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Thread: Reloading the 45/70

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Reloading the 45/70

    I have just started reloading for the 45/70 guide gun. I am seeing so many different opinions that it is confusioning to me. Does anyone have any good tutorials for the 45/70 that covers powders and alloys that I can read?

    Thanks,
    Crabo

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    Boolit Master Mk42gunner's Avatar
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    crabo,

    I have had both a Ruger No 1 and a Marlin 1895, (not a Guide Gun); I currently have acut down Trapdoor.

    What I can tell you is that for plinking and deer hunting, factory equivelant loads are fine. The Gould bullet, Lyman 457122, is supposed to be very good for deer. However, if you want to rock your world, work up to the upper level Marlin loads.


    Robert

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    I am using these two group buy boolits. Just to clarify, I am not new to reloading or cast boolits. I am looking for info on how to decide which alloys and which powders to use together.

    Most of my hunting will be deer and hogs with this gun.
    Last edited by crabo; 05-02-2010 at 06:53 PM.
    Crabo

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    Boolit Master C1PNR's Avatar
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    Smile

    Both plain base boolits. So just look for a few loads in the 1,400 to 1,800 fps range and you'll be eating venison and pork this winter.
    Regards,

    WE

  5. #5
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    Good evening
    It all depends on what you want to SMACK.
    I have been doing 45-70 for near 30 years and for hunting would use 1-30 mix up to about 1400 fps.
    I use 50-50 WW/lead for anything under 1700 fps. Higher speed hunting I am going to a Gascheck But stay with 50/50 until about 1850. I have NO need to go hotter as I do not see any critter that can take a 300 or 350 grain boolit and walk away. A big pig I would Smack with straight WW.
    Powder... 5744 can near do it all in my 1886 Winny Carbine or roller up to 1600 fps. Hotter I switch to 3031 or similar powders in the 1886. My trapdoors & peabody do not get the hot loads. If I really want to hurt myself I get out the 1885 Rifle with the long Hexegon barrel and go to 2000 fps with WW gc boolits. But that stuff gets old real fast with that steel curved buttplate. If there were buff or elephants or griz about east central Illinois I might need HOT stuff... BUT last trip to the woods the biggest thing out there is a 300 lb buck or two wandering about in the THICK stuff.
    Actually I could use 2F for all my loading and never be undergunned. Round ball for little critters and a 350 1-30mix on game. That will clean kill any 400 lb critter out there.
    I have a 45-60 1876 (origonal) that really is all the gun I need. a 285 boolit with 54 grains 2F and there is not any deer or Black beer I would fear. And actually Much bigger critters seeing as there are 6 more slugs ready to SMACK back with.
    Now IF I want to stop a speeding Toyota... then pure WW 400GC at 1850 fps is all you need. I understand a Lexus takes 5oo grainers to be sure.
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  6. #6
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    So just how slow could you load a 340gr FP boolit and still feel comfortable taking Tennessee size whitetails? I'm currently shooting 25gr of 5744 and the 340 out of my 1895SS Marlin. Reckon that is good enough?
    Will Fly For Boolits

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    Quote Originally Posted by crabo View Post
    I have just started reloading for the 45/70 guide gun. I am seeing so many different opinions that it is confusioning to me. Does anyone have any good tutorials for the 45/70 that covers powders and alloys that I can read?

    Thanks,
    When you find " the book" let me know also. I just started cracking the books looking up loads for the 45-70 and found they are all over the place/velocity for all kinds of guns.
    I do know most are using softer lead alloys and getting good results for the majority of loads.
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    Morin' Randy, If you go to the Handloader magazine site that is called Load Data you will find all you need. It's a site that requires membership for a fee but in my mind it's well worth it. They have thousands of loads in both smokeless and BP. I've been a member for about 4 years and have no regrets. Later David
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    Boolit Master 1874Sharps's Avatar
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    Crabo,

    The 45-70 is a mighty powerful cartridge for deer and hogs and frankly I do not think you could go wrong with any reasonable load. It looks like you have some Lyman 405 grain boolits in your photo. That boolit has always worked well for me in the Sharps and should be a great Guide Gun boolit in most any alloy (suitable, of course, for the velocity it is shot at).

