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cdnrokon
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stevens 44 in 25/21
Apr 6th, 2019 at 5:58pm
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I have been looking at this for a while , how common was this round in the 44 I know that the action is not a strong one .
  
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John Boy
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Re: stevens 44 in 25/21
Reply #1 - Apr 6th, 2019 at 6:58pm
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Re: stevens 44 in 25/21
Reply #2 - Apr 6th, 2019 at 9:17pm
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In my opinion the .25-25 and .25-21 are not easy ones to find. The .25-21 seems to be much more common. Still see them on Gunbroker quite often. Best to stick with  black powder or black powder equivilant loads in the 44 action. The smaller calibers are a hoot to shoot espcially with black powder. The .22-15-60 I recently picked up has been a lot of fun. Just ordered some .228 60 grain flat nose bullets from the Bull Shop and 20 rounds of brass from RMC for it.
  
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uscra112
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Re: stevens 44 in 25/21
Reply #3 - Apr 6th, 2019 at 9:58pm
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The .25-21 wasn't very common.  My SWAG would be that there were five or more .25-20s sold for every .25-21, based on the 44 survey I've been doing.

Brass is admittedly hard to find, but not impossible.

n.b. The 44 is only "weak" in that it will shoot itself loose when shot a lot at pressures in excess of 25,000 or so, which is way outside the normal load envelope of the Stevens .25s, which is 10,000 to 12,000.
« Last Edit: Apr 6th, 2019 at 10:30pm by uscra112 »  
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Re: stevens 44 in 25/21
Reply #4 - Apr 7th, 2019 at 12:12am
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Quote:
Brass is admittedly hard to find, but not impossible.

Sources for 25-21 brass:
*Rocky Mountain Ctg: $55.00 - box of 20
*Roberson Ctg: $99.80 - box of 20
*Bertram: $149.00 - box of 20
*Buffalo Arms: $163.99 - box of loaded - Out of Stock
* Next is dies -$100 plus
I have CPA 44 1/2 - Stevens 25-21 and it is a fun caliber
  

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waterman
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Re: stevens 44 in 25/21
Reply #5 - Apr 7th, 2019 at 3:03am
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I've messed with both .25/20s, the Stevens Single Shot being far superior, but I'd rather have a .25/21 than either one.
  
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Re: stevens 44 in 25/21
Reply #6 - Apr 7th, 2019 at 8:39am
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I agree that the .25-20SS is much more common than the .25-21 Stevens. I see far more .25-20SS rifles in both 44 and 44 1/2 than than .25-21.
But either caliber is not too much for a 44 frame, unless somebody starts trying to hotrod this old caliber.
  

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Re: stevens 44 in 25/21
Reply #7 - Apr 7th, 2019 at 10:40am
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I have 44's in both the 25-20 win and 25-20 SS but my 25-21 came in a... you guessed it, one of those rifles that add years to your life Wink.  With light smokeless loads they're an absolute blast to shoot and I can't really say which one is more accurate but I'm going to say the Ballard outshot them - a mental thing?  Wink  I've tried shooting black in all of them and what I've discovered is the accuracy is there but in the small bore's like that, cleaning after every shot is necessary to maintain any semblance of accuracy, and the bores HAVE to be clean. Haven't had the time to try duplex, breech seating or PP but it's on the list.
Phil, you've made the brass for the 25-20SS out of the 223 brass, have you ever pushed things a little further and tried to make the 25-21 brass from the same?  I have 5 gallon buckets of 223 brass...
Greg
  

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uscra112
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Re: stevens 44 in 25/21
Reply #8 - Apr 7th, 2019 at 12:13pm
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Allyn Tedmon wrote an article somewhere about 1930 advocating an "express" loading for the .25-20SS, at 1850 fps.  Even that calculates in QL to somewhere about 23,000 psi, which a 44 will stand for a reasonable period of time.  I used just such a load to exterminate woodchucks when I lived in Michigan, but in a 44 1/2.
  
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uscra112
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Re: stevens 44 in 25/21
Reply #9 - Apr 7th, 2019 at 12:18pm
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Greg, even the .222 Magnum case is too short.  It would take one of these "brass stretcher" tools to get there.  The cost of that  tooling, the labor, and the limitations of the end result would justify buying brass from one of the "turned from solid" sources.  Smiley
  
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Re: stevens 44 in 25/21
Reply #10 - Apr 7th, 2019 at 12:22pm
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John Boy wrote on Apr 6th, 2019 at 6:58pm:
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I wonder who wrote that entry.  Read it for a chuckle or two!
  
