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Thread: 45-70 Load Advise

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    Default 45-70 Load Advise

    I'm fixin' to start loading 45-70 for my Marlin 1895 22" bbl. I picked up some Cast Performance 420 gr WLNGC bullets that I'd like to work into a bear defense type load at around 1800-1900 fps.

    Any advise or load data would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    I'm not a hotrodder on 45-70 loads, so I won't go over book values. Check the Cast Performance site and see if they have any recommended loads. Here is a load for a 420, but it's paperpatched and cast with wheelweights. Probably have different characteristics than your bullet, so I'd reduce that charge about 10% and work up cautiously.

  3. #3

    Default 45-70

    I have been putting 54 grains of H322 under a 405 grain Kodiak bullet for many years. I am getting well over 1900 fps mv with it. I have used IMR 3031, H4895 and RL 7 but setteled on H322. It fills up the case which helps to keep the bullet from coming back under recoil. In my opinion it is about as good as it gets for a 45-70 where big bears are an issue. I have never shot any thing with it and am basing my opinion on what I have read when others used it. I think you will find H322 to be a good powder for your 45-70 and a hard cast load. I guese when I think of a charging animal in North America I think of a chest or shoulder shot. I do not know if a cast bullet or a heavy jacketed bullet is best under these conditions. Maybe they both work fine. I am sticking with the 405 grain Kodiak bonded core even though I know the hard cast will give more penetration.

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    How about 65 grains of FFg? That should be a fun bear load.

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    Most folks picture chest or shoulder shots on charging bears, but my experience is lots different. I've been charged by Kodiak brownies four times twice to within 20 yards, but thankfully never had to pull the trigger.

    I'll tell you for sure that all you see through the sights is face, hump, and the flash of claws underneath. Everything else is hidden by that big head pointed right at you. They are really low to the ground when they are coming at you. My point of aim on all charges has been the nose, with the thought that it would provide enough "lead" to drop the bullet into the brain or the spine right behind it. That's based on the reco's of several guides who HAVE stopped charges.

    Does anyone remember the guys who shot a Kodiak three times in the shoulder to "stop a charge," then showed up for the state auction to try and buy the hide? Stinky, stinky story of "self defense." Fortunately FWP was on the ball and those guys lost their rifles while also paying a dandy fine!

  6. #6

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    When you are truly charged, all you will "see" is a big ball of angry fur in your face coming faster than you ever thought an animal would be capable of. You normally don't have the luxury of a well-aimed shot. It happens too fast. You shoot center mass. You hope you have enough gun and bullet performance to hold together and stop the threat.

    All of these "You don't need anything bigger than a .223" misguided souls either never hve faced a real charge or are just talking out the wazoo.

    Sure, a .22 Short will kill a bear UNDER THE RIGHT CIRCUMSTANCES, but a gun such as a .45-70 with good stiff loads is the only sane choice, and is an excellent round for hunting Alaska, except for mountain game. The shots may be just too long for this old warhorse.

    I shoot Buffalo bullets and reload Kodiak bullets in my .45-70, too. Excellent bullets.
    Now just why in the hell do I have to press "1" for English???

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    there is a great article on 45/70 reloads in one of the current gun magazines........but I cant remember which one? I bought one at Car's a couple of weeks ago, so was either a Sept or Oct issue. I am thinking it was "handloader" or some such. I will try and remember to post it tomarow.

  8. #8

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    Whatever you do, don't try to make it something it isn't. It isn't a .458 Winchester Magnum. It is a serious thumper in it's own right with the right bullets. You can take anything walking with it.

    One more bit of advise for Alaska; DO NOT load or hunt with those hollowpoint bullets!!! That's just insane. On deer or even maybe caribou, I can sorta see it, but even hunting them, you can bump into Yogi, and the hollowpoint is an enemy to you. Won't penetrate worth a darn on moose, either. It will splatter out as big as a dollar.

    I shot a whitetail deer in Arkansas with one back in the mid-70's when I bought my first 45-70, and swore to never do that again. That deer was torn up by that hollowpoint, as it was shot from about 50 feet. I have shot a number of deer since, with 350 and 400 grainers. I killed them all dead like they were hit by lightning, but it did not destroy the deer like the hp did.

    Buy it, load it like it was designed, and fear nothing walking. Have fun with it.
    Now just why in the hell do I have to press "1" for English???

