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I've owned a rifle that fired belted cartridges and so I have never reloaded them. I have always been curious though if the belt caused any special steps or had special requirements.

Just curious.
 

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The 7mm RM was the first cartridge I reloaded for. These days I reload for a number of belted and non-belted cartridges and my procedures are identical for both types.
 

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Some folks will tell you to avoid excessively sizing your brass once you've fired it in your gun. Specifically make sure you are not setting the shoulder back slightly when you size the brass. Setting the shoulder back a little will cause more case stretching with the case headspacing on the belt. Do this by carefully setting your size die to size the neck barely to the shoulder - leave the very slightest bump on the lowest portion of the neck if your rifle will allow loaded ammo to chamber this way - there will be a slight resistance at closing the bolt compared to fully sized case and neck. I think Ken Waters describes the techniques in some of his Pet Loads articles on belted cartridges. Heck I use this same technique for my nonbelted ammo too.

Other than that no difference belted vs non belted. I think some folks make much more of it than is warranted in most situations. It might have been a bigger issue 30-40+ years ago when chambers may not have been cut as carefully as can be done on modern equipment.

My personal 300 win mag has a near match grade barrel and chamber (H-S Precision) and I have had no trouble with brass in it except I lose track of how many times its been loaded. I know some of it was loaded over 10 possibly 15 times and I finally threw it out and bought new just to be safe, and I started having a few case necks crack. I say near match chamber because it does not require me to turn my case necks or any of the ultra precision benchrest stuff some folks do - my gun will chamber factory ammo and such no problem.

HTH
 

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Adjust your die so the cartridge headspaces on the shoulder instead of the belt. Currently, only the 450 Marlin has a practical reason for a belt. The purpose is to keep it from chambering in a 45-70.
 

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The body of the cases expands to fit the rifle chamber, that is the case fire formed when the round is fired. I only neck size the case after it is first fired. Try to chamber a empty case ofter neck sizing, the case would only full sized if the case will not chamber. I get much more reloads from a belted case when only neck sizing my 308 Norma Mag and 340 Weatherby cases. Some chambers are longer than they need to be when the case head spaces on the belt.
 

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Castaway said:
Adjust your die so the cartridge headspaces on the shoulder instead of the belt. Currently, only the 450 Marlin has a practical reason for a belt. The purpose is to keep it from chambering in a 45-70.
It would have been better if Marlin had simply added a little shoulder to the original .45-70 case. That way both the new cartridge and the original could have been fired in the more modern guns but the newer high pressure loadings would not have fit in older guns. In any case it would not have required a special case or draw. OTOH Marlin would not be able to corner the market on a new case design, I belikeve that was their real intent.
 

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BAGTIC said:

It would have been better if Marlin had simply added a little shoulder to the original .45-70 case. That way both the new cartridge and the original could have been fired in the more modern guns but the newer high pressure loadings would not have fit in older guns. In any case it would not have required a special case or draw. OTOH Marlin would not be able to corner the market on a new case design, I belikeve that was their real intent.
There isn’t enough taper in the .45-70 case to allow that – only 0.024” from the mouth to the rim. Such a design would essentially create a straight-wall case and feeding and extraction would be problematic. If you think such a small shoulder (0.012” maximum) would discourage everyone for chambering the new cartridge in a Marlin .45-70 you underestimate your fellow man.

The belt was actually a good solution. A longer case/COL wasn’t acceptable because of the action design and a fatter cartridge would have weakened the action by removing steel from the chamber walls. The belt prevents 450 cartridges from being chambered in a .45-70 chamber. While this may or may not have been an issue in Marlin actions, it most certainly was a concern with some other .45-70 actions.

Since Marlin does not manufacture either cartridge cases or ammunition, cornering the market was probably not their primary concern. That said, even if they had developed a case with a shoulder as you suggest they could have received a patent and demanded royalties. I suspect that as businessmen the primary concern of the management at Marlin was to sell more rifles while minimizing their risk. The belted 450 Marlin case did this nicely.
 

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If that is so why not a case with a stepped rim. The .45-70 rim is very wide. Making a case where the part of the rim next to the case is thick like a .45 AR but the outer part is of normal thickness would still have permitted use of both cartridges in the newer chamber.
 
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