Friday, July 17, 2015

Browning/Winchester Model 92 45 Colt

     
                   
Due to its light weight the 92 is easy to handle by anyone

       Browning Model 92

 Browning has been around for many years and they make Winchester rifles including the 92. The model 92 was originally offered in the 25-20 and 32-20. The receiver is compact allowing for portability. It replaced the model 73 and among the good features it is more compact and stronger then the older model.  The model 92 was one of the many rifles that John Browning designed in his lifetime.  It is a scaled down model 86. They currently offer this  in 357 mag, 44 mag, and 45 Colt which is the one I have. My sample is in the 45 Colt chambering and with modern loads can be used for deer, pigs, and black bear. Mountain lions have met their match with this rifle. Where legal a handgun with the same ammo can be carried a feature useful in isolated areas. If you have a strong revolver such as a Ruger then good hunting ammo can be carried in either.   The 45 Colt has been around since 1873 and was the most popular revolver round in the old west. There are many different loads available and ammo is available. Reloading components are plentiful so having a 45 Colt rifle is something worth owning. Personally, I would like to see the 25-20 and 32-20 offered but I guess the demand isn’t there. Too bad. Also due to the perfect size of the action, the 38-40 and the 44-40 would be nice additions as there are handguns available for those offerings.  Unfortunately, there isn’t enough demand to offer these chamberings. They have another model chambered for the 454 Casull for those who want more power. 
 Browning has been around for a long time and offers an extensive line of guns and other shooting related products. For info, you can go to http://www.browning.com/products/catalog/catalog.asp?catalog_=B   and get a list of their products.


Button Bullets are fun to shoot


Shooting this rifle is a pleasure. It is well balanced and the trigger is fine for this gun. Other people who shot it also were favorably impressed. The ejection is very frisky kicking the empties some yards some info for reloaders. When I first received it, the action was pretty smooth indicating some hand finishing. After some shooting, it got even better. Since it has a higher price tag then some others you would expect that.  The bluing and wood are well done another feature expected on such a gun.  One way to test a gun is to let a verity of people shoots it including women and youngsters. Due to its size and weight almost anyone can handle it.  That way several opinions are given and it doesn’t matter what level experience they possess. The important thing is how do they like it and would they buy it if they were looking for such a gun. Comments were favorable in regards to balance and trigger pull. Like the other political correct lever actions it has a safety located in back of the hammer. It is easy to use though not needed.  The only negative comment I heard was the price. It is higher than a couple of it competitors. Some of that extra cost can be attributed to the extra finishing and polishing which may not be visible.  If you don’t mind the tariff then you will be happy with this gun as it does have good quality.  Due to its good handling characteristics it should find favor with the cowboy action shooting matches.    
View of Browning

 As always, various loads will be tried and since it is primarily a hunting rifle and may be used in cowboy competition, those loads will be used. In addition it is able to take modern loads which will make it useful for game such as deer and black bear.  I have some 80 grain button bullets which I put 3 into a 45 Colt case. At close range they didn’t come apart much but at 35 yards they were hitting about 4 feet from each other. That would be a decent home defense load. The rifle will handle a 300 grain bullet at 1500 FPS which would make it a decent close range hammer.  Accuracy with the open sights is good depending on how good your eyesight is. At 50 yards I can shoot a 3-4” group but my eyes are not as young as they were. A younger shooter with good eyes can expect to shoot a 2” group at that range and perhaps a little better. The sights are easy to pick up and shooting at 50 to 100 yards  if you can shoot.  It would be possible to mount a scope though it would take some work however, it would ruin the balance. In my view a scope would not be a desirable addition.

Barnes makes good  hunting bullets

 Some loads were chronographed giving us an idea as to its potential. As can be seen some are powerful enough for deer sized game at woods ranges.  I use some Ranier bullets but I have to put a cannelure in them to keep them in place. I tried crimping the case into the bullet but that does not always work. Since they are soft, be careful not to put the cannelure in too deep as that will weaken the bullet. A too deep cannelure can also destroy accuracy.  Properly cannelured  bullets usually give good accuracy. Cast bullets work well and some of the heavier ones are good hunting bullets such as the LBT types. They have gas checks and are cast hard for heavy duty use. Cast bullets can be used in virtually all of your shooting. A quality cast bullet with the proper lube will be as accurate as any jacketed projectile. In addition, they cost less and you can mold them if you are so inclined. Those folks who turn up their nose at cast slugs are missing out on a lot of enjoyable shooting.  The Barnes all copper bullets are light but penetrate well plus reduce recoil some. Since Barnes bullets are all copper they will be more friendly to the environment and in California they are required for hunting. The only downside is they cost more than conventional cup and core bullets.   The Colt round responds well to light loads but I would use a flake powder to take up space as it is a large case. For real light loads Trail Boss is a good choice.  The shorter 45 Schofield case can be used but it might not feed through the magazine tube due to its shorter length. Hornady makes 200 and 225-grain FTX bullets, which will give you some more range. The tip may also aid in expanding on a deer sized animal.  Due to the plastic type tips, they should be safe in the model 92 magazine. With this gun you have a lot of viable options as to what you can do with it. If you don’t mind the mess black powder also does well as that was the original powder used in the 45 Colt round.  With the vast selection of components, the reloader has never had it so good.  For hunting there is a  selection of factory ammo suitable for big game.



Top view of Browning

LOAD                       BULLET             VELOCITY                        COMMENT
Double Tap                 160 grain Barnes TAC XP      1280              consistent
Double Tap                 185 grain Bonded Defense    1279               ok
Barnes                         200 grain XPB                          1210            nice
24 grains of 2400       225 grain XPB                          1683            hunting load
Double Tap                 230 grain Controlled EXP       1123            accurate
Double Tap                 255 grain hard cast                  1057            deer
12 grains Herco          275 grain cast                          1126            accurate
22 grains of 296         300 grain Ranier                     1315             ok

Nice cowboy loads

 Factory ammo is available thought not inexpensive. For this test I used some Double Tap ammo and as usual it performed well. They have an extensive line of ammo and for info you can go to http://www.doubletapammo.net/index.php?route=product/category&path=125
I used some Barnes ammo and bullets and while expensive it is an excellent choice for hunting. For info you can go to http://www.barnesbullets.com/   

Double Tap Ammo performs well

 In spite of the popularity of the black guns, a few manufacturers offer guns in various calibers and models that duplicate the old designs but are affordable for the average shooter. Lever guns was an exclusive American design and are very popular among hunters.  Cowboy action shooting is a popular pastime and is getting more popular. Another upside of these guns is they are not as regulated in some states that have draconian gun laws.  Most have good quality and are well worth owning. The Browning is a high quality gun and if the price doesn’t bother you it is a thumbs up as far as I am concerned. Taken care of it will last many years giving generations something to enjoy. 



