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25/20 SS (Read 5225 times)
buggybuilder
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25/20 SS
May 30th, 2008 at 12:18pm
 
I need another rifle. I would like it to be a Stevens 44 1/2.
Most of the rifles that I am interested in seem to be in the 25/20 SS.
Is brass available for this round and if so where? Also, are dies available?
Thanks for any help.
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MerwinBray
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Re: 25/20 SS
Reply #1 - May 30th, 2008 at 1:19pm
 
Yup,
Brass is available from bertram and Rocky Mountain Cartridge. I have both and prefer the Rocky Mountain stuff. It is more expensive but is custom made and should last a LONG time if taken care of. I have had some of the bertram stuff split at the mouth upon first or second firing. I have read that once anealed it reduces this tendency.
Dies are available, Someone else please chime in, but I think it is CHD4 and I want to say that RCBS makes them. I got mine from Huntington's in West Virginia. I would think they or Buffalo Arms can help you out with dies and brass. But check out the Rocky Mt brass, good stuff.
I have a 44.5 and it was a 25-20ss. I also had a 38-55 barrel put on by Rocky Mt. Nice thing is you can switch barrels on the 44.5 if you are so inclined. I really like my 44.5 but have had problems with the firing pin and the trigger. Firing pin is a common problem on the gun but can be had from CPA for a reasonable tarrif. My trigger had been monkied on by several people over the years and finally got below the original hardeding on me about half way through a match. I don't think the trigger is a common problem on the gun.
MerwinBray

BTW Midway has the bertram listed in my last catalog
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Quarter_Bore
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Re: 25/20 SS
Reply #2 - May 30th, 2008 at 3:32pm
 
I think you will enjoy owning and shooting a .25-20 Single Shot Stevens. I know I do. Despite what is often said I find .25 caliber bullets as easy to cast as .32's, In fact, easier, since the lead pot does not need to be refilled so often. .25's are are a lot of fun and very pleasant to shoot.
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MerwinBray
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Re: 25/20 SS
Reply #3 - May 30th, 2008 at 4:57pm
 
Buggybuilder,
I wanted to ad, to me, one of the things that is so darn fun about a classic gun and a classic cartridge is the classic accesories that you can find to go with it! Re and de cappers, old molds, old tools, etc. I enjoy the tools just as much as the guns. Don't rule this out as a possible source for loading. One of my prized ideal tools is my 25-20ss tool with mold. It throws a good bullet that was designed pretty much for that gun, and loads nice to boot, if you are going fixed ammo. Mine is in nice shape, not perfect exterior but good mechanically, so I can cast and load with it and not worry about messing up the nickel.
Lots of other 25-20ss out there, it was right popular for a while.
Merwin
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waterman
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Re: 25/20 SS
Reply #4 - May 30th, 2008 at 5:57pm
 
I have 2 original Stevens 44s in .25/20 SS and enjoy them very much.  Stay away from the Bertram brass.  It's not very good.  I have RCBS dies, but why bother?  You may need dies for an initial case forming, but that is all.  The rifles are single shots and all you need is something to decap with and something else to put in a new primer. You can breech-seat with a plugged case.

I have read that .25/20 SS brass can be made from .223 or the military equivalent, but I don't know anything about it.  Is anyone selling such brass?
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marlinguy
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Ballards may be weaker,
but they sure are neater!

Re: 25/20 SS
Reply #5 - May 30th, 2008 at 8:12pm
 
I've got Stevens in .25-20SS, and also .25-21 Stevens. Love them both, but the .25-21 is my favorite of the two.
Bertram brass is junk! Go for RMC brass, as it's well worth the extra money!
I got dies from Buffalo Arms, C&H 4D for around $62. Might be more now, but still cheaper than most other brands.
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slumlord44
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Re: 25/20 SS
Reply #6 - May 30th, 2008 at 10:11pm
 
