33 WCF original Loads

Welcome to the Leverguns.Com Forum. This is a high-class place so act respectable. We discuss most anything here ... politely.

Moderators: Hobie, AmBraCol

Forum rules
Welcome to the Leverguns.Com General Discussions Forum. This is a high-class place so act respectable. We discuss most anything here other than politics... politely.

Please post political post in the new Politics forum.
Post Reply
coyote nose
Levergunner 2.0
Posts: 404
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 11:25 am
Location: NE Ohio

33 WCF original Loads

Post by coyote nose »

For about the last 10 years I've been monkeying around with an 1886 Winchester in 33 WCF that I rebuilt. Besides the usual load development (using the only bullet available, a 200GN Hornady JFP) I have also been testing factory loads that I pick up at gun shows. Since the rounds are at least 50 years old and maybe 80 years old I pull the bullets, save the powder, deprime, anneal the neck only, reprime with a fresh primer, then put the powder charge back in and reseat the bullet. Of course every component is inspected and I wind up tossing a lot of cases and powder, but after a round is done it is off to the range where the load is chronographed and tested for accuracy. It is quite fun! Here is a picture from about 5 years ago of the results of 3 different Remington factory loads:
33fac4.JPG
Since a lot of the cases are untestable and thrown out due to preexisting neck cracks or I find corrosion inside, and often the powder is 'sticky' or stinks, I wind up with left over bullets. I have enough orphaned Winchester bullets that I want to try to reload them to Winchester factory specs. Now for some other calibers I have seen photos of Winchesters 'recipe cards' that detail the powder and load used. I have never seen one for the 33 WCF. Has anyone out there? Is anybody familiar with the Winchester factory load? I want to be clear that I do not need load data for the 33 WCF, I want WINCHESTERS load data for the 33 WCF. I am sure it varied over the years as I keep detailed notes as to what I find once I open up a case. With Remington all I have looked at have used a disc type powder that looks like either Sharpshooter or Lightning. All of the Winchesters I have examined have used an IMR type stick powder, with weights as low as 38 GN to as high as 48 GN, thus I am sure they varied the powder type over the years, which, if anyone has the cards Winchester used, would be detailed on it with the date the load was changed.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
"...for there is a cloud on my horizon...and its name is progress." E. Abbey, 1958
User avatar
gamekeeper
Spambot Zapper
Posts: 14029
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:32 pm
Location: Across the pond but visible from a tall tree in Maine.

Re: 33 WCF original Loads

Post by gamekeeper »

Sorry I'm no help but it sure sounds like an interesting project..... 8)
.
.
To anger a Conservative lie to him, to anger a Liberal tell him the truth.
Theodore Roosevelt.
User avatar
GunnyMack
Advanced Levergunner
Posts: 6566
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:57 am
Location: Not where I want to be!

Re: 33 WCF original Loads

Post by GunnyMack »

Wait for Sixgun, he should wake up soon!
BROWN LABS MATTER !!
M. M. Wright
Advanced Levergunner
Posts: 4147
Joined: Wed Sep 15, 2010 12:57 pm
Location: Vinita, I.T.

Re: 33 WCF original Loads

Post by M. M. Wright »

Did Turnbull do your Case Colors? Beautiful 86 sir.
M. M. Wright, Sheriff, Green county Arkansas (1860)
Currently living my eternal life.
NRA Life
SASS
ITSASS
coyote nose
Levergunner 2.0
Posts: 404
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 11:25 am
Location: NE Ohio

Re: 33 WCF original Loads

Post by coyote nose »

M. M. Wright wrote:
Sun May 02, 2021 6:13 pm
Did Turnbull do your Case Colors? Beautiful 86 sir.
Yes they did the case colors. Thank you...it is a fantastic rifle.
"...for there is a cloud on my horizon...and its name is progress." E. Abbey, 1958
User avatar
marlinman93
Advanced Levergunner
Posts: 5071
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 3:40 pm
Location: Oregon

Re: 33 WCF original Loads

Post by marlinman93 »

