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CPA & Belding & Mull
Jan 28th, 2005 at 3:31pm
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I have been thinking for some time about  converting my older CPA from a BPCS rifle to a Schuetzen set up for Black powder.

Paul Shuttleworth just sent me the finished rifle. We are sure lucky to have someone like CPA to deal with. I have used a lot of gunsmith over the years on various target rifle projects and CPA is the best.  We had a couple of conversations about what to do in early November.  Paul or Gail called or sent Emails with suggestions and options and now the End of January I have the finished job. On time and as promised.  It included Re-stocking, New barrel and throating my old barrel as well as some sight and scope base work. 

I also bought a Belding and Mull reproduction powder measure to use for Breech seating with black powder. I had always used a Lymann # 55 which was reserved for black power only and had some troubles with it.

The Belding & Mull design ought to work real well. They shipped the measure promptly and the workmanship is excelent. I understand the parts will interchange with Original measures. They even reproduce the box and instructions.

For our rifles these are the "Good old days"

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Dale53
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Re: CPA & Belding & Mull
Reply #1 - Jan 28th, 2005 at 4:37pm
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>>>For our rifles these are the "Good old days" <<<

You'll get no argument from me on that score. We are indeed blessed.

Dale53
  
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PETE
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Re: CPA & Belding & Mull
Reply #2 - Jan 28th, 2005 at 5:06pm
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Boats,

  I'll agree about the B&M powder measure. I've used one for BP shooting for probably close to 40 years, and outside of a little surface rust on the top surface of the slide, which never interfered with the use of it, it's been going strong ever since I bought it.

  One thing you might consider is to get another drop tube.... I guess you'd call it. On my original it only holds 60 grs. or so of BP and for the bigger cartridges I have to make two drops to get the charge I want. I found that buying one of those longer ML'ing tubes that are 1/2" in diam. enables me to just do one drop.

PETE
  
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longhunter79
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Re: CPA & Belding & Mull
Reply #3 - Jan 31st, 2005 at 11:19am
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Boats,

What Ctg  are you shooting with Black?  Give us the details.  Mould, Bullet weight, Lube, you know all the good stuff.

Inquiring minds want to know?

Jon
  

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Re: CPA & Belding & Mull
Reply #4 - Jan 31st, 2005 at 12:01pm
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Longhunter,

I have  a few minutes on my hand so will go into some detail. But be cautioned I am not an experimenter just a shooter so don't spend much time with my loads.

This is a rifle I have had for some time and shot under BPCS rules as well as some informal matches we have localy. I plan to develop some new loads using my old ones as a base. My old Black powder loads at 200 yards shoot pretty long strings just under 2 moa. Not to say some groups are not smaller but generaly the rifle will shoot 10 shots under 4 inches.

It's a 38/55 and my main load with Black powder has been.

Fixed bullet LBT custom Spritzer 300 grs, lubed with SPG, the bullet has big grease groves. I like 41 grs of GOEX 2f with a wad over the powder. Slightly compressed. Primer is a Federal 215 Magnum. Not too much neck pull. Just enough to keep the bullet from slipping. This is the old standard load for a 38/55 using black and I got it right out of Garbes book . My notes show I tested it in 1995 and never changed it. I cannot find my velocity test but think it's 1250 fps.

I also have a smokeless load using a Saeco  factory mold again 300 grs but a flat nose bullet. I shoot it over 15 grs of 4759 and a large rifle primer, and I shoot the same bullet and primer gallery sub sonic, 7 grs of  Unique works best. In the rifles new Schuetzen set up and after checking them with the new throat I will leave these loads alone. They are good for pratice with fixed ammo.

For my new loads and breech seating , I had the chamber throated and  have switched to a set of Rocky mountian cartridge co everlasting cases with the primer pocket cut for Pistol primers.  I plan to fill it with 2f Goex again and use a card wad over the black powder, Not compressed and the case walls are thicker so I will end up with less powder, 38 grs ?  I also plan to stay with the LBT mold at first anyway. It has always performed well and if it does OK breech seating no sense in messing with it. It could be the breech seating requires a new bullet. If so I will go for a flater nose as I do not plan to shoot the rifle over 200 yards. The holes in the target are easier to see with a flat nose.

Breech seating reduces the variables considerably. Excepting the bullet About all I can change are lube primer and powder brands.   If you look at what is doing well in matches SPG and the Remington large pistol primer are about standard. Powders vary a lot but all I have easy access to is GOEX so that's the one I will use.;

Hows that ?

