i bought a Springfield 45-70 trap door i need some information on reloading the ammo,i have been told to use swift 2f black powder 65 gr. a 405 grain hallow base bullet and to compress the powder. how does this sound to you? also would like to know if i use less powder can i use a patch or something to fill the void between the powder and the bullet?i am looking for the right way to reload these.thank you.
springfield 45-70 trap door
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- Last Post 06 January 2017
I'm guessing you mean Swiss 2f powder. Can't say if the charge weight and bullet weight are good choices. Compressing the powder often improves the performance of a lot of black powder loadings. But with black powder you need to avoid allowing an air gap to be present between the base of the bullet and the top of the powder. This is usually done with 1, 2 or possibly more wads being pushed down on top of the powder column before seating the bullet. Then the base of the bullet rests on top of the wad(s).
Using BP is a great loading experience and is different in some ways than using smokeless powders.
yes i meant Swiss 2f black powder, some time my fingers and mind don't work together lol.
For your entertainment, here is a trapdoor I finished a couple weeks ago.
VERY nice work. It's great to see you over here.
73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia
Thanks, Ed. I don't spend much time on the computer any more. It seems the older I get, the less time there is to do things.
6.7 LOADING THE SPRINGFIELD 45-70 THE EASY WAY
I bought my first 45/70 rifle, a Springfield model 1884, from Ralph Laffoly at his gun shop in Melrose Mass. in 1963. On this rifle the cleaning rod was the bayonet; the bayonet could be extended ahead of the muzzle and was held by a catch mechanism.
This rifle was in nice condition, with a bright and shiny bore; and cost $40. Mr. Laffoly threw in a box of ammunition after I paid, which was his way with the younger shooters.
I was casting and reloading for the 30/06 at that time, and bought a Lyman 457191 305 grain mold to make bullets; but couldn't come up with the cash for the reloading dies, shell holder and sizing dies for a while.
I cast bullets and lubricated them by hand or pan lubed them, and developed a way to reload at the range. Here are some photos to help explain this reloading method:
A ground-to-size ice pick, whacked with a stick, removed the primer
Here's the ice pick. It is a lot sharper than the picture shows, and will decap cases easily when whacked with a stick. However, time marches on.
great stuff joeb ... now THAT is reloading in it's true spirit..
reminds me that when i was 12 yrs. i cajoled my dad every three hours to let me get a lyman tool for my 218 bee ... he finally caved in when he saw my crutched up loading methods ...
Maybe instead of wads taking up that excess space, put a wad in on top of the powder and fill the rest of the space with a grease cookie. This is the process that always accompanies a paper patch bullet so why not try it with; I'm assuming now, your grease groove bullets.
By the way, I hope you're using a black powder lube when loading those bullets over black powder rather than any of the smokeless powder lubes.
There were several good articles about loading BPCR cartridges in a couple of back issues of TFS. they were written specifically for beginners and they are in TFS # 215, Jan-Feb 2012, TFS #216, March-April 2016, and TFS #225 Sep-Oct 2013.
Keep us posted on your progress because a few of us will be and are interested. I don't visit this Forum real often but I do check back every now and then.
I also shoot BPCR and have several 45-70's and found those 3 articles very interesting. I will also add, it's a topic not often covered in TFS.
If you are shooting a 405 grain hollow base bullet, I would look askance at using an over-powder wad. The function of the hollow base is to expand and seal the base against the rifling. The wad gets pushed into the hollow base and interferes with the expansion. The 500 grain round nose bullet is heavy enough to provide the resistance ot the initial gas push to sit and expand to the rifling before moving in the barrel. The 405 grain bullet does not expand before moving , that is the reason for the hollow base.
My favorite .45-70 black powder load for several rifles is:
- W-W case
- Federal 215 primer
- 68 grains Swiss FFg - Compressed - Drop tube
- .030 fiber over-powder wad, 030 milk carton wad soaked in lube
- SAECO 1881 500 grain round-nose - 25/1 Pb/Sn alloy
- SPG lubed; sized in a .460 only to get lubed
- Taper crimp
This is not the flattest shooting load for long range matches, it requires several more minutes elevation over a pointed bullet at 600 yards. However, I score better with this load if I watch the wind very closely.
Farm boy from Western Illinois, living in the Magical Pacific Northwest
I have a couple Springfield 45-70's, and shoot exclusively black powder by choice. If you go to the posts and look for strings in my name, you will see my sojourn so far with the Trapdoors. I hope the data from my experience helps you.
I have found in my rifles one likes heavy loads and the other lite loads. I cover how I load compressed loads of 70 grains, and going down to 55 grains of BP. I pan lube with SPG, that has worked best for me, each his or her own for lube and application. If you would like more data from my shooting, send me a personal reply and I will go into depth.
Happy New Year, enjoy your Trapdoor.
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