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Belted Magnums

Old 12-24-2003, 07:23 PM
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Default Belted Magnums

I have been hearing the phrase belted magnums and wondering what that ment and what calibers are belted magnums and what calibers are not.
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Old 12-24-2003, 09:50 PM
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Default RE: Belted Magnums

Belted magnums: .257 Weatherby Magnum, 6.5 Remington Magnum, .264 Winchester Magnum, .270 Weatherby Magnum, 7 x 61 Sharpe & Hart, 7mm Remington Magnum , 7mm Weatherby Magnum, 7mm STW, .300 H&H Magnum, .300 Winchester Magnum , .300 Weatherby Magnum , .308 Norma Magnum, 8mm Remington Magnum, .338 Winchester Magnum , .340 Weatherby Magnum, .350 Remington Magnum, .358 Norma Magnum, .375 H&H Magnum, .416 Remington Magnum, .458 Winchester Magnum , .458 Lott Magnum, etc.

Simply put a ring near the base of the casing(brass), is referred to as a belt

Examples of non belted(standard) are 243, 270win, 280 rem, 308 win, 3006 sprg, 3030 win and the list goes on.
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Old 12-25-2003, 09:06 AM
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Default RE: Belted Magnums

Hi andy_o,

Skeeter 7mm pretty much hit the nail on the head. Belted cases have an additional "ring" or "belt" near the bottom of the case just above the base or web.

And in case you are wondering why?

The belt is put there for headspacing. When a cartridge enters the chamber of a firearm it is necessary that is "properly positioned in the chamber"...or headspaced in order to fire. Some cartridges (like the .30-30 Winchester and .45-70...as well as revolver cartridges like the .38 Special, .44 Magnum, etc....to name only a few) "headspace" on a rim. So they are known as "Rimmed cartridges". Some other cartridges (like the .270 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield, .22-250, .243 Winchester, etc....once again to name only a few) "headspace" on their shoulder. They are typically referred to as "Standard cartridges". Some cartridges (like the .300 Weatherby, .300 Winchester, 7mm Remington Magnum, etc...to name a few) "headspace" on a belt. They are referred to as "Belted cartridges". And some cartridges, (mostly pistol....like the .380 ACP, .45 ACP, 9mm Parabellum, etc....to name a few) "headspace" on the case mouth.

For a better explanation of these and many other "firearms related terms" check out this site:

http://www.chuckhawks.com/index2.guns.htm

I hope this information has helped...rather than confused!
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Old 12-25-2003, 09:44 AM
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Default RE: Belted Magnums

akbound,

I remember when they came up with that "not so bright" idea. They also claimed it added more strength to the base of the case. Some called in "magnumized".

That may be true, but let's call it what it "really" is/was!! It's a selling ploy, that really did nothing but get lots and lots of folks to buy into the "magnum theory"!!!

As for headspace on the belt. If anyone took the time to measure a number of cartridges of several brands, it's easy to see that "most" of the belted cases really "headspace" on the "shoulder" instead of the belt, just like non belted cases!

Well, the belt served it's purpose, it made a lot of folks buy "belted magnums"!! I guess for "that" reason, it wasn't so bad of an idea.
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Old 12-25-2003, 03:30 PM
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Default RE: Belted Magnums

Hi Drilling-Man,

You are correct that many of the belted magnums do in fact headspace on the shoulder. And most reloaders that I've known that shoot most of the belted magnums will reload their cartridges to headspace on the shoulder...if the cartridge is to be fired in the same gun it was originally fired in. This practice usually increases case life, usually increases accuracy potential, and usually reduces the need for case trimming (though not always). And on all the belted magnums with sharp shoulders and little case taper this practice works very well.

When the "Belted Magnum" originated it was done with the specific purpose to insure proper headspacing on cartridges like the .300 H&H and the .375 H&H. Both of these cases drastically taper from the rear to the front of the case.....and additionally have long "sloping" shoulders....that do not provide a good headspacing index. Holland & Holland designed these cartridges specifically with the "long tapered design" to insure reliable feeding from magazine to chamber. (They also designed them to moderate pressures to insure a large margin of error for operating pressures in tropical climates.) And in fact the original Holland cartridges "did" headspace on the belt. Both of these cartridges are very well designed....did what they were intended for....and did it with a maximum of reliability and a minimum of problems. (Most of the problems associated with either cartridge early in their life was primarily due to insufficient bullet design......the cartridges were a resounding success!)

And once again you are absolutely correct in the assertion that the belt became a "marketing gimic". (And from a purely commercial point of view.....it worked also.) But nearly all of the modern belted magnums would mechanically work just as well....(and in many cases better)....without the belt! I was only pointing out the original purpose of the belt.....and an explanation of headspacing...and its purpose!

