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Thread: Cowboy loads for 405 grain cast bullets in 45-70

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    Cowboy loads for 405 grain cast bullets in 45-70

    With the disappearance of Trail Boss powder from the UK market I am looking for a replacement for their cowboy load for the 45-70.
    With 11 to 12 grains of Trail Boss behind a 405 grain lead bullet velocity was around 1000fps and was safe to use in indoor ranges without exceeding the maximum muzzle energy limits on this type of range.

    Anyone got any loads that they have had success with? someone has suggested 11 grains of Unique, behind a cardboard wad to hold the powder in place against the primer. I have read that this is not safe as the wad is effectively slammed into the back of the bullet on firing, causing high pressures. The manufacturers of Unique have confirmed they do not recommend this load. There seems to be a lot of warnings against having voids in a case between the powder charge and the bullet.

    Max pressure needs to be below 28000psi.
    I would welcome any useful input.

    thanks,

    Mark

  2. #2
    Boolit Master FergusonTO35's Avatar
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    I would start with Unique and no fillers of any sort. Most people report that Unique is position insensitive and works best with no fillers. I'm sure powder is not cheap across the pond so it will save you a ton of money over the higher charges of rifle powder. I can send you some info from my Lyman Cast Bullet Manual if needed.
    Currently casting and loading: .32 Auto, .380 Auto, .38 Special, 9X19, .357 Magnum, .257 Roberts, .30 WCF, .45-70 Gov't.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    +1 on the Unique. Just don't double charge with such a light load. I use a dipper and sit it aside when I put the powder in. Nice soft shooting load and fairly accurate.

  4. #4
    Boolit Mold
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    Thanks for the reply. some info from your manual would be great. Powder here is about 40 per pound, crazy prices. 11 grains of powder in a 45-70 case looks like nothing, I am very surprised it works. do you know if there is any info on pressures available for these light Unique loads?

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I second the suggestion of UNIQUE. I've used it in .45-70 for plinking loads all my life(64yrs). And my DAD before me. I use IMR3031 for COWBOY side matches. 34.0grs behind a LYMAN#457193 cast 1/20 - 420gr bullet. It shoots great in my 1884 TRAPDOOR. And will function in an old WINCHESTER 1886 & Modern MARLIN 1895, as long as you apply a good roll crimp. It's also the starting load in LYMAN'S current manual. They cast that bullet of their #2 alloy, for a weight of 405grs.
    Good Shooting & Good Luck.
    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master FergusonTO35's Avatar
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    I will try to get it for you in the next day or so.
    Currently casting and loading: .32 Auto, .380 Auto, .38 Special, 9X19, .357 Magnum, .257 Roberts, .30 WCF, .45-70 Gov't.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Unique is the Easy Button for sure.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  8. #8
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  9. #9
    Boolit Mold
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    Worth a look and may help you, http://www.gmdr.com/lever/lowveldata.htm

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Ive stocked up on 2400 ,20grains works well in my marlin.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master UKShootist's Avatar
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    Unique is a wonder powder and every home reloader should have a tub. It will send almost anything down the barrel of almost anything. It doesn't need a wad and I believe wads are consider to be possibly damaging if used as you describe, but if you feel the need then purchase some Dacron fibre. I ordered a modest amount via the bay and I now own a small mattress of the stuff that would likely last me a lifetime. For plain base lead bullets anything from 11 to 14 grains will get the job done.
    The lion shall lie down with the lamb, but the lamb won't get much sleep.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Lyman #457193 405gr with 10 grs of Unique NO fillers. A very mild and accurate load.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master iron brigade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leadmad View Post
    Worth a look and may help you, http://www.gmdr.com/lever/lowveldata.htm
    I 2nd this site. I shot a bunch of these loads just last week with my marlin cowboy in 45-70.
    10.7 grains of tite group shot 5 rounds into 1.75" @100 yards. Bullet was the Lee 405 HB. Factory buck horn sights were used.

    I have since ordered a Williams fp target sight and a Lyman globe for the front.
    One thing to note, all shot low. Had it way up on the elevator, but did not move the little slide inside the rear sight.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
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    I shoot 12 grains of unique in a .30-06 under a 118 grain pill. The powder kind of rattles around in the case and I could probably quadruple charge the case if I weren't paying attention. This load is very accurate and consistent, 1 inch or smaller groups at 100 yards. I don't imagine a small charge in a 45/70 case will be an issue.
    "I have learned from experience that a modicum of snuff can be most efficacious." - the Baron von Munchausen

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Trailboss. Sorry! That's the best for cowboy loads...

    Wait until it comes back and buy a TON of it.

  16. #16
    Fillers and wads should never be used with smokeless powder!

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Overpowder wads will ring the chamber.....not hearsay ,have done it.

  18. #18
    Boolit Man sh00ter787's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 44Blam View Post
    Trailboss. Sorry! That's the best for cowboy loads...

    Wait until it comes back and buy a TON of it.
    Unfortunately it is gone for good, banned by the EU as well as a few other very popular powders......

  19. #19
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    Is 5744 available to you? We use 30 gr. of 5744 with a 405 gr boolits in both Winchester 1886's and a Shilo Sharps rifle with great success. A modest roll crimp reduces almost entirely any un-burned powder grains. I know you don't have to crimp single shot ammo but if you don't you will get un- burnt powder granules. Only take a small crimp.
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  20. #20
    Boolit Master murf205's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john.k View Post
    Overpowder wads will ring the chamber.....not hearsay ,have done it.
    +1 for this. Don't do the wad. L40 per lb! That's $53.60 per lb in USD! I will stop complaining about U.S. prices......maybe
    Last edited by murf205; 06-12-2018 at 09:46 PM.
    IT AINT what ya shoot--its how ya shoot it

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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
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