View Full Version : Correct bullet diameter for 9,3 X 72R combo gun
02-20-2013, 04:30 PM
Iím wondering about what ammo I should be shooting out of my 16 ga. X 9,3 X 72R combination gun. The previous owner shot factory Sellier & Bellot ammo, and I have also shot a few rounds through it with no problems. However, when my gunsmith did a chamber cast, the bore just ahead of the chamber measured .357 across the grooves and .347 across the lands. The proof markings indicate an 8,8mm bore, so that agrees. The gun has also been crown/E express proofed. He recommended not shooting the factory ammo with the .366 diameter bullets , and just reloading with .358 bullets. The factory ammo doesnít show any sign of high pressure Ė the cases extract with no problem and can be reinserted easily. The primers are normal with no signs of flattening. The gun is very accurate with the factory ammo. The bullets are apparently just swaging down. I donít have a problem with reloading for it, but Iím kind of confused about the whole issue.
02-20-2013, 06:03 PM
You can use the S&B ammo without problems, because the bullets are especially designed to be used in barrels of varying diameters. This was explained in a three part article on the 9.3x72R in WAIDMANNSHEIL( one of the GGCA publications),starting with #39 and ending with #41.Basically,the .366" diameter of the bullet is a "driving band" formed by a smaller diameter nose and a groove. This doesn't significantly drive the pressures up. Old WAIDMANNSHEILs are avaliable from the "home office". On the otherhand, you can handload with .358" bullets, just as your gunsmith reccommended, as well as a variety of other bullets. For what it's worth, one of my own 9.3x72Rs has a .358" barrel, and I use both factory ammo as well as handhoads, all with complete satisfaction. This same type bullet is used in factory ammunition of other cartridges that have varying diameter barrels, such as 8.15x46R. I hope you find this helpful and not too confusing.
02-20-2013, 06:37 PM
Thanks Mike, that's what I thought was happening, but I didn't want to hurt the gun. I just had scope rings made for it!! I was able to get the back issues of WAIDMANNSHEIL that you referred to. I planned on reloading eventually, but I have 4 boxes of factory S&B ammo that I would like to use up first. I ordered a box of 200 grain .358 bullets, and was just planning on neck sizing the fired cases in my .38 Special sizing die. Would that work? Any advice on powder charges?
02-20-2013, 07:37 PM
It might work, the problem would be stopping at the correct place with the short dies. Before I got 9.3x72R dies, I used 9.3x74R dies w/o the expander installed and used a shop made expander/beller and then used the x74R seater and ironed the "bell" out with 9x57 die or 357 Herret die.Since I don't know what dies you have, I don't know what to suggest. In addition to 9,3x74R, you should be able to use 9.3x62/57, 35 Whelen, 9x57,358 Win, 35 Rem, etc. I used a opened up (dremel tool) 30-30 shell holder. If you load 38 spec., you likely have some pistol bullets to play with also w/o breaking the bank. Current S&B brass is loaded with boxer primers and is perfectly useable. I think you will have a good time with this rifle and you have plenty of time between now and next deer season to work up good loads. A sxs combination gun (BF) is a little tricky to sight in and work up loads for due to the rifle barrel heating up while the shotgun barrel stays cool. You just have to allow enough time to cool. Not a problem, I just carry another gun to shoot while I'm waiting, or let someone else shoot. I guess I'm interested in your project, let me know how it works out.
C. Roger Bleile
02-20-2013, 11:47 PM
Thanks for the information on the .358 bore 9.3x72R. I have one drilling in that cal. and slugged the bore to .358. I'm glad Norsk asked about it. Saved me the trouble.
02-21-2013, 03:42 AM
I don't have any .35 caliber rifle dies. I did a search on line and found out that CH4D makes 9.3 x 72R dies for $83. They list 3 different dies: 9.3 x 72, 9.3 x 72.360 and 9.3 x 72.367. I e-mailed to find out what the difference is. I assume it may be which bullet diameter is loaded. Do you have any experience with this brand of die? Also, I checked my shell holders and found that a 7.5 x 55 Swiss shell holder fits perfectly.
