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Thread: casting for 45-70 microgroove

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    casting for 45-70 microgroove

    I've just got a very good condition Marlin 1895SS with a microgroove barrel. I've slugged it at .460 (suprise) and am looking for a mold and sizer. I'm thinking I want to start shooting .462 right?

    Will a .460 mold (specifically - like the 460 350 NOE re run group buy now on) drop bullets large enough? Or will I need a full custom mold or to hone/beagle a 460 or 459 mold?

    Will I be able to buy a 462 sizer or will I need to hone a 459 sizer out?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master BABore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brnomauser View Post
    I've just got a very good condition Marlin 1895SS with a microgroove barrel. I've slugged it at .460 (suprise) and am looking for a mold and sizer. I'm thinking I want to start shooting .462 right?

    Will a .460 mold (specifically - like the 460 350 NOE re run group buy now on) drop bullets large enough? Or will I need a full custom mold or to hone/beagle a 460 or 459 mold?

    Will I be able to buy a 462 sizer or will I need to hone a 459 sizer out?
    The groove is only the first part. Yes try a 0.462 boolit, but first, it must fit the chamber. Based on my Marlin experience, it should. See if a 0.462 boolit will fit into a once fired case from this rifle. It should just slide in. You may have to get rid of any vestige of the crimp to tell for sure. A slip fit condition will allow just enough expansion of the case for a clean release of the boolit. You can also ink up the outside of a dummy round and see if the ink gets scrapped off during chambering. Put your finger against the case on extraction so you don't scrape on the way out due to extractor pressure. Remington brass has the thickest case walls and least capacity. Starline is in the middle, and Winchester has the thinnest walls and highest capacity. You can use the case wall difference to adjust for a tight chamber. Use a boolit with more bearing length and surface over a lighter one, with less bearing surface. i.e. a heavier boolit, like a 405-420 grain will usually do better. It helps for accuracy especially if you want to push them. MG rifling will shoot cast just as good as the more recent Ballard rifling. Contrary to advertising and the less informed, both forms of rifling have similar depths. Usually around 0.0030 to 0.0032 deep. The currect Ballard rifling is not cut, but rather button rifled. The original Ballard rifling was cut and runs 0.004+ deep. MG rifling does seem to build up powder fouling just a bit quicker than the current Ballard. It just means you may lose accuracy a little quicker and have to run a couple patches through the bore sooner.

    You will have to open up a siizer as there's nothing available in 0.462. Buckshot, here on the forum, can do it for you if you don't have the means. I would avoid most all commercial molds as they will not drop big enough boolits. Keep your eye out for a group buy where the boolit is spec'd big enough or have one built by Accurate Molds. I used to build molds of the proper size and profile for the Marlin. PM me if you need help on the design. The 462-420 GC or PB was designed by 45 2.1 specifically for the Marlin and is a shooter.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by BABore View Post
    The groove is only the first part. Yes try a 0.462 boolit, but first, it must fit the chamber. Based on my Marlin experience, it should. See if a 0.462 boolit will fit into a once fired case from this rifle. It should just slide in. You may have to get rid of any vestige of the crimp to tell for sure. A slip fit condition will allow just enough expansion of the case for a clean release of the boolit. You can also ink up the outside of a dummy round and see if the ink gets scrapped off during chambering. Put your finger against the case on extraction so you don't scrape on the way out due to extractor pressure. Remington brass has the thickest case walls and least capacity. Starline is in the middle, and Winchester has the thinnest walls and highest capacity. You can use the case wall difference to adjust for a tight chamber. Use a boolit with more bearing length and surface over a lighter one, with less bearing surface. i.e. a heavier boolit, like a 405-420 grain will usually do better. It helps for accuracy especially if you want to push them. MG rifling will shoot cast just as good as the more recent Ballard rifling. Contrary to advertising and the less informed, both forms of rifling have similar depths. Usually around 0.0030 to 0.0032 deep. The currect Ballard rifling is not cut, but rather button rifled. The original Ballard rifling was cut and runs 0.004+ deep. MG rifling does seem to build up powder fouling just a bit quicker than the current Ballard. It just means you may lose accuracy a little quicker and have to run a couple patches through the bore sooner.

