.45-70 loads

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by daveinvegas, Jan 26, 2012.

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  1. daveinvegas

    daveinvegas Member

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    I have access to an original Springfield Trapdoor rifle (.45-70) and I'd like to shoot it.

    I have cast 400 and 500 grain bullets and will be using vellum to patch the bullets.

    I'm researching this but as I recall original .45-70 loads were .45 caliber, 500 grain bullets, with 70 grains black powder (please correct me if I'm mistaken).

    So, what loads do y'all use for BP and Pyrodex with a paper patch bullet? I was thinking about using 50-60g of powder for the carbine.

    Thanks
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    The original GI trap-door rifle load was a 405 & 70 grains.

    The GI Carbine load was later reduced to 405 & 55 grains.

    The Trap-door military load used grease-lubed .458" bullets.

    Paper patching would probably require a .450" bullet to make room for two wraps of paper.

    rc
     
  3. scrat

    scrat Member

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    Yep what RC said

    Except
    1. i never cared.

    Black powder is forgiving in that sense. Unlike smokeless. you have to just remember to always seat the bullet firmly to the powder. So lets say the COL Cartridge overall length is 2.55. take a bullet you are using put it next to the case and measure where 2.55 should be. now you will know how far the bullet will need to go. you can go a tad shorter just not longer. so now you load up 50 grains of powder, then a fiber wad. then use a filler like cream of wheat and fill up the mark you need maybe just a tad higher to compensate for the compression. now you are good for 50 grains. Seat your bullet to at or just below that mark making the COL 2.55 make 5 rounds this way. then make 5 more at 55 grains of black working your way up. Go to the range and shoot them off in groups. You will figure out which ones work the best in your gun. There you have it tailor loads to your gun.

    That will be $100
     
  4. Curator

    Curator Member

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    Good advise from Scrat. If you size your cast bullets to .450 or .451 you should have no problem paper patching them up to .462 diameter. That is what almost always works best in Trapdoor Springfield .45-70s. You will also find that getting more than about 62 grains of FFg in a modern .45-70 case won't leave enough room for the bullet even allowing for compression. If loading real black powder also use a "black-powder type" lube and some kind of card wad under the bullet
     
  5. Acorn Mush

    Acorn Mush Member

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    Dave, you are right about the old .45-70 rifle cartridges being loaded with 70 grains of powder and a 500-grain bullet. For the carbines however, I believe the load was reduced to 55 grains of powder and a 350-grain bullet.
     
  6. batteran

    batteran Member

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    Last edited: Jan 27, 2012
  7. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    Two books that are a must for reloaders of the 45-70. First is by Wolf Spence who spent years researching and duplicating the original Arsenal loading and documented it in his book.

    http://www.4570book.info/

    Next is 40 Years with the 45-70 by Paul Matthews.

    http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/forty-years-with-45-70-paul-matthews/1015811933

    The original load was a 405 grain hollow based bullet over 70 grains of black powder. The Lee bullet mold is a good rendering of the bullet. The powder charge was reduced to 55 grains because the troopers complined of the recoil in the carbines. The bullet weight was changed to 500 grains to improve long range accuracy. And tests were done at LONG range!

    http://www.researchpress.co.uk/longrange/sandyhook.htm

    Paper patching in a Trapdoor is vexing. The geometry of the loading platform is wrong and it is easy to tear patches when chambering the cartridge. (Better platforms are the Rolling Blocks and the Sharps) It can be done but it is troublesome. Bores on original vary widely in dimension and I usually get best accuracy using an unsized and pan lubed bullet. Actually, the throat on the Trapdoor is the goofy dimension. The largest bullet you can load and chamber is usually the most accurate.

    As for Black Powder or Pyrodex, just use the black powder. Or skip to smokelss and leave the imitators out of the equation. Pyrodex is a lot more trouble than it is worth, in my experience.

    The Trapdoor rifle is a great rifle and can be fairly accuate. Fit and finish is better than a lot of the stuff sold today. Have fun with it and enjoy it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2012
  8. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    Howdy

    I agree with Straw Hat. I would not bother with paper patching the 45-70. Much simpler to just use a bullet sized to the bore. I like the 405 grain Flat Nosed bullets made by Montana Precision. You can buy them at Midway, also at Buffalo Arms. They also make a hollow based version if you are not certain of your rifling groove diameter.
     
  9. buttrap

    buttrap Member

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    Thats a good idea but with the bore diamater of most traps I dont see what else he can do as they dont make bullets in .46 caliber. First slug the bore and find out if its a .458 or a .464 then go from there. A good share of them you may need to paper patch them to fit the bore.
     
  10. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    Lots of bullet molds drop .460 or larger. You can even order them to drop large. What you can not do is get accuracy with torn patches. Patching is a lot of fun with the correct platform and a real grind with the wrong one. I am not one who has had luck with patched bullets in the 1873 Trapdoor.

    I would recommend finding the hollow based bullets and use those to see if they work in your Trapdoor. That is what Springfiled intended to be used in them.
     
  11. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member

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    se fla i love claymores 01/sot
    and use cornmeal to take up the remaining space
     
  12. mohican

    mohican Member

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.45-70

     
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