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Thread: Need a .45-70 load in Hornady brass

  1. #21
    Boolit Buddy
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    May 2010
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    If it's 2.1" and marked Hornady, it wasn't a Leverevolution case. Or was it actually headstamped "Leverevolution"?

    My friend that gave me the Hornady cases had sorted roughly 700 cases by headstamp. He kept the non-Hornady ones, but I measured all 306 cases he gave me, as Hornady markets both the shorter cases loaded with their XTP bullets, and normal length cases loaded with non-XTP bullets. Hornady is not concerned with whether or not their varying case lengths confuse reloaders.

  2. #22
    Boolit Master scattershot's Avatar
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    Unless you are loading razor edge Hellfire missile type loads, it shouldn’t make any difference. Normal 45/70 loads (Trapdoor Springfield) class loads should be fine in the shorter case, crimped normally.
    "Experience is a series of non-fatal mistakes"


    Disarming is a mistake free people only get to make once...

  3. #23
    Boolit Grand Master
    rintinglen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpaspr View Post
    Yeah, I caught that. And that's what I'll do, but in my post two above, I'm asking, when loading to 2.55" COAL, will the exposed lube groove in the shorter shells be a problem?
    If you carry them in a pocket while hunting, the lube could gather lint, debris and or junk and make loading difficult. In a dusty climate, they might pick up sand particles that will wear the barrel. If you carry them in an ammo box sealed against the environment, no problem.
    _________________________________________________It's not that I can't spell: it is that I can't type.

  4. #24
    Boolit Buddy
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    Dec 2021
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    In a case as large as 45-70, I'd load without giving a 2nd thought to the very slight difference in case length. And I'd do the same whether or not your load to the same cartridge overall length as with normal brass or crimp in the crimp groove with the shorter Hornady brass. The tiny percentage volume change in such a large case is not going to make a big difference. Probably not even as much pressure rise and the normal shot to shot variation.

  5. #25
    Boolit Buddy
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    Update. I originally sighted it in at 50 yards, using some cast 410gr rounds in normal length brass loaded with 27gr of 5744, loaded to max spec of 2.55" COL. Those came with the gun. Using Remington Shoot! ballistics estimator software, I adjusted the scope to allegedly hit dead on at 100 yards (assuming a 405gr boolit, though).

    Since this gun has such a generous chamber length, I made my reloads a bit beyond spec (2.635" OAL) to get closer to the lands. I also bumped the powder up. A bit too much up, perhaps. 30gr of 5744. Still a safe load.

    Hodgdon's reloading center shows 27.0gr max for a Trapdoor, with pressure at 16,100 psi and velocity at 1394 fps.
    For Lever Actions, they show a start load of 30.6gr, with pressure at 25,000 psi and velocity at 1468 fps.
    For "Modern Rifles", they start at 36.0gr and go up to 40.0gr, with pressure and velocity peaking at 38,400 psi and 1826 fps respectively.

    With that steel butt plate, yeah, they hurt. I can't imagine any higher amounts. I'm going to dial it back to about 27gr, though I'll keep the extra COA length, to minimize the boolit jump to the barrel. Loading to 2.635" in the Hornady Leverevolution brass, the mouth of the case hits mid point of the driving band between the top two lube grooves.

    One thing I found interesting though, is that of the initial 34 primed cases, 28 weighed between 166gr and 171gr, but the other 6 were a good 30gr heavier. Not sure why.
    Last edited by cpaspr; 11-24-2023 at 01:14 AM. Reason: a bit of clarification

  6. #26
    Boolit Buddy
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    I finished depriming and cleaning of the primer pockets of the rest of the brass yesterday. This morning I sorted the brass into "normal" and "heavy" piles. The "normal" brass all weighs in between 160 and 165gr. The heavy stuff is 195-200gr. Visually identical, though in looking at the headstamps some of the "heavy" stuff appears to have a heavier strike to the headstamps, such that I could sometimes guess which would be heavy. Sometimes. Not enough to assume I could tell every time, so I weighed them all. Out of 306 total, 72 were in the 195-200gr range. 23.5%.

    Since they're all sized externally to the same dimensions, the only two reasons I can imagine for the huge weight variation are A) seriously thicker case walls resulting in less internal capacity, or B) a different alloy composition, but similar internal capacities.

    I guess the only way to tell, short of cutting some of each top to bottom and comparing, or getting them analyzed by a lab, is to load some of each identically and shoot them, noting if there is any variation in point of impact.

    Not really looking for responses, unless someone has another possible explanation, but I thought it odd enough to comment on.

  7. #27
    Boolit Master
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    try filling to the very top of case with ......powder or???sugar??? and weigh it out on scales..then do same with other weight... do five of each and get average.... will be interesting to see your results water is normally used but I reckon a powder will be easier.

  8. #28
    Boolit Buddy
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    Follow-up. Both the 160ish and 195ish loads shot to the same POI, so it appears to be an alloy question, rather than thicker brass.

  9. #29
    Boolit Master elmacgyver0's Avatar
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    If you buy so called once fired brass, you will no doubt get plenty of the shorter Hornady brass.
    I bought 200 cases from Capital Cartridge and about half were the shorter cases.
    I got the Lee Lever Evolution dies and they include the factory crimp die, it is the collet type.
    I have not yet loaded any.

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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