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Thread: How to get more BP in a .45-70 case

  1. #1
    Boolit Master


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    How to get more BP in a .45-70 case

    I have been loading 50gns of BP with a 405gn boolit. Only 50gns, because that is all I could fit in, compressed as much as I dared. Iím using an 1/8 in. greese cookie and a felt wad with a card under the greese cookie and over the wad. Does the wad need to be lubed? How thin can a wad be? Do I need a wad at all?

    Also, the other day I shot twenty rounds. Iíve heard of a greese star that forms on the muzzle. So far I havenít seen any. Does that mean anything? The rounds load easily and the rifle was easy to clean afterwards.

    Thanks for all input and advice.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregLaROCHE View Post
    I have been loading 50gns of BP with a 405gn boolit. Only 50gns, because that is all I could fit in, compressed as much as I dared. I’m using an 1/8 in. greese cookie and a felt wad with a card under the greese cookie and over the wad. Does the wad need to be lubed? How thin can a wad be? Do I need a wad at all?

    Also, the other day I shot twenty rounds. I’ve heard of a greese star that forms on the muzzle. So far I haven’t seen any. Does that mean anything? The rounds load easily and the rifle was easy to clean afterwards.

    Thanks for all input and advice.
    Greg
    You only need the grease cookie to compensate for the fact that the boolit dont carry enough lube in its grooves -

    I shoot the LEE 405 HB without any lube wads and it works great - I altered it some, milled the nose so the meplat was wider - (shooting in a tube magazine and I want the flat bigger than the primer pocket for safety) also took the tit off the base plug so the boolit has a flat base, and I can use a wad under it.

    Have a look at that boolit on the LEE website, or my picture here, to get a fix on what blackpowder lube grooves should look like.

    I loaded 45/70 starline a few days back (new brass never fired) with 66Grains FFg, a 45 thou HDPE poly wad, and 335 grain version of that LEE boolit (two lube grooves instead of three)

    The once fired reloads take a couple grains more. Not excessive compression - could get 70 grains in this load and will test that soon - but dont want to mess with it much at all as I hit on an accurate load first up.

    This is a new rifle (1886 Chiappa) and the first ten shots got me a couple of three shot clusters just inside two inches at 100yards with the barrel sights - lube star at the muzzle and an easy clean - no leading.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    335 grain and 405 grain modified LEE boolits - wider meplat and flat base instead of the small hollow base. Lube used is 50/50 beeswax and neatsfoot oil.
    Last edited by indian joe; 02-10-2019 at 05:57 AM.

  3. #3
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    I’m paper patching so don’t see the need to lube the boolits. As I understand, the greese cookie is there to keep the BP residue soft for easy continuous loading without swabbing.

  4. #4
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    Are you using a drop tube? My experience has been that if you are using a bullet that carries a fair amount of lube and the powder charge stays under about 80-90 grs. and the caliber above 40, a grease cookie isn't needed. I would think about any 405 gr. bullet would carry enough lube for the 45-70. Try it without the grease cookie and the felt wad. That seems overkill to me in the 45-70. If you aren't using a drop tube, add that step.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregLaROCHE View Post
    I have been loading 50gns of BP with a 405gn boolit. Only 50gns, because that is all I could fit in, compressed as much as I dared. I’m using an 1/8 in. greese cookie and a felt wad with a card under the greese cookie and over the wad. Does the wad need to be lubed? How thin can a wad be? Do I need a wad at all?

    Also, the other day I shot twenty rounds. I’ve heard of a greese star that forms on the muzzle. So far I haven’t seen any. Does that mean anything? The rounds load easily and the rifle was easy to clean afterwards.

    Thanks for all input and advice.
    50 grains is waaaay too little black powder for a PPB .45-70 cartridge and NO grease cookie wanted or needed. all fouling control is handled by wiping between shots, either a wet then dry patch, or a bore wiper with a dry patch is used. i think that randy wright's PPB primer is excellent but its downside is that it's centered around using a grease cookie (though he does dedicate one page to a non-grease cookie load).

