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Thread: 45-70 reloading

  1. #1
    Member akriverrat's Avatar
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    Default 45-70 reloading

    i have a ton of good pure lead and i was wondering if it would be worth it to get set up loading my own for my new model 1895. i did a little looking and at 40.00 dollars a box im thinking i can load my own for alot cheaper. so i got the lead, molds look to be about 25.00 about how much to get set up the rest of the way? would pure soft lead be ok to shoot through my gun? hunt game with?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by akriverrat View Post
    i have a ton of good pure lead and i was wondering if it would be worth it to get set up loading my own for my new model 1895. i did a little looking and at 40.00 dollars a box im thinking i can load my own for alot cheaper. so i got the lead, molds look to be about 25.00 about how much to get set up the rest of the way? would pure soft lead be ok to shoot through my gun? hunt game with?
    You probably shouldn't shoot pure lead through it, but it's easy enough to alloy lead with tin and/or antimony. There are good sources around. I'd recommend you pick up the Lyman Cast Bullet Manual as a first step. There's lots of help in there for alloying, casting and loading.

    The short answer is yeah, with the right alloy you can do great things with cast bullets in the 45-70 and save a whole bunch of money while you're at it. There's quite a fad today for high velocity loads with hard-cast bullets, but I've had great luck with game using Lyman #2 alloys at standard velocities---- the same kind of loads that made the name for the 45-70 in the first place. And it won't cost you much more than a 22 shooting those loads with free lead!

  3. #3

    Question heat treat

    Brown: Have you any experience with heat treating lead. I was molding hollow base minnies for my 58 Big Bore out of pure lead and I noticed that they started coming out real shiney. No big deal, but they never darkened at all. I was having trouble ramming even the first one down in a cleaned barrel. Couldn't figure it out why these were hard to even start, when I had no trouble in the past. One day I ask an old timer who was pretty savvy and he ask I had remelted some of these bullets and I had. Any little imperfection, fired bullets, and then remelted all of them when I started having trouble, and started again. Anyway, he said each time that lead is melted, it's becomes harder and more brittle. Heck, I could hardly scratch these. Have you knowledge of this? Also, would it be feasible to heat treat lead for the 45-70, instead of adding tin, etc? And I agree, faster lead loadings won't group worth pooh in my Marlin...got to back em off. One other thing, when one is melting lead, have very adequate ventilation because of the extremely dangerous fumes emited from the lead. There can even be some arsenic from what I've read. Ciao
    Last edited by Maydog; 12-21-2008 at 22:03. Reason: add on
    If you like getting kicked by a mule...then you'll "love" shooting my .458.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maydog View Post
    Brown: Have you any experience with heat treating lead. I was molding hollow base minnies for my 58 Big Bore out of pure lead and I noticed that they started coming out real shiney. No big deal, but they never darkened at all. I was having trouble ramming even the first one down in a cleaned barrel. Couldn't figure it out why these were hard to even start, when I had no trouble in the past. One day I ask an old timer who was pretty savvy and he ask I had remelted some of these bullets and I had. Any little imperfection, fired bullets, and then remelted all of them when I started having trouble, and started again. Anyway, he said each time that lead is melted, it's becomes harder and more brittle. Heck, I could hardly scratch these. Have you knowledge of this? Also, would it be feasible to heat treat lead for the 45-70, instead of adding tin, etc? And I agree, faster lead loadings won't group worth pooh in my Marlin...got to back em off. One other thing, when one is melting lead, have very adequate ventilation because of the extremely dangerous fumes emited from the lead. There can even be some arsenic from what I've read. Ciao
    That can happen to a degree with alloys, but not so much with pure lead if at all. I'm betting there were some impurities in there. The fact that you could hardly scratch them pretty well bears that out. I recover the pure lead from shooting my muzzleloaders and have never had a problem with hardening- unless I somehow got some tin or anitmony in there from bullets recovered from conventional ammo.

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    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    Here are a few links for you to check out regarding cast bullets:

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/cmps_index.php
    http://www.lasc.us/CastBulletNotes.htm

    if you cant find an answer to ever cast bullet question you have on one of those two sites, I would be really surprised………

    If you really have pure lead it will be rather soft for your 45/70 unless you only plan on pushing them around 1100 to 1200 fps or so. Much over that and you will start getting leading. I cast mine out of plain old wheel weights and they work great all the way up to 2000 fps with gas checks. I hear that 50/50 mix of wheel weights and pure lead is the preferred “game getter” alloy used by many folks these days.
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

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    Member akriverrat's Avatar
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    Default

    ive heard the 50/50 mix theory also. i seen on another website that they sell lead in different parts lead/tin. i think the hardest i seen was 10 parts lead and 3 parts tin and it was expensive. so if i was to shoot one load out of this gun i was thinking i would get the best trajectory and speed out of a 340 grain bullet (or smaller) and that would be big enough for anything around here. (havent run across any elephants) so what would you guys prefer as an only choice round for your 45/70 if you were casting your own and you planned on using it around a hundred yards?

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by akriverrat View Post
    ive heard the 50/50 mix theory also. i seen on another website that they sell lead in different parts lead/tin. i think the hardest i seen was 10 parts lead and 3 parts tin and it was expensive. so if i was to shoot one load out of this gun i was thinking i would get the best trajectory and speed out of a 340 grain bullet (or smaller) and that would be big enough for anything around here. (havent run across any elephants) so what would you guys prefer as an only choice round for your 45/70 if you were casting your own and you planned on using it around a hundred yards?
    Get the Lyman manual before spending money on alloys.

    As for weights, at moderate velocities you're going to be lots happier with the heaviest bullets. I'd go for a flat nosed 400 or 405 as a standard, the same thing that it was originally chambered with. A large flat nose on the bullet will really improve it's performance on game. And 1300-1500 fps is plenty fast for a 405 out to 100+ yards.

  8. #8
    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    Default RCBS make a great mould

    I cast mine using the RCBS 45-405 mould and with WW alloy they come out around 425 grains. I push them out of my GG (barrel whacked to 16”) at about 1700 fps. This……. In my humble opinion, is PLENTY of whack for anything you will come across on this continent within 100 yards. You can of course push them a bit faster, but holy crap…….. it really starts to thump you, and takes the fun ALL the way out of the equation!

    If you want a half dozen or so to try, send me a PM with your address and I will send you a few.
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

  9. #9

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    If it is really pure soft lead, I'd be willing to trade a few pounds of wheel weight alloy ingots for an equal weight. Pure is better for casting round balls for my muzzleloader, and I ran out a while ago.

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    Member akriverrat's Avatar
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    pm sent netpackrat.

  11. #11

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    If the rifle has a ported barrel I'd advise against lead. I found that you get a lot of leading as they go over the ports. Gas checks may resolve this.

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    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    SlowLeadBullets, I shot quite a few gas checked bullets out of my GG before I hacked off those dang God forsaken, evil, nasty, stupid, noisy, crummy, ugly, uneeded ports (I didnt really like them, can you tell) but never did get much in the way of leading in the ports or that section of barrel.
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

  13. #13
    Member akriverrat's Avatar
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    Default not ported

    my guide gun is not ported although i have thought about it. need to shoot it first before i come to any conclusions. have been looking at molds and come across the lyman 45-330 gould express and the 405 grain flat nose that both spark my intrest. i am realizing i have alot to learn and also alot of equipment to aquire. will be a little while before i start reloading and casting.

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