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Centerfire Rifles - Manually Operated Lever action, bolt action or other non gas operated centerfire rifles.

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  #1  
Old 07-28-2023, 11:21 AM
sigstroker sigstroker is offline
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Default Most common .45-70 load?

What's the most common .45-70 load? 300 gr maybe?

Way back when I thought I might want one someday, but the Marlins are freakin $1600! So I'm thinking a .450 Bushy would be a whole bunch less. The standard bullet is 250 gr but I think 260-270 is available. SOCOM would be closer to the .45-70 but is a lot more expensive everywhere (gun, ammo, brass, etc).

edit: Federal has a 300 gr in loaded ammo. Don't know if the bullets are sold. Hornady has 395 gr subsonics. Probably too heavy to push to 2000 fps.

Last edited by sigstroker; 07-28-2023 at 11:36 AM..
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  #2  
Old 07-28-2023, 2:51 PM
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Quote:
What's the most common .45-70 load? 300 gr maybe?

In my limited experience, the most common bullet weight would be the 405 grain semijacketed softpoint.

I've always looked at bullet weights of less than 400 grains to be cheating when shooting a .45-70.




But, seriously... there's big, heavy and slower, then there's smaller, lighter and faster for putting an amount of energy on target.

Then there's the 540 grain superhardcast @ 1550 fps (Garrett) for dangerous game... or a 405 grain Woodleigh sjfp to 1800+ (estimated, since Woodleigh specifies a minimum speed of 1700 for expansion)...

I do have some Barnes pure copper .45-70 projectiles in 250 gr and 300 gr for non-lead hunting but haven't loaded any yet. They show in their Manual Number 4 the 300 gr copper to +/-2200.

Hornady's 9th Edition shows for the Marlin 1895 action a 350 grain Interlock topping out at 1900... and their 300 gr sjhp to 2100


I use my 1895GS when plinkin' w/ the .45-70 to "Trapdoor" pressures under a 400/405 gr slug. Shoots surprisingly flat to 100 yards even though they're only going just under 1100 fps from it's 18.5" stainless, Ballard-style-rifling barrel.
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Last edited by 200Apples; 07-28-2023 at 2:54 PM..
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  #3  
Old 07-28-2023, 4:44 PM
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I loaded up some of those heavy loads, and found out quickly they are no fun to shoot of the bench. Even offhand is punitive. I now load to a much more moderate level. Hotter perhaps than trapdoor level, but much below the max.

(And I shoot a 5 pound Tikka in .300 Win off the bench....maybe that is why I am having neck problems.)
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Old 07-28-2023, 6:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Calif Hunter View Post
I loaded up some of those heavy loads, and found out quickly they are no fun to shoot of the bench. Even offhand is punitive. I now load to a much more moderate level. Hotter perhaps than trapdoor level, but much below the max.

(And I shoot a 5 pound Tikka in .300 Win off the bench....maybe that is why I am having neck problems.)
What bullets?
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Old 07-28-2023, 10:39 PM
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405 cast, 300 or 350 jacketed, 250-300 copper, 325 leverevolution would all be common.
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Old 07-29-2023, 12:12 AM
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Both Hornady and Speer have 300 gr bullets for semi-reasonable money. I think they're intended for .454 Casull.
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Old 07-29-2023, 1:37 PM
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Lyman manual has data for the 300 gr Speer bullet. Velocity is comparable to a hotter trapdoor load in 45-70. Maybe lyman is very conservative with 450bm and 458, the velocities they list for both are definitely on the slower side than I was expecting.
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Old 07-29-2023, 4:35 PM
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As loaded ammunition goes, Remington used to have 405gr and 300gr loads for the 45-70 Government.
I have seen hand loaded data for 300gr to 500gr for the black powder equivalent for the 45-70 (aka trapdoor). 1,800fps to just over a 1000fps for the 500grain cast bullets.

Because there are so many older firearms out there there that can't handle the modern power of the 45-70, most manufactures download the 45-70 to Black powder equivalent. (Trapdoor Springfield, H&R Single shots break opens, etc.)

Best regards,
870classic

Last edited by 870classic; 07-29-2023 at 4:37 PM..
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  #9  
Old 07-29-2023, 5:14 PM
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Depends on what you are shooting. The marlin levers if you are viewing it as a hunting rifle, probably (JMO) go with something one the 300gr range going well over 1500 fps. Would agree tho, these loads are punitive. Not for a day at the range.

OTOH, for say my old Springfield carbine….i load something that probably doesnt even push as hard as the 45-55 loads originally spec’d for it. Either low trail boss or blackhorn loads or if i wanna use a lot of filler, a tiny bit of titegroup
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  #10  
Old 07-29-2023, 5:54 PM
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I don't want to shoot 45-70, I want to shoot 45-70 equivalent .450 Bushmaster.
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  #11  
Old 07-29-2023, 7:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigstroker View Post
I don't want to shoot 45-70, I want to shoot 45-70 equivalent .450 Bushmaster.
Whoops. Carry on. Ignore me.
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  #12  
Old 07-31-2023, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigstroker View Post
What bullets?
In the .300 Mag, 150 or 168 Barnes.

In the ,45-70, 340 gr RNFP Hunter Supply cast or Acme 350 gr Coated RNFP over RL7.
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  #13  
Old 07-31-2023, 1:46 PM
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Sigstroker: OK you actually do want to shoot a .45-70, but some misunderstandings are keeping you from thinking strait on the subject.

