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45-70 blackpowder loads

divecopdivecop Member Posts: 778 ✭✭✭✭
I want to load some 45-70 BP loads, anyone have any favorites?

Comments

  • HandgunHTR52HandgunHTR52 Member Posts: 2,735
    edited November -1
    How about a 405 grain .45 caliber bullet over 70 grains of BP?[;)]
  • divecopdivecop Member Posts: 778 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks, I'll give it a try. just started shooting 45-70 and wanted
    to know what's a good load for BP.
  • PA ShootistPA Shootist Member Posts: 641 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I suppose an answer was given somewhat in jest, as of course the original loading was 70 gr Black Powder and a 405 grain bullet. However, I believe that quantity of powder won't fit into most modern cases with today's thicker web, and smaller internal dimensions than the old balloon-head cases. At least I can't get 70 grains into any of mine, no matter the drop tube length. I do have good luck with 62 gr FFg and an .060 cardboard wad with the 405 gr lead cast 1/20 in my Trapdoor, good accuracy, nice crack. Your mileage may vary.
  • steve45steve45 Member Posts: 2,843 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    If your using black powder or a substitute you have to fill the case full with slight compression or the loading can be dangerous.
  • PA ShootistPA Shootist Member Posts: 641 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks, Steve45, for your addition, I should have included the advice to use a full case, with no airspace between powder and bullet. My load does just that, requiring some compression of powder as the wad and bullet are seated.
  • R D HenryR D Henry Member Posts: 190 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    "If your using black powder or a substitute you have to fill the case full with slight compression or the loading can be dangerous."

    I don't suggest you try that trick with 777, or you'll be in for the thrill of a lifetime! [:D] [:0] Real BP is meant to compress slightly, but not 777. When in doubt, check the Hodgdon site for load data. [;)]

    You'll achieve a far more harmonious outcome. [8D]
  • steve45steve45 Member Posts: 2,843 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Quote from the Hodgdon website when loading 777 into cartridges. "Allow no airspace use light compression." Same as every other blackpowder substitute.
  • jefatsjefats Member Posts: 10 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Need help, guys

    Can someone walk me thru the steps of loading BP for the 45-70. I have just acquired a H&R Springfield carbine and would like to try it with BP. I've been loading smokeless for 30 years as well as muzzle loading, but never BP in metalic cases. I'm a little nervous reading some of posts about the dangers with compressing and air space etc. I thought it would be simpler than smokeless.

    I have 405 grain cast bullets on hand to use.

    Thanks
  • PA ShootistPA Shootist Member Posts: 641 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I reload only two blackpowder cartridges, the .45-70 and the .43 Mauser (11.15x60R). Both are similar, and I don't think you can get into too much trouble if you follow a couple common-sense steps. First, the powder measure I use is an old Lyman 55 cast iron model, which used to be recommended for black powder, though nowadays they offer a special one. The idea is to reduce or eliminate the chance of any static electricity sparks making an explosion in your measure, from plastic hoppers. Next, with real black powder, no air space should be left in the case; it is best if the black powder is somewhat compressed. I fill both cases to just above where the bullet base will be when seated. I haven't used long drop tubes to get more powder in the case, feeling that what I had was working well and was enough. I use an overpowder wad, of .060" cardboard (I read this was a good idea), then seat the bullet, lightly compressing the powder charge. I use 2F granulation for both, some recommend coarser, but I find the 2F readily available, and coarser not available. Primers are standard large rifle, bullets are 405 gr cast 1/20 tin/lead for the .45-70, 346 gr 1/20 for the Mauser, lubed with soft blackpowder lube. The cartridges have proven both accurate and reliable in an original Trapdoor rifle, and in a Mauser 71/84 rifle. Both end up a little over 60 grains in today's cases, and the report has a nice crack, indicating just-about-right pressures. I shot a small antlerless deer this year here in Pennsylvania with the Mauser, a one-shot full-penetration kill at about 60 yards. After shooting, I wash the cases in a solution of dish detergent and hot water and dry, or they will have a nasty build-up of crud till you come back to them. I am sure there are many other ideas and variations, but this has worked for me for a couple thousand rounds.
  • jefatsjefats Member Posts: 10 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    PA Shootist,

    Thanks for the information. You have answered just about all my questions.