 Three for the price of one. Button bullets

Monday, July 13, 2015

Obsolete 30 Caliber Rifles


A Remington 722 in 300 Savage is still a good choice for hunting

 The 30 caliber is the most popular rifle around. It is one of the earlier ones offered and there were and are a lot of them around. These days it seems that a new one is offered every other day. They come in all sizes and shapes. Are they better then the 30’s from yesterday? That could be a matter of opinion. In truth modern rifles are more accurate some capable of ¼ to ½” groups at 100 yards. The rifles covered in this book are generally capable of 1 to 2” groups at the same range but in woods hunting that isn’t important. In the 1890’s the 30-30 and 303 Savage did a fine job bringing down deer. These days deer and bear haven’t grown body armor. A properly placed shot and decent bullet will do the job and that is true from the 1890’s to today. Bullets and gunpowders are better then ever today which benefits the oldies as well as the new offerings.                                       


    The 303 Savage
 By the early 1890’s smokeless powder was becoming better known to the public as well as the gun makers. The militaries of the world were all using the stuff for their small arms as well as their machine guns. Of course the public wanted hunting arms chambered for the new stuff as it gave higher velocities and longer ranges. At first higher velocities brought out problems with bullet designs but that’s another story. Anyway in 1895 Winchester brought out the 94 in 30-30 and the race was on. The 30-30 is considered one of the first civilian small bore smokeless cartridges.  As far as I know the 30-40 Krag was brought out in 1893 in the Winchester Hi Wall as the first American sporting cartridge in smokeless powder. Unlike Remington and Winchester, Savage never offered their rifle in 25 or 32 caliber.


The 30-30 with a Silvertip still popular

 When Winchester brought out the model 94 in 30-30 in 1895 Savage among others saw a good thing and wanted to get in on it. The Savage model 99 was introduced in 1895 in a variety of calibers including the 303. When first brought out it was developed as a potential military cartridge but that never came about. An earlier version was placed in the military trials against about 50 other designs but the Krag won out. Also for a while it used .311 diameter bullets but at some point changed to 308 early in production. Some factory loads can be found in the 311 diameter and I have miked them as such. Also the factory offered a 190 grain bullet which was liked by some hunters for its potential penetration. Most manufacturing activity for Savage ammo ceased after WW ll though an occasional lot was produced from time to time. While ballistically similar to the 30-30 they would not interchange. The Savage case was shorter and fatter then the more successful 30-30. Unlike the 30 Remington the Savage round was never necked up or down commercially. Some people have asked me if it’s ok to fire a 30-30 in a 303. In a word NO! The 30-30 base is .020 smaller then the 303 so there would likely be a case rupture which could be disastrous. While the 99 is a fine action capable of handling some high intensity calibers such as the 308 Winchester you still need to make sure you are firing the correct cartridge. Happily the 99 is still around and should be for a long time. I have several model 99 Savage rifles and they function as they should. The magazine feeds in a flawless manner as long as the ammo isn’t too long and the safety locks the lever in place and prevents the gun from firing accidentally. For a hunting gun the trigger is pretty decent breaking around 5 lbs or so depending on which rifle I use. I have a friend who collects model 99 Savages and has an example that has 30 Savage stamped on the barrel. Initially we thought that it was a 303 Savage but it turned out to be a 30-30 Winchester. Back in those days there was some hard feelings between Savage and Winchester and apparently even though Savage chambered for the 30-30 they wouldn’t acknowledge it in writing.


The 30 Remington was popular for some years 

 While the 30-30 still flourishes the 303 and the other competitor the 30 Remington fell by the wayside years back. Ammo for both is hard to find and cases for reloading, especially for the 303 have pretty well dried up. Sometimes factory ammo can be found at a gun show but don’t count on it. Making brass for the 303 is very difficult unless you have special equipment. The 30-40 Krag and 303 British cases can be swaged down and used if you have the tooling to do it. The rim on both has to be cut down also in order to chamber in the 303. Norma recently introduced brass for the 303 and Huntington Die sells it. Graff and Jamison both list 303 Savage brass but as of this writing it’s not available on a general scale. Loading data can be found in some of the older manuals and Cartridges of the World. Also 30-30 loading data can be used if you are careful. The factory at one time offered a 190 grain bullet which was liked by hunters for its penetration.  Another thing is unlike the 30-30 or 30 Remington the Savage round was never offered in 25 ,32 or any other caliber based on the Savage case. While the 303 case could be wildcatted I don’t see the point in such an exercise.
 The model 99 is a strong rifle as evidenced by some of its chamberings in calibers such as the 308 Winchester. Having said that it doesn’t mean that you should try and make a 308 out of the 303 Savage round. There are many factors involved in reloading ammo and using common sense and safety techniques is always a must.

 The Savage rifle that I shot gave good groups at 50 yards with open sights. I was able to keep them in a 2” or less group which is good for me. Since the gun is older and original I won’t drill or tap it for a scope despite the fact that it would be more accurate. Feeding and function was flawless. The Savage has the ability to take pointed bullets because it’s a rotary magazine as opposed to the model 94 Winchester or Marlin 336 tubular magazines. That would give it a slightly flatter trajectory as compared to the flat nose bullets. How much of an advantage that is open to conjecture. As a note Hornady recently introduced pointed bullets that are safe in tubular magazines for the 30-30 as well as other chamberings. I use the same bullets as I use in the 30 Remington and the 30-30. I do make the 180 grain flat nose to try and duplicate the old factory load and it shoots well. It should be adequate for a black bear and wild boar at woods ranges. Some of the older Savage rifles have a cartridge counter which is visible on the receiver.



