.45-90 loads, Loading Dies, Australian ADI powders, projectiles

CBH Australia

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An old friend got in touch and asked if I would help Load some ammo for her .45-90. We worked together a few years back and being gun enthusiasts we alway had something to talk about when we crossed paths.
I am keen to help and research this cartridge. And develop a loadWe need to source dies for it so if anyone has them for sale I'm interested.
I have some Australian ADI powders so I am looking for suitable load data. That might include reduced loads etc. I believe this started as a black powder round so if anyone suggests something I will make notes for future reference .
She is of small stature so I'm not looking to load it for elephant just some sensible loads to have fun and shoot it for fun. Maybe it will see some medium game.
I imagine it can use most .45 caliber projectiles. I have a few .458s I can pull down I sold the components I had but we can post shells and projectiles . I have powder and primers
It's a David Pedersolle made rifle . A sharps reproduction I believe.
 

bruce moulds

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hi chris,
i have a 45/90, and have fired thousands of rounds at long range targets using black powder and cast bullets only.
i would not fire seriously high pressure loads from a pedersoli sharps, which would suit you description of ammo requirements of the rifle's owner.
you could therefore consider cast bullets as a more labour intensive but less costly alternative.
adi has a powder called trailboss that gives more like black powder ballistics which might suit.
a 500 gn bullet even at only 1300 fps still has some recoil.
350 gn bullets or even 300 gn bullets are available, and will reduce recoil and still kill pigs and deer.
i believe perdersoli chambers have some freebore and this should be taken into account.
for cast bullets, the bullet should be 0.001 to 0.002 bigger than groove diameter or you will get gas cutting and the leading that goes with it.
what does the owner want to do with the rifle?
if ling range shooting, or even silhouette, bullets of 500 gn plus will suit better.
if shooting black powder, the fouling will either require blowtubing or wiping to get best target accuracy.
using a grease wad under the bullet might allow shooting dirty.
for dies, when using low pressure loads 45/70 dies can get you shooting quite well.
buffalo arms is a good source of stuff like dies for cartridges like this.
if you want to talk black powder loading and bullets, feel free to ring me as there is a bit to talk about.
i will do some research on smokeless loading.the cartridge originally started life as a sharps number purely for long range shooting, and was known as the 45/100/2.4"
winchester adapted it to one of their lever action repeaters as the 45/90.
in both cases the 100 and 90 refer to the charge of black powder used.
winchester also called it the 45/85 with a different loading.
the winchesr load was an express load with a light bullet, while the sharps load used a 550 gn bore diameter paper patch bullet for long range targets.
the pedersoli chanber is suited to groove diameter bullets.
bruce.
 

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My 1886 45-90 can take heavy loads and that was why I bought it. So far best big DG load is 450 grain NF or Kodiak at 2150 fps , but it does kick.
So, I will let you guys work out some pansy loads. Three are several load sources on the Internet. Just search on .45-90 express loads or some such.
 

Hunter4752001

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ADI website lists "45-90 Winchester" loads using AR2207 I don't know if there is any real difference between 45-90 Sharps and 45-90 WCF. Purely from what I've read, there is a technical difference in leade/freebore but the Pedersolle chamber is a bit different again. You could always flick an email to the ADI reloading advisor.
 

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My 1886 45-90 can take heavy loads and that was why I bought it. So far best big DG load is 450 grain NF or Kodiak at 2150 fps , but it does kick.
So, I will let you guys work out some pansy loads. Three are several load sources on the Internet. Just search on .45-90 express loads or some such.
Thanks,
I won't use the term Pansy loads. She might be built like your average Garden Fairy but she has a big personality. We didn't discuss recoil tolerance but she knows guns and knows her own mind.
I'm happy to help out she's not getting into reloading just yet.
 

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CBH,
Fact is, Factory 45-70 300 grain hunting loads have proven to be devastating on deer, hogs, and such and those typically run around 1800 fps MV. Many hand loaders load much lower velocities and are satisfied with performance.
Please do the recommended Internet search and you will see a number of good loads. Have fun.
 

