Tell us what calibre you are working with and what kind of rifle you have. I shoot several BPC Rifles in different calibres and have excellent rusults.
Rifles I am working with are:
Shiloh LRE .45 X 2 7/8" (.45-110)
Browning Creedmore .45 X 2 4/10" (.45-90)
Original Remington Rolling Block .45 2 4/10"
Shiloh #1 Sporter 32" .45 X 2 1/10" (.45-70)
Assuming you already have a basic knowledge of handloading the following will get you started with BPC.
To start with, your cases should all be uniform and full length sized. After you have fire formed them in your chamber, you may be able to skip sizing your brass. Either way, sized or unsized, just lightly bell the mouth of your cases in the expander die to accept the bullet.
Primers: Most have excellent luck with Fed. 215, Fed. 215M, or Winchester (white box) LR. primers. Others work well but these seem to be the most common among BPC shooters.
Goex powder will perform for most people with a minimum amount of headache. Swiss powder is EXPEN$IVE but of excellent quality. It is also hotter than Goex and therefore produces highter velocities. Some shooters weigh each charge and others use a volume powder measure to throw their powder charges. Either way works, just pick one and stay constant in your methods. Goex likes a good bit of compression, around .200" - .300" or more depending on case capacity. Powder should be compressed after being slowly poured down a drop tube into the case and a over powder wad having been placed on top of the powder charge. Compression should NEVER be done with the bullet as in seating the bullet. Always use a compression die or compression plug otherwise your bullet WILL be deformed and quite often the resulting cartridge will be impossible to chamber.
Over powder wads may be punched from a variety of materials but most shooters, especially beginners will find that .030" or .060" thick wads punched from vegetable fiber gasket material work well.
For best performance, bullets should be hand cast by the user. An alloy of 20:1 (lead to tin) is good in most rifles although some prefer a softer bullet of 30:1. I would say a 20:1 bullet is a good place to start.
A good BLACK POWDER bullet lube is essential to keeping the fouling soft in your bore. For commercial lubes, SPG works well as does Black Magic. Home brewed lubes are much more cost effective and can equal or better the performance of the commercial lubes in most cases. Consult with experianced shooters to see what works well in your climate. Pan lubing well cast bullets is probably the easiest way to lube your bullets although many use a lubrisizer to accomplish this task.
Once you have your cases charged with powder and wad under the appropriate amount of compression, you may seat your bullets by hand or using your press and seating die. Just be careful not to deform the bullet if using your press. If you have adequate neck tension on your bullets you do not need to crimp. If bullets are loose such as may be the case if you are loading fire formed cases without sizing, you can apply a light crimp in your seating die. Some shooters use a pseudo taper crimp by taking the decapping stem out of their sizing die and setting it up so that a fully loaded cartridge wil be slightly and gently squeezed to where the bullet is under suitable tension in the case to keep from falling out.
The key to accuracy is CONSISTANCY in your ammunition.
I appreciate the information.I am waiting for my rifle to come in.I expect it in this month or next.It is a Shilo Sharps in 45-110, 2 7/8.I have loaded my 22-250 rounds and I have shot muzzle loader,both for some time although not for a while.
So far I have collected 200 pcs. of Bell brass.I am curious about brass.Is it .338 Winchester that is being used to make 45-110 2 7/8 from also?
I also have a die on order from Mr.Ballard.
None of what I have is suitable for this rifle.So I will have to buy a new press and all the related parts.Which brand is best? What all is recomended?
I have found BeLL brass to be of dubious quality. I know several shooters using the stretched .348 Win. brass by Buffalo Arms in Sandpoint Idaho. Personally, I use Norma brass and have found it to be superior.
Is it a swaging die you are getting from Tom Ballard? I have a Redding 3 die set that I use but honestly, I don't resize my brass after fire forming in my chamber. I use a Redding Ultramag press for all my reloading now and really like it. It has a large enough opening for all the long cases and enough strength and leverage for bullet swaging.
My load for the .45 X 2 7/8" is as follows:
Norma brass, fire formed, not sized.
Fed. 215M primer
105gr. Goex FFg.
.060" Veg. Fiber Wad
Tom Ballard "modified Postell" bullet, 530gr. 20:1 alloy
Home brew lube made from Beeswax, Bayberry Wax, Neatsfoot oil and glycerine with a touch of Murphy's oil Soap.
Powder is dropped down a 36" drop tube then the wad is pressed on top of the powder collumn. Next compression is achieved by using a bronze compression plug in my seating die. Bullets are then hand seated or you can seat them in your seating die in the press. Just be certain you don't apply too much force and deform your bullet when seating in the press.
This load has kept me in the top 10% of shooters at the Quigley shoot in Forsyth, Montana.
You're going to LOVE this cartridge once you get the feel for it. Accuracy is outstanding and velocity is just under 1400 fps.
I have some Elephant and Swiss powders that I am going to work with but Goex FFg. is an outstanding performer in this cartridge.
No neck sizing and no crimp. You will find that your Shiloh will have a fairly tight chamber. Mine does and I have to lightly expand fired cases to accept the bullet. The same is true of a few other Shiloh rifles in this caliber that I am aware of. There is plenty of tension on the bullet. I do run my loaded rounds up into the seating die that is adjusted so as to just straighten out the case mouth but not crimp. Some shooters take the decapping stem out of their sizing dies and run the loaded cartridge up into it to apply a pseudo taper crimp. I do use this technique on my .45 X 2 4/10" ammunition for my rolling block.
Using the no sizing technique will give you brass that fits YOUR chamber. If you do decide to go this route, I recommend that you index your brass so it will be inserted into your chamber exactly the same for every firing. I use the "r" in Norma on the head stamp of my cases for an index reference. You can index at 12 O'clock or with your reference mark pointing to your extractor or whatever you prefer, just keep it consistent.
I also have a .45x2.4 or as some refer to it, a 45/90. It's on an old Remington BP roller with a Badger barrel and Shaver sights. After fooling around trying a slight amount of neck-sizing and then lots of neck-sizing the rifle grouped much better with no neck-sizing, just a slight flare, I found that seating the bullets with no crimp also worked just fine. I seat PJ Creedmores by hand, checking them with a in-line bullet-seater to make sure of the OAL. Fine caliber, it does 2.5" at 200 yards.
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