Lee PrecisionInline FabricationGraf & SonsMidSouth Shooters Supply
RotoMetals2StainLess Steel MediaBallisti-CastTitan Reloading
Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: 50-70 Gov't

  1. #1
    Boolit Master machinisttx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    351

    50-70 Gov't

    My father in law happened into an original 50-70 trapdoor carbine. I'm pretty sure he wants me to load some ammo for it at some point. What mold would be closest to the original bullet? What do I need to know about loading BP in cartridge guns other than the bullet should compress the charge?

    He's also got an original 1887 Winchester in 12 gauge. From what little I know about them, none of the 12 gauges were made late enough to be safe with smokeless. Can anyone enlighten me on this?
    Machinists do it with precision.

  2. #2
    Cast Boolits Founder/B.O.B.

    45nut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Orygun
    Posts
    6,576
    515141 is the Lyman mold for the 50-70. I'll let the others fill in the blanks for your other questions.
    Boolits= as God laid it into the soil,,grand old Galena,the Silver Stream graciously hand poured into molds for our consumption.

    Bullets= Machine made utilizing Full Length Gas Checks as to provide projectiles for the masses.

    http://www.cafepress.com/castboolits

    castboolits@gmail.com

  3. #3
    Boolit Master BPCR Bill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Battle Ground, Washington
    Posts
    474
    You may want to do a chamber cast and slug the barrel as some of those older barrels were a bit oversize. You can certainly get it to go boom, but it may not be the most accurate rifle you've ever seen. Alot of those old relics have badly pitted barrels and chambers. You may experience sticking cases upon firing as well. But then again, you have the rifle available for inspection.

    Regards,
    Bill
    America is like a healthy body, and its resistance is threefold: its patriotism, its morality, and its spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within. Joseph Stalin


    "Hope" is not a strategy.

    Life member NRA
    US Navy Retired
    NRA Certified Rifle, Pistol, Metallic Cartridge Reloading Instructor, Range Safety Officer

  4. #4
    Boolit Master machinisttx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    351
    Surprisingly, the barrel is nearly pristine. There is a slightly rough patch just ahead of the chamber, but the rest shines like a mirror. Sharp lands/grooves too. He got it at a steal of a price too.

    I'm not sure I'm brave enough to drop the hammer on a seven pound carbine with a steel buttplate. He might be(and I could always slip on a limbsaver).
    Machinists do it with precision.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    elk hunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Central Oregon
    Posts
    868
    Quote Originally Posted by machinisttx View Post

    He's also got an original 1887 Winchester in 12 gauge. From what little I know about them, none of the 12 gauges were made late enough to be safe with smokeless. Can anyone enlighten me on this?
    The 1887 is a relatively weak action. As far as I know only the Winchester model 1901, an updated 1887, was made for smokeless. And it was only made in 10 gauge. I have owned and shot two 1887's one each in 12 and 10 gauge. I shot smokeless loads, that I loaded for them, that developed no more than 6000 LUP's, which is about the pressure that Black Powder loads developed. One needs to remember that these old guns are all more than 100 years old and they haven't gotten stronger with age. The condition of the gun would need to be determined before attempting to shoot it with any type of powder.
    BIG OR SMALL I LIKE THEM ALL, 577 TO 22 HORNET.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    13Echo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    753
    True 50-70 Trapdoor carbines are rare with less than 370 ever made. Bannerman did produce some out of surplus parts and Bubba is responsible for others. For loads I'd get the Lee version of the 450gr Govt bullet. The Lyman bullet casts too small to take the rifling in my Trapdoor. A good carbine load would be about 55grs of FFg. compressed enough to allow seating the bullet to get a good, firm crimp over the front band. Cast the bullet out of a soft alloy. I use 30:1.

    Jerry Liles

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    NE Ohio
    Posts
    1,999
    I have an 1866 Springfield and enjoy shooting it alot. I use the Lyman 515141 and the Lee 450 grain boolits and, for my style of shooting, do not notice a big difference in performance. My loads are fairly simple, enough powder to fill the case to the base of the boolit, a grease cookie, followed by the lubed boolit. I don't crimp, just rely on neck tension to hold the boolit in the case. Mostly I am a plinker/hunter so I am not trying to wring the last .00001" out of a group.

    The 50-70 is a fun cartridge to load for and the Springfileld is a great rifle.

    Here are a couple of sites you might find interesting.

    http://www.trapdoorcollector.com/

    and

    http://www.trapdoors.com/

    There are alos a few articles on the cartridge posted ont he web. Let me know if you need the links.
    Knowledge I take to my grave is wasted.

    I prefer to use cartridges born before I was.