02-21-2013, 11:34 AM
You're correct norsk, it has to do with which bullet dia. you're going to reload. From what you posted it appears you need the first set mentioned.
CH4D dies are good. The CH part is from the old C & H tool company and I have a couple sets of their dies from years ago, good stuff. Last summer I needed a set for a 10.5 X 47R and CH4D was the only game in town. They're a good game to play, I believe I can recommend them with no fears. Good product and good folks.
02-21-2013, 12:37 PM
Sort of an off-shoot/tangent, we all throw around the name S&B, but it has been around for some time, since 1825 in Prague I believe with some French involvement. They have been at bullet design for some time. Also Norsk, have you posted any images of the marks on the tubes?
02-21-2013, 01:45 PM
I'll second the recommendation to buy your dies from CH4D. I have a bunch of Lee and RCBS dies as well but none are any better than the CH4D dies. Relatively recently I bought a set of 8X72R dies from CH4D to squeeze down a bunch 0f 9.3X72R NORMA cases, quite a time consuming project by the way. Anyway, the modified brass chambers perfectly. Dave Davison is a wealth of information and has been a lot of fun to talk to, nice guy. To me, Dave's personal service sets his firm apart from the others. He works late so when he returns your calls they're generally in the early evening.
02-21-2013, 04:48 PM
Thanks for all the help, everyone!
I got an e-mail reply from Dave at CH4D. He said "Most cartridge cases would not be sized sufficiently in a 9.3x72R die to hold a .358" bullet." How about if I get the 9.3 x 72R dies from CH4D, and also a 35 Remington sizer/expander die. Then I could initially size the cases in the 9.3 x 72R sizer die, then run the case into the 35 Remington die to further reduce the case mouth and expand it to hold a .358 bullet, and then seat the bullet in the 9.3 x 72R seater die? Would that work? I agree CH makes good stuff. I'm still using the CH press I bought 40 years ago.
02-21-2013, 04:55 PM
Here is a picture of the barrel markings.
02-21-2013, 05:34 PM
I mentioned the other die possibilites as substitutes for 9.3x72R. Naturally correct dies are always best.While I use others, CH4D dies are great,like the others said. Since your rifle chambers factory ammo, it will be the Norm. version case and not the "D" version. I address the small bullet problem by removing the expander from the sizing die and using a 357 expander in an extra "M" die.This makes a three die set from the two die RCBS dies I use. Sizing dies usually size the cases more than necessary and the expander opens them back up to the desired dia. In my case,this difference is enough to use 358 bullets. I use larger cast bullets,so I don't have any problem with this system. If you do, your idea of using 35 Rem (or any other 35 cal.) die will work fine. BTW, I use this same trick to load for my 8x72R (also 8x57IR) using 8x57 dies. All this is what makes it fun. Be sure to use cast bullets, also.
02-27-2013, 07:00 PM
Well, I ordered a set of 9,3 x 72R dies from CH4D today. However, I was told that seems to be a popular die recently, and they are out of stock on finished dies!! Some of you other guys must have beat me to them!! But, I got on a backorder list and should have them in 8 to 10 weeks. That should still be OK, because it will take that long for the snow to melt up here in Norway's North American colony, and the local gun range should be warm and dry by then. I'll keep everyone that's interested updated on my reloading results then.
02-28-2013, 01:01 PM
norsk, I am certainly interested! I can't imagine you won't be satisfied with the dies.
