The 10x25mmR Project (formerly known as the 44/.40 Hotton Hammer, or 40/.44 Special Short One-Inch)

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Ed Harris posted this 16 June 2017

I had a long and VERY interesting chat with old friend Sam, who is a fancier of fine single-action revolvers, and is the owner of an original Grover Special.  He is a fan of the .38-40 Winchester, but has longed for a modern, rimmed .40 cal. revolver cartridge with correct capacity for smokeless powder, for use in a modern, strong revolver, like a Ruger, at about 25,000 psi.  The design intent is to use common brass, either .38-40 or .40 S&W bullets, and have a case capacity similar to the 10mm auto, but in RIMMED case, suited for revolver use.  He plans to rechamber a New Model Ruger .357 and rebore the barrel.

We originally called this the ".44/.40 Hotton Hammer,"  but John Taylor recommended we use the Metric measurements which describe what it is, so among us kids we are referring to this as the 10x25mmR Project

Base brass is .44 Special or .44 Magnum.

Case will be necked down to .423 outside diameter, same as the 10mm auto and .40 S&W.

Cases will be trimmed after necking to 1.0" overall length with neck length 0.3" and necks reamed to 0.010" wall thickness to provide safe release clearance for a .401" diameter bullet.

Shoulder angle is 6 degrees, 48 minutes Basic, same as the .38-40 Winchester.  

Case body diameter of finished case is .454" at shoulder, same as .38-40 and .457" at base, unchanged from .44 Special brass.

Revolver reamer to be dimensioned to cut cylinder throats 0.401" to enable using either jacketed .40 S&W bullets, or .38-40 lead bullets, to be used with 10mm barrel of .400" groove diameter and 16" twist, same as .40 S&W.

With one inch case length, with 0.3" neck length and 1.55" max. overall cartridge, you could load a bullet up to 0.80" long or about 250 grains, if you wanted to take a Swiss Vetterli bullet and shorten it by cutting the heel off. Sam is looking at a 215-grain lead bullet at about 900 fps with 5 grains of Unique for general use or 1030 fps with 180-grain jacketed bullet.

Anybody care to comment before we order reamers and gages to build this thing? 

 

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 16 June 2017

Ed I have emailed you with my comments and interest. This fits right in with my many .401 powermag revolvers and conversion cylinder to .38-40. The only change for me would be to have .403' to .405' cylinder throats, which could of course easily be accommodated. As I can already achieve the same ballistics with the .401 powermag and hot .38-40 loads, it would be the cool factory to have a "triple threat" revolver. 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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BigMan54 posted this 17 June 2017

ENVY !!!!, ENVY !!!!, DROOLING !!!!!!!!

I would hope to find one of those RUGER Blackhawk Limited-Edition Convertibles from about 25-30 yrs ago. I think they were .38-40/10mm. Came out just before the intro of the 40S&W. That would be a great place to start. 

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun.

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 17 June 2017

BigMan,

You might consider the Herters .401 powermag, They are built like tanks and are available on Gunbroker all the time for about $350. Extra cylinders are available from Numrich. I have 5 - .401s now, one with a .38-40 cylinder, 1 in .44 mag and 1 in .357 mag. I have been very pleased with them and their accuracy is superb. 

In addition, there are other grips available, ammo using original brass ($50 a box though) and brass can be formed from .41 mag. The .401 can do anything that the .41 mag. Also many .401 - .403 cast bullet molds available.  

Here is a photo of some of them, I will take some photos of the shorter barrelled .38-40 later and put it in a post. 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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Ed Harris posted this 17 June 2017

Dave, for folks unfamiliar with the J.P. Sauer revolvers, these would be worthy of an article.  The Old West Meets the Old World...

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 17 June 2017

It in my plans for a FS article. 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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Eutectic posted this 18 June 2017

Dave, I am looking forward to your article. George Herter made fantastic claims about everything he sold, but none came up to the reality of the Power Mag revolvers. The ones I have examined were well built,hoss-strong and made to last forever. Neat guns I want to know more.