I can't tell you what powders Winchester used, but the factory loads ran around 2200 fps with a 200 gr. bullet. I loaded my 1895 Marlin in .33W with 44 grs. of 4895 and a 200 gr. bullet and it chronographed very close to the factory level.
Pre WWI Marlins and Singleshot rifles!
http://members.tripod.com/~OregonArmsCollectors/
JOG
Levergunner 2.0
Posts: 243
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:04 pm
Location: southern Maine

Re: 33 WCF original Loads

Post by JOG »

I also have a 1886 in 33wcf. Yours is quite specular. I was going to ask if Turnbull did the cased hardening
It's a tough caliber to find bullets for, Hornady stopped making the making the FP 200 gr bullet years ago.
Thanks to the gentleman on this forum for info provided on the 86 and the 33wcf caliber. Thanks to Six I have some rounds to shoot.
Once Sixguns see this post I'm sure he can help you out with anything you need to know about reloading for the 33 wcf.
Six has helped me immensely . His knowledge is amazing!
Good luck!
coyote nose
Levergunner 2.0
Posts: 404
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 11:25 am
Location: NE Ohio

Re: 33 WCF original Loads

Post by coyote nose »

JOG wrote:
Sun May 02, 2021 6:45 pm

It's a tough caliber to find bullets for, Hornady stopped making the making the FP 200 gr bullet years ago.
Thanks to the gentleman on this forum for info provided on the 86 and the 33wcf caliber. Thanks to Six I have some rounds to shoot.
Before I found enough of the Hornady 200GN FP I used to buy their 200 GN spire point, then in the lathe remove the tip until I had a large enough flat. Without a lathe you could use a file. It took the weight down to about 182GN but they shot fine. You have to use the ones with a solid jacketed base to avoid having the bullet act like a 'tube' and blow out the lead core, sticking the jacket in the bore (was warned about this somewhere). Since then I read that by using a 225 GN Nosler Partition (I believe) and doing the same the weight will be 200 GN and the Nosler Partition have a very soft lead front section so the bullets will behave as they should on game animals. I never tried the Nosler because a member here sold me 3 1/2 boxes of the correct bullet, then by being diligent at gun shows I have found several more boxes at a good price. I am in good shape now for bullets. Just hit the gun shows and you should eventually find some.
Now.....a tough caliber to load for used to be the 41 Long Colt! I had to make cases out of 30-30 shells until I found enough at gun shows, and then Starline came to the rescue. My current pain to load for is the 44 Henry RF. I just bought the brass to start turning cases but other projects are in line first.
"...for there is a cloud on my horizon...and its name is progress." E. Abbey, 1958
User avatar
KWK
Senior Levergunner
Posts: 1099
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 10:31 am
Location: U.S.A.
Contact:

Re: 33 WCF original Loads

Post by KWK »

coyote nose wrote:
Sun May 02, 2021 12:20 pm
With Remington all I have looked at have used a disc type powder that looks like either Sharpshooter or Lightning. All of the Winchesters I have examined have used an IMR type stick powder, with weights as low as 38 GN to as high as 48 GN...
While later loads were 200 gr at 2200 fps, the early loads were about 2050 fps, using some powder no doubt now discontinued. So, there will be a large range in charges used in factory cartridges.

For what it's worth, QuickLoad thinks you can match the original speed with cast bullets and 2400.
coyote nose
Levergunner 2.0
Posts: 404
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 11:25 am
Location: NE Ohio

Re: 33 WCF original Loads

Post by coyote nose »

KWK wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 10:39 am
coyote nose wrote:
Sun May 02, 2021 12:20 pm
With Remington all I have looked at have used a disc type powder that looks like either Sharpshooter or Lightning. All of the Winchesters I have examined have used an IMR type stick powder, with weights as low as 38 GN to as high as 48 GN...
While later loads were 200 gr at 2200 fps, the early loads were about 2050 fps, using some powder no doubt now discontinued. So, there will be a large range in charges used in factory cartridges.

