fallout mike
July 11, 2012, 12:45 PM
My uncle wanted to handload some 45-70 rounds for deer hunting. I told him to come over and we would load them. Just bring whatever bullets, powder, and primers he wanted to use. I already load the round for my dad so I already have the dies. He came over and I show him the ropes while loading. He brought H4198 and barnes 300gr softpoints. We loaded a small batch with 55gr and 57gr for him to try out before loading them all. Both are absolutely stomping him. This is a 6'5" , 260# man that shoots all the time. His shoulder is bruised after just a few shots. However, with the 55gr loads he shot a one hole 3 shot group at 100 yards. Is this recoil issue just the powder used? He had been shooting this gun for years and never had this much recoil out of it. OAL is 2.550". After checking headspace we loaded another small batch at 2.620". He hasn't shot those yet. The amount of recoil is puzzling me though. Any ideas?

If you enjoyed reading about "45-70" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
July 11, 2012, 01:10 PM
What gun, and what has he been shooting in it??

Your loads are stronger then factory 45-70 loads.
About 500-600 FPS stronger.

They fall into the upper end lever-action pressure, and into Ruger #1 single-shot pressure levels.
In fact the 57.0 grain load is over MAX with IMR-4198 in the Lyman #49 manual.

If you want factory load recoil, you need to look at the trap-door Springfield data section of the manuals.

Not the strong lever-action and Ruger #1 sections.


July 11, 2012, 04:13 PM
What are you planning to hunt?
I load 375 grain WFN cast bullets with 15 grains of Unique and get 1,350 fps.
It has good accuracy and has mild recoil... even my wife shoots it.
That load has stomped couple of deers and hogs out to 90 yards with one shot.
I have not had the opportunity to shoot a game beyond that yet.

fallout mike
July 11, 2012, 07:45 PM
Its a handi rifle. He's been shooting leverevolution. He uses it for deer. He wants to stay with the load bc of its accuracy. I was just wondering why the recoil was so heavy.

July 11, 2012, 07:50 PM
When you load the 45-70 to those levels...it kills on both ends.

I love the ole 45-70, but it gets hard on the shoulder with "modern" loads...

I know how to make his load feel like a pussycat....load him up a couple with a 405 grain bullet over 50 grains of H322 (1,900 fps from a 22" Marlin), my load...very accurate, kicks like the devil!

Those 300 grain loads won't feel so bad then...

July 11, 2012, 08:18 PM
I suspect poor shooting technique. Is he nesting the gun butt firmly in the shoulder area? Even a small amount of free travel will cause a problem. That load is not near as stout as some of the stuff I shoot and recoil is highly tolerable as long as I use good technique. I have a 500 grain bullet load I shoot in my Guide Gun that will tell you which teeth in your mouth have fillings.

fallout mike
July 11, 2012, 08:33 PM
His shooting technique is not the problem. He's the best shooter I've ever been around with the exception of a couple friends that are marine snipers.

July 11, 2012, 09:14 PM
Tell him to try 13 grain of unique real soft .

July 11, 2012, 11:22 PM
Going off Hodgdon date for your loads. You are well within there recommended levels for a lever gun.

Low end
H4198 55grains, COAL 2.540, 2221 FPS, at 27,600 cup

High end is

H4198, 60 grains, COAL 2.540, 2424 FPS, at 40,000 cup this is max level for a marlin levergun.

Your buddy has been shooting Hornady Leverevolution I assume 325 grain FTX bullets. Hornady list this factoy load at 2050 FPS.

So something else might be up. You have only gained by data 200-300 FPS and lost a little bullet weight. Are you sure its H4198

I mean my 95 pound 11year old son shoots the Hornady Leverevolution shells and whimpers when I run out of them. My 12 year old shot a couple 405 grain bear loads over the weekend with no problems.

Arkansas Paul
July 12, 2012, 12:17 AM
Yeah, if you're talking about Jay, then technique is definitely not the issue.

If he's shooting MOA groups, I wouldn't mess with seating depth. I don't think that's gonna have much effect on recoil anyway, but I may be wrong on that.

Try about 45 grains of H4895 and see how that works. You can reduce H4895 loads to 60% of max and be okay. It burns great with reduced charges. Max load is 62 grains and that's compressed. Sixty percent of that would be 37.2 grains. I wouldn't go that low, but you get the idea.

.45-70 isn't listed, but it gives the formula for reducing any round that H4895 is listed for.


fallout mike
July 12, 2012, 12:38 AM
Paul, yea its jay. He wants to stick with it bc its so accurate but I was just curious about the heavy recoil. As jbkebert pointed out , this 55gr load is the minimum load data from hodgdon, and it's only 300gr bullets. The reason he got this powder was bc of the high velocity. I kind of thought it was the powder causing the recoil?

