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Thread: Oh Really?...What load?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Oh Really?...What load?

    So I'm still ooooing and aaaahing over my Browning 1886 carbine I picked up Tuesday evening. A nice little rifle.

    Last night I got to examining the little carbine's rear sight....it's calibrated to 2000 yards!...Although in reallity I would imagine at the indicated angle of elevation it would be good only for 'volly fire'/area denial use.

    I fired a few 405gr cowboy loads from my .45-70 saddle ring carbine...and was thrilled with the accuracy at 75 yards...these loads probably running about 1000 fps...close, but lesser than the old guberment 'carbine loads' of like 1150 fps with a 405gr bullet.....this got me to wondering just what load Winchester back in the day calibrated the old original 1886 rifles/carbines for?

    Did they use 405gr light or heavy .45-70 guv style ammo....the newer 500gr ammo or some differing bullet weight commercial style .45-70(Winchester being an ammo manufacturer too)...

    I'm guessing the carbine's sight calibration is probably set-up for a 405gr bullet at the full published 1300 fps...just like my original 1881 made 1873 trapdoor rifle's rear sight...but I could be wrong(and probably am wrong).

    If my 1886 Browning carbine is a more or less direct clone of the Winchester 1886 SRC...what ammo do you think the sight calibrations are set-up for??

    Thanx..Rag

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    The question is really not what did they regulate them with but did they regulate them at all? In other words did they simply copy the original sights Winchester used back then. Where did the cowboy loads impact on the target? If they were just a bit low the sights might be close to right for factory 405 grain loads. Think you might save time by buying some factory 405's and some factory 300's and just range test them. See what you get after shooting them and adjust accordingly.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    My guess is they simply copied the Winchester sights....And the windage is perfect or near perfect.

    The ammo I have to work with consists of Ultramax 'cowboy' 405gr(mild ammo)...my reloads for my Trapdoor are a self-cast Lee 405gr duplicate of the Ultramax ammo(another mild cowboy load)...and Federal 300gr JSP.

    The 405gr ammo shot approx 2" high at 50yds...and I have not seriously tried it at longer ranges to see where the trajectory brings it back to the sights. I did some longer range shooting with the 405gr...but was just plinking to experience the 'awesomeness' of the gun.

    I fired the 300gr jackested softpoints yesterday..and these were dead-on at 50 yards...again however I did not try the 300gr ammo at longer range.

    No factory 405gr ammo to be found!!...Not any cowboy..or softpoints at any store I've called or visited. I've had the Ultramax for some time...and I bought it mailorder for my Trapdoor(cabela's bulk ammo).

    I guess if I want some 1300fps 405gr ammo...I'm going to have to manufacture it myself(or mailorder it).

    That's the extent of shooting my Browning carbine so far.

    The Browning's Winchester style carbine sight is historicaly 'accurate'..however it's easy enough to see that a elevation adjustable rear sight would be better for my uses.

    My guess is 405gr ammo at higher velocity might be close to the carbine's rear sight calibrations(not that I'll be shooting 2000yard groups!)

  4. #4
    Boolit Master northmn's Avatar
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    A lot of military ammo was 500 grain. BP loads varied but were about 1300 fps with a 405 and maybe a little under 1200 with 500. Somewhere I have an article of military tests with the 45-70 at a mile. Have to try to find it.

    DP

  5. #5
    Boolit Master at Heaven's Range GARCIA's Avatar
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    Original load for the 45-70 was the 500gr bullet, this was for the full length Trapdoor Springfield. For the Carbine model it was scaled back to a 405gr bullet. Government being what it was back then decided upon one loading for it eventually.

    Mike Venturino, a board member did an article on it some years back which was some really good reading. Lot of interesting facts about the cartridge.

    northmn, you must be talking about the tests that they ran up at Sandy Hook NJ. That the one you thinking about? Nothing like lobbing a big chunk of lead a mile to see how may boards it would penetrate.
    Sure as heck could not do it there now!

    Tom

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    The original guv load for the .45-70 was the 405gr bullet in rifle and carbine loads....the 500gr loads for the guv came about in the 1880's along with the different sights on the Springfields that were calibrated for the heavier bullets. Not sure about the carbine loads with the 500gr bullets...I had thought the guv just used a lighter 500gr load with the later Trapdoor carbines.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    The Original load for the 45-70 was the 405 grain bullet with 70 grains of black powder. When the carbine came out they cut the powder charge back to 55 grains because of recoil. The Goverment wanted to increase the range of the rifle and did test at Sandyhook up to 1 mile range. In 1881 they came out with a 500 grain bullet that looks a lot like Lyman's 457125.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Lever action rifles have a maximum over all length of 2.550" anything over that length will not feed and jam the rifle.

