The Firearms Forum banner
1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,057 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
my latest new to me gun and caliber is a Stevens 25-20 ss [there are other posts about this on the forum] so little or no load data to be found. answer, black powder. fill the case, compress the powder,put in a card, seat a lubed bullet. a grease cookie under the bullet is optional. so i gave it a go. i have a 1/4" hole punch and made cards. filled a case,[17gr] used a part of a seating die to compress the powder enough to seat the bullet. oops! the Stevens 25 uses a .251 bullet. most other .25 cal. guns use .257. no copper jacket bullets here. there is no sizer that i could find to size the lead bullets, so the barrel will have to do that. with some luck and a bit of seat of the pants engineering i used a set of 25-35 dies to seat the bullet. sound easy so far? it was not, but it worked. shot them up. what a hoot. took a few to get on target then get close to the middle of the target. OK done with that so time to clean up. gun cleaned well, the brass was put into a container with soap and water shook up a bit then rinsed. dumped into a rotating tumbler with ss pins water and soap. two hours late out they come a rince and dry ready for priming. now comes the real PIA. the ss pins are the exact size as the inside of the brass. every one has two or three pins stuck sideways. and stuck good and tight. after some contemplating and cogitating i got some stiff wire bent a small hook and went fishing. now they are ready to prime. reloading is fun. this was a little more fun than i wanted, like an overdose.
can't wait for tomorrow!

rick
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,057 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If it was easy, you wouldn't want it.
easy for you to say. you have a lot less birthdays than i do. when things get too complicated i can get confused and loose my way. the fun part is making it up as you go because you do not have the correct tools.
"i thank you for your support"

rick
 

·
Junior Advanced Senior Member In Training
Joined
·
7,800 Posts
Nothing IS easy... Something takes a bit more effort.
 
  • Like
Reactions: joe45c

·
Philogynist & Sycophant, Looking For Work
Joined
·
7,545 Posts
my latest new to me gun and caliber is a Stevens 25-20 ss [there are other posts about this on the forum] so little or no load data to be found. answer, black powder. fill the case, compress the powder,put in a card, seat a lubed bullet. a grease cookie under the bullet is optional. so i gave it a go. i have a 1/4" hole punch and made cards. filled a case,[17gr] used a part of a seating die to compress the powder enough to seat the bullet. oops! the Stevens 25 uses a .251 bullet. most other .25 cal. guns use .257. no copper jacket bullets here. there is no sizer that i could find to size the lead bullets, so the barrel will have to do that. with some luck and a bit of seat of the pants engineering i used a set of 25-35 dies to seat the bullet. sound easy so far? it was not, but it worked. shot them up. what a hoot. took a few to get on target then get close to the middle of the target. OK done with that so time to clean up. gun cleaned well, the brass was put into a container with soap and water shook up a bit then rinsed. dumped into a rotating tumbler with ss pins water and soap. two hours late out they come a rince and dry ready for priming. now comes the real PIA. the ss pins are the exact size as the inside of the brass. every one has two or three pins stuck sideways. and stuck good and tight. after some contemplating and cogitating i got some stiff wire bent a small hook and went fishing. now they are ready to prime. reloading is fun. this was a little more fun than i wanted, like an overdose.
can't wait for tomorrow!

rick
Great story, Rick! It sounds like worthwhile fun. 😁
BTW, you might want to look into things a bit, as I seem to remember that the dash 20 in 25-20 designated the proper charge of black powder in grains. It doesn't seem likely that you could squeeze that much in there, from what you describe. Once you've got it mastered, we're going to need some range pics, though. Nice work!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,480 Posts
Soooo...how did it shoot?

I did not know the 25-20 SS wanted a .251 bullet. So does the 255 Jeffrey and the 25 ACP.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,057 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Soooo...how did it shoot?

