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    • #30579
      Goodsteel
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      It’s a conundrum. An enigma.
      The 45-70 is one of my favorite cartridges for reasons I cannot explain. However, it’s very particular about how it’s loaded if you intend to enjoy excellent accuracy with low smoke and recoil.
      Many have made claims of superb accuracy, horribly devoid of 10 shot groups, or 100 yard demonstrations, but my personal tests have been dismal from the very start. I have tried loads in several different rifles:
      Marlin 1895 Guide Gun with Ballard rifling,
      Marlin 1895 SS with Ballard rifling,
      Marlin 1895 GBL (New York) with Ballard rifling,
      Browning 1886,
      Browning 1885.

      I have used several different bullets with these rifles, attempting to get good results:
      520 grain RN from Bullshop
      500 grain RN Rapine From BjornB
      430 grain custom I designed
      405 grain FN group buy Lee 6 cavity from Rockrat
      385 grain 457483 Lyman from Alverez Kelly
      385 grain remake from NOE
      350 grain Lee designed by Ranch Dog
      350 grain NOE RD remake from BjornB
      350 grian Accurate RD remake from Accurate Molds
      285 grain Rapine mold from BjornB

      I have used several different lubes:
      45-45-10
      NASA
      BAC
      2500+
      2700+
      paper patch
      powder coat

      I have used several powders in my experiments:
      Bullseye
      Trailboss
      Unique
      IMR 4227
      AA5744
      IMR4198
      H4198
      IMR3031
      H4895
      IMR4895
      Varget
      W748
      Duplex load of 4227 and 2F Goex
      Duplex load of 4198 and 2F Goex

      All brass has been Starline. All primers have been CCI200

      The entirety of these tests have been in an attempt to find a load that shoots about 1300FPS and produce sub 2 MOA accuracy with my lever guns. The average accuracy across the board in this speed range has been about 6″ at 100 yards for ten shots across all the rifles.
      BjornB has been working with me in tandem on this project. I have recently had a modicum of success using a load that Larry Gibson recommended quite some time ago, and since I now have a good load to use as a baseline, I want to start posting the experiments as I get to them, so this thread will be the place.
      Bear with me, I’ve been at this for about 18 months (no body ever accused me of being fast) and the information may be slow coming, but it’s much easier now that I can start my day with a cup of tea and gunsmoke on my own range.

    • #30583
      WCM
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      I have had good luck with the Saeco #017 350 gr bullet and rel 7 powder.
      I believe the muzzle velocity is around 1600 but I have not check it yet.
      It is pleasant enough to shoot from a Ruger #1 off the bench..

    • #30584
      Goodsteel
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      WCM;n10417 wrote: I have had good luck with the Saeco #017 350 gr bullet and rel 7 powder.
      I believe the muzzle velocity is around 1600 but I have not check it yet.
      It is pleasant enough to shoot from a Ruger #1 off the bench..

      Can you put some numbers with that WCM? What’s your average group size for how many shots at what yardage?

      I’ve found that I can cut golfballs on demand with almost any of the bullets/loads I have tried, if I shoot at 50 yards, and at over 1400 FPS, but at 100 and further, non-linear dispersion rears it’s ugly head.
      Slower than 1500FPS, and even 50 yards is challenging.

    • #30585
      WCM
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      Five shot groups at 100 yds run 1″ to 1.5″ ,but I have only tried five shot groups.
      For the straight wall cases and cast bullets I have had best luck using Rel 7.
      I should clarify that I am not looking for lower velocities.,and I don’t own any trap door Springfield’s.
      Wish I did, but all my rifles are Marlins, modern Winchesters and Sharps and the Ruger #1.
      I pretty much shoot my Sharps with black powder only.

    • #30586
      skeettx
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      Take a read here
      http://www.rugerforum.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=135166

      I have found 17 grains of Unique more than enough for me!
      Usually load from 12 grains up depending on fun or serious 🙂

      Are you sizing to 459 or 460??

      Will your guns chamber and close with a bullet of that diameter?

      My pet bullet is the Lyman 457483 with wheelweights and gas check, javalina lube

      Mike

    • #30589
      Scharfschuetze
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      Virtually all of my 45/70 loads use a 405 grain bullet. The Lee 405 grain is a favorite as well as the Lyman 475193 405 grain plain base mould. I also shoot quite a few of the Oregon Train 405 grain hard cast bullets in my modern barrels. I stop by the OT shop in Baker City, Oregon once a year or so and by a couple of thousand of them unsized and unlubed. That way I can size them and lube them to my preference.

