Well, the board is either fixed, or it's going to run terribly. Cross your fingers and hope for the best. I'm at my technical limit right now.

Reloading for the 1873 ordnance revolver

Les Révolvers et Pistolets de Militaires Français, Mle.1873, 1892, 1935, Unique, Ruby, et alia
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Zeliard
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Reloading for the 1873 ordnance revolver

#1 Post by Zeliard » Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:14 am

Originally posted by burkefj.

I've been reloading for these for a while and thought I'd share what I've been doing in case it is of interest.

I have two of these, one of them has slightly chamfered cylinder openings and I can use short trimmed 44 russian cases with no problems. On the other, I have to use the buffalo brass which has a thinner rim.

I did not have access to a heeled bullet mold or heeled bullets so I came up with the following in order to shoot it. I also did not want to buy special dies or a crimping tool due to the heeled bullet.

What I did have was .452 185 lswc bullets for my .45, some spare 45 colt and 44 mag/spl dies sitting around.

What I do:

1)I flare the case mouths with a 45 colt expander to about 3/16" deep. The look funny but that's ok.

2)I use some .452 LSWC 185 grain cast bullets that I run through a .446 sizing die that I have for 43 mauser. This reduces the size so that they will hand seat into the cases.

3)I then hand seat the bullets into the cases after charging. The 45 colt expander depth determines how deep they go. You want to seat them till the top of the case mouth is just below the top of the lube groove.

4)Run the cases with seated bullet into a 44 special/44 mag seating die(I'm using rcbs which I had) without the seater stem in place. You run them up into the die which swages the case mouth and bullet together till they will fit the cylinders. The forward part of the bullet is still the .446 diameter which is right about the cylinder throat diameter.

5)I then run them barely into a 44 mag sizing die with the decapper removed which just bump crimps the end of the case into the lube groove. If you don't do this the neck tension after swaging in the 44 seating die won't be sufficient to prevent them from backing out when fired. the sizing die is slightly larger than the bullet diameter at the base which allows you to bump crimp and not push the bullet deeper into the case.

These are shooting extremely well in both my 1873's. I just shot a 48 shot string from 7 yards right and left handed, to 15 and then 25 yards and kept all but 7 shots in the B-27 10 ring. The rest of the outliers were close 9's. I had to aim about the 7:00 position on the x ring at 7 yards and the 7:00 position on the 10 ring at 15 and 25 yards.

I'll try to post some pictures. If you were to pull a loaded bullet, you would have basically a swaged heeled bullet with a .430 base and the .446 front portion.

when reloading, I use a universal decapper to deprime, there is no sizing required as the case was already swaged smaller than the 45 colt expander. I then go back to step 1....

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