get to take any shots during deer season, but I coulda, if I hadta ;D

Rory McCanuck
04-02-2013, 09:20 AM
Does the wad foul the rifling at all? That'd be my biggest concern at this point.
There was some residue in the barrel, but I'm not real sure what it was.
I shot a few very light loads with Unique, and that always makes a bit of a mess in this rifle.
The ".410" loads would have been very low pressure, so there was likely some powder residue from that.
Judging by the recoil, the H-335/three ball load was pretty low pressure, too.

After a mixed diet of "funnies", two Ed's Red soaked patches wrapped around a bronze bore brush had the barrel clean.
I used two more patches, but didn't really need to. While the first two were pretty dirty, there was a bit of leading and carbon, but nothing to be concerned about.
I didn't notice any wad fouling. There may have been some, but I didn't see it.

After cleaning, I see now why so many people shoot nothing but cast. Two patches, maybe a bit of lube left to "season" the barrel, and it would be good for lots more. This barrel tends to pick up copper pretty quickly, and I'm always a bit leery of scrubbing too hard to get it out.
I may have to get in touch with Ben, and finally make the plunge into cast bullets exclusively.

Rory McCanuck
04-02-2013, 09:27 AM
That looks cool to shoot, I need to start reloading !
While it may not be for everyone, reloading can be a lot of fun.
You shoot more, you shoot custom tailored ammo, and you get to play Mad Scientist.
That feeling of trepidation as you fire your first reload, or something as off the wall as these, is something else, too.
When it all works out, and there are no bits of flying barrel, chamber, or fingers, that trepidation quickly turns to a feeling of satisfaction.
Its hard to explain, but its a nice feeling of "I did that!"

BrotherRockeye
04-02-2013, 10:22 AM
nasty keyrack... shame
but chrome don't get you home and that beauty mark adds character.
If that iron had a full length mag tube... ;D

BrotherRockeye
04-02-2013, 10:24 AM
While it may not be for everyone, reloading can be a lot of fun.
You shoot more, you shoot custom tailored ammo, and you get to play Mad Scientist.
That feeling of trepidation as you fire your first reload, or something as off the wall as these, is something else, too.
When it all works out, and there are no bits of flying barrel, chamber, or fingers, that trepidation quickly turns to a feeling of satisfaction.
Its hard to explain, but its a nice feeling of "I did that!"

I had a 7mm-08 recipe that "Quickload" told me was TOO MUCH PRESSURE!!!!!!!!!!
It wasn't...fortunately, but finding out was exciting.

Rory McCanuck
04-02-2013, 10:52 AM
Funny you should say that, BrotherRockeye. I was absolutely horrified at what I was doing while putting in the brass dowels, but it has almost grown on me. It wasn't as glaringly ugly or distracting this weekend, and it does certainly bring back some memories. Nobody is going to mistake who's rifle it is.

Every time I look at it now, I remember pushing thing maybe a bit too far. Working up a load for 240gr bullets, .5gr below max had some serious recoil. Enough that I noted it in my load book as I was shooting. I still went ahead and shot the next step up the ladder, I think 0.2gr below max, and was stunned a bit by the recoil. Brass, primer and rifle all appeared fine, so I kept going. Shot my best 240gr group ever with that charge, but decided I wasn't going to pursue it any further.

The next range trip a couple days later, I had a look over of the rifle while waiting for it to cool. Noticed that I had an almost full length mag tube, and thought "Gee that looks good, but a bit different." Then I noticed the scrape marks, the empty groove in the barrel, then turned it over and found the crack.
Sure ended that range trip with a sour note!

BrotherRockeye
04-02-2013, 11:48 AM
yep...good lesson though.
batten down the hatches when going into hard weather...or for us prairie folk... tighten the crap outta everything before touching off boomer charges... ;D