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    • #24033
      Goodsteel
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      I have been trying to get some loads together for my 1886 Browning that will shoot well. Most of my effort has been centered around the 350 grain Ranch Dog bullet as I feel that is decent bullet to be tossing at Arkansas deer without being overkill.
      The problem is that shooting the 350 grain bullet at 1500FPS is a loser in the accuracy dept. There are several reasons for this several of which are:
      1. It’s too short for the rifling and is as aerodynamic as a red acme brick.
      2. It goes transonic right at 100 yards.
      3. There is no powder in existence that will push that bullet to those speeds while also filling the copious powder capacity of the cartridge behind it.

      My choices are pretty simple and both will produce added recoil which I do not like:
      1. Shoot the bullet faster
      2. Use a much heavier bullet and shoot slower.

      I am trying to discover a compromise between these two choices in several ways. I decided to try to run heavier bullets slower and try to make them exit the barrel just above or right on top of the sonic barrier. Fact is, if a 500 grain bullet is properly stabilized and delivers the accuracy I desire, I am very capable of learning my holdovers so that I can hit what I want at any distance, and a bullet that big is going to drop anything I shoot with it even at those slow speeds.

      The first problem I have is that I lack any mold of that style with which to cast my bullets from. Therefore, I contacted a good friend and fellow caster: Bullshop. I asked Dan if he would please cast me up 100 bullets of his original GVT design. He charged me $27 (wich I thought was more than fair) and had them out to me in a few days. These bullets actually weigh in at 520 grains.
      I also borrowed a mold from our own bjornb that is the venerable 500gr Rapine. This bullet was cast of my House alloy and the bullets weighed 500 grains right on the beam.

      Propellant was chosen based on reputation and how well it filled the case. I loaded 10 of the Bullshop GVT bullets under a charge of H4198, and 10 of them over a charge of IMR3031.

      The Rapine was a different matter. Since these bullets were lubed by me, I chose to use a lube I obtained from our own Larry Gibson consisting of 50/50 beexwax and olive oil.
      Since black powder is the obvious choice for this situation, I decided to use it. However, not being able to run a patch from the breach means that I needed a charge that would not fowl the bore at all.
      I decided to make a duplex load. It is a well known fact that 3FG Goex produces less fowling of the barrel than the 2F or 1F offerings do. I selected this powder based on that knowledge. Furthermore, it is a well known fact that adding a kicker will insure a clean barrel shot to shot, so used IMR4198 to this end. SR 4759 was the obvious choice, but since it is out of production I looked at the powder burn rate chart, and chose the next slowest powder in the lineup.
      I charged each case with 5 grains of IMR4198 (suggested starting point with 4759), then put in 52 grians of 3FG Goex (this produced about 3/16″ crush on the powder column and again seemed like a reasonable place to start), and seated the 500 grain Rapine over it and crimped it in place.
      We’ll see how this works.
      As a disclaimer, I need to say that these are my own loads and I did not get them from any manual. Duplexing is dangerous, and is not recommended. I have pretty much sworn off duplexing with smokeless powder, as I feel that the danger far outweighs the benefits (although I have dabbled a little with it). I’m trying this as a totally independent experiment.
      I would have gone out and tried these loads today, but I’m still under the weather and I just didn’t have a range session in me today.

    • #24040
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      Olive bee will make you happy as a BP lube goes . I have a damaged new style Lee I would donate to the cause if you wanted to try a Money type bullet of 350-400gr.

    • #24073
      skeettx
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      Evaluate 45-50 grains of 3031 for the 300-350 grain bullets, no fillers
      Mike

    • #24074
      Goodsteel
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      skeettx;n2196 wrote: Evaluate 45-50 grains of 3031 for the 300-350 grain bullets, no fillers
      Mike

      Thanks Mike, I’ll try that.
      I have tried 41.5 gr of 3031 with the 400gr RN and obtained the best group yet:

    • #24075
      Goodsteel
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      Here is a load I tried that was right in the middle of your recomendation . 48.3 grains of IMR3031 with the 350 grain Ranch Dog bullet:
      Pretty raunchy.

