45-70 "Trapdoor" rifle ammo
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Old 05-13-2009, 12:59 AM   #1
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Default 45-70 "Trapdoor" rifle ammo

Does anyone know where I can order ammo for an old 45-70 "trapdoor" rifle. I was warned by the prior owner that new ammunition could blow it up. I have been told otherwise by a gun shop employee, but I want to be sure before I go and do damage to the gun and myself.

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Old 05-13-2009, 02:13 AM   #2
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http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f2/ammunition-old-gun-13819/#post105586 part deux

You get the same answers.
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Old 05-13-2009, 03:09 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rooney7388 View Post
Does anyone know where I can order ammo for an old 45-70 "trapdoor" rifle. I was warned by the prior owner that new ammunition could blow it up. I have been told otherwise by a gun shop employee, but I want to be sure before I go and do damage to the gun and myself.
Have you considered getting a cheap Lee Loader and some black powder? I can't imagine how much .factory .45-70 rounds cost today! By "OLD Trapdoor" what excatly do you mean? Depending on the age of the gun, you may not even be able to shoot smokeless powder cartridges in it. If it's a replica it's probably safe to do so. Be sure of what you have before you shoot it!
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Old 05-13-2009, 03:17 AM   #4
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It could. the trap door was not a very strong action. Most reloading manuals list 2 or 3 different loading sections for this cartridge. One for levers one for trapdoors and one for single shot modern actions.

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Old 05-13-2009, 03:27 AM   #5
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I answered your question in another thread. Whether new or old, the trapdoor design is weak. I shoot several trapdoors on regular occasions so have some working knowledge about them. If you start reloading get Ken Waters book " PET LOADS " he does and excellent job of explaining the presures and strenghs of varios 45-70 rifles.

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Old 05-13-2009, 10:35 PM   #6
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Default 2 boxes?

I have a couple of boxes of trap door Factory loads left if interested?
e-mail mikem@tls.net

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Old 07-31-2009, 03:42 PM   #7
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I answered your question in another thread. Whether new or old, the trapdoor design is weak. I shoot several trapdoors on regular occasions so have some working knowledge about them. If you start reloading get Ken Waters book " PET LOADS " he does and excellent job of explaining the presures and strenghs of varios 45-70 rifles.
If my informant is correct, and I am sure he is, Ken Waters blew up a TD a few years back with a "pet load" for the TD he used for 20+ years, 24 gr of 2400 IIRC.
The TD is NOT safe with smokeless. Like many 19th century designs, modern made or otherwise, there is no safety margin.
Thin 19th century steel barrels and an action that is designed to "auto open" (do some research and note "copper cases with no spring back" jamming the breech block).
Yes it can be "gotten away with" but its a risk.
Some years back when the import TDs hit the market I had two different shooters at the BPCR Nats tell me that they had their new import TDs auto eject with BP loads one told me the case cut a groove in his hair.
I have heard third hand stories of the H&R TD doing this.
The "cam" must be CAREFULLY fit to the mortise in the breechplug. Any "goof" in the angles and the action may not stay closed. Modern steels cannot overcome this.
Remember the Gov't was constantly upgrading the action till it was replaced by the Krag. Some experts on the action do not consider the early versions safe even with BP.


Remember that many TDs have oversized bores. So you may have problems with jacketed/hard cast bullets and/or smokeless powder.
Dan
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Old 07-31-2009, 04:14 PM   #8
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My understanding is that the American manufacturers' factory loads (as can be bought at any ammo store) are manufactured to produce the low chamber pressures that should be OK for the old trapdoor rifles (assuming it is in good mechanical condition).

I have a new Pedersoli Sharps 1874 replica in .45-70. I started shooting factory smokeless powder ammo (Remington 405 gr Corelock). When I re-loaded these cases I loaded to the mid-level specs from my loading manuals. These rounds shot way high (point of impact) when compared to the factory ammo, and produced quite a bit more recoil. These "mid-level" handloads were obviously much higher powered than the factory loads.

Then I started shooting Black Powder factory (Goex) and then my own BP re-loads. The BP rounds (either factory or my BP re-loads) shot to the same point of impact as the factory Remington smokeless ammo. From this, I concluded that what I had read about the factory .45-70 is correct, and that they are low powered (i.e. low chamber pressure) rounds. Now I have been dialing back the smokeless re-loads to achieve the same velocities and therefore the same point of impact as the BP loads so I can shoot either round without having to adjust the sights.

My understanding is that the US ammo companies "down load" the older cartridges such as the .45-70 in order to avoid the lawsuits from having someone blow up their rifle. I see the same thing in 8 mm Mauser (8 x 57 JIS). The Remington 8mm Mauser is pretty tame compared to the European (S&B) manufactured 8mm. The Europeans apparently aren't so worried about the lawsuits.

Whatever you do be careful.

TXnorton

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Old 07-31-2009, 06:18 PM   #9
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I wouldn't shoot smokeless rounds out of a 73 but I shot hundreds of them out of an original 1884. Black powder is much mo funner with them tho.

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Old 08-01-2009, 12:08 AM   #10
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As stated above MOST factory ammo is safe for a "trapdoor" however jacketed bullets will rapidly wear the barrel of a Springfield. You should only use jacketed sparingly. The barrels were made of soft steel well before anyone even thought of jacketed bullets.

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