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Thread: New to .45-70, need advice

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    New to .45-70, need advice

    Been a few years since I've been on the site. My experience with cast boolits is .30 gas checked.

    Recently I took up cowboy shooting and picked up a Pedersoli Down Under Sharps in .45-70 for a very good price. So far I've loaded some ammo with Lasercast 405gr boolits using Varget, H-4985, H-4198, IMR-4166 and IMR-3031 at one grain under max for Trapdoors using Hodgdon data. They all go bang reliably and all hit the target if I do my part at 200 yards. The problems are they lead the barrel more than I like and the recoil could be a bit less. We shoot mostly at 200 yards and sometimes at 300 yards so I do not need a really heavy boolit. My preferred primers are Fed 210M or 210.

    I'd like to stay with the powders above since I can usually get them locally. Of them I prefer H-4895, H-4198 or IMR-4166 since they tend to not go out of stock locally. When I cast my own boolits I prefer LBT blue soft or 50/50 lube (LBT really preferred as the 50/50 gets really sticky and messy in the garage during Alabama summer).

    What I need advice on is a good mold (single or double cavity doesn't matter) for 300-350 grain boolits and a good alloy that will be accurate to 300 yards and not lead the barrel. I do not want to fool with hollow point or hollow base.

    Thanks.
    63/37 Sn/Pb is a terrible boolit alloy but its other use pays the bills.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master swamp's Avatar
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    I would suggest you slug the bore to see what size boolit you need. That will go aways to help reduce leading. I like the Lyman 457191 for most of my shooting.
    swamp
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Try a .459"or .460" diameter bullet that should cut the leading. For a 405 gr try 34grs of IMR 3031 with a Federal 210 primer its trapdoor safe and not hard on the shoulder. Not to mention very accurate.

  4. #4
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by swamp View Post
    I would suggest you slug the bore to see what size boolit you need. That will go aways to help reduce leading. I like the Lyman 457191 for most of my shooting.
    swamp
    Thanks. I'll be adding some pure lead wire to a Rotometals order for just that purpose, I want to split the order between Hardball for my other uses and whatever this one should use. Any idea of what alloy I need for this beastie?

    Quote Originally Posted by 1Hawkeye View Post
    Try a .459"or .460" diameter bullet that should cut the leading. For a 405 gr try 34grs of IMR 3031 with a Federal 210 primer its trapdoor safe and not hard on the shoulder. Not to mention very accurate.
    The Lasercast are .459" but very hard. They are what I could snag locally to start playing until I get what I need to cast. Thus what alloy should I consider?
    63/37 Sn/Pb is a terrible boolit alloy but its other use pays the bills.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    RS, i think yer just gonna hafta reside yerself to doing a buncha testing with both powders and bullets, not to mention OAL. there are a lotta variables to consider, for sure. there are also lotsa quirks with that cartridge and white devil powders as opposed to the black stuff, and IMHO the best smokeless around for that cartridge is still AA5744, which was literally made for them old 19th century bp cartridges. as to the bullet, i have had and still have a buncha pedersoli rollers and sharps and those match barrels all have worked very well with a .459 greaser and any decent lube (i had made my own gato feo that worked exceeding well with no leading issues). as to bullet weight, for 200 yards, i found a 404 grain AM 45-405P worked well enuf to win some matches. but was too light for 300 yards - there i use a 478 grain AM 45-490P using 1:16 alloy. i shot greasers for about a decade, first with the 5744 and then with the black - black is *SO* much better in every way than smokeless, at least for me - a black bore rider PPB has no OAL to be concerned about. for the last few years it's no more greasers for me, only PPB slicks - even easier and lots more fun. again, this is what floats my boat! best of luck, sir!

