45-70 Lever Action Hi Intensity Loads

Bill Conrad

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Own a Marlin 1895 (45-70) updated to a Take-Down by David R Clay (DRC), with a:
- 19.5" Badger heavy barrel hexagon,
- Sights... Scout-mounted Leupold, Ashley Emerson Ghost Ring,
- DRC Glove Lever,
- (Great!) DRC Trigger
- Stainless Steel Magazine Follower.

QUESTION: Develop a load using an Alaska Bullet Works, 450gr Heavy Copper Full-Jacketed, Bonded Core of super hard cast, heat treated, lead alloy (Tin, Antimony). Like to work-up to near 1,900fps. Assuming IMR3031 powder, any idea where to start powder weight?

Bill
 

IvW

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Own a Marlin 1895 (45-70) updated to a Take-Down by David R Clay (DRC), with a:
- 19.5" Badger heavy barrel hexagon,
- Sights... Scout-mounted Leupold, Ashley Emerson Ghost Ring,
- DRC Glove Lever,
- (Great!) DRC Trigger
- Stainless Steel Magazine Follower.

QUESTION: Develop a load using an Alaska Bullet Works, 450gr Heavy Copper Full-Jacketed, Bonded Core of super hard cast, heat treated, lead alloy (Tin, Antimony). Like to work-up to near 1,900fps. Assuming IMR3031 powder, any idea where to start powder weight?

Bill
Hi Bill

Welcome.

What you plan on hunting with this rifle?
 

crs

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That sounds just like the bullet that grizzly cartridge loaded to 2150 fps for my Miroku 1886 .45-90 with 26 inch full octagon barrel for bullet testing in Africa. That load is excellent for Cape Buffalo , water buff, Bison, etc, as we shot them all with it over a period of time. I have a few loaded rounds left which are being saved for just the right hunt.
However, be careful with frontal brain shots on ele, as the bullet expands beautifully, knocks the ele to its knees, but does not penetrate the brain. For ele, use a solid like NF FPS or the brass Punch bullets(ideal for the .45-70 )- see this
https://www.midwayusa.com/product/5...405-grain-punch-flat-nose-lead-free-box-of-20 .
 

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Bill Conrad

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Hi Bill

Welcome.

What you plan on hunting with this rifle?
IvW,

Just got thru for the first time...
Answer: Wild Hog and Grizzly.
Question: Any suggested IMR3031 starting load?

Bill
 

Bill Conrad

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That sounds just like the bullet that grizzly cartridge loaded to 2150 fps for my Miroku 1886 .45-90 with 26 inch full octagon barrel for bullet testing in Africa. That load is excellent for Cape Buffalo , water buff, Bison, etc, as we shot them all with it over a period of time. I have a few loaded rounds left which are being saved for just the right hunt.
However, be careful with frontal brain shots on ele, as the bullet expands beautifully, knocks the ele to its knees, but does not penetrate the brain. For ele, use a solid like NF FPS or the brass Punch bullets(ideal for the .45-70 )- see this
https://www.midwayusa.com/product/5...405-grain-punch-flat-nose-lead-free-box-of-20 .
crs,

That 2150 fps sounds like a 350gr bullet?
I am trying to work-up to 1900 fps with the Alaska Bullet Works 450gr bullet... see the attached photo.

Bill
20180408_143835_resized_1.jpg
 
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IvW

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IvW,

Just got thru for the first time...
Answer: Wild Hog and Grizzly.
Question: Any suggested IMR3031 starting load?

Bill
No experience on that front but i would guess on those animals a good 405 grain bullet would be a dandy 450 may not give enough velocity..
 

Bill Conrad

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No experience on that front but i would guess on those animals a good 405 grain bullet would be a dandy 450 may not give enough velocity..
These particular bullets were built for a PH who culled elephant with them back in the early 2000's. We used to email back in those years. Can not remember his name... he was also associated with the (old) Ngamiland Safaris and had grown up in the Portland/Seattle NW area of the US. Maybe he or someone else will see this thread... thought the photo of this bullet would jogg someone's memory.

Bill
 

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Bill,
We ARE talking the same bullets. I just opened my green box of them there are only 8 left. I do have another 13 loaded .45-90 rounds though and looking for something to shoot with them. The 2150 fps from my .45-90 were loaded by Grizzly Cartridge for our testing in Africa. I have no doubt they would be effective on ele with anything BUT a frontal brain shot, which for us, knocked down the ele , but did not penetrate the brain.
I may have some pix of my grandson cleaning some of the bullets after loading and will try to locate them and post.

