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      I’m sure you have read of my adventures over the last few years with the 45-70 and my persuite of precision with that cartridge using cast bullets.

      I have tried everything that I can think of with smokeless powder, and I have come to this conclusion: the very best repeatable precision I can muster from a lever action rifle is 2MOA and the only way to make that happen is to drive it like I stole it. Full compressed charges of IMR4895 cannot be beat and 54 grains of that powder with either my 425 grain Accurate Molds bullet, or the Lyman 385 grian round nose lubed with Lars BAC in neck sized Starline brass shoots consistently tight groups through all rifles I tried. In fact, it was the rifles absence of preference for individual loads that lead me to believe that the main issues with that cartridge lie in the cartridge itself.

      Within the rifles, an equal preference was noted for certain powder charges regardless of bullet design (within a range of 350-450 grains gas checked) which leads me to believe that the powder plays a much greater part in the precision of a load with this cartridge than would normally be the case.

      I have tried almost every reasonable propellant with this cartridge except one: Black Powder.

      I’m thinking about diving in and trying this, but a huge change in components must be made.

      I find myself in a quandry though. The beloved 1886 is all bedded together, and is very difficult to disassemble and clean. I’m thinking of pulling out the Marlin 1895SS for this pursuit at least until I get the hang of it.

      What do you think?

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