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Thread: 1885 Browning BPCR 45/70

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    1885 Browning BPCR 45/70

    I have been having trouble getting this gun to shoot Smokeless powder loads. It shoots fine with Black Powder and 535 gr. bullets ,but have tried 4 bullets from530 to 540 gr.and 5744,4198,sr4759 at 1100to1200 fps and none have shot anywhere close to the same group size. acouple people that shoot the same rifle at a match I was at last month said try 400 to480 gr. bullets.I wonder if any body else had this trouble,Thanks,Bill

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Your rifle is telling you something, but you aren't listening, BP is more accurate in the big cases if done right, smokeless is just a passing fad.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by MT Chambers View Post
    Your rifle is telling you something, but you aren't listening, BP is more accurate in the big cases if done right, smokeless is just a passing fad.

    You're saying a 45/70 won't shoot smokeless accurately? That's sure going to come as a big surprise to a few (or is that many) thousand people who have been doing it successfully for years!

  4. #4
    Boolit Man
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    Wink 1885 Browning BPCR

    I know you're right about that,but I have several BPCR rifles that never have or never will see any thing but Black, I just got this one for a Smokeless gun to put my MVA scope on to shoot at clubs that I am the only one shooting Black Powder at . some people just hate to be around a gun shooting Black,Plus I beat them a lot too, so they get a little growly.GO FIGURE! I have friends who shoot smokelessb,ut this gun doesn't seem to like it . just got a 500 gr. Brooks mould and cast some to try this weekend

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    Don't misunderstand I really enjoy shooting BP but I also sometimes shoot smokeless in both my 45/70 and the 45/90s with good results in both. There is of course many things that could be causing your problem it's just that smokeless being an inherent problem in the "big" 45/70 case is not likely to one of them.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    What i was saying was that most .45/70s and other big black powder cases , will usually be more accurate with BP. I have 2 45/70s, a 45/100, and a 50/90 Sharps and all of them are more accurate with BP handloads. The same cannot be said for my 38/55 or .32/40, where smokeless charges take up a little more avail. space in the case.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by MT Chambers View Post
    The same cannot be said for my 38/55 or .32/40, where smokeless charges take up a little more avail. space in the case.


    Two of my favorite 45/70 loads, Varget and H4895, using a 400 grain bullet are compressed loads and these shoot really well. These are NOT high pressure loads at 25,000 CUP and are well under some of the top loads for the Marlin 1895 for example.

  8. #8
    Boolit Man
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    I was hoping to shoot at least a 500 grain bullet as I will be shooting steel at 500 meters

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Chill Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiwall55 View Post
    I was hoping to shoot at least a 500 grain bullet as I will be shooting steel at 500 meters
    The Browning BPCR has an 18 inch twist as I am sure you know. It will be very accurate with 500 gr bullets. I do not think going to lighter bullets alone will solve the problem. I also doubt the 500's are the root of the inaccuracy with the smokeless. Keep plugging away and try different stuff. Something will work.

    In truth, I think you are too nice to a bunch of whiners. People do not like to loose.....at anything. Will even resort to whining if it will work.

    If you are beating everyone with BP, sounds like you to need to try on a better bunch of competitors......that shoot the holy black too .....they are out there

    -Chill
    Chill Wills

  10. #10
    Boolit Man
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    I shoot every weekend at some club or other And i've met whiners at every one .I would and do shoot mostly Black, but everyone needs a change once in a while. And you are right I will get it figured out,Thanks

  11. #11
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    A few things - What is your alloy? Smokless take a harder alloy and maybe even a gas check.

    What powders are you trying? 4198, 3031, RL7 are some of the better powders for the 45/70.

    If you are using a powder that doesn't fill the case - try a filler - but drop back 10% and rework your load with the filler.

    My Guide Gun shoot sub MOA with 3031, filler, and a 350 gr RD. Also 4198SC, filler, 430gr FP. Both are gas checks.

    Alloy is WW with some tin, Casses are RP, WW and Star line (in otherwords the brand of brass doesn't matter).
    Big Bore = 45+

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Texantothecore's Avatar
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    I have had very good groupings with H322. You might to try that.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    If the gun shoots well or wants to shoot well it can be made to shoot smokeless- no doubt. Some guns want to shoot and some don't and are basically inaccurate from the get go. Usually you can tell in a few rounds the basic nature of any rifle. Loading and shooting blackpowder vs loading and shooting smokeless are two different things and require separation in thinking on how to go about it.

    First, try a bullet better designed for smokeless. I've never met a 45-70 in the type of rifle you are shooting (if the rifle wants to shoot) that didn't like the basic RCBS gas-checked design. Second, I've found a good accurate smokeless load will be running about the same velocity as a BP load.. 1150-1250 fps. A chronograph is really handy when working these loads up. Next, don't go over board with hardness. I've found a bullet of about 12-14 BHN will do fine if it is gas checked and sized to groove diameter up to +.001 larger than groove diameter. Next, you don't need a really heavy bullet to do well in smokeless as is sometimes required for BP and seems to be the fad in shooting BP or the 45-70.

