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The "Obsolete" Model 1907 .351wsl

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by ageingstudent, Apr 17, 2016.

  1. ageingstudent

    ageingstudent NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    I'm a follow the recipie guy, but these old Winchester's manage to get me off the reservation. The 1905, 1907, and 1910 self loaders fascinate me, but one has some uncharted/forgotten territory to cover to load for them.

    Last October I found a splendid example of a 1907 in a LGS. I resisted the project for months, but last month I succumbed to temptation and traded my 80's era P220 for the Winchester.

    They don't make ammunition for these anymore, nor brass, nor projectiles soo...

    The time honored way to make brass for this old war horse is to use a .357 max case shorten it, turn the rim down to .406-.410, and cut a slight groove for the extractor. Well I didn't have any luck finding any .357 max brass that wasn't being sold like it was made of gold, but .357 mag is pretty close in length and after some research I found it was a viable alternative.

    I made up 15 cases out of .357 mag brass (backyard engineer style on the drill press:p. I have a small lathe on order.) and loaded them up with IMR4227. The case is .09 short doing it this way. It worked splendidly actually, the cartridge headspaces on the rim and I have lots of .357 mag brass.

    Charges ranged from 14.2 grains to 15.4 grains with a (locally cast by some guy lol) 158 grain ~18bhn lubed with Saeco Gold and sized to .352. The projectile is similar to a Lyman #358665. The factory round for this gun was originally a .180gr sp sized .351 but those are also obvoiusly gold plated these days.

    I just did a bare bones function test firing off-hand at a 12" x ½" hanging steel plate at 30yds. I was pleasantly surprised that all of these loads functioned the action and ejected. Also surprised that my decrepit carcass got all 15 rounds on the steel. One of my groups was about 3" and I'm totally new to that gun and it's trigger is super heavy so I'm encouraged by that. With this specific set up it felt like the 15.2 grain load performed the best, so the next batch I will probably do a work up starting at 15 and working up to 15.5 doing 10 rounds each firing off of a rest and over a chrony. As far as I can see down the barrel with a bore light there is no leading. I can't really see down by the leade though. I'll watch for lead when cleaning.

    I can't tell you all how much it stresses me making ammo with incomplete data. So many variables and so much research and cross-referencing similar calibers and load combinations. You know how even a minor error in judgment can get a guy in trouble before he knows it. I really don't fancy myself a wildcatter:p. I don't know how guys like Elmer Keith stood it.

    I started sweating terribly before I pulled the trigger on that first round even though I was sure I covered all the bases 3 times haha. Worth it? Totally and I'd do it again for the right firearm. Sick.

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  2. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    If you're looking for a small lathe for doing stuff like this, Taig or Surline are probably the winners. I just bought a Taig micro-lathe (the thing is small enough to fit into a suitcase with it's 4" swing...) I think it set me back $170+Shipping, and it was on my doorstep in 2-3 days. I ordered it unassembled, it took about 15 minutes to put together. Since I was using mine for a project, I didn't get the motor, but I'm driving it with a NEMA 34 Stepper motor, with an arduino driver circuit hooked up (this is eventually going to be a pocket sized machine for turning cartridge case heads).
     
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  3. ageingstudent

    ageingstudent NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    I am looking at a 4x6 grizzly industries one right now but they aren't cheap. Is the taig similar sized? Got a link for that by chance?
     
  4. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Nice old Self Loader! You're right, they are fascinating. Good job getting it working! Hey, if you are nervous, secure the weapon to a tree or something and touch it off with a string on the trigger!:D
     
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  5. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    The Grizzly lathes are not cheap, and unless you're looking at one of the larger models, they're really not worth paying the shipping on. I know the model RR guys will beat me up all day for it, but for small precision work, both taig and sherline beat the tar out of the grizzly models in terms of precision, however these machines will not handle work as big as the grizzly's. I think for a starter lathe, the Taig is probably the best bang for the buck. It's small, and has similar controls to bigger lathes. The Sherline has this long lead screw for your X (long axis down the bed of the late) so you're doing all of your twisting at the end, the Taig instead has a very conventional saddle. AFAIK, neither one of these models has a threading gearbox (Sherline might have change gears) so you can't really cut threads on either one. If you're creative, I imagine you could probably cobble one together playing either with gear ratios, or using timing belts.

    At this point, I may buy a Sherline that's CNC ready, and set it up as a small CNC lathe. I've been having a lot of fun with this little Taig, but it would be more work to retrofit for CNC. For reference, I do have a whole machine shop at my disposal, including 3 other lathes ranging from a small southbend 10, all the way up to a massive 20" swing southbend.
     