Tam Dl

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He uses IMR 3031 or fffg


ADI has a chart that says Benchmark 2 is similar to IMR 3031, but I have no idea if that is true for this application.

One gets call-outs for powders like 4198, H322, RL7, IMR 3031. On the chart these fall in the AR2207 to Benchmark 2 range. So armed with a loading manual from ARI you should be able to spot some loads. Seems the IMR 3031 loads are good for the gentler end of the spectrum.

http://www.adi-powders.com.au/powder-equivalents/

A lot of the Sharps guys seem to shoot Postell bullets. Seems to be an open question what those actually are. But lots of molds to choose from.

 

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An old friend got in touch and asked if I would help Load some ammo for her .45-90. We worked together a few years back and being gun enthusiasts we alway had something to talk about when we crossed paths.
I am keen to help and research this cartridge. And develop a loadWe need to source dies for it so if anyone has them for sale I'm interested.
I have some Australian ADI powders so I am looking for suitable load data. That might include reduced loads etc. I believe this started as a black powder round so if anyone suggests something I will make notes for future reference .
She is of small stature so I'm not looking to load it for elephant just some sensible loads to have fun and shoot it for fun. Maybe it will see some medium game.
I imagine it can use most .45 caliber projectiles. I have a few .458s I can pull down I sold the components I had but we can post shells and projectiles . I have powder and primers
It's a David Pedersolle made rifle . A sharps reproduction I believe.
@CBH
Chris try western firearms in Sydney for the dies. If you want reduced loads try trail boss and black widow cast 405 grain projectiles. As she gets used to the rifle these bullets will stand up to 2,000fps without fouling.
Bob
 

CBH Australia

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Thanks for the lead Bob,
I don't cast any bullets and I don't think I will be.
I will talk to Bruce about projectiles and Google the Black Widow you mentioned. I might need a reason to be lurking in gun stores down Adelaide around the end of February.
She has 50 cases for now, I think it's just for fun and because she has a thing for Sharps Quigley rifles among others.
I like the movie Quigley Down Under, it's been a while .
.45-90 dies are scarce, the best price I found is $175.
Bruce said .45-70 will do it I expect it's all in the adjustment or requires a spacer. Almost inclined to source the appropriate die set and if I require .45-70 later then I'll get those and have them adjusted to the load/rifle/projectile etc.
 

Tam Dl

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I have the 45-70 dies, so I am going to start there. I am planing on a spacer, or I might make a new shell holder that has a raised collar. The problem with the 45-90, is the dies I have been able to identify are not the ones I want to use, and they cost a lot more than 45-70 dies (though I own those, for the win).
 

CBH Australia

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Should I assume the Lee 45-70 crimp die will operated off the mouth of the cartridge and therefore be OK for the 45-90, should I come up with some fierce loads.
So a dealer who had a few big guns said a Lee factory crimp in .458wm does not do the longer Lott he tried to explain the fingers and the die being different.
If you can make an accurate spacer and have a bit of practical knowledge I suspect it's worth trying to work it out.
My .38 dies do .357mag, I reckon you could turn up a spacer to switch between these without adjusting them.

What are the .45-90 you see available and what are the preferred ones you want
 

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CBH.......I have a Shiloh Sharps 45-2.4, or 45-90. You have been given good advice above. Sounds like you want to use jacketed bullets.....therefor black powder will not be suitable. But should you change your mind, one can buy bulk lubed .459 bullets that are cheap and fun to shoot, and then you can use either black, smokeless or substitute black.......405 grain bullets at 1300 fps are mild recoiling but I have taken zebra and oryx with them.....good shooting......PM me if you want my specific loads...............FWB
 