I did not know the 25-20 SS wanted a .251 bullet. So does the 255 Jeffrey and the 25 ACP.
finding those bullets is a challenge in and of itself. new stuff can have a bunch of surprises. i may not have found all that this bad boy has yet. loading the twenty rounds took at least three times longer than i felt was needed because of those surprises. the good thing is a stevens 25 is not easy to find, but i have one, and in nice condition.
life is good!

rick

As does a 250 Rook. Just started working with mine and this little bullet is showing some promise. FYI they actually weigh in at 59 grains.

View attachment 260690
you are the man! thanks!!!

rick
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,283 Posts
@sharps4590 will know for sure but you may have to remove the lube in the bullets, I don’t think it will play well with black powder. While the 250 Rook is a BP cartridge 1.7 grains of Unique or W231 seems to work pretty slick. I had loaded 10 rounds each 1.5, 1.7 and 1.9 grains of both Unique and W231 to do some testing. When I pulled my shooting case out of the bed of my pickup I discovered the ammo was all shaken up in the case and no telling what was what. Drat! Now I get to start over and hopefully find what this little gem likes. Here’s the thread I started on my rifle if you’d care to take a gander.

 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,480 Posts
If that lube is like most that comes in bullets that are shipped it's probably as hard as a crayon and, Mark is right, it won't work with BP. To get the bullets to the customer and them still have lube in the grooves they about have to use a hard lube.

Rick, purely my opinion based on working with a couple small bores so take it for what it's worth. On two different cartridges I had to use a grease cookie simply because the bullet didn't carry enough lube. If fouling is a problem, with the load you're shooting, 17 grs., you might try 1 gr. of 2400 loaded first then the black on top of it. SR-4759 would be even better, if you can find any or have it. I did a duplex load in my Bartles stalking rifle in 8.15 X 46R and it shot very well. Those small bores CAN be made to shoot!!!

I think I worked up a BP load in my Jeffrey Rook rifle in 25-20 WCF but I'm not sure....yeah, I did but I'll have to see if I kept a record.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,057 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If that lube is like most that comes in bullets that are shipped it's probably as hard as a crayon and, Mark is right, it won't work with BP. To get the bullets to the customer and them still have lube in the grooves they about have to use a hard lube.

Rick, purely my opinion based on working with a couple small bores so take it for what it's worth. On two different cartridges I had to use a grease cookie simply because the bullet didn't carry enough lube. If fouling is a problem, with the load you're shooting, 17 grs., you might try 1 gr. of 2400 loaded first then the black on top of it. SR-4759 would be even better, if you can find any or have it. I did a duplex load in my Bartles stalking rifle in 8.15 X 46R and it shot very well. Those small bores CAN be made to shoot!!!

I think I worked up a BP load in my Jeffrey Rook rifle in 25-20 WCF but I'm not sure....yeah, I did but I'll have to see if I kept a record.
i wipe after every shot when using black. nasty looking fouling. the bore is shiny after, must be doing the job. the few i have shot so far i lube with alox, don't trust that hard lube.
if i go with a duplex load why not a HOT pistol powder for a starter? 2400 is more mid range. i do have a little 4759 put back, is't that discontinued?
i do not know how to get 20gr in that case. 17.5 is full to the rim, and compressing to make room for a bullet is all i care to do. still need a card and a spot of grease? can do just about.
these little buggers are fun! BUT "not easy"
thank you for your kind thoughts.

rick
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,480 Posts
Well.....as is often the case I wrote about half of what I was thinking and how it's done by some....it was still early...lol!

You will have to reduce the BP powder charge by a like volume of the 2400 and obviously make room for the wad and grease cookie. That might put your charge at less than 15 grs.

For a straight BP load you can use wax paper or milk carton between the powder and grease cookie then between the grease cookie and bullet and eliminate a card wad. Come to think of it, I'd think a milk carton wad between powder and grease cookie and wax paper between the grease cookie and bullet would be a combination worth trying. The grease cookie wouldn't need to be very thick.

I've never read or heard of anyone using a faster smokeless powder than like 2400, SR-4759 and IMR-4227 and I've never done it BUT, I don't know it all by any means. I've just always used SR-4759, which is discontinued, or a powder of similar burning rate.

