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-   -   Reloading For 45/70 Government (http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f30/reloading-45-70-government-76350/)

Vikingdad 11-14-2012 04:17 AM

Reloading For 45/70 Government
 
This is a new rifle to me, it is an 1886 Winchester that appears to be in great shape. I dropped it off at the gunsmith this afternoon to get it cleaned and inspected to see if it is safe to shoot and to check headspace. I am hoping I will be able to shoot it and in anticipation of that I am doing a little research on it. Since it was made in 1886 (yes, that is the YOM- confirmed at the gunsmith today) it is a black powder gun. This is the first in my collection. I did also get the reloading tools to use with BP (brass all throughout) but I am wondering if there is a more modern smokeless powder that would work better and is not corrosive.

Any thoughts you all might have? I have 4 weeks to wait for the gunsmith to be done (sort of backed up on work- which is a good sign for a good smith!)

nitestalker 11-14-2012 04:29 AM

I have been shooting an 1886 SRC for many years. They are great rifles. Your rifle was a special order model with Dbl. set triggers. It was sold by Browning Bros. Ogden, Ut. This was one of the most expensive patents bought by Winchester from the Brownings.

I shoot a home cast 350 grs. 20-1 lead to tin bullet over a load of 5744. The 86' was made for Express Loads that being lighter bullets at higher velocity. I would choose a load around 1,200 fps. to start. These old rifles can be painful when you hit 1,500 fps. You may also want to check out Trail Boss powder it gives a very nice "Cowboy" load.:)

Vikingdad 11-14-2012 04:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nitestalker (Post 1013762)
I have been shooting an 1886 SRC for many years. They are great rifles. Your rifle was a special order model with Dbl. set triggers. It was sold by Browning Bros. Ogden, Ut. This was one of the most expensive patents bought by Winchester from the Brownings.

I shoot a home cast 350 grs. 20-1 lead to tin bullet over a load of 5744. The 86' was made for Express Loads that being lighter bullets at higher velocity. I would choose a load around 1,200 fps. to start. These old rifles can be painful when you hit 1,500 fps. You may also want to check out Trail Boss powder it gives a very nice "Cowboy" load.:)

So I take it you saw my pics in the other thread? (I guess I should have posted them here too) Thanks for the info. What does SRC mean? What do you mean about the patent? Is that on the double set triggers? They sure do feel sweet at least as much as I can tell without a snap cap.

One of the old coots at the gun store tonight said that Winchester made many versions of that rifle and you could custom order anything you wanted and they would put it together for you. He said he had seen one in Belize I think that had a 16" factory barrel on it. He also said the barrel was heavier than they usually put on them. (total weight is 8.75 lbs.)

Again, thanks for the input. When I get the word its OK to shoot I'll pick up some Trail Boss (that's a Hodgdon powder isn't it?).

Vikingdad 11-14-2012 05:03 AM

OK, Its IMR. The max load they have for 300 grain is 1285 fps and then they have a 405 gr at 1007 fps.

nitestalker 11-14-2012 05:25 AM

SRC means Saddle Ring Carbine. I would try the lead 350 grs. .458 diameter over the Trail Boss load. The rifle was designed for the lighter shorter bullets. Be damn carefull about loading long bullets in the magazine. If you get one that will not feed thru the action it is a problem. You must remove the magazine screw and cap feed spring and follower to clear the action.

The Mdl. of 1886 was and is the premier lever action rifle. It was strong and chambered for the big Ctgs of its day.The 45-90 and up. Your rifle was a special order. A rifle in rough condition starts around $1,200. The action with set triggers will go for much more. The 1886 is a very high demand Winchester in any condition. The 1886 was invented by J.Browning and the patent was sold to Winchester.

I would remove the magazine cap screw if possible. Remove the spring and follower and clean and oil the magazine tube with a patch and cleaning rod. I might add if that rifle was in 90 % condition it would be priced at $3,500.:D

Vikingdad 11-14-2012 05:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nitestalker (Post 1013801)
SRC means Saddle Ring Carbine. I would try the lead 350 grs. .458 diameter over the Trail Boss load. The rifle was designed for the lighter shorter bullets. Be damn carefull about loading long bullets in the magazine. If you get one that will not feed thru the action it is a problem. You must remove the magazine screw and cap feed spring and follower to clear the action.

The Mdl. of 1886 was and is the premier lever action rifle. It was strong and chambered for the big Ctgs of its day.The 45-90 and up. Your rifle was a special order. A rifle in rough condition starts around $1,200. The action with set triggers will go for much more. The 1886 is a very high demand Winchester in any condition. The 1886 was invented by J.Browning and the patent was sold to Winchester.

I would remove the magazine cap screw if possible. Remove the spring and follower and clean and oil the magazine tube with a patch and cleaning rod. I might add if that rifle was in 90 % condition it would be priced at $3,500.:D

Whoa! I figured a $1500 or so! Mine doesn't have the saddle ring though. Its probably so heavy that they figured it would need its own saddle ;). Definitely a carbine, but a heavy barreled one at that. Maybe I'll call the gunsmith tomorrow and ask them to rate it just for kicks.

Is the mag. cap screw threaded into the tube, or is it held by a pin or screw? (it is at the 'smith so I can't check). The gunsmith is going to be cleaning and inspecting it, but I will confirm that the magazine will be disassembled, cleaned and oiled as well. I usually do everything myself but with something this old I want to have a qualified smith inspect it first.

nitestalker 11-14-2012 03:02 PM

That is an 1886 Winchester Short rifle not a carbine. The magazine cap has a single small screw that holds the cap from 6 oclock. These screws have a special thread which is curious to Winchester firearms only.

How is the bore?

locutus 11-14-2012 04:39 PM

I use a 385 cast GC bullet in my 1895 Marlin. A light charge of unique for light plinking loads, and a HEAVY charge of H322 or H3031 for hunting. As Nitestalker said, past 1500 FPS, it hurts!:eek:

Vikingdad 11-14-2012 06:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nitestalker (Post 1014062)
That is an 1886 Winchester Short rifle not a carbine. The magazine cap has a single small screw that holds the cap from 6 oclock. These screws have a special thread which is curious to Winchester firearms only.

How is the bore?

I was calling it a carbine because of the barrel length, but I guess short rifle would be more accurate given the weight. I will be certain not to damage or lose the magazine cap screw! There is already a screw missing on the upper tang so I need to find one of those.

The bore is dirty (dust and cat hair) but looks like there is no pitting or rust. I will know more when the gunsmith gets done with it.

nitestalker 11-14-2012 07:12 PM

The Short rifle and Mdl 86 Take Down were produced for hunters who travled. Most of the travel then was by rail road. The era of Big Game hunting and the close of the American Frontier in 1898 brought an end to many heavy caliber rifles. The Mdl. of 1886 was reduced in size and caliber and became the popular Winchester Mdl. 1892 chambered in pistol Ctgs. The Mdl. of 1892 the popular movie cowboy carbine was really too late for much Frontier Action. The NDN wars were over and most horse back out laws were only legends.:)


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