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The one that started it all- 45/70

Discussion in 'Big Bore Rifles' started by Dave951, Mar 22, 2019.

  1. Dave951

    Dave951 Happy to be here

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    Over a hundred years old and still going strong. From trap door Springfield to modern Marlin/Ruger/Mauser it'll still take about any game on this continent.

    Oh yeah, for you 458 guys, I've chronoed 500gr fmj out of my Mauser at 2k fps.
     
  2. BlackGun

    BlackGun Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Wouldn’t know how they shoot. Never even took this 45-70 out of the box.

    upload_2019-3-22_16-52-33.jpeg

    upload_2019-3-22_16-53-3.jpeg

    I gots some bullets just in case it needs usin’. Don’t even know how to load it. I’m going to Oklahoma tomorrow and there are some Buffalo 20 minutes from his home. Think I can sneak over, plug one, and stuff it in a suitcase?
     
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  3. Michael458

    Michael458 Active Member

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    Good stuff, very true, and even more so today than ever. Today we actually have bullets that have the capability of doing anything with the 45/70s. Not so 15 years ago. In the late 90s and early 2000s I carried 45/70 to Africa
    several times. Back then, we did not have Super Bullets. One of the best was the 350 Hornady at or around 1900 fps. While good, today it falls very short of what is out there now for 45/70. For heavy work, buffalo for instance, I had to rely on big cast bullets for penetration, and they came up very short when hitting bone and such. Today, no such problems.

    I love lever guns, and in fact, I have one of those that is shown above, extremely fine, a few other 1886s, and have had a pile of Marlins. I have worked with the Super Bullets from Cutting Edge and North Fork, if anyone needs or wants some more information on these, and loads to go with it let me know more than happy to help out.

    45/70 comes up short in some areas, case capacity one, and lever guns are limited to certain pressure laws as well. How do we "Enhance" any Cartridge? By Bullet Design................. And that is what we have done in 45/70.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. cold1

    cold1 Member Supporting Member

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    I started out with a Trapdoor shooting factory loads back in the mid 80s. That lead to owning a marlin when I was old enough to buy what I wanted. I started loading for it in the early 90s and used the Sierra 300gr HP and reloader 7, pushing them as fast as I could. Some buddies and me would load all week and then have a back yard shooting match on Saturday. There were many sore shoulders weekends.

    Those days are far behind. My marlin is still my goto gun for all things hunting. Today she get stuffed with 350gr Ranch Dawg COWW bullets that I cast and running about 1400fps. They put nice clean holes in everything they touch.

    My eyes won't let me shoot iron sights anymore, so I had to put a scope on it. A nice little 3x9 Burris. Family and lack of a big open place to shoot keeps me from being as good as I was with it back in the 90s. During those back yard matches we would shoot out to 300yds with irons and do good. My longest shot today is maybe 100yds but I still keep them in the 10 ring.

    I still like my big bores. There is just something about the sound and the feel of pushing that much lead out of the barrel.
     
  5. Michael458

    Michael458 Active Member

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    Cold........ RL 7 is still the Go To Powder in 45/70. I used RL 7 back in the day, late 90s as well. The last pressure work I did with most of the Cutting Edge and North Fork bullets, RL 7 still came on top in 2014. IMR 4198 is pretty good as well on the low velocity-medium velocity side, and on the upper end with heavier 400 gr bullets. Those targets I posted above, those loads are a tiny bit OVER PRESSURE for the Marlin. Not a lot, but a bit.

    45/70 is a great cartridge, been around the block a few times, and with Bullet Tech it has been enhanced greatly. I had a chap that was determined to take his Marlin guide gun for Cape Buffalo. I had a hard time deciding what bullet to put him with. In the end, I decided to keep it simple for him and use a Cutting Edge 400 gr Solid at 1850 fps. One round at 35 yards through the heart, buffalo went 25 yards and piled up stone cold. End of story..........
     
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  6. nooneimportant

    nooneimportant Happy to be here

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  7. 45/70fan

    45/70fan Member

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    I miss mine. I used to load 300 gr Remington hollow points with RL7 to near 2100 fps in an H&R Handi-Rifle. Neck issues put a stop to heavy kicking rounds so I sold it. I miss the big bores and I'm currently shopping another 45/70. I plan on pulling the throttle back to about 1500 fps.
     
  8. Michael458

    Michael458 Active Member

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    That is a good looking 325 gr HP Cast bullet.............

    45/70fan........ Yep, with some eye issues I have had to throttle back some things too........for the bulk of shooting big bore anyway...... still do some, but nothing like years past...............

    Easy to throttle down 45/70 with IMR 4198..... pick and choose........ Taking a look, 25/IMR 4198 gives you anything from 1000-1100 fps with any given 300 gr bullet, 28/IMR 4198 around 1200-1300 fps, and probably go up to 30-32/IMR 4198 for 1500 or so.............I don't have any particular data at 1500 fps for 300s, but that should get you close, and adjust a bit if needed. Sure not going to be a problem.
     
