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Thread: 1885 45/70 boolits

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy texasbilly's Avatar
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    1885 45/70 boolits

    I recently acquired an Uberti 1885 High Wall in 45/70. I intend to shoot lead boolits, and I would like some recommendations. My previous experience with lead boolits was that GC boolits shot very well and helped to minimize the leading of the barrel. Does that still hold true? Is that still the best option. What is a good boolit weight and profile for shooting this rifle? Is there a particular mold that I should be looking for if I cast my own?

    Help?

    Bill

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    If you plan to shoot long distance you will need a bullet over 500grs. and that seems to do better with black powder, for a hunting rifle you can use bullets from the 330 gr. Gould hp from Lyman right on up to 500gr. flat points, some of which have the gc and can be pushed fairly fast. All the bullets meant for BP including the gould are plain base and are usually cast soft.

  3. #3
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    Kraschenbirn's Avatar
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    Really need a bit more information about your expectations. For example: Are you planning to shoot smokeless or BP? At what range(s)? Muzzle velocity range? Purely paper-punching or hunting...or both?

    My own Uberti 1885 High Wall is a .38-55 (my .45-70s are either RB or trapdoor) and I load for it using both BP (pure lead) and smokeless (soft alloy) at, pretty much, original velocity levels, without using gas checks (don't use GCs on my .45-70s, either). With properly sized-boolits and a good lube (I cook up my own using the old 'Emmert's' formula) leading is essentially non-existent and accuracy every bit as good as 'modern' cartridges.

    As was mentioned by the previous poster, if you're going out 'long distance'...like 500 yds or so...you'll need a heavy boolit in the 500 gr, or better, class. If you're not reaching out that far, something in the 405-450 range should do nicely. Our club range is only 300M and the Lee 405 gr HB...designed by Spence Wolfe with the '73 trapdoors in mind...shoots well for me; like 2 moa, iron-sight groups @ 300.

    Bill
    "I'm not often right but I've never been wrong."

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    "Scarlet Begonias"

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy texasbilly's Avatar
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    More information. I will be using smokeless powder exclusively. I might use the rifle for hunting, but most likely I will be using it for paper punching, plinking, and just shooting. Ranges will not exceed 200 yards. I am not a masochist so my loads will not be hot by any means. I want to find an accurate boolit for this rifle. I am thinking that a boolit in the 325 to 405 grain weight range, launched from 1600 - 1900fps, may be the optimum for me. But I don't know. That's why I am asking for help and advice.

  5. #5
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    I shoot a lot 45-70 (all cast), none of my bullets are gas checked.

    For smokeless plinking/target loads I usually shoot Lasercast (Oregon trail) 405 with good accuracy.

    For black powder/hunting loads I cast several different bullets, 330 Gould, Lyman 405, and Lee 405 HB lubed with a home made b/p lube.

    If you are buying your bullets there are a lot of commercial casters out there and I suspect most of them work just fine. If you are casting the Lee 405HB is a good start, that bullets shoots good in my 1886s, Trapdoors, and sharps.

    In my younger days I played around with higher velocity loads, anymore I have found that they just aren't that much fun with a crescent steel but. By the time you reach GC velocity in a 1885 I suspect the fun will be about gone as well.

    Enjoy the 1885 I have a C.Sharps in 45-90 and they are a fun/interesting rifle to shoot.

    Tom

    P.S. I would also recommend giving black powder a try, it is a real hoot to shoot. I find clean up to be easier than smokeless except it needs to be done soon after shooting.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    Chill Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by texasbilly View Post
    More information. I will be using smokeless powder exclusively. I might use the rifle for hunting, but most likely I will be using it for paper punching, plinking, and just shooting. Ranges will not exceed 200 yards. I am not a masochist so my loads will not be hot by any means. I want to find an accurate boolit for this rifle. I am thinking that a boolit in the 325 to 405 grain weight range, launched from 1600 - 1900fps, may be the optimum for me. But I don't know. That's why I am asking for help and advice.
    Well. Okay then! I would guess you are one big guy or maybe have never launched an ounce of lead at these very high velocities. You are talking some serious recoil here.

    Maybe think about 1250 fps to 1400 fps. These velocities will get done anything you want.
    Creedmoor rifles shooting these speeds compete to 1000 yards. You can shoot to 200 yards with out hurting yourself.