July 12, 2012, 12:47 AM
Just because your firing a levergun doesn't mean you have to load those 45-70 rounds to top end levergun pressures.

I like H4198 but I use the Trapdoor loads instead. Using a 300gr Sierra bullet Hodgdon lists data of between 45.0gr and 55.0gr H4198. Start with the 45.0gr load and see if that load will perform as he wants it to and I'm sure it won't beat him up like the others did.

I load a 405gr flat nose hard cast bullet for all my 45-70 needs with a charge of between 30.0 and 31.0gr H4198. It's a very accurate load and it's easy on the shoulder. It will also shoot clean through any animal it hits anywhere in North America.

July 12, 2012, 12:48 AM
H4198 is at the fast end of the burn rate suitable for the 45-70...which equates to less powder in the round and less recoil.

H322 hits the sweet spot though...case full of powder (lightly compressed), recoil energy up darn near 50 ft. lbs....it'll rattle your teeth, but man is it accurate. Busted my lip good one time...touched one off while shooting prone with a backpack for a front rest, didn't really have the rifle where it should be...split my upper lip wide open, LOL...hit what I was aiming at though which was a paper plate 300 yards away.

Painful as it is....I still love shooting the 45-70!

Off topic but sorta funny...
Busted lips...that reminds me of the time a crossbow busted my lip, LMAO...who'd a thought a crossbow had that much recoil....deer came from the wrong side, had to shoot left handed and sorta bent forward (long story)...the butt hit me in the mouth, busted my lip and made me swallow my skoal, LMAO...killed the deer though. That was the first time I had ever hunted with a crossbow...

July 12, 2012, 02:05 AM
My 1895SS Marlin was the first gun I ever had recoil issues with; not normally recoil-conscious, but trying to shoot groups over sandbags with this gun was not in the cards. Until I put a Limbsaver recoil pad on it to ease the pressure on my tender clavicle. I shoot the Hornady FTX (the Leverevolution bullet) with 45.8 grains of IMR4198 which puts it in the factory loading realm: a really accurate deerslayer.


July 12, 2012, 10:10 AM
That the BEAUTY of the 45/70 it dosent have to go FAST to go all the way though a animal slow or KILL IT clean ,I use lead bullets in my 1895GBL beartooth or laser cast.

July 12, 2012, 11:50 AM
When you load the 45-70 to those levels...it kills on both ends.

Cant argue with the results on the end that matters though, eh ?

When hunting, you only really need one or two.... Sounds like he doesn't need a lot of target practice- which is good !

July 12, 2012, 12:26 PM
I'd suggest switching over to larger cast bullets and cast bullet loads. They kill deer real dead but don't need much velocity to do it. Velocity is usually pretty sedate and I always find recoil with moderate cast loads to be easy on the shoulder.

July 12, 2012, 01:01 PM
What kind of gun?

July 12, 2012, 01:26 PM
I have three rifles one Trapdoor carbine, a 1895 Marlin and a Ruger #3. My favoirite load is: 38 grs. of IMR 3031 behind a dracon filler and a cast RCBS 300 gr flat nots pure lead bullet and alox 235 lube sized .458 diameter. It shoots accurately and will kill deer and elk out to 300 yes in the Springfield.
Full power loads in the Ruger and Marlin kick like a mule with heavier jacketed bullets and I prefer the Springfield. Your load with is way too hot and should be scalled back to a comfortable recoil.

July 12, 2012, 05:06 PM
Handi-Rifles seem to kick more than other setups. They are light and the design wasnt meant to tame heavy loads. It's an "all caliber" gun.

Also, I have found the faster powders provide more of a sharp kick than a "push"
I have one in 500sw and its almost unbearable with Lil'Gun powder.

In my 1895 the 4198 loads are more snappy than others but provide the most velocity.

He probably wont notice the recoil when the deer is falling over.:D

fallout mike
July 12, 2012, 05:41 PM
We are sticking with this load. Its very accurate and has great velocity. I was just curious about the amount of recoil. I may some of the advice here for my dad's loads though. He wants mild recoil.

July 12, 2012, 06:41 PM
Get a recoil pad.

July 12, 2012, 06:55 PM
Most H&R guns are not known for the silky soft recoil. As stated above they are light weight. That energy gets transfered somewhere in this case its into you buddies shoulder.

That is the biggest downfall to those little h&r and rossi starter guns. The .22lr is fine the .243 is a little stiff for a .243 and the 20ga kicks like a horse. I had a handi rifle in .30/06 and quickly sold it. I am not all that recoil sensative but it was just plain stupid how much that gun kicked.