      Accuracy: In my original Trapdoors, I average 2 1/2 MOA to way out there. Larry and I have shot them several times at long range and enjoy their accuracy out at ranges a 308 Winchester might flinch at. The previous barrel on my Marlin 1895 would shoot honest 1 1/2 MOA 10 shot groups. The new barrel on it is a 2 MOA tube most of the time. My H&R Officer’s Model will vary from 2 MOA to 3 MOA, but it’s so light and the hammer fall so heavy, my position (prone, sitting or the bench) has to be pretty tight for the best results.

      Powders? Black powder is fun, but most of my shooting is with Tightgroup with velocities going right at 1,100 fps over the chronograph. Bullseye does almost as well in duplicating the US Army’s carbine load of 1873 but Tightgroup has a much lower SD and extreme spread in velocity. Hotter loads get 4759 or 3031. I’m just fine duplicating the infantry load of 1873 at 1,300 fps.

      Lube and sizing? SPG for the BP loads with the Lee 405 grain bullets at .460′ diameter. The Lyman bullet usually gets RCBS or Lyman NRA Alox formula and .460 works with that one too, even in the original 3 groove barrels. Same for the OT bullets than I buy unsized and unlubed.

      I once had a Browning BPCR Model 1895. It was heavy enough to shoot bullets really fast, but I never could get it to shoot tighter than 3 MOA with any bullet. Of course it went downstream fairly fast.

    • #30590
      WCM
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      I never like the 300 gr bullets in the .45/70 Jacketed or cast.
      I do enjoy shooting my #1 Ruger with the 350 gr bullets.
      As far as recoil goes, I was out shooting my Ruger #1 .30/06 today.
      I can’t tell any difference in the recoil of that and my Ruger#1 .45/70 with the 350 gr load.
      I also shot my .270 Weatherby Magnum today. I really couldn’t tell any difference in the recoil of that and my .30/06 either.
      The .30/06 is about the recoil level I enjoy shooting anymore.

      I have a Steve Brooks 560 gr bullet mold for my heavy barrel Sharps.
      That can get to be a bit much even with black powder.
      It is the 1:18 rate of twist in the rifle .

      I also shoot a 500 gr bullet in my .50/90 with 100 grs of 1F and the recoil is fine, but the twist is 1:36 I believe.

    • #30594
      WCM
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      Goodsteel;n10418 wrote:

      Can you put some numbers with that WCM? What’s your average group size for how many shots at what yardage?

      I’ve found that I can cut golfballs on demand with almost any of the bullets/loads I have tried, if I shoot at 50 yards, and at over 1400 FPS, but at 100 and further, non-linear dispersion rears it’s ugly head.
      Slower than 1500FPS, and even 50 yards is challenging.

      If you lived close by I would give you a pound of Rel 7 to try .
      I am sure you will like the results.

      I have not tried reduced loads with that powder so I am not sure how that will work.

      For low velocity loads I always use MP5744 as I have a big jug of that powder.

    • #30595
      Goodsteel
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      Thanks! It’s on my short list, but Bjornb has spent some time with it, and it seems to exhibit the same preference for pressure that the rest of the powders in that burn rate do. I’ll see if I can get it to play with the 457483

    • #30596
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      I always hit a sweet zone with the Rel 7, but have found the more the merrier in some cases.
      It is hands down the best shooting power in my .38/55 and ..405 win.

    • #30597
      Artful
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      Tim have you read Forty Years with the .45-70 by Paul A. Matthews?

    • #30599
      Goodsteel
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      Artful;n10432 wrote: Tim have you read Forty Years with the .45-70 by Paul A. Matthews?

      I have not, but I would like to.

      So far there has been resounding defeat at every turn, unless I shoot under 1200FPS or over 1500FPS. The easy answer is to just go with the flow and load in these speed ranges, but for my purposes, 1100 seems too dad burn slow for my liking (although I recognize and tip my hat to the advantage of being sub sonic) and 1800FPS seems too dad burned stiff on the recoil for me to make accurate longer range shots with a 7lb rifle (although I recognize and tip my hat to the advantage of being that far from going transonic).
      The place where recoil is manageable for me for accurate shots is about 1400FPS with a 400ish grain bullet. The 45-70 thumbs it’s nose at me and refuses to comply.

      However, I have conducted several tests this past weekend that actually yielded some decent results for once.

      I chose the 1886 for my tests, and I tested my custom bullet against those cast from a brand new NOE 457483 copy. I tested these two bullets with two different powders, 25 rounds of each charge. Bullets were lubed with 45-45-10.

      25 457483 with 12 grains of Unique and Dacron
      25 457483 with 28 grains of H4198
      25 custom 430 grain bullet with 12 grains of Unique and Dacron
      25 Custom 430 grain bullet with 28 grains of H4198

      The loads using the custom 430 grain bullet were a colossal flop across the board producing groups the size of a regulation NFL football at 100 yards for 25 shots.
      The 457483 bullet with H4198 also strung vertically in a horrible way.

