Need help with 45-70 300g cast lead loads


November 26, 2006, 09:54 PM
I am having a hard time finding good data for a 300g cast lead load suitable for a Sharps reproduction. I can find data for jacketed bullets, but not so much for 300g lead.

I would l like a target velocity of 1600 fps

I have H4895 and H4198.

I can only find light loads for Trapdoors for 300 g lead bullets.

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November 27, 2006, 08:26 AM
Monday morning bump...

highlander 5
November 27, 2006, 08:52 AM
from the Lyman Cast Bullet Hand book
Rem case Rem 91/2 primer starting load 28.5 grs H 4198 1311 fps
max 34.5 grs H 4198 1611 fps from a 24' barrel loads also used dacron fiber fill wad over powder. bullet weight is 293 plain base don't know if IMR and H powders are interchangeable but I hope this helps

November 27, 2006, 09:02 AM
The Lyman reloaders manual has some excellent 300 grain loads in .45-70 that will reach 1600 fps and do it safely.
Problem is you won't be able to do it with those powders.

The Sharps is not that m uch stronger than the Trapdoor, if you believe anything else you are asking for serious and possibly fatal cosmetic troubles.

When a Sharps type rifle does let go, the breechblock usually fractures and bits of the block and pieces of the firing pin come sailing down the nifty loading trough located directly in front of the shooters cheekbone.

Keep your loads no heavier than the maximum loads listed for 1873 trapdoor rifles.
I have found SR4759 to be excellent smokeless powder for these boomers as it was specifically designed to be loaded in old blackpowder guns and give the advantages of smoke and corrosion free along with low pressures.
30 grains will get you where you want to be as to velocity and pressure will be a moderate 15,000CUP.

IMR 3031 is another favorite of mine.
50 grains behind a 300 grain lead bullet will pass 1600fps and do so at that magic 15,000CUP.

If you really must use up the H4198 then 36 grains will get you close or just a bit over 1600fps with 16,500CUP.

I would avoid using the H4895 altogether. HTH

November 27, 2006, 12:20 PM
Onmilo, I found some IMR 3031 on the back of shelf. So I loaded 50g of it under a Meister 300g cast lead bullet. I found loads in that range listed in the Lyman handbook.

Going to the range this afternoon, will let you know how it works. Thanks for the tip.

One other question for you... the Speer Manual says that loads for lever action 45-70's are OK in replica Sharps rifles. Would you agree with that?

November 27, 2006, 11:05 PM
OK, today was a failure.

This is my first time loading 45-70.

I loaded a Meister cast lead 300g bullet over 50g of IMR 3031 into once fired brass. OAL is 2.550". When I load like this, several of the crimp grooves are not in the case. I was thinking that would not be a problem, but maybe I am wrong.

My rifle is a Uberti Sharps replica. Only a few months old. I have fired probably 150 rounds of factory ammo through it, both a 405g cowboy load, and a 300g JHP load. No problems with either.

Now the problem: My loads made using the above formula don't fit the chamber. I can't close the lever. It looks like maybe 1-2 mm of the cartridge head is protruding too far out the the breech end of the chamber for the breechblock to close. I pushed a little on the case to try to get it into the chamber further, but it won't budge, and the bullet got stuck in the first part of the rifling. When I popped the case out of the chamber, the bullet was stuck. I had to gently tap it out with a cleaning rod, and it came out pretty easily.

So, when got home I rechecked all my measurements and they are all correct. These rounds are loaded to 2.550" for sure, no question.

I then loaded up a dummy round with a Laser Cast Oregon Trail 405g lead bullet. I loaded this to 2.550" also. This round fits my rifle just fine, and the breech block closes on it just like factory ammo.

So what is my problem with the 300g load? Why won't it fit into the chamber when a 405 g bullet loaded to the same OAL will?

Also, I would think that I must not have enough crimp on them since the case and bullet seperated so easily, but that is another problem.

November 27, 2006, 11:22 PM
You may have over expanded the case mouth and not had your seater crimper adjusted correctly.

I like to use a full length sizer on .45-70 cases, if you are using a neck sizer it may not be providing an adequate amount of case compression to allow them to fully seat in the chamber.

If the bullet design is flatnose for use in leveraction rifles if may be bottoming on the rifling.
Try adjusting the bullet seater to set the bullet a bit deeper in the case.
A crimp is not neccessary on cartridges used in a single shot rifle.
If you really feel compelled to crimp the cases to the bullets, consider purchasing a seperate taper crimper.
Generally crimped cartridges will not shoot as accurately in single shot rifles as will uncrimped cartridges or cartridges featuring a slight taper crimp. HTH

November 27, 2006, 11:30 PM
If I set the 300g bullet in the case deeper, I will go below 2.550". Won't that do bad things to the pressure? I am pretty sure if I set the bullet to 2.500" it would probably chamber. Is that too short? Would it cause the pressure to be too high?