    Paul Matthews wrote a book entitled "Forty Years with the 45-70" that is not only very informative but entertainingly written. He lists many loads in it from standard GG boolits to round balls to paper patched boolits. I found it very helpful.

  10. #10
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    I don't have a 45-70 Guide gun--YET. But I have loaded for a friends trapdoor. The caliber is so great, forget velocity and look for accuracy and boolit results. Use softer boolits and anything from 300 to 500 works as long as you can load and chamber them.
    I really like 4759 and 3031 for the rifle. I have 5744 and it SUCKS in the revolver but I have not tried it in a rifle.
    You can make 4198 work but I don't really like it.
    3031 can work from the weakest rifles to the strongest with mild pressures and an extended pressure rise. It would be my powder of choice and it is super accurate. You will have a more gentle recoil with it then with 4198 too.
    If you load even down to trapdoor levels and work up to find where your gun is the most accurate, nothing walking around in North America will stay on it's feet.
    If I was allowed only one gun to hunt with, it would be the 45-70.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by crabo View Post
    I have just started reloading for the 45/70 guide gun. I am seeing so many different opinions that it is confusioning to me. Does anyone have any good tutorials for the 45/70 that covers powders and alloys that I can read?

    Thanks,
    Hello Crabo,

    I just aquired a 45-70 myself and haven't had a chance to load any bullets for it, still waiting for some brass, but I've had a .450 Marlin for a few years and use the RCBS 405G gas check bullet in it. I can crank it right up with that bullet..........to a helluva lot more than my old shoulder can handle off the bench. What I came up with is a load of IMR4198, 31grs that shoots around 1290fps through my chrono. Now that sounds slow but keep in mind millions of buffalo were killed with less accurate, less stout bullets. I use a mix of WW/Linotype and feel this should be enough to kill whatever deer you want to as long as shot placement is correct.

    I am a fan of Elmer Keith, don't know if you know who he was but he was a proponent of pound-ft vs. foot pounds of energy as published by the manufacturers to measure killing power. a 405 grain 45-70 or 450 Marlin going 1290fps develops 74.63 pound feet. a .308 Winchester going 2700fps develops 63.64 pound feet of energy.

    bullet weight X velocity = pound feet energy
    7000

    Again I'm talking from stricktly textbook theory and bench testing on these rounds, I'm a newbie here too and have yet to get brave enough to actually go hunting with my cast bullets even though I've punched paper with them for years. Hope this helps you some.

    Art

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    paul matthews' book is a great read and reference. lots of info over the years in handloader and rifle magazines, one of which stated that the ideal bearing length bullet for a microgroove barreled 45-70 was the 457122hp. i've got others to try sitting under the bench, but that bullet, std primer, 33.5 imr4198 and a little bit of filler to keep it all in place is a very good shooter, so much so i almost resist trying anything else. last three shots from marlin yesterday afternoon with bead front/merit disc rear were touching. 22bhn/lbt blue lube/.459 from montana bullet works. in the field, the nose will shed, leaving about 270 grains of .459 wadcutter. impressive on texas deer, for certain.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by crabo View Post
    I am using these two group buy boolits. Just to clarify, I am not new to reloading or cast boolits. I am looking for info on how to decide which alloys and which powders to use together.