These bullets may be fine for big bears from a .45-70. I would certainly not be afraid to take on a Kodiak with them and my .45-90. These are way overkill for hogs, but so what, you need yo be aware of your back stop tho, as my .405 WCF shoots through hogs with 300 grain Hornady JSP (also over kill, but still fun).

BTW, I have no experience with 3031, but it must be good powder as it has been around for decades. You may locate needed information on the Internet based loading sites or you may just have to calculate a starting place and work up from there.
 

Bill Conrad

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Bill,
We ARE talking the same bullets. I just opened my green box of them there are only 8 left. I do have another 13 loaded .45-90 rounds though and looking for something to shoot with them. The 2150 fps from my .45-90 were loaded by Grizzly Cartridge for our testing in Africa. I have no doubt they would be effective on ele with anything BUT a frontal brain shot, which for us, knocked down the ele , but did not penetrate the brain.
I may have some pix of my grandson cleaning some of the bullets after loading and will try to locate them and post.

These bullets may be fine for big bears from a .45-70. I would certainly not be afraid to take on a Kodiak with them and my .45-90. These are way overkill for hogs, but so what, you need yo be aware of your back stop tho, as my .405 WCF shoots through hogs with 300 grain Hornady JSP (also over kill, but still fun).

BTW, I have no experience with 3031, but it must be good powder as it has been around for decades. You may locate needed information on the Internet based loading sites or you may just have to calculate a starting place and work up from there.

crs>
Dave (R.) Clay invented what he calls a 450-110DRC. It is based on a 50-110 necked-down to .458. He has worked on my Win'86 50 caliber to create his 450-110DRC and shipped many of them to hunts around the world. Tim Sundles (Buffalo Bore) developed some hot 450-110DRC loads with 450gr. The 450-110DRC will safely handle 2,250 fps at 450gr... that is 5,060 Ft-Lbs of muzzle energy. That goal of 1,900 fps, in my 45-70DRC, using the Kodiak 450gr, would produce ~3600 Ft-Lbs. And, certainly handle Hog and Grizzly. That PH who developed (using our) Kodiak 450gr FMJ used them in his 45-70 to cull elephant... sure wish I could find him so he could tell us what 45-70 loads he developed/used for the Kodiak 450. I see you (crshelton) also had developed some 450 North Fork loads too. Bill
 

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I think the limiting factor is the strength of the action and the short barrel. The marlins (I used to own an 1895 45/70 and it was fun to shoot!) are by no means a heavily built action. They can take 40,000-45,000 PSI maximum on a fairly regular basis. The takedown option may make the guns service life a little less with heavy loads as well because when you increase tolerances to such a level that the barrel can be screwed on and off by hand, you introduce some slop to the fitting. Every time the gun fires, the slop allows the barrel to move a bit (much like firing a gun with the butt off your shoulder.) It gets a little bit of run up before it is stopped by the threads. over time, this can increase headspace if hot loads are used often. this is the reason double rifles that are used extensively eventually need attending to by a good gunsmith because the barrels don't snap shut tight like they do when they are brand new.

All that said, I don't think you need high intesity loads for what you have listed as intended game animals. a 400-450 grain bullet at 1500fps will probably plow through a coastal brown bear stem to stern. The other thing is your barrel length. @crs got the speeds he did because he a.) has a .45-90 and b.) it has a 26" barrel. That brought him up to about .450 NE power levels. You're not going to get that from an 19.5" barrel with a .45/70. If you want top speed, you will have to find the slowest burning powder there is data for, then work your way up to a max charge looking for signs of strain. Whatever velocity that gives you out of your gun will be what you get. I would guess, with a 450 grain bullet, that will be somewhere around 1500-1700 FPS. Hodgdon shows the max it could get in a lever action, 24" barrel and only a 400 grain bullet, was somewhere around 2000fps. Even with a modern gun like a Ruger number one, they are only getting 2,100FPS from a 400 grain bullet and a 24" barrel. The 45/70 case is just too small. You just don't want to stretch your action or have a takedown gun that rattles when you shake it side to side. I hate to rain on your parade, but I wish you the best of luck. If you find a load that is safe and gets you where you want to be, by all means, let us know!
 

