Winchester 43 218 Bee Mag?

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Mainehunter
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Winchester 43 218 Bee Mag?

#1 Post by Mainehunter » Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:56 am

Found one in Down East Maine yesterday (North of Ellsworth) at a fair price BUT no magazine. Told the store clerk to keep it on hold till next week since I'll be back in the area next week for work. Just started to look around for one but they are hard to find. Any suggestions?


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Re: Winchester 43 218 Bee Mag?

#2 Post by GunnyMack » Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:06 pm

Numrich, gunpartscorp.com
Jack First
Or the auction sites and you might find one.

I had a 43 in Hornet, friend of mine wanted it real bad so I sold it to him, dont think he has shot it yet- that was a dozen years ago. Couple weeks later I found a LNIB #1 in 218, bunch of factory ammo with scope. Got it for 400 bucks!

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Re: Winchester 43 218 Bee Mag?

#3 Post by Sixgun » Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:06 pm

Yep....a poor mans model 70.

Hard to find? Not if you have money........gun or mag....today is the age of the Internet with just about everything available.

In most dealers racks...nope.....THATS how I buy.....I want my hands on it.

Cool and good shooting? Yep, I've owned them in 218 Bee and unlike a levergun, you can safely load spitzers in them, but with the range of the Hornet, Bee, that's inconsequential.

This is what it boils down to.....if you have always wanted a neat caliber in a simple gun and don't like to buy from the Internet, go get it. Bee's are not laying around everywhere like you can buy a gallon on milk. I've always have had that train of thought my whole life and today, at 64, I'm glad I did as there are not too many "normal guns" in my collection.

Hey, ya want me to enable you? Ok, here goes.......your transmission takes a shyt...... cost? .....$3,200 ......
Well, the next day you certainly don't brag to your buddies..."hey guys, I just spent $3,200 on a transmission! It's so cool to have a rebuilt transmission! Oh man, I'm getting a woodie thinking about this transmission."

These things in life are regular, along with real estate taxes, insurances, septic tank clean outs, repairs,on and on....that you can't actually hold and brag about......BUT...you can brag about that .218 Bee!----6
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Re: Winchester 43 218 Bee Mag?

#4 Post by 6pt-sika » Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:00 pm

I had a 43 in 22 Hornet years ago bought it from Don Heath oughtta “Shotgun News” years ago . They made a DeLuxe model as well better wood and checkered I have a collector friend that has all four in the DeLuxe version Horner , Bee , 25-20 and 32-20 .
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Re: Winchester 43 218 Bee Mag?

#5 Post by Sixgun » Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:26 pm

6pt-sika wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:00 pm
a 43 in 25-20
Yea, I could have had one of those and let it go. That was back in the eighties and IIRC was $250.---6
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Re: Winchester 43 218 Bee Mag?

#6 Post by AJMD429 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:54 pm

Sixgun wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:06 pm
Yep....a poor mans model 70.

Hard to find? Not if you have money........gun or mag....today is the age of the Internet with just about everything available.

In most dealers racks...nope.....THATS how I buy.....I want my hands on it.

Cool and good shooting? Yep, I've owned them in 218 Bee and unlike a levergun, you can safely load spitzers in them, but with the range of the Hornet, Bee, that's inconsequential.

This is what it boils down to.....if you have always wanted a neat caliber in a simple gun and don't like to buy from the Internet, go get it. Bee's are not laying around everywhere like you can buy a gallon on milk. I've always have had that train of thought my whole life and today, at 64, I'm glad I did as there are not too many "normal guns" in my collection.

Hey, ya want me to enable you? Ok, here goes.......your transmission takes a shyt...... cost? .....$3,200 ......
Well, the next day you certainly don't brag to your buddies..."hey guys, I just spent $3,200 on a transmission! It's so cool to have a rebuilt transmission! Oh man, I'm getting a woodie thinking about this transmission."

These things in life are regular, along with real estate taxes, insurances, septic tank clean outs, repairs,on and on....that you can't actually hold and brag about......BUT...you can brag about that .218 Bee!----6
We think so much alike, we must be twins separated at birth.... :D
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Re: Winchester 43 218 Bee Mag?

#7 Post by Mainehunter » Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:22 pm

GunnyMack wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:06 pm
Numrich, gunpartscorp.com
Jack First
Or the auction sites and you might find one.

