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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
A friend is going to Africa to hunt Cape buffalo and would like to take her 1895 Winchester. We realize that this caliber is marginal for hunting Black Death but it is the gun she wants to use. The problem now is finding load information for this cartridge, none of my manuals list it and info is scarce on the internet. I am thinking a 400 grain Barnes solid would be a good choice for a bullet even though it is .410 dia. vs. 411.
Any load info or suggestions would be a great help.
 

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Wolfe Publication "Big Bore Rifles and Cartridges" has published loading data for the .405 Winchester. A condensed portion:

300 gr Jacketed Soft Point, Powder, Weight (grs), Velocity (fps)
2400 24.0 1,440
2400 26.0 1,545
2400 32.0* 1,840
3031 52.0 2,040
3031 54.0 2,120
3031 57.0* 2,250
4320 52.0 1,905
4320 62.0* 2,220

*Loads run over 45,000 C.U.P. which is considered today a bit much for the M-95 Winchester. Their use isn't especially recommended for that reason, even though the M-95 was factory chambered for cartridges (30-06, etc) working in the 50,000 C.U.P. range.

There are most probably newer powders available to match or even exceed those listed, but I would imagine these loads were developed back in the day when these were the most modern powders available. My personal comment.
 

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The only cautrionary note on 'Big Bore Rifles and Cartridges' is that if it is the same book that I have, it was produced a number of years ago from articles run in their magazines. Some of it was pretty dated.
However, Rifle and Handloader have run a series of articles in the past few years from several authors on the .405. I would recommend contacting them for back issues of the articles rather than depending on something from 20+ years ago.
 

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Since the .405 was designed for and loaded with the short 300-grain bullet, the twist rate may be too slow to stabilize a long 400-grain bullet. Best quantify this before heading to the Dark Continent.



.
 

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Will the .405 meet minimum legal requirements in whatever country you're hunting? I don't know, myself, just curious.
 

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http://ammoguide.com/

This is an interactive reloading website that I ran across. I find it very easy to get loads, powder and primer info, etc. They list 13 loads for the 405. Apparently the cartridge was Teddy Roosevelt's favorite for lion. One listed load has a 300 gn Barnes with a mv of almost 2500 fps producing about 4100 ft/lbs! It is also listed as a max load!! 63 grns of Benchmark.

I'd be more concerned about the rifle and the pressure it was designed for than the cartridge itself being suitable for Cape buffalo. Perhaps WW could shed light on this if they were contacted.

A friend took a Cape buffalo with bow and arrow so I am sure a well-placed shot.......!
 

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I've got a Winchester 95 in 405. I bought mine to be a cast bullet rifle, only. I was not thrilled with the bullet offerings so I got Mountain Molds to make a mighty fine 350 grain gas checked mold for me.
So far that bullet has killed Kudu, eland, moose, and a bear or two, not a single one shot by me.
Woodleigh makes some .411 400 grain bullets for this caliber. The powder that worked best for me with all bullet weights is IMR-3031.
Good luck to your friend, if I can of of further help give a yell.

Jim
 

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Besides running afoul of African country minimum cartridge requirements for dangerous game, the 405 Winchester appropriately loaded for the 1895 Winchester is marginal at best for such endeavors. Not that it couldn't get the job done with appropriate loads and in capable hands. I would suggest modifications to the throat and magazine for acceptance of the .411" 400 grain Woodleigh RN SP at an extended COAL (3.34"). You can get a custom Lee Factory Crimp Die for $29. With the aforementioned modifications this bullet can be driven 2100 fps in the Winchester 1895. A 300 grain bullet is not appropriate when a stoutly constructed 400 grain is available.
 

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I've reached pretty much the same conclusion as Jackfish. It looks to me like a 400 grain bullet can be driven to the 1800 to 2000 fps range while still below upper pressure limits for the cartridge. Randy Garrett reports experiment with 500 grain solids in the .45-70, .458 Win Mag, .458 Lott, and .460 Weatherby Mag, that penetration drops off over about 1600 fps for those bullets, after which, the faster they hit, the faster they stop. Unless you conduct experiments with the .405 Win with the bullet of your choice, you won't know exactly where that penetration maximum lies, but it may well not be with the highest possible velocities?

I believe the barrel has a 14" twist on an 1895 in .405 Win. My twist estimator says you could run a 400 grain bullet up to 1.8" long at 1600 fps and still achieve the optimal stability range of s=1.4 to 1.5 (Harold Vaughn and Don Miller's respective estimates of optimal gyroscopic stability factor, s). No 400 grain .410" or .411" bullet I found is that long, so it's not a problem.

I wound up with a different bullet suggestion. The flat nose Barnes 400 grain .410" solid, from measuring its photo (sorry about the cursor left in the picture), appears to be 1.290" long. Plenty easy to stabilize in the 1895, and it has the general shape of the flat nose cast bullets made by Beartooth Bullets, so it should be a good wound maker. It is a banded design, so its start pressure will be lower than a full diameter solid. It also is a bore riding design, so it won't jam into the throat if it is seated out a little far. Also it is a stubby shape which gives you extra powder room. The 0.001" undersized diameter will be of no accuracy consequence at the relatively short ranges you are likely to use if for, and may help with keeping start pressure down where the rifle is used to having it?