    • #24083
      skeettx
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      Raunchy, meaning they KICK??
      Is that correct
      Yes, lots of power,
      I use 50 grain of 3031 in my new 1886, a P-14 Bolt gun, and a Sabatti double barrel rifle
      300 Grain Remington hollow-point
      Mike

    • #24085
      Goodsteel
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      skeettx;n2208 wrote: Raunchy, meaning they KICK??
      Is that correct
      Yes, lots of power,
      I use 50 grain of 3031 in my new 1886, a P-14 Bolt gun, and a Sabatti double barrel rifle
      300 Grain Remington hollow-point
      Mike

      No, raunchy meaning the accuracy sucked like a supercharged shop-vac. I’m looking for golfball sized groups.

    • #24099
      451 whitworth
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      Goodsteel, are you against case fillers such as dacron, PSB, etc?

    • #24104
      Goodsteel
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      Nope, I’ve tried that too.
      I got the same, or even worse accuracy.

      Here’s the groups with 30 grains of 4227 with Dacron filler:

      Here’s 24 grains of Aliant 2400 with dacron filler:

    • #24105
      Goodsteel
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      This rifle has been plagued by fliers, inconsistent groups, and just plain old orneryness.
      I was about to replace the barrel with a Krieger or something but I decided to lead lap the barrel and install the new sights to see if that would help.
      The 457483 Lyman bullet with 41.5 gr of IMR3031 was a very nice surprise, and definitely showed potential at “only” 3 MOA at 100 yards for ten shots.
      The first two groups I shoot on the next outing will be that exact same load both with and without the GC (read an interesting post by Bullshop that casts serious doubt on the use of GC’s at these speeds/pressures).
      If the accuracy holds, I will move on to the heavier bullets.
      After that, I will shoot the duplex loads.

      The very last chance I will give this barrel is a second lead lap, then into the rack it goes.

    • #24133
      451 whitworth
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      I shoot old British cartridges (450, 500, 577 BPE) using the standard procedure of using 40% 4198 nitro for black to get then to shoot to the fixed sights. Sometimes it’s a few grains higher than 40%. A couple grain tuft of dacron left fluffed, not compressed to keep powder where it belongs. I’ve used it in the 45-70 and 50-110 also. I have two Browning 1886’s and mine have very smooth barrels and shoot great. I’m surprised your rifle is so picky.

    • #24138
      Goodsteel
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      Browing’s as a whole have left me altogether unimpressed as to barrel quality, and this rifle is no exception. Part of the problem was the lousy sights, and part of the problem is the barrel. I have lapped the barrel and the groups posted above were shot after lapping and are actually about half the size they were before lapping.
      Now I have added the aperture rear sight, and I have yet to shoot it to see how much improvement that gives me.
      Also, remember that I am shooting a pretty big number of shots into the groups. Ten is the norm, unless the group is blown in which case I won’t waste the powder (or the longevity of my shoulder. Steel butt plates limit how many shots you can take in a session). Point is, I have yet to see any groups posted anywhere that was more than 5 shots and most of them are only 3. I can find three shots in coincidentally close proximity in any of the groups I posted above.

    • #24230
      451 whitworth
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      If you are using the factory sights then those groups are what I would expect. It seems to be lost on manufacturers on how to equip a rifle with iron sights. The terrible semi buckhorn rear with square notch paired with a front bead is all modern Browning/Winchester uses and for the life of me I can’t understand. I replaced the rear sight on one of my Browning 1886’s with an old factory Winchester (from back in the day) round bottom notch that’s flat across the top. I can shoot real groups with that sight. My other Browning 1886 wears a receiver sight and the difference to open sight shooting is night and day for my eyes. As far as Browning barrels I don’t have your experience as a ‘smith. But I can tell you that my three Browning 71’s are hands down some of the most accurate guns I have used with cast. I have no doubt if you could mount optics they would shoot under MOA, 5 shots, day in day out. I’ve shot many 100 yard, 10 shot groups with receiver sights that amaze me. They are the only lever guns that I own that groups don’t open up after 5 shots. Oh, and I also have a home made thin shoulder recoil sand bag just for those curved butt plates, they are brutal without padding.