I had a 43 in Hornet, friend of mine wanted it real bad so I sold it to him, dont think he has shot it yet- that was a dozen years ago. Couple weeks later I found a LNIB #1 in 218, bunch of factory ammo with scope. Got it for 400 bucks!
In a #1? :shock: That's a first! Didn't know Ruger made them in #1. How's it shooting?
Sixgun wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:06 pm
Yep....a poor mans model 70.

Hard to find? Not if you have money........gun or mag....today is the age of the Internet with just about everything available.

In most dealers racks...nope.....THATS how I buy.....I want my hands on it.

Cool and good shooting? Yep, I've owned them in 218 Bee and unlike a levergun, you can safely load spitzers in them, but with the range of the Hornet, Bee, that's inconsequential.

This is what it boils down to.....if you have always wanted a neat caliber in a simple gun and don't like to buy from the Internet, go get it. Bee's are not laying around everywhere like you can buy a gallon on milk. I've always have had that train of thought my whole life and today, at 64, I'm glad I did as there are not too many "normal guns" in my collection.

Hey, ya want me to enable you? Ok, here goes.......your transmission takes a shyt...... cost? .....$3,200 ......
Well, the next day you certainly don't brag to your buddies..."hey guys, I just spent $3,200 on a transmission! It's so cool to have a rebuilt transmission! Oh man, I'm getting a woodie thinking about this transmission."

These things in life are regular, along with real estate taxes, insurances, septic tank clean outs, repairs,on and on....that you can't actually hold and brag about......BUT...you can brag about that .218 Bee!----6
Six... I hear yeah! This is a first for me, never seen them up close. As I travel through the state of Maine I like to stop at gunshops along the way just to see what they have. It's used but not abused. Bluing and bore looks good and comes with a Simmons scope but it has a chunk of wood missing just behind the trigger guard that's kind of weird. He's asking $450 but I think if I lay down four C notes in front of him he'll probably take it, we'll see!


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Re: Winchester 43 218 Bee Mag?

#8 Post by 4t5 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:56 pm


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Re: Winchester 43 218 Bee Mag?

#9 Post by Mainehunter » Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:59 pm

Thanks for the link! :D

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Re: Winchester 43 218 Bee Mag?

#10 Post by 4t5 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:04 pm

If they're hard to find, I'd call before ordering to make sure that is the correct magazine.

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Re: Winchester 43 218 Bee Mag?

#11 Post by Sixgun » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:27 pm

Mainehunter...go get it! :D here's another incentive.....with cast bullets, you can make it anywhere from a .22 cb cap gun to a .22 mag...with everything in between! :D Don't worry bout the wood...fixable...for a stinking four c-notes you will have thousands of hours of "happy time" :D ----6

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Re: Winchester 43 218 Bee Mag?

#12 Post by GunnyMack » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:35 pm

My #1 is like most, shoots good but could be better. So I did a little work on it.
First thing to do is relieve the back of the forend so it's not touching anywhere. Then glass bed what was relieved so there is perfect contact.
Second thing is to shim between the barrel and forearm, puts constant UP pressure on barrel. I used a piece of leather.
Then I just worked up a load, IRRC, 13.5 grains 4227 and a 40 grain vmax. This load is a consistent 1/4 - 1/2" @ 100.
For some reason I really enjoy the 'obsolete ' cartridges! Lots of fun , economic to load, no obnoxious report and perfect for varmints.

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Re: Winchester 43 218 Bee Mag?

#13 Post by AJMD429 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:45 pm

GunnyMack wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:35 pm
For some reason I really enjoy the 'obsolete ' cartridges! Lots of fun , economic to load, no obnoxious report and perfect for varmints.
Yep, and the 218 Bee has a wide power spectrum. Nothing up near 22-250 or even 223, but for sure can go above 22 Hornet. It's only 'problem' was that leverguns (at least the ones made at the time the cartridge was developed) just weren't able to fully exploit the accuracy potential of the little round.

It reminds me of the 22 TCM that was developed for the 1911 - you could sort of call it a 'short fat [non]magnum' :D
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Re: Winchester 43 218 Bee Mag?