      The load using the 457483 with 12 grains of unique and Dacron was much better producing 3″ groups that were much rounder.

      Interested now in this bullet, I decided to test lube with this load and find which did the best.
      Using the same load of 12 grains of Unique with Dacron, and the 457483 bullet, I set up a test of four different lubes:
      Bull Shop NASA (this is a BP lube, but I had heard some had good luck with it using smokeless)
      White Label BAC
      White Label 2500+
      White Label 2700+

      The ​​​​​​​White Label BAC and 2500+ did best with the the BAC producing groups of about 2.5″ for 10 shots, and the 2500+ doing about 3″ for ten shots.

      These loads were tested in two different rifles: My 1886 and my buddy JT’s 1895 GBL. One rifle has a 16″ octagon barrel from Green Mountain and the other is factory 18″ NY Marlin. I cleaned between test strings, and there was a big difference in barrel smoothness between the two guns. However both performed exactly the same at 100 yards with each load (which I found very interesting).

      Next, I decided to try a hotter load with both bullets to see if my custom bullet would play nice at higher velocity. I chose a random charge of 43.8 grains of H4895. The 430 grain custom bullets were lubed with 45-45-10, and the 457483 bullets were lubed with BAC.
      Things got very busy at that point with customers and friends coming to shoot etc etc etc, so I was not able to witness the group shot with the custom bullet, but Sarge told me later it was pretty sickly.
      However, after everybody left, it was just Sarge and I left, and we tested the hot loads with the 457483/BAC bullets. Speed was 1385FPS and the accuracy was less than 2.5MOA. So tight in fact, I was able to see that the scope I was using had a shifting POA in the erector!
      I ordered a new scope and it’s installed now, but in the mean time, JT came back over a few days later and tried out his GBL with the new load and accuracy was about 2MOA.
      I pulled out a Browning 1885 Highwall and tested with peep sights and the accuracy was 2.5MOA.
      My 1895 SS= 2.5MOA.

      That’s 4 different rifles that shoot almost identical groups with this load for ten shot groups, and that’s the closest I’ve come to real success in this speed range yet.

      I will be making another 100 rounds and working the load -.6gr/-.3gr/+.3gr/+.6gr to see if there is a trend towards better accuracy a little higher or lower.

      BjornB is conducting his experiments in Florida and I have no doubt he will pan out some gold as usual.

    • #30600
      WCM
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      I believe the best group I ever shot with a .45/70 was with my Sharps using Black powder.
      I remember I was using the Lyman 457125 bullet and the nose fit tight in the end of the muzzle.
      I was using Goex 2F powder.

      I remember the group was ten shots under two inches at 100 yds.
      I believe I swabbed the bore between shots.

      It has been many years ago now so I don’t remember much else.

      I doubt I have more than ten years left to live so I have to choose carefully what project I want to spend time on.
      I am sitting here now trying to decide which .38/55 Highwall I want to work with.

      I have one made by the Ballard Co. that use to be in Cody ,Wy
      I bought it for black powder only.

      It will be a challenge to get to shoot really well.

      I also have the Browning Highwall Traditional Hunter that I just bought a Leupold 4X12 scope for.
      I know it will probably be easy to get to shoot well with smokeless powder.

    • #30601
      Goodsteel
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      As long as you stay curious to the end John. Whatever project you choose to work on, I’m sure it will be an exciting experience.
      Personally, I’m saving percussion paper cartridges for a later time when I have more patience. I’m just holding that one back.
      Im interested to see what you come up with on that Highwall!

    • #30602
      WCM
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      My dear friend and shooting buddy Sgt. Hoyal also bought a Highwall in .38/55 at the same time.
      He tried and tried and never could get his rifle to shoot well .
      He died,and his wife donated the rifle to the museum in Cody.

      It is hanging on the wall there . His name was Reuben Hoyal.
      He was a brilliant shooter and Handloader.

    • #30606
      Goodsteel
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      I got my new Lyman 4500 in last night and got it set up to make these bullets. It makes short work of seating the check, sizing and lubing the bullet for sure!
      It seems to size the bullets concentricly too.

    • #30607
      WCM
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      Paul Matthews book called Casting Premium Bullet for the Black Powder Cartridge Rifle is very worthwhile reading.

    • #30615
      skeettx
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      Great, and I do fill the top lube groove and seat the bullet to cover all the grooves.
      Size the bullet as BIG as you can
      Mike

    • #30619
      Waksupi
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      Artful;n10432 wrote: Tim have you read Forty Years with the .45-70 by Paul A. Matthews?

      I’d been looking for that book for quite awile, but the prices were pretty stupid for a cheap soul such as mine. I just got one on Ebay for $11.01!

    • #30626
      Goodsteel
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      Here’s a few pictures of groups and combos I have tried.

