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Aug 5th, 2016
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Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 15
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Looking for guidance here from the helpful forum.
Where can I source a die set for 450 BPE 3 1/4" cartridge? Am struggling to find any stock in web searches.
Any particular brand that shooters here recommend/prefer for the calibre?

Look forward to help. Am UK based.
Will be for a double rifle (more on that later..) eventually.

Many thanks


Let he who casts the first stone - be accurate.
If he cannot be accurate, he should practice first.
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I've just called Huntingtons's for RCBS dies and they delivered. Often used dies on Canadian Gunnutz!


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I lucked out a couple years ago and found a new .450
Nitro express Hornady die set on eBay or Gunbroker for about $65.00 delivered. They work fine for my .450 3 1/4" BPE double rifle, but some people seem to have a problem using the newer dies to load for old .450 BPE's due to some older guns having slightly smaller chamber dimensions.

Some guys get around this by having their chambers reamed to modern dimensions, while others choose to order slightly undersize sizing dies from RCBS or CH4D. Another possible solution is to run the brass a tad further into the die by using a shell holder that has been ground thinner, and driving the well lubed cases out with a wooden dowel.

If you have fired your rifle, you may want to measure your fired brass before getting in too deep. Or do a Cerrosafe chamber cast so you don't get stuck with dies you can't use.


A true sign of mental illness is any gun owner who would vote for an Anti-Gunner like Joe Biden.

Joined: Aug 2021
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Artic/Keith - thank you for your replies, that's helpful.
I've not yet fired the gun, but it deserves to be being an Alexander Henry (1879). The bores and chambers are in excellent condition. Ran a bore scope through and really don't think it has been fired very much at all since being re-barrelled in 1888.

Do plan on doing a Cerrosafe chamber cast, as you suggest, not least to have a better idea of the precise dimensions. They do chamber a 450 inert cartridge cleanly.

I remain looking for a source of available dies and will look to see if Huntington's can ship UK.


Let he who casts the first stone - be accurate.
If he cannot be accurate, he should practice first.
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Baz:

I agree with the comments posted so far about proceeding carefully with your options.

I have 2 vintage doubles in 450 BPE. My Alexander Henry chambers modern brass just fine, but the other, an R T Pritchett, will not. I have not been successful with resizing Hornady and Kynoch brass in a .510 Lee bullet sizing die, as desribed in another forum here:
http://forums.nitroexpress.com/show...;Words=+dracb&topic=&Search=true

Resizing the brass by removing the shell holder and pushing the brass further into the die did not work either.

I'm pondering what to do next- very hesitant about reaming chambers on a vintage rifle, so may go with custom dies - if I can manage to get them during this pandemic!

Cheers!

PS: Should you be so inclined, you can add your rifle to the Alexander Henry inventory post on this site.

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mbatten, You may try wrapping Scotch tape around the case at the point it seems too big and then running it in your die. This has sometimes worked for me, and once cases chamber easily, they should size OK.


Bill Ferguson
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Originally Posted by mbatten
Should you be so inclined, you can add your rifle to the Alexander Henry inventory post on this site.

Thank you, appreciated - and I have. Looking at a .500 x 3" AH shortly too.


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If he cannot be accurate, he should practice first.
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mbatten,
I have a set of 450- 3 1/4" dies, if you send me a case that will not chamber, I will size it in my die and send it back to you. If it chambers then, we can decide what to do. I don't especially want to get rid of the dies but would be open to sizing a reasonable number of cases for you. If it works, I agree with Bill that the dies you have should work after you fireform them in your rifle. His idea of the tape may work also, you can wrap the case with paper or file label and tap it into the chamber with a hammer( padded by a wood block)(oil the paper) and drive it out with a dowel. Before going through all this, you can smoke the case or blacken it with a felt tip marker, then push it into the chamber as far as you can. This should show where the interference is. You might also check to insure the rim isn't too thick( put it in, upside down and see if it the rim sits "proud" of the rim recess).
Mike

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Thanks gentlemen - will try the tape/paper technique and report on the results.

A guy needs plenty of patience when playing with these old guns!

Cheers!


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