I would like to start casting bullets for two 45-70 rifles. One is a 1860's Remington rolling block, the other is a Remington Keene bolt action. I will mostly be shooting at paper. I would prefer to use smokeless powder for both of them. Any ideas for a mold that will work for both. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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Two designs that you can't go wrong with.
David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
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I’ve found that with the .45/70s I’ve owned and loaded for ( a couple of trapdoors, an 86 Winchester, and my current 1895 Marlins that 45/70 is pretty forgiving in bullet selection. They all seemed to shoot well with smokeless and black powder. They don’t require gas checks for the velocity that will be safe in your rifles.
If you want to get your feet wet cheap look at the Lee molds in 45 caliber, they all work. All the current Lyman molds work as do the RCBS. If you want to go down the rabbit hole my favorite current mold is an NOE 460 diameter 405 grain FP. Works great in my guide gun, 1895, and is very accurate in my .458 Win Mag.
If the rifles have the original sights, you may wish to consider sticking to around 400 grains and 1200 f/s to keep them useable. FWIW
The NOE molds look like a good choice. I started with the RCBS 45-300-FN and the 45-405-FN for the Marlin 1895. Both are very similar to the recommended NOE Molds except the RCBS are gascheck molds. The gaschecks are not needed for the velocity levels you will be shooting. In fact, my unused .45 gaschecks are so old, they came in a round tin can.
The NOE molds will give you a lighter bullet for plinking and a heavier bullet for hunting. If you later want to shoot a heavier bullet, I am extremely partial to the SAECO 1881 mold for the 500 grain Government bullet. The felt recoil between the 315 grain and the 500 grain will be noticeable.
Farm boy from Western Illinois, living in the Magical Pacific Northwest
Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. This gives me a good starting point. The 45-70 will be new territory for me. I have shot this caliber, but never reloaded it. Thanks again.
Off the beaten path...
I started with the Lee 405-HB for my Marlin 1895, as they like larger bullets for the micro-groove bbls. The HB was supposed to cast .459, and with HB, fill the bore. I simply started with a Trapdoor Waters recommended load of 38.5 gr of IMR 3031. 1350 FPS chrono'd. Works great/killed two deer with it. No reason to change except I want to play with some old Ranch Dog molds/bullets in 300/350 gr.
As you are working with two older rifles that may have less than perfect bores, I would expect the HB bullet to fill the bore and give good results. I would prob cast w/ WW/scrap/20-1/30-1 and see what happens.
If you'll be shooting at paper at 100yds,I find the 300 to 350gr range to be accurate enough.If you plan at 200 and over,the 400 gr would be better at bucking the wind.
I am partial at moulds made by Accurate.
... if there is such a thing as a mouse load for a 45-70 ... i have been shooting a lot of 230 gr. ... the lee mold for the ruger old army pistol .... with 12 gr. unique or equivalent ... i use these as cast, no leading so far, using soft molly lube put on sloppily as i seat the bullet.
being that this would still be a ++P++ load in a 45 ACP ..... i have no doubt it would be plenty for even a white tail ... at least at the 50 yards that i use these to plink .
and also my lady friends can have fun shooting my Ruger3 " buffalo " rifle ... and the cartridges look a lot like a big 22 short ... it kicks about like a 243, but much quieter ...
btw, thanks to our friend Joeb for enough extra 45-70 cases that i can plink for a while with this load just like a 22 squirrel rifle ... except that an hours worth of loads won't fit into a shirt pocket ...
I ordered the Lee H.B. 405 gr. Mold to start with. The rifles have their original sights. The rolling blocks bore is kind of rough. The Remington Keene has a much better looking bore. Thanks for everyone's help. Next I have to order some brass.
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