11.5x35mmR Werder Cartridges
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Thread: 11.5x35mmR Werder Cartridges

  1. #1
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    Default 11.5x35mmR Werder Cartridges

    In an earlier thread Nick provided information on the Werder cartridge (see Post #3 https://forums.gunboards.com/showthr...-Werder-pistol). It was a great starting point for me to begin searching for cartridges or in making my own.

    As strange as it seems that the dimensions would have such a wide spread, it is a fact. The cartridge for the Werder pistol in this file has dimensions in-between the above data for the Neck. Due to thickness of the cases just above the shoulder, a bullet dia. of .448 was necessary so the measurement at the area just above the shoulder when seated did not exceed .488 - the maximum width that the case would chamber. The chamber cast showed dimensions of .520 at the Head/Base; .486 at the Neck; .520 at the Shoulder; and .488 just above the Shoulder. The Bore at the muzzle measured .446 across the grooves. This makes for some challenges in forming cases and casting bullets.


    BULLETS: In casting the bullets I used a LEE single cavity mold .454 dia., 288 gr, “Mini-ball type and sized down in 2 steps. First the bullet was resized with a LEE .452 sizing die and then a LEE custom .448 sizing die. Lead was a 20:1 Lead/Tin mix.


    Cases:I used 11.5x35mmR reformed cases from Buffalo Arms. They were close to fitting my chamber but still needed some additional sizing as the “base” was too wide to fit into the chamber. Reloading dies are CH4D 11.5x35R Werder, a 2 die set. Cases are “tweaked” without the expander plug with the first step being a well lubed case and full length sizing. The 2nd step was to place the case on top of a smaller shell holder and again full length size. This pushed the case all the way into the sizing die to the rim allowing the case to be completely chambered. After forming each case was tested in the chamber to make sure it closes and locks up properly and allows the hammer to fall.


    LOADING: The expander plug was replaced in the sizer die and the die adjusted so just enough of the plug entered the case mouth to just allow the bullet to insert. Overall Length was determined by partially seating a bullet and placing the (unloaded) cartridge in the chamber and tapping it into the chamber until the Breechblock would close all the way and lock-up. The block was dropped and the cartridge tapped out. Where the bullet contacted the rifling was visible and the seating dies adjusted until those marks were just inside the case mouth + .002. With the shape of the bullet, very little of the nose sticks out of the case.


    The length of the bullet and seating depth reduces case capacity. Trying several different amount of FFg Black Powder, I found that the suggested charges of 2.6, 2.9 and 3.2 gram would not allow the bullet to be seated. Thought trial and error, I reduced the charge to 1.9, 2.2 and 2.5 gram and tried again. 1.9gm left a small air gap in the base of the bullet; 2.2 gm was compressed fairly tight and the cavity in the bottom of the bullet was full and tight; the 2.5gm was very tightly compressed. Tried a 2.0gm and it was compressed with no air gaps but not as tight as the 2.2gm. Load testing will be done with 2.0 and 2.2 gm FFg.

    Last edited by RetE8USN; 07-29-2019 at 02:36 PM.
    “I took an oath that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic and that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same. It was not a selective oath where I could pick and choose what portions of the Constitution, or any Amendments thereto, I would support and defend and that oath’s only expiration date would be the day that I die.”

  2. #2
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    Nick is offline Super Moderator/Diamond Bullet member
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    Impressive as all your reloading reports. So thorough! Let us see the final product, and when you find the missing parts - how it shoots!
    "It's impossible to grasp the boundless" - Kozma Prutkov

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  3. #3
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    Visited my local smith today. Omega spring is done, firing pin almost done built to the specs you provided me Nick, and the flat spring he said should be no problem as he has made lots of flat spring since the late 60's when he started smithing. Cases are made and when he has the other parts all done, going to take 3 cases with just primers to make sure the firing pin detonates the primers and everything locks up the way it should. Then range testing time. As soon as I get the gun back I'll post pictures of it, the parts he made and what it cost me. I'll post pix of the ctg tomorrow....
    “I took an oath that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic and that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same. It was not a selective oath where I could pick and choose what portions of the Constitution, or any Amendments thereto, I would support and defend and that oath’s only expiration date would be the day that I die.”

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  5. #4
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    Default Werder Ctg Pictures

    Here are pictures of the cartridge & bullet. Case Length is 1.385 and is real close to the chamber cast I made. OAL is 1.615 and is about 0.004 off rifling.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Werder Ctg.JPG  

    “I took an oath that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic and that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same. It was not a selective oath where I could pick and choose what portions of the Constitution, or any Amendments thereto, I would support and defend and that oath’s only expiration date would be the day that I die.”

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