Webley .455 reloading

Hello all, new to your forum but not new to reloading.
I am reloading Webley 455 for milsurp shooting and looking for discussion and or advice.
Currently using Bertram brass cut down to Mk2 length, Winchester large pistol primers and Bullseye. Casting with an RCBS 265 hollow base mould using 40:1 lead/tin. Loading on Dillon 550 with Lee dies.
My pistol is a MkVI WS Target with 7.5 inch barrel.
Here is the rub, it shoots straight but leaves unburnt propellant in the chambers. Do you reckon I need to crimp tighter to raise pressure or maybe a different powder?
I don’t have a chrono so I don’t have a clue how slow I am lobbing the pumpkins but put it this way… If I don’t like my shot, I can just about run down range and catch them before they hit paper :wink:

Firstly welcome mate.

How deep is the hollow in the base? Would a tighter crimp risk deforming the pill?

Have you tried loading with trailboss, its my favourite way to go slow.
I’ll be following this closely as a Webley is definitely on my list.

Thanks for your kind greeting,
5mm deep.
As i understand it, the gas pressure flares the rim of the base as the bullet goes through the forcing cone which enables its engagement with the rifling so I’m not worried too much about the deformation at loading.
The original Kynoch rounds I have collected all seem to have a pretty robust crimp.
I don’t have Trailboss (yet) but have plenty of BE on hand and it is the only powder listed in the old Lyman reloading book that is still on the market here in Jacindastan!

On investigation Bullseye is Trailboss, or at least the equivalent. So yeah, maybe a tighter crimp is the go.
After that i’d try stepping up the load maybe. I don’t how much your using, I’ve mostly loaded milsurp rifles with TB and would start at 3/4 case volume (with projectile seated) and creep it up from there. Keeping in mind you NEVER want to compress it.

Is Jacindastan occasionally refered to as New Zealand?

Yes mate, the evil witch whose government single handedly rooted our sport over here in the only country left that runs a fully government endorsed apartheid system.
I am running 3.4 grains of BE which should yield over 700fps (I call BS on that btw) No worries about compression, it’s a fraction of the case volume!

I hear you mate. She will go down in history as Un Zud’s Jonny Coward.

Well I definitely think you should up your crimp and your powder charge mate.

1 Like

Thanks mate, I will go for .2 and a little more roll then report back :+1:

1 Like

You’ll probably find that there’s a bit of erosion half way through the cylinder chambers, due to older black powder ammo. So my suggestion is to work the crimp rather than charge volume. That’s what I do.

I’d try to borrow a chrono to be safe, you should be playing within 650fps max velocity. Personally, I go for 515 (just looked up my load data), but I use a different powder.

Also, you could consider a grease cookie to build up volume density, maybe, sort of like you would with Martini Henry loads (few videos on that).

Also, welcome! :slight_smile:

1 Like

She’s a 1916 MkVI mate, it’s extremely unlikely she ever saw BP loads. Thanks for the tips, I will look into it.

Not just black powder, but corrosive primers too.

All the .455 loads I’ve found have been very weak compared to the Fiocchi factory ammo (which I know is hot) - I suspect a lot of it is due to Americans concerned about someone loading for black powder Webleys.

Personally I’ve never managed to loads using off-the-shelf 250/255gr projectiles to work properly, but I’ve found a 230gr .45LC/ACP LRN projectile will function pretty well for Metallic Silhouette matches.

The best results I’ve had to date involve 4.5gr of Unique behind a 230gr .452 LRN projectile; I haven’t put them over a chrono but they “felt” right recoil-wise; they had enough power to knock 200m Rams over, and there no pressure signs on the primers and almost no unburnt powder either.

I had similar results using 4.7gr of Unique and figured that with no appreciable difference in accuracy, I might as well conserve the .2gr of powder per load instead (given how there’s none available to buy anymore and may not be for years).

One other thing to note: Get the calipers out and measure the front of your cylinder mouths; I think you’ll find they’re generally .450-.451 diameter (and may be slightly different, even on the same gun!). That’s normal; the idea was the hollowbase bullet would squeeze through the marginally smaller cylinder front then expand into the barrel. It seems to have worked, but makes “proper” reloading a pain in the neck.

Well, mixed results. The increased crimp did (I think) improve the burn but in conjunction with the bump to 3.6 gr resulted in a group reminiscent of a ‘mad woman’s shit’.
I will next try the new crimp with the 3.4 charge and already, I am suspecting I will get a better result…

1 Like

Oh, also I noticed some pressure signs on the primers with 3.6 and (you won’t believe this) a split case!!! I kid you not, from the mouth down about a third of the wall.

Which brass are you using? If you’re splitting cases in a .455 something’s not right.

1 Like

Looking a bit better.
Banged off 30 or so 3.4gr loads with the stronger crimp and at 7 yards off hand, the 5 shot groups were about 6cm.
Still a little unburnt powder left in the chambers but deffo a lot better.

1 Like