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Re: stevens 44 in 25/21
Reply #11 - Apr 7th, 2019 at 12:50pm
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And the .25-21 (and .25-25) brass are slightly different dimensions to .25-20 SS being 15 thousandths smaller at the base, so if you buy it you'll need .25-21 cases.

Ask me how I know ... I just bought a .25-20 SS Maynard thinking I could use these .25-25 cases I also bought shortened to length ... no go.

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I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't quite reached my "Expiry" date yet ...
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Re: stevens 44 in 25/21
Reply #12 - Apr 7th, 2019 at 12:56pm
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uscra112 wrote on Apr 7th, 2019 at 12:18pm:
Greg, even the .222 Magnum case is too short.  It would take one of these "brass stretcher" tools to get there.  The cost of that  tooling, the labor, and the limitations of the end result would justify buying brass from one of the "turned from solid" sources.  Smiley


The magnum or 204 Ruger brass can work in a pinch. It ends up about .100” short. Not sure I would breach seat with it, but in fixed loads it work.

I use it in a rifle with an oversized diameter chamber, it allows me to keep stretch at the web to a minimum.

The other option is begging for 25-25 brass with split necks and cutting it down.
  
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uscra112
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Re: stevens 44 in 25/21
Reply #13 - Apr 7th, 2019 at 1:26pm
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Yeah, and  5.6x50 would be even closer.  Never thought of that.  But it's still a gawdawful lot of work.  I'd never have done it if there'd been any alternative at all (not counting Bertram) when I started fooling with my first .25-20. 

I have a .25-21 Model 44 1/2, but at the same show where I bought that I found brass for it.  Haven't fired it much; it needs me to hone the trigger down from its' current 8 lb pull. 
« Last Edit: Apr 7th, 2019 at 1:32pm by uscra112 »  
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Re: stevens 44 in 25/21
Reply #14 - Apr 7th, 2019 at 1:55pm
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I apologize to the OP if this thread has veered off course somewhat, but I have/had considerable passion for this caliber.  I haven't tried the 223 brass as the donor yet but I will.

When I first got the Ballard in 25-21, the seller, not knowing any different told me it was an oddball 25-20 Win but he'd never shot it and he'd owned it for several decades... The price was right and after a chamber cast it was fairly easy to determine what I had.  I spent a little time looking for brass to no avail so I'd placed an order with RMCC - delivery was a few weeks.  I couldn't wait that long to shoot it so I wrote a program and made a few on one of my machines.  It was still a process because it was two setups, I didn't have a sub spindle machine yet.  I used 360 brass, and following about 4 loadings I had issues with separation and splitting- just my experience with turned brass. (my loads were in the high teens pressure-wise)  Annealing helped the splitting but separation is what it is.  I did make 5 cases using the Everlasting idea and with smokeless it reduced capacity or improved density, however you care to look at it.  The targets shot when I had time to experiment with these loads showed considerable promise, sub 1/2 MOA - for me, I'm pleased with that at a 100 yards.

Phil, I made tooling for nibbing or stretching brass in a lathe just because I had to see how it was done.  In the 45-70 case, growing it a 1/4" was a non-issue and case wall thinning was surprisingly minimal - to grow the case that much the wall thinned .001-.0015" if I remember it right.  The die was almost identical to the resizing die, and the actual nibbing tool I made from 1/4" diameter rod with a piece of carbide silver brazed on the end and polished to a high finish in spherical form.   There is a learning curve as to how much pressure is applied to the tool, the feed rate, lube and annealing.  Once I got it going, the process took about 20 minutes to do 50 and I still shoot these in a 45-90 - probably 25-30 reloads on them.  There is a how-to article somewhere and I know I have a copy of it - just haven't laid my eyes on it for a while.
Greg
  

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Re: stevens 44 in 25/21
Reply #15 - Apr 7th, 2019 at 5:52pm
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Here's a 25-21, converted 204 Ruger, donor case and cross section of the web area of a 223 case. The thickness in the corner is about .030".