Steve

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 18 June 2017

Here is my latest addition to my collection. It is a long story, but to sum it up...... it was a GunBroker purchase, that kinda went sideways. Collectors of powermags are always on the lookout for the rare if not fictional advertised guns of Herters. There has always been a rumor of powermags in barrel lengths other than the standard 6 1/2". However none have ever surfaced or been photographed. But when I saw this one listed I thought I had found the "missing link" of powermags. Instead of getting a 4 5/8" .401, I got a cutdown powermage barrel (very well done though) from one gun, the frame from another powermag revolver and it was re-chambered to .38-40. I had an extra .357 cylinder already waiting a rechambering to .38-40, but will now go to the Hotton Hammer. The really good news is that after paying $315 for the gun and then getting GunBroker involved, I agreed to a partial refund making the gun $215, now that is a great deal. 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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delmarskid posted this 19 June 2017

Buckeye had a batch of 38-40/10mm Blackhawks run up at one time. I owned one for a bit but I never knew enough to keep it. I also had a .401 Power mag. It was a neat gun but the grips were skinny and finding brass was a bear. Those Blackhawks have to be out there some where. The necked down 44 mag or even 45 colt looks good to me. A fellow would be married to this thing once he had it. 

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GP Idaho posted this 20 June 2017

There is a 401 Power Mag up for sale at a local pawn. I was very tempted but already own a 41 mag Blackhawk. I like odditys but with the brass forming and all $395 seemed steep. My $250 offer didn't seem to interest them so it stayed with them.  Gp

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 20 June 2017

There is a 401 Power Mag up for sale at a local pawn. I was very tempted but already own a 41 mag Blackhawk. I like odditys but with the brass forming and all $395 seemed steep. My $250 offer didn't seem to interest them so it stayed with them.  Gp

GP,

A decent to pretty nice powermag can be found for around $350, which is a fair price, quite often on GunBroker or other auction sites. Brass can be made from .41 mag. Some powermags will accept  sized .41 mag brass, but some require a little turning of the rims. However you can get boxes of loaded .401 roads from Gads using original .401 brass for about $50. I have a friend with a .401 that has bought the ammo from Gads Ammo just for the brass. You do have to request the .401 brass because he does make it with formed .41 mag cases also. 

Ken Campbell is making me a new forming die to use in my press, the one from RCBS is a little too pricey. 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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GP Idaho posted this 20 June 2017

Hard to believe the original price of these revolvers in that they were built by Sauer. Bull strong looking if somewhat clunky looking in the rear sight area. I may end up with one yet. I do like oddities. Gp

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 20 June 2017

There is a few extra things that make them extra nice. 1) Some parts, including the bolt interchange with Colt SAA, 2) the trigger pulls from the factory break about 2 lbs and 3) which ties in with #2, they are very accurate, 1.5" or less at 25 yards with open sights. The one other drawback is there are few leather holsters that fit them, nylon holsters are no problem. 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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Ed Harris posted this 22 June 2017

Have queries into both Mansen and PTG for custom reamers and Redding for dies.

Got confirming email that my Ruger cylinder blanks have been shipped.  I bought a couple extras if anyone is interested.

 

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Ed Harris posted this 23 June 2017

Heard back quickly from Dave Mansen, with proposed reamer print. Reamer with removable pilot set up to rechamber a .357 Mag. cylinder is $210.  I'm ordering the reamer.  Reamer print has been emailed to Redding for die quote.

Green Mountain has .40 cal. 1"x20" gunsmith special blanks on sale for $44.95, about $60 with shipping, so I have ordered one.  Used these before for my .45 ACP and .45 Colt Bunny Gun barrels and they have been wonderful.

There will be about 15" leftover after doing one of my Rugers, so potentially enough to do a couple more if anyone here interested.

 

 

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Ed Harris posted this 26 June 2017

Have discussed project with John Taylor, and he likes the idea,  It looks like several of us are going to batch together and have revolvers done when the reamers, barrel and cylinder blanks, form dies, etc. arrive in a few months.