      Look at the difference using the right charge of 4198 makes:

      Pretty cool huh?

      Here’s some groups with H4895.

      Please pardon the occasional flier. I was 40 rounds into the test with a steel butt plate on the 1886, and my shoulder was trembling uncontrollably.

      This was 34 grains of 4198

      Here’s the same load, but with Dacron. It was dusk, and I shot this one hard and fast. Ten in the group, a scope adjustment, three in the black, and then I pounded the crap out of the 6″ swingers at 100 yards. I REALLY like this load. It just launches real nice off the shoulder.

      Here’s the joker of the day:

      Here’s 3031. I didn’t finish this group because the accuracy wasn’t there, and it was too dam fast. I busted the rest off on the steel plates.

      Here’s the rifle I did all this shooting with:
      Browning 1886 45-70 wearing a 16″ Green Mountain Octagon barrel. The scope is a 2X Leupold pistol scope.

      The target spots above are 3 1/8″ spraypainted. That’s the minimum I could put the crosshair on. Any smaller and the crosshair would totally cover it at 100 yards. I see a low power scout scope as more of a dandy sight than anything else, and I really like it!

    • #30627
      Goodsteel
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      There’s a few things I’m going to try next. That outlier on the 43 grains of H4895 bugs me. It was not a called flier and should have gone to group, and if it had, it would have been a pretty darn good group. I figure there was either something wrong with the base of the bullet on that shot, or the powder was shifted in the case. I want to take care to use perfect bullets, and add Dacron to see if I can pull it together.

      Another thing I want to try is annealing the gas checks to see if things tighten up.

      Also, all these groups were fired with the 457483 RN bullet sized to .459 and lubed with BAC (barrel groove diameter is truly .457). I want to try sizing to .460 and see what happens (although technically, that’s bigger than the throat entrance).

    • #30636
      popper
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      Put some lube in the front groove to prevent slump. And a pad behind that butt.

    • #30661
      uber7mm
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      An outlier usually means that you’re almost there. The group of 34 grs of 4198 isn’t too shabby either. That carbine must be a joy to carry in the brush. Take care of that shoulder.

    • #30663
      Goodsteel
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      Thanks popper, I’ll definitely try that and see if it makes any difference.

    • #30664
      Goodsteel
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      uber7mm;n10516 wrote: An outlier usually means that you’re almost there. The group of 34 grs of 4198 isn’t too shabby either. That carbine must be a joy to carry in the brush. Take care of that shoulder.

      I’m still learning my limits with this rifle/cartridge. There’s a big difference between shooting a 12lb bench rifle in a small caliber and a 7lb carbine in 45-70. Like my uncle Ron, used to say: “You drive and car, but you ride a motorcycle.” I see the same correlation within rifles.

      For the record, this is no “off the shelf” levergun. I did everything in my power to squelch any variance in the rifle. The action is extremely tight, and was made to impressive tolerances, aided in part by the nickle plating on the receiver which makes it hug the bolt very tightly.
      The recoil lugs have been lapped into the receiver so they are tight.
      The barrel is a Green Mountian octagon, chambered with a custom reamer I got from Manson. This chamber is extremely tight, and perfectly aligned. Unlike a typical 45-70 chamber, this one has a true rifle throat (as apposed to a throat that tapers from the case mouth to the bore) and I lapped the barrel and the throat by hand.
      The forend is bedded to the receiver.
      I redesigned the magazine tube to be a sort of tensioning bolt that holds the forend trapped between the magazine cap and the receiver with quite a bit of pressure.
      The barrel is bedded under the forend tip with a “zero stress” method.
      The trigger is set at 3 lb
      The butt stock is perfectly bedded to the receiver tangs.

      She may look like a horse drawn buggy, but she’s got a big block under the seat and racing slicks on the pavement.

      The Green Mountain barrel started at 27″, but I could not get a good burn on the powder at the 1300FPS stated goal without pouring on so much that it beat me to a pulp. I didn’t know if cutting the barrel to 16″ would help, but it certainly seems to have done so. Yes, as a matter of fact it does throw a 6′ flame when I pull the trigger. That’s not part of my criteria. If I burn the hair off the deer, it makes for easier skinning later.
      The important thing is that the powder is behaving now. My thought was that some of the groups I was shooting with this rifle would have been fairly easy to beat with a BFR, all things being equal. I theorized that the shorter barrel length makes it so you can stoke up the powder charge without gaining wrist breaking speed. In essence, I’m using the extra powder as buffer and letting it burn outside the short barrel, whereas a long barrel would propel that bullet to undesirable speeds.
      The reason why I focused so hard on the 4895 was that it was one baseline load I had with the previous length barrel. All things considered, I can honestly say that it was slightly more accurate with the shorter barrel for the same charge. This was most likely due in part to the rifle not stomping my living guts into the ground with every shot, but be that as it may, I’m a big boy with plenty of trigger time, I can take a hit, and I really believe there was an accuracy advantage outside of my ability to control the rifle.
      These are hazy opinions I have so feel free to shoot them full of holes and do take these words with a grain of salt.

