Popgun Plinking with a 45-70 ... a bridge too far ??

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 10 June 2017

I love my light little Ruger 3 in 45-70 ... but my shoulder doesn't like even medium loads ... and i can't ask my wife or grandkids to pretend it is fun to shoot those bone-crushers .  i might mention it is the only gun from which i have ever developed a flinch after the first shot .  ma deuce was a lot more gentle ...

...and the recent groundhog shoot got me wondering if i could shoot a 70 score with a "" cap pistol ""  power load in a 45-70 ... i love those big holes .

... so i have decided to accept the mission ( impossible ? )  of developing a wimpy plinking load for it ...the goal is 70 on the groundhog ... but i would settle for popcans at 50 feet .... and recoil about that of my 22 hornet ... ( g ) ..

input would be greatly appreciated .  crazy ideas, warnings, dire predictions .. results of EZE-PEZE... ...all welcome .

so far i am starting with hornady round ball ( 0.457-8 ) ... mainly because i have several hundred ) .. and i had great luck with a 44 mag rifle with round ball at 50 feet .. .. ( 36 twist tho ) ...

so far ... 3 inches at 50 feet with 3 gr trap 100... then small paper wad and then ball rammed to tight fit over the paper wad ( seated in bottom of case )  .  the bang is about right, and no balls stuck in bore ( important to check after each shot with these popper loads ) .... but i have unburned powder in barrel , so will try more wadding/filler .. needs better ignition ... also might try bullseye although * trap 100 * is very fast . ( 3 gr in my makarov ) .

... and yes, a 45 ball puts an  impressive hole in a pepsi can !!  now i just need a load to hit one .  if the balls fail i will next try a 220 gr. round point .   hey if red ryder can do it, how hard can it be ??

ken

 

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Rich/WIS posted this 10 June 2017

Might be easier to buy a mold, NOE makes some lightweight bullet molds for the 45/70,  or buy a Lee mold for the 340 gr and have the mold milled down to remove the bottom driving band and grease groove.

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 10 June 2017

Out to about 35 yards the roundball can group fairly well, but much past 50 yards the accuracy really starts to suffer. I think the recommendation of a NOE lightweight bullet would be an excellent recommendation. You might consider the bullet below, I think it would be dandy out to 125 yards in a .45-70.

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
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Ross Smith posted this 10 June 2017

Ken: When seating the rb so deep, did you experience any shaving the lead? I always wondered about that. I only shoot bp in my trapdoor but yagotmethinkn. I'll have to try some wimpy fff loads shoving the  ball way down.   Ross

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 10 June 2017

Ross,

You need to flair the case mouth lust like with any cast bullet. I send mine through a sizer die first to get a flat are around the circumference, this will give the rifling a little more biting area. Then seat them so the top of the ball is even with the case mouth and the flat ring around the case wall. Top it off with some lube smeared over the bullet and your ready to go. No shaving of the ball at all. 

 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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45 2.1 posted this 10 June 2017

This business of "gallery" loads has been done ever since the 1873 Trapdoor was around. It is relatively easy to do also, the main projectiles would be an adequate size round ball, any copy of the "collar button" (Lyman 457130), MP molds collar button or the like providing it is large enough, or most of the larger 45 hollow base pistol bullet molds. you really need a 0.460" size projectile for the solids for excellent accuracy as most rifles need that size to do well at 50 yards, The pistol and shotgun powders (usually 4 to 5 gr.) serve reasonably well provided you load them so they ignite well. Charlie Dell covered chamber ringing and how to NOT have it occur with the minuscule loads in the large big bore cases........... basically by using a foam egg carton wad about 3/16" ahead of the powder so the powder slopes to the back of the wad..... Read his book on this! That method produces very good accuracy, enough so you can hit a squirrels head with open sights at 50 yards... provided you're still enough. I used this method with a collar button and shot a lot of squirrels over the years with it.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 10 June 2017

thanks guys ... ross i used a lee flaring tool to slightly flair the mouth ... so no lead shaving ... after deep seating i used the lee factory crimp die to push back the flair so it would chamber in the ruger3 .  i need to make a more gentle flare tip than the lee but it did the job .

