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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Stevens 44 in .25-20SS ... did it again! (Read 8213 times)
Reverend Al
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Re: Stevens 44 in .25-20SS ... did it again!
Reply #30 - Nov 24th, 2019 at 5:14pm
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We might have a can of that compressed air for cleaning computer keyboards, so might give that a try and see if it clears the "fluff" out of the aperture disc.

Picked up that 35 rounds of brass from my gunsmith friend at today's gun show so now I'll have some more loading to do for this Stevens (and my Maynard).
  

I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't quite reached my "Expiry" date yet ...
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gunlaker
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Re: Stevens 44 in .25-20SS ... did it again!
Reply #31 - Nov 24th, 2019 at 5:43pm
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That supply of .25-20 SS brass is nice to have.  When I bought my rifle it came with some brass, from what I remember it was mostly Bertram.   I'll bet that if brass was easier to get then that cartridge would become pretty popular.

Chris.
  
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Reverend Al
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Re: Stevens 44 in .25-20SS ... did it again!
Reply #32 - Nov 30th, 2019 at 1:39pm
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When I was out shooting with a fellow club member on Thursday I fired-formed some of the .22-3000 Griffin & Howe brass that I bought into .25-20SS.  It blew out perfectly and I didn't lose any to splits or cracked cases.  Used my tried and true method of 3.5 grains of Nitro Trap 100 (since I have a fair bit of it), a bit of toilet tissue, then fill to the case mouth with bulk yellow cornmeal, then another small piece of toilet tissue to hold everything in place.  I used small pistol primers same as in the .25-20SS loads that I shot on target.  My experience has been that if you use a fairly "brisk" load to fire-form cases you don't experience many case failures, while loading gently often causes case failures.  They seem to want to be "snapped" out to the chamber fairly briskly rather than gently.  (And that was P.O. Ackley's advice on forming his AI cartridges too if I recall?)

Just waiting for 130 rounds of .22 Lovel brass to arrive in the mail so that I can fire-form it into .25-20SS with the same case forming blank load and that will give me about 250 rounds of brass in total now to use between the 2 rifles, so I'll be good for a while!
  

I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't quite reached my "Expiry" date yet ...
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rkba2nd
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Re: Stevens 44 in .25-20SS ... did it again!
Reply #33 - Nov 30th, 2019 at 3:48pm
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All may not agree, but I think corn meal is pretty abrasive to send down a rather soft steel barrel. It was suggested to me long ago to use cream of wheat as a filler as it is much less so. A moot point if you are using a dedicated barrel for forming, and of course dependent on the number of cases you are forming. I have found also that a rather stiff forming charge yields better results. Not a big thing if you are forming Hornet into K-Hornet, but hate to lose 22-3000 cases!!
  

rkba2nd
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Reverend Al
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Re: Stevens 44 in .25-20SS ... did it again!
Reply #34 - Nov 30th, 2019 at 3:57pm
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I've been using bulk yellow cornmeal for fire-forming loads for nearly 40 years now and have never had an issue.  I've always been concerned about the possibility of "caking" with oatmeal / Cream of Wheat since it is much larger flakes, so I guess it's a personal choice in the end.  As you say, it is a relatively small number of rounds being fire-formed anyway so I don't think any damage is being done.  I'm sure that cormeal is mildly abrasive which in most cases in these old barrels helps to clean them up!  I've had some fairly "scruffy" and "dirty" looking bores shine up fairly nicely after fire-forming about 50 rounds with yellow cornmeal, and I've never found that it hurt the way the rifle shot afterwards.  In fact in most cases accuracy improved.
  

I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't quite reached my "Expiry" date yet ...
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Reverend Al
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Re: Stevens 44 in .25-20SS ... did it again!
Reply #35 - Dec 5th, 2019 at 5:44pm
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Here are some of the cases that I fire-formed on my last range outing.  .22-3000 G&H cases fire-formed with yellow cornmeal to blow them back out to .25-20SS for my Stevens and Maynard.  So far not one single split case (knock on wood), but all were annealed before fire-forming.

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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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Just Jim
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Re: Stevens 44 in .25-20SS ... did it again!
Reply #36 - Dec 7th, 2019 at 9:40pm
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Looking good! Will you choose to load smokeless or black? Duplex? I've seen someone here state they could not come up with a workable black powder load.

When I get to the new home and get my range set up, I now have a Maynard barrel in .25-20 SS to test. Doesn't look very hopeful, throat very rough from corrosive primers, but worth a quick try before deciding to reline.

