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Dr. JuanDr. Juan Member Posts: 53 ✭✭
Can I safely shot the Hornaday lever loads in my Trapdoor rifle?


  • Dr. JuanDr. Juan Member Posts: 53 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have a Springfield 45-70 rifle that is in great shape. I have shot it several times with some Cowboy loads. Can I safely shot the Lever loads made by Hornaday in it? I have asked Hornaday, but they do not
    respond. Thanks for any help.
  • fishkiller41fishkiller41 Member Posts: 50,608
    edited November -1
  • mongrel1776mongrel1776 Member Posts: 894 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    The Trapdoor Springfield isn't the strongest of designs. It was chosen as the preferred system for converting muzzleloaders to a breechloading system because it was one of the cheapest and easiest methods, not the strongest, and the adoption of the purpose-built .50-70 and finally .45-70 Trapdoors was based on economy (tooling in place and basic production up and running). Both the original and modern lever guns chambered for the .45-70 for the most part have stronger actions. Some of the "cowboy" ammo intended for use in guns like the Marlin 1895 or the Winchester 1886 MIGHT pose no safety hazard in a modern Trapdoor replica, but IMHO if MIGHT is the best way of putting it then the idea should be regarded as unsafe.
  • CapnMidnightCapnMidnight Member Posts: 8,520
    edited November -1
    Dr. Juan,
    You asked this question last week, and we told you no. It's not going to change this week.
    Not trying to give you a bad time, just wondering why you asked again.
  • 44caliberkid44caliberkid Member Posts: 925 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    If you don't reload or know someone who could do it for you about the only factory load I would use in an original trapdoor would be the Goex or Black Dawg real BP loads.
    You didn't say if your gun is an antique or a new production replica. If it's a new replica gun you could use modern cowboy loads in it.
    Getting the best out of an original Springfield is nearly a handloading only situation.
  • GatofeoGatofeo Member Posts: 230 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Don't do it.
    The 1873 Springfield "trapdoor" is a notoriously weak design, compared to more modern designs.
    It's fine with black powder, and perhaps light relatively light charges of smokeless. Or perhaps not.
    The late gun writer Elmer Keith felt that the Trapdoor was not strong enough for smokeless powder. All he'd shoot in his originals was black powder and lead bullets.
    You can argue old guns vs. modern reproductions, and the improved metallurgy in the latter, but the limiting factor is the design, not the steel involved.
    I have a Trapdoor, made by H&R, I purchased new in 1977. It looks and functions like new because I don't take chances with it. If I want to soup a .45-70, I use my 1970s Marlin 1895.
    Buy a newly made 1895 Marlin if you need more power. The Trapdoor is for fun, not power.
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