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Thread: 45-70 Chambers.

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Feb 2018

    45-70 Chambers.

    Iím planning on getting a single shot .45-70 to shoot with black powder, so I have been doing a lot of research on the internet. I came across a post that mentioned how there was a difference between Winchester chambers and Sharps chambers.

    Apparently, this person was building a gun and used a Winchester reamer and was not happy with the way it turned out. He said if he had used the Sharps reamer, he would have more options for loads.

    I checked in Cartridges of the World and they say both cartridges are the same.

    Can anyone shed some light on what he was talking about? Could the Sharps be a little longer, so you can have a longer OAL? Is this anything that needs to be considered when buying a gun to use with black powder?


  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy

    Knarley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Central Minnesota
    My guess would be that the original "45-70" was not a straight walled case. (Tapered) The chamber for the Winchester "45-70 Govt." would be.
    A gun in hand is worth two cops on the phone.

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master Don McDowell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Hell Gap Wy
    My guess would be that person didn't know much about making blackpowder shoot well.
    Long range rules, the rest drool.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    He's confused. SAAMI specs are SAAMI specs......period. If you build a gun using those specs you'll end up with virtually no throat before the rifling. People like Turnbull and some others use reamers that allow a generous throat going to the rifling so that longer, heavier bullets will fit in the chamber. Most guns, like the Miroku produced Winchesters and Brownings have problems chambering bullets of 400g and up, and especially if they have a shorter, blunt ogive. I know, I've owned several and had to have the throats lengthened in order to even use bullets like the Rem 405g JSP.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Nobade's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Albuquerque, Nuevo Mexico
    And an original Sharps chamber only allows for bore diameter paper patched bullets. 45 2.1 vs 45 govt. There have got to be hundreds of different reamers out there for that cartridge, and unless you have numbers the name is useless. And as pointed out, only one SAAMI one.
    "Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentis telum est."

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    There are a bunch of different chamber designs that work well for the .45-70. As long as they are not too sloppy they all seem to shoot very well once you figure out what they need bullet wise. I think that copying the Shiloh chamber would be a great place to start. Regardless, I'd keep dimensions on the tight size of things, and not a lot of freebore.


  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Portsmouth Ohio
    Imho the less freebore the better. For lead and black powder that is.

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