      Moving on:

      In the course of testing with my buddy JT, it was found by both of us that taking a classic BR shooting position is not conducive to accuracy with these guns. I enjoy shooting with JT, because he is a PHD and a hell of a shot. He can make the mental jump from A to C without stopping to shake hands with B. While we were shooting, he was stringing his shots erratically. He removed his hand from the ProTecTor rear bag, and grabbed the sandbag under the forend of his rifle, and started guiding the rifle in this way. This caused an immediate improvement in his group size. I tried it as well, and I have come to the conclusion that it is a good idea with light weight, heavy kicking rifles like these.

      For the moment, it seems that the best powders for what I am doing are H4895 and H4198, with 4198 definitely seeming to produce the more consistent groups across the board. I say this after comparing at least 5 ten shot strings over several days with each powder.

      Last night I tried a new experimental lube from the king of modern bullet lube himself Glenn Larson. Using the new lube with the 457483 and the 34 grain charge of 4198, I was able to shoot two 6 shot groups of about 1.75″ (one was off the paper a scope correction was made and the second did 1.625).

      I tried for a second 10 shot group, but I think I was getting a little punchy and that group was larger with fliers, so I will be reshooting that group very soon.

    • #30674
      Goodsteel
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      I tried filling all the lube grooves and it made no discernible difference. I am seeing an interesting pattern emerging though (I think).
      Check this out, the strings always start good, then open as I go.
      On this target, I fired 5 at the plates to dope the clean barrel with new lube, then I put 6 into less than 1.63″. The next string to the left opened up to 3″ with fliers to 6:00:

      OK, so the next groups functioned in like manner.
      This one did sub 2MOA for the first 7 shots, then the 8th 9th and 10th went low left. I believe this to be true because the scope is centered perfectly on the cone of fire. Everything should be inside 2″ but the last three shots in the string opened it up. ALWAYS the last few shots. Never the first.

      I have several theories as to why this is happening.
      1. I’m getting beat up and getting lazy on the bags.
      2. The lube is building up and purging in the barrel (pretty shaky idea, but hey….)
      3. I’ve just gotten “lucky” that all the fliers happened at the end of the string and further shooting will prove they are actually random.

    • #30678
      skeettx
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      OR the barrel is heating up and expanding and causing a bias on the grouping
      I do know some of the old folks would loosen the front forestock screw
      I would NOT in your beautifully stocked gun.
      I have even known some to remove the forestock.
      Mike

    • #30699
      Harter
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      I had some suggestions but I apparently missed several leaps in the successes and confused another thread .
      It looks like it is coming together .
      With a similar but completely different project pending I’m watching quietly from the wings .

      My money is on the driver’s focus slipping as the session progresses .
      Case condition is a possibility also but I would expect that you are shooting strings and workups from a single lot of identical brass on the same cycle .(100 pieces of new ,shoot all 100 start back at 1 for the 100 at 1x etc , anneal all 100 repeat).

      That’s all I have that isn’t mentioned .
      ​​​​​

    • #30700
      Goodsteel
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      Harter;n10561 wrote: I had some suggestions but I apparently missed several leaps in the successes and confused another thread .
      It looks like it is coming together .
      With a similar but completely different project pending I’m watching quietly from the wings .

      My money is on the driver’s focus slipping as the session progresses .
      Case condition is a possibility also but I would expect that you are shooting strings and workups from a single lot of identical brass on the same cycle .(100 pieces of new ,shoot all 100 start back at 1 for the 100 at 1x etc , anneal all 100 repeat).

      That’s all I have that isn’t mentioned .
      ​​​​​

      Exactly right.
      100 cases. Rinse lather repeat.
      I’ve got about 6 reloads, and now I’m getting splits in the case mouths.
      Im going to start annealing as soon as this batch of primed brass is exhausted.
      Ill pitch all the ones that split, and start annealing every other cycle, or something to that effect.

    • #30714
      Goodsteel
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      I used the last of my package of 1000 gas checks yesterday. Over the past two years, I’ve fired about 2000 rounds through my 45-70’s (one of which went through two major barrel changes).

