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Thread: 45/70 Bullet

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    45/70 Bullet

    One of the members at my club shoots a 45/70 repro (not sure if Sharps or Hi-wall) and wants to try cast and casting. He is currently shooting commercial cast .458 350 gr bullets and accuracy is only so-so. Wondering if any of the Lee bullets might be an option to try, he doesn't cast right now and will use my casting set up to start. No idea as to bore size as the barrel hasn't been slugged.

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    Suggest the Lee 457-405-F if he is shooting using smokeless powder. The Lee 459-405-HB if he is using BP. I also suggest using a dipper to cast both in lieu of a bottom pour.....much better fill out is why.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Traffer's Avatar
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    In my opinion slugging the barrel will be of great help. Is he getting any leading in the barrel? That would also indicate the need for larger diameter boolits. Another possibility (from what I have studied) is that depending on the twist of the rifling and the range he is shooting at, he has a mis-match there. He might want to go to a longer heavier bullet. 405 grain is pretty much a standard size.
    Then there is paper patching. If he wants to shoot long range for accuracy...well there is a lot on this site about paper patching.
    If he wants to try some of my swaged-after-powder coated bullets. I have some I can send to test. I believe they are .4595" 12-14 BHN at 317 grain. I think I have some at about 415 grain the same diameter and hardness too. PM me if you would like to try that before buying a mold.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    I like my Marlin with .458-405s.
    I'd encourage a softer sort of alloy, and stay down in the old Springfield trap door speeds
    if ya want to shoot more than 3-4 at a sitting.
    It wasn't playing the blame game, finding fault, and complaining about every little thing that made America great.
    It was God, guns, and guts.

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Twist rate is as important as size here. All my 45 cal bpcr rifles are 18 -1 twist and do very well with bullets in the 500-550 grn range. They do much better with the longer bullets. I will second the softer alloy something around 20-1 does very well for me. Another is lube needs to be compatible with velocity and powder. SPG or emmerts improved work well in the lower velocity loads with smokeless or BP

    The commercial cast bullets may be to hard to swell and seal at these pressures for best accuracy. The 405 holllow bases may be close to the length of a 500 grn due to the hollow base. Never thought to measure them and compare.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Will have to check with him on the twist. He's not getting leading but do know he is shooting at low velocity.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy kaiser's Avatar
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    I've had very good luck with the Lee's 340gr. cast bullet in my 1885 Browning. It shoots as well as any of the 300gr "J" bullets with comparable powder loads.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    My old (1967 edition) Lyman manual lists 400 gr bullet and 38.5gr IMR3031 as a factory equivalent load. It is pleasant in my Marlin 1895.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

    TCLouis's Avatar
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    My original 1886 liked the Lee 340 just fine pushed by 10.5 grains of a Milsurp #105 (Think Unique).
    I wish that boolit had a little bigger lube grooves, though I have never had any leading with it.

    Getting ready to Test them in 1895 Marlin 22".
    Last edited by TCLouis; 02-14-2020 at 01:21 AM. Reason: Added comment
    Nothing is impossible for the person that does not have to do it.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    When I think of a 45/70 visions of a 500 gr bullet swirl in my head simply because the tests at Sandy Hook utilized the 405 and 500 grain bullets. The 500 grain got the nod for long range. Not saying they are needed but the history is nice. The Lyman 457125 is nice. Alliant 2400 started low and worked up is nice too with enough polyfill to hold the powder snug against the primer area. SR4759 is nice if you have any. I have some but use 2400. I size to .459 to .460" as the default size depending on how hard the bullets are no matter the gun. I have 45/70 rifles and handguns too. They are fun.
    Ive used 2400 with a 515 to a 520 grain bullet in the 45/70. Also the 550 grain too.
    It just warms the heart.
    Last edited by 44MAG#1; 02-12-2020 at 09:06 AM.
    We Know Mass Cannot Be Weighed But It Has Newtonian Weight And That Is Derived From Kilograms And Kilograms Can Be Converted to Pounds. But, Still Mass Cannot Be Weighed. But How is the kilograms obtained? Can Kilograms Be Weighed? Evidentally Yes It Can. But, Still Mass Cannot Be Weighed So Kilograms Must Not Exist. Funny Isn't It.
    One good thing out of this the next time I'm at the doctors and they want to weigh me I'll tell them mass cannot be weighed.

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    I would suggest a heavier projectile!

  12. #12
    Boolit Bub
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    I remember recently reading where people were having problems getting molds from Veral @ LBT Molds . Some had said they tried calling , emailing etc with no success . I sent Veral an email last night and got a response . He had been plagued by quite a few set backs but is fully back in business . Said he is 79 , but feels 30 yrs younger and is ready to start full filling all the back orders and accept new orders as well . For those wanting quality 45-70 cast bullets I highly recommend LBT Molds . He made a mold for me for the Marlins in 45-70 . I don't have the rifle yet but am getting prepared . I have the mold and a stash of brass . Regards, Paul

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Just opted for the Lee 340gr in the S&S section. My friend wanted to go with a lighter bullet so figure this is a good place to start.

  14. #14
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    Lots of guys at the club use the Lee 340 unsized with LLA topping 29gr 4198(either one).
    In 2019,the only perfect score on 1 target(50/50)has been shot with it and many above 45/50 has been shot.
    The 10 ring is 1 7/8'' and a target gets ventilated 5 times per segment.It is being shot at 100 yds from the bench.
    We shoot all year round(during winter,we postpone the meeting if temp goes below -20*C which is pretty close to 0*F).

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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