Reloading the .500 Jeffery

    • with Somchem powders and South African bullets, specifically to make Ultra Bore power factor in the BASA shoots.

      The most economical commercial bullet available that used to be available South Africa for the 500 Jeffery was the Frontier 570gr. This was discontinued by the manufacturer. Since then, I've been casting my own bullets for .500 Jeffery.


        • A suitable commercial mould is the Lee 515-500. This produces bullets in the correct shape, and a Lyman .512 sizer gets them to the correct size.

          The bullets are powder coated, and this method has proven suitable for the purpose.

          A hardness of BHN 16 gives good performance and acceptable accuracy.

        • 116 grain IMR 4451
        • 520 grains lead [ Lee 515-500 mould ]
        • BHN 16
        • Powder coat
        • CCI 250 primer
        • Bertrams brass
        • 2017 fps
        • 105 grains Somchem S355
        • 570gr Frontier bullet
        • Federal 215 primer
        • Bertrams brass
        • AOL 83.7 mm
        • 2105 fps

        All cases extracted easily, and no unusual primer signs are visible.

        • 110 grains Somchem S355
        • 570gr Frontier bullet
        • Federal 215 primer
        • Bertrams brass
        • AOL 83.7 mm
        • 2200 fps

        All cases extracted easily, and no unusual primer signs are visible.

        I tested one round of the Kynoch factory ammo I had, and it clocked 2305 fps. Temperature was 35 degrees C, but the ammo was never in the sun.

        The bolt was firmly stuck after that, which declared the ammunition unsuitable for me. I pulled the remaining rounds to re-use the brass, and discarded the powder.

      • The bullet weighed 533 grains.

        The powder weighed 119.7 grains. Not sure what it is, but it looks a lot like the Somchem S365 except the grains color is not uniform. Which means that some grains have more retardent on them than others, which makes for unpredictable pressure.

        The bolt binding after one shot at an ambient temperature which is moderate for the field, makes me wonder if the load development for this batch was done during the European winter.

      • Bertrams brass.

        A RCBS Rockchucker is required. The standard die bushing is removed, and replaced with a large body die bushing.

        I'm not aware of any other brand of press that can take a large-body die bushing, but if there is, you can use it.

        RCBS make 500 Jeffery dies. The large body press bushing is top right. A Factory Crimp Die is optional, but works very well for crimping, especially monolithics. That is a custom order from Lee.

      • To make Ultra Bore power factor with a 570 bullet, a velocity of 2100 fps is required.