    • #24647
      Goodsteel
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      I got a chance to go shooting today and test out the loads I mentioned in the OP. Results were very interesting.
      First, I took the loads made with the Lyman 457483 that were GCed to see if they would duplicate the results achieved in the last outing. Results were dismal. The only difference between these bullets and the ones I used last time is that these were sized with the 450 lubesizer. This lube sizer has a history of sizing the bullets crooked, but I’ve never seen such an apparent difference in a side by side test. I need to just throw the dam thing in the attic and be done with it. The one at 6:00 is a called flier.
      .

      However, the test I had constructed was to test those loads side by side with an identical load sans the GC. Take a look. These bullets were treated exactly the same as those above and sized in the same lube sizer (but without the GC it would seem to be harder for the lubesizer to jack things up eh?)

      Next, I tried the 520grain bullets I got from Bullshop and loaded over a light charge of 4198. The accuracy was actually pretty good, but my POI shifted over 18″ high. Heavier bullet at slower speed and they shot high. I think this is the old trick we see with magnum handguns where the rifle is recoiling before the bullet exists. The results are the same:

      Next, I tried the same cartridges only laoded with a charge of IMR 3031. Accuracy was so bad, it’s not even worth posting. Had a group that looked about the same as a football. Not good at all.

      Finally, I shot the duplex loads of 5gr of 4198 and 52gr of FFFG. The results were astounding. The first 5 shots dropped into a 1.3″ group. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough kicker to clear the barrel and accuracy started dropping off very quickly after that. I’m definitely going to take a harder look at good ol BP. In fact, I’m setting up shop right there till I find out just how good it can get.

      My final thoughts on todays results are that I really like the new peep sight I made for the rifle, and it allowed me to see the 1″ squares on the target and shoot at them like I used to do in my 20s. I totally lucked out on the aperture size, and I’m going to leave it right where it is.

      This is a day to celebrate because I have finally burned black powder in a brass cartridge. This was my first time, and I loved it.

      Cheers everybody. I’m going to crack a beer and clean the rifle. Good times today!

    • #25096
      Goodsteel
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      After my apparent possible success with the duplex BP loads shown above, I have decided to investigate further.
      I suspect that accuracy fell off because the barrel was not successfully cleared by 5 grains of IMR4198.
      I decided to boost the kicker one grain at a time, while reducing the BP in order to maintain the same powder compression that I had before.

      I have loaded 15 each of the following combinations, and I will see what they do tomorrow:

      7 grains of IMR4198/51 grains of FFFG
      8 grains of IMR4198/50 grains of FFFG
      9 grains of IMR4198/49 grains of FFFG

      I was going to load up some duplex with 4227 as a kicker, but I had a bad experience tonight when I opened the cabinet and found I was totally out. Then I realized I had only a very little 4895 left. It was horrible. Gotta restock!

      My goal here is accuracy (or more correctly: Precision). I don’t care what the speed or the pressure is within reason. (There is a natural limit to what the rifle, and my shoulder can take, but all of these loads should be well within the realms of reason on both counts).

      Range report tomorrow God willin and the crick don’t rise.

    • #25157
      Goodsteel
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      Well it was an interesting day. I shot the loads I mentioned earlier.
      Here’s a cool shot of the rifle on the bench. I waited 1 minute between shots with the action opened like this.

      First, I shot the 7/51 loads. Recoil was definitely stiffer than the 5/52 loads from a week ago.
      Here’s 11 shots:

      Next, I shot the 8/50 loads. Oddly enough, these seemed to have less recoil than the 7/51 combination. Thats totally subjective, but I did notice it wasn’t quite as bad. I should have set up a Chronograph, but I was late to the range and there just wasn’t time.
      Accuracy was par for the course:
      That one at 2:00 was an honest flinch shot. Just punched the trigger. Sorry. I did manage to get 10 shots in the group.

      Finally, here are the 9/49 loads definitely not good. These kicked about like the 7/51 loads did. Pretty stout. Only difference was, I couldn’t ever tell where the bullets were going to land. Truely atrocious.

