45/70 Reloading Questions Powder and Primer


April 25, 2005, 08:46 PM
Hi, I have to buy some powder for a 45/70. What kind of powder do you reccomend? I was looking at the Hodgon H4198. Do you think that would be a good powder or if not, what would you reccomend? Also what kind of primer do I want to use? Thanks a lot for the help, Ryan

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April 25, 2005, 08:57 PM
I only use Unique and 2400 for my 45-70 loads as they cover any load that I will ever use. any brand of standard primers will work

April 25, 2005, 09:34 PM
The 45/70 with heavy bullets will shoot well with very fast to very slow powders.

The IMR4198 in the middle is nearly perfect.

I have been using Unique [fast, but I wanted an over pressure work up experiment], and IMR4895 [slow, works very well too]

April 25, 2005, 10:08 PM
DH17 - there are certainly quite a few options ... but here is what I have been using.

For my BFR (sorta bit up on mid range pressures, probably touching 28,000) .... Reloader 7 pushing a 405 lasercast. Currently 41.5 grains (not a recommendation, just what I use)

For my Ruger #1 - I am beginning to push the envelope more and go up towards 35,000 - 40,000 top end pressures. For now I am using IMR 3031 - a near compressed load, again behind a 405 Lasercast. Amazingly no leading but then MV probably only a bit over 1650. Not the most potent powder.

I want to9 up this a bit when I get or cast some gascheck 405's - and bump things up with a larger R7 powder charge - up towards 49 grain probably.

Primers are Fed large Rifle - except for some old Rem large rifle primers I was trying to ''finish up'' - they have some failures so will be pitched.

My figures are not again I stress recommendations for others. You did not IIRC mention what gun to use this round in - this will affect choice quite a bit - trapdoor loads at bottom up to Ruger #1 at top.

April 25, 2005, 11:04 PM
The gun is a Marlin 45/70 guide gun (1895G). The gun barrell is also ported. What number of primers do I want to use?

April 25, 2005, 11:09 PM
Strong gun - tho not sure if up to top SAAMI pressures - someone else will have to answer that.

Primer numbers?? Well Fed 210's or Rem 9 1/2's .... really, any reputable large rifle primer.

April 26, 2005, 07:07 AM

Hodgdon or IMR 4198, 2400, IMR 4227 and AA 5477 would all be good choices.

Personal preference, however, is to go with a mag primer. Winchester LRM primers always get the nod from me.

Unique, 2400 and 4227 are all good for bunny-buster loads.

Varget, Benchmark, 4198 and H335 all give good velocities at the higher end when looking for better, longer range stopping power with a 300 grain jacketed bullet. With a 300 gr pill and H335 its no problem to get over 2000 fps and keep under 26000-27000 psi...I think the marlins are good for that, but I am not 100% certain.


April 26, 2005, 08:08 AM
FWIW, my ported guide gun has MOA potential, (subject to my low power scope and very low power eyes) with this load:

300 grain Hornady or Remington JHP
CCI Benchrest Primer
49.6 Grains of IMR (not Hogdon) 4198

One caveat is to be careful about crimping. You have to have enough to prevent setback in the tube, but you won't want any more than you just have to have. Mine doesn't like much of a crimp.

(if you want to plink and give your flinch a rest, you can shoot 15.5 grains of Unique behind a 405 grain RNFP cast bullet)

April 26, 2005, 11:05 AM
because it was one of the recommended powders and I had some on hand for my 22-250 and 223's. Works well under a 405 Speer FP. 50 grains IIRC, but double check that. I have a Marlin 1895. This is defenitely NOT a load for old Trapdoors. Ruger ONLY and all that.

As above, the 45-70 seems to have one of the widest application of powders. I suspect there's a lot of "perfect" powders. As the amount of powder goes up for the velocity achieved, the loads tend to be more forgiving (pressure spikes). I use powders that tend to fill the cases more, but that's my preference. You can certainly use pistol powders like 2400 if you want and do fine, just watch your loads.

