View Full Version : Buffalo Classic, 457125, duplex

07-25-2006, 06:21 PM
Alright, shooting my first set of 457125 from my Buffalo Classic... I have honed the forcing cone, or the leade of this rifle to allow more gentle passage for cast boolits. I also fire lapped it just for the kicks and results were very promising; before when I pushed .457" round ball through the barrel I was able to see how barrel surfaces almost ground the ball surface. After lapping it's more like polishing the ball surfaces. I used 10 of 220 grit, 10 of 400 grit, 12 of 800 grit and 15 of 1200 grit boolits. Lapping compound rolled in the surface of the boolits. I got rid of the roughness, but beginning of the rifling is still slightly tighter than the rest of the barrel. Maybe more work later or maybe not.

Okay, I got some 457125 boolits made, nose diameter about .44" just in the front of the first band, so this one is not going to do any good... But whatta heck, my first BP duplex loads will be here and good or bad, I don't care, will do it better later...:


I cast these from 20% of lead, 80 % of local WW and 4% 50/50 solder added, BHN about 9. Weight is 509 grains, OAL 1.323", beautiful boolits but with undersized nose, lubed on .459" die. Load was 20/40; 20 grains on N120 as a kicker and 40 grains of Wano FF. I rounded the measures to 1.3 grams of N120 and 2.6 grams of Wano FF. That resulted pretty stiff but not very heavy compression in Remington cases. Case were old Marlin leftovers full resized, primer is Federal match LR primer. COAL 2.826" just to cover all grease grooves. Lube is from Lar45.

I just couldn't do it with straight Black... Shame on me.

All this surprised me in many ways. Extremely fun to shoot! I got more velocity than I was waiting for, only little fouling and less cleaning and even better accuracy than I expected. My first set with globe sight, first set with BC, first set with BlackPowder in rifle, although duplexed...I was going to put plastic wad under the boolit, but my wads were too big, so it's boolit against powder. Just minor fouling in the beginning of the rifling, mainly on the lands as far as I can see. Two separate holes on the right are from two foulers using different target and five shot group on the left is from my other load development with Marlin and NEI's version of RCBS 405gc. BC shot very low, used target is the one above the groups, main group is 8 shot group 2.3" c-c, distance 114 yards:


Muzzle velocity (32" barrel) was 1483 fps average for 8 shots, ES 11.9fps. This load is easily over the legal energy for moose around there. How about 425 grain gas checked boolits with duplex loads? Or straight BP for that matter, just need to break something like 1500 fps with 425 grainer... This is crazy, and I think I'm doomed for good.

07-26-2006, 06:47 PM
You are doomed Finn45 and it appears that you are trying to drag the rest of us down with you!...

07-27-2006, 06:54 PM
Err... okay, thanks. Maybe I picked wrong word; I meant to say hooked, but it just sounded too slight expression, even fish can get out of the hook if it want's it hard enough, but this feels pretty final to me. I also wondered that near 1500fps velocity is perhaps somewhat too much and I have to reduce the N120 and also try straight BP. I was afraid of the mess with soot and hard fouling, even had bottle of water with me, blended with heavy dose of dishwashing detergent just in case... Need to also get familiar with these sights, try to find good aperture size to the front etc.

Btw, I've been looking for those tang, or creedmore, or whatever soule sights they are, and they are pretty nice looking things. Expensive as *ell, but I guess that's the name of the game. Only models found that are cheaper than this rifle are from here, don't know if they are any good or even so-so:

07-27-2006, 08:38 PM
It is not hard to clean blackpowder fouling from a single shot, if you use a blow tube between shots. My third patch usually comes out clean.

The sights appear to be inexpensive. Have you looked at buffalo Arms?

07-27-2006, 09:14 PM

I shoot Black Powder extensively in the 45-70 and use the 457125 in my 75 Sharps. After all this white powder stuff is just a fad. Don't be drawn into that crowd.

Try this:

Lyman 457125
55gr Goex Cartridge Grade
Federal 215
Walters Veggie wad .030"
Card wad 030"
Use the cases you have available.

Drop tube 24" or simply pour the 55gr of black into the case and add the veggie wad, then add the card wad, finally compress the powder and wad to the depth that you will seat the boolit. Be sure you do not have an air gap between the powder and boolit base. This load will yield about 1200FPS in a 28" barrel and it is my pet load for the Sharps.

Wills is correct about the blow tube, but the lube you use on the boolit is even more important. I highly reccomend Bullshops NASA lube. My results were incredible. It is far superior to SPG or the Lyman BP lube and costs less too. My cleanup aftert 10 shots without using a blow tube took 1 patch and the bore was shiny clean. It is fine stuff and I strongly encourage you to try it for yourself.

Here is the link for the test results that Iwrote



07-27-2006, 10:10 PM
While I have had no experience with the Taylors rear sight, I did buy their windage adjustable front sight, which comes with a couple of inserts. The quality is not real high, and it is unlikely that I would recommend this sight to any other shooters.

07-27-2006, 10:15 PM
Urny---does your PM function still work?? ?? ?? :twisted: Onceabull

07-27-2006, 10:40 PM
As far as I know it does. I'll give it a try.

07-28-2006, 12:34 AM
urny ck your pms..........Dean

07-28-2006, 08:50 AM
I have a Taylor on a 75 Sharps and it's not bad for the money. If I had it to do over again I'd save my pennies and get a better one. I have one of the Ukrain Soule sights on my High Wall and have been very happy with it. You do get what you pay for in vernier sights so go as expensive as you can afford.
As far as getting 1500FPS from a duplex load, I would be very leary of that especially with that break open action. They might be stronger now but I saw a 243 years ago when NEF first started making the rifles that would unlock on every shot. I tried to get the guy to stop shooting it. I don't know if somehow the action stretched or what, but I just had visions of that case coming apart.
Like some of the other guys mentioned BP isn't all hat bad to deal with. My guns actually clean up easier than my smokeless guns. But you do have to clean them!
I don't know what powders you have available there but I find that Swiss seems to burn a little cleaner than Goex, but you don't need as much compression.
Welcome to the addiction!