  6. #6
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfd View Post
    RS, i think yer just gonna hafta reside yerself to doing a buncha testing with both powders and bullets, not to mention OAL. there are a lotta variables to consider, for sure. there are also lotsa quirks with that cartridge and white devil powders as opposed to the black stuff, and IMHO the best smokeless around for that cartridge is still AA5744, which was literally made for them old 19th century bp cartridges. as to the bullet, i have had and still have a buncha pedersoli rollers and sharps and those match barrels all have worked very well with a .459 greaser and any decent lube (i had made my own gato feo that worked exceeding well with no leading issues). as to bullet weight, for 200 yards, i found a 404 grain AM 45-405P worked well enuf to win some matches. but was too light for 300 yards - there i use a 478 grain AM 45-490P using 1:16 alloy. i shot greasers for about a decade, first with the 5744 and then with the black - black is *SO* much better in every way than smokeless, at least for me - a black bore rider PPB has no OAL to be concerned about. for the last few years it's no more greasers for me, only PPB slicks - even easier and lots more fun. again, this is what floats my boat! best of luck, sir!

    Lots of jargon/acronyms, not so much sense.

    AM? PPB? Greaser?

    Still need alloy info.
    63/37 Sn/Pb is a terrible boolit alloy but its other use pays the bills.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Rokkit, for a good mold I use the 460-330 made by arsenal molds its a copy of the lyman 457122 with out the hollow point. A 330 gr and I size them to .460" For the price of a single cavity lyman you can get a 4 cavity from arsenal.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    I find my 45-70s do better with softer alloys in the range of 20-1 or 16-1 lead tin. My rifles have not seen any smokless powders just heavy doses of Black Powder 1 1/2f or 1f. My bullets range from the 510 grn lyman round nose grease groove, the 535 grn grease grooved postell by lyman, the 550 old west shilouette grease groove and a brooks adjustable set to 540 grns paper patch bullet thats a bore rider when wrapped. These bullets do very well out to 500yds in my rifles all are 1-18 twist. The 550 really rocks rams way out there. Im shooting as cast and pan lubing. my moulds drop .459-.460.

    A post in swapping and selling asking for some test bullets in various weights styles to test in your rifle would go along ways deciding on what mould you need. along with alloy and lube. Each firearm is a entity to itself and may or may not perform with others loads.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    A thought about reducing recoil: Use a lighter bullet, drive it more slowly & make sure to "fit" it to the barrel. Slug the bore and go from there.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rokkit Syinss View Post
    Lots of jargon/acronyms, not so much sense.

    AM? PPB? Greaser?

    Still need alloy info.
    AM = Accurate Molds, a manufacturer of bullet moulds
    PPB = Paper Patched Bullet
    Greaser = a lubed bullet that has grease grooves to accept that lube
    slick = a bullet with no grease grooves and meant to be wrapped with a paper patching
    AA5744 = Accurate Arms powder #5744, this smokeless powder is specific to 19th century cartridges, is not position sensitive, uses less a charge than other white powders, typically produces less fired pressure, a very popular smokeless for sharps, rollers, etc, and popular with the smokeless folks for match shooting

    for lubed bullets, there are a lot of factors at play. i'd start off with 1:30 tin:lead alloy and go harder if leading was an issue, with a .459" deep grooved and well lubed bullet of at least 400 grains (for 200 yards, but might be marginal at best for 300 yards where heavier is better). if recoil is an issue, i load trail boss and 350 grain lubed bullets for young'uns to experience shooting rollers and sharps with no kick at all. but that's not a match grade load, nor is such a light bullet for beyond 200 yards. as you can see, there are performance and use parameters that are dictated by the design of the .45-70 cartridge. and as i already typed, you will need to do some careful trialing and testing, no way around that sir. good luck!

    Quote Originally Posted by country gent View Post
    Each firearm is a entity to itself and may or may not perform with others loads.
    no truer words typed ....
    Last edited by rfd; 07-04-2018 at 06:28 AM.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master redhawk0's Avatar
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    I use the Lee 340 gr FN mold. I have been using 2:1 COWW:Linotype so it's pretty hard. They drop out of my mold at .459" and I get no leading with IMR3031 (46.5gr) using Fed 210s which gives me ~1350fps. I keep my OAL at 2.550". I do however use my own variation of the World Famous Felix Lube. I dropped a big buck last fall with this load. So it is hard hitting at 100 yards. It should do just fine out a bit further on paper/gongs.