The 308 L & 300 Savage 


 The 30 Remington
 Remington saw that the Winchester and Savage rounds were selling well so they wanted a piece of the pie. They took a different approach by offering their rimless round in the pump and auto rifles as they thought that was more modern and hoped to cut in on sales of the other two. The model 8 autoloader was brought out in 1906 while the model 14 pump was introduced in 1912. The model 8 was a John Browning design and given to Remington to manufacture. It was the first auto-loading rifle produced in a serious hunting caliber that worked.  It was produced from 1906 to 1936 and then updated to a model 81 and produced until 1950. It was chambered in the 25, 30 32 and 35 Remington. The 300 Savage was added to the model 81. Sales were poor and the main reason seemed to be the poor location and design of the safety. It was noisy and poorly placed for a hunting rifle. The model 14 pump was designed by John Peterson and Crawford Loomis prominent designers at Remington at that time. The pump was brought out in 25, 30 and 32 Remington and later the 35 which still survives to this day in various rifles.  There were about 125,000 rifles produced in the model 14 and the 14 & ½ until 1934 when the model 141 appeared. It was brought out in the model 30 bolt action rifle in 1921. Stevens made some lever and autoloader rifles for the 30 Remington for a few years. No one has made rifles for it since WW ll though it was fairly popular during its production period. The case isn’t based on any existing design and was offered in 25 and 32 calibers as well. Around the same time they introduced the 35 Remington based on a different case and its still being produced today. Remington still makes unprimed cases for the 30 and they can be obtained at Huntington Die. The cases can be necked up or down for the 32 and 25 calibers as needed.

 I have a model 14 pump that was made in the late 1920’s and stayed in the same family until I bought it a few years ago at a gun show. The owner reported that his grandfather used it to harvest deer for quite a few years and it gave good service. At some time in its existence it was reblued. My impression of this gun is if you want a slick light handling woods gun this may be the one for you. It’s light and slender and points well. The safety is located at the rear of the trigger guard and works much like many pump shotguns do. The safety can be released as you are bringing the gun up to your shoulder making it fast to get into action. To unload the gun there is a button located on the bolt that opens it. It also works fine. The only drawback to a pump is the weak camming power to extract an empty. Cases need to be full length sized and maximum loads should be avoided. Accuracy is about the same as a lever action with comparable ammo. With open sights you can count on 2 “ groups at 50 yards give or take. While no longer made they can be found at gun shows for reasonable prices and are generally in decent shape. They were hunters gun rather then a shooters. That means that they were carried a lot more then they were shot.  Like the lever actions it has a tubular magazine confining it to flat or round nose bullets. The magazine tube has an odd twist look which according to some reports made it possible to use pointed bullets though I don’t see how that would help. In the bolt action rifle you can use pointed bullets and extend your range a little.  If someone made a slender light bolt action rifle for it today it may be a fairly decent seller as everyone seems to want lighter hunting rifles. I might buy one myself if it weighed around 5 & ½ to 6 lbs with a 20” barrel.



Remington 300 Savage pump is a handy woods rifle

 With cases and dies available the reloader has it pretty good in so far as ammo goes. Loading data can be found in Cartridges of the World or use 30-30 loads in most cases. Since everyone makes bullets for the 30-30 you are in luck there.  The powders that work best in the 30-30 and the 303 Savage also work well in the Remington round. The 30 Remington case is rimless as opposed to rimmed on the 303 Savage and the 30-30. That is an attempt to make it a more modern case. Here are some loads that I have shot in my test rifle and they worked well. For best results you need to full length size the cases each time you fire them.  There were 7 shots fired through the chronograph and the first screen was 10 feet from the muzzle. These rifles while well made are not real strong. Loads should be kept at 40,000 psi or less for best results. I am confident that over loading these rifles will wear them out in short order.
LOAD                           BULLET                              VELOCITY             COMMENT
12 X Unique                  110 grain round nose            1829                        ok
32 X Data 4197             110 grain round nose            2573                        varmint
32 X AA_2460              150 grain Remington            2215                        ok
35 X 748                        150 grain Remington            2210                        fair
10 X Trail Boss              165 grain cast                       1171                        good load
10 X Unique                   165 grain cast                       1519                        consistent
31 X AA_2520               170 grain Remington           2105                        ok
30 X AA-2460               170 grain Remington            1955                        slow
Winchester Factory       170 grain                               2162                         good load
33 X 748                         180 grain                              1952                        mild
34 X IMR 4895              180 grain                              2163                        excellent   


 As long as there is a woods to hunt in these 30 calibers will do the job. While they aren't as glitzy as some of the newer offerings they will kill a deer just as dead. Deer haven’t grown armor plating in the last 100 years or so.

 In the last couple of years some new products came out that enhances the 30-30, 303 Savage and 30 Remington. Hornady has come out with a 165 grain Flex Tip bullet that is suitable for the inline magazines that the 30=30 and 30 Remington produce. With conventional pointed bullets you run the risk of having a bullet set off a cartridge in the magazine with disastrous consequences. The Flex Tip prevents that while extending the usable range of those rifles at least 100 yards. Hodgdon Powder has come out with a new powder called LEVERevolution. It gives an honest 100-150 feet per second over any other powder I have tried in these three calibers. What that does is gives a hunter extra range for deer. You can now hunt deer out to 250 yards or so provided you have the skill. That can be important if you are on the edge of a bean field and your trophy is 250 yards away instead of a hundred. You can go home with a trophy instead of frustration.  Accuracy is on par or better then the conventional bullets and the tip is pushed back which helps the bullet to expand at lower velocities. The only unfortunate event is apparently Remington is going to discontinue making 30 Remington brass. That will be a problem as there isn’t any brass that is easy to make it out of. Of course that will impact the 25 and 32 Remington as well. 



The 30-40 Krag 

                                              The 300 Savage     
 Another old timer that has mostly fallen by the wayside being replaced by the 308 is the 300 Savage. It was introduced in 1920 by Savage Arms for the model 99 lever action. The original idea was to make it shoot a 150 grain bullet at the same velocity as the 30-06 as it was loaded at the time in a shorter action. If they accomplished that the pressures would be higher as it has a smaller capacity case. The thought was if you could pack 30-06 power in a more compact package the world would beat a path to your door. Back then as now the 30-06 is the standard that all other cartridges are measured by. Some things never change. Both Savage and Remington chambered their bolt action rifles for this cartridge. Remington also made a pump rifle chambered for it. Savage chambered their 99 lever action for it also. The Savage model 20 and 40 bolt action rifles also chambered it as well as the model 08 Remington semi auto rifle. The famous Winchester pre 64 model 70 was also chambered for the 300. At one time the 300 Savage was quite a popular round for hunting.

