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Thread: 45-70 powders & wads

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    45-70 powders & wads

    This is my first post on this board. I hope I am not too far off topic. I recently bought a NOS H&R 45-70 Buffalo classic. It came with a few boxes of 45-70 reloads, all marked with powder type and grains used. I do plan to shoot mostly BP, but am trying to decide whether to break down these loads. They use 3031IMR, 4198 IMR and RL-7 powders. Where can I get spec. and application sheets for these? Is the H&R capable of using moderate loads of Smokeless, using these powders? In addition while I do prefer and plan to use Cast Boolits, these are copper jacket with open lead front ends. Are copper jackets OK to use in the H&R? Any advice and help much appreciated. I have more questions about BP loads and wads, will post later. Thanks, Art

  2. #2
    Boolit Master




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    The gun is capable of using smokeless, but I would be inclined to pull the bullets and make sure they are appropriate loads. The Lyman Manual will have loads for those powders. In that manual the loads are broken down to 3 pressure levels, Trapdoors, 1886 Win and Marlin, and the highest pressure, for Ruger #1 & 3. Trust me you don't want to shoot those loads in an H&R, the pain is way more fun than most folks enjoy. Besides Mamoths have been gone for a long time now.
    And yes copper jackets are fine in the BC, but this is the Cast Boolit forum.

    Bob
    GUNFIRE! The sound of Freedom!

  3. #3
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    Bob, Thanks. I am not looking for a black & blue Shoulder. Will not use Max loads. I do have the Lyman #3 Cast Boolit manual, and see the loads. Now to the question of wads: I have molds for several Cast boolits 385 to 500 gr. I will slug the bore to determine actual bore size, expected .458" +/-.002, I would like to start with reduced loads to get used to things. Say 45 to 50 Gr. BP. I have GO-EX 2FG and 3FG. I have read about the need to fill the cases to the back of the Boolits to avoid ringing chambers. I have read about milk carton wads, Vegetable fibre wads ( isn't paper and cardboard = Vegetable??), and also Kapoc, and Poly ester fillers .Please advise for a beginner what to use... Wads over BP? fill with COW? or Polyester? or ?? Need for a wad of lube under the Bolllit? Thanks, Art

  4. #4
    Black Powder 100%
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    There are several reference books that you should read before loading with BP. First let me say that BP is not mystic nor do you have to hold your mouth a certain way to load it. I've seen so many false things about BP on the web and spoken at gun stores. The most important thing to know is that it differs from that other powder in one way. It has to be loaded in such a way that there is no available air space in the completed cartridge. That can be done with powder or wads. Some of your most accurate loads will come from using a compression die and compressing the powder before seating the bullet. Try reading a book by Sam Fadala 5th edition named The Complete Blackpowder Handbook. It covers from muzzle loading to cartridge loading for rifle and revolver. Also the sticky and back pages of this forum. Find some of the loads that are for the trapdoor rifles as they are mild and easy shooting to start in the BC rifles. These rifles are fun to shoot but the light weight makes them big kickers with any of the 1874 Sharps loads. I would stay in the trapdoor range. You can also fill the buttstock with lead or a mercury recoil reducer.
    Shooter of the "HOLY BLACK" SASS 81802 AKA FAIRSHAKE; NRA ; BOLD; WARTHOG;Deadwood Marshal;Bayou Bounty Hunter; So That his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    Reduced loads BP

    IMHO I would reconsider the reduced loads. I understand one can use any and all the things you list but you will not achieve any meaningful results. I started out with a 45/90 with holy black dropped straight into a case to 3/4 in. from rim added 1/4 in. worth wads and set 1/2 in. of the bullet on top to achieve a load with the bullet touching the lands and no air space, of course your setup will be different. I guess this could be called a reduced load because I currently shoot compressed powder with a.30 wad and a longer bullet. My point is, the first 10 shots after sight adjustment were a respectable 5-6 in. group at 100 yds. which gave me a point to work from.
    vita est breves

    jerrold

  6. #6
    I'm A Honcho! montana_charlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by water bug View Post
    Need for a wad of lube under the Bolllit?
    When shooting black powder in fixed ammunition, the primary purpose of the bullet lube is to keep the fouling soft.
    Hard, dry, fouling will mess with your velocity, but it will also strip lead from the bullets.

    A grease cookie is recommended under two conditions.
    - shooting paper patched bullets, where the cookie is the only lube in the system.
    - shooting grease grooved bullets in a very long barrel, where there may be insufficent lube carried by the bullet to lube the full length of the bore.

    You may use a lube cookie in any load...especially if you need to fill up excess space. But if you can't manage to produce cookies that are identical to one another, you are introducing an inconsistency into your load.

    When you see reference to 'vegetable fiber' wads, it means the dense material that many types of gaskets are made of.

