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Thread: Reloading for 45-70

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    Member wiiawiwb's Avatar
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    Default Reloading for 45-70

    Decided to go ahead and get a .45-70. I will only use it for plinking at the range. Just ordered some MBC 405 cast bullets and am interested in light loads to shoot 50-100 rounds at the range for fun. Not looking for anything nuclear to cause a sore shoulder as I have a rotator cuff issue.

    What would be a good powder for easy plinking?

  2. #2

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    My choice with Lyman cast 400's (actually come out at 410) is Unique. Check the Lyman Cast Bullet manual for loads. I've had even more fun (with extra cleaning, of course) loading with black powder. I have lots of it around most times, so it's a natural for me. Kinda fun to go to a range with a bunch of guys shooting AK-16 whatevers, and start unleashing black powder loads. With big clouds of white smoke. Smelly white smoke!

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    Member wiiawiwb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    My choice with Lyman cast 400's (actually come out at 410) is Unique. Check the Lyman Cast Bullet manual for loads. I've had even more fun (with extra cleaning, of course) loading with black powder. I have lots of it around most times, so it's a natural for me. Kinda fun to go to a range with a bunch of guys shooting AK-16 whatevers, and start unleashing black powder loads. With big clouds of white smoke. Smelly white smoke!
    I have the Lyman 49th but not the Cast Bullet manual. Thanks will check it out. Unique, as I understand it, is not position sensitive and doesn't require a filler. Does that sound right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by wiiawiwb View Post
    Unique, as I understand it, is not position sensitive and doesn't require a filler. Does that sound right?
    You've got it. For over 50 years it's been my go-to powder for light to moderate cast bullet loads in a whole bunch of cartridges, and for good reason. Everything from plinking to target to game. I only reach for something else if Unique fails to deliver the accuracy I want. And it's rare for me to reach for anything else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    My choice with Lyman cast 400's (actually come out at 410) is Unique. Check the Lyman Cast Bullet manual for loads. I've had even more fun (with extra cleaning, of course) loading with black powder. I have lots of it around most times, so it's a natural for me. Kinda fun to go to a range with a bunch of guys shooting AK-16 whatevers, and start unleashing black powder loads. With big clouds of white smoke. Smelly white smoke!

    Ooh that sounds fun! I wasn't aware people did that. Where would I find info on those types of loads?

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    Here is a data sheet from Goex. Just a whole bunch of cartridges on there. There are procedures for loading BP cartridges which should be followed, and lots of BPCR (Black Powder Cartridge Rifle) sites on the web have the instro's you need, as do a few books. Fun stuff! I also load BP rounds for my 50-140. There's a round that really churns out the smoke!

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Here is a data sheet from Goex. Just a whole bunch of cartridges on there. There are procedures for loading BP cartridges which should be followed, and lots of BPCR (Black Powder Cartridge Rifle) sites on the web have the instro's you need, as do a few books. Fun stuff! I also load BP rounds for my 50-140. There's a round that really churns out the smoke!
    Thanks, I will be getting some of that powder for some loads! the loads are surprisingly fast. I just like the huge clouds of smoke!

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    Member Ryan J's Avatar
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    I love IMR 3031 for my .45-70, but I have never done reduced loads with it. Great accuracy with both 350gr jacketed and 460gr lead though. I know Reloader 7 is popular too, but I have never used it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Here is a data sheet from Goex. Just a whole bunch of cartridges on there. There are procedures for loading BP cartridges which should be followed, and lots of BPCR (Black Powder Cartridge Rifle) sites on the web have the instro's you need, as do a few books. Fun stuff! I also load BP rounds for my 50-140. There's a round that really churns out the smoke!
    That's a great chart BB:

    Procedures like filling all the space in the cartridge, YET I see 45-70 loads with 50, or 60, or 70 grains using a 400 grain bullet. A 20 grain spread. How can this be?

    SOTN
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    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
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    Grease cookies, spacer wads. More or less solid fillers.

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    Check out the BPCR loading references I noted. The object is to "fill" the case with spacer wads when the charge is less than a case full.

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    OK, I was wondering about that. I might try some of those loads in some of those cartridges.

    I have plenty BP for my MKs.

    Thanks. SOTN
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

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    BB, rbuck, anybody:

    Now, we're on the subject, is it a bad idea to fill excess space with corn meal or cream of wheat, or something similar?

    I heard about doin that a long time ago, and later heard it was a no, no. I don't remember why, and just now, can't think of a reason.

    Thanks
    SOTN
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  14. #14

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    Dunno about good or bad, and lots of folks do it. I found it a PITA compared to grabbing one or more of the little "buttons" you just shove in. And they're about as cheap as corn meal/cream of wheat.

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    You can use a lot of different fillers so long as it's fairly solid. A card wad or several over the powder and then a disc of BP type grease on top of that keeps the fowling to a minimum if you're using BP. Not necessary with a breech loader but it doesn't hurt. The main thing is no air space between powder and bullet. I haven't tried that but it's said to be a real no no. I think the buttons BB is talking about are pre greased wads of a fiber type stuff. They would make loading very simple. Drop in a button or two to take up the air space and top with a bullet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbuck351 View Post
    ...The main thing is no air space between powder and bullet. I haven't tried that but it's said to be a real no no. I think the buttons BB is talking about are pre greased wads of a fiber type stuff. They would make loading very simple. Drop in a button or two to take up the air space and top with a bullet.
    You got it. More of a press fit than a drop, but you don't want them shifting around anyway. Most come in an array of thicknesses. Those I use are either .500" and .062" thick, mix and match to suit. At $8.99/500 and $16.99/1000, they're not going to break the bank. My usual source is this page and the next, but you can get them direct from Circle Fly too.

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    Thanks, Gentlemen:

    I've been looking into BP cartridge reloading as BB suggested. And, I'm losing interest, in the idea.

    Consensus seems to be, that space, if there is any, should be taken up with card wads as has been suggested.

    Using loose filler can be problematic, as it can cause Ringing in the barrel.

    It's not as simple as that of course, as it's not so cut and dried.

    Thanks for answering my ????

    SOTN
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    I've been looking into BP cartridge reloading as BB suggested. And, I'm losing interest, in the idea.
    It's kind of a labor of love. Truth be known, every time I use them in a lever action, I start wondering what in the heck came over me and made me do that.... The wondering starts when it's time to clean the gun afterward.

    Single shots are a different matter. Just a whole lot easier cleaning, and especially with my Sharps in 50-140 Win, the results are usually better with the black than with modern powders. And of course, 140 grains of powder makes a much bigger cloud of smoke!!!

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    Yeah, SS would be the way to go.

    I will likely try it with a SS 45-70. I understand, can't get 70 grains in a modern case, so should be able to just fill all the space.

    Am I forgetting something???

    SOTN
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  20. #20

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    Sounds like you're pretty much on track.

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