If your wiping between shots, your satisfied and your results are satisfactory, what the heck, it's working. I don't know if I remembered you were wiping between shots. Doing so is certainly historical on the old Creedmoor range and at US Schuetzen matches. How does the fouling feel as you get the patch toward the muzzle? If it feels a little hard and crunchy and there is no lube star on the face of the muzzle, your bullet is running out of lube and your load might benefit from a grease cookie. There won't be any question about it, the way the patch feels in the bore will be obvious.

As with about everything, there's more than one right way to do it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,057 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well.....as is often the case I wrote about half of what I was thinking and how it's done by some....it was still early...lol!

You will have to reduce the BP powder charge by a like volume of the 2400 and obviously make room for the wad and grease cookie. That might put your charge at less than 15 grs.

For a straight BP load you can use wax paper or milk carton between the powder and grease cookie then between the grease cookie and bullet and eliminate a card wad. Come to think of it, I'd think a milk carton wad between powder and grease cookie and wax paper between the grease cookie and bullet would be a combination worth trying. The grease cookie wouldn't need to be very thick.

I've never read or heard of anyone using a faster smokeless powder than like 2400, SR-4759 and IMR-4227 and I've never done it BUT, I don't know it all by any means. I've just always used SR-4759, which is discontinued, or a powder of similar burning rate.

If your wiping between shots, your satisfied and your results are satisfactory, what the heck, it's working. I don't know if I remembered you were wiping between shots. Doing so is certainly historical on the old Creedmoor range and at US Schuetzen matches. How does the fouling feel as you get the patch toward the muzzle? If it feels a little hard and crunchy and there is no lube star on the face of the muzzle, your bullet is running out of lube and your load might benefit from a grease cookie. There won't be any question about it, the way the patch feels in the bore will be obvious.

As with about everything, there's more than one right way to do it.
thanks. i had forgotten about crunchy fouling. i do not have any so far. i never thought about putting something between the grease and bullet. and have not. will give that a go in the future. more stuff to do, so...nothing is easy.
a lot of variables trying to make the gun do its best. "ya just got to love it"

rick
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,057 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
One of the reasons I went back to dry media ... the pesky pins liked to get stuck in places they shouldn't be .
Wet tumbling with pins may be all the rage but you don't have to do it that way .
Nothing wrong with dry treated walnut shell .
Gary
i have found that brass not wet tumbled with pins after black powder look like do-do. those pins clean the insides and outsides very nicely. not necessary, just what i like. i do put the cases in dry corn cob tumbler to finish. i know a lot of extra work.

rick
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,057 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Rick, if it was "easy" to get an obsolete chambering like the .25-20 ss up and running, everybody would be doing it and you wouldn't have been able to score that rifle. :)
i thought i was getting a regular 25-20 rifle. when i attempted to chamber a regular 25-20 bullet it did not go. i had a what the... moment. called the seller and after a bit of friendly back and forth i was happy, happy, happy. i never considered i could get a single shot. there are some out there, just not many for sale. so....the adventure continues.

rick
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,480 Posts
Rick, if it was "easy" to get an obsolete chambering like the .25-20 ss up and running, everybody would be doing it and you wouldn't have been able to score that rifle. :)
You betcha! That's the most fun I have with firearms these day. The more effort it takes, the greater the satisfaction and the bigger the grin!!
 

·
Philogynist & Sycophant, Looking For Work
Joined
·
7,545 Posts
One of the reasons I went back to dry media ... the pesky pins liked to get stuck in places they shouldn't be .
Wet tumbling with pins may be all the rage but you don't have to do it that way .
Nothing wrong with dry treated walnut shell .
Gary
Agreed. There is nothing wrong with tumbling brass in corn cob or walnut shells. But when I do, every primer flash hole has to be manually cleaned, as they are all always clogged. When I use pins and liquid, maybe 5% need additional cleaning because of stuck pins. The rest work great, out of the gate. I'm good with that, and I'm not going back.
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top