My project gun is going to be an Original Vaquero, on the large .44 frame, moving its .44-40 cylinder as a swap-cylinder onto my .44 Magnum Vaquero, because it happens to shoot better on that platform, then I will have TWO cylinders fitted to the .44-40 Vaquero frame, one in .40 S&W and the other in 10x25R.  Rebarrel using the 16" twist Green Mountain 10mm blank to finish 5", refit ejector rod, machine front sight ramp integral with barrel and machine ramp for interchangible front sight blades to zero. Cut dovetail in top strap for driftable fixed rear sight to zero.   Sam is going to do similar to his. 

Our plan is to order a mold for the Accurate bullet shown above.  Green Mountain also has 1"x23" Gunsmith Special 10mm blanks and I might order one of those to do a rifle barrel in this caliber for the In famous Bunny Gun because I can! 

John suggested we use a name which more accurately describes it, so among "us kids" it is now known as the "10x25mmR Project."

 

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Ed Harris posted this 26 June 2017

Dave or somebody, 

Could you post a chamber print of the .401 Powermag?

Will the Powermag chamber cleanup in a rechamber to anything which can be done with common brass?

Just curious.

I'm a dedicated Ruger bfan and have no plans to buy one, but somebody else might like to know...

 

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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BigMan54 posted this 26 June 2017

Ed,

Back in my COWBOY SHOOTING days I often wished for such a cartridge combo for Black Powder Cartridge Class.  I shot .38WCF in my Italian 1873 Rifle & .45 Smith & Wesson(Schofield) in my old stainless VAQUERO'S. Having a revolver  in .38WCF with extra cylinders chambered for .40S&W would make  Black Powder reloading even simpler. I think you could push a 150gr bullet out of a .40 S&W case with about 15grs of 3F & .30" wad. Light recoil & less smoke.  Just the thing for someone who never shot gamer before.     

I'm glad you've had good luck with your VAQUERO .44mag/.44WCF match up / swap out.  My .44WCF VAQUERO had a .430 Dia. Barrel & a very uniform cylinder with all six chamber mouths measuring  .427 Dia. Rather than have the chambers reamed out, I traded it for  a .45Colt VAQUERO that is FANTASTICLY ACCURATE.    

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun.

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 26 June 2017

The cartridge diagram for the .401 powermag.

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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Ed Harris posted this 26 June 2017

I have the reamer print in .pdf which won't post here, but I can send to anyone interested who wants to join the party.

 

 

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Ed Harris posted this 28 June 2017

Green Mountain .40 cal. blank arrived today, looks good!

Cylinder blanks from Midway by Storey are wrong size, for Flat Top, not NM Blackhawk and are being returned for credit.

Looking for NM Blackhawk .357 or 9mm cylinders to rechamber. 1.73" diameter with overall length 1.965" measured over gas ring and ratchet, and 1.70" length over chambers 

Hamilton Bowen doesn't expect any from his supplier until fall.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 09 July 2017

Nice Herters Powermag converted to .38-40. With .401 cylinders readily available from Numrich, this would make a nice set-up.

http://www.gunbroker.com/item/665876518

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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Ed Harris posted this 10 July 2017

Decided to use my NM Blackhawk .357/9mm convertible as the platform, as I seldom use it and it already has two cylinders that "fit" also found another pair of .357 and 9mm cylinders which are just a wee bit oversized for my gun, but the gas ring can be fitted and all four cylinders then trued to uniform length to establish gap when new barrel fitted, and I could than do 10x25R, .40 S&W, 10mm Auto and .38-40!  Then I could compare "short" and "long" cartridges both rimmed and rimless!

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Ed Harris posted this 03 November 2017

Dies arrived, here is what the 10x25R round looks like.  Bullet is Accurate 40-220H which is designed for 10mm Ruger revolver.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Ed Harris posted this 31 May 2018

My buddy Mike and I got our two revolvers back from John Taylor, so it is time to dust off this thread and update it.

First range trials were with the .40 S&W cylinder, because we wanted to use that cartridge to establish a baseline for comparison with our wildcat.  Firing ordinary 180-grain FMJ I shot a couple test groups, and made sight adjustments before firing handloads with the Accurate 40-182H bullet, which, incidentally is the same profile as our 40-220H, simply truncating the nose to increase the meplat size and to reduce the weight.  

