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Thread: 45 Silhouette

  1. #1
    Boolit Master blaster's Avatar
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    45 Silhouette

    Has anyone ever tried 45 Silhouette in a 1895 or any 45-70?

    It is kind of like a 45-70 special. Seems like it would work, what do you guys think?

    Here is some info on it. http://www.reloadbench.com/cartridges/w45silh.html

    I know someone will ask why, so here are my reasons. I want a 1895 in 45-70 and, since I live in Indiana and we are limited to rifles of .357" or greater caliber and 1.16-1.625" cases for deer hunting, it sure would make it easier to justify.

    Surely someone has some split mouthed 45-70 brass they would sacrifice for the sake of sience.
    They can take my guns when they get past my IED's.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master O.S.O.K.'s Avatar
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    I haven't tried it but I am sure it will shoot in the 45-70 chamber. Thing is, the "freebore" will allow the boolit to enter the leade in some position not concentric... there's too much room. Plus, I'm not sure how the rifle would cycle the shorter round - probably wouldn't....

    So you have to basically have a pistol caliber to hunt with there... sounds like the perfect excuse to purchase a new 44 Mag or 45 Colt levergun
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master blaster's Avatar
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    The freebore is what concerned me too.

    I've often woundered how much freebore is too much. No one says anything about 44 special in a 44 mag. S&W recomends 45 colt in the 460XVR and that is a longer freebore than a 45 Silhouette left .1" over spec. in a 45-70. When the 460 first came out I remember some the gun rags talking about shooting 45 S&W (schofield) through it for .7" of freebore.

    As far a feeding I suppose your guess is as good as mine. If there were feeding problems It seems like one could just seat the boolit shallow. With some of those monster 500gr+ slugs it might even feed better.
    They can take my guns when they get past my IED's.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Thought about this before...

    I understand what you're asking, because I'm in the same situation and have done what you describe.
    It can be made to work, but several obstacles present themselves.

    1. If you manage to do it, frequent cleaning of the chamber becomes paramount. You are creating the same scenario as shooting 22 shorts in a 22LR, 38 Special in 357 Magnum, etc. Powder fouling in the chamber becomes more apparent with the shorter case and will rear its ugly head when you switch back to the longer cartridge. Not a huge problem, and it is easily dealt with. But something to remember as the more you let the fouling build up, the harder it becomes to remove.


    2. Based upon my experience with the various brass I used, the brass may need considerable modification besides simply trimming it shorter.

    The further down towards the body of the case you go, the thicker the brass as a general rule. You are now trying to take the original body and turn it into a neck, and now the bullet is seated deeper than the brass manufacturer intended. Depending upon final dimensions of your bullet, it is possible to experience considerable bulging of the brass when seating the bullet, which may lead to chambering problems. Due to the increased thickness, the brass must now be outside-neck-turned (best) or inside-reamed (still acceptable) to ensure reliable chambering. The need to do this will depend upon the thickness of your particular brass and the chamber tolerances of your gun.

    Also, remember that the further down towards the body you go, the harder the brass. How hard and where that hardness begins will vary slightly from one manufacturer to another, and sometimes even between different lots from the same manufacturer. The new neck location is now in an area originally designed to be harder. Annealing is necessary to bring the neck to proper softness so as to facilitate crimping and firing without splitting the case mouth/neck upon (or even before) the first use.

    If you do try this, your best results will probably be with Winchester cases. BP shooters love it because of slightly more internal case capacity, meaning thinner walls that may help avoid the requirement to neck turn as mentioned above.

    In conclusion, the process is feasible, but usually requires more effort than what most are willing to expend. Once you have dealt with the brass, then you get to figure out crimp locations or even design a long-nosed bullet. After that, you scratch your head trying to determine the proper way to develop a safe load, since the standard 45-70 load data will no longer apply.
    In the end, you will probably do as I did and say "OK, where's the 1894?"

    But it is nice when you are carrying your guide gun and get stopped by the game warden, then he gets mad when your barrel says 45-70, yet you are still LEGAL.
    Last edited by rob45; 12-14-2009 at 01:01 AM. Reason: spelling

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    In a word- WHY?
    45-70 ammo is so easy to load to various velocity levels that i can't see a real need for it, nor for the work to make the cases.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by btroj View Post
    In a word- WHY?
    45-70 ammo is so easy to load to various velocity levels that i can't see a real need for it, nor for the work to make the cases.
    Blaster is looking for a loophole in Indiana’s dumb laws.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2ndAmendmentNut View Post
    Blaster is looking for a loophole in Indiana’s dumb laws.
    Exactly.

