45-70-500 loads needed


Steven Youngblood
January 17, 2009, 09:58 PM
I just completed converting a SMLE No#1 MkIII from 303 to 45-70.
I have tested it with a box of Federal 45-70 GOV 300 gr.
I intend to use it with 500 gr round nose bullets.
The bullet mold and lee reloading dies are on the way.
I am interested in both black powder loads as well as smokeless loads.
I would like to use h4895 that I have on hand, but can't find any load info for anything over 485 gr.
As for the black powder, I wanted to know what is the pressure in psi for the 45-70-500 load.
I just want a good consistant load for a 21 inch barrel, I am not into punishment, I just perfer a round nose bullet to a flat nose.
But I am interested in all load info for the 500 gr. bullet

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fireman 9731
January 18, 2009, 02:29 AM
here is some broad info, it has some pressures and loads, might be a good place to start...


I would start with 70 grains of black powder, as that is the traditional load, I have tinkered a little with 300 grain bullets and 70 grains of BP and everything was good.

My Buffalo Classic likes IMR 4895 and Varget pretty well. I'm not sure of the pressure levels a converted rifle like yours could take but the 45-70 is a fairly forgiving round.

Good luck!

January 18, 2009, 07:35 AM
I gave away my Lyman manual, but I suspect it has a lot of those type loads. If it's good for an original Trapdoor, I would think your rifle could handle it. Most sources I've seen are pretty conservative with .45-70 stuff.

January 18, 2009, 08:13 AM
In my experience, imr 4198 gives better velocity and burns cleaner in the 45/70 than the imr 3031 that chuck hawes is talking aboout. I load 300, and 400/405 gr jacketed bullets. Plus you use less of it making it cheaper to shoot. I have not loaded any 500 grainers , yet.

Steven Youngblood
January 18, 2009, 04:14 PM
The smle action could take a good amount of pressure, the 303's run about 47000 psi, but I don't want anything that high, I was just wondering if anybody knew what the pressure of a 70 grain bp loas ran at.
I don't want to lead the barrel anymore than I have to, and want to keep my sholder intact.

fireman 9731
January 18, 2009, 04:41 PM
If I remember correctly, the latest Speer manual has a whole section on BP pressures and their research trying to replicate original loads. I dont have my manual right now, but it might be worth a try also.

and yes, IMR 4198 does pretty well for me too.

Steven Youngblood
January 18, 2009, 04:44 PM

January 18, 2009, 05:11 PM
You can't get 70 grains of any modern black-powder in the modern solid-head case with a 500 brain bullet.


January 18, 2009, 08:25 PM
You can't get 70 grains of any modern black-powder in the modern solid-head case with a 500 brain[sic] bullet.

I do it all the time, with my BP 535gr cast Postell loads for my 32" Sharps. I also get 70.0gr Holy Black underneath my 500gr and 550gr Marcel Swaged Spitzers, no problem.

You need both a drop tube, and a powder compression die. Montana Precision Swaging sells both the former and the latter, or you can build your own.

These all have 70.0gr of Goex Cartridge sitting in the Remington Nickel cases underneath a card stock wad and that big 535gr Postell. Piece of cake, really, and a lot of us BPCR shooters use the technique. ;)


If you don't want to go the cast boolit route, Hornady sells a really neat 500gr .458" jacketed round nose bullet, both in FMJ and soft-nose versions. They're pretty stout, both in recoil and price, but impressive, regardless.

I loaded a batch of them for my Ruger #1 on top of a stout load of IMR-3031. For the Lee-Enfield conversion, I'd back off to levergun or trapdoor load levels, but the Hornady load data gives that info.

Again, this load data in the pic is ONLY for Ruger #1 and Siamese Mauser conversions.




fireman 9731
January 18, 2009, 09:22 PM
:DNice Pics Gewehr98!:D

Steven Youngblood
January 18, 2009, 10:11 PM
Those look great!
Almost to pretty to shoot, ALMOST.

Steven Youngblood
January 24, 2009, 07:09 PM
I found the answer to my question about the bp load pressure for a 45-70-500, at "http://www.frfrogspad.com/springfi.htm "

.45-70 US Army Cartridge Basic Specifications
Weight of loaded ball round n/a
Cartridge case Copper, brass, or tinned brass
Bullet Jacket None
Bullet Core Lead and tin (1:16) compressed
Bullet Length 405 gr - 1.1", 500 gr - 1.3"
Bullet Diameter .457 - .458"
Bullet Weight 405 gr or 500 gr.
Powder Charge Rifle load 70 gr FFG black powder for both the 405 gr and
500 gr bullets. 55 gr black powder for the carbine loading.
Muzzle Velocity (Ball) * .45-70-405 - 1350 f/s; .45-70-500 - 1315 f/s;
.45-55-405 - 1125 f/s from carbine
(White Pine @ 100 yd) * 19" (500 gr rifle); 14.5" (405 gr carbine)
Pressure 405 gr Rifle and 500 gr Rifle 18 - 20,000 psi
* From period ordnance publications

January 24, 2009, 10:37 PM
My old Hodgdon's no. 26 has data for the 500 grainers using 4895, BUT,THEY ARE FOR HIGH PRESSURE LOADS FOR MODERN RIFLES.
I doubt that i'd risk it in a converted SMLE.They don't list CUP in their HIGH PRESSURE loads either.
pm me if you want the data,but I'll only send it with the usual disclaimers.

Steven Youngblood
January 25, 2009, 08:40 AM
The SMLE normally ran at about 47000 psi, but I would rather stay with trapdoor pressures.

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