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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All
I have recently acquired a 1st model Newton, and RCBS dies. The dies came with some brass, which are devoid of any brand name or calibre markings, so I can only assume they are resized .30-06 surplus.

I intend to test loads with Win 760 (that's the powder I have, won't be getting more) and various Nosler and Hornady projectiles ranging from 100-120gr. I will start with a 6.5x55 max load of around 45gr of 760 and work up. Has anyone any experience to suggest this is not a good starting point?

With regard to case trimming, I have read (Can't remember the source exactly but I think it was either a Handloaders Digest article or from Ken Waters, someone correct me) that 2.40" is sufficient trim length, a fraction shorter than original specs. I usually use Lee case trim gauges but I do not have one for this length, and can't get my hands on a 9.3x62 gauge - serious supply issues) What is your experience with varying trim length?

I will also source some new brass to reform new cases, my preference is Norma 25-06 or 270, but will see what is available. What are your experiences with forming cases for the 256?

Thanks in advance
Regards
Ben W
 

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Just the aside... Big congrats" on owning a great rifle, that Newton edition of 1916! Particularly so if "original" condition. Only about 4K total production & of those, most altered in the century plus 'out there'! My own original in "30 Govt", a gem!
Best! John
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just the aside... Big congrats" on owning a great rifle, that Newton edition of 1916! Particularly so if "original" condition. Only about 4K total production & of those, most altered in the century plus 'out there'! My own original in "30 Govt", a gem!
Best! John
Thanks John. The condition of the stock is best described as 'sad', with a considerable crack around the action which needs some kind of repair. The bore looks reasonable, but hard to determine for sure until bullets go down the tube and groups can be measured.
Unfortunately It also has an aperture/peep sight fitted to the rear of the receiver, which I suspect is not original. This modification, along with the poor woodwork, makes it something of a 'beater', but I'm pleased to own it anyway. Its also the only one I have ever seen here in New Zealand. There may be others but Ive never seen one.
It certainly won't be a safe queen, I intend to take it walking and put a deer or two in its sights. I'm excited to get some rounds loaded up and see how it shoots!
Are we allowed to post rifle pictures here in the reloading forum or is this too off-topic?
Regards
Ben
 

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Thank You for posing the question.
While I can not help with an answer or even an opinion, it did lead to a bit of Google-Fu concerning both the cartridge and the rifle.
Given the interest this might generate perhaps it would be best to start a separate thread in another forum although I don't know which would be best for it.
For myself, I would like to see pictures and ask a few questions.
If you do start a thread, please advise as to where you place it.

As for the cartridge and your question, the bits of info I did find revealed that in its original configuration it closely matches the now current 6.5 Creedmore in performance, albeit in a larger envelope.
The general consensus in the articles I read point towards IMR 4895 as a goto but most of those articles are quite dated, more modern powders might work as well or better.
As a start point though, how does WW 760 compare with 4895 in the burn rate charts?

Hopefully, someone who has hands on with this cartridge will respond and give some tips for you.
 

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the WW760 powder will definitely be on the slow side of performance for this size of case. something in the 4895 burn rate range might do better. another good idea would be to check the barrel's rate of twist; knowing that will help with choosing the most suitable weight of bullet, for accuracy.
 

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I have a 1925 Meeker (long story but a Newton offshoot) in .256 Newton. Chas. Newton was going for speed and designed the rifle to shoot relatively light bullets. I had no success getting 140's to shoot well and settled on 129gr (I think...away from my notes). Performance and loading are very close to the 6.5-06. I have brass converted from '06 but did score a bunch of properly marked brass (Qual-Cart, I think) all brand new. I don't know about trim length as I've never trimmed any...yet. For powders, I am using 4831-SC and it seems to work well.
 

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Thanks John. The condition of the stock is best described as 'sad', with a considerable crack around the action which needs some kind of repair. The bore looks reasonable, but hard to determine for sure until bullets go down the tube and groups can be measured.
Unfortunately It also has an aperture/peep sight fitted to the rear of the receiver, which I suspect is not original. This modification, along with the poor woodwork, makes it something of a 'beater', but I'm pleased to own it anyway. Its also the only one I have ever seen here in New Zealand. There may be others but Ive never seen one.
It certainly won't be a safe queen, I intend to take it walking and put a deer or two in its sights. I'm excited to get some rounds loaded up and see how it shoots!
Are we allowed to post rifle pictures here in the reloading forum or is this too off-topic?
Regards
Ben
Thanks for the update! These rifles are sufficiently rare, just owning one in "shooting condition" obviates the need for any apology... At least such in my book! I agree that "how it shoots", likely the 64 dollar question as intent to 'field it'.
Can't speak for this Forum, but probably the GB Commercial & Military Sporting Arms Forum, would a good place for photos, w/link here. I'd sure like to see your specimen! You do that & I'll post up a few pix too. Maybe throw in one or two of my Buffalo Newton! Needs a few small parts and... Dang! Walmart's still "out of stock"! :)
Hope for 'rendezvouses' there! Get some dialogue started on the Newton subject.
Best!
John
 