07-28-2006, 07:25 PM
Hi Wills, Yes I've been drooling at Buffalo Arms and those prices are killing me. I'm not going to invest that much in this rifle, maybe later and maybe to some other rifle. I have one Lyman target sight here that just needs suitable system to mount it on the BC, maybe I fiddle it to those scope rail holes on the top of the chamber. This Lyman has adjustable bar system for moving it back and fort and so on. Target knobs also and plenty of elevation compared to original Williams WGRS.

After all this white powder stuff is just a fad. Don't be drawn into that crowd.

I love that one :lol:. SS, you know, I understand some things already, but one that I've wanted to ask is the usage of wads... is there some theories behinds vfw+card or vfw+ poly or just poly or something else wads or are they just result from trial and error? I have possibilities to make my own lubes, but here I used BP-lube from forum member Lar45. Will see with straight Black how it will do.

My powder choice is Wano from Germany. Vihtavuori imports it and only in FF as far as I can see. I might be able to buy Swiss, but haven't even asked the pricing. Even Wano is much more expensive than standard VV rifle powders, 1.5 times more. What I understand about BP is that this Wano stuff is not very high quality; it is dusty and seems to be combination of many grades. I remember when I was maybe 12...14 years old when I got access to my grand fathers private locker containing all kind of war stuff, piece of machine gun belt, a bear jaw, lead shot, bullets and such and there was also few card board tubes of Swedish Gyttorp black powder, shotgun grade (#3 or #2, maybe for rifle as well); I fooled a lot with this BP and I don't recall it to be dusty at all and very evenly grained grayish stuff.

Anyway; I'm going to try 55 grains of Wano (or about, depending of the compression ability) when ever I got some time...

Thanks for the comments and no worries with overcharges, these ones were still far from my Marlin bombs and now I have my first reference for this rifle. Addiction... If I read myself right there will be some load development ahead, then some wait for the hunting season and then wait for suitable watch for this kind of application. I don't see that this is the most versatile combination for fast and brushy moose hunt with heated dogs, but for some slower and easier chases why not...

07-29-2006, 02:45 AM
............Swiss BP is superb stuff. If Wano is all you can get you can always screen it.


07-29-2006, 12:37 PM
FYI: Graf's sells Wano under their own name. It's $2.40 less than Goex, and sometimes they blow it off (bad pun :roll:) for a dollar cheaper. Ordered 15 lbs of 3F a while back for revolver shooting and have been quite satisfied.


07-29-2006, 02:23 PM
I understand some things already, but one that I've wanted to ask is the usage of wads... is there some theories behinds vfw+card or vfw+ poly or just poly or something else wads or are they just result from trial and error? I have possibilities to make my own lubes, but here I used BP-lube from forum member Lar45. Will see with straight Black how it will do.


The wad has a couple of uses. First it prevents gas cutting of the boolits base and second, it prevents lube migration into the powder charge. I used to use only a single .030" vegetable wad, but had some unexplained fliers when I knew I had done my part. A gent at the Sillywet range suggested that the veggie wad was sticking to the boolit base occasionally and unbalancing the boolit just enough to cause the flier. He suggested that I use a wad punch and cut out wads out of newspaper to be placed between the boolit bas and the veggie wad. This method supposedly prevents the vegie wad from sticking. At that time, I didn't own a wad punch, but I did have a good supply of .030" card wads so I substituted them for the news paper. It didn't take 20 shots to see the difference and I have done it that way ever since with good results. I have tried the poly wads, but with little sucess.


07-29-2006, 05:41 PM
That is how I was taught too, vegetable fiber wad, newspaper wad.

Powder Inc has Goex Cartridge for $8.90, if you buy 25 lbs(I used to pay $15.00 over the counter); Swiss 1.5F $15.50.


07-31-2006, 05:08 PM
Thanks again for the guidance. Some more shooting with the H&R and 457125's. I did two duplexed five shot strings and one ten shot string with straight Wano. Not much to report, but it was the funniest set I've had in a long time, grin size was honestly from ear to ear after first shot with straight BP. I loaded 0.8 grams N120 + 3.3 grams of Wano FF (that is about 12.3 grains + 50.9 grains) and 0.4g+3.65g (6.2grs. + 56.3grs.) and finally 4.2 grams of straight Wano, 64.8 grains, charge that was compressed without too big effort in full sized Remington case.

Those boosted charges still resulted clean burn, but fouling started to appear just in the front of the chamber. Still no flying sparks or muzzle flash, just smoke. Seems that even 0.4 grams of N120 was able to completely burn the black.

Boosted groups were similar to my earlier one but straight Wano opened all up about two...three times. Well, I didn't use any wads or anything, I just charged the cases and pressed in the boolits. The real thing was just like shooting cap and ball wheel gun; lots of sparks and soot flying, surprisingly the Chrony took the punishment without a failure. I messed the ten shot string also by starting to wipe the barrel after the third shot. It just looked so ... so baaaad. Blow tube really softened the fouling and only one dry patch took the awful looking soot crud away between shots. Cleaning afterwards was really easier than I thought. Btw original rear sight shoots half foot low in top most position.

1378fps, ES 20fps (12.3 + 50.9)
1293fps, ES 39fps (6.2 + 56.3), this is on the edge being legal for moose and bear
1191fps, ES 48fps (64.8 straight)

More time needed...

07-31-2006, 07:46 PM

You need to use magnum primers if possible with straight BP. Also using a wad will increase your accuracy. I am really surprised with the high ES that you report. BP is noted for very low ES in most cases. I have shot 10 shot strings over a friends chrony that went 10fps ES. We need to get you some other brand of powder to try and get you some wads too. I don't know what insert you are using in the front sight, but if it is a post, it is a simple matter to trim a bit off the post to give you some adjustment on the rear sight.