    Success doesn't make me happy, being happy is what allows me to be successful.

    www.NoonSharpening.com

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    2,631
    I load for trapdoor springfields and a sharps rifle in 50-70. The trapdoors require bullets of around .515" and the sharps a max of .512 (or I can not get the shell in the chamber). I shoot both the lee and lyman bullets and also a Rapine 370 gr flat point originally designed for the Smith carbine. They work well in my guns. I killed a buffalo in 2008 with my 1866 trapdoor using the Lyman 425 slug (weighed 440 with the 40-1 alloy I used). My lyman mold has been lapped out to produce .515 slugs.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master machinisttx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    351
    Quote Originally Posted by elk hunter View Post
    The 1887 is a relatively weak action. As far as I know only the Winchester model 1901, an updated 1887, was made for smokeless. And it was only made in 10 gauge. I have owned and shot two 1887's one each in 12 and 10 gauge. I shot smokeless loads, that I loaded for them, that developed no more than 6000 LUP's, which is about the pressure that Black Powder loads developed. One needs to remember that these old guns are all more than 100 years old and they haven't gotten stronger with age. The condition of the gun would need to be determined before attempting to shoot it with any type of powder.
    I was thinking the later model was in 10 only and safe for smokeless. The gun is in good condition with a mirror bore. The exterior shows a lot of use, but as far as I can tell, it would be entirely safe to shoot.
    Machinists do it with precision.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master machinisttx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    351
    Quote Originally Posted by 13Echo View Post
    True 50-70 Trapdoor carbines are rare with less than 370 ever made. Bannerman did produce some out of surplus parts and Bubba is responsible for others. For loads I'd get the Lee version of the 450gr Govt bullet. The Lyman bullet casts too small to take the rifling in my Trapdoor. A good carbine load would be about 55grs of FFg. compressed enough to allow seating the bullet to get a good, firm crimp over the front band. Cast the bullet out of a soft alloy. I use 30:1.

    Jerry Liles
    I'm not an expert on them, but it looked to be original.
    Machinists do it with precision.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
    13Echo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    753
    If it is an original 50-70 Springfield carbine you have a real treasure. However there are far more fakes or cutdown rifles out there than original carbines. Go to this site and scroll down to the bottom to "Brief Model Descriptions" and compare.

    http://www.trapdoorcollector.com/

    Jerry Liles

  12. #12
    Boolit Master machinisttx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    351
    Quote Originally Posted by 13Echo View Post
    If it is an original 50-70 Springfield carbine you have a real treasure. However there are far more fakes or cutdown rifles out there than original carbines. Go to this site and scroll down to the bottom to "Brief Model Descriptions" and compare.

    http://www.trapdoorcollector.com/

    Jerry Liles
    I don't, my father in law does. He paid $500 for both the 1887 and the trapdoor. Thanks for the link...going by memory, I think it's probably original. (oh, and WOW on the value of that thing).

    Just got off the phone with him...he's also got an 1884 "rod bayonet" rifle and a regular trapdoor rifle(1873).
    Machinists do it with precision.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Ron B.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    326
    Good sakes alive, your FIL is one lucky dude!

    I reload for my 50-70 TrapDoor & Rolling Block, using IMR's TrailBoss smokeless.
    Here are the specs, and Chrony stats.

    Lyman #515-141b 425 gn LRN cast bullet
    15 gns TrailBoss
    COL: 2.26
    AV: 1050 fps

    For me, this is a very accurate load.
    And, safe in the older Traps.

    Good luck!
    GRB

  14. #14
    Boolit Master



    missionary5155's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Back in Arequipa, Peru
    Posts
    5,043
    Good afternoon
    I have a 1866 Trapdoor. This is NOT a carbine: I found the chamber area to be rather large and I use a .517+ boolit to get descent accuracy.
    If I was to load for a carbine I would start with the lightest boolit I could find and 45 grains BP with COW on top as a filler. If your dad is 60+ and not into recoil then this should be a mild load. Load 5 and see what he likes. It is easy to increase charges. I would look for about 1/4 inch compression with the COW there. The COW will also help seal the chamber area.
    I would also cast with 1-40. There is no need for hard boolits & why use up costly tin idf not needed. Soft boolitsv& BP go hand in hand.
    "Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
    Home built Matchlock similar to what an early 1600 Colonial soldier might have.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    gardners pa.
    Posts
    2,227
    i have a sharps carbine and a springfeld rolling block rifle. i use 65 gr. 1f pured thru a 24" drop tube with 1 hard card wad and a grease cookie. with the layman bullet sized to .515 that load shoots great in both . out of the sharps in puts a deer down quick. won a few matchs with the rifle.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    4,364
    I was looking at the Trail Boss loads in the new Hodgdon Annual. Pressure is higher than most of the other loads in it for black powder cartridges.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
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