Who loads for the almighty 45-70 Government?

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pvtschultz

Blackhawk
Joined
Oct 11, 2005
Messages
553
Location
West Allis, WI, USA
I'm dying here guys. I have been eying up a NEF 45-70 at the local Sportsmen's Warehouse and being a home roller, I'd love to hear what others have had success with. I have an NEF 50 Cal front stuffer and LOVE to turn the black powder into smoke (something about how a BP rifle sounds) and would try the same in the old cartrige, but of course, I also own a 45 Colt NMBH and love to crank it up a little as well to take advantage of modern gun metals.

So, I'd like to leave this very open-ended to hear what others have experienced on this forum. I know I should be talking about a Ruger #1 but I really cant afford it (new house, new baby, etc, etc, etc) so we'll just tank about the cartrige moreso than the rifle its self.
 

greenmtnguy

Single-Sixer
Joined
Aug 29, 2005
Messages
433
Location
Barnstead, NH
I reload for my Marlin 1895 - I don't try to
tyranosaurus-level loads like some, but I definitely have some loads that are warmer than your average factory stuff. The Buffalo bore ammo is very high quality (and also very expensive). One thing though, that light of a single shot rifle is going to generate some hurting at both ends if you don't hold it right with warmer loads. I am not sure about the strength of the NEF frame - it is probably OK with at least much of the Marlin-level loads, but don't even think about using Ruger #1 data in it !

Do you have a favorite powder ? My 45/70 recipes use H322, IMR4198, and I also make some "plinking" rounds with TrailBoss powder.
I avoid the light charges of pistol powders in cases as large as the 45/70 myself - too easy to make a mistake, IMHO. The 45/70
works pretty well with many different powders, but many folks I known use those I
mention above, or maybe Reloader 7, or 3031
as pretty popular.
 

surveyor47

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jul 29, 2001
Messages
312
Location
New Orleans, LA
I have a T/C Encore in 45-70 and that thing is a hoot to shoot. Fun to reload as well. Thusfar, Im shooting 300 grain Remington JHPs and IMR 4198 at low Marlin levels. This thing will flip steel plates upside down at 100 yards. My next test loads will be 300 grain Remington JHPs and IMR 3031. This gun is so much fun that Im thinking about buying a Marlin Guide Gun 45-70.
 

Tmygun

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 27, 2006
Messages
7
CDFingers, have you tried midwayusa.com, they have a good selection of jacketed bullets for the 45-70. I use the Remington 405gr jaketed bullets, very accurate in my Marlin 1895.

Tmygun:)
 

Sharp Shooter

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 24, 2005
Messages
110
Location
MCCammon,Idaho,USA
Pvtschultz, are thinking about trying cast bullets and black powder in that 45-70? I love building and shooting those big old black powder cartridges. But BPCR loading is another ballgame. Fortunately, there's a lot of good information available. IMHO, books by Mike Venturino about BPCRs are invaluable sources. Paul A. Matthews also wrote several good books on the subject.
You're right - black powder does have an entirely different sound to it. You won't get the kind of power out of that NEF 45-70 though if you load it with black powder as compared to what you would if you load it with smokeless powder. But it's a trade off - it won't kick you as hard either.
I wouldn't pay a whole lot of mind to those who are sure to tell you how dirty and hard to clean up black powder is. After putting 40 black powder rounds through my 45-110 Shiloh Sharps I can have it cleaned and put away faster than I can after putting 20 rounds through my 30-06 Ruger.
 

greenmtnguy

Single-Sixer
Joined
Aug 29, 2005
Messages
433
Location
Barnstead, NH
I don't have any loads for 3031 or 4895 in the 45/70 Gov't, but I do use loads in my Marlin that push the 300 grain Hornady or the 300 grn
Remington HPs at a chronographed 2100 fps from my 22" bbl 1895 Marlin using H322. Some of my most accurate loads, too. You can buy the Remington 405 grn SP jacketed bullets in bulk very cheaply. I usually use IMR4198 to push them around 1600 fps or so. I could go higher, but have no need for any more thumpin on either end at this time.
 

pvtschultz

Blackhawk
Joined
Oct 11, 2005
Messages
553
Location
West Allis, WI, USA
I had a feeling that I might generate some interest with this one!

I am primarily looking to load it up to the Marlin level with smokeless for hunting and just regular shooting at the range or otherwise. But I love to shoot BP and I can't imagine a better way to do it with than with BPCR and cast boolits. I fully understand that there is a trade off (hense the SAAMI 15,000 CUP limit) but it would be a whole lot of fun nonetheless. I'll have to look for the reading material before I wade out into BP too deep.

I prefer Hodgdon brand powders primarily for the load data availability (and their web data is phenominal now). But therein lies the problem, there is a lot of load data for this fine ol' cartridge. As for the specific powder, I only have Universal, Varget, and H4227 now so I'm flexible in looking for/buying a new powder. H/IMR 4198 and H332 seem to be like good ones from the data, but nothing is better than real world test results from those who do it already.

On the strength issue, it has been said all over the 'net that the NEF is good for the Marlin level load data without harm. From what I've read though, even at that level the NEF turns into a thumper so going higher doesn't sound overly pleasant.

CD Fingers: Where'd you get the rifle? I've built a Mauser or two in small caliber rifles, but never heard of one in 45-70. Might be worth looking into.

[This message has been edited by pvtschultz (edited 03-13-2007).]
 

COFFEE POT

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 16, 2003
Messages
54
Location
Prescott, Arizona
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face=" Verdana">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by CDFingers:
<B>I have a .45-70 built off a trashed Siamese Mauser, and, following recommendations on this board, have picked up both 4895 and 3031 to try in it.

