45-70 recipes for large bullets


October 1, 2010, 04:42 PM
I can't find recipes for 500g. to 550g. bullets in any of my reload books for a Marlin 1895. I know it can be done because I have read about them. I don't want any "shoulder busting" recipes, just something with mid to low recoil strength. Thx

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October 1, 2010, 04:51 PM
I think the reason is, most bullets that big are too long to work through a lever-action magazine. Most of those heavy bullets are either spitzer shape, or bore bearing RN.

In either case, seated deep enough to work through the action would leave you no place on the bullet to crimp the case too.

Lymans 500 grain RN for instance seats at 2.835" and the 535 grain spitzer seats to 2.930".for use in a single-shot action.

The max SAAMI spec length for a lever-action is 2.550".

LBT or somebody may make a heavy bullet WFP mold short enough to work, but I don't know.


Maj Dad
October 2, 2010, 03:16 PM
I don't want any "shoulder busting" recipes, just something with mid to low recoil strength.
I stopped using 405 gr bullets in my 1895 because of that, and I wasn't loading max charges. Mine is an older one (mfg ~72 or 73) with the hard curved butt plate, and they weren't uncomfortable, they were painful. If you have a pad you might be able to get away with it.

October 2, 2010, 03:18 PM
I was thinking the same thing yesterday when he ask the question, but I didn't mention it.

I'm thinking he's going the really wrong way on bullet weight if he wants less recoil!!

500 - 550 grain bullets are going to hurt, no matter what the powder charge.


October 3, 2010, 09:05 AM
50 Grains of FFFG BP. Should allow you to seat bullets deep enough.

In my falling block I use 65 grains of Swiss and it isnt a shoulder buster.

October 3, 2010, 10:43 AM
I had an occasion a couple years back to shoot heavy bullets in a Marlin with black powder, single shot only, there is another problem with this. The Marlin we were shooting didn't have a long enough throat to accept the big slugs seated out where they should be. After reseating the bullets it was all go. The loads we were using were 60 grains of 2f black powder, compressed with a .030 card wad. Clean up is a lot more involved than one would expect also, dis-assembly of the rifle is called for to get the crud out of the action.
If you look in Lyman 47th Edition under the .45-70 Government loads for Ruger No. 1 and No. 3, you will find loads that are for 500 grain cast as well as a 500 grain jacketed. Pay attention to the C.U.P., the Marlin maxs at about 25000. Using the starting load for cast will give you a starting point. Note that the max pressure for a Ruger is well over 30000 C.U.P., stay way from those loads or we will be reading your obituary.


October 3, 2010, 12:30 PM
I agree big heavy bullets in the 45/70 are excruciating to shoot and in the older lever action you must be careful of load pressures (below 25000 psi). I settled on a 300 gr cast flat nose gas checked rcbs bullet a few years ago. I cast it pure lead and lubricate with alox 235 swage diameter is .458".
Winchester large rifle stainless primer/remgington straight case/dacron filler over IMR3031 powder, 38.0 grs. It will consistently hit target center at 300 meters using my 1884 trapdoor carbine. Get a modern 45/70 for the heavier bullets. be safe

October 3, 2010, 12:59 PM
50 Grains of FFFG BP. Should allow you to seat bullets deep enough.It's not a matter of case capacity.

It's a matter of having no place to crimp a deep seated 500 grain bullet for use in a tube magazine.
If you crimp to the crimp groove on the bullet it would be too long to work through a lever-action.

Deep seated on BP to hold it in place would leave the spitzer or bore dia nose down inside the case neck.


October 3, 2010, 01:42 PM
I don't have a levergun, but I DO have a lead 420 grain bullet that was designed to function through most leverguns. That's the heaviest I would go, otherwise you'll get kicked into next week!

This was a group buy 6 cav lee mold from over at cast boolits forum. I bought it for my H&R buff classic, with the idea of someday owning a Marlin.



These have the short fat nose and crimp groove close to the nose to allow them to function through the feeding mechanism of leverguns.

I know these aren't the heavy thumpers you want, but it's the heaviest I would go with that levergun. They ARE the heaviest I load for that buffalo classic. I don't go near max with them, still get bruises from that curved steel buttplate.

If you'd like some to try out, I'd be happy to send you enough for a trail load work up. Those were cast from.22 rimfire bullets with a bit of tin added for fill-out. They'd be soft enough to expand a little, but with that wide-flat nose, you'd get a lot of whack out of them. I don't sell bullets, all I ask is you pay the postage. A small flat rate box is $4.95.

October 3, 2010, 07:40 PM
Snuffy, thanks for your offer of trying out those bullets. They sure do look great and I would love the chance to give them a try. Please let me know how to go about getting the shipping charge to you. Thanks again for the offer.:)

October 3, 2010, 07:44 PM
First of all...you have to use the right bullets (the ones with a crimp groove placed for lever actions)

Myself I don't have much use for bullets over 420-425 grains, but those 500+ grain bullets do have a certain "allure" about them.

In order to offer any load data or sources for it...I'd need to know exactly which bullets you want to shoot.

A point of fact though...fully loaded 400-425 grain 45-70 rounds have more recoil than fully loaded 500+ grain loads. That confuses some people, but its true...just do the math (550 grain slug at 1,550 fps, or 405 grain slug at 2,000...the 405 will kick the daylights out of you)

And....Marlin 1895's will take 40,000 CUP just fine. I load mine to 38,000 psi (which is about 35,000 CUP)...405 grain bullets at 1,900 fps generate all the recoil I want, and leaves a margin of safety.

Still in one piece...

405 grain Beartooth bullet (my reload)...the heavier bullets have the same nose length, but are longer behind the crimp groove

October 3, 2010, 07:48 PM
BTW, the gun I have is a new 1895 ABL and should be able to handle the load. Although, I'm really not looking for a shoulder busting round here. Just sending one of these big bullets at around 1,000 to 1,100 fps would be sufficient.

October 3, 2010, 08:50 PM
I provide only published reloading info on the 550 grain and 420 grain weight cast bullets from the Lyman reloading handbook with the purchase of bullets. For information on how my clients utilize Craters in their 45/70 and 450 Marlins, please visit www.marlinowners.com and type the key words such as “Crater or Craters” in the big bore search forum. The website reloading data is for your information purpose only. Jae-Bok Young’s Bullet Casting will not be responsible for accidents or misuse of the reloading data from the Marlinowners.com.

Why don't you enjoy some of Jae-Bok Young's fine fine Craters? (http://www.competitor-pistol.com/jb%20home.html)

October 5, 2010, 12:12 PM
Asherdan, thanks so muck for the info you posted. That is exactly what I was looking for.:)

October 5, 2010, 12:21 PM
The best luck I've had is with the 460 grain hardcasts from Cast performance. They have a short nose and should not have trouble cycling through. I use them in my .450 Marlin in a Win 94 frame, which has even less room in it than the 1895 Marlin.

I have a few moderate loads for them, but with that weight even "moderate" will punch you good. For a light load use trailboss

October 5, 2010, 01:08 PM
You're welcome...and those 460 Cast performance bullets Cosmoline mentions are very fine as well.

Best powder recommendations for the 420/550 Crater's I've seen is H322. If you're looking at MarlinOwners for data I'd say listen real hard to Reflex (http://www.marlinowners.com/forums/index.php/topic,29920.msg277664.html#msg277664).

Please note that brass type is critical because of varying case capacity (http://www.marlinowners.com/forums/index.php/topic,28447.0.html).

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