    Most of my hunting will be deer and hogs with this gun.
    I've got those same molds. They cast and shoot just fine with ACWW. For a mild target load, start with 21 gr of IMR 4759. You'll have some unburnt powder but the targets will never know the diference. You can work them up to 1400 fps for game. Lyman 48th has data for those cast boolit weights and that powder, plus a pretty good article by Matthews covering game and target loads; "Loading the 45-70 For Accuracy"
    Last edited by JSnover; 11-22-2009 at 12:39 PM.
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  14. #14
    Boolit Master XWrench3's Avatar
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    well, let me tell you this. i just shot a whitetail a couple of days ago with a factory loaded cartridge. i USED to load my guide gun up(>2000fps w/400g flat nose) for bear, POLAR BEAR! now, after complete lengthwise penetration, demolishing the entire front shoulder, into the guts, and exiting out the ham on the same side and ruining a LOT of meat, i am rethinking my previous decision. on a bear, you may need all that power, but on a flimsy whitetail, standard loads will more than do the job! actual measured velocity was 1800 (+or- 30 fps) with a 325g bullet. it is HARD to stop all that momentum. somethines, the only way to learn is actual experience. i can not imagine what one of thiose hot loads would do to a deer. it would proably go through 3 or 4 of them, maybe more. that, would be an ugly mess (legally). so, even though your guide gun will take a ton more pressure, standard loads will work fine. my favorite cast powder is imr sr-4759. i have tried a few lods with imr 4198, and varget. but i do not get the accuracy i do with the sr. but i will conceed to not having a ton of cast 45/70 experience. most has been j bullets.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master mroliver77's Avatar
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    Only deer I have shot with 45/70 was with a lee cast 325gr going 1200+fps at 20 or so yards. Boolit passed through leaving big nasty hole.
    deer ran 30 -40 yds and piled up....tank was empty. I have a 452423 mold that drops at 455 and 240gr. I beagled it to .459 and shoot unsized in roller and 1895with 8gr unique for a hoot. I want to HP this one for varmint loads
    Jay
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  16. #16
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    Get any of the Lyman manuals have a huge amount of 45/70 data especially for cast bullets.Paul Mathews book is also a good one.My favorite powders are H-4895 and RL-7 with a 420gr. cast bullet.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by crabo View Post
    I have just started reloading for the 45/70 guide gun. I am seeing so many different opinions that it is confusioning to me. Does anyone have any good tutorials for the 45/70 that covers powders and alloys that I can read?

    Thanks,
    I think that there are so many opinions because I think so many combinations work well in this caliber.

    I don't think you'll find any one book (for smokeless) that'll give you all of the info you need. I'd recommend picking up a copy of Lyman's 49th and playing around with it if you haven't already done so. If you are loading blacl powder there are a number of books that go into detail.

    Chris.

  18. #18
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    hi i am using a 450 marlin in a boltgun and so far 457122 at 2200 = 1 1/2 " all the way through very little bloodshot meat Clint

  19. #19
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    The 45/70 is a versatle calibre as can be seen from the responses here. I've loaded just about everything over the years. I usually load 405 grain bullets with either 3031 or 4198 nowadays to "Trapdoor Max". I own an 1873 Trapdoor and don't load anything that could cause any harm this old heirloom. Besides this loading it will take anything a reasonable hunter could want, and it ISN'T punishing. So what else do I need?
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  20. #20
    Boolit Master Sprue's Avatar
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    Haven't seen this one mentioned yet

    I like to keep things simple as well as keep my powder selections to a minimum around here. This isn't the first time that I've posted this very same thing before but when I find something that works, I seldom change the equation.

    Myself I don't need a punishing, screaming load. In contrast I've found an accurate load that I can shoot all day long whether plinking or hunting White Tail.

    I think that someone on here once suggested (maybe Dale53 - its been too long ago) suggested a starting load of 14 grs.....

    Anyway, my powder of choice is Unique and very little of it at that. 16 grains with a Lee 457-340-F is what I use and like best (of the molds that I have).

    With 1230 fps velocity at 50 yrds I do expect full penetration of a white tail at 100 yrds. Theres not too many places around here that I would ever get much opportunity to shoot past a hundred yards (hunting) anyway. One thing I want to try sometime is to soften up the boolit a bit. Right now, I use air cooled straight WW's.

    I do have a Lyman 457122 HP but I haven't taken the time to work up an accurate load with it. With the charge mentioned grouping is non existent with the Lym mold.

    So if you like a comfortable, usable, accurate yet lethal load you might try this recipe if you have the powder on your shelf that is....

    I love the Guide Gun...

    YMMV

    Sprue ™

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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