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Thread: Brand new to everything (except shooting) guy here.

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    Brand new to everything (except shooting) guy here.

    Hello all, I was not sure where to introduce myself, but I am brand new to reloading. I just picked up a bucket list rifle, an Italian sharps copy in 45-70. I decided that I should be loading my own for it and came across a complete 310 set for it. I also plan on casting my own boolits as well. I am sure I will have lots of questions in the near future. Thanks for having me here.

  2. #2
    Its a fun and rewarding experience to me. I have a model 1873 Springfield Trapdoor made in 1883 I cast, make lube, and load myself for. This year I'm planning on taking the ole trapdoor out to the field and taking a deer with it, since there isn't a wild abundance of bison out in my neck of the woods. 45-70 is simple to cast and load for in my experience. Any straight wall cartridge is somewhat simpler to reload, and tend to have a longer reload life in comparison to shouldered cartridges in my experience. Have you acquired your casting supplies yet? Alloys? Molds?

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Bad Ass Wallace's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum, to both of you. Be careful those old black powder smoke poles are addictive, I bought my first Sharps then another, and another, then a Hiwall and a trapdoor .. . . . . My retirement gift to myself was a Pedersolui 1886 "Sporting Rifle" in, you guessed it, 45/70.



    Hold Still Varmint; while I plugs Yer!

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    Tough time, as supply-side is depleted, to get the reloading and casting "itch". Gather equipment, components, and raw materials (see list).

    The 45-70 is a big 300 to 400+ grain "chunk of lead" as compared to, say, 223 Win. (55 gr.), 357 Mag. (158 gr.), and 30-30 (170 gr.), just to name a few. The 45-70 has significant "authority" that through reloading can be tamed.

    Here are some considerations, none of which get to the reloading "meat of the matter", for which you will have to read, read, and read some more - then ASK QUESTIONS. We cannot give you "experience". You have to gain that for yourself. We can show you some paths.

    A.) Reloading Manual. The MOST IMPORTANT component, besides you, in the reloading process.
    A.1.) "Complete...", Hodgdon, Hornady, Lyman (cast), Nosler, Speer, Powder Mfg., others
    A.2.) Online - Beware. Not all that is posted is considered safe...

    B.) Brass preparation. Hands on experience starts here. This step is fundamental and important.
    B.1.) Chamfer and deburring tool
    B.2.) Primer pocket reamer (optional)
    B.3.) Caliper
    B.4.) Scale
    B.5.) Reloading tray (or equivalent)
    B.6.) Priming tool (part of press or separate)
    B.7.) Case lube
    B.8.) Case trimmer (many ways to "skin this cat")

    C.) Consumable components
    C.1.) Bullets - jacketed
    C.2.) Boolits - cast (more on that below)
    C.3.) Primers (currently scarce)
    C.4.) Powder (you choose)

    D.) Building ammunition.
    D.1.a) Lee Loader is a nearly "all you need", single caliber, "whack-a-mole" (some say), straight forward means of assembling SUPERB, one-at-a-time ammunition, and an economical starting place to gain knowledge and experience.
    D.1.b) Single stage press. An investment. Consider a "kit-of-parts". At some point, you WILL purchase a single stage press. Most reloaders have...
    D.1.c) Progressive press. An investment.
    D.2.) Brass forming and bullet seating dies. Where to start...Forster, Hornady, Lee, Lyman, Redding, RCBS, Wilson...the list goes on. Included with a Lee Loader.
    D.3.) Powder funnel
    D.4.) Powder trickler (can be a machine or a simple plastic spoon)

    I started reloading with a Lee Loader for 30-30 Win. On its heels, I purchased a Lee Loader for 270 Win., 45 ACP, and 45 Colt. The Lee Loader can produce VERY ACCURATE ammo and repetitiously teaches each reloading step. The sheer volume of ammunition needed for the handgun sent me to a single stage press, which I later converted to a Progressive press.