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Re: CPA & Belding & Mull
Reply #5 - Jan 31st, 2005 at 3:13pm
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Use a Belding and Mull measure for black powder, have put a thin coat of mould prep on it, helps with corrosion.  Have a CPA 38-55 that I use for silhouette and just having fun.  Blackpowder load is 47gr of 3F with Paul Jones 330gr bullet, Fed large pistol primer.  If I hit the target they seem to fall down.  Smokeless is 16.5 of 4759 with Pope style 310gr bullet, the same primer.  I breech seat this bullet.  It shoots very well.
  
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Re: CPA & Belding & Mull
Reply #6 - Jan 31st, 2005 at 4:34pm
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Boats
What are you using for a  wad in your BP loads with the everlast cases in your 38/55?
Bob
  

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Re: CPA & Belding & Mull
Reply #7 - Jan 31st, 2005 at 5:02pm
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GWarden

Thats a good question.  I have been buying wads from Walters and expect they will not fit the everlasters.

He may sell wads for them, Any suggestions ? Would sure like to avoid cutting them out myself.

On my 32/40's have given up wads but I have no doubt the bullet base needs to be protected in the 38/55 with a Black powder load.

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PETE
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Re: CPA & Belding & Mull
Reply #8 - Jan 31st, 2005 at 8:49pm
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Boats,

  I don't know if standard diam. Walters wads will work in an everlasting case, but I imagine he can pretty well cut them nearly any size you want. I had him make up some special over size wads for the 4 wgt. Win. barrel on my .38/55.

  One thing I would HIGHLY recommend you do when breech seating and that's to use an overpowder wad no thicker than .030". I don't know why it is but if I use a .060" wad after a few shots the case will separate where the wad and powder meet. This might not be a problem with everlasting cases, especially if the powder charge you find fills the case and the wad just sits at the mouth. Pope liked to use post cards.

PETE
  
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Re: CPA & Belding & Mull
Reply #9 - Feb 1st, 2005 at 9:00am
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Pete

That case seperation is the reason I am going to try the Everlasting cases.  I talked to Rocky Mt Cartridge at leingth. He said case seperation plagues the 38/55 when breech seating. He did not know exactly why other than most of the 38/55 cases have a canalure.  The only case seperation I have ever experenced is in my 45/70 Black loads for a Trapdoor. And right at the canalure.

He also said the everlasting's never have that problem. They can have another one though. Since they are turned they don't extract as easy as a drawn brass case. He also said it has been a problem in a CPA chamber and claims Paul does not polish them like on a Ballard.

Could be but I discounted that as a East vs West issue. It is possable I will have to do some polishing either the case or chamber. I bet some lube would fix that problem if it is one.

Of course all of this is "What if" As I only got the barrel back last week.  Will keep you posted

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PETE
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Re: CPA & Belding & Mull
Reply #10 - Feb 1st, 2005 at 4:28pm
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Boats,

  Well, nice to know that it wasn't something I did, or what might be wrong with those case separations I got. Altho I haven't really tested it to failure I've found .030" wads don't seem to give the separation that .060" wads did. I'm also not sure if this problem would occur if you just kept the wad in the mouth of the case, since I always seat it down lightly on the powder. To me the funny thing was I never experienced this with fixed ammo, so that's why I can't think of any reason for it doing so just because I breech seated.

  Interesting about RMC's cases sticking slightly in CPA's. GWarden bought some RMC cases in .32/40, so we'll have to see if the same holds for that caliber in his CPA.

  I wouldn't think you need to polish RMC's cases as the .28/30's I got from him last Winter looked as good as any "commercial" ones. I haven't had any extraction problems in the .28/30 barrel he made and put on a Stevens 44 1/2 for me. Not sure what you mean exactly by "lubing if that's the problem.". I sure hope you don't mean to lube the cases, or, the chamber. That's a definite no-no!

  Actually I think the extraction problem is due to the fact that the cases are machined. They aren't drawn and so will not be properly "hardened" like commercial cases are, and thus would tend to expand more. Full charge .38's might be getting up into the realm where the pressure is enuf to exceed the elastic strength, and need a few firings and FL sizings to "stiffen" them up. Smaller calibers might not have this problem due to lesser pressures.

  Yeah! Keep us informed on how things go with your new barrel.

PETE
  
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Re: CPA & Belding & Mull
Reply #11 - Feb 1st, 2005 at 5:11pm
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Pete

RMC told me the extraction problems were specific to the machined cases but accounted it to CPA's chamber not the temper of the brass. Thinking it over I bet the temper is the issue. I cannot imagine the surface of the brass or chamber would be so rough to make extraction difficult particulary with a strong Stevens type extractor. But we shall see. 