My biggest problem is finding jacketed bullets for it: I want to exceed 1500 fps (goal of 2000 fps), so jacketed bullets I hope will prevent leading. I follow this board on reloading a lot, so this thread is of great interest to me.

CDFingers

</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>That Siamese Mauser conversion was quite popular years ago when all the Milsurps were available at reasonable prices. It's a strong action and well suited to the .45-70. If in good condition, it will easily handle Marlin loads and more. The 300 gr jacketed bullets from Midway are a good deal and pushed with IMR4198 to about 2100 will take care of almost anything. The .45-70 really seems to like that powder. Heavier bullets, I've had my best luck with Reloader #7. Those are my favorites, but there are others that shoot well also. You might want to make a casting of the throat in that gun to see what you have and what kind of bullets it's best suited for. You can get Cerro-Safe from Brownells quite cheaply. It's one of those things that's nice to have around your shop.



------------------
Coffee Pot

"He who knows others is wise, He who knows himself is enlightened"
 

badgerrr

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 9, 2002
Messages
15
I got an NEF 45-70 and load for it. It's been a while since I've given her a work-out though.

My powders for her have been 2400 and Unique (with dacron).

Yes, this rifle will take them Marlin pressure loads. The recoil, if used with heavy bullets, is savage, at those pressures. If them jacketed 300grs are used, the recoil is nicely manageable.

Most of the time I prefer to just use 405gr lead bullets with the stiffest charges of Unique that's comfortable.
 

COFFEE POT

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 16, 2003
Messages
54
Location
Prescott, Arizona
I'd be a little cautious about that .308 on that '95' Mauser action. Though well-made, they are considered a 40,000 psi action. I wouldn't push that .308 too hard in there.

------------------
Coffee Pot

"He who knows others is wise, He who knows himself is enlightened"
 

Mega Twin

Blackhawk
Joined
Jan 15, 2007
Messages
704
Location
Trumann, ar. usa
I have two 45-70 rifles. One is a no.3,and the other is a sharps replica made by gardone. At the time I bought the sharps, they were offered in calibers ranging from the 45-70 up to 45-120. Does any body know the pressure handling capability of that action versus the no.3? one reason that I haven't siarted loading for them is that I don't want to worry about mixing loads.
 

COFFEE POT

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 16, 2003
Messages
54
Location
Prescott, Arizona
The standard bullet dia for .45 cal rifles is .457/.458. The .451-.454 dia bullets are for pistols.

------------------
Coffee Pot

"He who knows others is wise, He who knows himself is enlightened"
 

COFFEE POT

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 16, 2003
Messages
54
Location
Prescott, Arizona
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face=" Verdana">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Mega Twin:
I have two 45-70 rifles. One is a no.3,and the other is a sharps replica made by gardone. At the time I bought the sharps, they were offered in calibers ranging from the 45-70 up to 45-120. Does any body know the pressure handling capability of that action versus the no.3? one reason that I haven't siarted loading for them is that I don't want to worry about mixing loads.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I've always wondered about the strength of the reproduction Sharps rifles myself. Your best bet is to call Sharps and ask them. I suspect they'll tell you to stay within SAAMI specs. They were black powder designs only rated for black powder pressures. The newer materials, I'm sure, would allow higher pressures, but by how much I don't know. The Ruger Single Shots were designed for high pressure cartridges.



------------------
Coffee Pot

"He who knows others is wise, He who knows himself is enlightened"
 

greenmtnguy

Single-Sixer
Joined
Aug 29, 2005
Messages
433
Location
Barnstead, NH
If you're planning to shoot cast bullets in that
45/70 (which is nominal .458 diameter) you'll most likely find that .459/.460 diameter cast
bullets work best.

Don't try to load 45 Colt (451-.454) bullets by mistake or you'll get alot of lead in your bbl and be lucky to hit a barn with it.
 

Enigma

Hunter
Joined
Apr 17, 2002
Messages
2,049
Location
Houston metro area, TX
I load BP for an NEF Buffalo Classic, and it is a hoot to shoot! I'm not trying to be competitive in BPCR Silhouette matches or anything - just to have some fun.

Buy Mike Venturino's book and either cast or buy some suitable bullets, and have a ball! It doesn't have to be rocket science - it's supposed to be fun!

------------------
I don't think we're in Kansas any more, Toto.
 

pvtschultz

Blackhawk
Joined
Oct 11, 2005
Messages
553
Location
West Allis, WI, USA
I'm going to dig this old thread of mine up from the depths of the internet for a bit. I finally bought that H&R (NEF) Handi-Rifle a couple months ago in 223 Rem and just last week got a 45-70 barrel to stick on it. I've got the better part of a pound of IMR 3031 to use (I use it in the 308 with light bullets for very fast rounds).

So, anyone have a pet load of 3031 under a 300 gr JHP? I have the Hornady version and brand spanking new W-W brass. I loaded up 12 last weekend (three each of 52, 54, 56, and 58 gr) to see how they shoot and abuse the guy pulling the trigger. I won't be shooting over ~75 yards with this one, it is my 'light weight' stand rifle so I don't need 2500 fps. Right now I should be approaching that ~1900 fps range based on published data. I'm wondering if anyone has found a sweet spot with this combination or if there are any quirks. I'm going to be shooting them all this weekend, but I thought about trying to load up some more tonight before we head out of town.
 

Spike66

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 12, 2009
Messages
13
Is the 45-70 normally shot from a rifle? I ask this because last week at the range I was on the Pistol side and there was a bunch of W-W 45-70 brass. It must have been quite a bang shooting one of those from a handgun.

I only grabbed one of the cases because I thought it was pretty cool. I'm wishing I would have grabbed them all as I'm sure someone could have used them.
 

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