Reloading for the 1900 (35 Rem)

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kumpe
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Reloading for the 1900 (35 Rem)

Post by kumpe » Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:03 am

Hi there,

First post for me, so here's a short intro;
I'm a hunter and a JMB fan from Sweden who just managed to get a hold of a very late model 1900 in .35 Remington. In good condition too.
It was a real lucky find, since these are really scarce over here.

Anyway, my plan is to use this rifle for driven hunts on all local big game including moose. This means I have to push the cartridge a bit beyond the original performance to comply with local laws. I plan to reload, and have already developed some theoretical loads that would work legally though still keeping below 35 Rem's max pressure.
However, I'm not sure how going above the original spec could affect the rifle, it being pretty old and an semi-automatic at that.
Is the 1900 capable of handling hotter loads without compromising safety, or adding unnecessary recoil for that matter? Anyone have any experience in reloading for the 1900 in 35 Rem?
Any input is appreciated.

canuck
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Re: Reloading for the 1900 (35 Rem)

Post by canuck » Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:50 am

I'm sorry, I can't help with your question, but I'm quite curious about the legal requirements of the cartridge performance for hunting.
Would you mind explaining?

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Hardrada55
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Re: Reloading for the 1900 (35 Rem)

Post by Hardrada55 » Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:22 am

To begin, I paraphrase a wiser man than I. You are dealing with a 100 year old firearm. One designed to operate with ammunition developing a specific pressure to provide the recoil forces which operate the action. Plus it's a complicated gun with lots of small parts and flat springs susceptible to breakage. And replacement parts are hard to come by.

I have found reference (http://www.face.eu/sites/default/files/sweden_en.pdf) to Swedish hunting regulations which require for bullets of 10 grams (154 grains) or greater an energy of 2000 joules (1475 ft/lbs) at 100 meters from the muzzle. Bullets weighing between 9 and 10 grams (139 to 154 grains) have to have energy of 2700 joules (1991 ft/lbs) at 100 m.

(https://guide.sportsmansguide.com/balli ... rembal.htm) Seems to suggest energy on the order of 1280 ft/lbs (Gunnersden had 1279 ft/lbs) for .35 Remington at 100 yards (about 90 m). So .35 Remington isn't legal in Sweden for moose unless it's loaded to reach the 1475 ft/lbs at 100 m standard.

I have seen reference on "the net" to loads with the 200 grain Hornady FTX with 2116 fps and 34,700 cup. That gives you an extra 100 fps to play with. But I don't know how you would calculate energy at 100m unless you go out in the field and chronograph it. Many of these heavier .35 Remington loads were generated for use in actions stronger than JMB's autoloader.
...the right of citizens to bear arms is just one more guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against the tyranny which now appears remote in America..."
- Hubert H. Humphrey, "Gun" magazine, Feb. '60

kumpe
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Re: Reloading for the 1900 (35 Rem)

Post by kumpe » Sat Feb 24, 2018 2:02 pm

@canuck - Hardrada55 beat me to it, what he describes is the minimum requirements in Sweden to legally hunt elk, wild boar, moose, etc.

@Hardrada55 - I am fully aware that changing the parameters when dealing with a firearm this old should be done with a great deal of care.
However, it doesn't take a whole lot of pushing to get the .35 Remington to fulfill the Swedish requirements. I plan to initially use a Hornady SP 200 grain bullet, and I only need to push that to 2130 fps get there. In theory this would put me just above the legal limit. (2033j@100m)
According to my calculations this load will yield a maximum pressure of 34300psi. So about the same as the load you mentioned, and well within the limits of the cartridge at least.

I realize though that this is still a considerable increase in pressure compared to the original load, but the question is if it is really too much? It's hard to find any info on people trying things like this when it comes to the 1900, but considering how many people are running considerably hotter loads (including Hornady LEVERevolution) through their Remington Model 8's without blinking, should this relatively moderate increase in power be something to worry about? Or does the Model 8 and the 1900 differ in that sense?
And I am of course mostly concerned with my own safety. If the gun would suffer it would be sad, but I bought it to use it and didn't spend much money on it so...