    E.) Cast boolits
    E.1.) Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook
    E.2.) Alloy of lead (so many choices)
    E.3.) 10# or 20# electric pot
    E.4.) boolit mold
    E.5.) Lube (Powder Coat below)
    E.5.1.) Lube/Sizer press
    E.5.2.) Lube/Sizer die(s)
    E.5.3.) Lube/Sizer bullet nose punch(es)
    E.6.) Powder Coat - PC (still need sizer press, die, punch)
    E.6.1.) Coating powder
    E.6.2.) Coating canister (plastic)
    E.6.3.) Oven tray(s)
    E.6.4.) Toaster oven
    E.7.) Gas checks

    These just scratch the surface and ARE NOT intended to put you off. I got here by going through those and lean toward teaching and mentoring. At the end of the line, you CAN recover your investment in reloading equipment and gear. Your Mileage May Vary (ymmv).
    Last edited by Land Owner; 07-19-2022 at 06:38 AM.
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    Welcome, we were all brand new once upon a time.
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  6. #6
    Boolit Master


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    Welcome to the forum. I see many hours reviewing the data available here.

    Landowner wrote a comprehensive reply including; ".... a single stage press, which I later converted to a Progressive press."
    Did you really convert a single stage press to progressive?
    Micah 6:8
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  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master

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    He stated he already has a 310 tool. That is a different animal, and you need the instruction sheet for it. That should be still available from Lyman but I know it's on Castpics here and several members have copies they can send you. PM Green Frog if you need to learn to use the 310 tool, he has lots of experience with it. It is a complete loading system but is unique to itself. Be aware that it only neck sizes - if you get cartridges fired in other chambers they may not fit your tool. Lyman made a size die that you drove a lubed case into with a hammer or vice to full length size. These may be found on e-bay but are not real common.

    If you need to full length size a simple O or C frame press and a set of dies will do the job.

    Yes, get reloading manuals - and start with the Lyman since you have one of their tools.
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

  8. #8
    Boolit Bub
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    Thanks for the welcome. I will be getting a reloading guide for sure. I need to pick a scale as well. I have a lee single stage c press already that I use to resize 22lr ammo using a wertz die, so that base is covered. I have been squirming away primers for a little while when I come across large rifle at a reasonable cost. Casting equipment I have none of yet, I have 40 pounds of dead soft that came with some muzzle loading stuff I got years ago. All the reading I have been doing on alloys and molds has my head spinning. I don't even know what boolit to start with my reading has me leaning towards a 535 grain postell, but then I looked at accurate molds selection and that a huge can of worms to open.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Welcome aboard. You've landed at a very good place. Ask any question (we've all asked the same thing at one time or another), read the various threads here and the instructional prints from the equipment you buy. Don't trust stuff form the internet unless it comports to stuff from a legit published manual. (Some people do crazy things and think it is all OK because they managed to not get hurt by it). Do invest in a manual or two. They have tutorials to explain the process. I happen to like the Lee Manual. That 535 grain boolit is a monster! It's real purpose in life is to stay stable & accurate at very long ranges. General purpose bullets are in the range of 300 ~ 400 grains.
    Have fun & stay safe.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by William Yanda View Post
    Landowner wrote a comprehensive reply including; ".... a single stage press, which I later converted to a Progressive press."
    Did you really convert a single stage press to progressive?
    Sir, yes Sir. An RCBS Rock Chucker with the Piggyback II is auto-advance, 5-station, 1.) size/deprime, 2.) prime/bell, 3.) charge, 4.) seat, 5.) crimp, complete, which some argue isn't a Progressive, but serves me very well. I can load every handgun cartridge and 223 Rem. on it. All others are single stage pressed.
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Welcome to the madness !

    I must have been, in a former life , a Buffalo Hunter ... I have always had a desire to own a Sharps in a large caliber cartridge . There are no buffalo in Louisiana .
    Shooting a 45-70 Trap door Springfield (reproduction) Carbine once took the edge off my desire ...
    that bad boy kicked ... three shots and I was done .