07-31-2006, 10:36 PM
What is the twist of your rifle? Those of us that shoot Black Powder Cartridge Silhouette use 1-18" twists for the 45-70 and 45-90. Swiss 1 1/2 powder works exceptionally well in both cartridges. Contrary to what you may think, try large pistol primers, such as the Rem 2 1/2 or the Federal 150GM. If you have the
1-22" twist, you may want to try a lighter bullet, such as the Saeco 645 or the Lyman 457193. Good shooting!

08-01-2006, 07:02 AM
OK, so far with Federal LR match primer. I have CCI200 and the mag version of it and also WLR to try. Probably also Federal LP. But WHOOHOO I catched one kilogram (2.20 pounds) of Swiss No:4 (which should be 1½Fg), price equals to Wano and dealer said it's pretty constantly available. Same shop is supplying guns and all kinds of stuff for muzzle loading competitors, cas folks and so on. Unfortunately they were listing Pedersoli creedmoors as well. Outch, now the lady on the shop is checking what models they have on stock. At least there was USA430, creedmoor with eye piece windage adjustment. I have post insert also, put I'm trying to get used to this hole thingy and it feels pretty much alright.

I don't know what model sight I need or want. And I don't know if silhouette models with windage adjustable bases are allowing low enough setting for close range or if I need those at all. How much windage there is in the eye piece? I wonder why Pedersoli specifications don't show it.

And how in earth, or Finland for that matter, one puts those in the BC where is no tang? Some kind of epoxy bedded piece of iron or directly? I'm able to do it, but would like good ideas, because I have only one rifle to ruin... :lol:

H&R twist in .45/70 is 1-20" like in all .45 Marlins. Should be about good for this bullet and for heavier too I think. Will look into that later, maybe next year...

Wayne Smith
08-01-2006, 07:51 AM
Another hint if you are not doing this. I clean my BP cases in ceramic beads in my viabratory cleaner, with a little soapy water. Empty through a collander, it saves the beads, rinse the brass off and dry/polish in walnut media. I use 3mm beads I got from Buff Arms.

08-01-2006, 08:47 AM
You are headed in the right direction. The Swiss powder burns considerably cleaner. It usually yields higher velocities as well. You won't need as much compression either. In my rifle I use a WW large rifle primer with a disc of newsprint over the flash hole. I don't know why this works but it deffinately shrunk my groups. Every rifle likes different combinations though so just experiment away. Just chage one thing at a time though so you know what works.
As far as the tang sight you could probably mount it directly to the wood but you would have to be careful with it . I have a ML Enfield that I inletted a piece of blued steel into the wrist to attach a tang sight to. Doesn't look bad and is quite a bit stronger than just screwing it to the stock wood.


08-01-2006, 03:07 PM
Btw, I've been looking for those tang, or creedmore, or whatever soule sights they are, and they are pretty nice looking things. Expensive as *ell, but I guess that's the name of the game.
Your terminology when describing tang sights shows a very common confusion when differentiating between the various types.

Creedmoor is a rather general term which gets applied to almost any kind of rear sight that is mounted on the tang...or even back at the rear of the comb.
Soule sights are units that have no windage adjustment in the eyepiece, but have a wide range of movement for the entire staff.
The visual clue is the big pair of windage knobs below the staff.

With the Soule-type, you need to establish an initial zero by setting the staff windage at the center mark and moving the front sight until you are hitting 'center' on a close target. After that, the Soule windage knob is used (primarily) for wind compensation at longer ranges.

Some of the 'Creedmoor' sights (the kind typically 'included' in rifle package deals) have no screw-adjustable windage at all. You loosen the eyepiece and slide it back and forth to find the right spot. On these, (usually) the elevation is also a trial-and-error thing...with no vernier scale to indicate each minute-of-angle of change.
They are fine for a hunter, or any shooter, who sights in his gun at the desired distance, and then leaves things alone.

Pedersoli (the Italians who build the best Sharps rifles) offers a wide variety of tang sights which include Soule units...and almost everything lower on the scale. Many experienced shooters (especially those with deep pockets) think Pedersoli's sights are lacking in usefulness. But I suspect most of them came by their opinions from trying to shoot (in competition) with the 'package deal' sights that came on their rifles. Those who try the better quality offerings from Pedersoli frequently say things like 'you won't be disappointed', and 'it is a very serviceable sight'.

I have been using (because it came with my 'used' Sharps rifle) Pedersoli's USA 431, which they call the "Long Range Silhouette Creedmoor"...one of their 'better quality' sights. It has the vernier scale for elevation and two screw-type windage adjustments - one for the eyepiece, and one for the staff. This makes it possible to establish your initial zero by setting the eyepiece...then compensating for wind changes by moving the staff. The amount of staff adjustment available is not as great as that on a Soule sight.

I have recently acquired their USA 406 "Soule Type Long Range Creedmoor", and have found that the eyepiece windage adjustment can be readily transferred from the 431 to the 406. This modification eliminates the need to drift the front globe...or purchase a windage-adjustable one...to establish initial zero while keeping the staff windage centered on the scale.

* Note for any who wish to duplicate this modification...I have found the Pedersoli part numbers of the USA 431 parts needed to make the change. I am currently waiting for information on prices.

The quality of the Pedersoli Soule seems to me to be very good...after working it back and forth through it's adjustment a couple of times, and removing some of the (copious) lubrication applied by the factory.

Here is Pedersoli's webpage (http://www.davide-pedersoli.com/accessoriDettaglio.aspx?CategoriaId=1315&lang=en) which illustrates the many sights they offer.
I provide it for you, not as an inducement to buy their products, but as a good visual comparison of the many types you might run across while deciding on your choice.

Once you pick a type, I might be able to help you find one which is not 'expensive as *ell'.