#14 Post by Mainehunter » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:56 pm

GunnyMack wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:35 pm
My #1 is like most, shoots good but could be better. So I did a little work on it.
First thing to do is relieve the back of the forend so it's not touching anywhere. Then glass bed what was relieved so there is perfect contact.
Second thing is to shim between the barrel and forearm, puts constant UP pressure on barrel. I used a piece of leather.
Then I just worked up a load, IRRC, 13.5 grains 4227 and a 40 grain vmax. This load is a consistent 1/4 - 1/2" @ 100.
For some reason I really enjoy the 'obsolete ' cartridges! Lots of fun , economic to load, no obnoxious report and perfect for varmints.
I know what you mean regarding accuracy on the #1. I have one in 257 Roberts that I picked up a year ago. Did shoot it with factory loads but it was like all over the place. I did take my time between shots but I thought it'll be a little more accurate.

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Re: Winchester 43 218 Bee Mag?

#15 Post by AJMD429 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:36 pm

GunnyMack wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:35 pm
I know what you mean regarding accuracy on the #1. I have one in 257 Roberts that I picked up a year ago. Did shoot it with factory loads but it was like all over the place. I did take my time between shots but I thought it'll be a little more accurate.
Yeah, I only have shot one Ruger No.1 (7mm RemMag), but both Encores I've had (barrels in 45-70, 223 Rem, 280 Rem, 270 Win), and Handi-Rifles (223 Rem, 7.62x39, 357 Mag, 44 Mag) have all shot as good or better than the Ruger (though I did have to file down a ridge on an aftermarket for end on the 270 that bent/stressed the barrel when both screws were tightened). Seems like they could do better, especially for the price difference...!
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Re: Winchester 43 218 Bee Mag?

#16 Post by Sixgun » Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:08 pm

Number 1 Rugers have extremely ....and notoriously temperamental forend tension issues. Find the right spot and they shoot like a bolt gun.----6
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Re: Winchester 43 218 Bee Mag?

#17 Post by GunnyMack » Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:01 am

If that link above has magazines get 2! Heck I just spent $110 on a bolt for a Winchester M60A. 48 bucks is very reasonable in my mind.
If they don't have it well then I'd say you could probably look for / use a mag marked 25-20 or 32-20 which might make the search a little easier... Not sure if the mags were caliber specific but they are the same parent case. Feed lips might be slightly different but being rimmed case I think it should work.

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Re: Winchester 43 218 Bee Mag?

#18 Post by 6pt-sika » Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:18 am

AJMD429 wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:45 pm


It reminds me of the 22 TCM that was developed for the 1911 - you could sort of call it a 'short fat [non]magnum' :D
I shot a Rock Island 1911 in 22 TCM at Rock Islands indoor range in Davao a couple weeks ago . Very pleasant recoilwise but noisewise it put me in mind of a 22 Jet .
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Re: Winchester 43 218 Bee Mag?

#19 Post by Mainehunter » Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:42 am

6pt-sika wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:18 am
AJMD429 wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:45 pm


It reminds me of the 22 TCM that was developed for the 1911 - you could sort of call it a 'short fat [non]magnum' :D
I shot a Rock Island 1911 in 22 TCM at Rock Islands indoor range in Davao a couple weeks ago . Very pleasant recoilwise but noisewise it put me in mind of a 22 Jet .
There was a guy at the range few years ago that had a S&W 53 in 22 Jet, Man was it ear piercing but accurate! :shock: If I do get this I'm assuming this is a hand load proposition or factory ammo? Thoughts?

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Re: Winchester 43 218 Bee Mag?

#20 Post by GunnyMack » Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:06 pm

Buy factory ammo when you find it( just for brass) but you will want to hand load to get the most out of it.
Brass can be tricky to find just like 25-20.

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Re: Winchester 43 218 Bee Mag?

#21 Post by AJMD429 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:17 pm

GunnyMack wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:06 pm
Buy factory ammo when you find it( just for brass) but you will want to hand load to get the most out of it.
Brass can be tricky to find just like 25-20.
At least it isn't a cartridge most people shoot a very high volume of, and if you're shooting it all out of the same gun and keep pressures moderate, you can probably reuse the same brass quite a few times before you would have failures.
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Re: Winchester 43 218 Bee Mag?

#22 Post by 3leggedturtle » Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:56 pm

Local shop has the new Hornady 218 Bee ammo, $35 for a box of 25. Could really learn to like one in 32/20. But after reading this post I wouldn’t turn any of them down at a reasonable price. Todd
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Re: Winchester 43 218 Bee Mag?