    Also, looks like cleanup shouldn't be as big a problem as with muzzel loaders.

    Thanks again,
  • steve45steve45 Member Posts: 2,843 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Hello, I reload for 45-70 only and like PA Shootist I find that 62 grains from a standard volume blackpowder loader (the handheld type that you use with a muzzleloader.)is correct with pyrodex select to fill the case. I use a purchased 45 caliber (for a pistol I suppose)overpowder wad and this lightly compresses the powder charge. The important thing to remember in blackpowder cartridge reloading is that if you leave a airspace between the powder and the bullet in a blackpowder cartridge it acts like a bullet stuck in a barrel and may bulge the barrel at the spot where the bullet sits.
  • reindeerreindeer Member Posts: 129 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have a question as I am about to do exactly the same thing. My trapdoors go wanting for some good old blackpowder. I have read and re-read Pat Wolf's book as well as subscribed to the BP Cartridge News. I have just completed construction of reloading bench but, however, do not load cartridge. What is the best reloading press for the 45-70?
  • PA ShootistPA Shootist Member Posts: 641 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    The best press for reloading .45-70 cartridges might just be the one you already have. Nothing special in the way of a press is needed, as far as cartridge length, etc. I use a single-stage press, rather than either of the progressives I own, because of two reasons: I don't use the volume of cartridges to justify the set-up, especially the shell-holder plates needed for the progressives; and the afore-mentioned cast-iron Lyman 55 powder measure, to avoid any possible build-up of a static charge, wouldn't work on my Dillon 550 or Hornady Pro-Jector.
  • reindeerreindeer Member Posts: 129 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks but one question (more): I have an old 55 powder measure which had factory instructions and markings that indicated it was ok for b/p use. I understand that the factory has shifted its thinking and now no longer recommends the use of this old press for b/p use. It had the plastic powder hopper which I swapped out with a new brass hopper from Buffalo Arms. It is my understanding that by doing that (replacing the plastic with non-sparking brass) I have eliminated the static spark hazard. Correct? reindeer
  • PA ShootistPA Shootist Member Posts: 641 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Regarding "eliminating" static spark hazards, I would have to say you have "reduced" static spark hazards. I worked in welding equipment for many years, and when we installed solid-state control boards in equipment, we would wear a grounding wrist strap, a conductive strap attached to a ground such as a water pipe (we had a special copper rod driven through the floor into the earth), so a static spark built up from clothing, friction, etc. wouldn't arc across an expensive circuit board damaging delicate components. On my powder measure, when dealing with a half-pound of potentially explosive black powder in the hopper, I ran a grounding wire with a small clamp on each end to the electrical conduit coming down to my workbench. Overkill, maybe? But it added a bit of confidence. A lot depends on your conditions, dryness, types of clothing, etc.
  • aap2aap2 Member Posts: 203 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by reindeer
    I have a question as I am about to do exactly the same thing. My trapdoors go wanting for some good old blackpowder. I have read and re-read Pat Wolf's book as well as subscribed to the BP Cartridge News. I have just completed construction of reloading bench but, however, do not load cartridge. What is the best reloading press for the 45-70?
  • aap2aap2 Member Posts: 203 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Originally posted by reindeer
    I have a question as I am about to do exactly the same thing. My trapdoors go wanting for some good old blackpowder. I have read and re-read Pat Wolf's book as well as subscribed to the BP Cartridge News. I have just completed construction of reloading bench but, however, do not load cartridge. What is the best reloading press for the 45-70?
    Reading Wolf's book is a great start; I have several original trapdoors that I god in surplus, unfired condtion 30 years ago and couldn't hit anything with them until I read Wolf's book. Follow the recommendations for BP loads and the accuracy is exceptional.
  • reindeerreindeer Member Posts: 129 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Which bullet do you build for a t/d rifle? And what do you build for a Cadet and Carbine? Do you adhere to to his lead/tin mix ratios? Do you use a drop tube and if I recall, he did not use any wadding between the powder and the bullet? I have the book upstairs but I just wanted to jot a quick response to say thanks. reindeer.
  • camljr59camljr59 Member Posts: 4 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Has anybody used the "trailboss" BP substitute in the 45-70 trap door loads yet?
    If so, what was your stategy?
    Thanks,
  • Hawk CarseHawk Carse Member Posts: 4,296 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    DANGER CAMLJR59, DANGER!!!

