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Thread: Does a BIG cartridge depend on speed. Or not? So to garner great accuracy. ie 45-70

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Does a BIG cartridge depend on speed. Or not? So to garner great accuracy. ie 45-70

    Confused a little. There are two different published reloading's for a 45-70.. One recipe chart is preferred for used with the older 1873 Trap Door designs and clones of. The other published reloading is preferred for use in the newer 1886 Winchester & newer clones of including the Ruger #1


    Of the two (2) published Loading charts. Which is considered the most accurate across its entire spectrum of reloadings? (1873 or 1886s.)
    "JUST A OLD DEPLORABLE THAT'S IRREDEEMABLE."

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    With respect, the question is potentially irrelevant. If loading for something less strong than the Ruger #1 or 1886 Win, the potential accuracy of loads intended for those firearms is irrelevant; they cannot be used. If loading for the "strong" 45-70's, then the answer is that what's accurate in one rifle may not be accurate in another. If one matches BHN to intended MV, one can achieve accuracy.

    One may achieve fine accuracy with firearms chambered in 45-70 at a broad range of velocities. Trajectory will differ given different velocities, but provided one can achieve consistent velocities, even with a quite parabolic trajectory, one can be accurate. For 1200 - 1300 fps velocities BHN 6-8 boolits are advisable. 1300 - 1500 BHN 8-12 and above 1500, hardcast is recommended.

    As to effect, a 400 - 500 grs projectile with a terminal velocity of 850 fps or more will deliver lethal penetration and certain death to any living thing in North America provided it is delivered to critical CNS controls or cardio vascular organs, and an only slightly less certain and lingering death when delivered elsewhere.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master buckshotshoey's Avatar
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    Yep. This^. My manual lists 3 power levels. Trap door, lever action, and Ruger #1 power levels. The boolit I use had to be reduce charged to group accurately. RCBS 325-.458. I have a slightly greater arched trajectory and slower velocity, in trade for excellent accuracy. I won't be shooting longer then 150 yards at whitetail anyway, so it really doesn't make a huge difference when zeroed for 100 yards.
    Last edited by buckshotshoey; 03-18-2017 at 05:04 AM.

  4. #4
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    That's an interesting question, but it's perhaps a hard one to answer. Power or velocity levels will really not have anything to do with a 45/70's accuracy in my opinion. I've loaded to both the low end of the data for original trapdoors and to the high end in a modern single shots as well as low and high ends in Marlins and a couple of different recently manufactured Browning M 1885 High Walls.

    There's just too many apples and oranges involved for a lucid answer, but I can say that high and low power loads (same bullets, cases and primers otherwise) in the same rifle have both usually shot about the same so... I don't think that power or velocity impacts the issue of 45/70 accuracy to any real extent.
    Last edited by Scharfschuetze; 03-17-2017 at 07:48 PM.
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    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    .

    To add to your confusion, some .45-70 repeaters are short-throated from the factory (like Winchester/Miroku 1886/86's), and/or have critical maximum overall cartridge length for feeding/cycling through their actions - all of which can effectively preclude certain specific boolits/loads.

    IME, the best way to avoid confusion, AND add to your enjoyment, is to load/test/fire, over & over again - w/o overthinking the issues.

    IOW, let the rifle talk...........



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    Boolit Man OlDeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pietro View Post
    .

    To add to your confusion, some .45-70 repeaters are short-throated from the factory (like Winchester/Miroku 1886/86's), and/or have critical maximum overall cartridge length for feeding/cycling through their actions - all of which can effectively preclude certain specific boolits/loads.

    IME, the best way to avoid confusion, AND add to your enjoyment, is to load/test/fire, over & over again - w/o overthinking the issues.

    IOW, let the rifle talk...........



    .
    Well said !.......................

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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by buckshotshoey View Post
    Yep. This^. My manual lists 3 power levels. Trap door, lever action, and Ruger #1 power levels. The boolit I use had to be reduce charged to group accurately. RCBS 325-.458. I have a slightly greater arched trajectory and slower velocity, in trade for excellent accuracy. I won't be shooting longer then 150 yards at whitetail anyway, so it really doesn't make a huge difference when zeroed for 100 yards.
    That is a sensible attitude, for there are loads not recommended for rifles like the 1886 Winchester, which are fine for the Ruger. Whether you need them is another matter. I'd say the difference in trajectory between Trapdoor and 1886 loads can be worth having, the difference in killing power probably isn't for almost anything in the Americas, and the Ruger-only loads probably aren't on either score.

    Actually the 1886 isn't that likely to fail catastrophically with the Ruger loads in modern brass. What I consider a weakness is the ejector, which in original rifles occupies a considerable part of the breech face, all the way to the firing-pin. This has been known to break off, and while I have heard of it being fired without mishap in that condition, I wouldn't care to bet on it. Modern replicas are likely to have receivers built of better steel, and perhaps a smaller ejector, like the later Winchesters. Probably some do, some don't.

  8. #8
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    2ndAmendmentNut's Avatar
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    Every 45-70 I have ever owned has had an action that was stronger than my shoulder. Trapdoor level loads give great accuracy without excessive recoil.
    "I don't want men who miss." -Capt. Leander H. McNelly

  9. #9
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    If and when I get a 45-70 I highly doubt I will shoot my rifles boolits at 1886s recommended loadings. Seems to me the Trapdoor loadings shot with heavy slow velocity boolits have plenty of down range energy and are not (according to some) lacking in grouping accuracy at reasonable yardage. (200 or less)
    Those updated loadings (1886 & Ruger #1) I'm thinking would surely garner extreme noise heavy duty recoil and / or perhaps a un-welcomed flinch. In retrospect it seems to me this vintage heavy weight old thumper of a cartridge surely would drop to its knee's or worse anything I take aim at.
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    There are actually 3 levels in most manuals. If you have the #1 or other top pressure models then you don't know which is most accurate till you test them. The Black powder duplication loads are for the older weaker actions The mid level loads are for the modern actions also in the lever action classes of strength. These are not so much for accuracy as they are safety on the various rifles out there.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master buckshotshoey's Avatar
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    I originally shot the Hornady leverevolution 325 gr. Very fast. Heavy recoil. And didn't group all that well. I went to RCBS 325 gr cast. They do not group well at upper velocities. The plain base design has to be kept below 1500 fps. Above 1500 and they are all over the place. My accuracy load is somewhere around 1400. 1.5" @ 100 yards. Even at 1300, it is a thumper! With 1350 ftlbs at 1300 fps.

    And at 1400 fps, they are pussycats in the recoil dept. Relatively speaking of course.
    Last edited by buckshotshoey; 03-20-2017 at 08:46 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2ndAmendmentNut View Post
    Every 45-70 I have ever owned has had an action that was stronger than my shoulder. Trapdoor level loads give great accuracy without excessive recoil.
    Yep, the above is VERY true for me also.

  13. #13
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    Does a BIG cartridge depend on speed. Or not? So to garner great accuracy. ie 45-70

    Some of the most accurate large bore shooters are in BPCR. None of their loads are heavier than trapdoor level.


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    Last edited by 2ndAmendmentNut; 03-21-2017 at 10:10 AM.
    "I don't want men who miss." -Capt. Leander H. McNelly

  14. #14
    in a way "1886 level loads" is a bit of a misnomer. There were, for a short time, high velocity smokeless loads by Winchester which corresponded very closely to what modern handloaders commonly achieve. I think the main reason for discontinuing them was to sell more of the 1894 rifles. But I am sure most hunting with the 1886 rifle was done with loads of black powder performance levels or just a little more.

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BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
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