45-70 connundrum

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goodsteel
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 4:23 am

45-70 connundrum

Postby goodsteel » Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:23 pm

I'd love to have a conversation about this awesome cartridge. I love the 45-70 above all others, because it dangles power and versatility like a carrot that I can't resist. However, as awesome as it is, I feel that the specific place I want to run it, is a bit of a challenge due to powder selection (or those I have tried so far).

The goal for me is to get an accurate load for my Browning 1886 with a MV of 1450FPS (give or take) using a cast bullet of 350-450 grains. It needs to shoot accurately in cold weather as well as warm. I would be happy with 1.5" groups on demand at 100 yards, and 3.5" at 200 yards.

The problem is that all the loads I have tried in this range have been less than ideal, and accuracy doesn't seem to improve till I use a powder that fills the case better.

I have tried loads with faster powders that used dacron to fill the empty case space, but they are not reliable session to session. I have tried lower end loads of 3031 that seem to be all that and a bag of chips, but the steel butt plate on my 1886 makes them perfect training wheels for a flinch.

I considered using Black Powder (not Pyrodex), and I'm willing if that's the only viable solution, but I really want a smokeless option.

I'm feeling my way forward as I can, and working through loads with each powder and bullet design I see as a good option (I'm working with the Lyman 457483 right now), but I would love to hear what others have found to work well.

Isn't it a strange pickle the 45-70 finds itself in? It was designed for shooting black powder and the case capacity mirrors that. We all know that one of the things that guarantees consistent performance from range session to range session is a powder that properly fills the case, but with this cartridge, trailboss is the only one that comes close, and results with that stuff are iffy at best.

Therefore, the 45-70 only finds itself in the target shooting arena when it is loaded with BP. The only other widely accepted use of this cartridge is as a sort of pocket elephant gun that kills on both ends.

If you're looking for target quality performance in the 1400-1500 feet per second range, it simply does not exist.
Strange there is no smokeless powder that works like this. Or is there? A friend of mine has demonstrated very noticeable accuracy using surplus cannon powder. I may give that a try. It certainly seemed to fit all the criteria for a good load, including properly filling the case.

Blammer
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2015 2:05 am

Re: 45-70 connundrum

Postby Blammer » Sat Jan 30, 2016 2:01 am

this makes me almost wish I had a 45-70, specifically in a ruger #1. :)

all I have to play with is my 444.
Sometimes you have to ignore the "good idea fairy"

Please stop telling me "That can't be done" while I'm doing it, it's just plain annoying.

goodsteel
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 4:23 am

Re: 45-70 connundrum

Postby goodsteel » Sat Jan 30, 2016 2:14 am

Nothing wrong with the 444 Darrell. Sweet cartridge. I just wish it was easier to find brass for it!

So what load do you use, and what accuracy have you seen?

Blammer
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2015 2:05 am

Re: 45-70 connundrum

Postby Blammer » Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:45 pm

I am using a mould from a group buy, but I think NOE has it now, not sure.

Image


It's a 323gr GC FP. I'm using IMR4198 38 gr.
at 100yds I get 1.5x1.5" groups. Dead on.
at 200yds I get a 17" drop and maybe due to wind I get a 5-6" wide but still 1.5" tall group.
Sometimes you have to ignore the "good idea fairy"

Please stop telling me "That can't be done" while I'm doing it, it's just plain annoying.

Hickok
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2016 5:42 pm

Re: 45-70 connundrum

Postby Hickok » Thu Mar 03, 2016 4:12 pm

You may have already tried this load, but it is working for me.
Marlin JM Classic 1895 22" barrel. (regular rifling)

Lyman #457643 ACWW Powder coated, sized .460" 422gr.
24 gr/2400 1gr. Dacron 1476fps@ 50 degrees

5 shots consistently 1.5-2" @ 100 yards.


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