08-02-2006, 04:22 AM
Thanks again for the tips and comments and CM, that was very clear explanation, thank you. Well, I already have Pedersoli USA465 coming; I decided that I don't pay extra for double windage adjustments, since I don't shoot much these days, no competition at all and even the shorter model with 2" elevation surely is pleeeenty for my ranges. When I dig deeper in to this I can get better model and perhaps combine eye piece from this to soule model as CM is planning to do. I don't know if the prices here are that much more than there; 136 euros for USA465 and there's 22% of VAT included. Without tax it would be about $135 today. Soule's and double windage models were 195e, about the same in USD before VAT. Actually the pricing surprised me a little when I compared them to few sellers in the US. Powder and the sight should arrive before weekend.

Okay, where's my hand plane and jig saw yeehaa...[smilie=w:

08-02-2006, 01:31 PM
Well, I already have Pedersoli USA465 coming;

Okay, where's my hand plane and jig saw yeehaa...
You should find that to be a 'serviceable' sight, and sufficiently tall for less-than-800 yard (meter) shooting. How much less...I don't know.

The price you paid is probably similar to what we would see in the U.S. if that model was marketed here. It has the same eyepiece carriage as the 431, so it will transfer to a Soule (there are three heights in those), and will also accept Pedersoli's USA 463 Hadley eyepiece if you ever get to hankering for one.

Your mention of woodworking tools started me wondering what you were referring to, so I went back to see what kind of rifle you are working with.

Your Buffalo Classic doesn't have an extended 'tang', so obviously you intend to mount the 465 on the wrist of the stock. I think that is not an unusual thing to do, but my experience is limited to the Sharps-pattern guns.

However, a sight of this type - when mounted on a lever action - usually has the base 'reversed' so that the staff pivot is at the 'forward' end of the base. You might wish to follow that configuration on your BC due to the similarity of it's profile with that of (say) a Winchester.

Looking at the picture of your rifle, it occurs to me that (if there is enough room) you might consider tapping a hole in the very back of your receiver for the forward base mounting screw. This would anchor the base (at least on one end) to solid steel. I leave it to you to determine if this is feasable...or even desirable.

If you choose to do that...instead of 'cutting wood', you may prefer to lay a steel shim under the rear portion of the base to match the surface of the wood to the plane of the receiver. That would (it seems) prevent the edges of the concave sight base from 'digging down' into the stock as you tighten the rear mounting screw. (A bed of Acraglas could serve the same function.)

You'll have a clearer idea if any of this is good advice after you see the sight.

If mounting the base entirely on the wrist of the stock, I would seriously consider inletting the wood to accept the base - and bedding it in Acraglas - making certain the whole assembled sight is 'plumb' with the rest of the rifle until the bedding has cured.

Should you ever wish to change to a Soule sight, you can mount it's staff in the same base that comes with your 465. Therefore (while I would use plenty of release agent in order to be able to remove the base) it would not be a total disaster if you permanently 'welded' the base to the wood.
At least, it should never move on you...unless the wood changes shape.

08-02-2006, 08:13 PM

To mount that sight is a fairly easy chore as long as you pay attention to detail. Determine where you want the sight on the stock wrist. Scribe an outline of the sight base and establish the centerline. Scrounge around and locate a piece of steel approximatly 1/8" in thickness and shape it to the same configuration as the sight base. Inlet the wrist of the stock in the shape of that steel piece to a depth of 1/4". Lay a bed of Acraglass that is stained dark brown in the inleted area and place the steel in the inlet and apply pressure to bottom it out in the cut. Continue to fill the remaining space with the accraglass until you have it built up above the natural contour of the wrist. Allow this to cure and then carefully shape the excess down to the wood. At this point you should see a dark area of accraglass that is the same exact shape as your sight base. Locate for the screw holes, drill and tap. It may take a bit longer screw to mount the sight depending on the length they send with it and you may have to shim one side or the other to get the sight "plum", but it is a very strong method of mounting a tang in the wood without the worry of tearing out screw holes.


08-03-2006, 06:46 AM
Montana_Charlie and SS, my thoughts are wondering the same routes. I used "hand plane and jigsaw" very typically for me and my area, actually meaning "I take every step to make it right". Rear portion of the BC receiver is not solid though, it's hollow inside, but there seems to be enough meat to drill and tap. Only problem will be presented by the hammer when it's cocked, it's not making it easier, but it's not preventing it either as far as I can see. I was also thinking of kind of a bracket which attaches to the receiver with two screws and extends backwards over the stock, but right now my mind is telling me that getting new stock is cheaper than the whole rifle just in case I want it to be original again... Thanks for the ideas and suggestions, much obliged.

08-09-2006, 02:07 AM
I mounted it on the stock wood. Used wider rounded steel block, so it looks like stock is equipped for tang sight. Some bad luck, managed to broke one tapping tool, but cleared it okay. Some good luck, generally it turned out well, I drilled and tapped the front hole before I mounted the block and in the end I made the rear hole. After tightening the screws I was able to look through the original sights right away. Don't know for sure if it's sitting straight, but that can wait, for now only 110 yard shooting.

Three different powders tried yesterday, but no primer changes or other fiddling. I have old bottle of Wano FF which is clearly different than the new one which is also marked FF. Swiss No4/1½F and old Wano FF looks quite similar in grain size, but Swiss is shiny and black and Wano matte grayish black. New Wano is clearly different granulation, much smaller grain size and I'm pretty sure someone screwed up when packing this stuff; it must be FFF or something else. Swiss is not dusty at all but both Wano's are like pouring charcoal to the barbeque grill. New finer sized Wano is a bit more bulky filling the case more with the same weighed charge.

I first loaded one case with 67.9grains of Swiss. I used .04" thick card wad and for me it sounded very crunchy and felt quite stiff in compression, so I backed down to 64.8grains.

