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  The Original Ballwright Hand Loader Kit is fashioned after the 1905 Frankford Arsenal “Hand Reloading Tools for Gallery Practice Ammunition Caliber .45 for Issue to Colleges.” These Educational Institutions established Military Training & Marksmanship Courses throughout the United States.

The original “Ordnance Department Instruction Manual #1984,” that was issued in the 1905 Kit, is included in the Ballwright Kits.

  At the heart of the Ballwright Handloader Kit is the Case Expander and Ball Seater. The cutaway shows the One Ball load, Two Ball load & Three Ball “Guard Load.” Note the Black Powder Chambers resulting from the Ball Seating Depth in the cases.

Here’s a tip: Modern high power, high muzzle velocity cartridge cases usually have thick case walls, making those cases good candidates for the 3 Ball Guard Loads.

  Get started right away. The Ballwright Kit includes 9 Speer .45 caliber Round Lead Balls in 3 sizes: .451, .454 & .457”, and three .45-70 Gov. cases from different manufacturers. Each having different internal dimensions, tapers and wall thickness.

Practice with the case sizes and the fit of the balls depending on the Ball Seating Depth & Powder Charge you choose. The seating depth of the ball is dependent upon the case thickness & the amount you expand the case.

  Remove the Expander from the expanded case by placing the Expander & Case through the Extractor Ball, threading the Expander into the Drive Ball. Then tighten the Balls until they separate. The Extractor Extension is positioned under the Case Head for longer cases.

  Drill the Flash Hole to .096” with the #41 drill supplied. Be sure to remove any burrs from the edges of the new flash hole. 

  The Primer to use is the Federal #215, Large Rifle Magnum with “Goex FFFg”, (3 F) Black Powder for the Charge you choose.

Here’s a tip: Concentrate on the FIT of the primer in the primer pocket. Your first clue comes while decapping the case. A loose primer will almost fall out during decapping. Discard worn cases.

  The precision Grainwright Dipper allows a precise measure of Goex FFFg black powder. Each turn of the handle measures 1.5 grains (by volume).

The unique Floating Stainless Steel Sealing Washer seals in the black powder. The first position measures out 7 grains, typical of Single Ball loads.

Nine to ten turns of the Grainwright handle measures 21 to 22 grains for a typical Two Ball load. Twenty to 22 turns measures 38 to 40 grains, typical of the 3 Ball Guard load.

The Grainwright Handle/Case Scraper also serves as a Depth Gauge to sort out thick cases good for 3 ball loads from the thinner case 1 & 2 ball loads. If the depth gauge measures about ½ way down the case, it is likely a 3 Ball case. All the way to the full depth of the case indicates a likely 1 or 2 Ball case. Separate these cases while cleaning & inspecting cases. Do your precision Case & Ball Sizing when reloading.

  The Ball Seater Cavity is designed to match the curvature of the soft lead balls, minimizing ball distortion. The Ball should seat in the case all the way to the level of the powder charge. With Ball Loads, some air space IS acceptable between the powder & the base of the ball.

The Ball Fit is what you control. Select the smallest ball, .451. Drop it in the case. Note the Ball depth. If the next size ball does not drop as far, it is likely that the larger ball should be used for the first ball to seat into the case. It is up to you to work out this critical fit. Make & Keep notes of these measurements. If the largest ball will not fit snugly into the case shave some wax with the ball seater from a soft candle into the ball seater cavity. Insert the ball seater into the case and squeeze the wax to the perimiter of the Ball-to-Case contact area to hold the ball in position.

A trick I use is to leave the primer out of the case, hold a wire through the flash hole so you can slowly lower the ball into the case until the point of contact with the case wall. Record that measurement. Then push the ball back out of the case. You now have an idea how much you want to want the ball(s) to seat in the case with the powder charge you want.

Here is a tip: You should never have to beat the !@#%???!! out of the ball to obtain the ideal seating depth, ball fit & powder compression. Try this: go ahead and “hammer” a couple ball sizes into a couple of cases so you get a “feel” for how little amount of force that’s required to distort the ball, bulge the case and accuracy suffers greatly. Be nice to your balls.

  The Ball Seater Precision Threads & Locking Nuts allow you to set the exact Ball Seating Depth you desire. Cutaway view is of a Fully Seated Single Ball cartridge. The Ball size,  Powder Charge then the Ball weight is written as a .454-7-140 Ball Load.

The numbers mean: the exact size of the ball in inches, then the powder charge in grains (by volume, not weight) and the weight of the Ball (by weight not volume.)

Increased accuracy can often be obtained by weighing the powder charge in grains or grams. Whichever you choose, stick with that figure. Then calibrate your Grainwright Dipper “scale”, the number of turns of the handle measures 1.5 grains (by volume) per turn, to match to your powder weight

  This cutaway view shows two Multi-Ball Loads.

A .454 + .457-15 to 20 -280, Two Ball Load, And,

A .451 + .454 + .457 - 30 to 40 - 420, The 45-70 Government Three Ball Guard Load,

And, shows Powder Chambers resulting from those typical Ball Seating Depths.So, read the 45-70 Book and Fire up your “Old Warrior” with the Original Ballwright Hand Loading Kit and begin your journey of enlightenment in the World of Black Powder Cartridge Shooting.