What are your thoughts?

kenhwind
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Re: Reloading for the 1900 (35 Rem)

Post by kenhwind » Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:09 pm

I don't have my loading manuals in front of me, but I do have Cartridges of The World.
They list a .35 Remington load using 200 Hornady RN; Varget 39.5; Velocity 2139; Energy 2030; Source Hodgdon.
KEN

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Sarge756
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Re: Reloading for the 1900 (35 Rem)

Post by Sarge756 » Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:08 pm

We`ve had this subject come up in the past as to whether our old guns will stand up to higher pressures and velocities than what was around way back when. Often the questions concern Hornady`s Leverevolution ammo and whether it is safe to shoot. The consensus has been that the FN`s,8`s and 81`s are plenty tough and that there is no reason to be apprehensive about using that ammo. The 35 Remington from my experience is pretty much a foolproof round to reload. Case capacity limits the chance of an overload when using the recommended powders. Only way I would think an overload possible is if a non suitable(hot,fast) powder was used behind a heavier bullet than normal. The Hornady ammo ventures into the area that reloaders are cautioned not to go with a mixture of different powders to attain the extra velocity . If you are looking for an increase of velocity the Speer 180gr flatpoints with several different powders ( Varget,3031,BLC2 ) would work just fine.Hornady Leverevolution powder is also a good choice. I load the Speer 180`s for my 35 Remingtons and a couple 35 Whelen`s. Hav`nt had the occasion to use them on a Moose but it takes care of outsized wild boar very well.
".......ain't many troubles that a man cain't fix
With seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six."

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Bandersnatch
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Re: Reloading for the 1900 (35 Rem)

Post by Bandersnatch » Sun Feb 25, 2018 4:21 pm

Let's not forget that this same gun system was loaded for .300 Savage, a Much more energetic cartridge. I've fired the Hornady 200 gr ammo in my 81 and it fed an cycled just fine and grouped well. I took two deer with this ammo this year with no hiccups from the gun.

I imagine one could up the pressure just a teensy bit with no worries.
I am the cat who walks by himself. And all places are alike to me.

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Phyrbird
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Re: Reloading for the 1900 (35 Rem)

Post by Phyrbird » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:27 pm

From hornady's data sheet on their factory round ballistics:
===============vel 0000y 100y 200y 300y
35 Rem: 200 gr. FTX = 2225 1963 1722 1505
====================ft/lb
— =================2198 1711 1317 1006
== :ugeek:
So with their load for the 200g we have nearly the requirement at 200yd. Looks to me like you're in there. ;) :D
Their data from Hodgdon's load data info gives a max vel of 2116 with LVR powder. (200gr FTX) I used that powder at the Great Event in 180g loads to ring the gong :o at 185 yds with few misses for me or my brother. You should be able to back off 10% and still have your requirement for the Govt. Other spire point bullets could give you impressive results with the improved ballistics. We can verify these loads with a MagnetoSpeed Chrono that straps on your barrel; just to make the bean counters happy. :roll:
Phyrbird
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kumpe
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Re: Reloading for the 1900 (35 Rem)

Post by kumpe » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:54 pm

Thank you all so much for you replies. They more or less backed up what I thought from the beginning: that a rifle of this build quality should be able to handle a bit more power without problems, but also that you should take into account that it is an old weapon and you don't really know what it has been subjected to during the last century. I shall continue as planned, but with care.

Can report back with some pictures and results if anyone is interested, but it will take a while before I get my hands on it because of our weird gun laws. But that's a whole other story.