 Basically it is a 308 Winchester with a short neck. In fact you can make 300 Savage cases by trimming the 308 to the proper length and sizing. Normally that would not be necessary as the brass is still available and inexpensive. I buy Winchester brass and seldom have a problem locating it. Loading dies are still made by all major manufacturers and of course standard 30 caliber bullets abound. Anyone who makes 30 caliber bullets will have something that is suitable for the Savage round.  Factory ammo is still around though you may have to search for it. With all the new calibers coming out the 300 Savage is getting crowded off of the shelves. Plenty of rifles are available though they are used as no one as far as I know regularly chambers rifles for it. You can probably find one at a gun show or a used gun store as they are still fairly common. Careful shopping can produce one in good condition as they were generally hunting rather then shooting rifles. A typical hunter may have shot it just a few times a year and carried it a lot. Many of those old rifles will have carrying rather then shooting wear which is good for the new owner.
  Your medium burning powders are the best suited for it with hunting weight bullets. Standard large rifle primers are entirely suitable for this round.

                Remington 722 rifle used in test
LOAD                               BULLET                             VELOCITY                 COMMENT
10 X Trail Boss                 123 grain soft point             1329                             high es
10 X Unique                      123 grain soft point             1505                             high es
20 X 5744                          123 grain soft point             1859                             ok
40 X 4197                          123 grain soft point              3003                            consistent
39 X AA 2520                   150 grain                              2338                            fair
38 X 4064                           165 grain  Sierra hp            2390                             ok
42 X 4895                           165 grain Remington          2465                            good load
41 X AA 2520                     165 grain Remington         2526                            consistent
42 X 748                             165 grain Remington           2571                           good load
40 X IMR 4895                   180 grain Remington          2379                           mild
37 X 4064                            180 grain Remington          2261                           slow
41 X 748                              180 grain Remington          2415                           ok
42 X 748                              180 grain Remington          2619                          MAX   
Remington 760 Pump
LOAD                                 BULLET                             VELOCITY              COMMENT
39 X AA 2520                    165 grain Sierra BT              2420                           ok
36 X 4064                           165 grain Sierra BT              2405                           slow
37  X 4064                           180 grain Remington rn      2252                           slow
36 X 2520                            180 grain Remington rn      2156                           slow  


 The 30-40 Krag has a unique action
    
 Accuracy with a good gun is on par with any similar caliber. My gun shoots groups in the 1” area at 100 yards with good handloads. The 722 is the forerunner to the famous model 700 having many of the same features. It is a Plain Jane model with no frills or checkering on the wood. However the 722 was a great value in its day, giving good service at a low price. In 1950 the Remington 722 sold for $74.95 while the model 70 went for $110.  Accuracy and strength were two of its strong suits. Back in the day when the 721 and 722’s were being made dollars were tight so a good quality rifle at a low price made sense. Still does today. Like most of the oldies I don’t spend time looking for factory ammo as it is no longer common. If I stumble across it fine if not that is also fine. Factory ammo might be found at gun shows if you really want it.  If you have one then you have a great deer and black bear rifle. I do have a pump but it lacks camming power if you have a stubborn round in the chamber. It is however a light and handy rifle for the woods hunter. If you like pump rifles this would be a great choice. It comes up well and points nice. The nice thing about the 300 is you would seldom need high priced premium bullets as the velocities aren’t blistering such as the 300 mags are. Of course you can use them for larger game such as elk to good effect. Given the proper skill level and ammo you should be able to tag a deer at 300 yards or so but as always shots need to be properly placed. Keep in mind that most game is harvested within 200 yards.  It seems that everyone today has magnum mania, especially the new short mags. While they perform as billed you hardly need one to shoot a deer at 100 yards. The most hunted game in the US is the whitetail deer and the 300 Savage is up to the task at any reasonable distance.    

 For hunting purposes the 300 Savage will do anything that the 308 will do given good loads. That means that deer and black bear are fair game. Larger game at moderate ranges will also fall to the 300 with proper bullets and shot placement.  Due to its modest case capacity reduced loads are a cinch to work up for small game and pest hunting. Cast bullet loads can be used for small game to good effect without destroying excess meat. Bullets heavier then 180 grains can be used but velocity will drop off rather rapidly due to limited case capacity. There just isn’t much use for real heavy bullets in that chambering as anything up to 180 grains will do just fine.  Recoil is entirely within reason for anyone with any experience shooting hunting rifles. A youngster with some tolerance to recoil will not have any difficulty handling it. Also it can be loaded down to 30-30 levels and still be an effective deer rifle.  All in all if you have a 300 Savage or inherit one it is very worthwhile to get it shooting and take it hunting.        

 Using the new Hodgdon LEVERevolution powder and Hornady FTX bullets you can make your lever action more modern and versatile. Hornady loads factory ammo with these bullets in these and other calibers which is good news for the non reloader.
30-30 Loads   Do not exceed
LOAD                          BULLET                          VELOCITY                       COMMENT
37 X Lever                   150 grain Barnes TSX      2385                                   nice
36.5 X lever                  165 grain Hornady FTX   2335                                   consistent
35 X Lever                   180 grain RN                    2144                                   good load

303 Savage Loads    Do not exceed
38.5  X Lever              165 grain Hornady FTX           2447                  consistent
36 X Lever                   180 grain RN                           2220                  nice



30 Remington  Do not exceed
38 X Lever                  165 grain Hornady FTX          2504                 consistent-max

With the new powder and bullets here is a difference in trajectory between a 150 grain bullet and a 165 grain FTX. Most experienced hunters maintain that you need 1,000 Ft Lbs of energy to cleanly harvest a deer. As you can see the 150 grain peters out at 150 yards while the FTX carries out to 300 yards. This shows you that you might have your grandfather’s rifle but not his ballistics.

150 grain rn           velocity/energy
Muzzle    2390/1902    100 yards  1959/1278        200 yards      1581/832

165 grain FTX
Muzzle    2400/2046   100 yards  2150/1636  200 yards 1916/1309  300 yards 1699/1025



300 H & H and a couple of antique rifles

 Another good 30 caliber that has been obsolete for years is the 30-40 Krag. It originally came out as a military round, replacing the 45-70. Very soon after that sporting rifle makers saw the potential as a hunting round and started introducing hunting rifles for that round. In fact it came out before the 30-30 by some months. The Winchester high wall came out in 1893 for the Krag round. The case is a rimmed bottleneck type which was typical of the day. It also has some taper which was believed to aid in extraction of fired rounds.  The military introduced it in the Krag rifle design that originated in Norway and was modified by the US for the Krag round. The design limited the Krag round in power because it only has one locking lug which keeps pressures down to about 40,000 PSI. Even at that the 30-40 has proven to be a good hunting round. Another unusual feature is the side loading magazine which flips out and you can drop the rounds in it. The original load was a 220 grain round nose at 2,000 FPS which would limit its long range potential. In fact during the Spanish American War the Krag round came up short as opposed to the 7 X 57 used by the Spanish. Their rifle out ranged ours which caused us to look at better options for the future. That eventfully led to the 30-06 being created which is probably the greatest round ever conceived.   As a note the Norwegian version was chambered for the 8 X 58 R which in some loadings can exceed the 30-06. Also their version of the Krag rifle is stronger then the American version due to its locking lugs system.
 