      Recent testing has been far more productive because of my new found ability to step outside and test test test. At this point there is hardly a variable I have not tried.
      My conclusion of the 45-70 in a lever gun @ 1300-1400FPS is that for ten shot groups at 100 yards, consistent groups less than 2″ are almost impossible. I dare say groups less than 2″ with ANY rifle are almost impossible.
      I knew that going into this, but I honestly do not know why. There are times throughout this epic experiment that 10 shot groups wound up less than 2″ (one was nearly sub MOA) but that performance was not repeatable, as the next sessions would open up to 2 and 3 inches with an identical load created using the same brass, bullets from the same batch, and powder from the same lot.
      Groups open and close and fluctuate, but I will not call a rifles accuracy till it performs three times with 10 shot groups (minus called fliers of course (that being fliers that I knew were due to a mistake of mine on the bench which happens an average of twice in 30 shots)).

      My suspicion is that their is something basically wrong with straightwall cases as it relates to making the powder burn correctly. It has been postulated that the shoulder on the necked down cartridge cases creates turbulence (or it could just be the increased back pressure inherent to blowing the contents of a .4 diameter internal combustion into a .25 hole) that increases the pressure on the powder charge during its burn that makes it burn completely and more consistently. 45-70 and their ilk have no such pressure modifier present, and I suspect that running the pressure down lower for the speeds I am trying to achieve exacerbates the problem. Fact is, it’s a straight, unhindered shot down the barrel and you get the worst that a powder has to offer.
      Basically, the pressure is released too quickly to facilitate proper combustion (this is merely a theory on my part. It is not proven), however it explains why it is so hard to get consistent “ragged hole accuracy from the 45-70.

      It has crossed my mind to machine brass that has a false shoulder built into the case to produce this turbulence/back pressure in order to see what happens. That’s a dangerous and difficult proposition though.

    • #30717
      Rattlesnake Charlie
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      Has anyone experienced similar challenges with the .38-55?
      How about .357 mag or .44 mag?

      The long range BPCR matches launch at some low velocities, but then they are pushing very heavy bullets, like 500 – 550 gr from .45 cal rifles. They get some amazing accuracy.

    • #30720
      Goodsteel
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      Rattlesnake Charlie;n10590 wrote: Has anyone experienced similar challenges with the .38-55?
      How about .357 mag or .44 mag?

      The long range BPCR matches launch at some low velocities, but then they are pushing very heavy bullets, like 500 – 550 gr from .45 cal rifles. They get some amazing accuracy.

      The key letters in the acronym BPCR is “BP”. Totally different situation there I suspect. Same with loading smokeless powder to higher pressures, both of which are specifically excluded by my experiments. (that said, I have yet to see any group that comes close to MOA for 10 shots. I suspect most of the folks claiming MOA accuracy wouldn’t dare accept that challenge.)

      I doubt very seriously the BPCR shooters are adhering to my stated criteria. Take any of those who post the tiny groups and convince them to call an average for 3 ten shot groups, or for an average of 6 of their 5 shot groups and I believe the results would be similar. There’s a big difference between a guy who posts his very best group from the past 1000 shots fired, and what I have done here where I show the good the bad and the ugly demonstrated over 4 different rifles.

      In fact, find a sub MOA group for any rifle fired at greater than 100 yards with more than 5 shots. I can’t find it.

    • #30722
      Rattlesnake Charlie
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      I tried to find a record of winning group sizes at the NRA BPCR matches, but only found scores, like 272×300.
      While not sub-MOA, this article does show what is happening in BPCR.
      https://gunsmagazine.com/bpcr-silhouette/

    • #30723
      Goodsteel
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      Nobody remembers the worst groups fired. It’s considered some sort of punishment if that information is recorded, but that’s what really needs to be known if you’re going to make an accurate estimate of the rifle’s ability to hit things.
      For instance, yesterday I was at the end of 30 shots. I was pretty beat up. Well I had set a WD-40 can on a stump down yonder at the 100 yard line. Even to the last, I was holding less than 4″ for the whole group with the usual cluster in the center.
      Finally, I decided to shoot for the WD-40.
      I figured I had about a 40% chance of hitting the can first shot. I missed twice and tagged it on the third. Glad that wasn’t a deer at 300 yards, ya know? The next time, I’ll probably drill it on the first try. That doesn’t make me accurate. That just means I took a chance on hitting the target and got lucky. Shooting at live animals with that sort of flippant attitude is cruel and irresponsible in my book. Much better to know my limits and function within them, and in the mean time, try to extend those limits as much as possible which is what this whole thread is about.

    • #30725
      Rattlesnake Charlie
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      I have more lousy targets than the ones I would hang on the wall. I view them as something learned. I fired about 20 rounds of top end Trapdoor loads on Sunday afternoon. The wind was gusting and there was glare from the front sight on my Marlin. I viewed it as brushing up on my trigger work for it and the Sharps. I wound up being happy they were on the target at 100 yards. Yes, it was a beating, especially with the Marlin. My rule for how far to shoot at a deer is that distance that I am confident I can keep my rounds on a paper plate. That varies with the rest I might have and the weather conditions. And the firearm. My longest shot at a deer is about 75 yards. And that is in western KS. I just won’t try anything much farther, even with my scoped .308. I’m going to the optometrist day after tomorrow. Hopefully I will get new spectacles and be able to see the iron sights better. It is real discouraging right now.