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    I have loaded a couple of "maximum effort" bear loads, and was using cast bullets from an rcbs 405- something mold?? I cant remember the exact part number, but it casts a gas check bullet of about 420-415 gr depending on alloy and has a nice flat point metplat. My alloy runs about 16 brinnel for hardness and I just lube them without sizing and load them on top of 51 gr of 3031 for about 1800 fps, or with 51 gr of RL #7 for about 1900 fps. both with the crono at about 10 feet from a Marlin Guide Gun. These loads (disclamer: Do NOT use my load data) are rather stout and absolutly no fun what so ever to shoot but I am thinking they will work nicely for bear or moose at reasonable range < 150 yds. Truth be told, if you have a modern marlin or ruger, its rather hard to to get into trouble with this bullet and either of those powders as you simply cant jamb enough powder into the case (remingto brand brass) and still seat the bullet to exceed the maximum powder charge. Now......if you load these or similar "hot rod's" for your 45/70 make **** sure they get marked some how! God forbid, but imagine if someone decided to fire one of those out of an old trap door springfield It would NOT be pretty! I personaly wouldnt even have any ++P loads around if I owned more than 1 type of rifle chambered in 45/70

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    Excellent point on the round marking! I'll stretch it beyond the 45-70 to include any caliber for which you own more than one gun. I have to do it for 35 Remington, as the loads for my Marlin 336 lock up my Contender in a heartbeat. One of my 257 Roberts is a custom made by RCBS, and they provided a custom sizing die to match the chamber at the same time. Unbelievable case life even with hot loads, but neither of my other two 257 Roberts will chamber a case resized in that sizing die.

    Then there's the question of older calibers, wildcats and boxes. I have four different guns other than 45-70 whose cases are formed from 45-70 brass. I do NOT want to get miles from home and find out that the box of 45-70 ammo I grabbed is in fact 38-56 orone of my hairbrained wildcats.

    You simply don't want to show up on a hunting trip with rounds that aren't right for a firearm, no matter what they headstamp says.

    A good friend uses Sharpie pens to color code the case heads on his cartridges, and he even goes to the trouble to use a fine black Sharpie to write the load on side of each cartridge. That makes a whole lot of sense if you have a trapdoor Springfield in the same house as a Guide Gun.

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    OK, for 45/70 hand loads, you should try and round up a copy of the August 2007 (No. 248) edition of Handloader magazine. they list many load and bullet cominations with pressure levels for nearly all firearms, from low power loads (21,000 CUP) up to the heavy hitters (43,000 CUP). A good source for info!

    In regards to case marking, I have also been using a sharpie to notate powder charges on my cases as I work up loads, and have marked all of my black powder 45/70 loads with a black colored head stamp. With the black powder cases, its only required for the first loading, as after you have fired the case a few times and let it sit in the bottom of your shooting bag for a few weeks, it takes on a nice corroded "patina" that makes them easy to spot!

    I still have about three pounds of GOEX fff black powder to play with (yes I now ff is prefered for rifle but this was given to me, and by God, I am gonna shoot it up) but I cant seem to find any more real black powder in the Anchorage area? Does anybody know of any store that still sells the real thing?

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    Great Northern Guns off of Tudor has a varity of black powder. About $19 a pound.

    For 45-70 loads check out the marlin owner forum. They have a reloading forum also.

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    There are two 300 grain bullets that work well on deer and caribou. The Nosler, which is an extremely fine bullet for everyday use, and the Barnes. I know the Barnes is a hollow point but they kill caribou very well. I would not want to shoot a bear with one, but I would not think twice about using either of these bullets on deer or caribou. I believe they would do well with moose too. I have used the Speer 400 grain, great bullet as long as you don't push it beyond 1900 fps. I have settled on the 350 grain Kodiak bullet. It will do anything I need to do with a 45/70 and I'm not afraid of brown bears either. Now my Sharps is another question, it's loads are not really in the same category as those for the Marlin. Anyway, that is what I have learned about using the 45/70 in the Marlin since the early 1970s. Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mougli View Post
    I'm fixin' to start loading 45-70 for my Marlin 1895 22" bbl. I picked up some Cast Performance 420 gr WLNGC bullets that I'd like to work into a bear defense type load at around 1800-1900 fps.

    Any advise or load data would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!
    Here we go a long way around the barn again, but to answer the question with this bullet, there are two powders that work very well in the 45-70. RL-7 and H322. Start with about 44 grains of either and go up from there an absolute maximum load in the Marlin is about 48.0 grains of RL-7 with the 420 WLNGC and this is all you will want to shoot. It is over 1900 fps.

    More good powders will include AA 2015 and Vihta 130. I use Remington #91/2 primers with these powders.
    The 45-70 will do quite well throttled back just a bit and the Marlin will like it better.
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    To expound on what Murphy said.........for bear protection and heavy lead bullets, 1900 - 2000 fps is possible in the marlin, but 1600 - 1700 fps sure is more tollerable to shoot, and I seriously doubt that any bear would be able to tell the difference from inside of 50 feet. I dialed my loads down to 1850-1900 fps and they just plain suck to shoot. I havent done the recoil calculations on that rifle and load, but can say for sure that its way worse than my 375 H&H or any 338 that I have ever shot. Perhaps I am just a sissy girl Food for thought, or two cents or whatever......

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