For what it's worth, QuickLoad thinks you can match the original speed with cast bullets and 2400.
Yes, I am sure they used various powders. That is why I am wondering if anyone has the data Winchester used. They even coded the boxes as to which 'revision' the box was loaded with ( on the early boxes), this code matching what the card they kept on file said the load was. I will try to post some photos later of what I am talking about.

I have already done extensive load data development with cast bullets, gas check cast bullets (altho not with 2400), and the 200GNFP Hornady jacketed bullets. Developed a cast bullet 'plinking' load (rarely used now that I have enough jacketed), and a very nice 2215fps at muzzle jacketed load that averages 1.2" for 3 shots at 100 yards. I am quite happy with it. Ohio doesn't allow deer hunting with it, and I am not connected enough to draw big game tags out west, but the load is deadly on prairie dogs :lol: !! :
2012,9-13a,huntlight.jpg
What I am after is Winchesters original data so I can try loading some of the Winchester jacketed bullets I have, just to see what they can do.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
"...for there is a cloud on my horizon...and its name is progress." E. Abbey, 1958
User avatar
Sixgun
Posting leader...
Posts: 14209
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 7:17 pm
Location: Standing By President Trump, Awaiting Orders

Re: 33 WCF original Loads

Post by Sixgun »

You after original data? Who knows? Winchester was famous for using 3031 or the DuPont powder that preceded it. The ones I pulled apart looked like it. Hi-Vel #2 may have also been used, along with Lightning.

Your doing right on pulling the bullets, annealing , repriming, and loading it back up but with all powders they deteriorate, even if they are in the case, loaded. I've chronographed original stuff at a bit over 2000 to low 2100's but that's my rifle. So many variables come in that can change it.

My favorite all time load was 42 grains of 3031 and the Hornady bullet but since changed to 44 grains of H or IMR 4895. Killed a lot of deer and one elk with both of those loads. I've suspected both of those loads were a bit more than factory. If I was going to make a hypothesis I'd say 42 grains of IMR or H 4895 would equal factory ballistics.

------006
Snakes
Image
User avatar
Sixgun
Posting leader...
Posts: 14209
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 7:17 pm
Location: Standing By President Trump, Awaiting Orders

Re: 33 WCF original Loads

Post by Sixgun »

Best I can do...
This book was written sometime around the late 1930's
Image
Snakes
Image
coyote nose
Levergunner 2.0
Posts: 404
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 11:25 am
Location: NE Ohio

Re: 33 WCF original Loads

Post by coyote nose »

Thanks. I have that book, Phil Sharpe I believe. The powder I pull from original loads looks like 3031 but of course that is just a subjective observation on my part. The powder that preceded 3031 was DuPont # 17 or # 17 1/2. I have a can of # 17 1/2 but the "1/2" signifies tin added to the powder to combat copper fouling. After the introduction of gilding metal the tin was no longer needed. I tried it anyway with the following result:
tin.jpg
A tin plated bore!! :o Fortunately it easily scrubbed out. DuPont listed suggested charges on the back of the can. I reduced the charge a bit and started testing with it, yet the first shot gave me sticky extraction. I cant imagine shooting the suggested charge! Way too high.

My favorite load is the 200GN Hornady Flat Nose and 43.0 GN IMR 4064. I get an actual 2210fps at the muzzle and as stated a few posts ago, it is quite accurate, and in my rifle is slightly below max which is fine with me. Of the 30 or 40 loads I tested, this one was also the most accurate. A charge of 39.0 IMR 3031 was the second most accurate, at a velocity of 2185fps.

Your reply of "who knows?" regarding original data is why I posted here!! I was hoping someone would know!
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
"...for there is a cloud on my horizon...and its name is progress." E. Abbey, 1958
JOG
Levergunner 2.0
Posts: 243
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:04 pm
Location: southern Maine

Re: 33 WCF original Loads

Post by JOG »

If your getting 1.2 inch grouping at 100 yards, I would stick with that for sure!
That's dam fine shooting for a old rifle.
What year was your 1886 manufactured?
I think the 33wcf was the last cartridge to come out for the 86.
Smokeless makes it very desirable to me.
Last edited by JOG on Mon May 03, 2021 3:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
KWK
Senior Levergunner
Posts: 1099
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 10:31 am
Location: U.S.A.
Contact:

Re: 33 WCF original Loads

Post by KWK »

coyote nose wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 11:19 am
... this code matching what the card they kept on file said the load was.
Your opening post was clear. My comments were directed to those who were not aware of the “original“ factory levels.