 The Krag round and rifle were declared obsolete in 1903 with the adoption of the 30-03 round and the 03 Springfield rifle. However the rifle and round make a great hunting combo and there are rifles available if you look around some. An original will fetch a premium price but a modified one will go for less. I have found that these rifles are capable of good accuracy and possess one of the smoothest actions in existence. Many of them prefer a round nose bullet for reliable feeding which is no problem if you are hunting in the woods as ranges seldom exceed 100 yards. A pointed bullet has an advantage at longer ranges but most people who hunt with a Krag are after white tail deer or black bear. Both species are commonly harvested at ranges under 100 yards.

 Here are some of my favorite loads for the Krag. Do not exceed them in a Krag rifle.
Large rifle standard primers were used in all loads. Standard 308 diameter bullets were used which are very common.

LOAD                                BULLET                          VELOCITY           COMMENT
5 X Red Dot                       87 grain lead wc               1171                       pest load
10 X Red Dot                     100 grain plinker              1622                       accurate
20 X Herco                         125 grain Sierra                2062                      varmint
41 X 3031                           150 grain Hornady           2469                       deer
10 X Unique                       165 grain cast                   1405                       consistent
10 X Trail Boss                   165 grain cast                  1224                       ok
38 X 209                             165 grain cast                   1972                       consistent
39 X 3031                           170 grain Sierra                2320                      accurate
12 X Unique                       173 grain cast                   1122                       accurate
42 X 4320                           180 grain Hornady rn       2350                      good load
40 X 748                             180 grain Hornady rn       2184                      ok
42 X IMR 4350                   220 grain Sierra               2003                      consistent
44 X H 4831                       220 grain Sierra                1948                      ok 

   
 Ammo for the old timer can still be found though it may take a little searching. For the reloader cases and suitable bullets are plentiful. While spitzers can be made to work I generally use a round nose bullet of 180 to 220 grains unless I am testing a specific bullet for some special purpose. Like the other cartridges discussed cast bullets shoot very well in these rifles. They make excellent small game and pest loads. If you load for this rifle caution must be employed as they are over 100 years old and are not as strong as a more modern design. Like any other antique gun it is never a bad idea to have a gunsmith check it out for soundness. In a more modern gun such as a Ruger # 1 the Krag round can be loaded to it’s potential which would approach a 30-06 in power though such loads should never be fired in a Krag. There is no reason to destroy a fine rifle merely to get more velocity then needed.

 Like many things in life newer doesn't necessarily mean better. These old guns still give good service in spite of being obsolete sometimes for many years. If you have a chance to use any of these great guns by all means do it.




 Old rolling block rifle 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Freedom Arms 22 Center fire Revolver

               

View of Freedom Arms 22 CF

                                      Freedom Arms 22/327
 Freedom Arms has been making high quality revolvers for a number of years. They are known for their strength and tight tolerances.  They are chambered for a verity of rounds up to the 454 Casull.  I own a 454 and it is a work of art in regards to it mechanical features.


327-22 & 22 RF mag

 Recently they brought out a 22 centerfire based on a 327 Federal case necked down.  There are a few real bad ideas out there and this has to rank right along with the worst. You have a $2500.00 gun that shoots a bottleneck 22 based on a 327 Federal case necked down. That in itself is a job and with some brands case loss is high. In addition, they have to be trimmed and sized. Due to the tight dimensions they have to be perfect in order to fit. No one at this time makes factory ammo or formed cases so you are on your own there. That may not change. I don’t anticipate that sales will increase especially in view of the fact that there is no factory ammo available. An interesting chambering might be the 22 Velo Dog round. It is an obsolete round that was used over 100 years ago in a small double action revolver. Bicyclists carried it to protect themselves from roaming dogs. Just imagine today someone making a handgun specifically to shoot dogs. It was very underpowered and would more likely injure then kill a dog.   Today you would make cases out of 22 Hornet brass which requires a lot of work. If someone made the cases, reloading it would be pretty routine. It looks almost like a 22 RF mag except it is a centerfire. If you had good brass you could get some good loads because the gun is strong enough to exploit all of the potential of the Velo Dog round. In addition, it may not back out as the 22-327 does.
 I fired the light loads and as with most revolvers chambered for bottleneck cases they backed out and jammed.   I tried a verity of powders and loads but most backed out tying up the gun. Even light loads caused that problem. Due to time constraints, I couldn’t do more research and this load listed works well so I will stick with it. I feel that with more time and perhaps a different gun I could have worked up better loads. It is accurate however. Also due to tight tolerances, cases have to be perfectly trimmed and sized which led to another problem. I had some cases separate which is usually due to excess headspace. I will back off the sizing die a tiny bit to see if that helps. I have worked with Federal and Starline cases and Starline is better suited for this task as the loss with Federals was very high when sizing down.  In addition, some of the 45 gr hollow points would not chamber probably due to the ogive so will stick with the Hornady 40 grain.  I tried 4 grains of Trail Boss and a 40 grain Hornady bullet and it worked pretty well. So that and 4227 seem to be the two best powders I have tried. Without a doubt there are other combinations that will work but I don’t have unlimited access to the gun. I have figured out how to make the cases fit and fire which was a challenge. 


Case splitting was a common occurrence especially with Federal cases

 The gun is a quality product which you would expect from Freedom Arms. Accuracy is very good and with the light recoil it is easy and fun to shoot. The trigger and sights are nice but I would not buy In my view it is more costly then what it gives. If you want an expensive toy then this might just be the item you need.  it One thing that may make it more attractive is to offer rimfire cylinders in 22 LR and 22 mag. That would add to the cost but at least you would be able to shoot it more.    Possible in their single shot as it would make a nice pest round somewhere in the neighborhood of a 22 Hornet load. That is why they make different types of guns.

