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Thread: cast load data 45-70 32" barrel

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    cast load data 45-70 32" barrel

    Looking for load data to use in my 45-70 H&R, Buffalo Classic, single shot 32" barrel. I have a ton of 405 grain cast, powder coated bullets I'm wanting to use.
    THANKS

  2. #2
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    What’s your desired use and velocity?

  3. #3
    Boolit Master


    Kraschenbirn's Avatar
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    Got an up-to-date reloading manual? If not, you need one (or more) before you go any further. I can, personally, recommend Richard Lee's 'Modern Reloading - 2nd Edition' and the Lyman 'Cast Bullet Handbook - 4th Edition' as excellent sources to begin your load development.

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

    Jimmy Buffett
    "Scarlet Begonias"

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    Plan on hunting deer in open country. Would like as much velocity to help extend range.
    THANKS

  5. #5
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    45/70 is an excellent caliber, but if you’re in open country, you may want to seek something with a little less of a rainbow trajectory.

    If you’re up for some filling rattling good times may I suggest, depending on weight, Varget, benchmark or 8208 XBR.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master DonMountain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kraschenbirn View Post
    Got an up-to-date reloading manual? If not, you need one (or more) before you go any further. I can, personally, recommend Richard Lee's 'Modern Reloading - 2nd Edition' and the Lyman 'Cast Bullet Handbook - 4th Edition' as excellent sources to begin your load development.

    Bill
    Are you kidding me Bill? You don't need an "up to date reloading manual" to find loads for a 45-70. I bet you could find loads for a 45-70 in a 100 year old loading manual. Although I am not sure you could find any of those old powders except for black powder. In fact, I can give you my best load that I use for deer hunting in my 32" barreled 45-70. Get you a 45-70 case. Resize the mouth in your Lyman 310. Fill the case up to about 1/4" of the top with 2F black powder after putting in any large rifle primer. And then seat a good 500 grain cast bullet. and set your ladder sights for the range you want to shoot. And thats all you need to know. Wait a minute, I need to go check this load in my Lyman #4. . . .

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    I've got a large number of flat shooting modern rifles, but I want to shoot a deer with the 45-70. I've shot bear, moose, elk, mule deer and a ton of whitetail deer, but never with a 45-70.
    Just watched 4 nice bucks feed across an open field to eat my soybeans. I need about 200-250 yards to be comfortable.
    I have manuals, have computer load data, but hoping someone has shot a long barrel modern rifle and could share good load.

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Pick your load and practice a lot if you're going to try deer around 200 yards with a 45-70. Maybe set a stand nearer the trail into the field?

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    Not that familiar with the H&R Buffalo Classic but I suspect to get velocities with a 400 gr bullet to reach 200 yards that the rifle is going to bite at both ends.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
    Chill Wills's Avatar
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    You can do what you described, BUT you will need to do a few things to prepare.

    WHat are your sights going to be? That is the first big question. If the rifle's sights are not up to the task, the rest of the preparation can't happen. Because of the 45-70's trajectory with any reasonable combo of bullet weight and velocity, the rifle needs sights that adjust in minutes of angle so you can make a real time, on the spot adjustment for the shot. Really, only target type sights, either iron or scope come to mind. You will pay as much or more for these as for the rifle.

    To do this and be fair to the deer you will need to be able to shoot from a rock steady rest using sights able to adjust in MOA After accurately range-finding the target.

    Now you need an accurate load. Is the barrel an 18 twist? Accuracy at distance does not come from short stubby bullets. Test a range of bullet weights. On the light side, go with something more than 350 grains. And because 'dead is dead' and accuracy often is better at 500 grains, you may need to go heavy to get the accuracy.( tho you don't need a bullet that heavy for killing)

    You will be testing bullets at all the ranges you intent to shoot using accurate sights. Did I mention that? And build a sight setting chart in 20 yard ranges and then in 10 yard ranges for the farther distances past maybe 230y or so.

    You have a fun project and will learn a ton if you do it.
    If on the other hand, you have not really prepared and just 'wing it', you may find yourself slinging lead and wounding game.

    I have a bit of experience at this and if you want to run a few ideas past someone who has done it, PM me.

    Either way, have fun and be safe, -CW
    Last edited by Chill Wills; 08-07-2018 at 11:06 AM.
    Chill Wills

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master

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    A lot shoot BPCR with BP and 500-550 grn bullets out to 500yds. Some even shoot these rifles out to 1000yds and farther. The real trick is knowing the sight settings for a range, estimating the range and last reading the wind. Place marker poles every 50 yds and practice, get zeros for the ranges you plan to shoot. The 45-70 performs well at long ranges you just need to know the trajectory and actual range your working at. Then the last is wind.

    For what you want to do a 405-450 grn bullet at around 1200-1300 fps should be more than enough. A lot of buffalos were thumped with a 500 grn bullet at 1200-1250fps at some pretty decent distances years ago .

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master

    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    So set up a target where the deer are feeding, or at the same distance. Load your cartridges and practice, practice, and practice. As in any shooting - you are unique and your gun is unique. Start with a case full of BP and go from there.
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    15 grs Unique, a pinch of toilet paper under that 405 gr bullet will
    punch through a deer at 200 yds. When you cast your bullets, put a piece of
    news paper in the nose section of your mold. Casts a split nose bullet. Helps
    the bullet break apart. This will help stop the complete pass through of the
    bullet, use soft lead and shoot at cast dia. if they will chamber. Try it, you'll
    like them.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    Ok, you have the boolit, the range, though I'm betting difference between 200 and 250 yards is a lot in the 45-70.
    I'm thinking range finder or known distances in the beans is going to be critical to success.
    Now find the most accurate load you can and see if will carry that level of precision out to 200-300 yards.
    If it will then burn a bunch of powder to develop your end of the project.

    As I remember it that is a pretty light rifle so accurate load that you can shoot accurately will be determining factor.

    Oh, a Ballistics program run up front to estimate drops at those ranges and then much range time to hone calculated to actual ballistics.
    Wind drift alone will be a significant factor also even as low as 10 mph and, Hey it is Kansas where the wind never stops.

    ONLY you will know if you, the gun and load can pull it off and the holes in the paper will tell you that.
    Last edited by TCLouis; 08-13-2018 at 10:39 PM.
    Nothing is impossible for the person that does not have to do it.

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Another use for the ballistics program is to print up a wind chart once you have BC and drop tables. The wind charts are as important as the drop tables maybe more so since the short stubby bullets don't do very well in the wind. Also a way of accurately reading the wind is needed.

    Shooting a 45-70 at true long range is a ball and rewarding. In most matches 200-600yds is considered mid range Past 600 is long range. That's a long ways to spot and judge a legal deer. I have shot shilouettes with 45-70 out to 500yds and its a lot of elevation and wind reading but it can be done. Shooting at a game animal responsibly is even more so. While your practicing set up a 8"-10" ( Close to kill zone size on a deer) gong at distance and see how reliably you can ring it. Also to get an idea of what your up against check out time of flight for various ranges with your load. Youll probably be surprised. At 300 yds there is a definite lag between pull of the trigger report and the ring of the target. This gets longer with added distance. While this lag is constant it gives game a bigger chance to jump the bullet.

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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