    • #30729
      Mike F H
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      I have no experience with heavy lever rifles,so may be out of my depth,as there aren’t too many bench rests in the hunting fields,I would test more in line with field use.Put your hand between the forend and the sand bag and hold on pulling back into your shoulder.Keep a tight hold on it,lovely rifle,shame the barrel had to be shortened,I have a fondness for long barrels.

    • #30739
      lar45
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      Have I missed it, or have you tried a solid filler like Cream O Wheat?
      Of course this is the south, we may not be able to find COW, would grits be a suitable replacement?

    • #30749
      Goodsteel
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      Not to worry my good man. Green mountain has more of them, and my lathe has plenty of juice.

    • #30750
      Goodsteel
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      lar45;n10613 wrote: Have I missed it, or have you tried a solid filler like Cream O Wheat?
      Of course this is the south, we may not be able to find COW, would grits be a suitable replacement?

      I have both, and I did try in early experiments with the 1895 Guide Gun. Results were higher pressure, and no real gain in accuracy. However, I will soon have the plain base mold from NOE and I’ve been thinking of revisiting that exact thing now that I know better how to make the worm turn.
      This project has been ongoing with me for over two years and I did not post anything for several reasons:

      1. Early accuracy was shoddy at best and I had nothing to report.

      2. About the time I started getting somewhere I got involuntarily banned from my home base on the internet and with all the customer contacts and PM’s lost. This was the proverbial atomic bomb to my little enterprise, resulting in a lul in activity to all things cast bullet related while I picked up the shattered pieces.

      3. I moved to a better location where I can shoot every day, the process of which has taken three months to implement.

      All things considered it’s been one hell of a year for MBT, but I’m on my way back up with a vengeance. When I finally got my lead pot plugged back in, it had been the longest stretch of time I’ve not been casting since I got married, and it was a sweet reunion I can assure you! Number one on my mind was to test the 45-70, and test it I have! I believe I’ve fired over 500 rounds in the past three weeks (it’s a wonderful way to wake up in the morning you know? a brisk walk to the 100 yard line to post fresh targets, then some nice shooting while my coffee steams at my elbow. (sigh))

    • #30757
      Rattlesnake Charlie
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      “a brisk walk to the 100 yard line to post fresh targets, then some nice shooting while my coffee steams at my elbow.”

      I’m envious. It is dark when I arrive at work at 0600.

      I have also read of using shot buffer as a filler to protect the base of a bullet. Wads also. I just ordered a hole punch from Lee Shaver to cut wads for my .45-70. From what I’ve gleaned getting into shooting plain based bullets in my .45-70 reading BPCR forums is that a wad to protect the base is pretty much mandatory. Some use cardboard, some vegetable fiber. some gasket material, and some include a grease cookie between the bullet and over powder wad.

    • #30834
      Waksupi
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      Waksupi;n10455 wrote:

      I’d been looking for that book for quite awile, but the prices were pretty stupid for a cheap soul such as mine. I just got one on Ebay for $11.01!

      Well, I got this book, read it all. Way over hyped. I feel like I wasted my money. It may be good for a real newcomer to the chambering, but if you have any personal experience, you probably already know at least as much, and probably more than is presented here. He also had a hot rodding of loads mindset, and was pretty much told by the top in the field not to do it in his letter section.

    • #31044
      Goodsteel
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      I am gaining ground slow but sure. I had designed a custom 458XCB bullet for this project that can be seen at Accurate molds called the 46-430G.

      My original tests with 4895 using this bullet were dismal failures, so I abandoned it till I could get something nailed down with the well known 457483 RN cast bullet.

      After running about a dozen tests I found that the 34 grains of H4198 + dacron load was pretty much a plug and play pet load with almost any bullet in almost any rifle. All 5 rifles I have shot that load in, have performed quite well with groups ranging from 2.5-3.5″ for the same ammo, built to feed, not to fit (it jumped about .025-.100ish to the throats of all rifles).


      So up to this point, all bullets were cast of House alloy (95/2.5/2.5) and air cooled for a BHN of about 14. I decided it was time to try water dropped bullets with a hardness of about 23-27BHN.
      I tried the 457483 first with the pet load, but accuracy was no better. In fact, it degraded slightly. Then on a whim, I tried the Accurate 46-430G bullet again, but water dropped this time, and I was surprised that the accuracy took a definite turn towards excellent quick fast and in a hurry.

      This ten shot group was compromised by one stray bullet. I can’t call it a flier because it was not strange at all. The only one I slipped with was one that I got lucky with when it went into the group. That said, let me erase that one bullet and we have a dramatically improved group and further tests have shown this load to hold about 2MOA with the occasional straggler pretty consistently.