Also, a 405 g bullet loaded exactly the same as the 300g bullet (and to the same OAL) fits the chamber fine. Wouldn't the only difference be the bullet?

I only put a slight crimp on these using the Lee Factory Crimp Die. Also, I was doing full length sizing.

November 28, 2006, 09:09 AM
Well let's see.
Your case won't chamber by about 1 millimeter.
A millimeter is .0393"
If you seat your bullet to 2.510" on the calipers it theoretically should chamber.

I routinely load 38.5 grains of IMR 3031 under a 400 grain semi spitzer lead bullet that produces a finished cartridge that is longer overall than 2.550" and probably sets deeper in the case than the 300 grain bullet you are using and the powder still rattles unless I use a card over powder wad and a felt under bullet wad.
Neither of these loads has ever exhibited signs of overpressure in a Pedersoli Infantry Sharps or a Pedersoli Trapdoor Infantry rifle.

I doubt seating the bullet to the length suggested will dramatically raise pressure in this large volume case.
With 50 grain and a relatively short 300 grain lead bullet you should still hear the powder in the case.
If it does concern you drop the charge by 2 grains to 48 grains and then set the bullet deeper.
This should keep the pressure at the same level and you will not lose any great amount of velocity.
You may go up around 16,500 but that is still more than safe for the action.

This may be a stupid question but did you check the Meister bullets with a Micrometer to see if they may be running oversize?
Especially check the nose and ogive, not just the area of the grease bands.
I know some production casters run their moulds full speed and sometimes too hot and the blocks are over expanded as are the bullets that come from them.
If the bullets were run through a production lubricater without being run through a sizer,
You may have some out sized factory bullets on your hands.
It isn't usual to have any 300 grain bullets refuse to chamber in a single shot rifle unless yours features a very tight Match type chamber designed for heavy, sharp nose, spitzer bullets.

November 28, 2006, 10:12 AM
I will check the diameter and see if they are oversized.

When I load the 300g bullets to 2.550", two of the bullet crimp grooves are sticking out of the case. Is that OK?

November 28, 2006, 12:44 PM
You have more than one crimp grove? (or are you referring to the driving bands that hold the lube in between?)

highlander 5
November 28, 2006, 01:27 PM
you can seat the bullet deeper with out any problems.
Remember this fact no two rifles ,handgun in a specific caliber are exactly the same there is always some minor difference in measurements.
I have Shiloh Sharps that I load a 520 gr cast bullet in and it has to be seated deeply in my cases to fit .
my rule of thumb if I am using a new bullet I always make a Dummy round up to make sure that it will chamber

November 28, 2006, 04:33 PM
LG, pard;

As to the strength of the Sharps' 1874 actions, the owner/manufacturer of Shiloh Sharps' Rifles has stated that his rifles will accept and work with any load that a Ruger #1 rifle will tolerate. That's quite a statement, because the #1 is a very strong action indeed. I doubt that Kirk Bryan would make such a public claim if he had any doubts whatever about the strength of his rifles. Naturally, his claims do NOT apply to rifles from any other manufacturer.

In my own Shiloh .45-70, I've pushed bullets of 500-plus grains at over 1900 fps with no ill effects (except for me, sitting behind the pointy steel buttplate). I'm using at least six different bullet mould designs for this caliber, from 335 grains (the Gould hollowpoint) up to the Lyman 462560, which is a bluff-nosed bonebreaker of 550 grains or so.

I've found that XMP 5744 works great in moderate loads, such as the 300-grain /1600fps load being contemplated. I'm at work, and don't have access to my records, but the Accurate Arms website should have some data. I prefer to use a dacron tuft even with such powders as 5744 and 2400. My own tests have proven the worth of the dacron. 4198 and 4895 are likely a bit too slow-burning for this combo, but they might "sort of" work. I'd try something else than these two.

Other responders have already said it....starting at a length which is clearly too long for the rifle, gradually seat the bullet deeper until the breechblock just closes without undue effort. Do this in a case which allows the breech to close easily WITHOUT a bullet at all. Record the length somewhere for every different bullet design you load, for future reference.

Have fun...the cartridge and the rifle make a wonderful pair!

November 30, 2006, 01:42 PM
Check out:

The loads were tested in Marlin & Ruger rifles. I'm not sure what a sharps is capable of. Best of luck!

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