    • #25158
      Goodsteel
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      Please try to remember that this is the result of a rifle that I am having trouble with. I’m about ready to pull the barrel and start from scratch with a fresh blank on this one. Still, I wouldn’t hesitate to try these loads in my Marlin 1895 sometime.

    • #25167
      uber7mm
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      I know you can shoot better than that.
      It must be the gun.

      Are there any tight spots in the barrel?
      What does she slug out to?

    • #25173
      Goodsteel
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      Of course it’s the gun. I’m doing all this because it’s shot like garbage from day one.
      I lapped the barrel and found two tight spots. I cleaned them up and now she’s smooth end to end.
      The groove diameter is .4574
      I’ve done everything a reasonable person with my abilities can do, and it still doesn’t shoot. I conclude this is just a bad barrel. It does happen occasionally.

    • #25176
      uber7mm
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      I’m preaching to the choir again…..

    • #25213
      Wright Arms
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      Allow me to think out loud for a bit. I also have a lever action rifle that shot very poorly from day 1. A Henry Big Boy in .357, to be exact. I finally slugged the barrel and found constrictions, primarily where the sights and mag tube loop were dovetailed in. Tim talked me into lapping it, and my groups went from ‘lucky to keep 10 on 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper’ to right around 3″ @ 100 yds for 10 shots. Thank you for the fine advice, Tim!

      So, where am I going with this, you may ask? I do not know the specifics of the constriction’s in Tim’s barrel, so I can only speak to what I found in mine. And those constrictions were not symmetrical. More akin to denting the side of an aluminum can. That’s an exaggeration, but the best example I can think of. Anyway, when fired, our bullet encounters these deformities in the barrel and once passed thru, remains deformed as well. Kinda like a deflated football shape. Again an exaggeration, but you get the picture. Now, in my case, this was happening 5 times over the barrel length.

      Lapping obviously improved the barrel condition, but given the deformation of MY barrel, lapping could only cause an increase in groove depth and a decrease in land depth in the constricted areas. Better, but still not perfect, obviously.

      My point is, I can’t help but wonder if somewhere in the 3 MOA area is about as good as things get when lapping out barrel constrictions?

      Thoughts?

    • #25216
      Goodsteel
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      Wright Arms;n3547 wrote: Allow me to think out loud for a bit. I also have a lever action rifle that shot very poorly from day 1. A Henry Big Boy in .357, to be exact. I finally slugged the barrel and found constrictions, primarily where the sights and mag tube loop were dovetailed in. Tim talked me into lapping it, and my groups went from ‘lucky to keep 10 on 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper’ to right around 3″ @ 100 yds for 10 shots. Thank you for the fine advice, Tim!

      So, where am I going with this, you may ask? I do not know the specifics of the constriction’s in Tim’s barrel, so I can only speak to what I found in mine. And those constrictions were not symmetrical. More akin to denting the side of an aluminum can. That’s an exaggeration, but the best example I can think of. Anyway, when fired, our bullet encounters these deformities in the barrel and once passed thru, remains deformed as well. Kinda like a deflated football shape. Again an exaggeration, but you get the picture. Now, in my case, this was happening 5 times over the barrel length.

      Lapping obviously improved the barrel condition, but given the deformation of MY barrel, lapping could only cause an increase in groove depth and a decrease in land depth in the constricted areas. Better, but still not perfect, obviously.

      My point is, I can’t help but wonder if somewhere in the 3 MOA area is about as good as things get when lapping out barrel constrictions?

      Thoughts?

      Oh, I have no doubt that lapping has limits to what it can correct. The general consensus of what I have read is that it’s best used in small doses, which this barrel and yours are anything but, and took a lot of work to get all the bad material out of the way.
      The big question is, once you get all the lumps, bumps and machining marks smoothed out, do you now have a match grade barrel? I think not. Mainly because we are not cutting new rifling. By lapping, we are just smearing what’s already there slightly, and hoping that what’s left is more accurate than what we started with, and lets be honest: With barrels this jacked up, how could we make it any worse? LOL!

    • #25522
      Goodsteel
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      I may have missed something.
      I was looking at the barrel again, and noticed something strange right at the crown. Looks like when they brazed on the front sight, it pickled the inside of the barrel and that rough orange peel like surface is still there.