Bill Conrad

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I think the limiting factor is the strength of the action and the short barrel. The marlins (I used to own an 1895 45/70 and it was fun to shoot!) are by no means a heavily built action. They can take 40,000-45,000 PSI maximum on a fairly regular basis. The takedown option may make the guns service life a little less with heavy loads as well because when you increase tolerances to such a level that the barrel can be screwed on and off by hand, you introduce some slop to the fitting. Every time the gun fires, the slop allows the barrel to move a bit (much like firing a gun with the butt off your shoulder.) It gets a little bit of run up before it is stopped by the threads. over time, this can increase headspace if hot loads are used often. this is the reason double rifles that are used extensively eventually need attending to by a good gunsmith because the barrels don't snap shut tight like they do when they are brand new.

All that said, I don't think you need high intesity loads for what you have listed as intended game animals. a 400-450 grain bullet at 1500fps will probably plow through a coastal brown bear stem to stern. The other thing is your barrel length. @crs got the speeds he did because he a.) has a .45-90 and b.) it has a 26" barrel. That brought him up to about .450 NE power levels. You're not going to get that from an 19.5" barrel with a .45/70. If you want top speed, you will have to find the slowest burning powder there is data for, then work your way up to a max charge looking for signs of strain. Whatever velocity that gives you out of your gun will be what you get. I would guess, with a 450 grain bullet, that will be somewhere around 1500-1700 FPS. Hodgdon shows the max it could get in a lever action, 24" barrel and only a 400 grain bullet, was somewhere around 2000fps. Even with a modern gun like a Ruger number one, they are only getting 2,100FPS from a 400 grain bullet and a 24" barrel. The 45/70 case is just too small. You just don't want to stretch your action or have a takedown gun that rattles when you shake it side to side. I hate to rain on your parade, but I wish you the best of luck. If you find a load that is safe and gets you where you want to be, by all means, let us know!
ChrisG>

Don't worry, I carry around an umbrella :) Your point about looseness at the take-down joint does not apply in a Dave (DRC) design as he's built-in a set of adjustments I can perform to tighten-up any such problem. But, I've never had to use them in my 10 years of running both Buffalo Bore and Garrett loads. I have an Oehler 35P Proof Chronograph and have found my chamber to Badger Heavy barrel fit doesn't cost me much at 19.5". I can not add inches (!) but, for instance, Buffalo Bore shows 1920 fps for their 430 gr. L.B.T.-L.F.N. in a 22" barrel... I consistently measure 1900-1910fps with my 2-1/2" shorter barrel. I know some sites talk about 25fps change per barrel inch, but, apparently, I get better than 8fps per barrel inch... which would be ~52fps loss relative to a 26" barrel. Relative to your load comments, I'm positive I could load to 1500 fps for these 450gr Kodiaks, but will keep my higher 1900 fps goal in sight. Let you know as I proceed. Just hope that Botswana PH from the early 2000's sees these posts since this Kodiak 450gr bullet was his design... with which he culled elephant using his 45-70.

Bill
 

Bill Conrad

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Bill,
We ARE talking the same bullets. I just opened my green box of them there are only 8 left. I do have another 13 loaded .45-90 rounds though and looking for something to shoot with them. The 2150 fps from my .45-90 were loaded by Grizzly Cartridge for our testing in Africa. I have no doubt they would be effective on ele with anything BUT a frontal brain shot, which for us, knocked down the ele , but did not penetrate the brain.
I may have some pix of my grandson cleaning some of the bullets after loading and will try to locate them and post.

These bullets may be fine for big bears from a .45-70. I would certainly not be afraid to take on a Kodiak with them and my .45-90. These are way overkill for hogs, but so what, you need yo be aware of your back stop tho, as my .405 WCF shoots through hogs with 300 grain Hornady JSP (also over kill, but still fun).