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  12. #12
    Boolit Bub
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    My Pedersoli Sharps likes soft Alloy 20-1 / 9 brinnel at start loads for best accuracy and no leading with smokeless (4198) in a variety of Boolit weights, I use the same alloy with Black as well and also no leading, For your weight range description the RCBS 325-U drops about 340 grains and I use 29 grains of 4198 for light recoil and 4-5" 10 shot groups at 220 yards at around 1300 fps, I tried to drive it faster but groups opened right up

  13. #13
    Boolit Mold
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    Half the fun is working up a load that works for you and your rifle. I've found my Pedersoli Sharps 'likes' .459 over .458 for button hole accuracy.
    I experimented with the oft used 3031 and 5744 powders and found the 5744 to be cleaner shooting and easier to replicate similar FPS when chronographed.
    Under 1400 FPS the lead alloy mix is basically moot and it will shoot whatever soft/hard you want to use in the .459 diameter but close to and over that level I use a hard alloy gas check (Brinnel 23) 430 grain bullet and up.
    For plinking (200 meters etc.) the bullet weight is no big deal but if you want to reach out my rifle likes 500 plus grain greasers and I use a harder 'lead'.
    I do load to COAL beyond the 2.550...so far up to 2.790 with the RN 510 gn. 459 diam...the chamber area of your Pedersoli will accept this easily....I suspect there is still some unused space but you should measure your chamber/throat area yourself.
    I've ne experience with the BPC gang but that would be a fun deal too....
    Great rifle and have fun.

  14. #14
    Boolit Man
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    Thanks guys. That's a couple of starting points to experiment off of. Waiting on delivery of lead wire for slugging the rifle throat.
    63/37 Sn/Pb is a terrible boolit alloy but its other use pays the bills.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master pjames32's Avatar
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    You can slug your barrel with a lead fishing sinker. Lube it up good and DON'T use a wood dowel rod. I use a 16:1 lead tin mix. For a 350gr bullet I use an NOE mold. I've used 5744 and IMR 4227. I prefer 5744. I'm shooting a Remington Navy Arms replica.
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  16. #16
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    Too large or too small can cause leading. So before you buy molds or more bullets, I'd slug that bore and measure it with good micrometer first! The alloy being a little too soft or hard will not create leading as easily as the wrong sized bullet will.

  17. #17
    Boolit Man
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    Slugged 1-1/4" forward of the case mouth with the upset/pound cast method using pure lead wire.

    Dia. at case mouth .4825" that extends approx. .052 forward. Referred to below as chamber.

    Next a short sharp angle extending approx. .071" forward of the chamber. Dia. at the end of this angle is .4602". Referred to as throat below.

    The rifling starts approx. .030" forward of the throat. The groove diameter of the rifling is .4591".

    If I read correctly this means I want to size to either .461" (.001" over throat) or .460" (.001" over groove). Which do I use?
    63/37 Sn/Pb is a terrible boolit alloy but its other use pays the bills.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rokkit Syinss View Post
    Slugged 1-1/4" forward of the case mouth with the upset/pound cast method using pure lead wire.

    Dia. at case mouth .4825" that extends approx. .052 forward. Referred to below as chamber.

    Next a short sharp angle extending approx. .071" forward of the chamber. Dia. at the end of this angle is .4602". Referred to as throat below.

    The rifling starts approx. .030" forward of the throat. The groove diameter of the rifling is .4591".

    If I read correctly this means I want to size to either .461" (.001" over throat) or .460" (.001" over groove). Which do I use?
    Size to fit throat (.460). This helps to insure a straight start at ignition. Avoid hard cast as these will lead at lower velocities regardless of fit.
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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