I hope yours shoots splendidly!† Smiley
  
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Reverend Al
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Re: Stevens 44 in .25-20SS ... did it again!
Reply #37 - Dec 8th, 2019 at 2:35pm
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Gleaned as much info as I could from posts on here and ended up loading 7.0 grains of IMR4227 with an 86 grain plain base bullet cast from the original Winchester .25-20SS mould I have in some of these reformed cases.  The Stevens 44 loves them and shot them very well for a first load plucked out of the air for testing!  Now we'll have to see if the Maynard likes them too?

Just been too busy lately to get out to the range to shoot anything and that will likely be the case until sometime in the New Year.  My wife and I have been helping out a best friend who has terminal cancer and likely only has 2 to 3 weeks left to live.  It is heart-breaking for him since we just took all of his guns (about 100?) and ammunition and accessories out to another friend's gun shop for consignment sale with the proceeds going to the estate.  I'll be helping his executor by liquidating some of the other reloading gear.  Like all of us he'd spent years amassing a varied selection of guns and reloading gear to enjoy a shooting retirement.  Now he doesn't know if he'll make it through until Christmas.  It's been a very sad and sobering experience to say the least ...

  

I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't quite reached my "Expiry" date yet ...
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Just Jim
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Re: Stevens 44 in .25-20SS ... did it again!
Reply #38 - Dec 8th, 2019 at 5:25pm
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"Sad and sobering." Well said. I've been around that quite a few times, and the experience gives pause.

Value every day, friends. As the Spanish say, "Who has promised us tomorrow?"
  
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Reverend Al
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Re: Stevens 44 in .25-20SS ... did it again!
Reply #39 - Dec 12th, 2019 at 8:07pm
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Running into a small problem with my various brands and types of .25-20SS brass.  Most are old WRA cases, some .25-20SS, some .22-3000 G&H, and some .22 Lovell.  Most of them are a very loose fit in my RCBS #10 shell holder (normally .222 and .223 Rem).  When I got to prime them on my Rockchucker press most of them push out of the shell holder under pressure.  They tip to one side and push up on an angle as if both sides of the rim are not being supported.  Any thoughts or suggestions on another shell holder that might work better?
  

I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't quite reached my "Expiry" date yet ...
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CptCurl
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Re: Stevens 44 in .25-20SS ... did it again!
Reply #40 - Dec 12th, 2019 at 10:14pm
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Redding calls for their shellholder #10.

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On the left I have one case set in a Lyman .222 shellholder.† On the right is a case set in a Redding #10.† I think the Redding shellholder is a bit closer fit.

I hope this helps.

And also, my heart goes out to you and your friend who is so ill.

Curl
  
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oneatatime
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Re: Stevens 44 in .25-20SS ... did it again!
Reply #41 - Dec 13th, 2019 at 12:29am
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Maybe an RCBS hand primer instead of using the press? Control is much easier and better.
  
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Re: Stevens 44 in .25-20SS ... did it again!
Reply #42 - Dec 13th, 2019 at 9:19am
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Donít know the numbers, but when my .25-20 SS shell rims and bases donít fit in a .223 shell holder, I drag the one out that fits the rim of the .32 Colt.

One of those shellholder charts in an old Handloaderís Digest should get you the number.

Owners of .25 caliber Single Shots would do well to get another rifle in .32 Long.  When the necks crack on the .25 cases, they can be trimmed back to .32 Long Rifle (inside lubricated) or the shorter .32 Long heeled version for another lease on life.
  
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Reverend Al
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Re: Stevens 44 in .25-20SS ... did it again!
Reply #43 - Dec 13th, 2019 at 1:55pm
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OK, I'll go and check a shell holder chart to see what fits the .32 Colt and I can try that.† Many thanks!

Your response is timely too since I'll have a bunch more fire-forming to do!† I just received my latest auction win ... 130 rounds of .22 Lovell reloads most of which were re-formed from .25-20SS brass (some are .22-300 G&H).† So now I'll have to pull these reloads apart and fire-form them back into .25-20SS.† This will now give me about 250 rounds of brass between my 2 rifles chambered in .25-20SS ... Woo Hoo!

Smiley

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Reverend Al
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Re: Stevens 44 in .25-20SS ... did it again!
Reply #44 - Jan 26th, 2020 at 4:19am
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Made some more progress today.  Pulled apart some of the .22 Lovel ammo I bought recently, then ran them through the .25-20SS sizer without the decapping rod.  (Had to reduce the sharper shoulder so they would chamber in the .25-20SS chamber again.)  Now I need to load them with my fire-forming cornmeal blanks and get out to the range and form them back into .25-20SS.

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