Reloading For 45/70 Government

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Vikingdad, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    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!)
     
  2. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    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.:)
     

  3. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    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?).
     
  4. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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

    nitestalker New Member

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    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
     
  6. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    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.
     
  7. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    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?
     
  8. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    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:
     
  9. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    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.
     
  10. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    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.:)
     
  11. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    Just got off the phone with the smith, picked up the rifle yesterday and he had already left for the day. Anyhow, he was unable to remove the fore end cap and so could not remove the magazine and clean it thoroughly because he was afraid of damaging it but he was certain that it was going to be OK judging from the condition of the rest of the gun. He couldn't stop saying how impressed he is with it, he said he would love to own it himself. He has some websites that deal specifically with the older Winchesters and cowboy action he is going to email me when he gets home, said it would be a great pig gun once I get a load worked up for it. It is, in his words, in "unbelievably excellent condition".

    I do believe that I now have a new favorite gun- pending some range time with it. I'll keep you posted.
     
  12. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    Any one who likes fine vintage firearms wants to own an orginal Mdl.1886. The one you have is a special order not just off the shelf. Were you able to remove the magazine cap screw? You mentioned the forearm screw not a problem. Every man is allowed one fine dog and one good gun deal in a life time. You can now start looking for the dog.:)
     
  13. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    I do own a couple of "vintage" guns (a 1903 and a Garand being the notable ones) but this is my first pre-1900 gun. I am indeed very fortunate to have come across it and even more so for the fact that it was within my reach financially. I could never afford it for what it is really worth. The smith was just absolutely taken by it and said he was hoping I would call him to talk about it. As I was picking it up two other customers came up and were risking damaging it what with all of their drooling:p. This definitely was one of my "dream guns".

    I did ask the smith about it and he said he was afraid of either stripping it or that it has already been stripped and he didn't want to risk making it worse. I have not had the time to look at it myself yet out in the shop with my gunsmithing tools, magnifying glasses and all of that stuff. The way I understood it he could get the end cap off but could not remove the tube or the follower because the forestock screw passes through a slot in the mag tube and you have to rotate the mag tube to disengage it from the receiver. Or something like that.

    I did pick up a can of Trail Boss today, and I dug out some of the bullets I have- but I didn't find the cast lead ones I was looking for to see what weight they are. The ones I pulled out are Speer 400 grain flat nose jacketed soft point, and Hornady #4502 350 grain round nose soft point jacketed. I have probably a dozen more different designs but those two were all I could pull out of where I have them stored. I will probably be able to look more tomorrow.
     
  14. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    No need to remove the magazine tube. Remove the magazine tube screw and cap under the rifles muzzle. Remove the spring and follower and clean the tube and follower and spring. If the tube is dented or the follower is dented tube dirty broken spring the magazine will stick.

    If you shoot the rifles check the follower before you load the magazine. If the magazine fails to feed a loaded Ctg. you must be able to remove the magazine cap and spring and follower to unload the rifle.
     
  15. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    OK. Will do. Thanks.
     
  16. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A little trick I learned.

    When charging powder, hold the case hard against your vibratory tumbler while trickling in the charge. vyou can get more powder in it that way.

    Not important with smokeless, but it helps with black.
     
  17. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    Reviving this thread. In my bullet mold collection I found a Lyman 457193- casts a flat nose 405 grain bullet. Anybody have any loads for that bullet that I can fool around with? I know I have several other .458" molds in storage. I wish there was some sort of organization to my storage!
     
  18. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    Ive got a few ill postsome later after ive fully gotten the day started.
     
  19. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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  20. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've used 45 grains of 3031 under a 385 grain cast GC. A little easier on the shoulder.:p