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Yes FWB, taking it all in.
I used some lead projectiles when I was toying with Western action a little.
I should be able to source some cast projectiles online.
Initial loads will be with an ADI powder if suitable and maybe some with Trailboss. Looking at what I have here for now.
Black powder could be a blast when the time comes. The good thing is I can get in touch with Bruce easily and he has one. We met once, I owe him a Coffee but he's 6 hours from here. Bob is over East.
Bruce might show me around his local gunshop in Magill where we might find projectiles. I'm not equipped for casting and don't think I will be. I'm more into sporting arms/hunting rifles.
My friend also lives elsewhere but we can post components and transfer the ammo through her son.
I'm still listening and asking questions.
So to use a .45-70 die is that a case of adjusting/spacing up the die leaving the bottom sorta half inch unsized?
I don't it's gonna be high volume use but it's no burden to load 50 at a time.
I'm thinking about buying the dies that I found as they seem scarce here and more scarce in the US for now. If the Australian manufacturer Simplex make them I'm thinking they would be more expensive but I only just considered them I'm gonna check them out.
 

bruce moulds

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chris,
i use simplex dies in 9.3x64 with satisfaction.
there is on the internet hodgdon site a method of how to establish a starting load with trailboss.
it is funny looking stuff, being donut shaped rather than tube shaped.
low pressure loads with smokeless can be had in 2 ways.
one is a case full of relatively slow powder for the calibre.
in the 45/2.4 this might be 2208 (varget) but dont quote me on that.
2206 case 3/4 full might also work, but we would need to establish weights of the charges.
these powders will not completely burn at those pressures but it does not matter.
dupont at one stage was promoting their 4831 in the 45/70 with a full case for light loads.
the other way is to use light loads of really fast powder and a filler to keep the powder back near the primer, but i have no experience on this.
harry pope used this method in the 32/40 and similar cases.
my own cases fired with only black powder are never sized at all, and the bases have never expanded at all.
i would not buy cast projectiles, preferring to cast my own.
failing that i would just go jacketed.
what will be the use of this rifle - hunting, target shooting, other.
how you load the ammo and what with can have different requirements.
in a single shot rifle do not bother crimping.
if you have new brass i have dual diameter neck expanders, and that is all you need to do to load it.
you could bring the brass down when you come and i could do it for you.
i could even load it for you if we had somewhere you wanted to start.
when you think about it a stiff 45/70 load might be worth thinking about,
we could load a few different charges and you could take them home to chrono, which would give solid data.
light bullets like the 300 gn sierra will reduce recoil, but be less use at longer ranges.
bruce.
 

CBH Australia

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Thanks Bruce, initially I think it's just targets to get a feel for it. She may require hunting loads down the track. I dunno, she just likes the Sharps rifle's and wants to shoot it. Just because they make them I guess.
I have various ADI powders including Trailboss if required. I use 2208 for 7mm-08, I reckon the Black powder would be a blast, get some smoke up your nostrils and s bit of nostalgia.
 
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Yes FWB, taking it all in.
I used some lead projectiles when I was toying with Western action a little.
I should be able to source some cast projectiles online.
Initial loads will be with an ADI powder if suitable and maybe some with Trailboss. Looking at what I have here for now.
Black powder could be a blast when the time comes. The good thing is I can get in touch with Bruce easily and he has one. We met once, I owe him a Coffee but he's 6 hours from here. Bob is over East.
Bruce might show me around his local gunshop in Magill where we might find projectiles. I'm not equipped for casting and don't think I will be. I'm more into sporting arms/hunting rifles.
My friend also lives elsewhere but we can post components and transfer the ammo through her son.
I'm still listening and asking questions.
So to use a .45-70 die is that a case of adjusting/spacing up the die leaving the bottom sorta half inch unsized?
I don't it's gonna be high volume use but it's no burden to load 50 at a time.
I'm thinking about buying the dies that I found as they seem scarce here and more scarce in the US for now. If the Australian manufacturer Simplex make them I'm thinking they would be more expensive but I only just considered them I'm gonna check them out.
@CBH
Chris just go on line and order whatever projectiles you need from black widow or ring and talk to Josh about his product. He seems a nice bloke
Bob
 

fourfive8

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Should I assume the Lee 45-70 crimp die will operated off the mouth of the cartridge and therefore be OK for the 45-90, should I come up with some fierce loads.
[/QUOTE

You’ll have to use a spacer over the cartridge while it is in the shell holder because the FCD compresses between the shell holder and a sliding collet at the base of the die. The spacer thickness needs to be the same as the difference in length between the cases. But unless the cartridge is for a repeater, shouldn’t need to be crimped.

