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Thread: 45/70 Contender

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    45/70 Contender

    I picked this up today. If it don't rain tomorrow I will find out how it shoots.


  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Nice pistol. I hope you are familiar with hard kicking pistols because a 45-70 contender is one of them. I had a 14 inch barrel in that caliber for three shots then I sold it. It took my hand a week to heal.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I got to shoot it today. I think it is going to be a real good shooter. I'm not ashamed to admit I was a little scared the first time I shot it. I loaded some boolits with the minimum charge of 4198 and it was actually quite pleasant to shoot. Not as bad as my Ruger SBH 44 mag.

    I will increase the charge until I get it where I want it. Although I did pretty good with it today I don't have any groups that I want to brag about yet. I have some more boolits loaded up and I have some jacketed bullets that I will load and try also.

  4. #4
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by jack19512 View Post
    I picked this up today. If it don't rain tomorrow I will find out how it shoots.
    I'll be very interested in your impressions. I shoot a .45-70 most days (B78) and I have two Contenders but a little light pistol and that big cartridge always seemed like a bad idea. Like a lot of bad ideas, I'm drawn like a moth to a flame and I really hope you have some positive thoughts. Is it too early to talk about gallery loads? Yesterday I shot 6.1 grains of Bullseye under a 420 grain bullet and 7.1 grains of 4756 under a 266 grain .45 Colt bullet. Both shot remarkably well although I always get smoked cases with the light and undersized bullets. All of my Contender barrels have a fairly rough interior and cleaning is a bit of a chore. How is yours?

  5. #5
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by jack19512 View Post
    I think it is going to be a real good shooter. I'm not ashamed to admit I was a little scared the first time I shot it.
    Our messages crossed. I'm glad things are going well and I too would be a little nervous for the first few rounds. .... okay, VERY nervous.

  6. #6
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    wiljen's Avatar
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    just remember to keep loads down to the lowest published level of data when shooting the 45-70 in the contender. Lever gun loads (mid-level) will surely wreck both you and the gun in short order and Ruger #1 loads are just plain deadly in those little guns.
    Cast Bullet info
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramsgate View Post
    All of my Contender barrels have a fairly rough interior and cleaning is a bit of a chore. How is yours?






    I looked mine over good and it appears to be in very good shape. I only shot 10 of my boolits yesterday and there was no leading and cleaning was very easy. Didn't even have to use a brush, just patches and solvent.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    I got one of those, in "Hunter" config, complete with T/C scope & rug when they were first introduced in .45-70 with those T/C cushioned grips.

    I made the mistake of shooting it with those grips, trusting they would moderate the recoil.

    BIG mistake !

    The backlash locknut on the rear of the triggerguard flat tore up the middle finger of that hand - it didn't heal for a week !

    It was accurate, though.

    I bought a set of Pachmayr rubber bumpers for it the next day, and took deer with it for almost 5 years, until I got interested in something else & sold it.

    I sold the T/C nylon bandolier shoulder/chest holster for it only this last weekend, at a NH gunshow.

    I liked a Custom Shop 14" .375 Win G2 Contender a little better - but they were very close in effective performance out of those short barrels, in my experience with both.

    .
    .

  9. #9
    Boolit Master in Heavens Range.
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    I have an old Contender dedicated to the 45-70 with a Bullberry 14"barrel.
    It has Pachmeyer stocks and Burris 4X scope. I destroyed 3 Simmons & Bushnel scopes before the Burris and this has lasted through over a thousand heavy loads. One of my favorites is 40G of 8208 behind a 405G Lyman GC and up to 50G of AA2495BR behind the same bullet. Reloader 7 also is very good.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Mine came with a Swift scope. I don't know anything about them so only time will tell. I have a Leupold on my SRH 454 and I like looking through the Swift scope better.

  11. #11
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    When I had mine they had just came out... I was a teen and probly real stupid with it. I had no data for it so I bought some H110 and started low and begain working toward pressure signs.... I can still say that a 500S&W is the only pistol I have ever fired that even compared to the recoil of the super16, 45-70 and a 400JFP at 1750fps. or a 500cast at 1570fps.

