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45-70 killing power

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Elbert P . Suggins, Oct 14, 2008.

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  1. Elbert P . Suggins

    Elbert P . Suggins Member

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    Last year I was lucky to purchase a Custer era 1873 Springfield Trapdoor 45-70 carbine. I got all the reloading information I could get and got started. I lubed 405 grain soft lead with SPG Lube and pressed them onto 70 grains of Goex BP. And than the season opened. Sunday morning felt like a cool Fall morning on the Montana plains. While on an advanced scouting party looking for enemy sign, a four point muley was spotted down on the point above a bluff at 150 yards. Taking careful aim with this 130 year old weapon at this live target took considerable effort. I have shot many deer but I have never seen these results before. Have you ever heard the term "being knocked ass over tea kettle"? This big buck got slammed back 5 feet and fell off the bluff and plum out of site. Took all day to haul him out to the top. I'll tell you what, these old weapons pack a heck of a wallop! Crazy Horse might have been the victor on June 6, 1876, but those braves that did take a 45-70 never new what hit them.
     
  2. sundance44s

    sundance44s Member

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    I used my 45/70 loaded with Goex 3f and a .405 gr hollow base Gov. bullet ...on a Boar Hog hunt ...after the hunt I named my rifle Thor ..it hits like a thunder bolt .
     
  3. Voodoochile

    Voodoochile Member

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    He He, goes to show that even though these new fangled bullets that is shot out of those smokeless rifles can hit good out to 1000 yards our tried & true big bore can put meat on the table within my eye sight range.

    I may have to dust off my ole Marlin 1895 & throw some 405 grainers down range soon.
     
  4. Elbert P . Suggins

    Elbert P . Suggins Member

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    When you pick out a clod or rock out in a summer-fallow field 2 or 3 hundred yards out, you've got time to eat your lunch and wipe your nose before it hits with these 45-70s. Also a question for those that may know. Cabelas sells I believe 45-90 brass or longer, can you use these longer cases in any Sharps? I have a Pedersoli Sharps 45-70. Does it only use that length?
     
  5. sundance44s

    sundance44s Member

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    Your Sharps would have to be chambered for 45/90 ..it won`t chamber in a 45/70 ...you could trim it down ...but cheaper to buy 45/70 brass ...I buy my 45/70 brass at Midway USA ..might give them a look.
     
  6. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    A .45-70 chamber is just that. The rifling starts where the bullet rests.

    The Pedersoli is a nice rifle.

    And you don't need anything bigger than .45-70 anyway. This was a one-shot kill with a Pedersoli and a 520 grain cast lead roundnose bullet over BP.
    [​IMG]

    The .45-70 is also highly effective on jackrabbits, if you can hit them.:evil: That's harder than it sounds, since the !@#$ bullet drop is so extreme. Windage is fine, but elevation is a bitch.
     
  7. wulf

    wulf Member

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    How can you get 70 gr of powder into a modern case

    and seat a 405 gr bullet. Mine will only load up tp 65 gr and thats with some compression.
     
  8. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Do you use a drop tube?
     
  9. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    I have heard that you can use .45-70 in a .45-90 rifle. Am I mistaken ... or is this possible only in certain types of rifles ...
    I am not an expert in these calibers ... I'm not trying to make dangerous claims ... just trying to find out what the reality is vs. "what I heard."
     
  10. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    You may be able to fire a .45-70 in a .45-90, but the cases are tapered, so I can't see how they'd quite fit right.

    Also, the jump would likely make the thing really inaccurate.
     
  11. Gewehr98

    Gewehr98 Member

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    Stuffing 70gr into a modern case...

    It's not as difficult as one thinks.

    1. Use a drop tube to get the charge into the case.

    2. Use a powder compression die to compress the BP charge after you seat the overpowder wad.

    If you use the soft 20-1 or 30-1 alloy bullets as you're seating them to do the compression chores, you'll have a very funny looking bullet nose afterwards.

    I use both the Montana Precision Swaging drop tube assembly and their powder compression dies for my BP loads. These are the 535gr Postell loads for my .45-70 Sharps Model 1874 Business Rifle. I can get a full 70gr in those Remington Nickel .45-70 cases under the cardboard wad and 535gr Postell bullet with no problems.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Voodoochile

    Voodoochile Member

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    Exactly ArmedBear, the .45-70 will chamber into a .45-90 but it'll be a slight loose fit & the accuracy will not be very good, best to stick with the right cartridge for the rifle & just use less powder & then a filler.