08-22-2013, 01:43 AM
I got my new CH4D dies, so I have been working on some reloads. I've been using Hornady .358 dia 200 gr RN bullets, IMR 3031 powder, and CCI large rifle primers. I also mounted an old steel tube Weaver K2.5 in the new rings on the gun. First, I removed the expander/decapper plug from the resizing die. I sized a case, and without expanding, it would snuggly hold a .358 bullet. For my first load, I pulled the bullets from some S&B factory ammo, sized the cases, put the factory powder back in, and seated the Hornady bullets up to the cannerule, but did not crimp the bullet. This allowed about .250 inch depth of bullet in the case. This load shot a 1-1/8 3 shot group at 50 yards. Next, I sized some fired cases, put in 40-ish grains of 3031 and topped it with the Hornady bullet. I also put a thin cardboard wad on top of the powder to hold the powder in the rear of the case. Best 3 shot group with this load was 3/4 inch at 50 yards. I allowed the barrel to cool about 5 minutes between shots to eliminate stringing. Looks like I found a good load right away! I was at a gun show on Friday and found a box of Sierra Gameking .358 200 gr RN bullets. On these bullets, the cannerule is higher on the jacket, which will allow about .310 inch of bullet depth in the case. I haven't loaded any of these yet, but will post when I do.
08-22-2013, 02:18 PM
All that is great news.You don't often find a load that shoots that well"right out of the gate". I haven't used cardboard wad, but use a tuft of kapok tamped down over the powder(some use dacron).I found this changed velocity variation from 250+fps to 7 in my favorite load. If you have trouble with the wad "tipping" while seating, you might consider kapok. I also have great luck with the 180 gr .358" Flat Point bullet in my 357 Herret(it kills Whitetail like lightening), which is pretty much like the 9,3x72R. If you find some of these in a gun show, you might give them a try.
08-22-2013, 11:07 PM
Mike, I have used the traditional kapok, cardboard, felt and cork for filling the empty space between powder and bullet too, but now there is a better way IMHO. After reading the second edition of Graeme Wright's "Shooting the British Double Rifle" (As it's advices apply to German guns too, so it is a book worth reading for everyone who is loading for obsolete cartridges, especially "nitro for black" ones like the 9.3x72R), I now use wads punched from simple packing foam (that grey or brown stuff you find in packages and most modern gun cases, use that from packages). David Little, the owner of Kynamco http://www.kynochammunition.co.uk/ , maker of modern Kynoch loads, uses such wads in all his large volume cases that are too big for suitable charges of modern powders. Use a hole punch slightly larger than the case diameter, say 10 mm (uncritical) for a 9.3x72R to cut wads slightly longer than the space to be filled. These wads should not be compressed into a solid mass, but should be just large enough to keep powder and bullet apart. My own wads worried me a bit at first as they often looked quite crooked. Then I saw David's, http://www.kynochammunition.co.uk/shop.html (scroll down to bottom of page). They were at least as crooked as mine. Such a wad for a 9.3x72R weighs about half a grain and cannot clump or change position, even if the cartridge is transported for some time with a bullet down. If sufficiently oversize in diameter, powder cannot get past. It is unmovable until the cartridge is fired, then it exits the muzzle, blown to invisible dust.
08-23-2013, 02:55 PM
That is a very interesting system.Do you make the wads with a punch and hammer, or do you turn the punch(cutter) in something like a drill press? I use wads cut from the plastic foam trays meat is sold on, or foam egg cartons. For thicker wads, I use the blue foam insulation that goes between the sheathing and siding in home construction. I tried a hammer and punch, but had much better luck, spinning the cutter(made from 45 colt case)in a drill press.These are not used in bulleted ammo, however, rather in shells to shoot carpenter bees that damage our hunting cabin. I don't know how they would work in bulleted ammo, if "stacked up"enough to fill a case. The kapok works well, the way I do it(place a small "tuft" of kapok in the case, and tamp it down firmly on the powder with a rod or pencil) and I never saw signs that the kapok came loose. I was concerned about that though and was thinking about buying some shotgun filler( Grex, Super Grex)or similar, to try.Your and Kynoch's system may be easier. Will it work well with necked cases?As you know, I am setting up to load 10x42R which is a necked cartridge(case may not be large enough to matter).Kapok works well in 11.15x60R,43 Spanish,and 11.15x50R, but these are the type cases I was considering the Super Grex for. Have you tried your wads in this type case? Is the foam packing material you use the hard type, or the softer"crumbly"type? Here, the hard type is most common, but is usually white.