    I once was hunting the side of a very steep, timbered mountain, a buck appeared directly above me, I cocked, aimed and prepared to shoot and then the deer moved...as I lowered the hammer my thumb slipped and the big boomer went off... When I raised my head from under my arms it was nowhere to be found... It was not easy to find as it had landed 30 yrds below me in a large bush... I would have lost it except the branches of the bush were still waving...
    Custom Gun Leather and Cowboy Gear.



  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I have found the Contender in 45-70 to be very accurate and enjoyable to shoot. Versatile is another way to say it! MILD to wild recoil depending on YOUR desires and needs. Quite light for caliber and heavy bullets are readily available. I have had several different 45-70 barrels for my Contender,I seem to swap them off and then get a new one every few years. It will take deer and even Moose IF you do your part. Ground hog,coyote and feral pig are great targets for it. Since I developed Carpal tunnel and arthritis in my hands ,I have to load mine down quite a bit. It will STILL take deer though!

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I loaded up some jacketed ammo tonight and hopefully I will chronograph both my cast boolits and jacketed tomorrow. I don't plan on loading for this Contender probably past 1200-1300 fps. I have my Marlin 1895 CB for the higher velocity stuff. I see no reason why a 340 gr. boolit traveling at around 1300 fps. shouldn't be able to take KY. deer from 50-75 yards.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Sounds like you have the exact same two 45-70s that I have. I shoot the same loads in both my t/c and also the 1895cb. Both are accurate although the tc hurts with much anything with 24 grains or more of 2400 with a 420 ranch dog. With full charges of 3031 and 420s that thing hurts worse than my bfr .500 smith. That pistol makes me feel recoil up into my head and shoulders. Sized to .451 and ppached or sized .460 naked, both shoot fine.

    I have never tried jacketed bullets in it. Never felt handicapped with cast in this chambering.

    Ebner

  15. #15
    Boolit Master TCLouis's Avatar
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    I run the funny coated 300 grain HP bullet up to 1568 fps and recoil is reasonable. was working on Boolit load for it but stopped when this other load performed so well.

    I have two "lightweight" boolit molds, the Lee 340 grain and the 365 grain RD boolit molds That i will run through mine one day after this years season!

    That RD boolit is a performer out of my 1886
    When one must, one can

  16. #16
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    I have an Encore pistol in 45-70. It will handle Ruger #1 loads.

    NO! I haven't tried them.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master wellfedirishman's Avatar
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    Try Trapdoor loads

    I have one with a 14 inch ported SSK barrel and it shoots great. I load it with 14 grains of Trailboss behind a 340 grain (Lee mold) bullet.

    Very pleasant to shoot, and accurate enough to ring a dinner plate gong at 100 yards consistently.

    I haven't tried any hotter loads yet.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I got to shoot my 45/70 Contender today. Still nothing to brag about but only second time I've shot it. I think it will get better. Both 5 shot groups were from 60 yards. The 5 shot group that is circled is my reloaded jacketed ammo and the 5 shot group that has the little lines is my cast loads. My cast did much better than the jacketed did. The Contender is more fun to shoot than my SBH 44 mag for sure. I will up the charge slowly until I think it is where I want it. Looks like my cast will be good enough for our deer up to around 75 yards anyway.


  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    I assume those are one inch squares on this target? If so, you are doing GREAT! and as for 75 yards, that would only be because of the size of the group, that beast will have more than enough to go two hundred yards. Now, if you are like me, its tough to see at that range in the woods and brush!

    Good shooting and keep on it!

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Yes it is 1 inch squares. According to my reloading manual the velocity should have been around 1400 fps. but that is probably from a rifle and out of the 14 inch barrel of the Contender it is probably less. I have a chronograph but want to get an accurate load first before I worry about the velocity. Where I deer hunt(woods) for the most part 50 yards max is the norm for shooting distance. I would think a 340 gr. boolit going at around 1400 fps. should do anything I need it to do at this distance.

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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