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Nonte 1967 page 297 lists trim length of 2.457". The powder loads he lists use 4064 up to 120 gr bullet, and 4350 for 160 gr bullet. He cautions on checking neck diameter after resizing from 30-06 but you may be OK using .270 cases (neck spec = 0.289").
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Apologies for the lack of timely updates and pictures. I have 4 weeks off work about to begin tomorrow so there will be some handloading done and trips to the range forthcoming this month.
I do have this to add today though if anyone is interested:
Handloader Number 127 Featuring Ken Waters article on the 256!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Can anyone identify this brass? R A 43 ?
3862413


In the process of modifying a 25-06 trim length gauge for the 256. Easy! just take out the '-0'

3862415
 

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".......Can anyone identify this brass? R A 43 ?..."

Remington Arms 1943

Military 30-06 from WW2 made by Remington


I used 270 to form into 256Newton. Though 30-06 works just fine.
My die set is a CH4D that came with the rifle along with some already formed and reloaded ammo.
I used the info from the Ken Waters Handloader magazine for guidance.
The 270/30-06 case must fireform (blow-out) to the Newton chamber for full efficiency. MAny don't realize the Newton is slightly larger at both the base and shoulder than the standard brass they are making it from. Keep a watch on headspace while doing so and continued reloading to prevent head separations and other potential brass failures.

The bore on mine is not the greatest. I have the rifle apart now for a restoration.
 

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Agree, Remington.........

I note that the primer crimp seems very heavy duty on that sample.
Can anyone comment on that?
Was it for aircraft MG use or just how some of it was generally loaded?
I have RA headstamped brass from that era in the hoard but I do not recall that heavy a crimp.
Admittedly it has been a long while since I looked at it though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I decided to follow the workings of Mr Waters and go with a trim length of 2.42, so I shortened a 25-06 Lee trim gauge to suit.
Formed my first piece of 256 Newt from PPU .270 brass, trimmed to length and seated with a 129gr Accubond. Its a display round only.
I will get to work on doing a test run of 10 complete rounds... I don't want to load any more until I know for sure that the bore of the rifle is in usable condition, which I won't really know for sure until I can get to the range.
3869245
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
A range report from the first small test batch of ammo.
I was very pleased to discover that the bore still has life left in it, shooting roughly 3” at 50 and 100yards. I must not have been trying very hard at 50..
Rectangle Wood Font Gas Wood stain


I think with a scope mounted to offset my poor vision at 100 yards and some further testing it should do 2”.

The discovery I wasn’t as pleased about was the flattish primers. With only 45gr of Win760 In theory this should be a starting load. I did not fire these over the chrony yet as I just wanted to check the condition of the bore before I went any further, but I wish I had, to help explain the condition of the primers. I would be very surprised if this is considered to be a max load for the 256N, as I load the same 45gr in my 6.5x55, also with 120gr Noslers, for 2800fps with no pressure signs on the primers. I consider that to be a max load for the Swede.
Brown Handle Sleeve Wood Door

The only the cause would be slightly excessive headspace from incorrectly sizing brass, (as I learned with my 6.5x55, getting flat primers with light loads between 38-42gr)
But.. I sized these Newton cases to be a tight fit, with slight downward pressure on the bolt handle required while chambering, for that reason.
Is there something else I may have missed?
 

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I do not see a flattened primer.
It appears that the rounded shoulder is still present.
What I do see, though, is a cratered primer, it appears that the primer cup was pushed back over the pin and into the FP hole in the boltface.
I have seen this condition before on BP firearms, like a trapdoor Springfield, using a smokeless powder load, it might just be a sloppy fit or the boltface may have other issues.
 

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Big 'congrats' on "Happy Range" experience. My Walter Mitty 'there with you & my "Neut '06'!
Thanks for the report!
John
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I do not see a flattened primer.
It appears that the rounded shoulder is still present.
What I do see, though, is a cratered primer, it appears that the primer cup was pushed back over the pin and into the FP hole in the boltface.
I have seen this condition before on BP firearms, like a trapdoor Springfield, using a smokeless powder load, it might just be a sloppy fit or the boltface may have other issues.
You're right, there is still some rounding of the shoulder present, but they still seem a little flattened compared to fired primers in any of my other rifles that use the same ones. They just seem a little too flat to what Im used to seeing and that raised my curiosity. Perhaps I'm reading into it too much.. the chrony will be more revealing probably.
Right again about the crater, my Swede does the same, sloppy firing pin hole.
 

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Thanks, I also see the imprint of what appears to be micro pits on the primer face.
I'd have a real good look at the bolt face and see what is going on there.
Year's worth of use and corrosive primers may have damaged it.
Did you check the flash hole on that brass, sometimes PPU brass has undersized holes, that can cause some weird things to happen.
You could try some loads with magnum primers (if you can get them), supposedly thicker cup material, it might help with this issue and if you are at the starting load the hotter primer probably will not affect your POI much.
 
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