The converted case has 10 firings so far in a 107 action.
  
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Re: stevens 44 in 25/21
Reply #16 - Apr 7th, 2019 at 6:14pm
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.223 basic brass is straight walled, and starts out at 1.80” long. It might be a good option as a starting point for some of these cartridge conversions. It’s also nice that it doesn’t have a head stamp.
  
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Re: stevens 44 in 25/21
Reply #17 - Apr 7th, 2019 at 6:45pm
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Resolution of those photos is too granular to make out much.

Here's how mine looked.  I was careful to get a smooth transition from the case wall to the web.  Some of mine went for .22 Lovell, which is loaded in the 50k psi range.  Anything but a perfect transition will create a stress raiser, and that's where you'll get head separations.

  
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Re: stevens 44 in 25/21
Reply #18 - Apr 7th, 2019 at 10:51pm
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I had a good friend who had a low wall relined for .25, and using his own chambering reamer, finished it in 25-21.  He shot it and enjoyed it for a couple of years before lung cancer got him.  I do not know what happened to the reamer or the Winchester.  A good guy and a good gun.

James
  
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Re: stevens 44 in 25/21
Reply #19 - Apr 7th, 2019 at 11:57pm
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In the Stevens catalogs they talk positively about loading the .25-21 with a reduced charge of black powder, with a wad on top, bullet seated as normally.   Contrary to everything I've ever read about airspace above a BP charge, and also contrary to Charlie Dell's advice about wads ringing chambers.  It's strongly touted as a feature of the cartridge.  Has always bothered me, even though I don't shoot black powder in cartridges. 

  
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Re: stevens 44 in 25/21
Reply #20 - Apr 8th, 2019 at 11:02am
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uscra112 wrote on Apr 7th, 2019 at 11:57pm:
In the Stevens catalogs they talk positively about loading the .25-21 with a reduced charge of black powder, with a wad on top, bullet seated as normally.   Contrary to everything I've ever read about airspace above a BP charge, and also contrary to Charlie Dell's advice about wads ringing chambers.  It's strongly touted as a feature of the cartridge.  Has always bothered me, even though I don't shoot black powder in cartridges. 



There are other references from the late 1800's of reduced loads with BP having air gaps between the bullet base and wad. In most instances the space isn't great, and the writings don't mention any concerns at all of ringing chambers.
I've always wondered why some shooters were able to load cartridges back then with air gaps, and not have any issues, when everything I read today says it's dangerous to the life of the barrel?
  

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Re: stevens 44 in 25/21
Reply #21 - Apr 8th, 2019 at 12:27pm
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uscra112 wrote on Apr 7th, 2019 at 11:57pm:
In the Stevens catalogs they talk positively about loading the .25-21 with a reduced charge of black powder, with a wad on top, bullet seated as normally.   Contrary to everything I've ever read about airspace above a BP charge, and also contrary to Charlie Dell's advice about wads ringing chambers.  It's strongly touted as a feature of the cartridge.  Has always bothered me, even though I don't shoot black powder in cartridges. 


One place to expect to find some clear advice on the use of wads are early Ideal Hand Books, since they offered wad-cutters "in all calibers."  But the only recommendation I found was for using thin blotting paper wads when breech seating.  On the other hand, it was pointed out that reduced loads with BP increased fouling, presumably due to incomplete combustion, which implies that use of a wad would be beneficial.
  
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Re: stevens 44 in 25/21
Reply #22 - Apr 8th, 2019 at 4:19pm
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Stevens simply says "a wad" and "a thin wad" used with reduced loads, with the instruction that "In loading with reduced charges, the bullet should be seated just as if the full charge was used, not pushed right down into the shell on the powder."
Stevens also indicates experimenting with the different grain sizes of black powder for reduced loads in the 22-15-60, 25-21, 25-25 and 28-30 cartridges.
Of course, this is 120 year old news for shooters who tinker with the long and lean Stevens straight cigarillo-like cartridges.    Wink
  

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Re: stevens 44 in 25/21
Reply #23 - Apr 9th, 2019 at 9:34am
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Ned Roberts called the 25-21 the most inherently accurate .25 chambering. He was a big fan of the 25-21 case. If you breech seat you don't need a lot 10 will keep you shooting for the rest of your life.

40 Rod
  
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