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  #1  
Old 05-25-2008, 06:26 PM
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Cases and loads for .455 Webley Scott


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Can anybody out there help me with some cast bullet loads for the .455 Webley Scott revolver. I would also like some ideas on cartridge conversions to make some brass. I have tried some 45 Colt brass. After cutting the proper length I am faced with either facing off the rear of the case and drilling the primer hole out a small amount deeper, or facing the front of the rim to thin it to about .050 or less. Any ideas would be appreciated. So far 5 grs Unique and 250 grain cast flat point of 250 grains sized to .454 has worked pretty well. Thanks
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  #2  
Old 05-25-2008, 06:37 PM
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Have made the cases from .45colt, but you really need a lathe to do it right...that rim should be thinned from the back side. Thinning from the bottom, then deepening the primer pocket, usually leads to weak primer pocket bottoms.

Have made them from .45AR cases when those were common (lot more to lathe).
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  #3  
Old 05-25-2008, 07:29 PM
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Buffalo Arms can fix you up. He has .455 Colt and .455 Webly MK II cases.
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  #4  
Old 05-26-2008, 12:49 AM
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There is a lot of great info on this site. If you do not find what you need here, there is a forum that is specifically about British handguns and loads - http://britishmilitariaforums.yuku.c...-Handguns.html.
Richard Lee's "Modern Reloading" has load data for the .455 Webley. Barnes' "Cartridges of the World" has a sampling of load data.
Pete
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  #5  
Old 05-26-2008, 11:52 AM
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Fiocci also makes .455 ammunition, and it might be available. That would give you brass. The .45 Colt solution can work, with a great deal of work. The rim needs to be thinned from the front, and then you might have to deal with over-thick case walls when you seat the bullet.
Your load sounds OK, but depending on the revolver you might not want to size them to .454, as most had larger bores than that. You might want to try them unsized and see how they perform.
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  #6  
Old 05-26-2008, 02:50 PM
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Just a few pointers.

the last common ammo in the US was Canadian (either CIL or Dominion). The RCMP liked their old .455 Colt New Services and kept using them for many years, so the ammo was in production longer than it was in the US.

Fiocchi ammo is good...hard to find and expensive.
---------

IF you have WAY more time than money, and only want a few cases:

If you've got a whole lot of time to spend making cases, I've done it with a drill press and files. Need to make a rod (AL works best as it's easy to file-form) that barely slips into a .45colt case....this will let you chuck up the .45 case (with rod inside) without toatally crunching it. Will scar it a bit, but you're cutting off the neck area anyway.

Chucked up, need to make a second rod just a little bit under primer pocket size. This you clamp in the drill press vice as a dead-center. Case is lowered in the press onto this primer-pocket sized rod so it will spin without wobbling.

IF i just had to, bet i could make a handful of cases with an electric hand drill and a bench vice.


Grind one of the file edges smooth (making a safe edge). Can now spin/file the rim thinnner from the back wtihtout cutting into the case body.
-------
Hunt up the correct shell holder.

The rims are thin, and are easy to warp/bend if sizing is difficult. USUALLY can get away with .45colt dies, but you may have to shorten a set. Beasue the cases become so dear to you, better to minimally size to amke them last longer.

the best commercial bullet i'd found was the basic 255gr. swaged lead round nose Winchester or Remington bullet (the factory bullet for .45 Colt). It's dead soft, .454", and has a slight hollow base (which is how the .455 was loaded). Those aren't common now, but CBC (Brazil) occasionaly has bulk-bags of the same basic bullet for sale.
----
it's a small volume case and doesn't run at high pressure. Speed is NOT the goal, accuracy is. Reguarless of what's listed on the ammo charts, typical factory loads would lob bullets out in the low to middle 600's.
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  #7  
Old 05-26-2008, 05:45 PM
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Cases and loads for the .455 Webley Scott

Thanks for the great ideas. I especially like the drill press idea with the modified file. I was fortunate enough today to locate some Dominion empty brass. I got about 25 of them. The only problem is they appear to be the "baloon head" type as the old 44 WCF cases use to be. They are in good shape, but will they withstand several reloadings as long as the loads are not severe? Thanks again.............
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  #8  
Old 05-29-2008, 07:02 PM
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I have quite a few of the dominion cases, all balloon head, and I have loaded them several times (not a lot, as I am not a high volume shooter in the .455). I have not had any problem with the case life, but I am not trying to make the .455 into a .44 Magnum. Most of my loads are 250 grain bullets at about 650-700 fps - more than enough for plinking tin cans and punching holes in paper. I can also use this load to whip the other shooters at club "military pistol" matches - 50 .455 bullets in the centre of the target from a double action pistol beats a shotgun pattern of 9mm holes.
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  #9  
Old 05-30-2008, 08:24 AM
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Catch - I bought new Hornady brass when Midway first had it. I noticed that Graf and Sons offer Fiocchi brass, but it is on "back order". They also had a box of Fiocchi loaded ammo for about $35 and "no shipping". Unless you have more time than money, the equipment, and the skills (I don't) I'd op for the correct brass to start with. The Dominon brass you have is quite a find; I understand their cases are longer than the short MK II cases. I have a few loads that shoot close to POA in my Mk VI Webley (.455), which slugs .453. Using .45 Colt Hornady cast (.454) 255gr Cowboy bullets, they are as follows: 3.5gr of Bullseye, 3.5gr of Red Dot, and 3.1gr of Trail Boss. These loads are between 600 and 700fps. Good luck and good shooting. Riley
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  #10  
Old 05-30-2008, 09:05 AM
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Reloading data on .455 Colt in Ken Water's Pet Loads.
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  #11  
Old 06-06-2008, 06:51 AM
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Try Huntington's....