Can't tell much difference if one is cleaner than other, but they sure make lot of soot. I patched the barrel after every shot and used blow tube with many blows, depending of the fouling. Maybe not the best method doing it this way irregularly, but... Few inches right after the chamber the fouling started to come hard to remove by blow and patches, this occurred during the last 10 shots with Swiss. And one other thing that surprises me is that there's zero blow back with BP; cases are totally clean and soot free from the outside.

Old Wano FF 64.8grains, 1188fps, ES 57, 5 shots

New Wano FF 64.8grains, 1198fps, ES 21, 5 shots

Swiss No:4/1½F 64.8grains, 1235fps, ES 16, 10 shots

Swiss No:4/1½F 67.9grains, 1263fps, one shot only

Still have lots of things to do of course, experimenting primers, wads, charges and different boolits. And learning the rifle and sights of course. It seems to be next years project though; moose season is coming and Marlin needs attention also.

One other mishap with this is that because of the cleaning I needed to tilt the rear sight between every shot. It could be that those separate groups inside the total 1.54"x2,28" 10 shot pattern are because of that; Pedersoli's tilting system doesn't exactly feel like Swiss watch. Other than that I really like this sight concept, very easy to shoot and seems to be having very good accuracy potential.

Swiss pattern:

Set up:

08-09-2006, 07:11 AM
I mounted it on the stock wood. Used wider rounded steel block, so it looks like stock is equipped for tang sight. Some bad luck, managed to broke one tapping tool, but cleared it okay. Some good luck, generally it turned out well, I drilled and tapped the front hole before I mounted the block and in the end I made the rear hole. Reckon we could get a close up of that mount and a more detailed explanation? Please. . . .

08-09-2006, 08:50 AM
Typically Swiss powder seems to prefer little to no compression. As far as the fowling, is it powder fouling or lead? This could be a product of the lube that you are using or the barrel finish might be a little rough causing the build up.
Two minute groups are nothing to sneeze at with iron sights and BP. It is deffinately minute of Moose. Besides trying to find that perfect load is 1/2 the fun. You get to make lots of smoke and noise.
Its a little hard to tell from the pics but that sight mount looks pretty good. If there isn't a lot of movement in the staff, that shouldn't affect the group size. Have fun.


08-09-2006, 09:42 AM
I don't know if you resize your cases for BP - but there is no need to. This will increase powder capacity too, something alsways handy with a 45-70...
And BTW, I know it can be scary to hear that powder crunch when compressing it, but it is normal though. FWIW, I routinely use 80grs of Swiss no.4 in mine, with a 525gr bullet.
If you're having fouling problems, take a long hard look at your lube - usually it is an indication of a lube problem. BP can be scarily accurate - if you can get a handle on managing the fouling, then you will be able to get ES's of under 10 fps.
And cleanup is also very easy, except for the cases, that is a bit more work.

08-09-2006, 11:27 AM
How do you like the distance between your eye and the sight disk...with the staff pivoted at the forward end of the base?
Do you feel like you are stretching your neck to get close enough?

From what little can be seen in your photo, the sight installation looks very nice.

They say that Goex powder 'likes' to be compressed. One of the benefits of that (with Goex) seems to be a cleaner burn. I'll let those more familiar with Swiss powder advise you (as they are doing) about compression.

One other mishap with this is that because of the cleaning I needed to tilt the rear sight between every shot. It could be that those separate groups inside the total 1.54"x2,28" 10 shot pattern are because of that;
Your front sight is a long way off in your photo, so I can't tell if there is a spirit level on it. If not, you might consider one...
I never had the slightest problem with canting rifles, until I started shooting this Sharps with the tall tang sight.

I have a spirit level on my front globe, but initially I pretty much ignored it...never having needed such a thing before. After I started watching the bubble, my groups tightened up considerably. That would seem like a good indication of it's usefulness, but the one that really convinces me is...if I align my sights on the target as carefully as I can - without using the level - I usually find the bubble telling me I am canted slightly left.

I think the reason is...
Cuddled up to the back of that big round disk, you can't pick up enough visual clues from the world around you to help you keep things 'exactly' straight up and down.

08-09-2006, 01:31 PM
Another way is to have an aperture front with 2 inserts - 1 aiming insert, whether post or aperture, and 1 'level' insert at the bottom, which will allow you to accurately and consistently align with the target - it just is a horizontal bar at the bottom, below your front aperture.
BTW, Swiss can also be compressed - but your rifle needs to tell you hiow much - there is a certain compression range which it apparently doesn't really like.
Still, as mentioned above, to get 80 grs of Swiss in a 45-70 case, there definitely is a need to compress! It does get a bit brutal at that level, though...

08-09-2006, 01:36 PM
Thanks for the comments and tips again. These cases are full sized; they come from my Marlin and won't chamber as is, so first turn is this way. I tried the sight base both ways and like this better so far. Sight radius is exactly 36 inches; I estimated it to be close to that, but the result is small accident. No bubble level, that was in my mind also and I will look in to it in the future.

Here goes the sight story...

First job to do is to cut, drill, carv or by other violent way damage the wood in the block area. That is because if one starts to wonder too much how it should be done, the result is that nothing gets done.

I used long steel ruler for determining the centerline of the block seat according to the sides of the receiver. Stocks are not necessarily symmetric and straight, I believe, and this one was little bit right handed too. Simply marking centerline according to stock shape and checkering would have resulted not very straight base. This way the base is not sitting exactly in the center by the looks, but difference is minimal and base IS centered as it should be.

I had masking tape over the wood for markings. Using already finished (and the first screw hole tapped) steel block I drew the outline on to tape. Using the puukko (knife) I cut the outline little bit small to allow final trimming. After cutting the line I used chisel to remove excess wood.

Next some Dremel work with round and cylindrical cutters. This work gave some confidence of rigidity of this system; walnut is pretty hard and solid wood. I drilled also several anchoring points with Dremel all over the base cavity. Now it looked real ugly. I forget to take pics during the work, or I thought about it, but wasn't able to interrupt the phenomenal wood working.