#23 Post by 4t5 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:08 pm


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Re: Winchester 43 218 Bee Mag?

#24 Post by earlmck » Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:06 pm

Factory ammo for a Bee is hard to find and ridiculously expensive for something that is such a sweetheart to load for. Starline 32/20 brass is readily available and forms into 218 Bee with some care. I drop it to 25/20 first and then down to 218 Bee. And I think I made a post on here some time back about having failures in dropping to 25/20 when I tried new Lee dies: turns out Lee uses such a huge hole for the shoulder vent that it initiated a nasty crease in the neck of the parent 32/20 case. My ancient Herters 25/20 die works fine though. And even more ancient Hollywood 218 Bee die takes it on down in the final step. I know the necks have thickened some by the time you do this but in my Browning 65 they are fine without any neck reaming or turning.

Truth be told I only made a few 218 Bees from Starline brass to make sure I could do it OK. I bought a nice batch of Bee brass from fellow Levergunner Blaine a few years ago and have not lost any of that to case failure, though I have lost a few in the dirt/grass/bushes somewhere along the line.

And for us cast bullet shooters the Bee is only one notch less perfect than the Hornet -- decently long neck and small case capacity in keeping with the modest velocities we want for our casties.
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Re: Winchester 43 218 Bee Mag?

#25 Post by Mainehunter » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:01 am

earlmck wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:06 pm
Factory ammo for a Bee is hard to find and ridiculously expensive for something that is such a sweetheart to load for. Starline 32/20 brass is readily available and forms into 218 Bee with some care. I drop it to 25/20 first and then down to 218 Bee. And I think I made a post on here some time back about having failures in dropping to 25/20 when I tried new Lee dies: turns out Lee uses such a huge hole for the shoulder vent that it initiated a nasty crease in the neck of the parent 32/20 case. My ancient Herters 25/20 die works fine though. And even more ancient Hollywood 218 Bee die takes it on down in the final step. I know the necks have thickened some by the time you do this but in my Browning 65 they are fine without any neck reaming or turning.

Truth be told I only made a few 218 Bees from Starline brass to make sure I could do it OK. I bought a nice batch of Bee brass from fellow Levergunner Blaine a few years ago and have not lost any of that to case failure, though I have lost a few in the dirt/grass/bushes somewhere along the line.

And for us cast bullet shooters the Bee is only one notch less perfect than the Hornet -- decently long neck and small case capacity in keeping with the modest velocities we want for our casties.
I've heard the same thing regarding issues with the vent holes in Lee dies. Have been using Lee dies for years and never had any problems but sounds like the vent hole is doing more harm than good. Are the vent holes really necessary for this cartridge? Don't know but I may want to try and find another brand or custom. As for brass looks like Hornady is selling them in bags of 50.

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Re: Winchester 43 218 Bee Mag?

#26 Post by earlmck » Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:24 am

Mainehunter wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:01 am

I've heard the same thing regarding issues with the vent holes in Lee dies. Have been using Lee dies for years and never had any problems but sounds like the vent hole is doing more harm than good. Are the vent holes really necessary for this cartridge? Don't know but I may want to try and find another brand or custom. As for brass looks like Hornady is selling them in bags of 50.

Mainehunter
You do indeed need the vent into the shoulder area of any bottlenecked cartridge or you can stick that baby really bad in the size die from the suction although you might get away with it with the dinky shoulder of this 25/20 if you stayed careful not to overlube the case. And the large vent is not a problem so long as you are just resizing the cartridge the die is made for -- the problem comes when you reduce the neck in a forming operation and the large neck is being squozed by the shoulder area of the die and running past the vent hole.

I normally like Lee dies and have an number of them. Looking at my collection it appears to me that the only one I have with a stupidly large vent hole is my newly acquired 25/20 size die. Which I am using to size my 25/20s as it has a nicer finish than the old Herter's but will no longer attempt to form stuff from 32/20 using it. I would guess you will be fine with any other brand if you need to form from 32/20, but if Hornady has come through for us with the real meal deal then that is the way to go. And Winchester makes the occasional run of the brass but not on anything resembling an annual basis I suspect.
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Re: Winchester 43 218 Bee Mag?