CHD4 dies are the cheapest. Go to them directly throuth their website. RCBS are also available but a lot pricier. Managed to get a deal on  a used set and also some original brass and a box of Betram. Might try a post on the for sale/trade section here. It took a while but I did get a fair deal. I have found that most of the people on this website will treat you right and I always try to do the same myself. The 44 1/2 is a realy neat gun. Just recently got mine in .25-20 SS and finaly got all the loading components this week. Waiting for my reloading buddy to get a few rounds together. I have one in .22 LR and .32-40. They are very well built, classy looking, and a ball to shoot. Now I am looking for one in .44-40 or possibly another interesting caliber. Have a .32-20 44 action with fair bore that shoots realy well with the addition of a period Lyman tang sight and lead bullets. I would highly recomend a  Stevens or Lyman Tang sight if the gun you get does not have one. Be prepared to spend a few bucks for a decent 44 1/2. Not to worry. Keep it and shoot it for a while and it will be worth more than you paid for it in a year or two, even if you pay a little too much today.
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tenx
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Re: 25/20 SS
Reply #7 - May 30th, 2008 at 10:56pm
 
  I'll 2nd most of what's been said. Don't get Bertram brass, as like mentioned, they split out, and at the price per case a 20% reject rate hits you in the pocketbook fast. I even tried annealing them and didn't find any improvement. It seems others have had a different experence so it might be the lot I got.

  I make my own cases now and haven't had a bit of trouble with them.

  My experience with CH4D dies has not been good. The two sets I've gotten both scratched the sides of the cases. Don't know if they would have weakened the case any but sure was unsightly, and after sending a coupla cases to BA.... where I got them from...... they refunded my money and applied it to a set of RCBS's. Like everything else I guess you get what you pay for.

PETE
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J.D.Steele
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Re: 25/20 SS
Reply #8 - May 31st, 2008 at 10:05am
 
I've found that Bertram brass has many longitudinal folds and inclusions, causing body splits and gas leakage. Also their case heads sometimes won't enter the shellholder, their tolerances appear to be quite wide.

My last two boxes of RMCC 25-20 SS brass resulted in one body split and one neck split, out of 40 cases. Much better than Bertram but still not as good as it could be, IMO.
Good luck, Joe
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tenx
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Re: 25/20 SS
Reply #9 - May 31st, 2008 at 4:37pm
 
Joe,

  That's why I make my own now. Altho I can't say they won't fail since I'm working on my first case yet. Got at least 200 shots thru it. Did have three primer pockets come loose from pushing the envelope.  Smiley

PETE
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waterman
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Re: 25/20 SS
Reply #10 - May 31st, 2008 at 8:17pm
 
What is the heaviest cast bullet used with the .25/20 SS?  I saw an ad or reference someplace for a nose-pour tapered bullet, but IIRC, it weighs about 107 grains. Will something like that work in an original rifle?
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marlinguy
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Ballards may be weaker,
but they sure are neater!

Re: 25/20 SS
Reply #11 - May 31st, 2008 at 10:09pm
 
I cast a 104 gr. for both my Stevens .25's, and it shoots great.
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xxgrampa
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Re: 25/20 SS
Reply #12 - May 31st, 2008 at 10:50pm
 
some of the original quarter bores had twists of 1-7, 1-8 or 9. they handled the heavy bullets quite well.

..ttfn..grampa.
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Quarter_Bore
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Re: 25/20 SS
Reply #13 - Jun 1st, 2008 at 11:35am
 
Most of the older model Stevens .25's had 14 inch twist and will stabilize the 86 grain bullets ok with a reasonalble charge. The later Stevens .25's had a  13 inch twist which will stabilize the 100 grain bullet. Also available on special order was the 12 inch twist which, I have heard, was sometimes used with .25-25's. From what I've observed factory Stevens were not available in the .25-35 or .25-36 which sometimes used faster twist. Of course anything is possible with old single shots so maybe you should check the twist.
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tenx
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Re: 25/20 SS
Reply #14 - Jun 1st, 2008 at 6:03pm
 
As mentioned there are many twist rates and they will determine what the max. wgt. bullet you can use. I have a 1-10" twist and shoot a 110 gr. bullet. If I recall previous posts right Brent has/had an original barrel with the 1-14" twist and found 75 grs. was the max. he could get accuracy with.

  Twist rate and max. bullet wgts. are mentioned a few times in S&F. Shooters were complaining that the 1-16" twist of the .32/40 would handle 200 gr. bullets in some guns and not in others.

PETE
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