BTW, I have no experience with 3031, but it must be good powder as it has been around for decades. You may locate needed information on the Internet based loading sites or you may just have to calculate a starting place and work up from there.
crs>
You apparently sent another post, which does not appear here (!!!), but discusses in great details your development of African loads that Mike Rintoul of Grizzly Cartridge developed using the Kodiak 450 FP FMJ, North Fork FPS and Punch FPS bullets. You then suggested I try VV N133 as a safer way to develop a load for the 450 FP FMJ. However, burn rate tables show that IMR3031 is slightly, incrementally faster than VV N133. So, your choice of VV N133 gives me a good lead to try IMR3031 since, your higher velocity recommendation is VV N530, and that powder is quite a bit slower than IMR3031/ VV N133. So, I will try heading toward 1900 fps starting at 35 grs of IMR3031 and keep track of incremental speed improvements with increasing IMR3031 grains... looking for pressure signs [ Case Expansion(sticking) and Raised Primers ] in addition to decreasing velocity increments on my Oehler 35P Proof Chronograph. Thank You. Bill
 

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Bill,

+1 with what chrisG had to say. i have used a 45-70 as a backup for brown bears, i was shooting a 350 gr ABW bonded bullet at 2150 fps. (20" barrel). grizzly cartridge co loads a 400 gr bullet at 2000 fps, but i think 1900 with a 450 (especially a jacketed bullet) is a bit optimistic.

now a cast bullet will go faster with the same powder load typically because of lower engraving forces. i had a load that i used rl-7 i believe, and was getting around 1800-1850 with a 460 gr cast bullet. will have to check my notes.

regarding the speeds mentioned above, a 26" tube, a 45-90 AND a win 1886. thats the biggest deal. an 86 can be loaded considerably hotter than a marlin 1895.

btw, those 350's flattened bears! a 400gr at 2000fps would be a hammer as well. i had an extended magazine put on mine so it would hold 6 in the tube. i was only in one shootout with a brown bear, was 13 yards away. i fired 3 times in about 3 seconds! the only thing i wished for was more bullets, so.... i had the magazine extended.

i believe i used 3031 or 4198 powder for my loads. good luck with your project, but don't over stress your gun. those big bullets will kill just fine without the extra 50 fps. and safe pressures.
 

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Bill,
the other post was a PM, as I prefer to stick to generalities in posts and use a PM for details.
My main reason for recommending VV N133 was to avoid pressure peaks when developing new high energy loads and to keep max chamber pressures as low as possible while attaining decent velocities.

+ per the VV load manual, the N530 granule size is the same as N133, but the energy per granule is rated about 10% more. I was going to use N530 with my .405 double rifle to attain 400 grain velocities of 2050 fps, but have done so safely with N133 so I may have to find another project for my can of N530. :rolleyes:

Go for it and please let us know how you do. Have fun.
 
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Bill Conrad

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Bill,

+1 with what chrisG had to say. i have used a 45-70 as a backup for brown bears, i was shooting a 350 gr ABW bonded bullet at 2150 fps. (20" barrel). grizzly cartridge co loads a 400 gr bullet at 2000 fps, but i think 1900 with a 450 (especially a jacketed bullet) is a bit optimistic.

now a cast bullet will go faster with the same powder load typically because of lower engraving forces. i had a load that i used rl-7 i believe, and was getting around 1800-1850 with a 460 gr cast bullet. will have to check my notes.

regarding the speeds mentioned above, a 26" tube, a 45-90 AND a win 1886. thats the biggest deal. an 86 can be loaded considerably hotter than a marlin 1895.

btw, those 350's flattened bears! a 400gr at 2000fps would be a hammer as well. i had an extended magazine put on mine so it would hold 6 in the tube. i was only in one shootout with a brown bear, was 13 yards away. i fired 3 times in about 3 seconds! the only thing i wished for was more bullets, so.... i had the magazine extended.

i believe i used 3031 or 4198 powder for my loads. good luck with your project, but don't over stress your gun. those big bullets will kill just fine without the extra 50 fps. and safe pressures.
1dirthawker>

First, thanx for your review of your field and reloading experience and, I also think 1900 fps is optimistic!... but, looking for pressure signs is part of my safe reloading practices... I may have to stop at ~1800 fps, but I've never been accused of being a pessimist :) If you examine my avatar, Dave Clay also extended (normal part of his Take Down service) the mag tube to the muzzle of the 19.5" barrel: this mag comfortably holds 5 cartridges. There's also a feature that let's you rotate the barrel and load the mag w/o having to use the loading gate... which is a whole lot easier on my fingers AND cartridge cases... a manual mag lock retains the cartridges (as you push them in). You release them after rotating-and-locking the barrel back-in place: you can't miss that satisfying "Clunk" as the cartridges are released into their normal, expected delivery position.