    Trailboss is NOT a BP substitute.
    Trailboss is a fast burning pistol powder made at low bulk density to take up more room in BP cartridges. Hodgdon's top load for a 405 gr bullet in a Trapdoor is 13 grains for only 1007 fps. That makes it noticeably hotter than Unique. Plinking ammo only.

    There is a good introduction to BPCR at
    http://www.ssbpcrc.co.uk/Resources/Introduction to BPCR Loading.pdf
  • camljr59camljr59 Member Posts: 4 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Hawk Carse
    DANGER CAMLJR59, DANGER!!!

    Trailboss is NOT a BP substitute.
    Trailboss is a fast burning pistol powder made at low bulk density to take up more room in BP cartridges. Hodgdon's top load for a 405 gr bullet in a Trapdoor is 13 grains for only 1007 fps. That makes it noticeably hotter than Unique. Plinking ammo only.

    There is a good introduction to BPCR at
    http://www.ssbpcrc.co.uk/Resources/Introduction to BPCR Loading.pdf


    What would make it dangerous if you used the loads listed in the manual? shows 12 grains as a start, for 927 fps and 13 grains for 1007 fps. Is this dangerous? if so why, I checked the case fill and there is no air gap between the powder and the 405 grain lead rn triple gas checked bullet. very slight compression...

    Please educate me...
  • Hawk CarseHawk Carse Member Posts: 4,296 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I didn't say it was dangerous to use a handbook load, I said it was dangerous to consider Trailboss to be a black powder substitute. Fake BPs can be loaded to the same volume as black, Trailboss definitely cannot. If it fills the case up to the base of the bullet in that specific load, great. But don't take that for granted.
  • mbsamsmbsams Member Posts: 1,076 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I am having a little trouble believing 12 grains of any powder fills a 45-70 case can anyone confirm this about trailboss powder? I use 11gr of unique and it is a small perentage of the volume, also about 1000 fps and very accurate. Just tip the muzzle up before the shot
  • camljr59camljr59 Member Posts: 4 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    mbsams,

    It is true, Trailboss DOES fill the case with only 12-13 grains.

    It is a very fluffy formula, designed to fill large cases.

    Hard to believe, but true. try it for yourself.

    It is only about $14 a pound. works for cowboy action pistol loads also.
  • Killian19Killian19 Member Posts: 6 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by mbsams
    I am having a little trouble believing 12 grains of any powder fills a 45-70 case can anyone confirm this about trailboss powder? I use 11gr of unique and it is a small perentage of the volume, also about 1000 fps and very accurate. Just tip the muzzle up before the shot


