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TXnorton 11-13-2008 10:59 AM

Reloading for the .45-70
Hello all:

I have recently dug-out my old reloading gear after about 15 years of reloading inactivity. I am currently working through reloading my inventory of a couple thousand rifle and pistol expended rounds, and am once again having a lot of fun doing it.

I am now contemplating (hell, I am going to buy it tomorrow!) the purchase of a Pedersoli Sharps rifle (32" or 34" barrell length) in .45-70 caliber. So I am looking into what I will be needing for reloading the .45-70 brass. I have a few questions and would appreciate any and all advice on this subject.

I have an older style RCBS single station press (JR?) that I bought back in the mid-1970's. Will this press be adequate for reloading this round?

My first thought is to use smokeless powder, mainly because I have no experience with black powder, or any of the modern alternatives for black powder. I'd appreciate any thoughts on this issue. Shooting some rounds loaded with black powder maybe something I would have fun with, but I am not sure if there are any draw-backs to that option versus smokeless powder.

I am currently loading other metallic cartridges with Unique, 2400, IMR-4064 and IMR-4198. I have read somewhere that 4064 (which I use in my .30-06 and .30-30 rounds) is not the best choice, and have read that IMR-3031 (which I used to use in the .30-30) or IMR-4198 (which I use in the .223) may be better choices.

I assume from reading my reloading manuals (Speer and Lyman) that I need to limit the pressure to 28,000 CUP.

My first thought is to use jacketed bullets (400 gr). I used to shoot thousands of swaged lead semi-wad-cutters in my .357 mag and .44 mag pistols (mainly beacuse of cost - I was pretty broke back then), but I have now gravitated to relaoding with all jacketed bullets. Are there benefits to shooting the .45-70 with commercially available lead bullets? I do not (at least not yet) want to get into casting my own lead bullets. Are there "better" quality lead bullets out there that would be recommended? Do you need to use gas-checks with lead bullets in this round?

I'd really like to hear from you on recommended load combinations of bullets/powders/primers for both lead and jacketed bullet options.

I look forward to receiving the benefit of the collective experience in this forum. This is going to be fun!



Mark F 11-13-2008 01:38 PM

45-70 is a HEAFTY round and certainly worthy of reloading! You need to get the newest release manual(s) for reloading, and you'll need to get a set of 45-70 carbide dies for your single stage RCBS. I use about 4 different powders, and several different primers depending on application. For bullets, you have tons of choices. I've pretty much gotten away from basic "lead" and now use jacketed only.

The world is yours when reloading, just make sure you don't exceed the CAP pressure for your weapon.

robocop10mm 11-13-2008 02:13 PM

I love my Marlin Guide Gun in 45-70. I cast my own 340 gr round flatnose bullets. I use linotype so it is VERY hard. I will not publish my load as it is over max (but shows no pressure signs). Suffice it to say that a 340 gr bullet going 2100 fps is very authoritative. I get zero leading even at this velocity and no gas check.

3031 is THE powder for this caliber. I find no reson to experiment with any other powders. This load gives sub 2" groups at 100 yrs at hits like a freight train. I don't think the hog has been invented yet that will stand up to this load. Entrance/exit angle don't matter. Thickness of the animal does not matter. Number of bones struck does not matter. This bullet goes through every time. Massive exit wounds that bleed out in a few seconds. Trauma to internal organs is catastrophic. It is rare for an animal to even take a step after absorbing one of these rounds. Follow up shots are never needed.

I cannot imagine why someone would need a .450 Marlin. Anything short of a Cape Buffalo will succumb to this round.

If you are interested, I do sell bullets. PM me.

richardnorton 01-26-2010 07:46 PM

Hey an all Texas thread, I have 4 rifles in .45/70 and use the original 405 grain hard cast bullet in all, two marlin lever actions (one is a guide gun) a Pedersoli Sharps rifle, and a '73 springfield carbine (repro, not orininal) and yes the hog has not been invented yet that can take a .45/70 and walk or run away.

Rockridgez 02-06-2010 12:00 AM

45-70 Great Caliber
I've been a fan of the 45-70 for about 30 years and between my Dad and I we own about 5 rifles in this caliber. None of those have ever had a factory round through them. We have original Rolling Block, Marlins and Browning 1886's. Although we've used 300, 340 and 405 grain cast bullets, my favorite is generally the 300 grain hard cast with a gas check (we cast our own). Dad used for years a moderate load using 2400 and a filler behind a 340 gr cast in his Rolling Block (I was not in favor of this load, but it worked well for him) but he also used 3031 in his 1886 and has since switched to XP5744. Personally my favorite powder is 4198 for everything from moderate to stout loads in my 1886 and Marlin using 300 grain Gas Check Bullets. In modern rifles 54 grains of 4198 is healthy and accurate with this combo. It's also good in a TC Contender but the recoil is not for the timid. I've also used RX7 in this caliber but prefer 4198 with 3031 as a second choice. For Black Powder equivilents I'd look to try loads using Hogdon 777 - I've found this to be an excellent, exceptionally accurate BP sub in my 32-20, and 38-40 Cowboy loads and the nice thing is that it allows use of conventional lubes instead of SPG or other special BP lubes.

WyrTwister 02-07-2010 08:12 PM

I have never seen carbide .45-70 dies ? Who makes them .

Try starting out with 13.5 - 13.6 grains of Unique behind a 300 - 400 grain cast bullet .

No , normally you do not need gas checks .

Be sure your bullets are big enough .

My Marlin likes .460" bullets . Do not know about the single shot you are discussing ?

Jacketed bullets in .45-70 are an unjustified expense .

In a stronger action , I would be more inclined to use 3031 , 4198 and one of the RX powders ( forget which ) .

God bless

wolfdog 02-07-2010 08:55 PM

Don't know about the uberti, but my Ruger #3 loves the Horandy FTX over 3031.

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