    Those who take notice of his original post will note that we are confined to a bullet of minimum diameter, and the case length has set parameters. Basically put, pistol cartridges only and no "high-power" cartridges.

    This is the bureaucrat's way to limit range so as to "lessen hunting accidents".
    Too bad they do not realize that the older cartridges typical to leverguns usually have trajectories closely commensurate with the typical revolver, and there are indeed many out there getting good results while using those (revolver) cartridges at long range, comparatively speaking. Indeed, the rifle cartridge, as pertaining to the lever action, offers better trajectory than the revolver cartridge, yet no where near that of say, a 308 or 30-06, etc.

    Want to hear something even crazier?
    The handgun hunting laws are even more messed up. The minimum bullet diameter is .243", and the minimum case length is 1.16". Provided the barrel length stays within federal guidelines to still be considered a handgun instead of a rifle, we have more flexibility on cartridge choice.
    http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/files..._Equipment.pdf

    So we can shoot a 243, 30-06, or whatever in a long-barreled (14" is typical) handgun such as an Encore, but we cannot use a 45-70 or 30-30 lever action. Go figure.

    On top of that, if I'm mad at Wiley coyote or the groundhog who didn't show his shadow, I can legally use anything up to 50 BMG. But, oh no, not for deer.

    Gotta love the bureaucrats.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master blaster's Avatar
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    Rob45,
    When you said "In the end, you will probably do as I did and say 'OK, where's the 1894?'", you mean you canned the whole project right? What was your reason for abandoning it was the accuracy just not there? What did you trim to? What weight boolits were you using and what was your overall length?

    About the laws the one that really klls me its squirrels. "Squirrels may be taken with any
    equipment and ammunition" so snipe away at those tree rats with your 50 bmg who cares where the bullet lands.
    They can take my guns when they get past my IED's.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by blaster View Post
    Rob45,
    When you said "In the end, you will probably do as I did and say 'OK, where's the 1894?'", you mean you canned the whole project right? What was your reason for abandoning it was the accuracy just not there? What did you trim to? What weight boolits were you using and what was your overall length?

    About the laws the one that really klls me its squirrels. "Squirrels may be taken with any
    equipment and ammunition" so snipe away at those tree rats with your 50 bmg who cares where the bullet lands.
    Two things put the project on hold: the bullet length and the reloading dies.

    The cases were trimmed to 1.6"

    As was mentioned by O.S.O.K earlier, I was also concerned about excessive freebore, so was trying to figure out a way to seat the bullet out further. I did not reach the point of testing in the gun to determine how short I could go. The bullet being considered was a RD425, as I figured the TL grooves would serve nicely as a modified crimp groove.
    But with that short case length and that particular bullet seated long enough for me to feel comfortable (both to lessen the freebore issue and to cover possible cycling issues) more than 75% of the bullet is sticking out of the case- not much support there to hold the bullet concentric with the case.
    So a longer bullet is needed if you need to have it long enough to eliminate excessive freebore. As I mentioned, I did not test in the gun to determine how short I could go either, but if the gun cycled fine with shorter OAL then that may not be an issue. I have access to the 500 grain bullets; I just haven't got around to trying them.

    What really put the project on hold was the dies. The sizer seemed to work fine, but the crimp die could not be adjusted down far enough to meet the shorter neck. That's where I stopped the project. The RCBS did not work; haven't tried the Lee yet. May have to have a custom crimper made.
    Will probably pick it up again later when I get some irons out of the fire.

  10. #10
    Banned Bucks Owin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob45 View Post
    Exactly.

    Those who take notice of his original post will note that we are confined to a bullet of minimum diameter, and the case length has set parameters. Basically put, pistol cartridges only and no "high-power" cartridges.

    This is the bureaucrat's way to limit range so as to "lessen hunting accidents".
    Too bad they do not realize that the older cartridges typical to leverguns usually have trajectories closely commensurate with the typical revolver, and there are indeed many out there getting good results while using those (revolver) cartridges at long range, comparatively speaking.

    Gotta love the bureaucrats.
    Why am I not surprised that the dimbulbs who come up with this "protect us from ourselves" mentality would know absolutely nothing about real world ballistics. Must have made their idiot law after watching too much firearm fantasy that Hollywood spreads so liberally......Disgusting but par for the course, Dennis

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