    According to the Lyman 47 guide you should be using a wad in the load. I shot the same same load, with a wad and it is very accurate.
  • slumlord44slumlord44 Member Posts: 3,693 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have done a lot of reading on blackpowder cartridge loading. Most say an over poweder wad is necessary. A few others say it is unneeded. I need to play with both to see for myself. They will go bang either way. If you are going for ultimate accuracy it may make a difference. If you are plinking or hunting at moderate ranges, it may not be so critical.
  • Whiskers303Whiskers303 Member Posts: 4 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Duplex for clean shooting. First, 4-7 grains of 3031 or 4759. then fill to within 1/4 inch of top with 2F Black, seat bullet all the way on top - no air spaces.. The smokeless is about three times the power of black, so if you have 5 gr of smokeless and 65 grains of black, gives approximately same velocity as 80 grains black. careful not to go over a 10% smokeless to black ratio... clean bore and pleasant to shoot.
  • mazo kidmazo kid Member Posts: 648 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Another thing to consider is to use a BLACK POWDER type soft lube that contains NO petroleum. Using modern smokeless lube will give you a gooey mess of fouling after just a few rounds.
    Also, Trapdoors are famous for having generous size bores, so using bullets of .460"+ might give better accuracy. If in doubt, slug your bore(s)
  • r1kk1r1kk1 Member Posts: 5 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Steve 45 writes:
    "If your using black powder or substitute you have to fill the case full with slight compression or the loading can be dangerous"

    Steve, I have loaded Goex, Elephant, Kik and substitutes with various amounts of compression to no compression. Results can vary rifle to rifle. I have loaded for the Springfield Trap Door using 405 and the Lee 500 grain with various combinations of wad, no wad, thickness, etc. Mileage varies of course with everyones rifles. I do NOT allow for air space. The drop tube allows me to get the maximum amount of powder, wad and/or cookie, bullet combination that I can use.

    camijr59 writes:
    "It is true, Trailboss DOES fill the case with only 13 grains"
    No it does not. Also check the hodgdon site for pressures using trailboss. With 13 grs. Trailboss does over 25,000 psi. Shake your cases with 13 grains of Trailboss and a 405 gr. bullet, it rattles.

    Group,

    I thought the pressure limit for trapdoors was 18,000 psi. Did this change? I know Hodgdon lists the Trailboss load for trapdoors, but looking at accuratearms.com website, 5744 powder comes in under 17000 psi.

    I shoot a 45-70 contender and an H&R handi rifle with both smokeless and black powder loads, my wife and I prefer the black over the smokeless. I now just cast the 500 gr. and use walter wads, sized to 459" , lube with l&r stuff blackpowder lube. It works.

    Your mileage will vary. My personal experiences are just that as I am not attacking anyone, just relaying what I have experienced.

    take care,

    r1kk1
  • r1kk1r1kk1 Member Posts: 5 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    PA Shootist writes:

    "... Lyman 55 powder measure, ... wouldn't work on my Dillon 550"

    In the Dillon catalog, there is a powder measure die used on the old 450 Dillon that allow for other manufacturers powder measure to be used. You would still have to manually move the charge handle by hand but it does work. It is another step.

    I still like to use my drop tube and bypass this station on the Dillon to drop powder but it does have a C&H 4-D 'M type' die in its place.

    take care,

    eric
  • r1kk1r1kk1 Member Posts: 5 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    In the Dillon catalog there is a powder die listed to use with other powder measurers. It is made to fit the older 450 and you still have to manually work the measure.


    just a thought,

    r1kk1
  • r1kk1r1kk1 Member Posts: 5 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    In the Dillon catalog there is a powder die listed to use with other powder measurers. It is made to fit the older 450 and you still have to manually work the measure.


    just a thought,

    r1kk1
  • steve45steve45 Member Posts: 2,843 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by r1kk1
    Steve 45 writes:
    "If your using black powder or substitute you have to fill the case full with slight compression or the loading can be dangerous"

    Steve, I have loaded Goex, Elephant, Kik and substitutes with various amounts of compression to no compression. Results can vary rifle to rifle. I have loaded for the Springfield Trap Door using 405 and the Lee 500 grain with various combinations of wad, no wad, thickness, etc. Mileage varies of course with everyones rifles. I do NOT allow for air space. The drop tube allows me to get the maximum amount of powder, wad and/or cookie, bullet combination that I can use.

    camijr59 writes:
    "It is true, Trailboss DOES fill the case with only 13 grains"
    No it does not. Also check the hodgdon site for pressures using trailboss. With 13 grs. Trailboss does over 25,000 psi. Shake your cases with 13 grains of Trailboss and a 405 gr. bullet, it rattles.