Assuming andy_o hangs around the shooting sports long enough...and remains inquisitive...he'll learn all the nuaunces. Actually I believe the .375 H&H was the original idea...and usage...of the belt. And it occurred in 1912, I believe! Since then it has gone on to become a "marketing ploy". Fortunately, we seem to be moving away from the belt except in those instances when it actually might serve its original purpose!
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Old 12-25-2003, 06:16 PM
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Default RE: Belted Magnums

Very good responses to a fundamental question. Belted is a physical characteristic regardless of name -- speaks for itself. The term "Magnum" is merely a marketing ploy on the part of the manufacturer naming their cartridge.

Skeeter, that is a long list, and I agree with two exceptions. I believe that though the 7mmSTW and 458 Lott are indeed a belted cartridges; however, neither has been "knighted" with the title of Magnum. I checked all the literature I could find. A Smallbore and a Bigbore, yes. Magnums, no.

I wouldn't mention it other than I'm zeroing in acquiring on "capable" rifles that are NOT magnums: 416 Rigby, 458 Lott, 338 Lapua, 7mmSTW, etc. Wouldn't want to be accused of magnumitis.

EKM
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Old 12-25-2003, 07:42 PM
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Default RE: Belted Magnums

I would like to add that all of the belted cartridges still do headspace off of the belt and not the shoulder. Even when they are reloaded to a specific rifle the headspace measurement was, still is, and allways will be taken from the belt and not the shoulder of the case. Reloading a cartridge has nothing to do with if the chamber of a given rifle headspaces properly or not. That is the only reason the belt is there and headspace gagues that are machined for belted cartridges are not machined to include the entire case deminsions, just the belt portion and a small amount of the case above the belt so that it can center itself in the chamber. When you order a headspace gague for any of the belted cartridges like a 257 Weatherby, 264 Winchester, 270 Weatherby, 7mm Rem. Mag., 300 winchester mag., 300 H&H, 338 Winchester mag., 8mm mag., 375 H&H, 350 Remington mag., 416 Remington mag., 458 Winchester mag, and many others. They all use the exact same headspace gague even though many may have different case dimensions.
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Old 12-25-2003, 09:55 PM
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Default RE: Belted Magnums

Big bulls,

What you say is true "untill" the first shot is fired!! From that point on "that" case will headspace on the "shoulder" "IF" it's resized properly!! This is why the cases are made so sloppy to begin with. The ammo companys can let the belt take care of the head space the first time around!

I've loaded 10 of thousands of belted magnums over the years, and what i've seen is just what akbound said in his last post. "If" you want your brass to last, you DON'T push that shoulder back and let it head space on the belt! The belt becomes usless!!

One last thing: In my last post i was refering to modern belted magnums, not the "origional" ones like the H & H's. I'm not quite old enough to have been around when the H & H's came on the scene! :&gt
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Old 12-26-2003, 04:39 AM
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Default RE: Belted Magnums

Hey Drilling-Man,

Frequently I have days that I "feel" like I've been around since the originals!

But........I guess getting old beats the alternative!!!

Dave
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Old 12-26-2003, 05:00 AM
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Default RE: Belted Magnums

On a more serious note. I found that if I adjusted my dies, "for belted magnums", to resize so they headspaced on the belt.....I'd end up with incipient case head separation....just in front of the belt. Depending on the specifics (and there are always variables, ie...brass manufacturer, particular caliber, particular firearm, etc.) it would happen after just a few reloads.

But, if I adjusted my dies to "not set back the shoulder" and instead allow the case to remain headspaced on the shoulder, (for that particular rifle), I frequently could double....or better....my case life. However, and this is important, if by doing that procedure it in any way would adversely affect functional reliability, (as in difficulty chambering, closing bolt, etc.), I would readjust the dies to "set back the shoulder" and reestablish headspace on the belt. On nearly all of my rifles...it was never a problem!

I have also owned three or four, (give or take a half dozen), .375 H&H's. For that particular caliber I was careful to adjust my dies to headspace "on the belt". Though a very "careful and prudent" person could have used the shoulder. But considering what was normally at stake when I'd use those rifles....I opted to insure the headspace was proper.....and "to dang with case life". (This discussion doesn't apply for cases like the .458 Win Mag.....because they have no shoulder.)

For cases with a "modern" shoulder, like the .338 Winchester Magnum (another favorite of mine), and most other belted magnums.....case life is much better without setting back the shoulder. (If and only if you intend to use that cartridge in the "same" rifle.) I've never had a reliability issue when reloading my belted magnums this way.....and truthfully I learned the technique in one of my earlier reloading manuals. (No....I do not remember which company or edition.....but I remember reading it at that time....15 or 16 years old....with a big ? on my face. (Couldn't understand at the time why they put the dang belt there for a purpose.....only to tell me that it actually was not needed for that purpose?!?)

It like many other seeming puzzlements have slowly revealed themselves to me over the years. (Yes, usually accompanied by the same ? each time!) But that's okay......I figure when I've quit learning....it must be time to die[:-]?!?
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