July 12, 2012, 07:04 PM
Do you have access to a chronograph? I'm guessing your reloads are doing a good 300 fps faster than the LEVERevolution ammo. That would be around a 50% increase in recoil. By the way, you say his shooting technique isn't a problem, but how much experience does he have with heavy recoiling rifles? I have to shoot a lot of rounds out of my 458 Lott to get bruised. Even the 460 Weatherby isn't that bad.

July 12, 2012, 07:08 PM
If its just deer or black bear I'd load it between trapdoor loads and lever action loads.

fallout mike
July 12, 2012, 07:29 PM
My chronograph made it in yesterday. We will check them out this weekend. Where we hunt its primitive weapon season all but two weeks of the year. In Mississippi a handi rifle. 35 cal or larger is eligible.

July 12, 2012, 08:17 PM
I have a Handi Rifle receiver and both the 45-70 and 500 S&W barrels along with about 6 others. After shooting the 500 S&W barrel with Buffalo Bore ammo I bought a Limb Saver universal grind to fit recoil pad. I put it on and fit it to the stock. I would say that it was about a 500% improvement over the stock recoil pad.:) It seems like I was shooting the 308 barrel using the old recoil pad when shooting the 650 grain 500S&W full house loads now. This is a NEF upgrade worth doing IMHO for any of the heavy hitting calibers to save getting whacked on the shoulder.:cool:

fallout mike
July 12, 2012, 08:45 PM
He is going to get one. Maybe this weekend. He put a new scope on this week and he has to sight it in now.

July 13, 2012, 12:32 AM
fallout mike: My Son and I are 45-70 die hard fans. We both have a 1895CW Marlin 45-70 to shoot Cowboy Action shoots with. Our load is a light one for I am getting more recoil sencitive as I get older. Our load is 35grs of IMR 3031 and a 405 gr LFN bullet, at about 1350 fps I don`t have a croney using the books figures. This load is very accurate for us in our Marlins. We went Pig hunting in NE Texas and took the 45-70`s but I packed the light reloads in stead of the COR-BON`S and GARRET`S, and could not find any 45-70 ammo in the little town where we were hunting. So we had to use what I packed, my Son was a little put out with me. But we both had 2 pigs down the first afternoon & evening and finished with 4 Pigs a peice befor we have to go home. Never had to look very far for our Pigs, most of the time they laid where they were hit, full pentration on all of them. All shot at a 100yds or less. Since then I have hunted with it several times and had the same results each time. If recoil is a problem, which it is for me. You might try this load for your self, it won`t beat you up. GOOD LUCK TO YOU: ken

highlander 5
July 13, 2012, 12:18 PM
Try AA 5744 for reduced loads as it was designed for the large cased black powder cartridges.

September 3, 2012, 10:20 PM
I also shoot an H&R Handi-Rifle in 45-70. My 45-70 load is almost exactly the same as yours: H4198 with 300 gr. Hornady jacketed soft-point bullet. I worked up loads; 5 each, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, & 55 gr. and shot them over my chronograph.
When I got to the 55 gr. load, my average velocity was right at 2300 fps. But, the punishment was much more brutal than it had been a couple of loadings prior. Yes, the accuracy was good, but not as good as it was with 52 and 53 gr.
I backed down and settled on 53 gr. That first group at 100 yds printed 3 shots in 1", 4 in 1.25", and averaged 2200 fps; 400-500 fps over the factory loads I had used previously, including the Hornady Leverevolution.

September 3, 2012, 11:47 PM
There is absolutely no reason to run that rifle/cartridge to max loadout.

Go to a low-mid 30's load of the IMR4198 (Trapdoor doing mid-1,600's);
or even better, 29-30gr of AA5744 at ~1,300fps

It will still kill everything in front of the muzzle that walks on this continent.
....and might even be fun to shoot again. :rolleyes:

September 4, 2012, 11:28 AM
I have a handi rifle 45/70 that weights 6.75 pounds and has a hard as a rock recoil pad 1.5" x 4.75". With a starting trapdoor load of 405 gr 1750 fps, it kicked me harder than I want to ever be kicked again.

I can shoot my 9.25 pound 338 win Mag with 250 gr at 2600 fps all day. It has an untrimmed grind to fit large limbsaver recoil pad.
I do not grind anymore, because I want the extra area. If a guy does not want to look a the reveal, cover it with a cheek rest
A lot of my magnum rifles are growing these big butts.

Lately I have been reducing the 45/70 case capacity with metal fillers.
I use these 150 gr .458" cast bullets
With 1 gr Red Dot I get 400 fps.
It is like shooting a big BB gun.

