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Thread: Looking Towards a Softer Shooting Load

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Looking Towards a Softer Shooting Load

    I picked up an original Borchardt Long Range Rifle and my intentions are to shoot it a little at our long Range match here in MN in August. My ultimate goal is to take it to an anniversary match in Oak Ridge Tennessee. It is in 45-2.4" and I'll be shooting paper patch as it was meant to be. I drop tubed a full case of powder into my 45-90 Starline brass and it comes in at 101 gr so with a thin card wad and a little compression, I could be easily shooting close to 100 gr with a 540 grain bullet. Now, as I get older, the recoil is starting to have an affect and I only shoot around 87 grs in my other 45-90 and when I lift this 10 lb rifle, it is like a feather compared to my 12.5 lb rifle Where is the best place to start to get down to around 85 grs of powder. I've been reading about wad stacks etc and I don't want to use lube cookies unless there are good reasons. Also, is there a soft shooting powder out there that you've shot with success, Schuetzen (Wano)? Right now, I'm going to try 1F Swiss. Thanks

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master Don McDowell's Avatar
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    Around 85 grains of Olde Eysnford 1 1/2 shoots well in the 45-90's that live here. I use a thin napa rubber cork wad under a Muzzleloader Originals dry lubed felt wad. OE 1f shoots very well in the 110's, but I have shot any of it in the 2.4's yet.
    Long range rules, the rest drool.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Bob I would not waste time on other brands of powder, but wad stacks can work. I use the lubed felt wads that places like TOW and BACO sell for .44-.45 percussion revolvers. Two of them and a LDPE wad or fiber wad on either side may serve well.

    Watch your paper patches after firing. There is a point where the load powder charge and the hard lead of a long range bullet may not bump up to engage the rifling well with a paper patched bullet. When that happens groups open up to multiple feet at just ordinary distances.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    In my .45-90 PP rifle, Swiss Fg does make for a little less recoil than Swiss 1.5. My Fg load is just as accurate as the 1.5 Fg.

    If you are willing to use a lube cookie to fill up a little case volume, you can reduce recoil quite a bit. I've shot a relatively light (500gr) Creedmoor bullet with something like 85gr of Goex Fg and a lube cookie with quite good accuracy at 200m. I have never tried that load past that distance, but a similar load in my .45-110 ( with a heavier bullet ) has won our local gong match to 800m.

    Chris.

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master Don McDowell's Avatar
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    You may want to shoot your current 45-90 load in that rifle. The recoil impulse on those target Borchardts tends to be quite a bit different than a 74. Who ever had this one I have chambered in 45- 2 7/8 built had a pachmayer recoil pad put on it, and running 40-50 rounds isn't bothersome at all. My original military in 45 has a long chamber so it uses 2.3 in cases, but with a limb saver slip-on recoil pad ,the worst part with it is the hook on the tang will tend to bite you're gun hand when shooting off the bench. I also had an original 45 2.1 carbine, and it was pretty mild mannered with 1.1 inch bullets, but got to be a handful with 500 gr bullets, but the recoil still wasn't as bad as the muzzle blast.
    Long range rules, the rest drool.

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master

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    In my 45-90 I use a .060 napa rubber fiber wad and 2 tracing paper wads ( roughly .002 each) adding wads and maintaining oal length reduces powder charge. My rifle is a reproduction Hepburn at 12 lbs. When you say Long Range what distances are you referring to? If you know what compression you need for the load put the desired charge in and add wads too where you have the desired compression at the overall length. Test it and work from here

  7. #7
    Boolit Master


    rfd's Avatar
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    at least for me, wad stacks are the way to go if there's a need for using less power, receiving less recoil, and with a tad of experimenting the consistent accuracy will be just fine.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #8
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    Bob. When I go to the range I usually take loads that are loaded light for the young shooters (most are Woman) that like to try my Sharps and I always bring 20 rounds for them to use. I mostly shoot the .45-90 anymore and the loads I load for them will have a wad stack of one milk carton wad over the powder with a 1/8" lube wad then one 1/16" cork cut from cork gasket material I get at Tractor Supply that is very dense and 1.5F OE uncompressed with a 523 gr Paul Jones PP bullet. I patch these bullets a couple thousands under bore and seat them a little deeper so they don't have to worry about fouling control, just load and shoot, and they will hit the bowling pin at 200 yards in fine shape for them.
    It puts a big smile on their face when they see that pin do summersaults hanging from a pipe and they always take follow up shots.
    If you don't want to use a lube wad you might add a second cork. The recoil is less than a .45-70.
    The cork wads sweep the fouling better from the previous shot fired.
    I do the same for the .40-70.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    Thanks, I'm going to put some different loads together this weekend and hopefully get to the range with this rifle next week. It's either raining or a heat index over 100 with high humidty My new tang sight is on it's way back from the welder so I should have windage on the back. The original staff has no windage and I don't think any match director today will let you look down your muzzle to adjust windage.
    Brent, I saw in a different topic that you posted about Lodi. I've got a conflict that's eating me up. MN duck opener is the same weekend as Lodi. For some reason that's early and I've only missed 3 in over 60 years. but Lodi is calling too. I would like to sit down with you and have you tell me about that spring shoot at Oak Ridge. Are you going to make Harris in August?