    You will have to open up a siizer as there's nothing available in 0.462. Buckshot, here on the forum, can do it for you if you don't have the means. I would avoid most all commercial molds as they will not drop big enough boolits. Keep your eye out for a group buy where the boolit is spec'd big enough or have one built by Accurate Molds. I used to build molds of the proper size and profile for the Marlin. PM me if you need help on the design. The 462-420 GC or PB was designed by 45 2.1 specifically for the Marlin and is a shooter.
    Thanks for the info BAbore. So I'm looking for a mold that is called 462 and the 460 will actually drop them at .460?
    I've already fot remington brass on the way actually, I hope it doesn't have a small throat... Maybe I'll get some jacketbullets to create a few once fired cases so I can check the throat.

  4. #4
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    gandydancer's Avatar
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    do they shoot very well with microgrove barrels useing cast bullets? from all I been told they do not. they need ballard type rifleing. I don't mean to rain on your day. I did not buy one because that is what I was told. but good luck with your new toy. GD

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    They CAN shoot very well, but often need more work to get them to do so. I bought a Marlin Cowboy for the Ballard Rifling and it has performed very well, but my friend Nate has a regular 1895 MG that is also good. He uses a Lee boolit, unsized, to good effect, but I have no Idea what his bore/throat dimensions are. One thing I will strongly suggest is that you steer clear of commercially cast .458 boolits. Ol' Nate tried some and we ended up plugging the barrel and filling it with Mercuryto get the leading out--it was that bad.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have every confidence it will shoot correctly sized cast bullets, and have no intention of buying cast. I may buy a few jacketed for giving me some once sized brass to find throat though.

  7. #7
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    My micro groove Marlin 45/70 produces micro size groups at 100 yards with the Ranch Dog 350gr boolit, tumble lubed in 50/50 over 23 gr of 2400 and WLR primers. If you want more action (on both ends) you can up the charge of 2400 to 24 or 25 grains.
    Marty-hiding out in the hills.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master BABore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brnomauser View Post
    Thanks for the info BAbore. So I'm looking for a mold that is called 462 and the 460 will actually drop them at .460?
    I've already fot remington brass on the way actually, I hope it doesn't have a small throat... Maybe I'll get some jacketbullets to create a few once fired cases so I can check the throat.
    Please re-read my post. I was not talking about the throat. I was speaking of the chamber diameter. If you have a tight chamber, and large boolit, there may not be enough room for the case to expand and release the boolit with raising start pressure beyond norms. The throat is the portion of the chamber just ahead of the case mouth where it transitions to the rifling. Your Marlin 45-70 will have almost no throat length to it. Maybe 0.040 to 0.060 inches at most.

    When I made molds, I listed the diameter they would drop boolits with WW alloy. If I listed a mold at 0.462, it would drop a boolit slightly over that dimension. Not all molds are created equal.

    Also, don't buy the BS from those that offer second hand knowledge of Marlins with MG rifling. I have several Marlins each in original Ballard, MG, and the new Ballard rifling. Fed properly, they all shoot extremely well and it's hard to tell which is which. The most common ill with Marlins is the possibility of bore constrictions at the bbl threads, roll marking, and dovetails. This can size down even the best fit boolit and cause inaccuracy. Slugging both the muzzle and the full bbl for comparison will show the degree of constriction. Anything more than 0.0004" of constriction and I firelap them without even firing a shot on paper.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master pdawg_shooter's Avatar
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    Or you could make it really easy and paper patch you bullets. No leading, great accuracy, and full velocity.
    45 AUTO! Because having to shoot someone twice is just silly!

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by BABore View Post
    Please re-read my post. I was not talking about the throat. I was speaking of the chamber diameter. If you have a tight chamber, and large boolit, there may not be enough room for the case to expand and release the boolit with raising start pressure beyond norms. The throat is the portion of the chamber just ahead of the case mouth where it transitions to the rifling. Your Marlin 45-70 will have almost no throat length to it. Maybe 0.040 to 0.060 inches at most.

    When I made molds, I listed the diameter they would drop boolits with WW alloy. If I listed a mold at 0.462, it would drop a boolit slightly over that dimension. Not all molds are created equal.