Hi Catch,

Kudos to you for working with the .455 Webley! The fun factor goes off the chart once you can put together good loads.
I use the Hornady brass, 4.3 grains Unique, and my own alloy cast into the 265 gr. RNHB base bullet lubed with SPG.
It's not worth it to me to mess with cutting down .45 LC cases when Huntington's has Hornady .455 Webley cases in stock.
I roll my own: I bought the RCBS 45-265-RNBH mould and even cast my own! Go to the Midway site, look up the RCBS mould, and you can read my full review of it there.
In a nutshell, I use a SOFT alloy that works out to about 40:1. My formula is ten pounds scrap lead, ten pounds wheel weights, and add 4/10 pounds Tin (or a 1 pound bar of 50/50 solder).
The next trick is that your mould and alloy have to be very hot to cast right. It takes me about 15 castings before it's at that sweet temperature.
The hollow base design adds extra problems to the casting process: You can wind up with base voids. But, again, if you cast hot, and leave a generous sprue on top of the mould, it practically eliminates the voids.
I resize the bullets to about .4553 in my Lubrisizer, and lube with SPG: Results are ZERO leading, and accurate load, and a crapload of fun!
Beware of Fiocchi brass: Some of it has small pistol primers. I'm stuck with about 200 casings, some still with factory loadings.
Fiocchi factory ammo sucks. It's dirty, the cases are scarred by the factory loading equipment, and it leads the snot out of the barrels. Bah. Avoid if possible.
But, since ANY .455 brass is precious as gold, I save it, and just segregate it. I shoot and load the Fiocchi stuff separate from the Hornady.
Last weekend I went into a marathon casting & reloading session, and did almost 500 Webleys... I won't be happy until I get another 400 socked away (next paycheck!). I like to have at least 1000 rounds loaded per caliber that I run.
BTW: I use a Webley Mark VI that's been halfway converted to .45 ACP. There's enough of a lip on the ratchet to hold up a .455 casing. I also lucked into a S & W second model Hand Ejector (Canadian contract, 1915). Both guns shoot about point of aim 50-75 yards out. They're surprisingly accurate considering the fixed sights. I enjoy popping puddles out about 75 yards... There's nothing like that "sploosh" as great geysers of water go flying into the air!
If I were you, I'd drop your load to no more than 4.3 grains Unique... That's max for the Webleys proper. Pressure wants to be held to no more than 12,600 or so PSI. 5 grains puts you well over that.
Yes, a lot of the guns were converted to .45 ACP, but it runs more like 18,000 PSI. Not adviseable for long term use. It may have been done as an expedient to sell the guns to a US market that had an abundance of .45 and a lack of .455 ammo, but that doen't mean it's smart.
Every time you fire a .45 ACP in a Webley, it's essentially firing a proof round.
Do yourself a favor, and run the gun like it was meant to. It's not good to push old iron too hard anyways.
Enjoy the Webley, and drop me an email if you want any further info.
BTW: Where are you? I still own a house N of AVL, but had to move due to the job market. Sure miss the hills...
Happy Shootin'! -Tom


Quote:
Originally Posted by Catch View Post
Can anybody out there help me with some cast bullet loads for the .455 Webley Scott revolver. I would also like some ideas on cartridge conversions to make some brass. I have tried some 45 Colt brass. After cutting the proper length I am faced with either facing off the rear of the case and drilling the primer hole out a small amount deeper, or facing the front of the rim to thin it to about .050 or less. Any ideas would be appreciated. So far 5 grs Unique and 250 grain cast flat point of 250 grains sized to .454 has worked pretty well. Thanks
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  #12  
Old 06-26-2008, 05:48 PM
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No Need To Turn Rim, Swage It

Make a die from a tool steel that has nice slide fit to case and with depression/counterbore on one end about 5/8” dia and .035-.040” deep. Slide case into hole and put behind the rim piece of flat hard steel. Use solid milling machine vice or hydraulic press to squeeze the rim, much faster and very uniform thickness. If you have 20 ton or larger press, you can make a die with up to 10 holes. Works like a charm…. As for the brass, if you use 45 LC you might need to ream it because of the wall thickness. I found that 45 Schofield brass is better suited for such conversion. As for the case, I would go with longer Mk I since every 455 Webley (except some target models like WG) will take longer case. See here http://britishmilitariaforums.yuku.c...ml#reply-49477 . Also, you will find here why you should NEVER fire 45 ACP ammo in Webley.