LOAD                                 BULLET                         VELOCITY                    COMMENT
12 grains 4227                40 grain Hornady        2150                             high es
12 grains 4227               45 gr RN HP Rem         2157                             high es

Freedom Arms 327-22



 I didn’t have an opportunity to try cast bullets but they may be a viable option. If I paid $2500.00  for such a gun I would want as much flexibility as possible. 

From L   22-327, 22 Velo Dog, 22 RF mag & 22 Hornet 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

How Important is Accuracy

                 

Military rifles are very accurate with the proper bullets

               How Important is Accuracy

 Everyone likes their rifles to be accurate and if it is then we are happy. However I submit that sometimes accuracy is overrated as compared to other factors.  Accuracy is the ability to hit what you are aiming at if you do your part. That can be hitting a gallon can at 50 yards or a woodchuck at 500 yards. If your gun can hit the required target at the desired ranges then it is accurate enough for the task at hand. In hunting accuracy isn’t everything. There are other important factors such as bullet performance. A well designed bullet is much more desirable for hunting then a gilt edge target bullet. Many target bullets while super accurate perform poorly on game. Some hollow points fold over when they hit an animal making them act like a solid which is frequently a bad idea. The Nosler Partitions had a reputation of not being as accurate as some of the other brands but they got the job done. I had the same experience but accuracy wasn’t that bad. Since then accuracy has improved. Some years ago I had an opportunity to work with a 270 Weatherby Magnum. The client was planning a bear hunting trip to Canada and wanted a bullet sturdy enough for the task at hand.  Back then there were not a lot of premium options like today. I settled on a Nosler Partition weighing 160 grains. The rifle has a lot of freebore, which was common at that time. In theory, it allowed a heavier powder charge hence increasing the velocity. The problem is it has a negative effect on accuracy. Likewise, the Nosler wasn’t known for accuracy either. In spite of playing around with loads and seating, the best groups at 50 yards were 2” but 3” was more typical with a 3 shot group. The client was somewhat concerned but since shots would be on this side of 50 yards, he went with it. In the end, he tagged a nice bear at a distance of about 35 yards. While accuracy would seem dismal by most standards, it was good enough to do the job.        




          Old ammo can produce poor accuracy especially if the powder turned bad     

 If you are hunting in the brush or woods for game such as a moose or grizzly bear your shots probably won’t be over 50 yards maybe a hundred at the most. With those animals you need a hard hitting rifle with a quality bullet for best results. A 45-70 with a well-constructed bullet weighing 400 grains that group 3” at 100 yards is all you need for accuracy purposes. With that type of hunting you will probably be standing or at best have a haphazard rest, so gilt edge accuracy isn’t necessary. You might even be shooting at a moving target. You need a combo that will place a sturdy bullet into the boiler room, breaking bones along the way if necessary. You want to do your hunting before you shoot not after. Some of the new lead free bullets made by Barnes and Hornady might be an option worth exploring. I have loaded some of the LBT type of bullets for customers in the 45-70 and 444 Marlin. The 444 weighed in at 325 while the 45-70 checked in at 400 grains and they both bagged fine grizzlies.


Home made bullets for the 9.4 Dutch are accurate in guns tried

 If you are hunting deer at a couple hundred yards or so then you would need a different type of rifle. Something that shoots flatter and can shoot a 3 shot group at 100 yards of an inch or so. If it is more accurate fine but don’t get hung up on that. You need a good hunting bullet with good flight characteristics rather then a super accurate target bullet. The bullet has to perform on the animal to obtain a clean kill. It has to have the ability to get into the boiler room and do some significant damage in order to insure a clean kill. A bullet that blows up on the hide without penetrating is useless.  As with all hunting the first shot is the most important and it’s our moral obligation to humanely dispatch any animal that we shoot. If you mess that up there is a good chance that the hunt will go south quickly. If you hit it badly or miss it the animal isn’t going to stick around for you to target practice on it. Therefore, when you shoot your groups be sure to carefully observe where the first shot from a cold barrel goes. Keeping the barrel oil free helps keep the first shot closer to the rest of the group as oil can throw off the first shot by quite a bit.



Hollow base bullets work well in oversize bores such as  trapdoor 45-70 bullet is 480 grain HB

 Over the years shotgun slugs have greatly improved in performance. The old pumpkin ball was good out to 50 yards or so before accuracy deteriorated too much. Slugs such as the Breneke and Actives extended that range out to about 100 yards in good guns. They were all smooth bores but with an open or modified choke and a scope 3 to 5” groups were possible at 100 yards. Then came rifled barrels and modern projectiles which changed everything. One outstanding example is the Lightfield brand of slugs www.lightfieldslugs.com. Not only are they exceptionally accurate in a rifled barrel but the various loads hit to the same point of impact. The importance of that is a shooter that is more recoil shy can shoot a lighter load while the heavier load can also be utilized without changing the scope setting. My son has a Remington 870 with a rifled barrel. With a scope at 80 yards we can get 3-4” groups which doesn’t put in in the tack driver category but he bagged a nice black bear in Canada at 60 yards. We were using a handload I developed using Blue Dot powder with a velocity of 1700 FPS. No they were not much fun to shoot off the bench.   I am not aware of any other slug that can do that though there are other accurate slugs out there. I have shot the Remington slug with good accuracy results also. With the increased velocity and accuracy of modern slugs ranges of 175 yards and more are possible given hunter skill.   

 Shooting varmints at long range does require serious accuracy. Most of the time you will be using a small caliber high velocity rifle capable of shooting bullets up to 4000 feet per second or so. A groundhog at 400 yards is a very small target. A rifle the shoots 5 shots into a half inch or less at 100 yards is needed. Groundhogs are relatively small but need to be hit well with an explosive bullet in order to anchor them reliably. As with all animals they deserve a quick and painless death.


Home made bullet is accurate and effective

 When you read about handguns used for self defense one of the more prominent features mentioned is accuracy at 25 yards. If it doesn’t shoot a 2 or 2 &1/2” group then it is considered substandard. While that type of accuracy is nice there are more important features to be considered in a social handgun. First of all it must be 100% reliable at all times. Anything less makes it a target gun or paperweight. It also needs the ability to digest good working ammo that is useful for self-defense.  Other features more important then gild edge accuracy is ease of use such as a good trigger, comfortable grips and decent sights. It needs to have the ability to get into action quickly and have a round with enough power to do the job. If the weapon meets all of that criteria then you can worry about 2” groups. Keep in mind that few people can shoot that well especially under duress. 

