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Discussion Starter #1
There has been an ongoing thread about balloon head cases in .45 Colt lever guns for some time.

http://shootersforum.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=4414

It got kind of long, so I thought I'd continue it in a new thread.

I have mentioned that my Win 94 AE Trapper went through them like they were normal cases, but at the time my Rossi would not feed anything.
Well the Rossi is up and running now and yesterday I took it to the range and ran the last 32 of my balloon head cartridges through it.
No problems at all. I had worked on sighting it in and so it was dirty. Not black powder dirty, but dirty.

Since last November when this idea hit me I have been looking for balloon head cases. Even going to all the trouble of putting WTB adds in all the forums I frequent. Well, finally I have some coming. About a 120 or so. Add these to the ones I have and buy some black powder and we'll have good test.

So John Kort you ready to shoot some more balloon heads out of your Marlin?
 

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No JohnKort?:(

Well, I have bullets, primers, more ballon head cases coming and I've found a source of Goex 3F Black Powder.

Oh, am I going to regret this............:eek:
 

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J Miller,

My apologies for not responding sooner. I've had some computer problems that have kept me off line until the past two weeks or so and I've been doing some reloading and competitive shooting (NRA Silhouette Nationals) and just returned from a business trip.

Anyway, I have'nt loaded any more b.p. loads for my Marlin
.45 Colt Cowboy since I last reported. I probably will sometime in September. I've got some other projects I am working on now ....... .22 W.C.F. (Hornet ) w/b.p., .22 Long Rifle w/b.p., .30-30 w/220 gr. bullets various loads with slow burning powders & .44 W.C.F. (.44-40) w/ b.p.

As it turned out I should have annealed the .45 Colt Rem-Umc balloon head cases like I did the .45 Colt UMC cases since a number of them split with the first firing. The annealed UMC cases worked A ok with no signs of failure. I will anneal the balance of the Rem-Umc cases before I use them.

You may want to consider annealing your cases to help keep them from splitting in use.

I did need to disassemble my rifle to clean out the b.p. residue that got past the case and into the action. There wasn't much, but I did not want any rust to form.

Please keep us informed on your progress. I shoul dhave some additional info to post by the end of September or so.

John
 

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Discussion Starter #4
John,
Annealing the cases is a good idea. What is your method of doing this? Last week wheen I shot the last of my smokeless ones, I had two split down the sides. I'd like to prevent this, these cases are too hard to come by.

When I get all of them in one place I'll have just under 200. So I want to preserve them as long as I can.

I know about computer troubles. We just got rid of AOL and went to Outdoors Unlimited. But we had to reformat the drive to get rid of all the trash that AOL puts in the computer. Since then we have had nothing but Windows problems. I don't think the tecks got it in right.

As far as disassembling the rifle afterwards, I plan on it. I've done this with Pyrodex in my Win 94 Trapper .45, and it gummed it up in less than 20 rounds. Not enough pressure to seal the chambers so it really dumped the fowling back into the action.

I'll try to post pics when I do get to shooting the b.P..
 

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JMiller,

To anneal .45 Colt cases, I use a shallow pan of water filled to cover the bottom 5/16" or so portion of the case. This must be done so that the case head doesn't soften in the process.

I do about 10 deprimed cases at a time, using a propane torch. With a small flame I contact the mouth of the case in a small circular motion. I keep the tip of the flame in contact with the case mouth until I see the straw color come down the case about 3/8 to 7/16 of an inch (about 12-17 seconds using my torch and flame adjustment), then I go on to the next case.

Don't heat the case until it glows a dull red, that will oversoften it. Use a small flame and go slowly. After I do the 10 cases, I wait a minute or so and then remove them from the water. (No need to tip them over in the water as some people suggest.) I then add 10 more cases and repeat.
After I have done 20 cases, the water is getting pretty hot so I change the water.

After you do a few, you will get the hang of it.

Have fun!

John
 

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Discussion Starter #7
John,

Well by the time I read your instructions about annealing the cases I realized I had already sized and primed them. So I'll half to wait till next loading to do this.

But a couple questions came up. Over half my cases are nickled. How do I tell when they get to the right temp? Does the straw color show on these cases too?


J
 

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Well, I just finished loading 167 rounds of black powder .45 Colt ammo.

Now all I need is to arrange a day at the outdoor gun range.

Oh my poor rifle.
 