September 4, 2012, 05:00 PM
Its a handi rifle. He's been shooting leverevolution. He uses it for deer. He wants to stay with the load bc of its accuracy. I was just wondering why the recoil was so heavy.

If he is having you load in that brass then that may be your problem as the lever evolution brass is shorter than standard brass and you are likely way up on pressure. I would double check just to make sure.

September 5, 2012, 12:03 AM
...leverevolution. He uses it for deer. He wants to stay with the load bc of its accuracy. I was just wondering why the recoil was so heavy.

I still believe the [OP]'s overloaded beyond intended/SAAMI spec/factory.

Look at Hornady's 8th for the 325gt/F45014-FTX. Hornady is very specific as to how the
bullet/cartridge is to be loaded -- including case trim length and cartridge OAL. 47.9gr/IMR4198 is
MAX@`95 Marlin & the like, and would be the limit they'd load it for factory sales (if even that for fear
of some nut sticking it in a trapdoor)

Likewise Hornady's conventional case-length loadout for their 300gr #4500HP -- Max'd at 48.7gr/4198

QuickLoad is telling me that that Barnes 300FN w/ Hornady's max of 48.7gr/4198 is hitting
36,000psi/2,120fps for a 22" barrel -- dead in agreement w/ the Hornady manual and
`95 Marlin pressure standards.

57gr/4198 exceeds 55,300psi. (extending the COAL to 2.650 still hits ~49,000)
Believe it.

September 5, 2012, 04:19 AM
45-70 ammo meant for leverguns should not exceed 40,000 CUP (not 40,000 PSI) so some of those loads above are way too hot for a levergun.

I load everything to Trapdoor limits (no more than 28,000 CUP) just to be sure something too hot doesn't find it's way into my old Trapdoor.

I'm still a huge fan of a 405gr LRNFP bullet @ right around 1400 fps to 1500 fps. I feel no more velocity is necessary for that caliber and bullet combination.

September 5, 2012, 07:04 AM

OP's way overloaded.
(as an aside, ANSI Stds appear to match 28,000psi <--> 28,000CUP side-by-side for the 45-70)**

(original trapdoor CUP/psi matchup for the 45-70 comes from ANSI Stds 2299.4-1992, p17 & p21)

fallout mike
September 5, 2012, 02:25 PM
Im not at the max for the modern load data in the manual im using. Lyman #49 didn't have load data for this powder in that caliber. I believe its a hodgen book im using for the load data. Its a medium load actually, as far as the modern gun data for this round is concerned. Still around 3 grains from a max load. It is not a levergun. I use ruger #1 load data for several calibers that are handi rifles. I've read in many places that it is fine to do so. And i've had no issues and good results. This load being discussed is a tack driver. One hole groups at 100 yards, which I think is very impressive with a 300gr unaerodynamic bullet. He shot some through the chrono but I can't remember what the velocity was exactly. These "hotter than normal" loads are with new brass. I only use new brass with the ruger loads.

September 5, 2012, 02:30 PM
try pachmeyer magnum decelerator pad,also

fallout mike
September 5, 2012, 02:40 PM
And again, we are sticking with this load bc of the performance . I was just curious about the amount of recoil, which is not even a issue as far as deer hunting is concerned. One shot here and there is no problem. Its just the large amount of shooting from working up the loads and he changed scopes during the process as well. Its all good now and just ready for deer season to start. Anyway, thanks for all the feedback and opinions.

September 5, 2012, 02:54 PM
I was just curious about the amount of recoil . . . .
Notwithstanding any all/manuals, you are overloaded by at 1½-2x pressure from commercial/ANSI 45-70 loading standards.

fallout mike
September 5, 2012, 02:58 PM
MEHavey, that would explain it then. Didn't realize it was that much more pressure. I know the leverevolution loads are like shooting powder puff stuff compared to these.

September 5, 2012, 04:34 PM
45-70 is a very pleasant big bore... until loaded to it's real capability in modern actions.
Like kittens, they then grow up to be Cats. :eek:

For that reason -- from David to Goliath -- it's a very versatile cartridge for a reloader.

People are going to note that the big brother 45's (458WinMag, etc) are much (much) stouter in the
½mv² arena and can also be loaded down to trapdoor levels (which I did for many years). But then
they are also much (much) heavier to lug around.

September 5, 2012, 11:48 PM
I have a Winchester 1886, in 45-70, that I load for. I use the Hornady FTX 325gr bullet, H- 4198 at 46.9 grains, with Federal Match LR primers. Although a bit stout, it feeds well in my lever action, and shoots much flatter that the 405 gr buller. It also shoot accurately in my rifle.

If you enjoyed reading about "45-70" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!