    Also, don't buy the BS from those that offer second hand knowledge of Marlins with MG rifling. I have several Marlins each in original Ballard, MG, and the new Ballard rifling. Fed properly, they all shoot extremely well and it's hard to tell which is which. The most common ill with Marlins is the possibility of bore constrictions at the bbl threads, roll marking, and dovetails. This can size down even the best fit boolit and cause inaccuracy. Slugging both the muzzle and the full bbl for comparison will show the degree of constriction. Anything more than 0.0004" of constriction and I firelap them without even firing a shot on paper.
    Yep I'm sorry I meant chamber when I said throat. So it looks like I have to work out the constriction first. And I still think I should fire some jacketd to find out my chamber size. Unless I can find somone to give me a few bullets just for test firing.

    Don't worry I am ignoring people that try and say MG don't shoot cast well. Partly because I don't want to hear it! But also I see no logic to a rifle with a good bore with properly sized cast bullets not shooting well. So I'm glad to hear you confirm it!

    So maybe I should avoid the 460 mold in the group buys - the OP isn't confirming what it will drop at. I can't afford a custom mold. Maybe I'll just get a 405gr 459 le mold and hone or beagle it out.

    Quote Originally Posted by pdawg_shooter View Post
    Or you could make it really easy and paper patch you bullets. No leading, great accuracy, and full velocity.
    Sounds good. Can you expand a little - is it practical or is it a lot of work?

  11. #11
    Boolit Master



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    Paper patching is practical AND a lot of work. Some folks enjoy custom blankets for boolits I, myself, don't have the patience for it and have no trouble at less than 1800 fps with as cast tumble lubed boolits in my microgroove Marlins. The rifle is more accurate than the carbine.
    Marty-hiding out in the hills.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master BABore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brnomauser View Post
    Yep I'm sorry I meant chamber when I said throat. So it looks like I have to work out the constriction first. And I still think I should fire some jacketd to find out my chamber size. Unless I can find somone to give me a few bullets just for test firing.

    Don't worry I am ignoring people that try and say MG don't shoot cast well. Partly because I don't want to hear it! But also I see no logic to a rifle with a good bore with properly sized cast bullets not shooting well. So I'm glad to hear you confirm it!

    So maybe I should avoid the 460 mold in the group buys - the OP isn't confirming what it will drop at. I can't afford a custom mold. Maybe I'll just get a 405gr 459 le mold and hone or beagle it out.


    Sounds good. Can you expand a little - is it practical or is it a lot of work?
    First you need to slug the bbl at the muzzle, then again all the way through. I didn't say your gun has any bbl constrictions. You need to check and see first before worring about it.

    Paper patching is pretty easy. I usually roll 60-75 per hour when I'm into it. There's a video on the smokeless patching forum. Do some reading and seaching there. For the 45-70, the main benefit to PPing is the ability to shoot a softer alloy at full velocity.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    No experience with .45/70 MG, but I had a .44 magnum MG that shot very well with a bullet just .001 over groove diameter, cast of wheelweights, with a gas check, unsized and lubed with Lee liquid alox. Accurate, and no leading problem at max. .44 magnum velocities. I don't know enough about .45/70 bullet styles to know if gas check styles are even available, but don't let a microgroove barrel discourage you from trying cast bullets. A few years ago I read a well-written article (that may be linked somewhere on this board) about shooting cast in microgroove barrels, and it boiled down to the use of an oversize, hard, gascheck bullet. It worked for me.

  14. #14
    Boolit Man
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    Marlin microgroove barrels shoot cast bullets just fine. I shoot SAECO 180gr FNGC in my Marlin 1894C. Like what has been said before you need to fit your bullet to your barrel. I have had mixed luck with paper patch in microgroove. I have an early 336 derived 1895 that will not consistently cut the patch. Groups always had at least one flyer. A friend's later guide gun shot paper patched fine. Rifling depth and configuration probably has something to due with it. I shoot paper patched Lyman Gould bullets almost exclusively out of my Browning 1886 using the "Keith" load of 4895. I had a plug made and shoot solids and hollow points interchangeably.

    Bill

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    well paper patching looks pretty interesting. I might get it shooting just cast for the moment though.
    I still don't know whether I should go for a 459 and hone or beagle or a 460 die and hope it drops at 462 though... Any pointers?

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check