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Thread: Overpowder Card or Wad with Hollow Base Bullets

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    Overpowder Card or Wad with Hollow Base Bullets

    Whats the consensus everyone? I have not tried yet as my OP cards are still on order awaiting delivery. Cartridge is .45-70 with 65gr weight Goex 2fg and cast Lee .459-405HB. Lots of reading and research is yielding mixed reviews on this and I’m not sure. Obviously I will try and see what the real world results are, but I expect all of you have experience to share.

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    I cast and load the Lee 405 HB bullet for my 1873 Trapdoor. The most accurate load I have found for it is 60 grains of Goex 2FF and nothing between bullet and powder.

  3. #3
    Boolit Mold
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    Thank you.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    Cory.

    When you say hollow base, do you mean like in a mini ball?
    Some call a dish and cup base a hollow base. It makes a difference on what you use under them.

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Cannot speak to over-powder cards with BP loads in .45-70, but I can tell you that when loading Foster-type 12-ga. slugs the supporting wad column under the slug must be sturdy to avoid blowing the wad into the base cavity and deforming the slug, which destroys any hope of accuracy. I would think this would be a consideration with BP also and could prevent the hollow base from performing as designed and intended. I would defer to those who are more expert on BP cartridge loading, but it would seem common sense to me. I would like to hear from Larry Gibson on this, as I know he has more than passing experience with the .45-70
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  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
    RedlegEd's Avatar
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    Hi Lead Pot,
    The Lee 405gr HB was originally requested by Spence Wolf to replicate the M1873 arsenal bulletin that had a hollow base/dish, that has a slightly flatter nose due to its nose pour design. In his book, “Loading Cartirdiges for the Original .45-70 Govt Springfield Rifle and Carbine,” Spence recommends not using an over powder card or wad with this bullet, rather it should be seated directly onto the powder. Ed
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    The only experience I have with a hollow based bullet is the mini. I have shot a lot of my swaged cup and dish based bullets in the Sharps and all need a different a way to protect the fragile skirt. The dish or cup based bullets were designed to tuck the twisted tail of the PP bullet into to protect the base. The hollow base is deep and using a wad under it does nothing for accuracy like OP75 stated.
    A hollow based bullet can be shot without using a wad under it or you can fill it with lard and use a paper wad like butcher paper thickness under the bullet. This will do two things. It will protect the skirt and also deposit lube in the bore keeping the fouling soft. This was done when the old smooth bores were used.
    A big mistake shooting a hollow based bullet is over loading the powder charge. I found shooting the larger bore smoothies don't over load them or you will blow the skirt as the bullet clears the muzzle.
    You would be better off with no wads under the HP bullet with a light load of 75 to 80 gr max.

    Ed there was a lot of things Spence said I disagreed with. I have found the 405 or 500 gr Gov flat based as well as the postell's shoot the best in my trapdoors.
    Last edited by Lead pot; 12-23-2019 at 03:10 PM.

  8. #8
    Boolit Mold
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    Very good information and very much appreciated everyone. Thank you.
    Cory

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
    Chill Wills's Avatar
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    Don't use a wad.

    Using wads under a hollow base will cause flyers and not get the value a wad gives under a flat base bullet.

    As a side note - This LEE copy of the 1873 arsenal bullet is not really a hollow base even though it looks for all the world like it is. The LEE copy is close but not true to the real ones I have pulled from old loaded ammo. Either way, LEE or US Gov bullet, nether work with a wad.

    Here is the problem with the wad under the (hollow base) 'not flat base' bullet. A 45 cal wad puckers into the hollow and the edges recede from the base of the edge of the bullet. When that happens it does not do the basic job it is there for - protect the bullet base edge . It also sometimes sticks under the bullet in the hollow on the trip down range and that new found rudder behind the bullet completely destroys accuracy.

    All things being equal, much better accuracy (target accuracy) will be had with a different bullet with a flat base and a wad when using BP as the fuel. That Lee bullet is US Gov correct and fun in a cheap mold but don't look for match accuracy.
    I know, ..few people do buy it thinking it is a match bullet..