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  6. ageingstudent

    ageingstudent NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    Yeah I have some experience with larger lathe and CNC machines but most were commercial. My grandfather had one in his basement that came off a WWII destroyer. I don't need one quite that big:eek:. I can't imagine needing it for much more than the brass, but you know how that goes. I don't know much about mini lathes so I appreciate the review.

    I can do them on my wood lathe or drill press, but they run too fast really and like you say it's cobbled together. I'll have a look at that Taig. I don't think I want anything bigger than 4x6. My shop space is getting limited, it's like a jigsaw puzzle putting all the tools away anymore.

    Too many tools and guns...first world problems lol.
     
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  7. AndyinEverson

    AndyinEverson Everson, Wa. Well-Known Member

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    See if you can find a copy of Complete Guide to Handloading by Phil Sharpe .
    ( He helped develop the .357 Magnum cartridge )
    There is some loading data.
    The book is old so it might not be much use , but it is better than nothing.
    Andy
     
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  8. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I owned one of those rifles for awhile.
    It came with a couple of boxes of old vintage ammo.
    Very interesting design, fun to shoot and after using up what ammo I had, I put a .351 wsl ammo wanted ad on Armslist.
    Three months later, a very nice guy in Albany, NY. called me and asked if I wanted some ammo that was left behind after the estate sale of his Dads rifle.
    All he wanted was for me to pay the original prices marked on the boxes, and he even he threw in a magazine to boot. He also covered the shipping charges.
    One thing I learned about these rifles is that you can hold the bolt back in place for cleaning by rotating the charging rod 1/4 turn when fully depressed.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2016
  9. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    That's cool information, Jbett!:)
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2016
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  10. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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  11. 66PonyCar

    66PonyCar Tigard, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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  12. ageingstudent

    ageingstudent NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    Yes and there's a good article in the February 2016 issue of Handloader Magazine by Mike Venturino. It's a good article he just seems a little indifferent in his tone. I get the feeling he doesn't share my enthusiasm for the project:p.
     
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  13. ageingstudent

    ageingstudent NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    Yes you can find components and even ammo manufactured by a couple different commercial reloaders, but you are looking at 1.50 to 3 bucks a shot. Too rich for my blood. I can get the cost down to ~15 per fifty if I make them out of .357 brass and resized .357 lead projectiles. When I find larger capacity magazines, even with my reloads, it won't be cheap when I open the hose Bonnie and Clyde style hehe.
     
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  14. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Sub Light Speed Well-Known Member

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    There just something about nice old firearms isn't there. It's like an old wooden boat or a fine automobile, you just want to stare at it all dreamy and imagine all the fun you are going to have when the weather gets nice enough to take it out for some fresh air!
     
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  15. ageingstudent

    ageingstudent NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    ...and solid. It's carbine sized but the weight is a different story. I have to lift with my legs. It's a real piece of steel.
     
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  16. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    The forward hand grips are susceptible to cracking as the wood is rather thin.
    I rough sanded mine on the inside and laid in a bed of 2 part epoxy and some fiberglass cloth to reinforce it.
    Your not going to find another one that's in as good as shape as what you now have.
     
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  17. JRuby

    JRuby St. Helens Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I think I have a mostly complete box of 401 by peters. Have to dig it out it was my grandfather's. If you have a rifle that can use them let me know. I will see if I can find them.
     
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  18. ageingstudent

    ageingstudent NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    No and I don't believe it was used much. Looks like it spent most of its life in a cabinet. The buffer feels tight and the spring still feels stout. I can still see machine marks in the rifling. I was thinking about doing the fiberglass/epoxy in the forestock. The clearance must be pretty tight in there.
     
  19. ageingstudent

    ageingstudent NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    I think original ammo is best sold to collectors. I see a lot of reports of the old stuff splitting vertically by the web. Especially good if you have good original packaging for collectors.
     
  20. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Lowes Home Improvement stores sells micro thin fiberglass rolls for sheet rock repairs, and it's perfect for this type of project.
    I took some 50 grit belt sanding cloth and wrapped it around a wood dowel that fit the curvature of the hand guard and sanded it until I had a some oil free wood exposed.
    Cleaned up the sanded area with denatured alcohol and then laid in the fiber glass tape and smooth coated it with the epoxy.
    Mine had some very fine cracks starting on the leading edges and this cured any future problems.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2016
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