Next I used files, Dremel and sand papers to finish the size of the cavity by try and grind method, very tedious... and have to be very careful with the Dremel too.

After the base block seated well on it's place I attached the stock to the receiver and from the receiver to the vise as straight as I could.

My epoxy is metal filled and supposedly up to the task, it can handle lot of minus temperatures and high temps also. I used slow epoxy, it says one hour working time and 24 hours for full hardening. Seems to be even slower, but temperatures are affecting these things. I have some previous experience with quicker types and if one is very good with these things go for it. But there's mister Murphy waiting.

Bottom of the steel block was also ground harsh way to arrange good anchoring for the epoxy. Also home made case coloring imitation was removed from the bottom, so there's only clean metal against the epoxy. I don't have any dyes, but epoxy was pretty dark grey, so I didn't care about it.

Lot's of epoxy to the cavity and bottom of the base to make sure surfaces are covered and there it went. I could have used small screws on the bottom corners to make the base block sit straight and true in the cavity easily, but I didn't. I pressed it in and put water level between the base block (top surface is straight, not completely rounded) and the screw clamp and adjusted it side ways that way. Some compression and epoxy cleaning and it looked okay. After few minutes I checked back, it was moved because of slightly incorrect positioning of the clamp (screw up with rapid epoxy!), so adjusted it again and removed excess epoxy. After one hour I left it alone for the next day.

After curing the epoxy I attached the sight using the front screw and located the rear screw position. Luckily base was pretty surely centered, so sight is sitting in the middle. There's some room to adjust it because base block is wider than base in the Pedersoli. Drilled and tapped the rear hole and attached the sight. Both holes can be done last, but I needed the other one to handle the base during the fitting.

Bottom of the Pedersoli's base is hollow ground, so it sits one the base edges. This allows easy vertical adjustment simply by filing or sanding the edges if necessary.

Block ends are not fitted very well, I cut them slightly over and didn't care to make new block. Corners and edges can be blended with the base and all mismatches can be corrected if necessary, but this is good enough for me for now.




08-09-2006, 02:00 PM
Finn, very nice looking job. You mean that mister Murphy visits Finland to. I thought he spent all of his time at my house.


08-09-2006, 02:40 PM
Thanks, Finn. You did good!!

08-09-2006, 03:01 PM
Bottom of the Pedersoli's base is hollow ground, so it sits one the base edges. This allows easy vertical adjustment simply by filing or sanding the edges if necessary.
True...but most guys will shim the right (for example) rather than remove metal from the left.

08-11-2006, 09:24 AM
Fine looking job on that sight base Finn. It looks like you took my method and improved upon it. Very Nice Job:-D

I see the ES came way down when you began to use better quality powder. That will be a help in the accuracy department once you develope a consistent shot to shot procedure.


08-11-2006, 11:40 AM
Sure, all suggestions and guidance is taken seriously, thanks. Mr. Murphy visits here quite often I believe :). I was also thinking of screening this Wano stuff, it's as expensive as Swiss so must do something with it. Or maybe I use it for duplexing.

08-12-2006, 02:23 PM
You are doomed Finn45 and it appears that you are trying to drag the rest of us down with you!...
Hello Finn45.... When I posted the above I did'nt realize I was on the Black Powder thread...a friend of mine just started shooting with duplexing this summer in his Pedrasolli RB/45-70...and I bought a BPCR this spring thinking that I would shoot smokeless in it....did'nt do my homework (40-90SS) so I bought some BP in late June when I was down south but won't have time to fool with it until next spring... other than firing only one round of BP out of my friends 45-70 this will be my first experince with BP....nice tang mounting on your Buffalo Classic....

08-21-2006, 03:18 PM
Now then, officially BP, duplexing is history. I got some boolits loaded past Saturday. Got smaller velocity spread with Swiss, but accuracy (or lack of it) varied great amount. I made a batch with three boolit styles; 457125 (509 grains), NEI-540 (538 grains) and NEI-610 (602 grains). 540 has very long undersized nose (first band is same way) and my only try so far with it made perfect keyholes from Marlin some time ago. That was just a try with smokeless. Coal determining dummies here, Lyman, NEI-610 and NEI-540:


I determined individual loads for all three boolits trying to reach similar compression with boolit just touching the rifling. One 0.04" card wad and partially sized cases this time. I loaded first the 457125's and seated the boolits compressing the powder at the same time. COAL was longer now than before, one lube groove exposed. This was lot worse in accuracy than previous load, clear vertical string. Maybe the barrel was getting up to normal with every shot, because top shot of the string was right were the boolits were grouping at the last time. Now I had 69.5 grains of Swiss in there, coal 2.88" and it did like this:
5 shots
MV: 1233fps
ES: 8.7fps

Second was NEI-540, it's little heavier, but seats higher, so load was 71 grains, coal 3.06". This boolit oal is 1.449" and it won't go in the RCBS luber with original NEI top punch. I lubed it with Lyman #45, but nose must be put in the punch cavity first before the boolit goes in. Better grouping than Lyman, but still pattern, numbers:
5 shots
MV: 1227fps
ES: 3.3fps

Third is NEI-610, cherried undersize, casting .455...456" and very long, 1.622", so I didn't expect much from it. I even saved it to be shot last because I was afraid it would lead up the barrel or something nasty. I was able to lube these with #45 so that I left the top punch out completely. Die is .459" so no much force needed and only slight ring around the nose was formed by the tp hole. Load was 63.3 grains, coal 3.03"; numbers:
5 shots
MV: 1123fps
ES: 4.53fps

Biggest surprise was that this skinny and pretty surely too heavy for the twist (1-20") sucker shot the best at 111 yards, four shots in 0.79", fifth opening it to 1.77":


It can be seen in the pic, especially in 186 yard 2"x4" pattern, that these 602 grain boolits tumbled, yawed, flew sideways; there's tail hit right next to every boolit hole. I wiped the barrel after 111 yard 5+5+5 set and used blow tube x3 between all shots. 457125 shot better from 186 yards than 111 yards and NEI-540 was about the same from both distances.