    I hope this helps.
    Last edited by Chill Wills; 12-27-2019 at 06:30 PM. Reason: typo
    Chill Wills

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    Cory what is it you are shooting and where? I’m in Calgary.

  11. #11
    Boolit Mold
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    Shooting an Encore .45-70 stainless barrel in the Edmonton area. Just breaking into the world of BPCR for fun and possibly hunting. Doing a ton of reading and research right now. Cast and pan lubed the bullets awhile ago. Loaded up some rounds at 65gr 2f Goex without OP wad or card to test out when timing will let me hit the range. Have not shot any yet in this bbl.
    Also have a 1895GBL which has shot the same bullet/lube over IMR4198 at trapdoor levels with good success.
    Cory

  12. #12
    Boolit Mold
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    I guess I should clarify what my above post means by “good success” in my 18.5” barrelled GBL. As this is a hunting rifle, and only shot for fun/hunting, I am quite satisfied with a 1.5” group, which I am getting out of my home cast and self lubed bullets with 33.0gr IMR4198. I am not looking at any competition shooting, at this time anyhow (who knows where this may lead however), but am looking for a simple hobby and potentially hunting timber elk/moose. That is why I bought the stainless Encore barrel. Since I already have the Encore frame and a couple other barrels, it was a relatively inexpensive entrance into BPCR with a single shot break action 24” barrelled short, light and handy rifle. Hunting will be inside 150 yards, so long range accuracy not an issue. However as the rifle weighs in at 7lbs scoped, not sure how the real heavy bullets and hot loads would be classed as “fun” to shoot.
    I am looking forward to this whole endeavour.
    Cory

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Just as a heads up Cory ... I want to give a bit of experience with my own TC Encore with my Katiden barrel in 45-70 chamber.

    I had lusted after this setup as a very lite and handy hunting rifle in thick brush and in n out of my pickup or 4 wheeler ATV.

    I carefully loaded my cases with Trail Boss for the fun and easy loads I enjoy in my heavy sharps and Marlin SBL and my trapdoor 1884 model.

    I had also loaded some Lyman 457125 530 grain Trail Boss loads to try as well as some RCBS 500's I had for heavy hitters in the SBL.

    All these loads were lite loads to stay below the sonic lever. I had fond hopes on suppressing this little rifle with heavy hitters ... HAD!!!

    When I hit the range, I shoved in a Lyman 530 lite load ... with a knowing smirk ... I gently caressed the trigger and ... WHAMMM! hummer belted me harshly.

    Thinking I had not shouldered it proper ... I thumped another out the short barrel ... WHAMMM again.

    Be conservative with your Encore loads.
    WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE...MORE WILL BE SAID THEN DONE

  14. #14
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigted View Post
    Just as a heads up Cory ... I want to give a bit of experience with my own TC Encore with my Katiden barrel in 45-70 chamber.

    I had lusted after this setup as a very lite and handy hunting rifle in thick brush and in n out of my pickup or 4 wheeler ATV.

    I carefully loaded my cases with Trail Boss for the fun and easy loads I enjoy in my heavy sharps and Marlin SBL and my trapdoor 1884 model.

    I had also loaded some Lyman 457125 530 grain Trail Boss loads to try as well as some RCBS 500's I had for heavy hitters in the SBL.

    All these loads were lite loads to stay below the sonic lever. I had fond hopes on suppressing this little rifle with heavy hitters ... HAD!!!

    When I hit the range, I shoved in a Lyman 530 lite load ... with a knowing smirk ... I gently caressed the trigger and ... WHAMMM! hummer belted me harshly.

    Thinking I had not shouldered it proper ... I thumped another out the short barrel ... WHAMMM again.