      When I lapped the barrel before, I was only concerned with removing the tight spot in front of the chamber. I never lapped all the way to the crown.

      I’m going to lap one more time and test with another range of duplex loads.
      If it doesn’t shoot after that, I’m ordering a barrel and consigning the rifle to the back of the safe till I get time to work on it.

    • #25528
      Goodsteel
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      Well, I lapped the barrel again, and set my stop so that the lap would end flush with the muzzle.
      From the very start, I felt a very tight constriction about 1.5″ before hitting the stop, and it took a LOT of lapping to get it smoothed out. However, even after lapping, the lap is loose as it crosses the crown. This means that the bore opens slightly like a blunderbuss. All this effort might be for naught if that’s the case.
      Still, it’s a LOT better than it was before, and maybe I got enough of it out of there to give me some semblance of precision at 100 yards.
      I’m going to put together more loads and see what it does for me next weekend.

      I tell you one thing, I’d like to find the dude that was in charge of QC when this rifle was built and use this janky barrel as a funnel to run sugar into his gas tank.
      I’m kidding of course. It’s the glory of rifle manufacturers to crank out jacked up rifles and its the glory of consumers to make those POSs shoot. LOL!

    • #25537
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      I know this guy that could probably cut the flair out or off of that barrel for you . :).

      It has been my experience in life that pretty things don’t work and that sometimes those that work areally pretty. . Translation, the function QC goes down as the finish grade goes up because 95% of the buyers of anniversary /comemorative guns will never fire them. . Vanna White .arrived a billionaire after turning letters on a game show in an evening gown , but miss California 1970 grew up on a goat farm in the Mojave Desert. . While there’s no doubt they are both beauties I bet Ms California knows how to get a truck out of a wash and gimp a trailer with a blown wheel bearing and can butcher dinner while still making the $1k/plate dinner party in a knock out dress and and pearls. Vanna doesn’t understand why you would leave the asphalt much less the concrete jungle..

    • #25548
      Wright Arms
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      I was sorta thinking the same thing. Given the cost and appearance of Tim’s rifle, they were probably betting it would only be shot a few times, if ever. I’d like to think I’m wrong. But I bet I’m not.

    • #25618
      451 whitworth
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      Wright Arms;n3937 wrote: I was sorta thinking the same thing. Given the cost and appearance of Tim’s rifle, they were probably betting it would only be shot a few times, if ever. I’d like to think I’m wrong. But I bet I’m not.

      My four high grade Brownings with the same finish as Goodsteel’s (two 1886’s, one M71, and one M65) would prove that assumption totally false. They shoot excellent, just as good as my plain grade Browning 1886, 1895, 1892, M71, and M65.

    • #25621
      451 whitworth
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      Goodsteel,
      Back before the current Winchester Company reintroduced the 1895 in 405 WCF, some were attempting to bore out Browning 1895 30-40 Krag repro’s to 405. They encountered the same problem you are in the front sight area. The brazing caused that area of the barrel to harden and when the cutter got closer to the hard spot it chattered like crazy. I know this first hand.

    • #25623
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      451 it is possible that your rifles were built then graded. I’d bet that new production grades then builds . For example 20 rifles in 500 might be graded to commemorative grades using 2nd barrels and fat receivers because it is recognized that the higher quality of final finish will demand more metal to be removed. A barrel might be used that had a worn button used or a last bore 1st rifled barrel or even 1 rhat broke a tool righto at the start or end of the pull and deemed ok because it was inside a chamber cut area or just cut off to make a 22″ from a 24″ thus using up what would be wasted mistakes. Even into the 70 maybe the 80s there was probably 10 x as many rejected.
      It wouldn’t surprise me today to find a barrel in a 38/9/357 that started out on the line to be a 35 Whelen or 350 mag or a 30-30 with the remains of a 300 RUM barrel. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 1-9 twist on a 32 acp or 327 mag.

    • #25649
      Wright Arms
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      451 whitworth;n4016 wrote:

      My four high grade Brownings with the same finish as Goodsteel’s (two 1886’s, one M71, and one M65) would prove that assumption totally false. They shoot excellent, just as good as my plain grade Browning 1886, 1895, 1892, M71, and M65.