I’ve never seen a Winchester factory card and am curious to see one of yours.
coyote nose
Levergunner 2.0
Posts: 404
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 11:25 am
Location: NE Ohio

Re: 33 WCF original Loads

Post by coyote nose »

JOG wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 1:43 pm
If your getting 1.2 inch grouping at 100 yards, I would stick with that for sure!
That dam fine shooting for a old rifle.
What year was your 1886 manufactured?
I think the 33wcf was the last cartridge to come out for the 86.
Smokeless makes it very desirable to me.
Oh yes I am QUITE happy with it! Keep in mind that group size is for 3 shots, not 5. I use 3 shot groups at 100 yards as my 'test standard' for large game rifles. Figure its more realistic of what I would need in the field. The gun was made in 1906 but the barrel is new, part of the rebuild. Had a guy in Montana make the blank for me. Yes the .33 was the last in the 1886 rifles, although the .348 came out in 1936 in the Model 71, but frankly, the Model 71 is more like an 1886 Version 2.0
"...for there is a cloud on my horizon...and its name is progress." E. Abbey, 1958
coyote nose
Levergunner 2.0
Posts: 404
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 11:25 am
Location: NE Ohio

Re: 33 WCF original Loads

Post by coyote nose »

KWK wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 2:29 pm
coyote nose wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 11:19 am
... this code matching what the card they kept on file said the load was.
Your opening post was clear. My comments were directed to those who were not aware of the “original“ factory levels.

I’ve never seen a Winchester factory card and am curious to see one of yours.
Here is the only example I saved on my computer. I think I got this out of a book or magazine article. I have seen them for 44 WCF and other cartridges also but didnt think to save them at the time. This one is for the 7.65 Mauser. You simply look up the date or date code on the box of ammunition, then look at the card and can see what it was loaded with.
wincard.JPG
You can see how the load changed over time.

Here is a box of 38-55 that shows an actual date, at the bottom right. It is my understanding that they also used a code at times.
winbox.JPG
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
"...for there is a cloud on my horizon...and its name is progress." E. Abbey, 1958
User avatar
KWK
Senior Levergunner
Posts: 1099
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 10:31 am
Location: U.S.A.
Contact:

Re: 33 WCF original Loads

Post by KWK »

coyote nose wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 3:55 pm
Here is the only example I saved on my computer.
Spiffy. Thank you. I recall reading modern ammo might be loaded with special blends. On that card the powders were all standard commercial offerings.
coyote nose
Levergunner 2.0
Posts: 404
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 11:25 am
Location: NE Ohio

Re: 33 WCF original Loads

Post by coyote nose »

KWK wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 10:37 pm
coyote nose wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 3:55 pm
Here is the only example I saved on my computer.
Spiffy. Thank you. I recall reading modern ammo might be loaded with special blends. On that card the powders were all standard commercial offerings.
Yes, but look how the charge of Hi-Vel#3 was reduced over the years, and Winchester has a 'blend' number. Probably the Lot Number of the powder. I am sure they did extensive testing of the lot and adjusted the charge appropriately.
"...for there is a cloud on my horizon...and its name is progress." E. Abbey, 1958
Scott Tschirhart
Levergunner 3.0
Posts: 840
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2020 2:56 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: 33 WCF original Loads

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

You guys are an incredible resource of information about this cartridge. I'm impressed.
win40-82
Levergunner 2.0
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2007 10:14 pm

Re: 33 WCF original Loads

Post by win40-82 »

Don't believe I've seen any case colored .33 Winchester other than ones that have been restored. Doesn't bother me and its a beautiful rifle. Perhaps I've lived a sheltered life. Have fun.
there is no such thing as a miss if you still have ammo
JOG
Levergunner 2.0
Posts: 243
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:04 pm
Location: southern Maine