    The Sharps are nice rifles ... Have fun !
    Gary
    Certified Cajun
    Proud Member of The Basket of Deplorables
    " Let's Go Brandon !"

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy Landy88's Avatar
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    Since you have your 310 set, an old Lyman or Ideal manual would be a nice complement to a new manual. Those from when 310s were more common have good section on them.

    You are off to a good start, and here is great place for handloading hand tool info.
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  13. #13
    Boolit Master


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    Welcome to the forum! Looks like others have already given you a lot of good advice. Be careful not to load your 45/70 to some of the pressures that modern 45/70s can handle. Keep to the equivalent of the black powder loads. You can even shoot black powder if you want. It’s a lot of fun, just a bit more cleaning up when you are done. I’ve loaded from 300 to 500 grain boolits. 400 is probably a good place to start. You use more lead, but normally less powder. Good luck and welcome to the addiction.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    I still get a certain satisfaction from loading 45-70 and similar “hyphenated” old BP cartridges with a 310 tool. You gain instant gravitas at the local range as the local spray and pray tacticool types see you go through the steps to load right there on a bench at the range then actually hit something with your product!

    Since you already have the Lee single stage press you might consider a reasonably priced set of Lee 45-70 dies to do your initial case prep. If you then use those cases in the same single shot rifle, the neck sizing of the 310 should work out great for you… I have one or two of the pound in/drive out FL sizers friend Wayne mentioned, but I must admit that even though they work well, I don’t use them much.

    In closing, a note about the instructions… as others have mentioned, you can probably access a scan of the original sheet that came in the box if you do a quick Inter-Web search, and the Lyman/Ideal handbooks from the forties and fifties had good instructions as well. If all else fails, drop me a PM and I’ll try to lend a hand.

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  15. #15
    Boolit Bub
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    Thanks I will keep my eyes open.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwpercle View Post
    Welcome to the madness !

    I must have been, in a former life , a Buffalo Hunter ... I have always had a desire to own a Sharps in a large caliber cartridge . There are no buffalo in Louisiana .
    Shooting a 45-70 Trap door Springfield (reproduction) Carbine once took the edge off my desire ...
    that bad boy kicked ... three shots and I was done .

    The Sharps are nice rifles ... Have fun !
    Gary
    My experience with 45-70 was in a Ruger #3 loaded with deer killing loads. As in knock over the deer after ventilating the oak tree it was hiding behind.

    That bit of fun sent me down the mousefart load path.

    4.4 grains of Clays under a Lyman 457122 is more fun with a rifle than should be legally allowed.

    And the hollow point is really there just for decoration.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    And to the OP, if you post where you are located, you may have someone on here that is nearby who could give you some hands on experience.

    I've had a half dozen newbies in my shed for lessons.

    Taught them everything I know, took almost 5 minutes.

    And the amazing part is they are all still reloading AND haven't blown themselves up.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    There is a massive amount of info on here, sometimes it's not easy to find.

    If I do a search for something I think has been addressed on the forum and don't find much(or none) I will jump out of the forum and do a web wide search but include "castboolits" in my search string. That has garnered me stuff that an internal search has not.

    Good luck.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    One of the Best Books is FREE. http://www.lasc.us/Fryxell_Book_Contents.htm
    Mal

    Mal Paso means Bad Pass, just so you know.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Dtdk, I meant to mention before, the standard Ideal/Lyman mould for the 45-70 carbine load, a RNFP 405 grain bullet is a great place to start for casting 45-70s. There are better bullets for some specific jobs, but I’ve never found one all around better bullet for the job.

    Froggie

    PS The current Lyman # I would suggest is the 457193.
    Last edited by Green Frog; 08-09-2022 at 12:38 PM. Reason: Add PS
    "It aint easy being green!"

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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