On the question of 1900 fps with this 450gr FMJ, let's use Buffalo Bore as an example.
Tim offers a 405gr JFN @2000 fps and a 350gr JFN @2150 fps.
But, more in keeping with our posts, he also offers:
500gr FMJ @1625fps and,
430gr LBT @1925fps...
These produce a weighted, geometric average of 1822 fps at 450gr FMJ.
So, 1750 to 1800 fps seems a practical goal for the 450gr FMJ.

If I don't get there with IMR3031, I'll switch to VV N530 (crs's suggestion) and RL-7 / IMR4198 (your suggestions). I've attached a Burn Rates doc that shows IMR3031 is slightly faster than VV N133... RL-7 is slightly faster than IMR4198... IMR4198 is faster than IMR3031, and VV N530 is slower than VV N133/IMR3031.

We are both agreed on safe pressures, which also means normal ejection so I can get-off 6 more shots in 6 secs... not be dealing with a stuck cartridge case!

Burn Rates.png


Bill
 
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Bill Conrad

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Bill,
the other post was a PM, as I prefer to stick to generalities in posts and use a PM for details.
My main reason for recommending VV N133 was to avoid pressure peaks when developing new high energy loads and to keep max chamber pressures as low as possible while attaining decent velocities.

+ per the VV load manual, the N530 granule size is the same as N133, but the energy per granule is rated about 10% more. I was going to use N530 with my .405 double rifle to attain 400 grain velocities of 2050 fps, but have done so safely with N133 so I may have to find another project for my can of N530. :rolleyes:

Go for it and please let us know how you do. Have fun.
crs>

Aaaah, just found your original post in the conversations section. Sorry, I'm new to AHunting.
QUESTION: Do you think the slightly faster IMR3031 IS a good substitute for VV N133?

Bill
 

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Cannot say anything on IMR3031 other that it is a powder with a long history and it has been used by and recommended by gun writers for decades; my reference manuals go back to Sharpe and to Waters, so it must be a reputable powder. However, I have no personal experience with it.
In such matters, I try to speak only of what I know, or have done, or what has been done for me, etc.

I have loaded N133, hunted with N133 based ammo, pressure and velocity tested it, and been advised on it by both bench rest shooters and ammo and bullet makers. All of what the latter told me and recommended has turned out to be true and worked well for me in my Miroku made Winchester 1886 and 1895 rifles. I have also used other powders, but N133 always has generated 8,000 to 12,000 psi LESS peak pressure than other powders. When pushing the upper velocity limits, I prefer to be safe rather than sorry.

Based upon what you have said of your reloading plans, I think that you will be safe with any powder you use.
It will be interesting to see your results.
 

Bill Conrad

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Cannot say anything on IMR3031 other that it is a powder with a long history and it has been used by and recommended by gun writers for decades; my reference manuals go back to Sharpe and to Waters, so it must be a reputable powder. However, I have no personal experience with it.
In such matters, I try to speak only of what I know, or have done, or what has been done for me, etc.

I have loaded N133, hunted with N133 based ammo, pressure and velocity tested it, and been advised on it by both bench rest shooters and ammo and bullet makers. All of what the latter told me and recommended has turned out to be true and worked well for me in my Miroku made Winchester 1886 and 1895 rifles. I have also used other powders, but N133 always has generated 8,000 to 12,000 psi LESS peak pressure than other powders. When pushing the upper velocity limits, I prefer to be safe rather than sorry.

Based upon what you have said of your reloading plans, I think that you will be safe with any powder you use.
It will be interesting to see your results.
crs>

Thanx for your historical IMR3031 comments. I too can not speak of direct experience with IMR3031. A friend has used it with the 45-70 for more than 20 years... usually with 450gr, pure lead, Lee Precision cast bullets: that's why I want to try it. I just happened to note that IMR3031 is only slightly faster than VV N133, that's why I asked the comparison question. Looks like I could safely start the 450gr FMJ with IMR3031 at ~35gr and work up to a safe Max velocity.

I have a question about your pressure measurements. Do you make pressure measurements (as I too would also like to do so!), or were they made by a 3rd party such as Grizzly Cartridges? As mentioned, I make Muzzle Velocity measurements with my Oehler 35P Proof Chronograph.

Bill
 

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