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Jim,

I should have mentioned that I have annealed many cases with live primers in them with no problem, but I prefer to anneal with no primer now.

I have no experience in annealing nickeled cases so unfortunately I can't advise you on that. My suggestion would be to get some experience in annealing brass .45"s and apply the same flame & time to the nickeled cases.

Wow! 167 rounds! You have been busy. Please keep us posted on you results.

Good shooting,
John
 

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JMiller,

I was curious to see if you ever had the opportuity to shoot some or all of the .45 Colt b.p. cartridges that you had loaded up.

I did some further testing at 50 yards in late 2003, using 40 grains of Swiss FFG with Rem 2 1/2 primers in U.M.C. and Rem-Umc balloon head cases which turned up 1,218 f.p.s.

5 shot groups averaged in the 2" range at that distance. One group had 4 shots in close to 1" with the 5th opening it to 1 3/4". I'll be taking my .45 Marlin Cowboy to Ridgway, PA in the spring and launching some of those black powder propelled 250 gr. bullets at the 300 meter steel javelina.

That should be fuunnn!

For reference:
From a previous post.........
Factory U.M.C. cartridges averaged 1,241 f.p.s. (I put fresh 2 1/2 remington primers in these)
40 grs. of Elephant 3F averaged 1,085 f.p.s.
40 grs. of Goex 3F averaged 1,247 f.p.s.
40 grs. of Swiss 3F averaged 1,311 f.p.s.

I used Lyman's 454190 bullet made from w.w + 2% tin alloy, at .457" diameter. Bullet weight was 255 grs. This bullet closely simulates the original .45 Colt Black Powder projectile.

John
 

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Discussion Starter #11
John,

I haven't been able to do this yet. I have only one outdoor range open to me that is even close and I haven't been able to coordinate my time with their hours. One of the indoor ranges near me has told me that his ventilation system can handle black powder smoke, so it looks as if I will use that.
Ammo is still loaded, Rossi is waiting. I am going to do it.
Thanks for the data. I will add it to my .45 Colt loading information.

Joe
 

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Jim,
Sorry to hear that you haven't had a chance to shoot your b.p. cartridges yet. 2004 is another year and hopefully you will get a chance come spring!

John
 

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Not Jim, it's Joe,

I'm trying to find a place close to home that I can shoot the filthy things. Right now with the weather and all, and some health problems, outdoors is a no go.
Got one indoor range that says black powder is OK, but I doubt he''ll stand still for almost 200 of them.

I'll get it done some day.

Joe
 

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John Kort said:
J Miller,

...snip...
Anyway, I have'nt loaded any more b.p. loads for my Marlin
.45 Colt Cowboy since I last reported. I probably will sometime in September. I've got some other projects I am working on now ....... .22 W.C.F. (Hornet ) w/b.p., .22 Long Rifle w/b.p., .30-30 w/220 gr. bullets various loads with slow burning powders & .44 W.C.F. (.44-40) w/ b.p.

...snip...

John

Have fun with the 22WCF, and post your results.

I built a RR from scratch a couple of years ago and chambered it in 22wcf (true 22 WCF with custom chamber ream and sizing die).It is a PIA to get to shoot with BP due to the limited lube capacity of the 22 bullets. Fun, but a hastle.

Good luck.

Steven
 

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Joe,
Sorry about that! I'm not sure where I came up with Jim(?).
Well, hopefully, this will be a better year and we'll both get more trigger time in. I picked up 12 more U.M.C. headstamped .45 Colt original black powder cartridges a few weeks ago. I dissected them and they contained an average of 41.1 grs. of b.p.. I annealed these cases today and will reload with the same b.p. for testing in the spring.
The fun continues!


Steven,

I know what you mean abou getting the .22 W.C.F. to shoot accurately with b.p. I switched to Swiss 3F and got better results. I had my first 5 shot groups to come in at under 1" @ 50 yards this past summer. 13.8 grains sparked by a CCI 500 pistol primer did the trick in W-W .22 Hornet cases.

Bullet used was NEI 47 gr. in w.w. + 2% tin alloy, .225" diameter and lubed with SPG. Lyman's 225438 would have done just as well. Swiss b.p. burns fairly clean with moist fouling. No problem with the bullet runing out of lube at all.
My best 5 shot group ever came at shots 25-30 with no barrel cleaning up to that point.

Try some Swiss b.p. You will definitely like it!

John
 
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