      I see. Could you please elaborate upon ‘excellent’? I have only one experience with a lever action Browning. A BLR in .358 Winchester. Given the reviews I had read, ‘excellent’ results were what I expected, but NOT what I observed. So I admit, my perspective is jaded.

    • #25651
      Goodsteel
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      I have to agree with Wright here, and I’ve shot a LOT more Brownings than he has. In fact, I have never shot a Browning that produced any sort of good group.
      I’ve come to regard them as beautiful rifles with wretched barrels, which is why I wasn’t too torn up when this one shot like all the others I’ve had the displeasure of working with.

      Of course, I’m a pretty practical guy, and I usually don’t have time to spend three months trying to get three bullets to land close together. I’m going to feed it good quality ammo, and put ten shots downrange. A good rifle will keep them ALL inside 1.5″ but a typical Browning will have trouble keeping them inside 4″.
      Every now and then, one pops up that the guy only has to blame two or maybe three of the fliers on himself.

      I will apologize by explaining that I am the gunsmith. I mostly only see rifles that have trouble.

      Same old thing:
      One target.
      One hundred yards
      One permissible flier
      No more than 11 shots. No less than ten.
      As much time as you need between shots for cooling (I’ve never seen a rifle that needed more than 1 minute, so I use the timer feature on my phone).

      That’s bare minimum to prove a rifle’s precision. School of hard knocks has been very strict.

    • #25671
      Sgt. Mike
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      I ran this by J.A. and L. Bobbit
      they said yer doing it wrong ………… OK just kidding Tim .

      Figured you had the headaches calmed down a bit more by now…
      Maybe bad stress releif?? couple that with those durn barrel bands on a lever gun. Maybe the issue??
      IDK just offering opinions and thoughts.

    • #25688
      451 whitworth
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      Sgt. Mike;n4076 wrote: I ran this by J.A. and L. Bobbit
      they said yer doing it wrong ………… OK just kidding Tim .

      Figured you had the headaches calmed down a bit more by now…
      Maybe bad stress releif?? couple that with those durn barrel bands on a lever gun. Maybe the issue??
      IDK just offering opinions and thoughts.

      I was wondering them same thing. I’d be interested in how it shot minus the barrel bands and magazine tube. I’m also anxious to see the results of the new barrel.

    • #25691
      Goodsteel
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      For the record, one of the first things I did when I got the rifle and saw that the accuracy was lacking, was to float the barrel bands and bed the forend. Paper slips easily under the rear. The front is a bit of a crap chute because even though the band clamps on the mag tube, the screw that goes through the mag cap has a tip that enters a divot under the barrel to ensure the mag tube doesn’t unscrew. As a result, there’s very little I can do to eliminate contact totally with the front band, although the steps I took should have been sufficient to get a decent group.

      However, the trouble I found in the barrel is very hard to ignore and couldn’t be good for accuracy. I expect some measure of improvement this Sunday.

    • #27424
      Rattlesnake Charlie
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      I’ve been using that bullet in both my Marlin 1895 Cowboy and Shiloh Sharps. Smokeless so far. 35 gr of IMR 4198 and 46.4 gr IMR 4895. Both are near the top end of the Trapdoor data. Both are pleasant to shoot. With the Shiloh Sharps, I can ring the 200 yd gong (dinner plate size) about one-half the time with the open sights. I had not tried since getting the tang sight. I did shoot my deer last December with the 4895 load. He dropped at the shot. Didn’t have to use the long range sights as he was only 10 ft away.

      When I first got my Marlin, I tried a load of IMR 3031 that was listed about midway in the Marlin/1886 data. After three shots, I pulled the rest and went back to Trapdoor loads. It was just no fun to shoot in that light rifle and no recoil pad.

    • #27425
      Rattlesnake Charlie
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      I failed to include that using C. E. Harris’ “The Load” (13 gr of Red Dot) is good with this bullet also. I tried 10 gr, and it seems fine for general plinking. I’ve not put it on paper. It is good for introducing new shooters to the .45-70. With Red Dot being as “bulky” as it is, it does not appear to be position sensitive. I use no filler or wading.

