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Thread: Old trapdoor "cowboy" loads

  1. #1
    Member Mkay's Avatar
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    Default Old trapdoor "cowboy" loads

    Anyone reloading Trapdoor loads on carbines. Essentially your 45-70 becomes a 45-50/55. I bought an ancient 45-70 built in 1883. The gun has been checked out, but was interested in any mild cowboy loads. Click image for larger version. 

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    My child was inmate of the month at Mat-Su pre-trial Correctional facility.

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    Dunno about modern loads, but I'd sure be tempted to shoot it with black powder, either a case full of Goex 2f or a 10% smaller charge of Goex 3f with the right wad to fill the space for a little more velocity from the shorter barrel. Black powder pressures are way low compared to smokeless, and it would sure be nice to see that old soldier belch white smoke like it was built for. GNG sells the black.

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    Member Mkay's Avatar
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    Thanks, I will look into black powder powder. What does GNG stand for?
    My child was inmate of the month at Mat-Su pre-trial Correctional facility.

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    Member jkb's Avatar
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    Gng=great northern guns
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming-----WOW-----what a ride!
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    Yeah, Great Northern Guns. Here is a pretty comprehensive discussion of loading black powder cartridges. And here is another. If you need any special supplies or tools these folks are great.

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    Member Mkay's Avatar
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    The guys at GNG were very excited when I brought my rifle in. Got some ammo from them.
    Thanks,
    My child was inmate of the month at Mat-Su pre-trial Correctional facility.

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    As they should be! Well done.

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    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    Ancient? Your gun looks mint. I'd rather reload for a gun like that, but most factory 45-70 is loaded for trap-door actions, i.e., very weak. Not stuff like corbon or Buffalo Bore, but standard factory stuff like Remington.

    When you open the breech, how tight is the breech hinge pin? I've seen some that are nice and tight, others kind of loose from lots of firing. Just from your picture and the metal condition, it looks like it didn't get fired much. My cousin inherited one that I think came straight out of a military armory and was never fired - absolutely pristine.

    You need to take yours moose hunting!

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    Member Mkay's Avatar
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    The gun has been fired recently and everything seems to check out. The previous owner never shot anything larger than 350 grain bullets. I bought some 300 grain factory loaded hollow points at GNG that the owner said were safe. I do not currently have 45-70 dies but that is in the future. I had some ideas about taking it bLack bear hunting out on PWS, but am having 2d thoughts about the hollow points, as I usually reload Noslers in my 375 and 358. Most of the online advice is on buying lead cast 300 grain bullets, but I would have to reload. Do you think the hollow points are a bad idea for black bears. Most of my shots are under 100 yards. Have never shot anything with hollow points other than watermelons.

    The S/N is 226646 and was menufactured in 1884 I think. A 45-70 expert in Las Vegas is sending me some documentation on the rifle from the Natl archives.
    My child was inmate of the month at Mat-Su pre-trial Correctional facility.

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