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loading the 4570 govt 500 grain bullet

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by hunkpapa, Jul 6, 2021.

  1. hunkpapa

    hunkpapa Member

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    I am looking for information for loading the original 500 grain govt bullet in my 1889 trapdoor Springfield with buffington sights. I would like to start with IMR 4198 or IMR 3031 powder. Eventually I will start using black powder loading. Any suggestions would helpful. hunkpapa
     
  2. Randy in Arizona

    Randy in Arizona Member

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  3. lysanderxiii

    lysanderxiii Member

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    70 grains of FFg black powder.

    Do not use smokeless in an original Trapdoor. It was not designed for it and it was not proofed for it.
     
  4. david58

    david58 Member

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    You need to find a copy of Wolfe's book on Loading the Trapdoor Springfield Rifle. He basically duplicated the old federal cartridge, using magnum rifle primers, 70 grain compressed load, and a lead/tin alloy bullet. Velocity right around 1200fps.

    Aside from the risk of a smokeless load, this round is inherently accurate in the rifle (that's what it was designed for) and you don't have to work up a load that likes your rifle. Smokeless could well turn out to be a very bad idea.
     
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  5. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    No smokeless, even with 5744 I've seen to many problems. Loading black is easy even pyrodex works good.
     
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  6. lysanderxiii

    lysanderxiii Member

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    Oh, you can use Pyrodex and Triple Seven,

    Pyro is a volumetric equivalents to black powder.

    I have heard that 55 grains of 777 is milder load, and 60 gr being close to the original.
     
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  7. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    Black. I've read that the recruits, after shooting the 45-70-500, would volunteer for digging latrines rather than qualify again. Why do you think they dropped the weight waaaay down to 405?
     
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  8. lysanderxiii

    lysanderxiii Member

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    Actually, it's the other way around.

    The first load was the .45-70-405, then in 1880 they introduced the .45-70-500 to increase the lethal range out to 3,500 yards. The primary intention was to allow volley fire in lieu of artillery.

    The carbines always kept the same ammunition, technically it would be called .45-55-405, but I don't think the Army ever referred to it as such.

    There are a lot of modern shooters that will tell you the 500 grain bullet propelled by 70 grains of black powder is a shoulder bruiser.
     
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  9. Reeferman

    Reeferman Member

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    In my 1873 trapdoor 65 grains of goex FF with either 405 or 500 is the most accurate. Have loaded 70 in Winchester cases and it’s compressed pretty heavy. Bigger bang and kick but not as accurate.
     
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  10. tark

    tark Member

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    Trapdoors were designed around black powder, stick to it!!! And If I understand correctly, stick to lead bullets only as well. I've heard that jacketed bullets can chew up the soft steel of a trapdoor barrel.

    Winchester cases have the greatest interior volume, Remington's, the least. If you absolutely INSIST on using smokeless, keep this in mind
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2021
  11. hunkpapa

    hunkpapa Member

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    Thank you , for all of you for your input. Over the years I have dabbled in rolling blocks, sharps, modern trapdoor, civil war muzzel loaders and I have a copy of Pat Wolf 's book that I have read many times. I just recently acquired an original 1889 trapdoor infantry rifle, with a beautiful bore. I am very aware about using smokeless powders in these old thunders, and black power here is very scarce. So I wanted to load some light smokeless , because that is what I have. Hodgdon used to make a black powder substitute called MZ Black that was non corrosive, my 1876 45-60 winchester got the last of that. Hunkpapa
     
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  12. lysanderxiii

    lysanderxiii Member

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    The problem with using smokeless powder in guns made for black powder is the nature in which black powder burns compared to smokeless.

    Black powder's burn rate is relatively insensitive to pressure, whereas smokeless powder is very sensitive. With smokeless the higher the pressure, the faster it burns, which is one reason why it is a much more efficient propellant. For this reason, even when you calculate smokeless loads that have the same exit velocity, the pressures generated are still much higher.

    This chart shows two loads that reach the same muzzle velocity, one black powder, one smokeless. You can see due to the exponential nature of the smokeless burn rate the peak pressure is twice that of the black powder.

    Muqb1uX.jpg

    Your rifle, your fingers, and your face, you can do whatever strikes your fancy, but I strongly recommend only using black powder or a true black powder substitute. The poor rifle survived the last 132 years, help it last at least another 132 . . .
     
