45-70 "Trapdoor" rifle ammo

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by rooney7388, May 12, 2009.

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  1. rooney7388

    rooney7388 New Member

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    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.
     

  2. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    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!
     
  3. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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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.
     
  4. 30-30remchester

    30-30remchester New Member

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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.
     
  5. rugermike

    rugermike New Member

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    2 boxes?

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

    Dphar New Member

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    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
     
  7. TXnorton

    TXnorton New Member

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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
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2009
  8. Hawg

    Hawg New Member

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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.:D
     
  9. 30-30remchester

    30-30remchester New Member

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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.
     
  10. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    FACTORY ammo for lever actions should NEVER be shot in a trapdoor. At least thats what Hornday and Hodgdon told me when I emailed them. I guess they don't know what they are talking about.

    Here are reloading data for each notice the higher pressures and velocity of the lever action loads.
    Untitled2.jpg

    Untitled1.jpg
     
  11. Hawg

    Hawg New Member

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    I've got news for ya. Barrels are still made out of soft steel and a copper jacket is still softer than the softest steel you can find. Some TD's work fine with jacketed rounds and some don't. The ones that don't usually have oversize or worn bores.
     
  12. adrians

    adrians New Member

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    smokeless in my 1873 original is just fine if you keep the pressure down, around 1200fps ,
    i use trailboss its a very forgiving powder for all "cowboy"loads and there is no chance of a double load its so bulky, its not temp sensative so no filler (dacron or the like) is needed.
    just remember these smokepoles are 120+ year old and common sense should prevail when loading smokeless but keep them mild and they are great fun.
    BP is more funner though.
    casting my own i use ideal molds 457124---405grn and 457125---500grn,
    i have the 457130 coller button it drops around 145grn ,,this is gonna be my "catsneeze" plinker ,i haven't shot it yet but i'll bet its fun.
    be sensible and shoot safe and have a great weekend.
    adrians:D:cool::D
     
  13. blitzen25cat

    blitzen25cat New Member

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    I load 12gr. of Trail Boss with 405GrFN which keeps pressure down and runs less than 1000fps and is very easy on the gun and shoulder. My trapdoor is an original 1884 and is a pleasure to shoot. Best regards
     
  14. adrians

    adrians New Member

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    i agree blitzen trailboss and traps were made for each other , i bet they wished they had TBOSS 100 years ago.
    you and yours have a great holiday weekend:D
     
  15. spragusa

    spragusa New Member

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    45-70 Trapdoor ammo

    There is a ton of trapdoor ammo at check it out, it's a hot round that i would definitely recommend.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 3, 2014
  16. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    Thread is dead.
     
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