    Group,

    I thought the pressure limit for trapdoors was 18,000 psi. Did this change? I know Hodgdon lists the Trailboss load for trapdoors, but looking at accuratearms.com website, 5744 powder comes in under 17000 psi.

    I shoot a 45-70 contender and an H&R handi rifle with both smokeless and black powder loads, my wife and I prefer the black over the smokeless. I now just cast the 500 gr. and use walter wads, sized to 459" , lube with l&r stuff blackpowder lube. It works.

    Your mileage will vary. My personal experiences are just that as I am not attacking anyone, just relaying what I have experienced.

    take care,

    r1kk1
    Rikki, compression of the powder is more important for a hunter or someone thats going to walk, drive or shake the cartridge. In a blackpowder cartridge that is not compressed SLIGHTLY the powder may respond to the shaking and settle, thus creating an airspace between the bullet and powder. Using a drop tube to compress or settle the powder is another way to avoid this problem. The main point Im trying to get across to anyone considering loading a blackpowder cartridge with blackpowder or a approved blackpowder substitute is that an airspace between the bullet and the powder is dangerous and should be avoided.
  • Hawk CarseHawk Carse Member Posts: 4,296 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    You can compress the dickens out of REAL black powder.
    The GOEX rep recommends filling the case level full of loose powder and taking that weight or volume as your starting load. Going to be 65-68 grains. When you drop tube it into a case through a 30 inch tube it will settle an eighth inch or more below the mouth. Then compress it with a die to the seating depth so you don't mash the bullet out of shape. GOEX will respond to .34" of compression; Swiss needs less.
  • r1kk1r1kk1 Member Posts: 5 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    [/quote]Rikki, compression of the powder is more important for a hunter or someone thats going to walk, drive or shake the cartridge. The main point Im trying to get across to anyone considering loading a blackpowder cartridge with blackpowder or a approved blackpowder substitute is that an airspace between the bullet and the powder is dangerous and should be avoided.
    [/quote]

    Amen on that Steve45. The rigors of what cartridges go through can be mind boggling! Leaving an airspace is a dangerous situation. I think Sam Fadala did an article on this years ago. It will bulge a barrel at the very least. I use different compression rates to do accuracy work at the range (always experimenting) and have a hunting load that has worked well for me. The difference is that my hunting load has a light taper crimp to keep the bullet seated into the case and the case is full length sized to enable me to drop a cartridge into the chamber no matter where I'm at (Alaska but Montana for the most part) and no matter what temperature. My target loads are very different than the hunting loads. If I go to Arizona to hunt Javelina, then my lube that I use is slightly harder. It is warm there even in January in the desert!

    Steve45
    That is sage advice. The air gap issue seems to be a more prominent issue in muzzleloaders due to the lack of eyesight seeing where the powder ends the projectile base starts. I have had a situation where in a smoothbore flintlock that I let a friend hunt with, shot a little far back on the elk and I took the muzzleloader poured powder quickly down the muzzle, dropped an unpatched round ball, slam the butt on the ground in an attempt to seat it and fill the pan and fire. It is rare that I do this but he hit the animal a little far back, later I was right, a gut shot. I fired and the elk went a few yards and piled up. I immediately reloaded the same way. My friend asked me if that was proper, I replied NO! They may have done that in the Revolutionary War in order to survive. I told him that the ball can still roll away from the powder and bulge the barrel or worse. Your comment brought back memories of that day and the choices I made also that same day. I am very aware more so of the airspace issues in rifled muzzleloaders than in cartridge.

    Steve45 you are most definitely right... Hunting rounds have to handle the rigors not thought of before.

    take care,

    r1kk1
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