One other new-to-me was that I wasn't able to seat those two NEI's with RCBS or Lee seaters directly (and remove the belling at the same stroke), not even nearly, so I compressed the charge with card wad and Lyman M-die to correct depth and seated the boolits by thumb. Worked fine except that skinny NEI's needed to be screwed in few turns to remove air that was pushing them out :lol:. I finished them with Lee seater so that I raised the die body enough to give securing push in order to avoid air column under the boolit. I guess I need to make a flat bottomed compression plug for this.

This morning I found myself surfing around Shiloh pages. I'm glad they don't have importer here, financially thinking. Pedersoli rifles can be bought from the shelf, but they are not even close to that mouth-watering level, so I'm able to hold it some years and study this BC.

08-22-2006, 12:10 PM
If you really have a 1 in 20 twist, your shortest bullet is the one I would concentrate on until finding the 'magic'...or moving on to another.
I was reading yesterday (will try to find it again) about a new .45 bullet which weighs 520 grains. Otherwise, it resembles the Postell. As I recall, it works well in that slower twist.

You may not be aware that Pedersoli makes some high grade guns...as well as the excellent shooters in their 'everyday lineup'.
You can order them through your importer...and see 'em all here (http://www.davide-pedersoli.com/ArmiCategoria.aspx?CategoriaId=260&lang=en).

08-23-2006, 04:08 AM
Yep, I know Pedersoli and that's the maker if I'm going to buy new one some day. I just can't get rid of the thought that quantity comes before quality, but that's pretty common these days anyway.

457125 is my shortest BP design and I was going to get Postell as well. No big interest for lighter ones, although some Lee HB might be very good shooter for this rifle. Shooting that 610 NEI is more or less experimenting with things which seem to be obvious, but NEI 540 will be shooting good when I get a hold on these things and find some more time to try different things.

Btw any diameter info on Lyman's current (or latest) 457132? I have one on the hook, but don't know if I should hold it for the next season or get it right away.

08-23-2006, 05:14 PM
Yep, I know Pedersoli and that's the maker if I'm going to buy new one some day.
I didn't mean to 'introduce you to Pedersoli'. I figured you already knew of their reputation. What I intended was to make you aware of their 'deluxe grade' rifles...at the top of that page I linked. Hand selected wood, finer finish, and engraving are their features...at a higher price...but still less than Shiloh's 'extra nice' products.

but NEI 540 will be shooting good when I get a hold on these things and find some more time to try different things.
Which 540 grainer from NEI do you have? I have the 349F Paul Jones Creedmoor, but yours looks different...somehow.

Mine actually drop out at 560 grains using 20-1 alloy, and have a .460" diameter.
I lube them in a Lyman #45, but don't size them down at all. They just slip-fit in the mouth of a fired case. A very light touch in a Lyman taper crimp die keeps them from falling out during handling.

They are the best-shooting bullets I have tried to date (1 in 18 twist Pedersoli .45-90), but I have 300 very pretty PGT bullets (from one of the Victory loaner moulds) to work with...after I have gotten all that the NEI can give.

08-23-2006, 06:28 PM

I use the Postel (Lyman 458-132) in my Sharps and it gives excellent accuracy. I've had the mould for about three years. I've recently acquired two new moulds from Lyman (458-125, and 512 141) and both show better fit and finish than the Postel and cast better looking bullets. I hope this means the Postel mould you are considering will be a good one.

I also note you said you used the bullet to compress the powder charge on one of your earlier posts and that you were getting excess dispersion. Using the usual soft alloy black powder bullet to compress the charge more than a tiny bit will distort the bullet and often cause inaccuracy. Use a compression plug instead of the bullet or cast a bullet out of linotype, turn it a bit undersized and compress the powder with it before seating the bullet.

Jerry Liles

08-24-2006, 02:06 AM
CM, Okay okay :), mucho drooling here, they have some very nice models. If I surf there too much I'll start looking after rolling block and then trapdoor and then I can't make up my mind at all. Hmm... maybe I'm considering this as "speed limit 50"-project, less than ten years to make the decision.

Oops, I've been talking about NEI 540, but actually this is .458-535 GUNN modified; this one:

13Echo, Yes, I seated 457125's directly without compressing the powder first and used Lyman M-die compressing for longer ones, which were impossible to seat in a normal seating die. BHN is 9 with this alloy, so it's possible, but there was also change in coal and charge. Compression plug thingy is already on my havetomakesoonlist. And... I'm so newbie with this thing that I can find two or six more reasons for patterns :).

My latest factory wrapped orange plastic box Lymans have been made several years ago, but less than ten iirc. I believe this 132 will be the same way. And I guess a mold in the hand is worth ten in the store.

08-24-2006, 08:44 AM
I've never tried Swiss, but...
Those that use it say that it needs little - or doesn't like - compression.
If you are only packing it down a small amount, you may be able to do that with the bullet...without harm.

Thanks for clarifying that NEI 540 question. Now I realize I wasn't even looking at the right picture.

And... I'm so newbie with this thing that I can find two or six more reasons for patterns :).
Maybe you are already experienced with using those tall tang sights...but I was not. I use standard paper grocery sacks for taping targets to, and the five-shot 'groups' in my first few sessions would barely stay on the sack...much less the 4-inch bullseye.

I didn't start seeing reasonable groups until I stopped ignoring that spirit level...

08-24-2006, 09:43 AM

I also have the NEI Gunn 349c bullet. It is a beautiful bullet but in my rifle it tumbles about a third of the time. I believe this is because the first driving band and base of the nose are too small diameter and allow the nose to slump off center during initial acceleration. It's too bad because others have reported fine accuracy with moulds made before Mr Melander died. My mould was one of the first after production was restarted. Someday I would like to obtain a mould made to the correct dimensions.