Hand held off sandbags while running over the chronograph I'll take these!

I have test rounds loaded now with 180FMJ, 182 LFN and 220 LFN all with 5 grains of Bullseye to shoot in the 10x25R cylinder then the range road is repaired from the storm washout. 

DougGuy in North Carolina made our dies by cutting down and honing out .38-40 dies on a Sunnen hone.

RCBS dies are "harder than woodpecker lips" and go through stones like crazy, Lee dies also work and aren't quite as hard, but still eat stones. So the cost to do a set of these is $150, you supply the dies, Doug buys the stones, does the work and returns your dies insured in small flat rate box.  If you want a Lee Quik-Trim case holder shortened, that's a bit extra.

The FL sizer and seater are both cut off by 0.4" and a new thread relief is turned. 

The neck of the sizer die is then honed inside up to .420".

The neck of the seater die honed to .429" and the ball seat of the seater die to .402", if it need to be. 

If you want to cut down .44 Special cases, Doug can take a .44 Special case holder for the Lee Quik-Trim, cut 0.16" off the top, and then you can adjust the Quik-Trim to cut necked down .44 Special to 1.000+0.000/-0.005"

A simpler way to make cases in quantity is to buy Starline .44 Russian cases, neck them down and just use them.  The .44 Russian brass comes from Starline 0.0960-0.965" long.  After necking down to .40 they are 0.970-0.975". This is a wee bit short for the chamber length on the Manson reamer, which is 0.955 ahead of the rim seat, plus rim thickness, but causes no problem whatever. The dies as modified by DougGuy are purposefully made a wee bit short so that you have wiggle room to adjust sizing, etc. to get an exact fit to your revolver chamber.

We elected NOT to get an inside neck reaming die made to thin the case necks, to save money and effort.

We are using necked down Starline brass as-is.  With our Manson reamer as I had originally ground per print .400" diameter jacketed bullets fit correctly in the .424" chamber neck, using necked down .44 Russian brass, thich are about 0.001" thinner than cut-down Starline .44 Special. There was not enough clearance using cut-down .44 Specials or if loading cast bullets of .401" diameter or larger.

So we got Dave to make us a separate .429" neck reamer for John Taylor to enlarge the chamber necks in our cylinders provide 0.005" additional clearance, which in practice works VERY well. 

If anyone else wants to order the 10x25R reamer from Manson I recommended to him that  the neck diameter on the reamer should be increased to .428-.429".

Dave Reiss is next in line to borrow our reamers to have a cylinder made for his Herter Power Mag.  

When Dave Reiss is done, Sam Hotton is next after him.  Custom reamers and gages are expensive and we are all dividing up the cost to make this project more affordable.

When if nobody else wants to have a revolver cylinder done, next is to have the cylinder reamer reground to cut a rifle-type throat, about a $75 rework.

Sam Hotton after his .357 Vaquero comes back in 10x25 to have a .40 S&W barrel for his Bond Arms Derringer rechambered to 10x25R, and then to have John short-stroked and rebarrel a new Henry, the intent being to use with black powder for cowboy shooting.  I figure then I need to have another barrel for the Infamous Bunny Gun.

As FYI 20 grains of Goex Fg or 4.0 grains of Trail Boss comes up just to the shoulder.  You could compress 24 grains of black with a drop tube or compression die.  Max. charge of Trail Boss is 4.5 grains and 4.8 grains is FULL STOP to keep from being stupid. 

Not sure if I ever showed you guys our 180-grain bullet, but anybody has a .40 S&W Blackhawk this is it:

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Ed Harris posted this 06 June 2018

Here are initial results with the 10x25 cylinder shooting 5 grains of Bullseye with Accurate 40-182H and 40-220H:

 

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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JeffinNZ posted this 10 June 2018

Outstanding Ed.  Looks like an oversized 297/230 Morris cartridge!

Cheers from New Zealand

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Ed Harris posted this 10 June 2018

Outstanding Ed.  Looks like an oversized 297/230 Morris cartridge!

 

INDEED!  Thanks for the history lesson.  Most Yanks have never heard of it!

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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