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mtnwinds
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Breech Seating
Sep 15th, 2011 at 12:56pm
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Maj. Roberts refers numerous times to the practice of breech seating bullets about 1/16" ahead of the loaded case.  Does anyone follow that practice, or something similar, today?  To raise this question is a bit risky as some have commented in other forums that the air gap created by that practice could destroy a rifle.  Have the available black powders changed in some way from what was available in the 19th century?  I realize most shooters on this for use smokeless but I thought this might be the best place to look for an answer.

Sorry if this information is already posted somewhere, I could not find reference to in using the search facility.
  
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westerner
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Re: Breech Seating
Reply #1 - Sep 15th, 2011 at 1:49pm
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Many on this forum, who shoot competition, breech seat bullets ahead of the case.  

Assuming you're asking about BP in a cartridge gun. An air gap of 1/16th to 1/2 inch and more wont hurt anything.  Wont blow a gun up.

A dangerous air gap would be several inches.  In that case, a ringed barrel is more likely than a blow up.  Harry Pope fired his rifle in a match with the bullet still sitting a few inches from the muzzle and the barrel didnt blow up. I did the same think using a duplex load in a soft steel barrel. It didnt blow up.  Having said all that, best to have the bullet on black powder.  Wink


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mtnwinds
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Re: Breech Seating
Reply #2 - Sep 15th, 2011 at 4:16pm
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Thanks, Joe.  Yes, I'm shooting a new Win 1885 in 45-70.  I use either Swiss 1.5 or Goex.  Do you know if using an over powder veggie wad would be detrimental with a 1/4" gap between bullet & case?
  
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Dave
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Re: Breech Seating
Reply #3 - Sep 15th, 2011 at 5:30pm
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I haven't found my BP reloading notes since I moved so I am going on memory here.  For 45-70 in my rolling block I use a compression die that slightly compresses the powder then a fiber wad and then the bullet.  There is no air space.  There are lots of good books out there such as Mike Ventero's (sp?) Shooting Buffalo Rifles and then there is whats his names 40 Years with the 45-70 and the books that followed.  Also the Shilo Rifle Forum has good stuff on the 45-70 with BP.
  
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westerner
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Re: Breech Seating
Reply #4 - Sep 15th, 2011 at 7:09pm
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I've never breech seated but I was wondering - can you breech seat with a 1/6" air gap using smokeless?
Thanks


Air gap refers to the distance between the bullet base and the powder charge. So no you wouldnt want to do that because you would have almost a full case of smokeless powder.

If you mean the distance between the end of the case and the base of the bullet, yes.  Some of my rifles have about a half inch space when breech seated.

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QuestionableMaynard8130
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Re: Breech Seating
Reply #5 - Sep 15th, 2011 at 9:13pm
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Id say that almost all of the top bench shooters at EG are breech seating their bullets as do a fair amount of the offhand shooters. (Though in the latter case shooter-induced angle of dispersion may well exceed that of the difference between fixed and breech-seated ammo.)

I routinely shot my 45-70 Browning/Miroku/Badger/Winchester/Browning HighWall breech seating 500 gr Lyman-Matthews bullets over a heathy charge of 5744.  I breech-seated the bullet so its base was about 16th or so ahead of the case mouth.  I had a cork wad seated a wad-thickness above the powder to hold the powder in uniform position.  the rifle shows no ill effects,  and the shooter has recovered.
  

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boats
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Re: Breech Seating
Reply #6 - Sep 15th, 2011 at 9:48pm
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If you load Fixed black powder  best to put the bullet against the powder, some compress some vibrate some drop tube, Wads have as many variations some use them some don't. All these variables are looking for maximum accuracy and each has it's supporters.

Breech seating no way around it you will leave air space between the bullet and powder. Most use a wad on top of the powder since the black powder will spill into the action otherwise.

Old advice on air space is probably good for thin wall black powder muzzle loading shotguns or muskets.  Strong barrel cartridge Schuetzen breech seating everybody leaves air space.

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RSW
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Re: Breech Seating
Reply #7 - Sep 15th, 2011 at 10:28pm
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Here’s something to consider for filling the air space between a breech seated bullet base and case mouth. After seating a bullet, I use my breech seating tool to push a thick felt wad against the bullet base. Just push the felt wad against the bullet base. Don’t push hard or you will seat the bullet deeper. The cartridge case is full of drop-tubed black which is held in place with a card or veggie wad (your choice of material and thickness).
You will have to work out the exact felt wad thickness and bullet seating depth to work for your rifle.
It works for me
  

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Re: Breech Seating
Reply #8 - Sep 16th, 2011 at 11:16am
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RSW wrote on Sep 15th, 2011 at 10:28pm:
Here’s something to consider for filling the air space between a breech seated bullet base and case mouth. After seating a bullet, I use my breech seating tool to push a thick felt wad against the bullet base. Just push the felt wad against the bullet base. Don’t push hard or you will seat the bullet deeper. The cartridge case is full of drop-tubed black which is held in place with a card or veggie wad (your choice of material and thickness).
You will have to work out the exact felt wad thickness and bullet seating depth to work for your rifle.
It works for me


One of the issues of the BPCN describes this technique as a way to reduce case stretching issues with breech seated BP loads.  I've yet to try it, but will when my new CPA arrives  Smiley

Chris.
  