08-23-2013, 04:32 PM
Axel, I've been using the same method since reading about it in the same book in the mid-90's. What convinced me was the pressure tests Wright had Kynoch and Birmingham run. Then Sherman Bell did a really good article on fillers. His findings were, if I am remembering correctly, that Dacron gave the least pressure increase with I believe cotton balls and kapok coming in next, about tied. The open cell packing foam came in a close third. In the next edition of DGJ Bell recommended NOT using the closed cell packing foam as he found it gave too much pressure rise. If you have the two types, open cell and closed cell, in your hand the difference is immediate. Open cell is.....just that. It's kinda floppy, lots of "air space" in the foam and usually used for packing delicate items. Closed cell is fairly rigid with precious little air space. I'm a bit reluctant to say but I believe Grex gave even higher pressures than the open cell foam....but that should be confirmed.
Mike, I use an arch punch the next size bigger than bore diameter. 1/2 in. for 45 cal, 7/16 for 38, etc. If you have a good backing, (I use a piece of left over Timber Tek deck material from when we built the deck), you can compress the open cell foam with the punch and give it a whack. It seems few come out perfectly cylindrical, as Axel alluded to, and I agree with him in that it makes no difference. I tried using my arch punch in a drill press and it wanted to grab the foam....made something of a mess of things for me.
I do use the wads in bottleneck cases and punch them out to the size of the case body, not the neck. They compress and slide past the neck very easily. Most of my bottleneck use has been in an 1886 Winchester chambered to 40-82 WCF. Of late I have also used it over 34 grs. of IMR 3031 in the 9.3 X 75R, another bottle neck case. Works like a champ.
08-23-2013, 04:58 PM
Though Sharps has already written it up in the meantime, here is my answer:
This is the stuff and tools I use for foam wads. Tools: wood block, hole punches and hammer from the flea markets.
Yes, these wads work well in bottlenecked cases, but they must be larger in diameter than the case body. The brown ones, .570 x 1", 1.3 gr, go inside the .500-.450 No.1 BPE cases shown to fill the space between 70gr VV N140 and a 350gr Hornady, just roll them between the fingers, stuff them into the neck and push them down on the powder, using a wood dowel. Within a minute or so they expand again and fill up all space up into the neck. Then they are slightly compressed again by the seated bullet and remain in place for years.
These are Kynoch professional ones, pic from Wright's book:
Your method of using kapok or Dacron wads is expressly warned against by Wright: There should never be any space between an over powder wad and bullet! The wad may accelerate very fast and slam into the bullet base. A peak of radial pressure results that has led to ringed chambers. According to Wright Dacron must be used in such an amount that it fills all space between powder and bullet in slightly compressed form. Wright has also used shot buffer in many loads in oversized cases like .475 No.2. It must be used in such amounts again to fill all space between powder and bullet and be slightly compressed to avoid mixing with the powder. But again he warns: If compressed too much and stored for some time, it may form a solid mass, undesirable at least. IMHO this is a narrow road. What is the difference between enough "slight compression" to keep it from mixing with the powder and "tight compression" leading to problems after storage. David Little claims a shelf life of his foam wad ammo of at least 10 years.
08-23-2013, 10:26 PM
Thanks for the info, now I just need to find some open cell foam.
