Help! Reloading for BFR 45-70


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Justin42
April 4, 2010, 11:44 AM
I have some cases that were trimmed short (2.032). The once fired Hornady cases only measure 2.040, which is under the trim to length. I loaded the 2.032 case with 50 gr. Hodgdon H322, 300 gr, Hornady bullets. This load would be fired through a Magnum Research BFR 45-70 w/ 10" barrel. According to Hodgdon's site, the starting load for 45-70 in pistol for 322 is 54 gr. I reduced it due to the shorter length. With the cases being shorter, do you fellows see any problems? Any help is greatly appreciated, as I am new to the reloading world.

Also, these rounds did not want to crimp with my RCBS 3 die set. Even the factory Hornady cases seemed to short to reach the crimp feature in the die. I tried a longer case and it seemed to work just fine.

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ArchAngelCD
April 5, 2010, 03:58 AM
Since you are shooting those 45-70's from a revolver a crimp is absolutely necessary. If those shorter cases won't crimp DO NOT shoot them in your revolver because they can lock up the cylinder if the bullet jumps or worse yet, cause bullet set-back which could result excessively high pressures. According to my source the proper trim length should be 2.100" so 2.032" is more than a little too short. Even though the brass is short I'm a little puzzled as to why you can't adjust the seating/crimping die so that it will work correctly. But, since you are having problems IMO you have 2, possible 3 options:
1. If you have only a few short cases toss them in the scrap bucket for recycling.

2. If you have a good number of short cases you can crimp them with a Lee Factory Crimp Die. (Part #90856) That die will do quite well with the shorter brass because trim length has no effect on the die's operation since it's a Collet design.

3. If you have a single shot rifle chambered in 45-70 you can safely shoot the shorter cases in it without crimping and not have to spend the money on the Lee FCD. (even though the 45-70 FCD only $11-$12)

Please keep us posted and welcome to the forum and reloading...

Justin42
April 5, 2010, 08:22 AM
The crimp problem puzzled me also. With the die out, I can insert the case all the way in. The die is bottoming out on the shell plate before I can even crimp. The crimp ring just seems so high in this die. After doing alot of research, I'm not the only one with this problem. According to Hornady, their cases are shorter than your standard 45-70. When trying my die with a longer Winchester case, the die crimps just fine.

What if I just load one cartridge at a time in the revolver? I only have 50 rounds and I'd hate to pull them apart. I guess this is all part of the learning expriance.

ArchAngelCD
April 9, 2010, 02:22 AM
What if I just load one cartridge at a time in the revolver? I only have 50 rounds and I'd hate to pull them apart. I guess this is all part of the learning experience.
I see no reason why you couldn't shoot one at a time in your revolver. That goes along with what I said in choice "#3" above.

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