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mtnwinds
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Re: Breech Seating
Reply #9 - Sep 16th, 2011 at 8:55pm
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DSW: I just purchased a Winchester/Miroku/Badger/HighWall on line but won't get it for a couple of weeks.  Have you done a chamber cast yet?  I'd like to know what the chamber dimensions are.

Westerner: So, leaving ½" between the base of the bullet and the case works fine for you?  Do you use a wad to keep the powder in the case?  The theory I've heard most is that the powder ignites and sends the wad down the barrel.  The wad contacts the bullet & it reacts as though the bullet is a bore obstruction resulting in high pressure, ringed chamber, or worse.  On the surface that sounds reasonable but what I'm reading from folks here is that that is not what happens.
  
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Re: Breech Seating
Reply #10 - Sep 16th, 2011 at 10:38pm
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As a rule less in the case better off you are, wads more than anything else. I breech seat smokless in the 32/40 without wads. You can pick the rifle up and insert without spilling. It's less than half full of 4227

Black in the 38/55 barrel I fill the case all the way up and have to use a wad to keep from spilling powder in the action.

It's never rung the chamber and don't expect it to. If it does will get CPA to cut it off and re-chamber, Can't shoot it breech with black powder and avoid air space  Who knows may like it better a few inches shorter.

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Re: Breech Seating
Reply #11 - Sep 26th, 2011 at 10:10am
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Here is a Chamber Cast from my Winchester/Miroku/Badger/HighWall 45-70. As you can see, there is zero lead. Bullets start directly into the rifling.

Other than not having to mess with the brass, and since there is no case sizing, I'd think brass would last forever.

With a lead like this, I'd be concerned about getting the bullet breach seated accurately????


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RSW
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Re: Breech Seating
Reply #12 - Sep 26th, 2011 at 11:52am
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RoyB
From your photo, the lands appear to be groove diameter at the end of the throat and taper at about 4 degrees to bore diameter, that’s your leade. For breech seating, you probably need a bullet that is bore diameter at the front bearing band with succeeding bearing bands increasing in steps of 2 thousandths to approximately 1 thousandth over groove diameter for the rear three bearing bands. That bullet “taper” will ensure it stays centered in the barrel as you breech seat.
I have had great success with custom moulds from Steve Brooks but there are others fully capable of making you a mould to fit your needs. If you do a search on this site and the Shiloh online forum, I think you will find a good bullet profile for your rifle by Dan Theodore. He as done a lot bullet design work for rifles such as yours.
  

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westerner
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Re: Breech Seating
Reply #13 - Sep 26th, 2011 at 12:36pm
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mtnwinds wrote on Sep 16th, 2011 at 8:55pm:
Westerner: So, leaving ½" between the base of the bullet and the case works fine for you?  Do you use a wad to keep the powder in the case?  The theory I've heard most is that the powder ignites and sends the wad down the barrel.  The wad contacts the bullet & it reacts as though the bullet is a bore obstruction resulting in high pressure, ringed chamber, or worse.  On the surface that sounds reasonable but what I'm reading from folks here is that that is not what happens.


The one rifle I have where the bullet is seated 1/2 out from the mouth of the case, was throated for the Hudson bullet. The Hudson has a larger diameter base. before I acquired the correct Hudson mold to fit my rifle I used a Pope style tapered bullet seated a half inch ahead of the chamber.  No wad.  I used 13.5 grains IMR 4227.  

Wads, tricky, Hmm?  I dont use them much with reduced smokeless loads.  Better safe than sorry works for me.


                 Joe.  Smiley
« Last Edit: Sep 26th, 2011 at 3:29pm by westerner »  

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QuestionableMaynard8130
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Re: Breech Seating
Reply #14 - Sep 26th, 2011 at 1:32pm
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Paul Matthews designed a designed tapered Pope-style bullet for the 45-70  500+ grains for Lyman.   The initial mould was a flat nosed nosepour in a fairly small block.  Warpage was a problem with some so Lyman discontinued it.  they then revised it in a larger block with a basepour and a pointy-nose.  I have both and that is what I shot in my light weight sporter  with a prototype Badger 16"/1 barrel.  Breech seating worked very well for me w/smokeless.  I won;t deny that recoil got your attention.  But I shot very low 240 Schoyens with it,  and never did as well with my other CF guns
  

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