Last edited by Onty; 06-26-2008 at 06:10 PM.
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  #13  
Old 06-27-2008, 05:17 AM
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Why not just buy Hornady factory loads?
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  #14  
Old 07-01-2008, 07:32 PM
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Okay. Here's a question. After the issue of rim thickness is addressed -- are standard .45 Schofield loads likely to be safe in guns chambered for the old .455 Eley?
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  #15  
Old 07-02-2008, 10:33 AM
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Graf & Sons lists .455 Mk ll Hornady loaded ammo at $17.00 per box of 20 rounds or Fiocchi factory loads at $35.99 per 50 rounds. Granted, that is a bit pricey for plain lead bullet ammo but seems a lot better than trying to cobble up .45 Colt into something that may or may not be kinda, more or less OK. Any load data you may come across will most likely have been developed in proper .455 brass and if your reworked .45 Colt brass has different internal capacity, as it likely will have, that can make a big difference in these short .45 caliber cases.
I would certainly not recommend using .45 Schofield data as the .455 Mkll is .200" shorter in COL and that would change everything. The only .455 data I have seen is for a Hornady 255 grain bullet with 4.8 grains of Unique for @700 fps, that from Ammo Guide Interactive. "Cartridges of the World" also lists a load with a 260 grain bullet over 5.0 grains of Unique at 610 fps, but who knows how old that data may be or who developed it and how. Data is scarce and the Webley is not a revolver with which to go experimenting on your own. I would at least eliminate one variable by starting with proper .455 brass.
The original .455 MK l was loaded with a casefull of black powder and that would be a safe and enjoyable reload which just may out perform any safe smokeless load.

Last edited by CoyoteJoe; 07-02-2008 at 10:39 AM.
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  #16  
Old 07-02-2008, 12:58 PM
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.45 Schofield

Thanks C-Joe. My question was a bit off track for this thread. Maybe it needs a separate thread, but no biggie. There are some guns out there -- including some vintage SAAs -- chambered for the .455 Eley, which has a case much longer than the .455 Webley that it evolved into. I guess my question was whether .455 Schofield loads with thinned rims would likely be safe in those old guns chambered for .455 Eley. That is to say at the standard case length etc for .45 Schofield. But I think I just need to get off my duff and look this up for myself.
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  #17  
Old 07-03-2008, 06:46 AM
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Well, there is the .476 Enfield, .455 Enfield, .476 Eley, .450 revolver and .455 Webley Mk-l and Mk-ll which are all slightly different case lengths. But practically speaking it would make a difference only with black powder, with which all but the Mk-ll were originally loaded. The longer rounds would hold a few grains more black but with smokeless powder, even the shortest of them will hold more powder than would be safe to fire. Thus, when the Brits began working up cordite loads to replace black powder in these revolvers they standardized on the shorter Mk-ll round which can be fired in any of the older, longer chambers. The longest of them, as listed in "Cartridges of the world", is 0.87" case length, whereas the .45 Schofield is listed as quite a bit longer at 1.10", so NO, I don't think it would be safe to assume you could use .45 Schofield loads unless your revolver will accept full length Schofield cartridges. To use Schofield data in any cartridge, even with Schofield brass but a shorter overall cartridge length would greatly increase pressures.
Another way to look at it, the .45 Schofield originally held 28 grains of black powder, whereas the .455 Mk-1 held only 18 grains, so you see the internal capacity is quite different and any smokeless load developed for the Schofield round would produce excessive pressure if loaded into the smaller .455 case. But any of them would be safe with a case full of black powder.
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  #18  
Old 07-11-2008, 10:46 AM
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Question Die Question?

I am a rifle shooter and hang out over on BR.com most of the time.

A friend approached me the other day about loading some 455 Webley for his dad.

I have been looking into it and from what I can see, you can use 45 ACP dies, is this correct?

I told him that any ammo I would load for an old gun will be very mild loads.

I think his dad just wants to have some ammo and will prob never shoot it.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Randy

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot shoot.
The courage to shoot the things I can and
the wisdom to dope the wind and make the shot."
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  #19  
Old 07-11-2008, 02:16 PM
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Don't know, maybe, but it is listed as a .480" base diameter, same as .45 Colt at that point, but the rim diameter is listed as .535" same as most belted magnum rifle cases. So, maybe you could use a magnum shell holder, size in .45 Colt and seat bullets in .45 ACP, if that is complicated enough for you. But first be sure the gun is still .455 caliber, most have been converted to .45 ACP.
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  #20  
Old 07-11-2008, 05:36 PM
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My set of .455 Webley Lee "Pacesetter" dies has .45 Colt stamped on the sizing die, while the expander and seating die says "455". I've never tried to use a .45ACP die, but suspect the ACP "expander" and "seating" dies could work.
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