I know about the warnings, but I have been doing this since long before finding out about the warning( maybe before he made it ) and haven't had a problem. In my article about loading the 9.3x72R I alluded to the warning and said everyone has to make up their own mind. I was not able to find any verified "first hand" accounts of this happening, only that it was "possible", or "someone said". The most frequent explanation was that the filler acts like a bullet and the bullet acts like an obstruction in the barrel. If this is the case, my bullet(filler) weighs only 1 or 2 grains and it couldn't build up enough velocity in the space avaliable to create enough energy to "ring" the chamber(there is no doubt a real bullet hitting an obstruction can, and will, buldge/burst a barrel- I have changed such barrels out for others).To add to the confusion, I have seen other warnings ,over the years, indicating the reverse. This is likely a case of "somebody said" being passed along and mixed up.What I have found is that you must work up your load with the filler, not add one to an established load. Adding a filler to an established load will raise pressures.Maybe this is the source if the problem, but without verified "first hand" accounts to investigate, we don't know. What this all boils down to is , like I said in the article, everyone has to make up his own mind and live with his decision. In the meantime, I will look for some open cell foam and try your method.BTW, I have also seen "backer rod", used to back up caulk/sealant in construction, recommended as filler. It comes in different diameters.
08-24-2013, 11:04 AM
Axel, except for the "tidiness", your picture could have come from my bench. Same stuff!!
I agree with you Mike. It is definitely one of those things one must decide for themselves, and in this instance, which method. I have used corn meal for filler and it works. However, in bottleneck cases I won't use it anymore. It will solidify. I got to wondering about that and pulled down some 40-82 loads that I loaded over 10 years ago. The stuff was a brick and I had to pick it out. I've never used kapok, cotton balls or Dacron but given what has been learned about them, re pressure tests, I wouldn't be adverse to using any of them. Seyfried and Bell have both written considerably on their use, as has Wright. I got into the foam filler when working with a German double rifle. Ultimately I did not need the filler as I found a duplex load that worked better than all others. I resorted to it again, the foam filler, when working up loads for a 500 BPE and recently when working with the 9.3 X 75R Nimrod. I don't believe any of my fillers have weighed 2 grains, even for the 500 BPE. Most are .5 to 1 gr.
I'm also like you in that I have never seen a ringed chamber that was definitively attributed to a properly constructed load using a filler. Lots of conjecture and speculation but no "confirmed beyond a shadow of a doubt" cases that I have seen. I tell guys that want to learn to reload that it is always about attention to detail. Anyone who has been reloading very long knows it only takes a second and only one mistake to create a disaster. I wonder how many times that has been the case with reloading mishaps?
I wouldn't think finding some would be difficult. I see it all over the place around here.
08-24-2013, 10:05 PM
I often use corn meal (in Alabama corn bread is a staple food) as a filler in fire forming loads. It builds up enough pressure to fire form most cases with a small powder charge and no bullet. I just use 1/4-1/2 sheet toilet paper, depending on case size, between powder and filler, and either toilet paper or stryofoam to top it off. Since it does such a good job blowing the cases out, I was afraid to use it with a bullet. Sometimes, I do the same with grits( also a staple food in Alabama; we don't eat cream of wheat in my house).
08-25-2013, 02:03 PM
hehe...in Missouri, it being a border state, corn bread is pretty much a staple too. Ham & beans & corn bread. It doesn't get any better. Personally, I draw the line at grits...however, my wife loves 'em.
I'm pretty sure I used corn meal in forming the 9.3 X 75R cases. Worked well. As long as I used the 40-82 loads sooner rather than later it was fine. I don't know how long it took for some of the loads to solidify, some were still soft and granular, but not many. I expect it depends on how much compression and the heat/humidity/temperature where they were stored. At any rate, corn meal is mostly relegated to the dinner table nowadays!
08-25-2013, 09:00 PM
If the case filler material is determined by regional ethnic foodstuffs, I suppose I should use lefse in my loads. I could just punch out some wads and stack them up in the case. I'll have to experiment and see what that does to pressures. That stuff can be pretty dense sometimes.
Seriously, thanks to everyone for sharing the information. I'm not new to reloading, but this is my first foray into using a filler. I have one concern about using the plastic foam. Doesn't that stuff melt from the burning powder? If so, does it leave any residue in the barrel?