    fill the fire formed, cleaned, primed case to the brim with black powder, push in a wad or two (or maybe just one .060" LDPE wad), compress down .10" below the case mouth, push in yer bore rider PPB, go shoot. you'll easily get in 80+ drop filled grains of swiss 1-1/2f. now yer virtual ".45-90" (actual .45-70) gun will be shouting and not whispering
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregLaROCHE View Post
    I’m paper patching so don’t see the need to lube the boolits. As I understand, the greese cookie is there to keep the BP residue soft for easy continuous loading without swabbing.
    yeah I stuffed up there - thought I was on the other place - cant help ya with pp - but most of the boys that are doin it get way more powder in a case than with a grease boolit (part of the attraction I thought?) - looks to me (unedicated as I am) that you are kinda stuck in the middle - if ya gonna PP why not go whole hog and clean between shots or else go back to a grease boolit (would seem more appropriate with a 405 grain boolit?)

  7. #7
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    there are some good things that happen with a bore rider PPB cartridge.
    • there is no max cartridge OAL
    • vastly increased case powder capacity
    • no barrel leading
    • no bullet lube or sizing issues
    • some will argue for increased consistent accuracy

    there are some PPB concerns.
    • the size of the cast or swaged slick and the patching paper thickness must be pre-determined
    • the patched PPB needs more careful handling
    • the loaded bore rider PPB cartridge needs more careful handling
    • lube cookies eat up case powder capacity
    • wiping is best for fouling control
    • patching can be made water resistant but not fully water proof
    • PPB cartridges may not be best for non-single shot guns
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    I’m currently shooting a lever gun, but loading single shots. I am using it to learn about PP with BP. before I invest in a single shot replica. I will soon be asking questions and for advice on what to buy. I am glad I have gone this way, because I have learned there is more than just buying any stock gun.

  9. #9
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    greg, you have already been well advised about PPBs by many, and all that will matter for you is what's yer prime reason and use for going the paper patch way.
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  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master Don McDowell's Avatar
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    Shooting that lever gun you'll need to keep the overall length of the cartridge short enough to cycle thru the action, that means a 2.55 maybe 2.6 tops. Shooting patched thru it, you should be able to drop tube and compress 65 -70 grains of 2f, use a lubed felt wad, or a 1/8 in grease cookie sandwiched between wax paper wads or wads punched from playing cards under the bullet.
    You'll want to resize the cases and use an expander to make for a bit of neck tension to hold the bullet in the case. No need for crimp as the powder will hold the bullet from setting back in the case when loaded in the magazine.
    With black powder the lighter you load the heavier the fouling will be.
    Historically paper patch wasn't used for lever gun cartridges, mainly grease groove.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregLaROCHE View Post
    I’m currently shooting a lever gun, but loading single shots. I am using it to learn about PP with BP. before I invest in a single shot replica. I will soon be asking questions and for advice on what to buy. I am glad I have gone this way, because I have learned there is more than just buying any stock gun.
    Greg
    I am doing similar - been single loading pointy boolits in an 1876 Uberti (Winchester actually marketed a PP 450grain /90 grain long range round for that rifle back in the day) I have stuck with grease boolits and will until I think I have squeezed the last bit of accuracy out of those - maybe dont even have the shooting ability to do that !
    I think you have a Marlin??? getting overlength rounds in that one could be a problem but we can do it with the top eject winchester - only thing is once the round is chambered you have to fire the shot.
    Even though I am not "into" paper patching - I have picked up some worthwhile pointers around accuracy from hanging out here - have shortened the learning curve some for sure.
    Keep having fun is the main thing!

  12. #12
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    Greg, There are several things to keep in mind concerning powder charge weights, and the amount of powder you can get in your cases.
    1) case volume varies slightly from maker to maker and lot to lot. I have found Winchester cases to be about the thinnest then starline. the thickest were remingtons.
    2) powder maker and granulation affect the by weight charges ditto density and airspace between granules. 3f will pack tighter with a slow pour than 1f will with the same slow pour.
    3) the way powder is put into the case can make a difference by a few grains also. a small holed funnel and slow pour, a drop tube of 3' length will settle the powder more though.

    Compression can make a big difference in how a given load performs and the fouling level. Working up from no compression no air space in 2 grain increments and adding compression you will see a reduction in fouling deposits with the added compression as the load burns more efficiently. If you chronograph these loads you will also see it in the extreme spreads and standard deviations.