yes i am very careful about the fillers and wads vs. chamber ringing .  one thought is that when deep seating a ball in the 45-70 ... is that the ball is a long way from the rifling ...wheras in my 44 mag it was much closer and maybe that is why those balls worked better .

i will play with 457 balls a bit more before i go to the more likely lighter standard bullets .  my friend john g. suggests trying a 300 gr mold with 100 grains drilled out of the back ... or front ...   interesting .

thanks again ... ken

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GP Idaho posted this 11 June 2017

Ken: I'm anxious to get started on these 45-70 loads. I won't be going as low on my charges in my new 1895 as you'll be with your #3. One of the friends at Boolits is sending me a couple of old Lee single cavity moulds and I have a Lee C452-300-RF that drops large ..456  with 16 BHN  The Barrel on the new rifle slugs .457 so a coat of powder coat on the.456  bullet and it should be a tic over .458. We shall see. It will be a week or two for me to get all the accouterments together then I'll be ready to join you in the Punkin Chuck. Should be fun.  Gp

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 11 June 2017

now THATS what i be talkin' about !! ... of course when i get a load that can hit a Dew can  at over 35 feet it will be even more fun ... ( g ) ... ken

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Larry Gibson posted this 12 June 2017

I use Bullseye powder so no filler or wad is needed.  I've been shooting RBs out of my 45-70s since the mid '70s.  However, since I started casting the Rapine 460210HB and the Rapine 460250s I haven't used any RBs.  The two bullets shoot so much better.  The 210HB is excellent to 100 +/- yards.  I use it mostly for vermin/small game.  I load it over 6 gr Bullseye.  My most shot 45-70 bullet is 460250 (actually drops at 270 - 275 gr with my alloy).  I load it over 8 gr Bullseye and it is very accurate to 500 yards.  No recoil with either to speak of and lots of fun.....all day long. 

 

The 2 Rapine bullets are on the left;

 

I'd suggest the NOE "collar button" bullet.  Shoot as cast with a light coat of LLA loaded over 4 - 7 gr Bullseye it should prove excellent also.

 

LMG

Concealment is not cover.........

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Ed Harris posted this 12 June 2017

Years ago at the Fairfax Rod & Gun Club I used to compete regularly in a 200-meter Ram Bash with a group of guys who shot mostly original Trapdoor Springfield .45-70s, 40 shots standing at 200 meters on the full sized metallic silhouette ram, normally shot with modern rifles at 500 meters.

A winning score would usually be 35 hits out of 40 or better.  The late LTC Ellis Lea (USA, Ret.) was known for several 40-straights over the years.  My best ever score was a 38 out of 40, but it wasn't good enough to win anything that day, because Ellis Lea, Tom Muddiman and George Sloan all shot 40 straights, so they had a shoot-off firing at the standard rifle-sized chicken target at 200 meters and Ellis dominated the field shooting 5 straight chickens to Muddiman's 4 and  Sloan's 2.

My best load in my original 1884 Trapdoor was a 360-grain Hoch nose-pour FN bullet, which resembled the original carbine bullet, except for its 1/4" meplat at the sprue cutoff.  As-cast diameter was .462, which fit my rifle and I used 11 grains of 700-X with Winchester Large Pistol primers, in Winchester cases, no filler.  Lube was "Confederate Army Lube", equal parts by melted volume of Goya manteca and beeswax.

That rifle would average 5 inch, five-shot groups at 200 meters off sandbags.  Velocity was about 950 fps from the full-length trapdoor barrel.

 

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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beltfed posted this 13 June 2017

I have made up such plinking loads for my '86 Win 45-70 using 454424 lubed,unsized pistol bullets

over 10-12 gr Unique.  My mold casts the bullets from my 9+1 ww/lino alloy up at 0.457-0.458.