    What are you going to use this rifle for? Depending on your answer will let me and others give you a best recommendation.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Highwall View Post
    Lever action rifles have a maximum over all length of 2.550" anything over that length will not feed and jam the rifle.

    What are you going to use this rifle for? Depending on your answer will let me and others give you a best recommendation.
    The Browning carbine is just a plinker for now..eventually will deer hunt with it...elk..probably not. I can make whatever .45-70 ammo I want. So far 405gr cowboy plinkers work well enough for plinking...and the 300gr factory ammo is a lot more 'Bang' and a somewhat flatter trajectory...a good deer round I bet(I bet a slightly beefed up version of my self-cast 405gr Lee bullet load could work for deer too)

    Really..I was just curious about the sight graduations...and just what weight bullet at what muzzle velocity could fly 2000 yards from a carbines 22" barrel on a ballistic curve that matches up with the sights. It's not like I really intend to try shoot my cool .45-70 at 2000 meter targets. Maybe some 200 meter targets though

    I have another Lee mold for 500gr bullets....but it's a spitzer style...long and pointy...work great in a Trapdoor....not sure they'll feed in the Browning. Have to do some research on that.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    A 400+/- Grain bullet at the blackpowder velocities should be close to the sight settings on the gun.
    Find yourself a plain base mould and use powders like 2400, 4198, 3031 or faster and you will be able to shoot at black powder velocities and have a ball.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master



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    Greetings
    Have loaded my 86 Winchester Light Rifle up to 1800 fps with 350's and 400's. I would not hesitate to hunt any critter on this side of the world. If the old BP loadings got the job done then it is for sure an added 450+ FPS will really put the knucker-plunk to them.
    But for real every day I am shooting the 350 RCBS at about 1500. Again it is more potent than the BP loading (until we get to 45 -110) and was a noted prime critter thumper.
    And do not rule out 3F as a propellant. I find at least 100 FPS over 2F and less mess. I do dip the nose of the first round into the barrel in Beeswax/olive oil to be sure there is plenty of lube. Never failed me.
    Mike in ILL
    "Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
    Home built Matchlock similar to what an early 1600 Colonial soldier might have.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Don McDowell's Avatar
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    If my 1886 Browning carbine is a more or less direct clone of the Winchester 1886 SRC...what ammo do you think the sight calibrations are set-up for??
    I would suspect that ladder sight, if it's original to the rifle and not someone elses repro, would be calibrated for the 405 gr bullet at 1300 fps.
    But I suspect if your sight is registering for 2000 yds, it's an add on from Parts Unkown or other, as the original winchester carbine sights were only regulated to 1000 yds.
    GUSA #6
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    Want to join in adult conversation about shooting the old ways without the hysterics associated with other places?http://historicshooting.com/mybb/index.php

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    It's the original Browning carbine sight for sure. There are at least two of these in my county...and the other one belongs to a pal. We compared...same thing.

    How it compares to an original 'Winchester' 1886 SRC rear sight I do not know. I do know the pictures of original Winchester sights look same/similiar to the Browning sight. However none of the pics I've seen showed the calibration/range markings.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    I have loaded 400 - 405 grain bullets 1700-1800 fps and it kills on both ends and whoever gets up first is the winner. I use to use 53 grains of IMR3031 and there is nothing walking on the earth that is going survive getting hit with something like that. For plinking 22-24 grains of 2400 shoots close to a 70 grain charge of black powder and is easier on the shoulder.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Don McDowell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ragnarok View Post
    It's the original Browning carbine sight for sure. There are at least two of these in my county...and the other one belongs to a pal. We compared...same thing.

    How it compares to an original 'Winchester' 1886 SRC rear sight I do not know. I do know the pictures of original Winchester sights look same/similiar to the Browning sight. However none of the pics I've seen showed the calibration/range markings.
    Those sights a illustrated in the 1916 winchester catalog.
    GUSA #6
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    People will forget what you did...
    But People will NEVER forget how you made them feel

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  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Here's a set of pics of a very similiar sight...not exactly the same..but appears to be marked to '20'...and is scaled about the same.

    http://rifleparts.org/winchester-189...-carbine-sight

    I think the numbers are more for personal reference of the shooter as a place to put the slider when shooting at longer ranges, rather than some sort of accurate yardage-scale pinned to one particular load's preformance!

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Don McDowell's Avatar
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    It's a sure bet that with that short of a staff, the "20" most certainly isn't 2000 yds.
    GUSA #6
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    But People will NEVER forget how you made them feel

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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