      What I take from this is that the nose on my 46-430G bullet is too long and may either be imballancing the bullet, or causing slump (great thanks to Larry Gibson for his invaluable input).
      Seeing as how the bullet did so poorly when cast of soft alloy, but pulled this out of the hat when cast hard, I am leaning towards slump.
      I redesigned the bullet and submitted it to Accurate molds. This bullet fits in a very similar way, is less aerodynamic, but pulls absolutely no punches when it comes to using the XCB method to create a “pre-slumped” bullet. IE: put all the lead where it wants to go in the first place so it can’t go anywhere else, then bolster the heck out of everything behind that point.
      I confess, I deviated from the XCB method with the 46-430G because I wanted to start with the original RN design and work my way towards a fully blown XCB concept. That is very expensive though, so instead of taking another step forward, I decided to go all the way and do what I know is right for a fully supported 100 yard XCB bullet, then make small concessions to increase the BC later when I go to NOE for the final edition. 6 of one, half dozen of the other, but I fully intend the final 458XCB to be “all that and a bag of chips” before I get NOE involved. I was apprehensive because the bigger we go in barrel diameter, the harder it is to play the XCB game. Eventually I will have a range of these bullets from 22-50 caliber and a well established method for producing perfectly ballanced bullet designs, but the learning curve is steep, expensive, and could cost me my meager reputation if a single bad design is produced. Fortunately, I figure that the larger calibers are the hardest to produce, and suffer the least from Accurate mold’s .180 meplat requirement, so I can bear the entire burden of risk personally and by the time it gets to NOE it’s a proven design with a slightly more aerodynamic nose shape. (Thats the theory anyway).

      Sorry, I digress.
      Here’s the redesigned 458XCB bullet as I drew it up in Autocad:
      It’s called the 46-415G (Accurate puts a G after all my designs which I think is just bully as all get out!) I ordered a three cavity brass version last night, so now I wait with baited breath and reverent hope for Tom to go do that voodoo that he does so well.

      Here’s the link:
      http://accuratemolds.com/bullet_deta…=46-415G-D.png

    • #31250
      Chris C
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      Tim, for what it’s worth, I’ve had really good results (for me, at my level of shooting…….which is rather poor) with Accurate’s mold #46-430 VG. I’m certain you could do a whole lot better, but here is a target of mine. It’s 10 shots in one ragged hole. I realize it’s only 25 yds and off a lead sled to boot, but the combination might ring out with your skills. It’s a 430 gr bullet over 42 gr of H322. You might give that a try.

    • #31255
      Goodsteel
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      id be glad to try it, but I doubt that nose will allow linear expansion of groups out to 100 yards. Uber large meplat bullets have not performed well so far at extended ranges.
      Do you own that puppy? Could you spot me about 20-30 of em?

    • #31257
      popper
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      I thought I saw some lube splatters on your earlier targets. I tried using my carbine BCG (BO) in a pistol build. Couldn’t close the bolt (1/10″ off). Dang gas key was clogged with 1/2″ of garbage. I PC so not Pb. Works fine in the carbine and the bolt wasn’t dirty at all. Anyway, I don’t think we realize how much crud/lube collects in the barrels. IIRC Gear mentioned it in his lube thread. IHO we will learn a lot from the H.S. vid. of cast shots at the muzzle. i watched a guy with a Pedersoli BPR, blow tube, clean after every shot – and one hole group @ 100.

    • #31264
      Chris C
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      Goodsteel;n11303 wrote: id be glad to try it, but I doubt that nose will allow linear expansion of groups out to 100 yards. Uber large meplat bullets have not performed well so far at extended ranges.
      Do you own that puppy? Could you spot me about 20-30 of em?

      Don’t own the mold, Tim, but when Doc Holiday from the Marlin Owners Forum told me he was quitting casting, I put in a lot of inventory so I’d have them………..having no idea he’d had Tom at Accurate make the molds and I could buy them too. (of course, I wasn’t casting then either.) To answer your question, I’ll be glad to send you 30. Pm me your address.

    • #31271
      Rattlesnake Charlie
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      My Shiloh Sharps .45-70 has no throat, so I can’t try the Accurate molds 46-430G. I did manage about a 6″ group at 100 yards yesterday with a Ranch Dog 350 gr FN that in my alloy is about 367 grains. I was using 3031, but cannot remember the actual charge. I had written on the label that it was a top end load for Trapdoors. The recoil is tolerable in the Sharps, but not my 1895 Marlin Cowboy. I may wind up selling that one and look for a .38-55.

    • #31275
      Goodsteel
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      If you decide to sell, be nice to a brother and give me first crack at it. I’ll probably be broke, but you never know!

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