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    Bob,
    What is the date for the August shoot? and do they have a link with directions to the range?

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Kurt,
    I was chatting with Bob about this. Somehow I missed the date this year, but I have shot it the last 3 yrs or so. It is 17-18 August.

    If you type "Gopher Rifle and Revolver Club" into google maps, you will find it instantly. It is very easy to get to from Interstate 35.

    This link might give it to you.
    https://goo.gl/maps/VD8hGbudf2HL4buX9

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    TNX. Brent.
    I would take 94 and cut through Eau Claire Wis. It's the same driving time as Alma Mi.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    Well Bob I'm getting a little soft also. I got this shooting my new .45-100 at Alma and for the life of me I can't figure out how I got it on the bicep. I never pocket the rifle there. I know once on the 5th ram Carol said I had 16 seconds and I needed to unload, wipe and reload yet and the rifle bit me just as cease fire was called but the ram went down.
    I never got a shoulder bruise from recoil yet.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lead pot View Post
    TNX. Brent.
    I would take 94 and cut through Eau Claire Wis. It's the same driving time as Alma Mi.
    For me, Harris is under 4 hrs and Alma is 9 (Plus Alma has Chicago and Gary to contend with. That's a powerful pull to go to Harris.

    Bruises flow downhill. Where it shows up may not be where it started. Sort of like a leak in your roof.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    I hate the 2,4,6 lane parking lots. It makes no difference if you go through Gary, Holland or Grand Rapids.
    The last few trips I took a 850 mile detour going over the Mackinac Bridge. If it wouldn't be for the good people that shoot there I would not even think going through those concrete jungles they call city's. I like shooting at Alma. The matches are run well, I never heard moans or groans or foul language for that matter. A good place to take your Wife and Kids.

    Where else can you shoot where you get an adult diaper for winning a match shooting PP bullets. LOL.

    I never had a bruise from shooting. Had several walnuts on the collarbone, but never a bruise. This one was a lot darker then what you see here

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Kurt, it's just another plumbing leak. You thought you were out of the business, but nope, you still have a leak to fix

    Alma is a great place to shoot. I agree. I've loved the matches I've shot there, but Harris might win this one. I'll have to think on it some more.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    I will try Harris if I get back from the Mountains in time. The 9 and 12 year old Cookie munchers want to go to them so we are going.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Mountains would be REALLY nice right about now. Adiabatic cooling at 10,000 ft would make me feel a whole bunch better.

    Have fun!

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
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    I got to the range yesterday with the Borchardt. I loaded a little different than I do when I tried paper patching earlier. Instead of using a taper crimp die, I used the full-length die and just worked it down until a bullet was a snug fit. This took care of a little powder room. I had a problem with them because when I went to seat the wads, they went in very hard and would not seat flat. Some were a little tipped unless I compress the load more. The load shot fairly well except I had a lot of vertical, about 6" at 200 yards. I was using 86 grains of Swiss, 520 Baco wrapped to .450" and two .060 wads with the bullet seated 0.150". Is there a smaller-diameter wad that a person could use instead of the .462's that I'm using?

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old-Win View Post
    I got to the range yesterday with the Borchardt. I loaded a little different than I do when I tried paper patching earlier. Instead of using a taper crimp die, I used the full-length die and just worked it down until a bullet was a snug fit. This took care of a little powder room. I had a problem with them because when I went to seat the wads, they went in very hard and would not seat flat. Some were a little tipped unless I compress the load more. The load shot fairly well except I had a lot of vertical, about 6" at 200 yards. I was using 86 grains of Swiss, 520 Baco wrapped to .450" and two .060 wads with the bullet seated 0.150". Is there a smaller-diameter wad that a person could use instead of the .462's that I'm using?
    Bob, where and when did you get the wads that you have now, and whose name is on the package?

    There have been some developments in the wad market lately but I don't know if they have reached all the outlets.

    For a few years, I was using John King's wads that I bought from BACO. But King retired from the wad making and John Walters started selling wads through BACO. These were cut on the same machinery that he punches his fiber wads with, but when punching LDPE, they stretch and come out bigger and very very hard to seat. Recently, John made up some tooling to cut smaller LDPE wads and sent me 5000 of them earlier this summer. They work like a dream in my very skinny brass. I don't know their diameters, but I'll check. But you need John's smaller wads. You might give him a call.

    Brent

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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