At any rate you do need some way to compress the powder charge. The M die will do but it doesn't have a flat end. If you can get linotype metal, cast one of each bullet you use, turn/sand/file them a bit undersized in diameter and use them to compress. That way you can use the seating die for compression and seating. Otherwise, make, beg, or borrow a compression plug. They are simple enough, just a cylinder of steel or brass, small enough in diameter to be a slip fit into a sized case. It should otherwise be constructed like your M expander plug and used in place of the plug for compression.

By the way make certain you take the M expander plug/compression plug out and clean off any powder that clings to it after you use it to compress or it will rust.

We are all enjoying your posts. Please keep them coming.

Jerry Liles

08-24-2006, 03:01 PM
I also have the NEI Gunn 349c bullet. It is a beautiful bullet but in my rifle it tumbles about a third of the time. I believe this is because the first driving band and base of the nose are too small diameter and allow the nose to slump off center during initial acceleration.
Do you seat that bullet out far enough to fully engrave that first band...or is it too small for that?

08-24-2006, 04:00 PM
My piece won't engrave in any .45 cal. rifle barrel for sure; I just took few quick measures and nose right in front of the first lube groove (or dirt groove) is .44". First band is .4445". Second band .461" where it goes up to .4634" at rear band. Length of the boolit is 1.449"; nose section up to the second band is .823", which leaves only .626" for the full caliber shank! Nose up to first (none engraving) band is .705". First I thought this one won't shoot worth anything, so actually decent patterns are surprising. This mold is also Joel's first turns I believe.

My old Ideal 457125 is not very fat either; nose dia right in the front of the first band is .44" and only maybe .06" towards the nose it is .439"; half way between the nose tip and the first band it measures .4375". Nose length is .685" and shank .638"; oal 1.323". From the pictures it seems that current/latest 125's are with fatter nose, but don't know that for sure.

So in both boolits the free hanging nose is longer than the shank which is keeping things on the track after all. These might benefit some if there is a way to make kind of a NEI DD band for their noses. Maybe.

Big thanks for all technical tips and notes; I'm learning.

08-24-2006, 04:42 PM

I've tried the 349c bullet everyway from fully seated with all grease grooves covered to fully engraving the lands and it still tumbles. I probably should try a harder alloy to see if that helps. The Postel and the 1881 Lyman bullets both shoot to 1.5 to 2 MOA out to 400yds which is as far as I've shot them. I think Dr Gunn recently remarked on the BPCR board that the bullets as now cast need a larger diameter bore riding section. The recent Pedersoli Gunn Trenk bullet design seems to me to be a redone version that corrects the faults and it apparently shoots beautifully. What I like about the original design is that it could be seated out to provide some extra powder room for volumetrically challenged cartridges for that extra oomph to get out to 1000yds. The 349c is one of Dr Gunn's favorite designs, it's too bad the current version seems to be less than the original.

Jerry Liles

08-24-2006, 07:38 PM
My old Ideal 457125 is not very fat either; nose dia right in the front of the first band is .44".
There is some variation in those 457125 moulds. I found out by accident, as I have never owned one of them. This old thread ("http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=6759) contains a conversation where I and floodgate talked about that. If you dig hard enough, you can find the posts that have the sizes.

Anyway, there is a two letter suffix after the mould number (perhaps not on all moulds) and by making a pest of myself I learned the nose diameters of three of those suffixes. The largest was up close to .450".

I've tried the 349c bullet everyway from fully seated with all grease grooves covered to fully engraving the lands and it still tumbles.
Then there's certainly nothing I can say that would help you, Jerry.

The recent Pedersoli Gunn Trenk bullet design seems to me to be a redone version that corrects the faults and it apparently shoots beautifully.
It might be next summer before I get into shooting the PGT's that I have, but I had seven less-than-perfect slugs when I finished with the loaner mould.

I loaded those up and fired them as carefully as if they were good bullets...and they grouped quite well considering I just 'guessed' on a suitable powder charge.

When I dig into the 300 pretty ones, I expect good things.

08-25-2006, 12:49 AM
CM, thanks for the link. I was aware of letter coding being cherry designation; I also once asked about it from Lyman. They couldn't tell about all letters that I asked, some of them were from early days and data is gone. Current two letter system was explained clearly to be individual cherry marking, but as far as I can see that won't guarantee any diameters, because, again afaics, cherries are sharpened when needed in order to produce clean cut. Sharpening reduces diameter, so fattest molds are produced with new cherry and skinniest when cherry is in the end of it's life span. I believe that cherry is trashed or used as blank for a new smaller caliber cherry, when production inspection shows that molds are now casting near to minimum acceptable diameter. Obviously this minimum diameter has been quite small for some designs and it probably has been variable too along the days of Ideal/Lyman.

08-25-2006, 03:24 PM
I have a buddy that bought the NEI mold based on a recomendation of someone on another board. He couldn't get it to shoot in his Pedersoli Sharps because of the previously mentioned problems. When they compared bullets from the 2 different molds there were major differences. He called NEI and they told him that they had changed the mold and that they would recut it to the old standard at no cost but if they screwed up it was his loss. Seems to me that they would change the designation if it was a different mold and they didn't offer to make it right. I have my own business and if I screw something up, I make it right. Sometimes I don't like it but I do make it right. So far he hasn't sent it back.


08-25-2006, 06:18 PM
Most times it pays to have a custom mold made to your barrel specs - I have a modified Lyman gov't bullet by Dave Mos with a .452 diameter nose and a tapered shank, each band a bit larger up to the .460 base. I also had the GG's tapered, so that the bullet literally falls out of the mould. Fits my barrel like a bank vault - no slop at all. And it shoots. Once you know how to cast, then a custom mould is a sensible investment - and cheaper in the long run, as you don't have to purchase several moulds before you have a good one...