Loading Blackhorn 209 in Bottleneck Cases



       Norm shooting 308 with Blackhorn 209  

                                          Blackhorn 209 In Bottleneck Cases
 In the past, I have used this propellant in applications that it wasn’t designed for. It is a type of black powder substitute for some but not all black powder weapons. Since it is hard to ignite cap & ball guns and 209 don’t mix. Also small cartridges especially with light bullets perform poorly with 209. Most blanks do better with other propellants. With the insanity going on many smokeless powders are difficult to get. I have walked into a few gun stores and saw bare shelves where the powder usually resided.  With that thought in mind, 209 can be looked at as an all around powder. While it isn’t perfect it will work in a broader range of guns then anything else I have tried. In a pinch perfection isn’t what we are looking for but a chance for survival. With the broad spectrum of calibers I have worked with this is the closest to the perfect all around propellant. Real small rounds such as the 25 and 32 ACP sizes it won’t do very well and may not work at all.

 I have used it with success on such diverse rounds as a 12 gauge and 45 auto. We have shot quail with this powder and it functioned a Benelli semi auto. Shooting a 1 oz. slug 209 works fine producing about 1,000 FPS which would be perfect for home defense. Therefore, to explore other possibilities the idea of modern bottleneck rifle rounds occurred to me. Why not try it in such offerings as a 22-250, 243 and 30-06. The 30-30 and other similar common rounds would be a good testing ground.     The idea is to develop a load powerful enough to be useful at closer ranges that you might need in a pinch. Of course, velocity will be less then a standard load but if it is accurate enough at 25 to 50 yards with decent velocity then we can consider it useful. Some of these loads should work well at a hundred yards and perhaps a bit beyond.   At the time of this writing powder is extremely difficult to get anywhere and some private sellers are selling it online for two or three times the going price. Unfortunately there are sleaze bags taking advantage of the situation.  For your information, I checked with a couple of distributors to see what powders of any kind are available. With smokeless powders, over 95% are not available while black powder and substitutes including 209 are almost 100 % available. In honesty the 209 is more expensive then the other brands since it is tubular and hollow it is more difficult to make.  That should give those who reload something to think about though for an emergency cost isn’t a factor.  You do use less 209 because it  such a low density which will help with cost for the economically minded folks.  In a real pinch you can use black powder and Pyrodex in rifles but keep in mind that they are corrosive and you velocity will drop even more. I have done this and for emergency purposes, it will do. In small bore guns the barrel will be fouled up after a few shots something to keep in mind. Use compressed loads in all of the rounds used.

7 mm   Remington mag produces smoke with 209 

 It is a very low-density powder so compressed loads will be the order of the day. In fact, the jug that I received is the standard size for 8 LBS but only 5 will fit in there. I hope that the powder situation will improve but one should be prepared and learning to use alternate powders is one way to improve the ammo situation. Most of the stand byes will not work as well but will do in a pinch. For instance you can use small amounts of pistol powder in a rifle. You will lose much of your velocity but at closer ranges it may do ok. You just have to be careful not to use too much as that may cause dangerous pressure spikes. For example, you can use a small amount of Unique in a 30-06. You will get some useful velocity and accuracy. In fact, with cast bullets it is an excellent choice. Blackhorn 209 is meant as a high performance propellant for certain muzzle loading arms mainly inlines. It is somewhat difficult to ignite so conventional cap locks and flintlocks won’t work well with it. Surprisingly it meters pretty well in my powder measure considering the size of the grains. Real small capacity rounds don’t do very well with it as velocity is low but for larger cases it works well. I have been successful on making in work and function in a 45 ACP and a 12 ga semi auto. My loads in the shotgun have been good enough to harvest quail. I see some promising possibilities in using it for modern bottle neck cases. Like all black powder and their substitutes, it is recommended not to have airspace between the bullet and powder so all of my loads will be compressed. In addition, the idea is to see how much velocity we can safely get out of this propellant. Accuracy is also a consideration along with function in a semi auto.  The 30-06 produces enough velocity with a hunting bullet to make it useful. It is in the same area as a 30-30 load which will enable game to be harvested at 100 yards or so. Of course 30-30 bullets can be used to produce the same results as the 30-30.    


300 Win mag ammo

 The 223 is so popular that 209 should be tried in it. With the small case, I don’t expect a lot but am going to try some heavy 75 to 80 grain bullets. With the 55 grain bullets they ejected but the bolt didn’t always come back far enough to pick up another round. The heavier bullets worked perfectly. The rifle used was a mag change model which is capable of utilizing four different calibers. Barrel was 16” and the velocity while lower then standard 223 would none the less be useful for some work. With the 77 grain bullet a fast twist would be required to stabilize it. With the mild velocities encountered, most cup and core bullets should work ok for most situations. That is one of the advantages of these loads is standard cup and core bullets will produce good results. They will not come unglued as possible with high velocity loads. Thin-jacketed varmint bullets should be excellent defense ammo. Your ES and SD are a result of the compatibility of the powder and bullet. I am working on a piece explaining that in detail. 
LOAD                                         BULLET                                   VELOCITY                                   COMMENT
21 grains                                  55 grain FMJ                          2110                                              es 110
20 grains                                  77 grain Horn HP                 1863                                            more consistent  
 





 The 22-250 is fairly common and since it has more capacity then a 223 the heavy bullets might work fairly well. Like all of the rounds, being tested results will be similar in similar cases such as the 220 Swift. The 100 grain is an unusually heavy bullet for a 22 and you would need a barrel with a fast twist to stabilize it.   The velocities displayed by the 22-250 would be useful for deer given good bullet placement and a twist fast enough to stabilize a 100 grain bullet.  The 100 grain has a high sectional density hence it should have a lot of penetration.
LOAD                                         BULLET                                 VELOCITY                                    COMMENT
30 grains                                  55 grain FMJ                        2829                                            ok
27 grains                                 100 grain                              2204                                            nice 
 Another round that is common is the 243. I am trying a heavily compressed load with a 100 grain flat base bullet. Like all of the other rifles tested though some velocity is lost it will still harvest a deer sized animal at moderate ranges. A 100 grain bullet in the 243 has decent sectional density which would enable it to provide adequate penetration. Since the velocity is fairly low bullet shape and jacket thickness are not as important as it is in higher velocity loads. Round nose bullets would work great since they have a propensity to expand at lower velocities and give adequate penetration. This will be true in any of the calibers tested.   
LOAD                                       BULLET                                    VELOCITY                                         COMMENT
38 grains                                100 grain Trophy Bond         2440                                                 consistent

