45-70 Lever Action Hi Intensity Loads

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Bill Conrad, Apr 9, 2018.

  1. Bill Conrad

    Bill Conrad AH Member

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    ChrisG>
    You also need to recognize the 45-70 has taken Cape Buffalo and Elephant by both Hunters and PH's who've used both commercial and their own reloads!

    I am a physicist with much reloading experience. And, what I've learned is we all try to find the limits these technologies offer. But, I never get discouraged... I set goals and, within the limits of Safety and Reliability, always reach them.

    As I develop these 450gr, 45-70, Cast and FMJ loads, I will report progress here at Africa Hunting. I own an Oehler 35P Proof Chronograph and will soon have a Pressure Trace Internal Ballistics System to capture Chamber Pressure.

    However, the best advice I've received about my 450gr goals was from Crusty Deary Ol Coot on the Marlin Firearms Forum. Essentially, I raised the issue we all face at the start of a reloading project: with which powder type and charge do we START ("Starting Load") that is not too small as to be a (dangerous... at least via Parker Ackley Vol-1) reduced load?


    CDOC's answer was great. Only we 45-70 Lever Action guys have a major resource at our disposal... all those published Starting Loads for the low power Trap Door Rifles are available across more than 10 bullet weights (including 450gr) and a wide range of powder types. The 50th Lyman Reloading Manual, 4th Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook and the 2nd Edition Lee Reloading Manual... ALL list these lower-power Trap Door Rifle Loads. The trick is to realize that a MAX Trap Door Rifle Load can also be the STARTING Load for the higher-power 45-70 Lever Action because COAL is identical for both 45-70 Trap Door and Lever Action cartridges. And, any FMJ load can be used to load a Cast bullet (of the same bullet weight), since an FMJ bullet is longer than the same weight Cast bullet!

    Nuff said. Will keep Africa Hunting posted on progress to develop 45-70, 450gr Cast and FMJ loads for my 1895DRC rifle. I'll eventually try solid bullets after these Cast and FMJ load developments.

    Bill
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
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  2. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Fanatic

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    I just started hand-loading BTB 425 gr Piledriver, Juniors. 37.7 gr RL-7 gets me to just a hair under 1500 fps, accuracy out of my 1895 GBL is astounding.

    50 yards with an aperture sight, 5 shot group, 3 touching.

    1900 fps, I agree with the rest of them...that sounds very optimistic, and ballistically, with those fat, low-BC bullets, doesn't improve trajectory/range by more than about 30-50 yards MPBR for a 12" vital zone. If your rifle can handle it, and your shoulder can take the beating, more power to you, but out of that rifle and at 1500 fps, I take quite a beating (even with a Limbsaver) with the PDJs.

    Beartooth bullets has fairly extensive documentation on their 525 gr Piledrivers, published velocities and powder loads, etc. The hottest load they have listed is 44.3 gr RL-7 at 1705 fps, with IMR3031, 42.8 gr, just behind it at 1683 fps. Note that these velocities are indicated with a 22" BBL. All loads published for the 525 gr are under 40K PSI.

    PDs and PDJs are hardcast, BH of something like 22 or 23, and gas-checked. Meplat is in the neighborhood of .36 - .38. They also make a 350 gr PD. Bullet profile is identical for all 3 (350, 425, and 525 gr). I think goosing the 350s to 1900 or even 2K fps is do-able.

    Hmmm...having a hard time linking the BTB page here. Google search for beartooth bullets pile driver load data and it should come up.

    The *only* gripe I have about BTB is that they're really popular, and the owner still pours the bullets like he always has, which translates to 5-6 months' lead time.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2018

  3. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Fanatic

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    Also, consider how many American bison were killed in the late 19th century with 405 gr soft lead or 405 gr paper-patched bullets, with MV in the 1200 fps neighborhood. I expect American bison are as tough as any other 1500-2K lb ruminant, probably tougher than everything but cape buffalo.
     

  4. Alaska

    Alaska AH Senior Member

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    In my Marlin 1895 Guide Gun 45-70
    350 FNGC hard Cast with 51.8 of RL 7
    Sure is a good load for busting bear /moose shoulder blades . It’s a 2000 FPS load.
     
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  5. crs

    crs AH Fanatic

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    Update!
    Since last post, I have become the proud owner of a Berretta .45-70 double rifle! The previous owner hunted with it and it came with 100 loaded rounds, 100 primed brass, and load data. Here is a picture of the gun and one of my first boar taken with it. It puts a L&R in about one inch at 50 yards, so if there is a miss, it is the shooters fault!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    One 300 grain bullet did the trick.
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2018
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  6. 1dirthawker

    1dirthawker AH Enthusiast

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    @Bill Conrad

    hey bill,

    i have loaded for the 45-70 and the wild west 457 magnum (both are the same) and used alaska bullet works bullets 350 gr. as well. i have some loads that are close to your wish list, buuuut, not in a jacketed bullet but a hard cast bullet. if you PM me, will share the load data i have,

    don
     

  7. crs

    crs AH Fanatic

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    One more note for Bill Conrad -
    One of my mentors in reloading big bore straight cased boomers founded and operated a premium bullet manufacturing company where he did extensive testing of his bullets in many calibers and with many different powders, primers, brass, etc. He is the person that first confirmed what my chemist older brother first told me years ago - VV N133 may not always provide the fastest load possible, but it will ALWAYS provide the lowest peak pressure load in the operating velocity range of the cartridge.
    The energy curves from Pressure Test II show the N133 pressure curve with no spikes and they also confirm the fact.

    My mentor also told me to use a 24 inch drop tube to assure even powder compression and I do that on ALL my heavy loads with .405 WCF through .45-90. He said to slowly count to 10 (10 seconds) when pouring each pan of powder (which was measured to be exact with less than 1/10 grain deviation). This tends to produce loads with very little velocity deviation.
     

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