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  9. 45/70fan

    45/70fan Member

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    Even 1200-1300 would probably be fast enough for deer inside 100 yards. Looks like Trapdoor loads with H4895 starting loads and a 300 gr jacketed bullet are only 16,500 cup and 1800 fps. A cast 300 gr bullet drops to 14,400 cup and 1572 fps. Either of those shouldn't kick much at all considering my old handloads were in the 24,000 cup range.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
  10. RedneckFur

    RedneckFur Smith & Wesson is a religion of peace.

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    I've wanted a 45/70 for years, but I have such a hard time justifying it to myself. I know if I was to get one, I'd mostly shoot light handloads out of it. No need for buffalo hunting power when punching holes in paper for me. And then I think how I can accomplish the same effect with my lever action 44 mag for a much lower price.

    I've lost track of how many times I've talked myself out of one.
     
  11. Michael458

    Michael458 Active Member

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    Yes, absolutely, no doubt about that being very effective on deer..... 1200-1300 fps, and .458 caliber is serious..........any common bullet is fine at that velocity. Seems I tested some 300 Remingtons at that velocity and they did rather well........

    When you get to bigger critters bullet choice becomes success or failure...........
     
  12. Charlie

    Charlie Member

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    Are there any problems with light loads of IMR 4198? There is a lot of space in that case. I had some hang fires and one failure to ignite with IMR 4198 several years ago in one of my 45/70 rifles. I forget the exact load, but it was midrange data from a reputable manual, Hornady I think, with a 350 grain jacketed bullets. I think it was probably a bad group of primers, WLR, but I have wondered ever since whether the empty space in the case might cause problems with ignition.

    edit: The load was a 300 grain Hornady HP with 41 grains of IMR 4198. Lyman 49 showed the max load to be 41 grains, Hornady #7 indicated 48.7 is max, and IMR data on web site gave 48 grains as max.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
  13. SnowRooster

    SnowRooster Cosmic Castaway Supporting Member

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    Man, that’s beautiful!
     
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  14. Michael458

    Michael458 Active Member

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    I have never had any issues at all.
     
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  15. JimB

    JimB Picking it up slowly. Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    For my Marlin I have been loading ~42gr of IMR3o31 under a 325gr cast FP, it’s good for us softies shooting paper! General opinion, increase charge of 3031 or try RL7 next time I’m buying powder if I want more velocity? I also use a larger charge of 3031 under a 450gr FP, but no recollection of the charge.

    BTW, I’m not sloppy in the charge, just don’t have my data at hand. Somebody needs to create an ios app.

    @Michael458 of the two machined bullets, do you find that the hp is any more effective than the big meplat? Obviously either is more than adequate for squirrel (I’m being facetious in case that isn’t obvious) and deer and such, I’m thinking bear.

    @nooneimportant which mold is that 325 hp? I have a 325hp mold from miha, but haven’t cast any yet.
     
  16. Michael458

    Michael458 Active Member

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    Jim, the HP as you refer to is actually a modified CPS, or Cup Point Solid. Standard CPS does not expand, however John at North Fork designed these to actually expand, and they do an incredible job with expansion and extreme deep penetration. However, the problem is, North Fork is no longer in business after October this year.

    The Solid is specifically designed for 45/70, and is very effective, and gives extreme deep and straight penetration. Of the two for bear, I would opt for the North Fork CPS, if I could get any. CEB also makes some dandy Lever Raptors, HP's, that would knock any bear in the dirt, and are available.

    Those Bullets from North Fork and CEB are extremely high performance bullets designed to get the very most out of 45/70 that you can get. I have had guys use these even on Cape Buffalo with great success, and wish that I would have had them back in the day I shot Cape Buffalo with 45/70, but back in those days there just was not anything like that available.

    You don't really need them for black bear however. If it were brown bear, yes, I would be opting for these, but for black bear, even the big ones, there are many good conventional bullets that would do fine.

    Without doubt RL 7 is the way to go in 45/70. I have tried a lot of different powders, including IMR 3031, and while you can get good loads with any of them, RL 7 still comes out consistent and on top. Especially with bullets less than 400 grains. At 400 grs IMR 4198 comes out best with velocity and keeping pressures lower. 350 or less, RL 7. You do have to know your keg of RL 7 however, there are lots of inconsistency between Kegs or different containers, lot# does not much matter. But RL 7 is good enough that when I buy say 15-20 lbs of it, I mix it all together in a 5 gallon bucket, then put it back in containers labeling the date I mixed it, and then test it. This way I have however many pounds that are the same.

    Extreme low velocity loads, IMR 4198 comes out on top with most anything. No hangfires. At least I never had any.
     
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  17. nooneimportant

    nooneimportant Happy to be here

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    NOI 4 cav HP mold
     
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