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Special Interests - Groups & Societies => SCORRS => Topic started by: Hoof Hearted on January 19, 2009, 12:04:36 am



Title: Heel Base Loading/Sizing Tutorial
Post by: Hoof Hearted on January 19, 2009, 12:04:36 am
This is so much easier than most people think, so don't panic    ;)

There is a growing contingent of shooters exploring the Cartridge Conversion Revolver. The 44 "Army" sized pistols support the use of 45 calibre Center Fire ammunition as well as 44 Colt in either Heel Base or Hollow Base. The 36 "Navy" sized pistols need 38 Colt ammunition loaded with either Heel Base or Hollow Base bullets (I have pioneered 41 Colt also in these utilizing .386 inside lubed bullets).

If you are one of this "new" contingent, this tutorial will help you understand how to feed your need.

While this shows 38 caliber (.380) projectiles for the 36 caliber cap and ball conversion the method is the same for 44 heel base loading (which actually uses .452 to .454 sized bullets).

I'm sure most of you know that a 36 cap and ball revolver has a bore of between .375 and.380 (measured OD at the widest point of rifling). Originally conversions used the supplied cylinder, which was bored through at the nipple end, (chambers of .380) and the case OD was designed to fit in that (this same OD is still used today in 38 special and 357 magnum). But modern cartridges use inside lubed bullets because the bore size is the inside dimension of the 38 case (approx. .356 to .358). Seeing that the first designs had to work around the existing cylinder and barrel dimensions they used outside lubed bullets of the same OD as the case.

While many people try to work around using heel base bullets by loading hollow base ones I choose to shoot the heel base and here is why:

#1. In my experience hollow base grouping is not adequate. There are a number of reasons why but mostly the store bought Speer wadcutters have too shallow of a hollow cavity causing erratic expansion which leads to flyers (holes way outside the rest of the group). This is because the long, non hollow, section of the bullet can (and does) "yaw" in the bore. The home cast ones like the Rapine, Lyman ond others have a longer hollow base and can be better but pressure is the key to expansion and many do not load them to high enough pressure or use too hard of an alloy. They are also tedious to cast (one at a time), the cull rate is very high (mould too hot or base plug too cold) and they really dont shoot any better than the Speers.

#2. Heel base is "correct", PERIOD CORRECT and accurate (which is correct) and they look really cool when eyeballed by your peers............

This is really pretty simple if you have a modicum of reloading experience and Old West Moulds is a one stop source for all the things you need (if you already cast and own reloading tools) so here goes:

Brass preparation is pretty straight forward:

First- Clean (I prefer tumbling)

Second- Resize This is easy as any correct sizer for the contemporary version of your case will work fine (44 special/mag for 44 Russian/Colt) and (38/357 for 38 long/short Colt). I have found that the 9mm carbide sizer is a tad tighter and works well.

Third- Bell case mouth. This can be tricky and may require some adjustment for case length, also you want a very MINIMUM flare (in fact you may be able to skip this step completely depending on the mould).

Fourth- Powder charge. Remember, no air space for black powder and always consult current loading data from prudent sources.

Fifth- Seat bullet. I find that most bullet types will seat by finger pressure. Meaning no die necessary. As mentioned above shortening or adjusting of dies here can be tricky (depends on die manfacturer). 9mm seater works well for problematic 38 short.

~If you dedicate a set of dies to the caliber you are loading, you may want to belt sand the expander and seater die shorter by the difference in case length. Then rechamfer the opening.~

(http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c91/buckoff123/100_1145.jpg)

This is a pic of Bernie's (Old West Moulds) crimp arrangement. This is very important. There is no better way to crimp a heel base bullet, period! He uses a modified Lee Collet Crimp die and a specially designed adjustable shell holder. It is inexpensive and worth ten times as much (just don't tell him)!

Sixth- Crimp as above.

(http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c91/buckoff123/100_1150.jpg)

This is a pic of Bernie's ingenious way to lube your "outside lubed" 19th century recreation!
It is so simple it makes you say, "wow, why didn't I think of that".
He uses the same Cherry that he cut your mould with to grind a new "ejector pin" for your lube sizer die that matches the ogive of the bullet. Along with a shell holder that replaces the "top punch" and you size and lube the loaded round upside down...........

Seventh- Lube and size.

(http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c91/buckoff123/100_1152.jpg)

Set up right you CAN load heelbased bullets almost (maybe just) as fast as "regular" or inside lubed bullets ;D

As a resource link:
www.oldwestbulletmoulds.com

New source of cast bullets (from Old West Moulds):
This should make some of yall's life easier (if you don't cast)

http://www.alphabravobullets.com/products/shop.php?exp=&cat=4

The above link is for cast, sized and lubed heel base bullets for the 38 Colt which is what you need for your Navy Conversions. He can provide bullets lubed for Smokeless or Black Powder and he also carries 44 Colt Heel Base Bullets. Just call and ask for John if you don't see it on their pages.