    CM
    Retired...TWICE. Now just raisin' cows and livin' on borrowed time.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I have shot many different bullets with varying amounts of powder in my rifles. My target loads are placed in the case and compressed with a compression die before seating the bullet now but I started out much simpler. A good accurate reduced black powder load that I have used is the old Calvary carbine load of 55 gr of FFG and a 400 gr bullet. I make mine by dropping the powder charge through a drop tube followed by corn meal to fill the case to within .25 inch of full. I then place a .030 vegi wad over the corn meal and compress the load with a compression die to give me sufficient room to seat my 400 gr bullet with no air space. This load will give you about 1050 fps in a 22 inch barrel and more in a longer one. It is very accurate out to 200 yards that I mostly shoot it at.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by water bug View Post
    Bob, Thanks. I am not looking for a black & blue Shoulder. Will not use Max loads. I do have the Lyman #3 Cast Boolit manual, and see the loads. Now to the question of wads: I have molds for several Cast boolits 385 to 500 gr. I will slug the bore to determine actual bore size, expected .458" +/-.002, I would like to start with reduced loads to get used to things. Say 45 to 50 Gr. BP. I have GO-EX 2FG and 3FG. I have read about the need to fill the cases to the back of the Boolits to avoid ringing chambers. I have read about milk carton wads, Vegetable fibre wads ( isn't paper and cardboard = Vegetable??), and also Kapoc, and Poly ester fillers .Please advise for a beginner what to use... Wads over BP? fill with COW? or Polyester? or ?? Need for a wad of lube under the Bolllit? Thanks, Art
    I'm just getting started in the BPCR game. In addition to some of the people on this forum, this link has some great info to get you started.

    http://www.ssbpcrc.co.uk/Resources/I...%20Loading.pdf

    I don't know how heavy that rifle is, but your 500gr bullet and a case full of FFg shouldn't give you too many bruises.

    Chris.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master




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    Art, there is a lot of good info above, but the link below will take you to some very good beginner info while you are waiting on a book or just sifting through info on this sight. The big thing is that there is more than one way to skin a cat and the same goes for BPCR. I'm not sure what the twist rate on the BC is so boolit choice is dependent on that. I would think that a 500+gr boolit in the BC would be down right brutal though with a snoot full of powder.
    Here is a link to figure boolit length for you twist as well.
    http://www.uslink.net/~tom1/index.htm

    http://www.ssbpcrc.co.uk/Resources/I...%20Loading.pdf

    Bob

    OOPPS Gunlaker already put it up. Good info though.
    GUNFIRE! The sound of Freedom!

  10. #10
    Black Powder 100%
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    I was giving him info for a High Standard BC which weighs 8lbs at best. I have a 13 lb rifle and could have given loads for that and he would have hated me. So I don't think he should reconsider the lighter loads at all. Loads listed for the Springfield trapdoor will give him fun and not pain. The gun is capable of shooting the heavy loads but after reading his post I think he might do better working up to the stronger loads and not starting with them.
    Shooter of the "HOLY BLACK" SASS 81802 AKA FAIRSHAKE; NRA ; BOLD; WARTHOG;Deadwood Marshal;Bayou Bounty Hunter; So That his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    Thank you to all the generous shooters who have responded. I will print out read and digest. I have some experience shooting a .50 cal CVA Mountain rifle with RB, and of course BP. I am also a strong believer in reading or getting good advice from those who have traveled this road before, so again thanks. NOTE: I have also bought an IMA Gehendra .577-.450 . Steel parts cleaned and refinished. Bore good looking. wILL SLUG FOR Dia. Wood in progress. I plan to shoot SOooo I will be needing loading advice there too. Probably will buy some High Quality Bertran brass. ALL the questions about filling the cases will apply to the .577-.450 brass as well, with its larger volumes. Any Suggestions? Art

  12. #12
    Boolit Master


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    One of my favorite loads for the 45-70 is 55gr of Goex Cartridge a .030 veggie wad and the Lyman 457125 boolit cast of 40:1. Typically it is almost always a good accurate starting point. I have personally shot many of these in a BC and they are pleasant to shoot with modest recoil.


    SS
    NRA Life Member Since 1981



    "The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good"-- George Washington

    II Corinthians 4:8-9. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted but not forsaken, struck down, but not destroyed."

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  13. #13
    Boolit Master




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    There is a lot of good info at this site for the Brit arms;
    http://britishmilitariaforums.yuku.com/

    Bob
    GUNFIRE! The sound of Freedom!

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    Hi Sharpshooter and All others. I like the idea of the lighter load suggested: 55 gr. Go-Ex, .030 wad, and Lyman 475215. Will the 55 gr fill the case? MANY posts warn that all BP loads NEED to have no space under the Boolit...so as not to ring the barrel. If 55 gr does not fill it, what should I fill it with? Cream of wheat? Or? I am really unsure of how best to deal with the need to have the case full to the bottom of the Boolit , with light loads. Art

  15. #15
    Boolit Master




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    COW or extra wads will work. 55 grs should be pretty close to filling it with no compression. You might get a better burn with compression.

    Bob
    GUNFIRE! The sound of Freedom!

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    Please someone turn on a light for me. Why can leaving some room in a BP loaded cartridge lead to "ringing" a barrel? Doesn't the powder instantaniously increase pressure at the moment of ignition, thus filling the cartridge with pressure? How does this lead to ringing a barrel? Many thanks for all those willing to help a Newbie not ruin a brand new H&R BC rifle. Art

  17. #17
    Boolit Master in Heavens Range
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    Black powder depends upon particle placement to burn at all, as opposed to smokeless. Witness a cheap fire cracker fuse. ... felix
    felix

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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