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327 Federal Low Wall (Read 1736 times)
TED338
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327 Federal Low Wall
Mar 18th, 2012 at 9:52pm
 
I have an extra low wall action that I have been saving for an interesting cartridge and have decided the 327 Fed is the one. De Hass recommends that action for the 256 Win and 357 Mag, so I feel that strength is not an issue. But I do have a question. In order to have the largest possible selection of bullets (I am not a caster), I want to use a 308 barrel. Is that doable? I seem to remember that when the 32H&R came out, Thompson Center used 308 barrels. Any guidance would be appreciated.
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Singleshotlover
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Re: 327 Federal Low Wall
Reply #1 - Mar 18th, 2012 at 11:38pm
 
Pretty sure it was the 32-20 cartridge for the contender.
But I could be wrong. Think that they called it the 30-20
due to the fact that they did use 308 bbls. I  hope David Kaiser sees this as I believe he has made up some nifty single shots using the thick walled martini 12/15 actions and rem 700 308 varmint weight barrels. Check out some of the auction sites for the availability of the above bbls. You should have enough metal after cutting off about two inches for the 308 chamber to rethread for the low wall. If I remember right the varmint bbls have a 1x12" twist and should be great for cast bullets or jacketed bullets. Hope this helps. Frank
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SSShooter
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Re: 327 Federal Low Wall
Reply #2 - Mar 19th, 2012 at 9:52am
 
Sounds like a nice project if the LW can stand up to the pressure. Factory loads can go from 36,000 to 45,000 psi, so need to be careful. Also, the nominal bullet diameter per SAMMI spec's is 0.312", so go from there on barrel dimensions.
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38_Cal
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Re: 327 Federal Low Wall
Reply #3 - Mar 19th, 2012 at 10:40am
 
I think that I would skip the idea of the .327 Federal in the low wall due to pressure with factory loads.  The 32-20 should be ok, even in the .308" variation, but not for high pressure loads like I use in my Ruger.  Cast bullets up to about 165 gr. at about 1400 fps with lower pressure powders like J Louis has been working with should be fine if the action is tight and it has a bushed or small diameter firing pin.

David
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David Kaiser
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TED338
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Re: 327 Federal Low Wall
Reply #4 - Mar 19th, 2012 at 2:47pm
 
Thanks to all for the advice.  Already have a 32-20 in a switch barrel cadet action (the other is 25-20) and a 32 S&W Short in a #4 RB.  How would a 32 H&R Mag work out?  Same 308 barrel: I have a new take-off from a Win M70.  This is just for another "woods loafer", I am not a target shooter.  I just like to have a nice light SS with pretty wood with me when I'm out in the bush.
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SSShooter
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Re: 327 Federal Low Wall
Reply #5 - Mar 19th, 2012 at 9:47pm
 
Nominal bullet is still 0.312", but pressure drops to 21,000, which may still be too much for an old Low Wall. Any idea when yours was made? The modern Win-Miroku Low Wall is good to 55,000, but the original is considered a pretty weak action.
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38_Cal
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Re: 327 Federal Low Wall
Reply #6 - Mar 19th, 2012 at 10:44pm
 
.32 H&R Mag should be ok...it is listed at lower pressure than the commonly accepted 25-20 Win. 

David
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David Kaiser
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TED338
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Re: 327 Federal Low Wall
Reply #7 - Mar 20th, 2012 at 11:26am
 
This is all very interesting and valuable information, the knowledge base on this board astounds me. But it brings up a question I have thought about more than once. Not having the personal knowledge that you folks have regarding action strength and weakness; I have always relied on the information I have read in Frank De Hass's various books and articles. As I always understood his comments and advise, he seemed to take a conservative and cautious approach to his work. Am I wrong in that assumption?
As an example, he does say that the 256 Win is OK for the low wall. If I look at the saami pressures, the 256 is within a 1000 psi of the 327 Fed. The 327 being smaller in diameter, leaves more steel in the chamber area and by the same logic (of course that would be my logic!) would have less back thrust on the breech block due to the smaller area of its base.
Any thought on De Hass and my presumed logic from people who really know?
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frnkeore
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Re: 327 Federal Low Wall
Reply #8 - Mar 20th, 2012 at 1:41pm
 
Very good question, Ted. There seems to be two basic camps here on this forum regarding LW's. People that say the LW is old and dangerous if used with anything except 22rf and cat sneeze 32/20's and those that put there faith in Frank DeHaas.

Frank studied SS's, their mechanisms and their strength from a engineering view point. Some others have seen or heard of A Low Wall cracking in the mortise but, I don't believe they know anything about what actually happened to cause that.  I do see that one of our members has taken at least one step up in their evaluation of the LW's strength and I think that's a good thing. I personally have a LW chambered in 357 Max and have run it to higher pressures (208 gr bullet, 1800 fps with WC820 powder in a 28" lg, rebored original barrel) but, my normal load is much lower pressure (same wt bullet at 1400 fps).

If you do such a thing, be sure the rifle is in good operating condition, especially in the mortise and it's fit to the breech block. I've recommended Xray and/or Magifluxing before to be sure.

Ted, regarding your use of the 327 Fed, there are two things you should know,

1. The std chamber reamer will have a larger than needed neck dia in a .308 bore for best accuracy.

2. The .308 bore will increase the pressure by about 1,000 psi because of the smaller bore area.

My posts on LW strength usually bring sever criticism so, you'll probably hear a lot of the negatives regarding LW's now.

Frank
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Green_Frog
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Re: 327 Federal Low Wall
Reply #9 - Mar 20th, 2012 at 2:59pm
 
Ted,

     I have no experience at all with the 256 Win, but have been "in on" converting two smooth side low-walls (the lightest variant) to 32 H&R Mag.  We didn't keep either one long enough to really shoot it a whole lot, but got good results and felt safe (saw no signs of excess pressure) shooting them.  I would not try to hot rod the cartridge in this rifle, but factory equivalent loads (or thereabouts) should be OK.  Smiley

     As for the bullet/bore diameter question... I'm going to go against the grain here and say "Why not use the smaller diameter bullet, IF you stay in the proper weight range.  A .308 bullet of 115 grains should produce no more stress on the action than a .312 bullet of the same weight.  You may have a little trouble getting standard dies to put a satisfactory crimp in it, but with a single shot rifle, firm crimps aren't always that necessary.  Cool

     The foregoing is all JMHO, based on my personal experience.  YMMV, so no responsibility is assumed for what you do with it!  Wink

Froggie
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QuestionableMaynard8130
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Re: 327 Federal Low Wall
Reply #10 - Mar 21st, 2012 at 2:01pm
 
back thrust of a case head on the breach block would be affected by the diameter/ area of the case head.  To my mind a larger case head would distribute the stress better than a small one, especially if it had more solid portions of the block backing it up.  A smaller case head would have a greater portion of its thrusting surface over the thinned/drilled portion where the firing pin assembly sits.
Or have I got it all wrong.   Action strength is made up of a LOT of different things.  alloys, thickness, and heat treatment in a bunch of different areas both block, action, and the chamber-cut portion of the barrel;  bearing surfaces of the  block and the action, and probably a bunch of other things.

As a sort-of example look at the cartridges the factory considered safe in the original low wall and the ones that are chambered in the new Miroku low wall actions.

As far as I know (correct me please if I am wrong)  all the original winchester since shots were made of solid forged heat treated steel.   so the diff between the low and high walls must be the block design and the amount of bearing surface.  OH yeah the thick and thin side actions
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