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  13. hunkpapa

    hunkpapa Member

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    Thank you , for all of you for your input. Over the years I have dabbled in rolling blocks, sharps, modern trapdoor, civil war muzzel loaders and I have a copy of Pat Wolf 's book that I have read many times. I just recently acquired an original 1889 trapdoor infantry rifle, with a beautiful bore. I am very aware about using smokeless powders in these old thunders, and black power here is very scarce. So I wanted to load some light smokeless , because that is what I have. Hodgdon used to make a black powder substitute called MZ Black that was non corrosive, my 1876 45-60 winchester got the last of that. Hunkpapa
     
  14. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    Can you get Blackhorn 209, pyrodex, or 777? Walmart sells all three.
    I would be tempted to run smokeless in a new reproduction. But an original has poor quality steel, was barely strong enough to handle the original loads, and had seen a lot of years.
     
  15. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    While black powder is probably best some loaders don't want to use it.

    Lyman 50th edition has a Trapdoor 45-70 load section.
    Using IMR-4198 they give a range of 28.5gr to 31.5gr under a 500gr cast bullet.
    Using IMR-3031 the range is 38.0gr to 42.0gr.

    I used to use SR-4759 but since its no longer available I used mostly 4198 until I tried AA5744. Now I use nothing else.
    The AA5744 range is 25.0gr to 28.0gr. I would run it light @25.0gr for a pressure of 14,200 CUP and a velocity of 1088fps because it's very accurate according to Lyman. The velocity numbers are from Lyman because i never ran a 500gr 45-70 over a chrono. I can tell you for sure because I load a 405gr cast bullet w/29.0gr of AA5744.
     
  16. DocRock

    DocRock member

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    If you do choose the more comfortable and genuine black powder route, you will not get 70 grs in a case with a 500 grs bullet without an unholy amount of compression - like a quarter inch plus! The original copper and later balloon head brass had a lot more capacity than today's cases,which are a lot stronger. You want 1/10 to 1/8" compression and probably an over powder card. Enjoy.
     
  17. hunkpapa

    hunkpapa Member

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    I found a source for black powder, they have Swiss 1-1/2 and Old Einsford (sic), and has anyone used either one of these two powders? I just know about Goex 2F. I have starline cases for the 45-70, capacity should be similar to Remington and I am guessing that about 65 grains of old black will be the upper end of capacity. Thanks again and now to the loading bench! Hunkpapa
     
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  18. DocRock

    DocRock member

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    I load 535 grs Postels and 500 grs paper patched in Star Line brass using Olde Eynsford 1.5 Fg. I do 63 grs with the Postel and 66 grs with the paper patches. Olde Eynsford and Swiss are very similar so whichever is cheaper or easier to get will do nicely. Good luck.
     
  19. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    As long as there is no air space between the powder and base of the bullet you are fine. Be sure there is no air space or you might get a surprise you will not like! I have always used a magnum primer to light off black powder, I suggest you should too.
     
  20. DocRock

    DocRock member

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    Heatedly debated. The other end of that spectrum is people not only using only large pistol primers but some using a thin sheet of newspaper over the flash hole to further diminish the force of the primer. The theory being that black powder ignites so readily that to get a good clean burn starting at the rear of the powder column and working up it as it moves down the barrel, one wants as little disruption as possible and doesn't want the force of the primer alone significantly shifting the bullet before combustion is well under way. I have even heard the argument that the magnum primer is a risk because it can move the bullet forward on ignition enough to create a potentially dangerous air gap. I don't buy that one. I am of the pistol primer school of thought but not vociferously so and understand the argument that the magnum primer burns a hole through the powder column and ensures more rapid, full combustion. I can't say which is right of course. They both have a degree of logic.
     
  21. hunkpapa

    hunkpapa Member

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    The idea of using pistol primer is interesting,if your are using unique , I have always used a rifle primer. black powder I have been told to use a mag primer for better accuracy and I have not tried that. I have loaded some 500 grain Mt. Baldy bullets , sized 459 and I have run into a overall length issue. I had to set them back 12 thousand to an over all length of 2.550 because of hitting the lands. I assumed they were a bore riding bullet similar to the 500 grn gov't bullet. Is 2.550 the max over all length for loading this cartridge? Hunkpapa
     
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