I did mean lube but ever so little. When sizing straight cartridges I use a very little die wax on the cases. Just some on my fingers and rub them around the case. And shoot them without wipeing it off. I know lube is a no-no but have never seen the need to wipe them dry. And the extraction is noticeably easier. No doubt it inceases thrust on the breechblock but my loads are so light compared to what the action will hold I don't think it's an issue. Most of my high power loading has not had the cases wiped absolutly dry after sizing without any problems.

I could need to be corrected though. Let me know what you think.

On the Wads.  just got off  the phone with John Waters who is cutting some custom size wads for the everlasting cases out of playing card stock. He usualy cuts two wads for the 38/55 One is .386 and one .380 for a tighter chamber. I tried some that I had on hand, Waters card .380's and they are too tight. I get the inside of the everlaster at .360.  He thinks .370 will be about right and had a cutter on hand in that size.

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PETE
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Re: CPA & Belding & Mull
Reply #12 - Feb 2nd, 2005 at 9:17am
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Boats,

  I wish my buddy would get on here and tell you his experiences with machined cases. I don't remember all the details but do know that machined cases react differently than the "commercial" types. With that said, I haven't had a bit of trouble with the .28/30's, so have always attributed any problems with pressures that exceed the elastic limits.

  I'm like you and don't get to carried away about making sure that my cases or chamber is absolutely dry, but I also don't add to the problem. I don't think anyone recommends putting any kind of lube on cases or chambers. I have read of people wiping their cases and chambers down with rubbing alcohol just to take care of this situation. But I personally think that's getting a little carried away. I will agree with you that modern gun steels probably won't be harmed if a little oil is present, but since this is a Schuetzen board, and many are using older guns of questionable strength, I'll just go on record as not recommending it at all. I'm sure you've noticed some of the older guns where the breech face is cupped around the firing pin hole. This is caused by soft breech faces and excess headspace that allows the primer to be set back. Imagine what would happen if you added extra back thrust due to oily cases or chambers.

  Neat about John Walters and cutting wads out of playing card stock. I was pretty sure he'd come thru for you.

  This proper sizing of wads reminds me of my first experiences with them. I was always thinking you'd want a wad just groove size or a coupla thousandths over. After getting my first batch of wads from John I miked them at about .008" over groove, and thought that was WAY to big. But after using them and thinking about it, I figure if you can get them into the case without cupping that would make sure of a more positive gas seal, and protection of the base.

  But, this brings up the question...... will to large a wad bring on the case separation problem? Considering that shooting BP will leave the inside of the cases a little rough, as vs smokeless, will to tight wads cause excessive stretching and separation over time at the juncture of the wad and powder? What do you think?

PETE

  
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Re: CPA & Belding & Mull
Reply #13 - Feb 2nd, 2005 at 4:49pm
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Pete, I for one believe you are right about both the temper of the machined cases causing the sticking and also the roughness inside the BP cases causing separations. This separation subject has been discussed on one of the BPCR forums before, and they concluded that BP residue was the culprit. They also concluded that a proper cleaning would leave even BP-fired cases sparkling clean inside & solve the separation problem. I've also seen cautions against loading machined brass to the full 50-60K psi level of modern cartridges, precisely because of the lack of work-hardening & resultant case wall springback as well as lack of case head strength. Of course at the usual Schuetzen pressure levels this isn't normally a concern but we should keep it in mind for any future users of that particular batch of brass, they may load a lot hotter.
ttfn, Joe
  
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PETE
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Re: CPA & Belding & Mull
Reply #14 - Feb 2nd, 2005 at 6:13pm
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Joe,

  I'll agree with you about using machined cases for modern high power loads. This is why I suspect that the .38/55 might be getting up pretty close to max. pressures for that type case, and what gives the occasional separation. This might be further heightened by the roughness inside the neck as time goes by.

  I've seen these discussions about the roughness on the inside of BP cases being caused by BP residue, but I'm not to sure I buy into it. When using fixed ammo I clean the insides of my cases with a tight fitting mop and warm, soapy water. The type that some use for oiling barrels after cleaning. Even after this I will notice after several firings the roughness starting to appear. I would think that this roughness would appear after the first firing if it was BP residue.

  I probably should section out a piece of the neck and examine it under an 8x or 12x eye loop, but a close examination of the surface by eyeball shows a dull, slightly pitted brass surface I'm looking at. Taking the edge of a reamer and scraping around the neck doesn't seem to get any residue of any kind, and the surface appearance doesn't seem to have changed any. If this is BP residue then it's baked on there pretty hard, and has changed color from it's normal dull gray.

  I would rather suspect some sort of weak etching process going on where one of the components making the case up was being attacked.

  But, I don't know this for sure. Just a guess on my part.

PETE
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