#27 Post by Mainehunter » Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:06 pm

earlmck wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:24 am
Mainehunter wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:01 am

I've heard the same thing regarding issues with the vent holes in Lee dies. Have been using Lee dies for years and never had any problems but sounds like the vent hole is doing more harm than good. Are the vent holes really necessary for this cartridge? Don't know but I may want to try and find another brand or custom. As for brass looks like Hornady is selling them in bags of 50.

Mainehunter
You do indeed need the vent into the shoulder area of any bottlenecked cartridge or you can stick that baby really bad in the size die from the suction although you might get away with it with the dinky shoulder of this 25/20 if you stayed careful not to overlube the case. And the large vent is not a problem so long as you are just resizing the cartridge the die is made for -- the problem comes when you reduce the neck in a forming operation and the large neck is being squozed by the shoulder area of the die and running past the vent hole.

I normally like Lee dies and have an number of them. Looking at my collection it appears to me that the only one I have with a stupidly large vent hole is my newly acquired 25/20 size die. Which I am using to size my 25/20s as it has a nicer finish than the old Herter's but will no longer attempt to form stuff from 32/20 using it. I would guess you will be fine with any other brand if you need to form from 32/20, but if Hornady has come through for us with the real meal deal then that is the way to go. And Winchester makes the occasional run of the brass but not on anything resembling an annual basis I suspect.
I was more referring towards the 218 Bee on the vent holes if it was really needed but sounds like it's a must, that's fine. So how about cast loads? What's your take on it? I've been read it's either a hit or miss?

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Re: Winchester 43 218 Bee Mag?

#28 Post by BlaineG » Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:37 pm

AJMD429 wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:54 pm
Sixgun wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:06 pm
Yep....a poor mans model 70.

Hard to find? Not if you have money........gun or mag....today is the age of the Internet with just about everything available.

In most dealers racks...nope.....THATS how I buy.....I want my hands on it.

Cool and good shooting? Yep, I've owned them in 218 Bee and unlike a levergun, you can safely load spitzers in them, but with the range of the Hornet, Bee, that's inconsequential.

This is what it boils down to.....if you have always wanted a neat caliber in a simple gun and don't like to buy from the Internet, go get it. Bee's are not laying around everywhere like you can buy a gallon on milk. I've always have had that train of thought my whole life and today, at 64, I'm glad I did as there are not too many "normal guns" in my collection.

Hey, ya want me to enable you? Ok, here goes.......your transmission takes a shyt...... cost? .....$3,200 ......
Well, the next day you certainly don't brag to your buddies..."hey guys, I just spent $3,200 on a transmission! It's so cool to have a rebuilt transmission! Oh man, I'm getting a woodie thinking about this transmission."

These things in life are regular, along with real estate taxes, insurances, septic tank clean outs, repairs,on and on....that you can't actually hold and brag about......BUT...you can brag about that .218 Bee!----6
We think so much alike, we must be twins separated at birth....
:D
Dang, AJ, I feel bad for you. :cry:
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Re: Winchester 43 218 Bee Mag?

#29 Post by earlmck » Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:37 am

Mainehunter wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:06 pm
I was more referring towards the 218 Bee on the vent holes if it was really needed but sounds like it's a must, that's fine. So how about cast loads? What's your take on it? I've been read it's either a hit or miss?
If you never have to form brass from 32/20 the oversized vent hole on the Lee die would not be a problem. But I'd rather have another brand with a normal sized vent hole in case I ever did need to do the forming stuff. And maybe my 25/20 Lee die is an aberation.

I've only ever had this one Bee so I don't have any depth to my observations. My Bee is not a real tack-driver but it shoots my cast bullets at least as well and probably better than jacketed I have tried so far. My bullets are Linotype, gas checked, and do well up to around 2200 fps though best accuracy comes around 1750 fps. The Bee case could easily drive these bullets faster than they are able to handle and I would bet that has been the basis of lots of folks' troubles with cast bullets in this cartridge. Looks like a wonderful cast bullet cartridge to me: the neck is long enough that no grease grooves are exposed to powder, the capacity is small enough that 4 grains of Unique doesn't look ridiculous and makes a fun plinking load, while 6 grains of the Unique makes a load that'll often blow a sage rat into two pieces.
The greatest patriot...
is he who heals the most gullies.
Patrick Henry

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