Bertram .40-70 SS brass

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Bertram .40-70 SS brass

Post by CptCurl » Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:02 pm

Recently I became the very proud owner of a Shiloh 1874 Number 1 Sporter chambered for the .40-70 SS. The rifle is marked, "Calibre 40 2-1/2". The serial number is B9738.

Fortunately, the rifle came fully equipped with a set of loading dies, a bullet mould, and a stash of Rocky Mountain cartridge cases. I want to get more brass, and it seems the only factory brass available is from Bertram.

On the Huntington Die Specialties website there is a notation leading me to believe the Bertram brass is not appropriate to a modern rifle. Here is a screenshot:


Here's a detail of what concerns me:


This brass is expensive enough that if I buy it, I want it to work in my rifle. I did a search on these forums trying to find an answer, but I didn't get any clarity. Can somebody please tell me if this is the correct brass?

If Kirk has the time to give a definitive answer, I would be most appreciative. And Kirk, if you do go to the trouble of answering, I would also like to know when my rifle was built. It's a pretty nice one!

Roscoe Stephenson

P.S. Here are a few photos to liven things up.




Roscoe Stephenson
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Re: Bertram .40-70 SS brass

Post by MikeT » Thu Feb 18, 2021 5:22 pm

My 1874 Shiloh 40-70SS uses 405 brass. It has the thick rim cut so make sure the bertram brass has a rim thicker than that found on 30-40 Krag brass.

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Re: Bertram .40-70 SS brass

Post by John Bly » Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:58 pm

Many people have problems with the Bertram brass splitting and having a short life. The 405 brass may or may not fit your rifle and it is difficult to find.
Your best bet is the stretched 30/40 brass from BACO with the rims swaged forward for the Shiloh chamber. I bought 200 rounds last year and I'm pleased with it.
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Re: Bertram .40-70 SS brass

Post by J.B. » Fri Feb 19, 2021 2:40 am

Lovely looking rifle you have there. I've a 40/70 straight and got started with some Bertram brass because it was relatively convenient to me and I wanted to get to shooting. Subsequently I purchased about 300 x 30/40 Krag based cases from BACo. The Bertram cases were a little down on capacity in comparison but otherwise worked fine. I did however find the BACo brass a closer fit to the chamber and I've not lost one to splitting or separation. The Bertram have not had the work that the BACo cases have had so I cant honestly give a long term report on them. I believe there are some rifles out there chambered with a 405 reamer 'on request' to accomodate the Hornady 405 brass that was available for a time. This brass can be made to fit a standard 40/70 SS chamber with a little effort but you will end up with thicker necks ...which may serve you well if you plan to paper patch..and it looks like you do :?: I purchased 100 of the Hornady 405 cases to use with bore diameter paper patch and they have proved very good for that purpose. One might be able to get away with gg in them but imagine it will take some work with neck turning etc. Above my pay grade :roll: I guess the short answer..if it is an answer is that I've not lost a Bertram 40/70 case..but I havent used them much either. For my money..without Captech / Jamison cases available you probably have some good cases already with RMC but BACo's 30/40 based cases have worked well for me for many loadings. hth.

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Re: Bertram .40-70 SS brass

Post by John Boy » Fri Feb 19, 2021 10:17 am

With a long wait due to selling, Rocky Mountain Cartridge Co has your brass. So does Roberson Cartridge Co, get them quicker. Both companies brass are CNC lathe turned, not drawn

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Re: Bertram .40-70 SS brass

Post by Kirk » Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:27 am

I started out with Bertrum 40-70 brass years ago. I'm not sure what the new stuff is like, but back then we ended up lathe turning rim dia. and rim thickness to get them to work. They seemed to last fine, occasionally you would get a split case but not real often.
The 405 basic is good brass except the neck thick ness jumps around pretty heavy. In these type of rifles a guy don't really want an over size chamber
which is why I never opted for the special reamer. I don't like altering an expensive rifle to make a 50 cent piece of brass work. You can very easily neck turn them and a couple firings you will never see it, and you will have a pretty nice batch of brass.
The best though, is the 30-40 stretched.

Hope this helps,

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Re: Bertram .40-70 SS brass

Post by Kurt » Fri Feb 19, 2021 12:54 pm

I have had my .40-70 Shiloh going on 20 years and I 100 Bertram cases and like Kirk said I had to work on the case heads to close the breach and I lost all but maybe a few over 20 cases because they split length ways. The rest have been in a coffee can under the bench.
I been also using the BA stretched .30-40 cases since I got the rifle and I still use those cases loosing a few from loading damage. They work just fine. Just make sure you order the brass for the Shiloh.
I use the hornady .405 cases just for the PP bullets.....perfect!! for that purpose.

The 9-3X74R can also be used. They might be .010" larger at the base but that small amount between the Shiloh chamber and the base will be tight or easy to swage down with the sizing die. I also have used that brass. It's just short of 3" long so you need to trim them.
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Re: Bertram .40-70 SS brass

Post by George Babits » Fri Feb 19, 2021 6:02 pm

I seem to be able to use Bertrum, Hornady 405, stretched 30-40, and BELL brass all interchangeably in my Shiloh 40-70. I'd have to look and see if it is all marked 40-70 or 405. This is an early Shiloh made in the mid-1980s by the serial number.


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Re: Bertram .40-70 SS brass

Post by JeffFaldo » Mon Feb 22, 2021 7:58 pm

Sixteen years ago when I had my 40-70 built I bought 300 pieces of the BACO 30-40 stretched brass. I have probably 290 left of those originals. A few lost to loading mistakes and a few given to folks for display. Never had a problem with it and works fine. Mine once fire formed to my chamber have never seen a resizing die and I only finger seat.

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Re: Bertram .40-70 SS brass

Post by Gamerancher » Fri Mar 05, 2021 4:46 pm

I bought my #1 Sporter second hand so I don't know it's history or even build date. It's serial # is 2639B. ( Any help on that Kirk? )
It came with over 550 pieces of brass. Most of them are stretched .30-40Krag R.P brass.
There are however 40 Hornady .405W cases and 20 Bertram cases with correct .40-70 SS head stamp. Most of these appeared unfired.
All of the brass fits my chamber, but I had to get a different shell holder for the Hornady and Bertram brass as the rims were a fractionally larger diameter than the Krag brass.
Out in western NSW where it don't rain much.

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Re: Bertram .40-70 SS brass

Post by kenny sd » Tue Apr 06, 2021 12:19 pm

Buffalo Arms, craig brass. cut to fit and everything. works great. I've reloaded many time,,no problems
ejects into the next county....go for it. Ken
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