    I've always gotten really fine accuracy in your type rifle using the basic RCBS-405-FN Gas Check , lubed with a decent soft lube, cast with 12-14 BHN alloy sized to groove diameter up to about +.001 over groove diameter, on top of 24 gr 5744 w/dacron filler for a velocity of 1200-1250 fps.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    the BIG difference between black and smokless is that black bumps the boolit up and smokless does NOT. sooo...if you have good success with a certain boolit with blackpowder...make sure it is the rite diameter for smokless as the smokless will not bump up the diameter at all.

    sooo for instance...if you shoot a .457 or .458 diameter boolit with blackpowder you can surmise that it is bumping that boolit up to completely fill the grooves and when you shoot smokless with the same boolit two things are likely to happen...first your accuracy will dwindle and secondly you are likely to start getting some or a lot of leading in the barrel...depending on the mix of your pour.

    with smokless powder it is adviseable to slug your barrel and use a boolit that is .001 to .002 over the GROOVE diameter of that barrel and the accuracy should come. also with these large boolits ...[or any size for that matter]... ive noticed and can agree with a few of the writers ive read that for best accuracy you will want a load that is as near 100% loading volume in your case as you can get...[hence another reasson for using the blackpowder]. copious amounts of just about any smokless powder is painfull and HARD on all components...specially the shooter!

    i also agree with 405 in that the heavy boolits are sometimes needed for the blackpowder but not so much with the smokless. i find the 400ish boolits a bit more reassonable on me and the rifle...also read about the HUNTERS using these type rifles and the loads ...most especially the boolits they used...most 45 cal shooters used the 400ish weight boolits and the 50 cal used 450 to 500 ish boolits so your rifle should do great as does mine with the 400 ish boolits.
    Last edited by bigted; 05-24-2012 at 01:33 PM.
    WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE...MORE WILL BE SAID THEN DONE

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    I get great accuracy with my Browning BPCR using 420 grain boolits (non gas check) sized to 0.460 with alloy hardness around 12-14 and 4198. I have shot 500 gr with as good accuracy.

    Good luck sorting it out. You will if you keep at it.
    ph4570

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    I have a Winchester 1885 BPCR 45-70 with the Badger barrel and beautiful wood that simply will not shoot smokeless to anything approaching what it will do with BP.

    I have a half dozen 45-70 rifles and ALL of them shoot BP and Smokeless to the same degree of accuracy, except this Winchester.

    The Winchester has a throat in the chamber that really is dependent on a PERFECTLY sized bullet. And the proper shape bullet. And a very soft bullet. If I do all this and use BP, it will shoot an inch at 100yds. (But I have a Pedersoli Sharps and Rolling Block that will both out shoot the Winchester with anything I feed them. But they have a more conventional throat and chamber lead)
    Roy B
    Massachusetts

    www.rvbprecision.com

  17. #17
    Boolit Man
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    I agree with 405 my marlins shoot M>O>A>with an RCBS 400gr. FN with gas check,I have started with20-1 and went to Lyman #2, I went from .459 to lap out a sizer to .460 dia.now Haven't shot it yet but have cast a 500 gr. brooks that I got from Mike Venturino that is made with a long base so it will fit deeper in the case and am going to try 5744,RX 7,and Sr4759 Iwill tell you how it doing, also the 400 gr bullet has out shot all other smokeless loads ,but Swiss1.5 and a 540 gr. creedmore still will run rings around it. I am hopeing to use at least a 500 gr. bullet, Thanks for all input.

  18. #18
    Boolit Man
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    Got it figured out.my buddy has an identical Rifle his dosen't like any load we tried too.I had 10 loads ,3 different bullets ,he had 4 then he talked to Dave at Montana Bullets and his suggestion was 5744 powder and 500 gr. RCBS,but 1/4 sheet of toilet paper on top of powder.I already had that as a try load ,no T-P so I loaded 10 up and since we were trying a 500gr. Brooks bullet I did the same load with and without T-P .shot 150 shots ,loads without T-P were 6 to 12 inches .With flyers on every load, the T-P loads shot a 2X4 inch group in the same spot,no fliers, with 2 different bullets and 2 different Guns. had to see it to believe it. they shoot several thousand round at their club and have never ringed a chamber like some fillers Good enough for Me,Thanks.

  19. #19
    Boolit Man hightime's Avatar
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    Can someone elaborate on the use of fillers?

    Owen

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Hightime - do a search on Fillers on this board and you will get enough information to fill a book.

    Fillers are a love hate relationship - some love them, others hate them.

    I use dacron as a filler - cheap and easy to use.

    A word (or words of caution - if you are going to use a filler - WORK YOUR LOAD WITH THE FILLER. Do not add a filler to an existing load. The filler will raise the chamber pressure.
    Remember you are using it as a filler - not a wad - difference - Air Space - there should be none between the powder and the boolit.

    Most of my cast 45/70 and 45/90's use dacron fillers. Powders are 3031, 4198 and 2400.
    Big Bore = 45+

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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