Need Dies for .40-65 Ron Long

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Need Dies for .40-65 Ron Long

Post by Sniperfire » Tue Apr 19, 2022 2:05 pm

Newbie asking question:
My oldest brother passed away recently and left a nice Marlin-Ballard in .40-65 to my younger brother who doesn't know reloading.
I've found a Redding case forming die, bullets, molds, cases, primers, powder, etc., but no sizing or seating dies. I've no idea how he was reloading them without the dies. Nor can I find a source to buy them. Huntington is no longer in business.

Does anybody make these anymore, or does anyone of you BP shooters have a set you'll part with?
Any info would help me get my little brother setup and shooting this fine rifle. Thank you.

Randy Bohannon
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Re: Need Dies for .40-65 Ron Long

Post by Randy Bohannon » Tue Apr 19, 2022 2:21 pm

With a case form die can you get close enough after trimming to chamber a cartridge ? Might have been just fire forming the brass and final trim for P.P. bullets ,don’t really need a sizing die if the form die gets you so you can fill the case up with powder and a wad and fire form the brass.

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desert deuce
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Re: Need Dies for .40-65 Ron Long

Post by desert deuce » Tue Apr 19, 2022 3:18 pm

We have a couple of 40-65's, one is a 40-65 Ron Long. We have a complete set of dies for the Ron Long from RCBS.
I have been loading that 40-65 RL for a long time, over 25 years. (It is entirely possible that my RL chamber is not the same as yours) I have mentored many new shooters, some the advice takes and some it doesn't. Those that can't learn what they have to do become dissatisfied and quit the program rather quickly.

Surely the original owner had some fire formed brass ??? Or did he shoot the rifle at all?

It is nothing like loading smokeless powder and jacketed bullets

Sitting here on the sidelines it sounds to me like the owner of the rifle and brass needs to get on this forum and get started on the learning curve.

By having a forming die you imply that you do not have any 40-65 brass at all much less for this rifle but brass to be formed to 40-65. Randy gave you pretty good try this first ideas. Once the brass is fired in that rifle you should no longer need dies other than a compression die or maybe case belling die. If I remember correctly my RCBS case forming die from 45-70 to 40-65 only needed (and that not much) the case mouth squared to chamber in the Ron Long chamber. I only use the RL sizing die when using brass fired in a different 40-65 chambered rifle.

If you guys are just getting started BPCR loading making the leap to paper patched bullets may be a bridge to far at this point.

First project is to see if the brass he has will chamber easily in the rifle if it has been formed. Once that is determined he can go from there.

Forming 40-65 from 45-70 is not necessarily a walk in the park.
Sometimes you get the chicken, and sometimes you get the feathers!

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Re: Need Dies for .40-65 Ron Long

Post by WVsmoke » Tue Apr 19, 2022 3:38 pm

To shoot Black Powder Cartridge rifles even in competition, a shooter does not require a case sizing die or a bullet seating die. In a single shot rifle, once the brass case is fireformed to that chamber, the brass does not need any further adjustment. I will not get into exceptions. Once the brass is formed and loaded with powder and covered with a wad or wads, the bullet can be finger seated on top of the wad. No die is required to seat the bullet if the bullet fits the fired case. I do use bullet sizing dies on occasion in order to adjust the size of the bullet. This system will work with lubed bullets or paper patched.
If you need to fire form new brass for your gun, that creates other needs for dies to reform your brass to fit your gun and to load your bullets, but that is a lesson for another time.

Good luck, Allan

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Re: Need Dies for .40-65 Ron Long

Post by Sniperfire » Fri Apr 22, 2022 2:05 pm

Randy, Desert Deuce, and Allan,
Thank you all for your experience and patience with this newbie. Upon reading more about these rifles, I believe the hand seating of the bullet is a correct assumption.
He had perhaps 40rds loaded, and another 20-40 fireformed cases with some 400gr cast projectiles. I just thought you'd need a seating die at least. Oldest brother competed and won with this Marlin-Ballard at his local range in Mountain Home, AR. I didn't see evidence of paper patching. I didn't get the drop tube but that can be purchased if it's not there after the estate sale. I'm certain his Muzzleloading friends picked up the remains of his gunsmithing a new .54 Hawken, stocks, barrels, and wood carving tools I left behind. Just too much for me to take back to Colorado. He kept good data, but I couldn't find it. It was probably in his Sierra Loading manual. I had several, so I didn't even look at his laying on the bench.

When brother empties the safe and has the rifle at home, I'll share your thoughts and wisdom and help him enjoy his new falling block. Thank you guys for your quick replies. God knows I love "gun" people!

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