    Be conservative with your Encore loads.
    I’ve heard that they can bite! I’m playing a bit on the fact black powder is normally a little easier recoil wise. Also playing on my experience with black in my .50 traditional muzzleloader with 460gr conical and 90gr 3fg Goex in my little TC Hawken at a bit over 8lbs. BUT, I will find out then report back on whether its a keeper, or for sale. Lol
    Cory

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Original arsenal 45-55 carbine cartridges had the same 405 bullets (with the hollow base/dish in the bottom) bullets as was used in the M1873 45-70 load. The 45-55 bullets were originally seated to standard 45-70 length with a card wad seated over the powder to adjust for the lesser volume of the 55 gr powder charge. The standard 45-70 load with the same bullet had no card wad. It was quickly found such loaded 45-55 rounds gave poor accuracy with many flyers. Records state recovered bullets were found with the wad stuck up into the HB. The card wad was omitted and the 405 gr bullet was simply seated deeper mildly compressing the powder charge. The standard 45-70 cartridge with 70 gr BP was heavily compressed.

    The shorter oal of the 45-70 cartridge also gave a way of differentiating between the two cartridges as head stamping wasn't used initially. A short time later an "R" headstamp was initially used on the rifle cartridge cases (45-70) and a "C" was used on the carbine cartridge cases. The carbine 45-55 cartridges still had the shorter oal.

    In developing my own replicant 45-55 loads for my TD carbine I tried .003 and .006 veggie wads along with the oft recommended milk carton wads under the Lee 405 HB bullet cast of 20-1 alloy. I found all gave flyers which were particularly noticeable at 200 yards. Without the wads the accuracy was good and consistent. I used 55 gr of GOEX Cartridge.

    Using most of Spence Wolfs load techniques [only difference is; I NS the cases, size the bullets to groove diameter and do not crimp] I found years ago that the heavily compressed 70 gr charge of GOEX cartridge or Dupont Superfine fffg under either the Lee 405HB or the Rapine 460500 bullet was just as accurate, if not more so, than with lessor less compressed charges out of my target TD. Since being able to measure all the internal ballistics via the Oehler m43 I've also found the heavily compressed 70 gr charges under either bullet give excellent, if not slightly better, internal ballistics [SD and ES of the measured pressure]. However, with the 500 gr M1882 bullet the internals are fairly consistent with charges of 63 up through 70 gr regardless of the compression. Loads tested with the 405HB bullet indicate it prefer heavy compression.

    As a side note I no longer use a drop tube as testing has confirmed it is of no value with heavily compressed loads (65 - 70 gr) of BP [GOEX ffg, fffg and Cartridge and old Dupont Superfine fffg]. I use a compression die from Wolf traders which is a Lee die with a compression plug. The BP powder is simply dumped (scale pan, measure, dipper or Lyman #55 thrower) into the case and then compressed.
    Larry Gibson

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  16. #16
    Boolit Mold
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    Excellent information Larry, thank you.
    Merry Christmas.
    Cory

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    As Mr Gibson said I experienced the same thing using any wad under a HB bullet. Out to a 100 yards I didn’t think there was much difference but past that to 200 it was bad. Once I took the wad out groups at 200 yards were smaller than the ones at 100 yards that used a wad.

  18. #18
    Boolit Bub
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    The Lee HB bullet holds a good amount of lube. But, I use it in a lever action which benefits from filling that HB cavity with additional lube. I use a punched "wad" of waxed paper over to seal it from the powder. Groups are not affected by this super thin wad. Shooting off of sticks, 3-4 inch groups at 100 yd, 8-10 inch groups at 240 yds. Using barrel sights at 100, Marbles at 240. I like the ability to fire 10, 20, 30 or more shots without patching the bore.

    Regards,
    Slim

  19. #19
    Boolit Master


    rfd's Avatar
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    Cory, you can make of what you have, what yer doing, and what you expect to achieve as simple or as complicated as you like. a simple greaser bullet such as the lyman 457193 405 grain flat base is a good choice that'll kill anything on this continent and be fun to load and shoot with real bp. when i was in the .45-70 greaser game, that bullet was quite good for 200 yard matches. light compression on 1-1/2f or 2f bp, a card wad over the powder, and a few newsprint wads under the well lubed bullet worked just fine. enjoy yer gun and have fun!

  20. #20
    Boolit Bub
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    I liked the Lee 405 bullet but found the hollow base to be a disadvantage so I filed the HB pin off flat. I now have a 459-425-FB. It shoots well with a veggie & card wad over 65 grains of FFg.
    "I said I never had much use for one, never said I didn't know how to use it". ~ Matthew Quigley

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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