    You didn't say if you were wrapping with or with out a tail if your twisting a tail this is taking away from powder capacity also. A flat folded base leaving a small center of the bullet showing works best for me. A gain only seating the bullet 1/8"- 3/16" deep into the case when ever possible gains powder capacity when using a bore riding pp bullet. ( A bore riding paper patched bullet actually measures .449-450 body dia, not the .458-.459 or a groove dia that seats deeper into the case)

  13. #13
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    I’ve bought the tube to make a drop tube, but still have to make it. 70gns fills my cases exactly to the top without compression. I may try to seat further out. I can get a pretty long round to chamber, but after the extracter is ingaged, I can’t unload the round without removing the lever to let the bolt go back enough for the front of the boolit to clear.

  14. #14
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    Use Winchester cases
    Drop tube your charges slowly
    compress powder varying amounts
    don't use lube wad, but a boolit with large lube grooves

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregLaROCHE View Post
    I’ve bought the tube to make a drop tube, but still have to make it. 70gns fills my cases exactly to the top without compression. I may try to seat further out. I can get a pretty long round to chamber, but after the extracter is ingaged, I can’t unload the round without removing the lever to let the bolt go back enough for the front of the boolit to clear.
    Yeah thats the catch with longuns in a lever once you chamber it you comitted to pull the trigger.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MT Chambers View Post
    Use Winchester cases
    Drop tube your charges slowly
    compress powder varying amounts
    don't use lube wad, but a boolit with large lube grooves
    My thoughts too but he wants to paper patch .

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Randy C's Avatar
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    I'm curious, I lube my 4570 cast bullets, The 575gr bullets I have them compressed with a vegetable wade .65 inches my lighter bullets are .35 I use GOEX cartridge grade BP.
    Greg How deep do you are you compress your powder, what is the drawback to seating a paper patch bullet deeper in the brass, like I load my lubed bullets.
    I am going to try PP bullets this year, I want to shoot the bullets across my laptop radar and see the difference and I will check my groups.
    I do not plan on switching over unless there's a drastic difference.
    Last edited by Randy C; 02-11-2019 at 09:02 AM.

  18. #18
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    if the bullets to be used are over bore in diameter, greased or papered, and are to be black powder powered, which means no air space under the bullet, that means making a dummy round to find the max OAL with the bullet either engraving or placed somewhat before the rifling. measure the distance the bullet seats in the dummy cartridge and that's the initial height mark of the *compacted* (drop filled) black powder. add in a wad(s) and then compress it all to that predetermined powder column height, then push in seat the bullet, and if need be do a crimp. then work up a load. PPBs don't take kindly to real crimping as that can cut off the patching during detonation. i see PPBs as case mouth squeezed at best, not crimped, and therefore far more conducive to single feeding an action. yet again, all of this cartridge building should be the results of a specific rifle & cartridge purpose - hunting, target, plinking - or some *viable* combination of two or all of those tasks.
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    I don't want to hijack this post

    I think some of my questions are relevant and Greg could use some of the information you answer with.

    I was curious how deep Greg compressed his black powder he said he could only get 50 grains in the brass, I don't use a drop tube.
    I put my GOEX cartridge grade black powder in the case with a funnel,, 70gr fits with room to spare I put Wad on top and compress it. .65 inch for the 575gr bullets.
    These bullets are lubed. I normally hand seat the bullets.

    rfd I have 10 of the PP bullets you sent to me, I'm going to order a box of PP bullets to try, thank you for the information,
    I fully understand how to use these bullets you sent, they should slide down my barrel like they do yours.
    I am still curious, does it hurt if I seat the bullets in deeper?
    Will there be a chance of the paper getting ripped loose shooting them this way,, seating them long like you do should prevent it.
    I have a lot of brass with powder already compressed, The bullets I pulled need to be resized to fit this new barrel.
    I thought about dropping in some paper patch bullets and shooting them.
    Last edited by Randy C; 02-11-2019 at 11:53 AM.

  20. #20
    Boolit Grand Master Don McDowell's Avatar
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    I thought about dropping in some paper patch bullets and shooting them.
    You could certainly try that. Last year at Lodi a fella had a bunch of bad grease groove bullets, his option was to find other bullets or go home. So I had a bunch of extra ammunition, he could of shot in his rifle, but he opted to pull his greasers and drop in the patched bullets from my rounds. In the end he said he shot the best 1000 yard scores he had ever fired.
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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