    1600 to 1900 fps is not something you will be plinking very many rounds with.
    Chill Wills

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by texasbilly View Post
    More information. I will be using smokeless powder exclusively. I might use the rifle for hunting, but most likely I will be using it for paper punching, plinking, and just shooting. Ranges will not exceed 200 yards. I am not a masochist so my loads will not be hot by any means. I want to find an accurate boolit for this rifle. I am thinking that a boolit in the 325 to 405 grain weight range, launched from 1600 - 1900fps, may be the optimum for me. But I don't know. That's why I am asking for help and advice.
    Your "325-405 grain" weight range should work just fine for 200 yards and under but I'd back my velocity expectations down closer to the original BP numbers...say around 1300-1400 fps. From my RB, the Lee 405, cast from 2 parts 30/1 Pb/Sn to 1 part COWW and loaded over 29.5 gr. of AA2015, chronos at 1372 fps (avg. 10-shot string) with no significant leading. Btw: I don't size those for my gun; my mold drops .460-.461 from my alloy so I pan-lube and load 'as-cast'. Also, keep in mind that both Lyman and RCBS 'book' weights for their molds are based on #2 alloy (or a close equivalent) and will cast considerably heavier with 'Pb-rich' alloys...the RCBS 45-405 casts 425 gr. from my alloy (w/o GC or lube).

    Bill
    "I'm not often right but I've never been wrong."

    Jimmy Buffett
    "Scarlet Begonias"

  8. #8
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    rintinglen's Avatar
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    I have not found a gas check to be necessary for the 45-70.

    Like you, my shooting was not in excess of 200 yards. I used the excellent 325 grain boolit from RCBS, the 45-325U and found it just about perfect for my uses. I do have a 480-ish grain gas checked Lyman boolit. But I loaded up 50 over a warmish load of 3031. I fired 10 rounds and the rest of the box sits waiting for a resurgence of the Tyrannosaur population. It was a little too much of a good thing. But a 325 at 1200-125 fps is just dandy.
    _________________________________________________It's not that I can't spell: it is that I can't type.

  9. #9
    Boolit Man
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    rintinglen what powder and lube do you use with the 45-325u ? I just got that mold.

  10. #10
    Boolit Man
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    According to my 1967 Lyman manual, a "factory equivalent" load is a 400gr bullet over 38.5gr IMR 3031. It groups right in with Remington Core Lok factory ammo, and is comfortable to shoot in my Marlin 1895. It's low power enough for trapdoor rifles, so you can find loads for strong single shots and work between the two extremes.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Before buying any moulds I'd suggest you slug your barrel to determine what size you should try to buy as barrel dimensions vary greatly in this caliber. Some of the moulds from the big brands tend to be a little small in diameter. Since you mentioned plinking and hunting you might want to consider two moulds, one for each activity. As others have pointed out, higher speed loads dish out a reasonable amount of recoil and if you are limiting velocity to around 1300 fps you won't need a GC either, so a PB mould is fine. This reduces cost and removes an extra step from the bullet preparation process. For hunting I like higher speeds and my regular hunting load develops 1850 fps. For that purpose I use a GC bullet. In a 7lb rifle it does have some recoil, but it generally only needs one shot to put down game and that extra speed does flatten the trajectory somewhat.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    Several things to consider here are. The rifling twist rate of your barrel, This may determine more than any thing the weight style of the bullet. Use is stated as 200 yds paper punching and Hunting, this means almost any bullet load that's accurate is good. A bullet with a flat metplat may be better for hunting but a round nose is good also and more traditional. Back to the rifling rate 45-70s have been 1-22 to 1-18 with 1-16 starting to become used also. Velocity also comes into play with this and bullet stability. Loaded to the BP ( black powder) velocities of 1150-1200 fps the 1-18 will stabilize bullets up to 550 grns and about 1 .4" long the 1-20s seem to end up around 470-500 grns or 1.200" long. Any of these weights will be very effective for hunting. Look for a bullet in the 405-450 grn range and load it just off the rifling. Ive yet to need a gas check in 45-70 loads. I cast mine from 20-1 alloy 20 parts lead to 1 part tin.Use a good lube and size according to your barrels dimensions. Don't write off BP or Paper patched bullets till you try them. You may be surprised. You might try posting a want add in swapping and selling for test bullets to try and test before buying a mould. 25 bullets gives a pretty good idea how a bullet will perform. Now post a pic of that rifle.

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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