    • #29676
      WCM
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      I have the same Browning 86 saddle ring carbine except mine is a standard grade,
      My rifle likes 400 gr bullets.
      I use Rel 7 or H4895 for most loads.

    • #29677
      Goodsteel
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      I have rebarreled this rifle with a 27″ Green Mountain octagon. Accuracy is still elusive. It’s there one minute and gone the next. I am convinced that it’s not the rifle, and it’s not my shooting. It simply must be the loads.
      This rifle now shoots groups that are 3″. Occasionally, I see vertical stringing. Every load is vastly different in vertical impact.
      For instance, 16 grains of Unique under a 430 grian bullet shoots about 15″ low, while 12 grains shoots straight to the sights, but thrown charges produce groups that are 1.5″-2″ wide and 3″-4″ tall.
      I think I’m onto something but I must get the new shop up and running and finish moving before I can return to this project. Until then, it’s probably good for me to lay it down for a while.

    • #29682
      Rattlesnake Charlie
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      With the different point of impact you are seeing with those loads of impact, it is hard to believe there could be that much due to harmonics. But, maybe. Has the buttstock been bedded to the receiver? There might be some tiny movement there just due to wood being somewhat compressive.

      If it is the recipe you are using, try something totally different like C. E. Harris’ “The Load” (13 gr of Red Dot). Maybe even some with just 10 gr.

      Have you tried a round of Remington 405 gr JSP?

    • #29683
      Goodsteel
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      Actually, I find it very easy to believe its the harmonics. It’s not that thick of a barrel, and it’s 27″ long. There’s a lot the muzzle can do way out there.
      As far as jacketed is concerned, this rifle will not see a jacketed bullet. Strictly cast lead.

      I will be working the spectrum of powders and documenting my results as I go. This is just a side project for my own enjoyment.

    • #34286
      Rattlesnake Charlie
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      Well, any progress on this one Tim?

      I have some bullets from a Ranch Dog 425 gr TL GC mold cast up, not yet checked or sized and lubed. I can send you some if you wish.

    • #34287
      Goodsteel
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      The problem was not the barrel at all. It was the loads and my aversion to recoil that caused all the problems. The original barrel would have performed just fine had I gone to full house loads, or stuck to black powder.

      I actually tested quite a few rifles since starting this thread. My conclusion is that with any lever action rifle in 45-70, the best precision to be had for ten shots is 2″ with cast lead. I do not believe it can get better than that, and I do not believe it is the rifle that is to blame, as there is very little effect to be had by screwing on a premium barrel and practicing rigid reloading techniques. I was simply over thinking the whole thing. Lapping the barrel on a 45-70 is like sharpening a splitting maul to a razor edge.

      The cartridge itself is hindered by some very basic problems that cannot be overcome, and the bullets are hindered by their physical size. Only bullets cast of extremely hard metal, pushed by a case full of medium powder will get groups below the 2″ mark, and then, not very consistently.
      Better results can be had, but only by adhering to the very best components and using premium quality standards, with a focus on ammunition alone, will anything less than 2″ be produced. There is absolutely no way (that I could find) to get three ten shot groups into sub 2MOA using American components and common lead alloys made from wheel weights using lever action rifles.

      Furthermore, I rebarreled the rifle in the OP with a very good 27″ Green mountain barrel, then cut it to 16″ and tested it even more, and all my precision fitting fell on its face on this project because several factory rifles performed equal to it with identical loads.

      Things I did learn/reinforce:
      1. A good load is a good load. What shoots well in one rifle will shoot well in another, and since the 45-70’s greatest hindrance is the ammunition itself, this was never more true than with this cartridge
      2. Internal barrel quality is much less of a requirement when launching 400+ grain ingots. Some of the Marlin lever guns were so rough they were noticibly hard to push a patch through and yet they shot like gangbusters.
      3. Duplex loads were dirty and erratic, producing acceptable precision with one outing and horrible precision the next. It’s hard to beat the consistency of a case full of the right speed powder.
      4. Lube can make as much difference with this caliber as anything else, and it needs a pretty healthy dose of it to function properly. The XCB lube grooves are not good in this situation.
      5. The very best levergun in 45-70 for out of the box “precision” shooting is the Marlin 1895GBL. It has a 18″ barrel and a full length magazine tube. I tested two of these rifles, and both demonstrated astounding precision that was not surpassed by my own carefully built 1886, or a 1885 HighWall. Absolutely the best 45-70 on the market today. Anything that can be done with the 45-70 cartridge, will be answered by that rifle IMHO.

