Why belted cases

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by chad, Aug 9, 2014.

  1. chad

    chad Well-Known Member

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    What's the purpose of a belted case? Why not just a normal case?
     

  2. Gunpoor

    Gunpoor Well-Known Member

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    Because the folks (back in the day) at Holland and Holland Company of London, England decided that since they were designing a "magnum" cartridge (375 H&H magnum) that it should look different than a standard velocity round and we have been saddled with the belt on a lot of different cases ever since. It serves no purpose and often causes head space issues in chambers because the belt is used as the reference point of the case for head space measurement instead of the datem line.
     

  3. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    Actually, the belt is used to headspace the cartridge, instead of headspacing on the shoulder, like a non-belted does.

    Also, it won't cause ANY issues if the barrel was properly headspaced with an in-spec reamer by a competent gunsmith.
     
  4. gohring3006

    gohring3006 Well-Known Member

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    Mud is right they were used for headspace. A lot of the Holland and Holland cartridges were not bottle necked enough to head space on the shoulder....
     
  5. davkrat

    davkrat Well-Known Member

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    And add old powders and extreme heat and dust conditions in Africa hunting animals that are likely to kill you the belt assured reliable extraction of the fired case no matter how dirty or hot it was. Reloading was not a consideration of the design. Pure reliable extraction in the face of a charging animal is all it was about.
     
  6. Barrelnut

    Barrelnut Well-Known Member

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    My understanding as principal reasoning for the design too. It was designed to be reliable in harsh African environments.
     
  7. trickytune

    trickytune Well-Known Member

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    i thought it was for reliable extraction in machine guns but this sounds logical as well.

    "The addition of the belt allowed the cartridge to properly headspace, despite the relative lack of a definite shoulder. The reason for the lack of a definitive shoulder was that these old British cartridge cases were intended for firing cordite charges instead of modern smokeless powder. Cordite was extruded as spaghetti-like rods, so the cartridge cases had to be fairly cylindrical shaped to accommodate the cordite propellant rods"
     
  8. Lefty7mmstw

    Lefty7mmstw Well-Known Member

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    cordite is flexible... it is somewhat like a smaller diameter version of parachute cord. The cases were usually necked to final dimensions after the charge was inserted, hence the small or shallow shoulders and need for alternate headspacing in some calibers. The strands were cut the full length of the body of the cartridge. The original (.318") 8mm mauser was also loaded with cordite and we have some of them at my Dad's place. The belt acts like a rim but strips from a bolt action mag as well as a rimless caliber.
    As to why belted... who wants to spend the $$ to re-invent the wheel when there is a perfectly serviceable design already in production that will work, even when a feature of that design really isn't needed at the present time. That's the biggest reason we have families of cartridges based on certain calibers. '06 family, 308 family, rums and short mags from the Jeffery, belted's, 5.56 nato(223) based, the ppc's from the 220 Russian and 7.62 Russian, 22 rimfire variants from the 22 short, etc..
     
  9. Canadian Bushman

    Canadian Bushman Well-Known Member

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    Maybe im wrong here, but i was under the impression that along with the intent of headspacing the cartridge it was also intended to offer more strength to the unsupported portion of the cartridge allowing safe use of higher pressures? Please correct me if im mistaken.
     
  10. Lefty7mmstw

    Lefty7mmstw Well-Known Member

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    nothing to do with pressure... the belt is simply to approximate the positive headspacing of a rimmed (flanged) caliber without the caliber being an issue in a magazine rifle. The first belted caliber was the 375 veloplex, which is hardly a high performer.
    http://www.hollandandholland.com/centenarybrochure.pdf
     
  11. Canadian Bushman

    Canadian Bushman Well-Known Member

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    I was wrong.
    Thank you for correcting my mistake lefty, and for providing the informative link.
     
  12. Lefty7mmstw

    Lefty7mmstw Well-Known Member

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    it's cool man:D
    I figured H@h would have info since they designed the belt to begin with.. queried them and I was right.

    btw., I'm drooling over that rifle. I have a rem700 375 that shoots like a dream. My brother has a #1 in 300h@h that is a heck of a rifle too. I wish I was in position to actually have some H@h rifles from H@h :):)
     
  13. cowboy

    cowboy Well-Known Member

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    The belted magnums originally were built mostly on side by side double barrels for use in Africa. I always thought the belt itself was used as part of the ejector process on the original side by sides.
     
  14. Canadian Bushman

    Canadian Bushman Well-Known Member

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    They do make some gorgeous rifles!