April 27, 2005, 01:31 AM

Paul "Fitz" Jones
April 27, 2005, 02:11 AM
As the Original Saeco Bulletcasting Company Distributor I advised my many hundreds of .45/70 molds customers from 300 to 405 grain bullets that up to 53 grains of 3031 would take any North American Animal for dinner but if they wanted to win any target matches they entered the best load preferred by my customers that I passed on to them was 48 grains of 3031 and they were very happy with the advice. I did not belive in or sell any heavier bullet than the 405 grain as the felt recoil was to punishing on accuracy.

April 28, 2005, 03:56 PM
Does anyone have reloading info for .45-70 Sharps using Winchester powder? I've been :banghead: trying to find the info... Even Winchester has been no help so far...

Thanx in advance


May 2, 2005, 08:11 PM
New to this forum, thought I'd add my $.02 on this one.

I shoot the Marlin Guide Gun with the ported barrel. Great gun, great cartridge.

I've tried several different powder and bullet combinations and the one that works best for me is 58.0 grains of Hodgdon Varget (slightly compressed load) over a Hornady 350 grain RN jacketed bullet and CCI 200 primers. I don't care for RE#7 or IMR 3031 or W748, Varget works the best for me. Another powder that I like with 360 grain lead bullets is 61.0 grains (slightly compressed) Accurate Arms MR3100, same primer. It is a mild load by comparison to the Varget load, Varget seems a little hot for lead bullets and accuracy suffers badly, 3100 seems to have cured that.

I have gone as high as 61 grains of Varget but accuracy seemed to fall off after 59 grains so I settled on 58 grains. Accuracy is super and I get about a 5" drop at 200 yards when sighted in 1" high at 100 yards. I'm not a big Hornady fan, they ticked me off with an equipment purchase, but that 350 grain bullet is top shelf, I bought a box of 1500.

If you have the time to check it out take a look at this link. It might answer a few questions about handloading for the 45-70.


May 3, 2005, 09:16 AM
At least, while using it behind hard cast bullets. If I were a more frugal reloader, I could easily have reduced my handloading costs by spreading a tabloid-sized sheet of paper under the muzzle of the rifle, then recovering all the unburned 3031 that covered the paper after each shot. If I opened my Ruger #1's breechblock, and gently blew into the chamber, I could blow the unburned 3031 in the barrel onto the paper, too. Good return on the powder investment. :scrutiny:

Powderpuff "trapdoor" 405gr cast bullet loads - I settle on Accurate XMR-5744 or Alliant 2400.

Target loads - 450gr Marcel Semi-spitzer, one WonderWad, 60gr Goex FFg, 5gr WW231 or WST "kicker" against the primer.

Brinks Thumper loads - for Ruger #1 - 405gr Beartooth Hard Cast gas checked bullet, Reloder #7, 2100fps chronographed ten feet from muzzle.

May 3, 2005, 11:42 AM
Gewehr - oh yeah - the ''3031 syndrome'' !! I am using it for my near top loads only because I have some in stock - and want to use it up! If I accept the ''mess factor'' - I can still get enough grin per shot, to get by! :p

I will for sure transition to the R7 for thumpers - meanwhile that powder serves well for my lower (but still pert!) BFR loads!

I have yet to try some reduced loads but have noted the use of SR 4759 - I have a big can of this, having got it for reduced rifle loads and cast bullets. I have 2400 but this SR powder seems to have amazing bulking for its weight.

May 3, 2005, 02:05 PM
I also have a ported GG. I've settled on one load:

Rem 405 gr JSP
47.0 gr Reloder 7
CCI # 200 Large Rifle Primer
Remington Brass
OAL 2.550"
One full turn of the Lee Factory Crimp Die
Lee Dies

Benching at 100 yards using Express Sights Ghost-Ring Hunting Sights (with the larger 0.230" aperture) I'm consistantly getting 2.5 to 3.0 inch groups.


I've also fitted it with a Decelerator recoil pad.

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