 The 270 Winchester has been around for many years and is common and well known so it would be appropriate to list a couple of loads for it. For some reason the 130 grain load wasn’t consistent which goes against most of the other loads tested in the 270 and the other rifles. Typically most of the loads were consistent.  The nice thing is since the pressure is low top grade cases are not necessary. I used brass that was fired several times and it performed well. I just did the routine checks which included checking for splits and case length.  
LOAD                                             BULLET                                        VELOCITY                                       COMMENT
45 grains                                130 grain Speer Grand Slam          2249                                              high ES
42 grains                                150 grain Hornady SST  BT            2265                         




                   

308 with 209

 The 7 mm -08 started out as a wildcat but was later adopted. It is a 308 necked down with no other changes. It is a good hunting round giving good ballistics with very moderate recoil. Bullets from 100 to 175 grains are usable and anyone who makes ammo does the 08. There is a good selection of lightweight rifles available many at inexpensive prices. This is just another example of a rifle that can be useful with 209. Those velocities are enough to harvest a deer at closer ranges or it is very adequate for home defense. If you use a cartridge similar to the listed ones results will be similar. A 260 Remington would give results similar to the 7 mm 08 given similar bullet weight and sectional density and barrel length
LOAD                                     BULLET                                             VELOCITY                                COMMENT
37 grains                             140 grain Sierra BT                          2132                                        fair
36 grains                            175 grain Hornady                            1966                                      very consistent   

 The 7 mm Remington magnum has been around for over 50 years and is justly popular so it would make sense to try some 209 in it.  The velocity obtained with the 139 would be similar to a 7 X 57 or 7 mm 08 with standard loads.
LOAD                                          BULLET                                          VELOCITY                                   COMMENT
59 grains                                   139 grain flat base                       2665                                          consistent
 The 30-40 Krag has been around for over 120 years and there are still a fairly decent number of rifles still in use. I used a cast bullet in this test but a jacketed one can be substituted.
LOAD                                       BULLET                                          VELOCITY                                    COMMENT
38 grains                                165 grain cast                               1568                                            nice

 Since the 308 is universally used it will be included in this test. I used a Springfield Armory SAR 4800 to see how it would feed and cycle this ammo. I shot 150’s and 165’s and except for the first two shots cycling was perfect.
LOAD                                       BULLET                                             VELOCITY                              COMMENT
36.5  grains                            150 grain FMJ                                  1907                                     consistent
36                                             165 grain Hornady Interlock        1930                                     high es



30-06 case full   209 takes up a lot of space

 30-06 Loads all using Blackhorn 209. I used military cases because since they are older and don’t possess the quality of newer cases if a problem crops up it may show more readily with these pieces of brass. Bullets used will be the plain cup & core because hi-tec bullets will not give any advantage because of the lower velocities encountered.  Also long tapered boat-tail bullets will take up more space so cutting down on the powder charge, reducing the velocity. With that thought the more blunt and short the bullet the better.   After tapping down powder level was ½ the way up the neck for both the 165 and 180 grain slugs. While I am not going to use a lot of cast bullets a couple might be instructive in a couple of ways. Velocities are similar to full power 30-30 loads so would be useful for the same type of hunting. There is a school of thought that a lot of power is needed for deer size animals. I would say that if you have a bullet of some weight and velocity and possess some hunting skill your hunting will be successful. A little research reveals that a lot of large game has been harvested with lower power rifles and cast bullets and that formula still works. Naturally the long range shots will be ruled out but most big game is shot within 200 yards many much less. At woods ranges, I would feel comfortable hunting with many of these loads.  Since these loads are relatively sedate round nose bullets may be more desirable. They would be more likely to open up at low velocities and this would apply to all of the calibers. The 30-30 style flat nose would be ideal as a bullet with a high ballistic coefficient would have no advantage at these velocities and ranges.
LOAD                                   BULLET                                             VELOCITY                              COMMENT   
48 grains                    150 grain Privi FMJ   (Garand)             2198                                      fed ok
48 grains                    150 grain Privi      (bolt rifle)                2314                                     consistent
44 grains                    165 grain Hornady  flat base                2204                                      decent
44 grains                   165 grain Hornady flat base                 2198  ( Garand )               fed fine
44 grains                    165 grain cast FP                                   2182                                       high es
44 grains                    180 grain Remington Core Loc            2137                                      nice load
44 grains                    200 grain Speer flat base                    2052                                       nice



Blackhorn burns dirty and is mildey corrosive


 The 30-30 has been around for about 120 years and is very common and it works ok with 209. The velocity isn’t very fast by today’s standards but in a pinch will do ok at close range. You are giving up 5-600 FPS with the 209 but it beats throwing the bullet.
LOAD                                      BULLET                                         VELOCITY                              COMMENT
25 grains                            165 grain cast                                  1606                                    consistent
25 grains                            165 grain spitzer                             1565                                   ok       
 The 300 Winchester mag has been around for over 50 years and is one of the most popular magnum rounds and is well distributed. With that thought in mind some load data with 209 would be useful in an emergency.  Heavier bullets should be impressive in this caliber.  This load is in the area of a full power 308 which would make it quite a good hunting load.
LOAD                                   BULLET                                           VELOCITY                                COMMENT
62 grains                            180 grain                                        2469                                        nice
 The 303 is another common military rifle with many still in use. Like the Krag I used a cast bullet with good results.
LOAD                                 BULLET                                             VELOCITY                                COMMENT
33 grains                         165 grain cast GC                            1869                                   very consistent
Another oldie is the 32-40 Winchester. It is on the small side for deer but with a 170 grain flat nose enough velocity is produced to make a fairly decent close range hunting load.
23 grains                        170 grain Hornady                           1541                                     accurate
 I have a good feel for this powder and the larger the case the more power you can get. I have worked with a lot of obsolete rounds such as the 11 X 60 Gras and the 43 Spanish. The ballistics are impressive for  these old rounds. It works ok in a 45-70 but in a 45-120 it is a beast. With a 500 grain bullet I obtained over 1700 FPS and more then a little recoil. I never had any loads that produced excess pressure but I imagine if you took a 378 Weatherby case and necked it down to a 22 pressures might be too high. I have no intentions of trying that out.  I have used it in small cases such as a 9.4 Dutch and while it works ballistics are rather pedestrian.

270 win with 209