For the 45-90 Pedersoli... You might grub around for some data on trapdoor loads for the 45-70. No problem using that data for the Pedersoli Sharps 45-90. But avoid light charges of slow ball powder!!! Remington produced factory loads for the 45-70 trapdoor. IIRC they used a 405 gr jacketed bullet at about 1200fps. The closest I could come to duplicating that was with IMR 4198 which I think is equivalent to ADI 2207. Remington may very well have used IMR 4198. The very best powder for your purpose may be 5744, but may not be avail in Australia? The old IMR 4759 is equivalent to 5744 but may be even harder to find. Of course Trailboss will work but it’s an odd duck in that it is very fast burning about like Bullseye but is quantity limited because of its extremely low density.

Then there are cast bullets... low pressure and low velocity are key for cast bullets as well as they need to be groove diameter to about groove diameter plus .001”. It also helps a bunch if they are gas checked. Mismatching wrong cast bullets to smokeless will likely cause a leading headache. :)
 

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Additionally, I've looked at some older Remington factory 45-70 boxes... smokeless with jacketed 405 gr jacketed bullets. One is marked "45-70 Gov... For Use In All Rifles" so that would include the 1873 Trapdoors at the lower end and the Ruger No 1s at the upper end. The latest Remington factory 405 gr Jacketed 45-70 ammunition that is advertised as reduced pressure is simply marked "Core-Lokt". IIRC one of the earliest Remington 405 gr jacketed 45-70 factory smokeless loads was specifically for Trapdoors and the boxes were marked something like, "For Trapdoor Rifles". Some 25 years ago I shot some of that 405 gr jacketed factory Remington ammo marked "For Trapdoor Rifles" in my Shiloh Sharps. It was mild and exceptionally accurate! Those chronographed out of that 45-70 Sharps at closer to 1200 fps. The most recent Remington reduced pressure factory 405 gr 45-70 loads are listed in their advertisements as having a velocity of 1330 fps. That matches almost exactly the minimum loads for 405 gr jacketed bullets using IMR 4198 powder as listed in the Lyman manual. All these reduced Trapdoor type loads would work in the 45-90. The only thing that would happen would be slightly lower pressure and velocity because of the larger case capacity of the 45-90.

If I were using ADI powder and trying to load some conservative jacketed bullet practice ammo for a Pedersoli Sharps, I would use the 45-70 IMR 4198 data as a starting point. 400 or 405 gr .458 soft point on top of about 33 gr of ADI 2207. Use a chronograph to verify mean velocity and standard deviation. A modern Pedersoli M1874 Sharps action is somewhat stronger than an original Trapdoor.... for added margin. :)

Pic of one of the Remington 405 gr 45-70 Gov' boxes marked for "All Rifles" and the 405 gr 45-70 And pic of the 405 gr jacketed bullet Trapdoor load data from the Lyman Manual.

45-70 for trapdoor.png


Trapdoor load data.JPG
 

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I do not know much about the technical details of the .45-90 WCF, but I owned a nice 1886 take down rifle in that caliber and it was a thumper. I still have 3/4 of a box of original .45-90 ammo in orginal box. Perhaps I should find another rifle. A Model 71 in .45-90 would be a hoot.

Ran into some guys in Montana last fall who were having a black powder 'Buffalo Shoot' with long distance silhouette targets. One was shooting a Sharps rifle in .45-90. Looked like a lot of fun.
 

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