Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The right ammo makes all the difference.

The 66 lever action is absolutely beautiful. It feeds so incredibly smooth and is just a joy to shoot. The big difference between the 66 and the 94 is the way the carrier operates. The 66 is a simple design. When you operate the lever, the carrier block drops straight down, bullet is pushed onto carrier from magazine, carrier block goes straight up with cartridge held perfectly horizontal in carrier lining up perfectly  every time. Whereas the 94 has a carrier that picks up cartridge and hinges upward as bolt comes forward so cartridge is at an angle. This sometimes creates a feed issue with cartridges binding or flipping as they did in the Rossi .357. The 66 feeds and shoots as fast as you can operate the lever. The .45 long colt doesn't kick much harder than the .38 does, but the targets sure sound out a lot louder. I am definitely going to be shooting this one on a regular basis. I need to drop by the store tomorrow and pick up the dies and bullets for it. See about picking up some more brass at the next gun show.

 It was a little chilly when I got off work (35degrees to be exact) and it was drizzling out, but that just meant that the range wouldn't be crowded. I went to sign in and found only one person had been there since I was there yesterday. I went through half the box of ammo I bought yesterday, and the round nose flat point bullets made a big difference in the way it fed. That will teach me to pay more attention when picking up ammo next time. It also determined what bullets I will use to load.Very accurate as well. I wish I had more ammo so I could have played longer. I saved part of the box so my buddy can try it out tomorrow if he doesn't wind up working late. Two more days and it's the week end. I am going to try and get some more rounds reloaded for the pistols and hopefully load some .45's Friday  if I can get a set of dies.

The engineer at work ordered a gun from Cabellas gun library and is suppose to get it Friday or Saturday so I may have some company at the range. He is the one that brought his brother and nephews out last time. He wants to get into reloading. I told him I would loan him my old press to see if he likes reloading before he gets too much invested in it. I told him I would bring in a video on reloading he can use as well.


  1. If you use a slightly slower burning powder (like H110) you can get decent velocities with fairly light loads, having reduced recoil....Or you can load it up and get really decent velocities with that longer barrel.

    I use 15.7 grains of H110 in my .357 lever rifle and get 1,870 FPS with a 158 G jacketed bullet in a 20 inch barrel.

    Just FYI

  2. Thanks for the info. I am fairly new to reloading and appreciate the input. I checked out my reload book and found the load for the .357 using H110, but they don't list a load in the .45 colt. I do have to watch the load on the .45 on account of it being a model 66, The instructions warn not to use the + loads in the rifle on account of the action is not strong enough to handle them. I will definitely try it with my .357 lever gun though as I am going to be loading for it early next month once I catch up with the .38 and some .45s. Thanks again as input is appreciated.

  3. I just remembered I bought a Sierra reload manual last weekend and they list a load with the H110. I was using the reload magazine, the Hodgins free load book from store and their website, all of which for some reason had no load info. The Sierra manual does however. I will have to get some jacketed bullets to try out with it as it does fall into the pressure the gun can handle. The main diet at the club will be lead bullets at the cowboy town they have. They have moving targets and reactive targets that are fun to shoot, but you can only use lead. The jacketed ammo will be nice at the range and for hunting. I am still reading and learning as I go. Thanks again