      I hope that helps! Sorry I didn’t continue this thread, but the data took me in a different direction.

    • #34293
      Rattlesnake Charlie
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      I now know where the bar is.
      Thanks for all the details of your research.
      As for an aversion to recoil, I understand with my 1895 Cowboy not even having a recoil pad. The Shiloh Sharps kinda laughs at it. Barrel rigidity? Like a driveshaft from an ole Mack?

    • #34308
      Harter
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      Hey look I did something exactly right by accident ! Ok almost exactly .
      Now all I have to do is get it right at the loading bench….

    • #34310
      Goodsteel
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      Three ten shot groups. Knock yourself out.
      I have shot several 1.5″ groups and I thought I had it. Fact is, I just got lucky, and subsequent groups proved just that.
      If it cannot be done on demand, then it’s nothing to brag about.

      If anybody shows me three consecutive ten shot groups from one rifle, shot at 100 yards, that all measure less than 2″ C to C, I’d like to see that. In fact, I’d still be impressed with ONE flier for each group.

    • #34311
      Harter
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      Oh ….Um ….I meant starting with the right platform . I’m a long way from those groups . I’m barely getting a bullet selected .
      3s and 5s to find a place to stand and figure out the falling impact .

    • #34313
      Wright Arms
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      But, But, But, there’s some fella on YouTube claiming 1 MOA with a Pedersoli falling block!

      Ooops, wait. He only did it once. And the first shot of the 5 shot group blew it out over 4″.

      But heck, I saw it on the internet, so it MUST be true!

      (SIGH.)

      Anyhow, looks to me like if you can hold 2 MOA to 1000 yds you could clean up at the Matthew Quigley match in Montana. A consistent 7/10 showing on a 48″x48″ target at 1000 yds is good enough to win, and that’s considerably above 2 MOA.

    • #34315
      Goodsteel
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      Bingo………

    • #34322
      Harter
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      I say Billy Dixon was aiming for the Chief ……… Doesn’t matter that it may have been as short 1100 yd vs the claimed 1760 or that it may have been a 50-70 .

      Onward boys .

      This is why we have to decide what we will use a a particular platform and cartridge for before we set a standard for that particular rifle . I’d love to have a sub MOA 35 or 45 cal rifle but I think odds are against that in a 357 mag or Colts Cowboy Carbine even at 200 yd . 460 Barrett or a 35/338 Lapua yes much more likely but which do you think I’d hunt pigs in the scrub and river bottom with ? While it can I’m sure be achieved the want and willingness to pay for an 86 , 1895 , 336 in a 1000 yd caliber is going to be rare . I can imagine someone with a box of 500 gr Barnes X loaded in 45-90 brass next to the brand fresh barreled 86 Win on a 45-110 action with a Remington spiral tube magazine for 2 rounds . Sure at BP pressures it’ll match a 458 WM but …….um…….. It’s not​ practical . Even a BLR in 22-250 just doesn’t seem right the Savage 99 is its own case study .
      Can you visualize a Barrett butt stock bolt rifle in 35 Remington ? I’m sure as a cartridge it would be everything you could ask for and “what barrel vibration/node” . Not really practical for a Minnesota tree stand though.
      In any case it would be huge for a true muck in the brush ,pack in mountain , everything I’m No America rifle to cut a 10-20 shot hole 1 caliber larger that the cartridge but do we need it in every cartridge and rifle ?
      ​​​​​​

    • #34323
      Rattlesnake Charlie
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      Danged, Harter. You sure are wound up today. LOL!

    • #34328
      Harter
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      One of those days I guess

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