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Thread: 45-70 long range loads?

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    45-70 long range loads?

    Looking to try and use some Lehigh Defense Controlled Fracturing Bullets 458 Caliber 570 Grain Solid Brass in a long range 45-70 load development. Stated BC is .883 and the OAL of the projectile is 1.955 inches. looks like it could be promising. The rifle is an H&R buffalo classic, not the strongest action but it can take some +P loads. Anyone here have any experience with loading 500 plus grain projectiles in the 45-70? hard to find any data in reloading manuals for this type of thing. I would like to use smokeless powders for the load.

  2. #2
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    W.R.Buchanan's Avatar
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    570 gr boolits shot from that gun will literally knock the snot out of you. A gun needs to weigh 12+ lbs to be able to shoot those boolits without killing you.

    Sorry for the bad news but anything above about 325-350 grains is going to be painful to shoot in that gun simply because it is so light.

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

  3. #3
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    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    Yup, what Randy said. Get some lead boolits of increasing weight and practice loading them to higher and higher velocities. I'll bet you stop before you get to the speed that the lead can't handle!
    Wayne the Shrink

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

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    If you plan to shoot that heavy of a bullet, I recommend getting a mercury recoil reducer to put in the buttstock. The idea one is C&H Research 100785 (7/8" x 5") because it fits without modification to the stock. You can get precise fit by adding a box spacer and some electrical tape.

  5. #5
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    I'm with Randy and Wayne. I'm not particularly 'recoil sensitive' and my Pedersoli RB with a 30" half-round barrel goes around 12 1/2 lbs. but, even wearing a vest with a P.A.S.T. pad, twenty to twenty-five 525 gr. Postells (loaded over 62 gr. FFg) and shot off cross-sticks are about all I can handle in one sitting. I've loaded the same boolit over smokeless to duplicate BP ballistics and observed no significant change in felt recoil.

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

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  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master

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    That's going to be a long bullet will the H&R have the needed twist to stabilize it? Recoil is going to become an issue as will fatigue due t recoil levels. My manuals don't list +P but place them in levels according to Trapdoor and antiques, modern lever actions, and last Ruger Number 1s and 3s. I would be hesitant to run a steady diet of any +P load thru the H&R though.

    The one question that hasn't been asked is what do you consider long range? At a NRA sanctioned match rifle 200-600 is midrange 800-1000 is long range. Palma moves 600 in with 800,900, and 1000. Most rifle shilouette matches the rams are the farthest target at around 500yds. To shoot Long range is a pretty generic term with out description.

    BPCR shooters using the 45-70 use a 500-550 gr bullet and know the sight settings for each range. A good chronograph and use of the ballistic programs on line will give you zeros as far as you want to go. I would recommend getting several ranges velocity with a given bullet and using the above programs to figure actual BC then the drop tables. I have seen bullets BCs slightly over rated and BC also varies with velocity range.

    Last point is you need to be able to read wind very good to be competitive at 1000yds. Not just on the line but down range as well with mirage flags and any other sources available.

  7. #7
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    JSnover's Avatar
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    What does the OP consider 'long range'? I haven't worked with frangibles but expanding bullets need to retain enough velocity at the point of impact or they won't expand.
    I still have a Buffalo Classic rifle in 45-70 and I wasn't impressed with it (maybe I got the only bad one). IMO it is way too light for 570grain bullets over "+P" charges.
    Warning: I know Judo. If you force me to prove it I'll shoot you.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    I've got a Marlin 1895. I have shot a bunch of 400 grain GC boolits out of it and I loaded it up to a MAX varget load per Lee's Modern Reloading. The max loads were more than what I wanted to shoot, but a couple grains down was fine.

    I've shot a few 500 grain boolits and that is certainly heavier. I don't think I would want to shoot a 570 grain boolit...

    I got a cool little mold from NOE called the Ranch Dog and it is a hollow point that casts 350 grain boolits. (Hollow point ones are around 320 grain). I shoot that under a solid varget load and it flies fairly level.

    One thing is... I don't consider that gun a "long range" gun. I know it's really hard to scope those things because of the recoil.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 44Blam View Post
    I know it's really hard to scope those things because of the recoil.
    I tried it once. Never again.
    Warning: I know Judo. If you force me to prove it I'll shoot you.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master S.B.'s Avatar
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    Lehigh Defense Controlled Fracturing Bullets 458 Caliber 570 Grain Solid Brass, whew that's a mouth full?
    Steve
    "The Original Point and Click Interface was a Smith & Wesson."
    Life member NRA, USPSA, ISRA
    Life member AF&AM 294

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    Wow.
    Looks like a jet engine.

    Looking at this, it looks to me like it's gonna be a pain to figure out how to seat and what to load under it. Leihigh only gives data for the .458 socom...
    Click image for larger version. 

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  12. #12
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    ON my Marlin 1895 CB my go to load is 33 gr of 5744 with an RCBS .45-300 FNGC boolit which drops at about 325 gr. That load produces 1550 fps +/- and I can fire 40 of them in one morning and not hate myself after.

    My gun has a Gray-Coil Recoil Reducer in the stock and a 1" Pachmayer Recoil Pad on it. it weighs 8 lbs on the nose and is too light for anything more powerful than the above load. I'm sure I could fire a few .45-405's at the same speed thru it for hunting something big, but doubt I would as the 325 gr boolits would easily kill anything in N/A and lots things anyplace else. Only would use the 400 gr boolits for really big Cows and Bisons.

    My point here is that the .45-70 had killed everything on earth by 1900 with 400 and 500 gr lead boolits and black powder at 12-1300 fps.

    That Lehigh bullet does look like a jet engine!!! And it also has alot of bearing surface and pressures could spike easily. Doubt if the HR could handle a good solid pressure spike at the pressures that bullet was designed to operate at.

    I don't see a practical use for it because we don't have any Dinosaurs to hunt any more, since they went extinct 5 or 6 years ago. (Longing for the good old days before Obama when we could hunt them. Triceratops was good eatin' !!!) A decent Brontosaurus would feed my extended family (basically everyone I know in the tribe) for a year, but the hind quarters were pretty tough unless you tenderized a bunch with a large club.

    I really think the OP would be better off shooting some 300 gr cast boolits and working up a load until he couldn't stand the recoil any more. That's basically what I did and it worked out to be the most accurate load as well. I got a 1 3/4" 3 shot group at 100 yards with iron sights from that gun and load.

    Anyway that bullet certainly isn't the place to start reloading the .45-70 at.

    I forgot to tell you guys,,, My real name is Alley Oop .

    You know me as Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by 44Blam View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Yeah, that doesn't look reliable at long-range 45-70 velocities. I beat myself up cheaper and easier with lead over BP.
    Warning: I know Judo. If you force me to prove it I'll shoot you.

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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