Again, thank you all.

canuck
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Re: Reloading for the 1900 (35 Rem)

Post by canuck » Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:01 am

Can report back with some pictures and results if anyone is interested, but it will take a while before I get my hands on it because of our weird gun laws. But that's a whole other story.
Please do! Very interested.
And, If you want to talk weird gun laws - well, I'm from Canada, need I say more?

kumpe
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Re: Reloading for the 1900 (35 Rem)

Post by kumpe » Tue Feb 27, 2018 7:09 am

canuck wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:01 am
Can report back with some pictures and results if anyone is interested, but it will take a while before I get my hands on it because of our weird gun laws. But that's a whole other story.
Please do! Very interested.
And, If you want to talk weird gun laws - well, I'm from Canada, need I say more?
Don't know much about Canadian gun laws, but I'm pretty sure you don't want to get in to this argument. :)

Let's just say it might be three months or so before my license is issued (Each license is tied to a specific firearm of course. Or extra barrel. Or suppressor.) and I can get the rifle, given that the police (who are responsible for licensing) accepts my motivation as to why i have the need for this firearm (totally a subjective decision by the person handling my licence application btw), and doesn't confuse it with some "dangerous" semi-auto like the AR-15 or the likes (which is forbidden for hunting in Sweden). Because the people working with firearms licensing are required by law to not have an interest in firearms when they are hired so not to be biased (i.e. no hunters, sport-shooters or people with military background). But at the same time it of course also makes them incompetent.

Shall I go on? :)

ranman
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Re: Reloading for the 1900 (35 Rem)

Post by ranman » Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:34 am

Wow, and I thought we had it bad in Canada! Welcome to the forum kumpe.

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Sarge756
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Re: Reloading for the 1900 (35 Rem)

Post by Sarge756 » Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:52 am

Hopeful that the information shared concerning reloading 35 Rem was helpful. It is good to have communication with our neighbors near and far.You gained some reloading knowledge and hopefully "we" gained a new appreciation for some things we may have been taking for granted. In keeping with the apolitical policy of our forum no further comment warranted.
Joe
".......ain't many troubles that a man cain't fix
With seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six."

ikuturso
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Re: Reloading for the 1900 (35 Rem)

Post by ikuturso » Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:53 am

Välkommen, Kumpe!

I'm afraid my Swedish is a bit rusty, so let's continue in English.

I have an FN 1900 as well, and a similar plan concerning moose in your former Eastern provinces. As you may know, we have the same 2000J@100m rule.

A traditional 200-grain .35 Rem round-nosed SP has plenty of energy at the muzzle, but the blunt projectile will slow down below the required energy well before 100 metres

My plan is to use factory Hornady 200-grain LEVERevolution FTX. This load is only slightly hotter than traditional round-nosed SP's, but due to its more streamlined shape, will retain its velocity better.

I have shot some of these rounds through my FN without any problems. They average from my FN at 634 m/s (somewhat below the published figures), but should still produce about 2100J @ 100m.

If you can find this ammo in Sweden, you might give it a try. You'll need to gather some brass, anyway.

As already mentioned, the FN has a strong action, and should be able to handle all modern factory loads.

The long-recoil action is not particularly sensitive to variations in gas pressure, as long as maximum pressure levels are not exceeded. Gas-operated rifles are much more sensitive in this respect.

Just make sure to have your rifle checked by a gunsmith. Age itself is not an issue with a well-made firearm. Maintenance (or lack thereof), damage, and shot count are far more important factors in the serviceability of a vintage firearm.

As for reloading, instead of a hot hunting round, I reload a mild and cheap practice load. I have used German H&N copper-plated 200-grain .357" revolver bullets at around 525 m/s. I've found that the FN cycles reliably even at 500 m/s.

This way, I can practice as much as I want without stressing the rifle, the brass, or my shoulder too much. Plenty of range practice will give you confidence in your rifle and its peculiarities, and ensures an effective shot placement, when the time comes.

It's also important to realise the difference in point of impact between different loads, especially with the original sights.

I'd be very interested to hear about actual large game performance of the FTX ammo, especially from North American members.

Trevliga hälsningar,
Sport is the backbone of all manhood. It is the hunting instinct inherent in all healthy, normal males; it means the cultivation of skill in shooting and horsemanship, and men proficient in it are ready to rise in the defence of their country.

W. Winans

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