    As far as loading 70gr. in a Remington case, I use a 30 inch drop tube to settle the powder as it goes.
     
  13. frontiergander

    frontiergander Member

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    Question, What is the Sharps that loads from the muzzle? Theres a book i have by Rick Hacker (the muzzleloading hunter) and he has one on the front page. I uses loose powder, a conical and percussion cap.
     
  14. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    It doesn't load from the muzzle. It's a falling block breechloader, but uses paper cartridges or loose powder instead of brass.
     
  15. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Geez Gewehr98! Those cartridges look too pretty to actually shoot.

    Do you shoot BPCR long range competition or something?:)
     
  16. Elbert P . Suggins

    Elbert P . Suggins Member

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    I don't use a drop tube to load over 70 grains. I'm just compressing the bullet with no apparent distortion. Am also using a 45 cal paper wad between bullet and powder. It doesn't seem to lose accuracy if I'm compressing to much. Should I be using a drop tube?
     
  17. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Oh, I don't know. You'd have to ask the target guys if the drop tube improves the powder density, etc., in such a way as to improve accuracy. I was just loading for hunting, and buffalo at that. No sub-MOA requirement or anything.:)

    I was stuffing a 520 grain lead bullet into the thing. With a 405 it's probably not as hard to get the bullet seated where you want it.
     
  18. John-Melb

    John-Melb Member

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    Armed Bear, that's just wrong, unless you're shooting really big rabbits.

    I know this is the Blackpowder forum, and even mentioning it will probably get me in trouble, but anything bigger than 7.92 Mauser is too big for rabbits :what:
     
  19. Voodoochile

    Voodoochile Member

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    Well if ya want a little meat left over for the stew pot that is.
     
  20. DixieTexian

    DixieTexian Member

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    A .44 mag at close range shot from a lever action carbine is plenty for rabbits.
     
  21. alemonkey

    alemonkey Member

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    The only animals I've ever shot with my 45-70 have been steel ones, but a 500 grain bullet sure makes them jump when it connects downrange!

    I use a drop tube and load 60 grains of black powder. I have to compress just a little and then I just seat the bullet with my fingers. I think I could easily fit 70 if I compressed it more.
     
  22. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    If you use a hardcast penetrating bullet like a round nose .45-70, it doesn't destroy the meat. Clean kill, that's it.

    Of course, you do have to go look for the rabbit, but it should be somewhere directly back from where you shot it.
     
  23. English Bob

    English Bob Member

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    You've already had the correct answer about the Sharps, it's a breechloader plain and simple.

    However, during the 1874 matches at Creedmore, one of the highest individual scores shot was by Henry Fulton using his Remington rolling block as a breech-muzzleloader! He made a 58ex60 at 800yds and his individual high score for the match was 171ex180.

    No doubt others were using this unusual system of loading with their Sharps pattern rifles after seeing such a good score being made using the rifle in this manner. One wonders if there were ever any mishaps doing this due to the sensitive nature of the primers back then. :)
     
  24. Gewehr98

    Gewehr98 Member

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    I'm not worried about ruining meat.

    Those big cast solids pretty much stay together all the way, even when cast of 20-1 or 30-1 alloy. I've dug many out of the berm at the range, with minimal deformation, and proceeded to throw them back into my casting pot.

    I'm going to try them on whitetail in a few weeks, and I'd wager if they don't run into a lot of bone, they'll probably leave an exit wound not much larger than the entry hole. 1200fps at the muzzle, 535gr of lead, lots of big and slow energy there.

    Yeah, they're pretty, but that's a carryover from my perfectionist reloading techniques to include all my ammo for F-Class and NRA High Power. My post-retirement McJob as a manager at a CNC machine shop has kick-started the whole precision mindset into high gear. I'm probably the only reloader out there who uses a digital Mitutoyo height gage and granite surface plate to check brass length and cartridge OAL.
     
  25. Gewehr98

    Gewehr98 Member

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    Go to a Schuetzenfest!

    Oftentimes, the shooters there will muzzle load the cast bullet, getting it engraved to the rifling by starting it with a false muzzle accessory. The bullet then gets ramrodded all the way to the breech end of the barrel nearest the chamber, there being a very short throat if there's one at all. Then a cartridge w/powder and wad only is loaded from the breech end to kiss the seated bullet.

    The idea is that the bullet is already engraved into the rifling and sized via the muzzleloading process, enhancing accuracy. I don't know how much better the accuracy is improved, but those guys with their muzzle-seated, breech-loading Schuetzen rifles certainly make it look easy. :D

    [​IMG]
     
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