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Thread: Forming .338 A-Square Brass, The Saga Continues...

  1. #1
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    Default Forming .338 A-Square Brass, The Saga Continues...

    So I check the post office and my CH4D .338 A-Square dies are here! Woooppeeee!!!!

    I go home, set up my press, install the forming die, lube a case and press. Then go to extract the case...and tear the lip off my RCBS No. 14 shellholder. The shellholder I had modified to get the case farther into the die. This is the only one I have. Yeah.

    I take a brass rod and punch out the case, feverishly grab my rifle and....IT CHAMBERS!!!!

    Now, if anyone happens to be going to the local reloading shop, if you, out of the kindness of your heart, pick up a No. 14 shellholder (maybe two), and express mail it to me, I will mail back to you $70.00 bucks. It is either that or have to wait until the end of next week. Seriously.

    What a bummer.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

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    Found one locally!
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

    Better living through chemistry (I'm a chemist)

    You can piddle with the puppies, or run with the wolves...

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    I now have 19 original .338 A-Square cases and 19 .338-378 Weatherby cases ready to load. The big green forming and FL dies were cut a little too deep, no problem am sending them back to be trimmed, but for now my CH4D dies have worked beautifully. I also have 50 .378 Weatherby dies formed, but since they required trimming and reaming, I'll load what I have to find what powder works.

    I called Hodgdon to find out what is equivalent to H-5010, they responded with H50BMG. I have a pound of the 5010 so I'll use it up. I have some H-4831 too and a small quantity of RL-22. I'll try them if the 5010 doesn't work. When I get to town I will search for the mythical Retumbo which seems to be the powder that does it all.

    One hundred-twenty grains of powder behind a 250gr. bullet is going to be fun. I have a Pachmyer pad I'll need installed on this beast and hopefully I can get this done in the five days I'm in Anchorage. Maybe I should melt some lead into 3/4" bars about four inches long and have them installed at the same time. Make it a little less fun to shoot.

    Art Alphin was manic about short barrels. Why in Hades would anyone put a 24 1/4" barrel on something like this? The muzzle flash is going to be the size of a beach-ball. I think I should break out my Nomex balaclava to prevent flashburn. Thinking later this winter a 28" Kreiger would be perfect.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

    Better living through chemistry (I'm a chemist)

    You can piddle with the puppies, or run with the wolves...

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    Sounds like you're starting to get a handle on it. A-Square had some interesting ideas in the 80s & 90s and the .338 A-Square is certainly one of them.....
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    Hopefully that isn't sarcasm? I too think Art had some good ideas. While most everyone that has commented on many sites about the railroad tie feel of the Hannibal stock is negative, no-one has commented negatively regarding his cartridges; there was some grumbling about his taking existing cartridges and making very minor changes then calling it something else, like the .500 A-Square, the .470 Capstick ect. but the rifles and cartridges certainly did what they were/are supposed to do.

    The .338 A-Sq. on paper is slightly more efficient than the mighty .338-378, we will see. I know is it time consuming to make up these oddball shells, but it is fun too. And I have something no-one else has. But the very nice lady at JGS Tool told me they do occasionally get requests for the .338 A-Sq. reamer.

    The fellow I bought this from told me he used it for a few Brooks Range goat hunts. The stock is in excellent shape, but you can see it has been hunted with. If the rain here will ever stop I plan to making some noise with this.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

    Better living through chemistry (I'm a chemist)

    You can piddle with the puppies, or run with the wolves...

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    I have a friend who hunts with a 338-378KT quite a bit, I'll have to ask him what powder he uses next time I see him. Seems like I have heard rumors of H1000 or IMR7828 from him but I can't recall offhand.

    As for A-Square having some interesting ideas and cartridges, I'll certainly go along with that. The CoilCheck stock design I just have a hard time swallowing though, I mean of course it soaks up recoil the buttpad is like a size 12 bootprint! And they have enough wood for an extra stock if you need to whittle one for your backup gun. Other than that atrocious handle they put on their rifles I like the concepts the pushed, heavy bullets and medium velocity in most cases, albeit not for your 338 heavy and fast there. I like Alphins theory of the "magic" 2400fps, seems to bear out in my experience. Also thought the triad was an excellent idea, not sure if all guns shot to the same poi with all three but it would be great if they did. Joe Want seemed to think highly of the 570gr Lion Load SP for his 500NE on Kodiak bears. I also tend to run toward the shortish barrel preference Art showed, though I can see where you are coming from with your rifle and cartridge. Got to work on a real live 577 Tyrannosaur chambered Hannibal last week and it was something, didn't get to shoot it and don't really want to, but it was fun to tinker with for a few hours.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitroman View Post
    Hopefully that isn't sarcasm? I too think Art had some good ideas. While most everyone that has commented on many sites about the railroad tie feel of the Hannibal stock is negative, no-one has commented negatively regarding his cartridges; there was some grumbling about his taking existing cartridges and making very minor changes then calling it something else, like the .500 A-Square, the .470 Capstick ect. but the rifles and cartridges certainly did what they were/are supposed to do.
    No sarcasm intended. I lived in KY while A-Square was going through its heyday and have some experience with their rifles. I'm not a fan of the 1917 Enfield for a few reasons and I've seen some of their conversions that were a bit rough. I've also seen several of their rifles that were well executed and I've no way of knowing why the differences were so drastic. I can almost like the coil-check stock, but I'm somewhat bigger than the average dude with hands that just seem to be too big for everything.

    I'll not argue with The Kid about magic velocities and such, but I will say that I'm not a huge believer in his "rules" for terminal effect. With proper bullets I've found that so long as they were placed appropriately I've gotten "magic" results above and below 2400 fps.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

  8. #8
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    WOOO-HOOOO!!!!

    People who have experience!!!

    The stock is something that takes getting used to I fully agree, but I cannot wrap my head around shooting something like the .500 A-Sq. with a conventional design. This is the only rifle that I own that I can honestly say it takes practice to build up too; you cannot just go out and fire off a few rounds.

    Kid, I would love to try the .577, it has the same exact magazine box as the .500, only the chambering is different. I checked with a fellow in Germany who has a .557 T-Rex, he gave me the dimensions and photos of his box.

    The velocities Art came up with take into account the deceleration to 100 yards. By then the bullets will have lost about 400fps. You remember the Myth Busters episode where they are firing into a swimming pool? They found high-velocity bullets broke up, but the blackpowder bullet didn't and penetrated much deeper while holding together. I believe this to be the same concept. I fired a .500 A-Sq. bullet into a 4-foot long x 18" water box I made. I lined this 1/2" plywood box with Visqueen and had a 3" hole in one of the end panels to fire into. The box simply blew apart when the bullet hit. Looked like a bomb went off in it, but the bullet penetrated four feet to leave a dent in the other end panel. And this was using a very early bonded bullet of A-Square's that was before the design of the Dead Tough.

    Kid, just thinking but, the above would be something excellent to see on one of your episodes, firing into a water box at slow motion. We just need to think up a pretense to have you work on the rifle so the producers include it. Ever made a one-off quick-release lever for Burris mounts? I'll let you shoot the rifle. Off the bench.

    I have some H-5010 and H-1000 here to try with my .338 and the 250 grain Bergers. We'll see how it does. I think the 5010 will be too slow though.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

    Better living through chemistry (I'm a chemist)

    You can piddle with the puppies, or run with the wolves...

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