(NOTE: the comment about case mouth position applies only with a full .405 case length; I suggest case trimming to crimp into the last groove, instead.)


The main loading problem will be that using the crimp groove in this bullet will leave the cartridge about 0.165" longer than SAAMI maximum for the .405. That could cause magazine feed trouble. I think the solution is to trim the cases back to match that groove, then crimp into it. Get the Lee FCD made for that crimp location by sending the dummy round they require with your order made up that way.

QuickLOAD agreed with Arkypete's finding that IMR3031 had the best potential with this bullet, and predicted that with it seated to 3.175" in the shortened case it would be able to get to 1800-1900 fps at 15% below SAAMI maximum pressure. The computer thinks that should happen at around 45 grains of 3031, which agrees with Hodgdon's published loads for the 400 grain Woodleigh as a ratio of where 3031 charge weights normally fall with respect to them. That's a good safe area to be working in, but I would start with 40 grains which should put you at .45-70 SAAMI pressure and give you 1600-1700 fps to try starting at Garret Velocities.The pressure maximum is predicted to be another couple grains higher, but the usual cautions about approaching or exceeding maximum loads apply, as YMMV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Nick and Jackfish,
Thank you for the info I will forward it to my friend and she can use the info as she sees fit. I know she would like to get away with taking only one rifle to S. Africa because she plans on shipping her motor cycle over and riding it to the finial destination (seems that would be cheaper than one of the short flights in country).
 

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Northfork has solid 300 grain Punch Bullets for the .405 Win. Good choice for Aftrica or any dangerous game. I think it will do the job.
 

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There was a good article in a past issue of Peterson's Hunting where Boddington's daughter took a huge Australian Water Buffalo with a Ruger #1 in .405. I will dig up the issue.
Dan
 

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Northfork has solid 300 grain Punch Bullets for the .405 Win. Good choice for Aftrica or any dangerous game. I think it will do the job.
I don't see a 300 grain .411-.412 flat nose solid bullet from either Belt Mountain or Northfork. A 400 grain Woodleigh is probably one of the only appropriate options. A 300 grain bullet just does not have adequate sectional density for dangerous African game, no matter the construction.
http://www.beltmountain.com/punch.htm
http://www.northforkbullets.com/magento/
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Update for 405 vs. Black Death

Thanks to the members of this forum here are the loads chosen <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8"><meta name="ProgId" content="Word.Document"><meta name="Generator" content="Microsoft Word 11"><meta name="Originator" content="Microsoft Word 11"><link rel="File-List" href="file:///C:%5CDOCUME%7E1%5CLynn%5CLOCALS%7E1%5CTemp%5Cmsohtml1%5C01%5Cclip_filelist.xml"><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><style> <!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:Verdana; panose-1:2 11 6 4 3 5 4 4 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:swiss; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:536871559 0 0 0 415 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";} p.xmsonormal, li.xmsonormal, div.xmsonormal {mso-style-name:x_msonormal; mso-margin-top-alt:auto; margin-right:0in; mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; margin-left:0in; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --> </style><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> Left to Right/Bottom to Top:
1) Woodleigh .400 gr. solid
2) Barnes .300 gr. TSX
3) Hornady .300 gr. SP
4) Hornady .300 gr. FP
5) Winchester .300 gr. FP Commemorative, "Roosevelt .405" head stamp


And the result:

Linda and her Cape Buffalo shot with the 400 gr Woodleigh.
 

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Nicely done, its still all about shot placement with a good bullet.

CD
 

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Congratulations!

You know, this is the second time this thread made me initially think that someone was shooting plague-infected fleas with a 405 Win! :D
 

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Great! Congratulations. By the way, the pictures of the rifles and cartridges are excellent, along with the trophy photo. Very good work by all involved!
 

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More on 400 grain Woodleigh for Cape buffalo!

I wish that I had found this thread BEFORE and back when I began my project to accomplish the same objective. My approach was to ream the rifling enough to provide adequate freebore to allow crimping the 400 grain Woodleighs at the cannelure as some other folks have done in recent years. Using TAC powder, I achieved a chronographed velocity of 2068, which adjusted to the muzzle comes out to 2078 fps. which is in the range of the 450/400 NE. This load had been used by another reloader and was listed on the Wolfe Load Data web site and provided a shot to shot velocity variation of only one (1) fps (2068 and 2069)! It proved to be very accurate in my Miroku made Winchester TD .405.

It also did the job this year on my first cape buffalo. See link below for pix and story. Unfortunately, I am not so photogenic as Linda (good show , by the way Linda) but the buffalo did not seem to notice. ;)

Cape Buffalo with .405 WCF - Topic
 
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