45-120 hunting load

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  • Last Post 18 August 2019
boilerman posted this 05 June 2019

Has anyone worked up a smokeless hunting load for the 45-120 Sharps? I have a Pedersoli 1874 Long Range Express that I will be taking on a hunt this fall. The mould I am using is Lyman 457125 HQ. It has been throwing bullets weighing 525-530 grains. I have tried 5744 and my rifle did not like that powder one bit. Open to suggestions.

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M3 Mitch posted this 05 June 2019

What game do you intend to hunt?  What kind of terrain, do you expect to have to take longer shots?  I don't have any answers for you but maybe I can help you flesh out the questions.

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Bud Hyett posted this 05 June 2019

My experience was with a .50-110 in a Marlin 1895 square bolt, original production with 1913 manufacturing date. This had a .33 WCF barrel that was bored to .50 caliber. I had hopes of Africa with it and a companion rifle in .45-90. Alas, money and time were factors limiting that trip and I sold the rifles when offered a 300% profit. 

My experience with both was that smokeless powder did not provide the accuracy that Black Powder provided. I had a companion with a Winchester 1886 in .45-70 and another in .45-90 so we worked together. His experience was the same for the .45-90 while the .45-70 produced good accuracy with smokeless. 

It could be the case capacity is too great to get consistent ignition. Along these lines, I am not one to use wads since I fear barrel-ringing.

The best result for both rifles was with Reloder #7 powder. I wish I had kept better records at that time. 

Farm boy from Western Illinois, living in the Magical Pacific Northwest

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boilerman posted this 07 June 2019

Will be hunting moose in Newfoundland. The guide stated that ranges could be from 100 to 300 yards. The terrain is expected to be a marsh and pines as recommended footwear is 16" wetland hunting boots. I saw pictures of the hunting area and its not too mountainous.

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BigMan54 posted this 07 June 2019

From My limited Experience, and from what I have heard: 

The limit on the .45 Caliber Black Powder cartridges for  is the .45-90. Any more Capacity then that doesn't seem to work with smokeless.

Met a Guy at End of Trail from Idaho back in 1998. He Bought a Shiloh in .45-120, shot pretty good with Black Powder. But when He tried smokeless, didn't work. Cut some cases down to .45-110, didn't work. Bought some new Starline .45-100, that didn't work, Cut them down to .45-90, That worked.

I can't give you anymore info, it was a short conversation. But He said he was sending the Rifle back to Shiloh for a .45-90 bbl.

You could try Cream of Wheat filler. I have a friend that does that in his 1886's. A .40-82 and a .45-90, both with IMR3031 or IMR4198. He has 4 8lb kegs so he's never tried 5744 or Trail Boss.

Sorry that all I got. 

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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Brodie posted this 08 June 2019

I assume that you want to use smokeless powder because of some regulation in Canada about the propellant.  If this is the case then I guess that you are stuck with it .  If it is not due to some stupid reg then use the black.  I don't think that the air line will break down a round to check. 

Roger has made an excellent suggestion about the use of COW as a filler.  I have used it with the 458 Mag and the 38-55.  I can't believe that you will have any trouble in that straight sided case.  Where people get in trouble using COW as a filler is when they try to use it in bottle neck cases.  The material apparently does not flow well through the shoulder constriction....................   Good Luck

B.E.Brickey

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lmcl123 posted this 18 August 2019

 Boilerman, Hi I'm  new to the forum. Are you still looking for smokeless 45-120 loads. If so PM me and I can send you what I have. I spent last summer working up some loads for moose. I used alot of powders that you won't find in the reloading manuals. I used the Quickload software program to find some safe starting loads, and PressureTrace to verify pressures. I ended up with a Barnes 300gr TSX bullet using AR-Comp at about 2600fps out of my C Sharps Model 1875 34" barrel, 3/4" group at 100 yards (bench rest on a good day).

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