Re: 33 WCF original Loads

Post by JOG »

Winchester made 1886 in color cased with early models.
User avatar
Sixgun
Posting leader...
Posts: 14209
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 7:17 pm
Location: Standing By President Trump, Awaiting Orders

Re: 33 WCF original Loads

Post by Sixgun »

JOG wrote:
Wed May 05, 2021 6:10 pm
Winchester made 1886 in color cased with early models.
I'm going out of my head soooooo I may be wrong...but I've never seen a case colored 33 as all were lightweights or extra lightweights and all of those guns were blued with nickel steel barrels......one thing for sure I'd bet my finest Colt on and that there never was a full octagoned 33....

But the gun above is a beauty and OP did say he had it custom put together.---006
Snakes
Image
JOG
Levergunner 2.0
Posts: 243
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:04 pm
Location: southern Maine

Re: 33 WCF original Loads

Post by JOG »

Sixgun wrote:
Wed May 05, 2021 11:49 pm
JOG wrote:
Wed May 05, 2021 6:10 pm
Winchester made 1886 in color cased with early models.
I'm going out of my head soooooo I may be wrong...but I've never seen a case colored 33 as all were lightweights or extra lightweights and all of those guns were blued with nickel steel barrels......one thing for sure I'd bet my finest Colt on and that there never was a full octagoned 33....

But the gun above is a beauty and OP did say he had it custom put together.---006
I stand corrected! Perhaps I'm thinking of a modern repro I saw at the Gettysburg show a few year's back.
Did the Italian's make a repro 86, or was it just the Japanese?
User avatar
Sixgun
Posting leader...
Posts: 14209
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 7:17 pm
Location: Standing By President Trump, Awaiting Orders

Re: 33 WCF original Loads

Post by Sixgun »

JOG wrote:
Thu May 06, 2021 7:20 am
Sixgun wrote:
Wed May 05, 2021 11:49 pm
JOG wrote:
Wed May 05, 2021 6:10 pm
Winchester made 1886 in color cased with early models.
I'm going out of my head soooooo I may be wrong...but I've never seen a case colored 33 as all were lightweights or extra lightweights and all of those guns were blued with nickel steel barrels......one thing for sure I'd bet my finest Colt on and that there never was a full octagoned 33....

But the gun above is a beauty and OP did say he had it custom put together.---006
I stand corrected! Perhaps I'm thinking of a modern repro I saw at the Gettysburg show a few year's back.
Did the Italian's make a repro 86, or was it just the Japanese?
I have no idea...the only thing I know is that most Italian guns are not worth the space they take up....the Jap guns are of of top quality, stronger than the originals but without the craftsmanship. (Fit and finish) ...South American guns need to stay where they are made.......there or the recycle bin
Snakes
Image
coyote nose
Levergunner 2.0
Posts: 404
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 11:25 am
Location: NE Ohio

Re: 33 WCF original Loads

Post by coyote nose »

[/quote]

I'm going out of my head soooooo I may be wrong...but I've never seen a case colored 33 as all were lightweights or extra lightweights and all of those guns were blued with nickel steel barrels......one thing for sure I'd bet my finest Colt on and that there never was a full octagoned 33....

But the gun above is a beauty and OP did say he had it custom put together.---006
[/quote]

Sixgun you get to keep your finest Colt!!! Yes this gun started out as a 33WCF lightweight round barrel blued 1886 that I just could not get decent accuracy out of. I rebuilt it and about 10 years ago detail the rebuild here:

https://www.levergunscommunity.org/view ... 64#p419964
"...for there is a cloud on my horizon...and its name is progress." E. Abbey, 1958
User avatar
Old Savage
Posting leader...
Posts: 14221
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 3:43 pm
Location: Southern California

Re: 33 WCF original Loads

Post by Old Savage »

That is impressive work there.

I would never risk one of my cherished ;-) Rossis trying anything like that. ;-)
In the High Desert of Southern Calif. ..."on the cutting edge of going back in time"...

Image
Post Reply