A ONE STOP SHOP for all things Conversion related:

http://www.cartridgeconversion.com/ (http://www.cartridgeconversion.com/)
Goodluck on ya ;)
HH


Title: Re: Heel Base Loading/Sizing How To
Post by: Oldelm on January 19, 2009, 03:38:41 pm
Howdy Hoof,
Thanks for posting this info,.....nice photos, very informative! I think I'll have to get one of those adjustable shell holders from Bernie so I can load the .44 Russian heel base. ;D


Title: Re: Heel Base Loading/Sizing Tutorial
Post by: Hoof Hearted on December 20, 2011, 10:49:16 pm
Back up to add an important link



Title: Re: Heel Base Loading/Sizing Tutorial
Post by: Hoof Hearted on January 13, 2012, 05:50:00 pm
To the Top ;D


Title: Re: Heel Base Loading/Sizing Tutorial
Post by: Hoof Hearted on March 06, 2012, 09:38:27 am
(http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c91/buckoff123/bump.gif)


Title: Re: Heel Base Loading/Sizing How To
Post by: Sir Charles deMouton-Black on March 06, 2012, 10:56:49 am
Howdy Hoof,
Thanks for posting this info,.....nice photos, very informative! I think I'll have to get one of those adjustable shell holders from Bernie so I can load the .44 Russian heel base. ;D

Mine is ordered, and expected soon ;D 8)


Title: Re: Heel Base Loading/Sizing How To
Post by: Hoof Hearted on March 06, 2012, 11:06:46 am
Mine is ordered, and expected soon ;D 8)
Sir Charles......

Is your order pending with me or Bernie?
I sure don't wanna be holding you up ;)

Regards, HH


Title: Re: Heel Base Loading/Sizing How To
Post by: Sir Charles deMouton-Black on March 06, 2012, 11:14:42 am
Sir Charles......

Is your order pending with me or Bernie?
I sure don't wanna be holding you up ;)

Regards, HH

With Bernie.  Hope your nose is not out of joint.


Title: Re: Heel Base Loading/Sizing How To
Post by: Hoof Hearted on March 06, 2012, 01:10:05 pm
With Bernie.  Hope your nose is not out of joint.
Not at all (and I'm sorry you felt like that)!

My price is the same as Bernie's. I just carry them to help out my customers who do not use their CAS City handles when ordering.
I happen to have 4 different Old West moulds in stock and thought maybe there was a mix-up somewhere down the line...... :-\

Have a GREAT day, Sir Charles!
Regards, HH


Title: Re: Heel Base Loading/Sizing Tutorial
Post by: Sir Charles deMouton-Black on March 06, 2012, 03:50:12 pm
Hoof;  I didn't notice that you did sell those,but I should have. :o :-[



Title: Re: Heel Base Loading/Sizing How To
Post by: Sir Charles deMouton-Black on March 17, 2012, 01:37:10 pm
With Bernie.  Hope your nose is not out of joint.

Received my collet crimper and shell holder in .41LC from Bernie.  I loaded up a cylinder full in no time flat.  The crimper seems to work just right, pending a shooting test.


Title: Re: Heel Base Loading/Sizing Tutorial
Post by: Hoof Hearted on January 20, 2013, 12:05:47 am
Hope you have a "BLAST", Sir Charles  ;)


Title: Re: Heel Base Loading/Sizing Tutorial
Post by: Sir Charles deMouton-Black on January 20, 2013, 10:23:55 am
Hope you have a "BLAST", Sir Charles  ;)

YUP, but except for trap shooting with family during Christmas I haven't been out for a few months.  In my defence I can disclose that my range is usually WITHIN a raincloud during the winter.  I have a bunch of ammo loaded up and will get to the range after I return from my snowbird holiday in St Louis MO.  I will report on my 1896 Colt frontier, originally 38-40, now 41LC.

Hahaha; Did I tell you about being locked in an Airbus for two hours in Salt Lake City during a snowstorm? First waiting to be de-iced, and then joining the conga-line waiting for a takeoff slot.  Now warming up here, but a week of freezing weather in Missouri.  Me, I prefer the gentle rain, flowers and game (Deer, squirrels, rabbits and racoons that surround my home in Victoria BC a true paradise on Earth)


Title: Re: Heel Base Loading/Sizing Tutorial
Post by: Hoof Hearted on January 20, 2013, 10:32:46 am
MOVE TO TEXAS


The elected officials here actually are campaigning to New York residents that they are "welcome here and bring your guns".
That kinda worries me but as long as they stay in the city I guess I would be OK with it ::)


HH


Title: Re: Heel Base Loading/Sizing Tutorial
Post by: King Medallion on January 20, 2013, 12:10:26 pm
MOVE TO TEXAS


The elected officials here actually are campaigning to New York residents that they are "welcome here and bring your guns".
That kinda worries me but as long as they stay in the city I guess I would be OK with it ::)


HH
I'm from Illinois and would love to get out of here. My biggest worry is finding a job, especially at almost age 50, with just a high school diploma/education.


Title: Re: Heel Base Loading/Sizing Tutorial
Post by: The Trinity Kid on January 22, 2013, 03:18:55 pm
I'd move down there Hoof, But it's too flat for me.


Title: Re: Heel Base Loading/Sizing Tutorial
Post by: wildman1 on January 24, 2013, 08:25:21 am
Hay TC thats like sayin the desert is "brown".  :P WM


Title: Re: Heel Base Loading/Sizing Tutorial
Post by: Sir Charles deMouton-Black on January 24, 2013, 10:31:56 am
Back on the wet coast now, but staying with the grandgirls for a bit.


Title: Re: Heel Base Loading/Sizing Tutorial
Post by: The Trinity Kid on January 24, 2013, 08:25:12 pm
Hay TC thats like sayin the desert is "brown".  :P WM

Wildman,  I know it is.  I live at 2,100 feet, so most of the U.S. is too flat.  My family is originally from Texas, so I would rather move there than anywhere else. :)

--TK


Title: Re: Heel Base Loading/Sizing Tutorial
Post by: rbertalotto on January 17, 2014, 06:41:05 am
I gotta get in gear and call HH about another conversion. Already have a pair of 1860s and a set of 1858s. I need a navy in 36/38.