Have also used the old 454190 "classic" 45 colt bullet for this load

beltfed/arnie

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TRKakaCatWhisperer posted this 13 June 2017

I have loaded 3 round balls in a .375 Win.  Light load, patterned OK for the ranges I needed.  FWIW.

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Duane Trusty posted this 14 June 2017

Ken

Once upon a time, I had a Ruger #3 in 45-70.

The previous owner had installed a #1 stock with a recoil pad.but also gave me the original, big difference.

My light load used Unique with Lee's 220 Grain for the Ruger Old Army cab and ball. The bullets dropped at 458. so no sizing required. Made kind of a .45Colt with a long barrel..

Good Luck

Duane

 

 

 

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 14 June 2017

thanks duane ... that reminded me i think i have that old army mold ... will dig it out  !! .. ken

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GP Idaho posted this 15 June 2017

Ken; Thanks for the new challenge. I got all the accouterments ordered for the new 45-70 last night Like you, I'm looking through what I have in the mean time. I found a Lee round ball mould marked .433 120gr. Hmmmm, I have a 444 Marlin Handi rifle. I cast a couple dozen but they only dropped .430-.431. Powder coat to the rescue. Pure lead coated and I got .433 Nominal. I loaded the 444 cases with 4.5gr. TiteGroup and just pushed the round balls in flush with the case mouth on the side of my loading bench.and put a small roll crimp on the case mouth. Beginners luck strikes again. Five shot group at thirty five yards was under 2". I also tried some of the same balls loaded in some 44-40 brass with 3.5gr Trail Boss and fired them out of the 444 Marlin Handi. These were very weak and barely made it out of the barrel with a noticeable delay between bang and whack, dropping about two feet in 35yrds. I'll load some more of the 444Marlin cases and see if this is just a fluke where as you said before "The fliers flew in" Gp

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Ross Smith posted this 23 June 2017

All: After following this thread, I got to thinking about my trapdoor and fullhouse loads. Never thought about reduced loads. Always read about fill the case up with ffg and make sure no space between powder and bullet. I always shoot bp in my trapdoor. My first thought was why not, just put 30 gr ffg in the case and shove the bullet down till it just compresses the powder. My second thought was, wouldn't the bullet shave lead passing from the case into the throat?

Well I loaded up 15 cases with 30gr. fffg and my 430gr baco bullet , soft lead, with spg. Darn right fun to shoot. Accuracy at 50 yds was about 1 minute of clay pidgeon, but this rifle never was real accurate. I did have some leading but I think that was from 2 paper patched bullets that tore during loading. I will go ahead and load some more of these and see if I can't find my 405 grn mold too.

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comprschrg posted this 23 June 2017

I'm following this thread also, loaded some of the old army round ball, then took some soft cast from the 454190 mold, hit the slug with hammer and sized to .460.  haven't had time to try them yet.

But. I've been wondering for some time now,,,,,,,,,,,,What was Ken doing up on the roof?

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rmrix posted this 24 June 2017

Any of you have experience with LBT's quiet bullet?  I don't have one in 458 caliber but I would think it would be much better (and easier) than round ball.

Loads range from just a primer to a few grains of powder. Very useful for all kinds of "stuff".

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BigMan54 posted this 24 June 2017

Any one try out the old LYMAN #457130 ? There are loads in the old manuals that have data on it.  I know a Cowboy Shooter in WYOMING that won't shoot anything else in my old Trapdoor.  Friend's con ya outa your best guns when ya listen to their sob stories about birthday presents for wives that clean their own guns & load their own ammo. And she's the one who conned me outa the mold too.

Never let a woman shoot a gun you want to keep.

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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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 24 June 2017

... wimmin critter sob stories:: , yep, i am starting to think my name is on a sucker list somewhere ... first my spiffy little romanian 69 plinker 22 ... then my mint sw 15 in 38 spec. ... then my workhorse fn mauser magnum action ....  do you suppose the guys put their wives up to this ?? 

ken

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