08-25-2013, 09:53 PM
I have one concern about using the plastic foam. Doesn't that stuff melt from the burning powder? If so, does it leave any residue in the barrel?
According to Graeme Wright, David Little and my own experience, NO! Imagine what happens on firing: After pressure begins to build up, it is compressed into a very thin disc, but with some high-pressured air trapped inside. After leaving the muzzle, it is blown to dust, hardly noticable as an added smoke of "smokeless" powder. At least, I cannot notice it.
Mike, that chamber ringing does not occur at the first time you fire a load with a movable wad and airspace between wad and bullet. But if you use that favorite load very often, with wad and bullet in the same positions all the time, it may develop slowly. It's comparable to pounding a small hammer on a heavy steel bar: The first few blows will have no effect at all, but if you hit the same point say a hundred times a dent will slowly develop.
The reports about ringed chambers come mostly from Australians who shoot their old British double rifles hundreds of times in double rifle matches and culling of feral hogs, water buffalo, camels and so on. So it may be no problem with the comparatively few shots we fire, but it is an iffy thing. I rather try to avoid the possibility. If your favourite rifle has developed a ringed chamber you are in a real mess.
Just made an unscientific test: I put one of my brown foam wads that I use in my .500-450#1BPE nitro for black loads between the jaws of my caliper. length readout .960". Compressed the caliper jaws with my fingers, remaining length readout .049". The only purpose of any wadding in a rifle cartridge is to keep the powder back against the primer. Apparently, these foam wads do it without any risk resulting from space between wad and bullet.
08-25-2013, 11:45 PM
I'll 2nd what Axel said about open cell foam fillers. I had a couple squib loads in my 500 BPE, traced to fouled powder, and what was left was as described, a disc of the compressed foam right on the base of the bullet about 2 inches down bore, compressed only by the force of the primer. In addition, I think it happens so fast the foam doesn't have time to melt.
Trying new things such as fillers and duplex loads made me a pretty cautious the first time I tried them....and I don't believe that's a bad thing.
08-26-2013, 02:37 PM
That concern was the reason I didn't change to Dacron from Kapok, however, one of my friends that does use Dacron insists he doesn't have a problem.
I guess the Australian reports came from "Nitro Express", but I'm not a member of that board and some things are restricted to members only. What are the particulars of the that ringed their chambers? I think this is worthy of study to determine the actual cause(s).To do such a study, we need information from actual loads that ringed chambers; for instance, what filler did they use,what powder( black or smokeless),what bullets(cast or jacketed), what cartridges(bottlenecked or straight). Since it happened over time, did they use the same load the whole time or change loads for different uses( target or game).I can't gather enough information from my own experience to do any good. In the first place, I never had a "ringed" chamber, so I don't have even one case to include.Also even though I use Kapok quite a bit, my habit of going from one old rifle to the next "find" means I don't have much exposure with any one of them.Unless the actual cause can be discovered, and replicated,we don't really know which(if any) of us are doing the wrong thing. For instance, until recently, "common knowledge" had many people taking "fish oil" supplements but now Doctors say they may hurt us. One theory of how open cell foam works could have it acting like the kapok wads.Since it is full of air,this theory has the air in the foam compressing in front of a wad formed when the foam compresses into a wad much like kapok.It would be interesting for someone much more computer savy than I to "model" the different types of filler to see how they actually work, without having to damage rifles to do it. This is very interesting.
08-26-2013, 07:41 PM
Mike, simply read Graeme Wright:"Shooting the British Double Rifle", available here: http://www.kynochammunition.co.uk/shop.html It contains 22 pages on the matters of nitro for black loads, including the discussion of wads, plus tons of other information and lots of pressure tested loads for the old British rifle cartridges.
The German DEVA handloading handbook expressly warns against the use of any Kapok or dacron wads as the results in their pressure testing were erratic and unpredictable, depending on the position, compression and bullet-down transport of such loads.
08-26-2013, 10:16 PM
Thanks for the thread, I will read it.
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