Don't remember if you Cast Boolits or not? if you do the most common Boolit is the RCBS .45-300FN which is joined by the .45-405FN and the .45-500 FN.

All three of these Boolits were designed specifically for Leverguns, and the distance from the Nose to the Crimp Groove is the same on all three. The heavier ones just have more Driving Bands.

Of the 3 the most common is the .45-300FN and Mine drop at 325 gr. I run them with 33Gr of 5744 for @ 1550 fps. I can shoot 50 of these in a morning with no after effects.



For Hunting the .45-405 FN is most used as are other 400 gr bullets. I can run those up to 1600 fps for hunting and be able to live thru a few shots. Others load 400 gr Solids up to 2200 fps for the really big stuff like Cape Buffalos or other big critters in Africa that need serious penetration to deal with. These loads have serious Recoil in a Light Rifle. A Proper Rifle needs to weigh 8-9 lbs. to deal with the Recoil.

The reason you want the .45-70 is because it is arguably one of the Most Versatile Rounds in existence and has been for the last 150 years, and has killed everything on this planet with the possible exception of Blue Whales!

The .450 Bushy is not even close.

I realize that new Marlin .45-70's are $1500+ but there are quite a few used ones out there that are more Reasonably Priced. But once you actually get to shoot one with correctly tailored handloads, that don't kick the snot out of you, you will understand why.

Marlins and Winchester 1886's are IMHO the guns of choice for this caliber, and there are a bunch of Italian 1886 copies that are superbly made.

My personal gun is a 2005 Marlin 1895 CB 26" it weighed less than 7 lbs. new. I reworked all the wood and put a Mercury Recoil Reducer in the stock along with a Large Pachmayer Recoil Pad. It now weighs just over 8 lbs. I also added a Lyman 66LA Receiver Sight with a XS White Line Front Sight.



The gun is a joy to shoot and I have shot a 1 3/4" 5 shot group with it at 100 yards.

There is also Guide Guns with 18" barrels and Short Rifles with 20" barrels and older Rifles with 24" barrels. You have to be Lucky and Quick to get them because they don't stay around long.

Just shot another ground squirrel in my Front Yard with my Air Rifle. That makes 6 in 6 days! It's only a .177 cal.

You should look around before you dive off this cliff, a .450 Bushmaster in an AR is not going to be pleasant to shoot, and it won't be that easy to get rid of when you don't want it any more. The Levergun would be gone in 15 minutes.. They are that desirable!

Randy
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Last edited by W.R.Buchanan; 10-15-2023 at 11:54 AM..
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  #14  
Old 08-01-2023, 10:49 AM
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The 45-70 shoots .458? bullets, same as the .458 SOCOM. Pretty sure the 450 BM shoots .452? bullets. That makes a big difference in what bullets are available. I went with the SOCOM for that reason. I use 405 gr cast and powder coated for plinking, 300 gr Barnes for hunting, and 405gr JHP for smashing the cr#p out of stuff.
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Old 08-01-2023, 5:47 PM
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Originally Posted by pacmule View Post
The 45-70 shoots .458? bullets, same as the .458 SOCOM. Pretty sure the 450 BM shoots .452? bullets. That makes a big difference in what bullets are available. I went with the SOCOM for that reason. I use 405 gr cast and powder coated for plinking, 300 gr Barnes for hunting, and 405gr JHP for smashing the cr#p out of stuff.
That's the reason I asked about the weight. If it used the same bullets, I would just use those bullets!

I'm not going to use cast bullets for anything out of an AR. The 250-300 gr off-the-shelf bullets that are available are plenty good enough for me. For plinking I'll just use 230 gr roundball that's used in .45 ACP ammo.
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Old 08-01-2023, 8:05 PM
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When I loaded for 450B (I also loaded 45-70) I had a bushing that I pressed 0.458" cast bullets through and they came out 0.452". They shot fine. I had an abundance of 0.458" bullets so it was a good option to have.

I tried pressing 350 gr RN jacketed (Speer) through the die but they didn't shoot very well. Good enough for in close but 4-5 moa from a 1.5 moa rifle seemed a waste.

I bought the upper from a fellow in MO and he included the 0.452" die so I never knew exactly what brand it was.

My favorite bullet was Bear Creek cast 325gr that I originally used in 45 Long Colt heavy loads. Worked fantastic in 450B.

I had a Marlin 1895 in 45-70 so could load significantly higher pressure than typical for "safe" 45-70 loadings compatible with trapdoors. All my 450B loadings were a notch above those heavy 45-70 loadings and were much milder to shoot out of the 450B AR-15 as I also ran heavy buffer and a very heavy FA BCG (it had a lead plug epoxied inside).

I bet you can get far more info from 450bushmaster.net - lots of very knowledgeable and helpful folks over there.
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  #17  
Old 08-01-2023, 11:35 PM
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Load data has 450bm about 250 fps slower than 45-70, Buffalo bore loads are about 150 fps slower for 450bm than their comparable 45-70 loads. Not to say that either source is infallible, and after 100ish yards I?d guess the projectile difference makes it up in favor of 450 bm.
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Old 08-07-2023, 7:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W.R.Buchanan View Post
Sigstroker: OK you actually do want to shoot a .45-70, but some misunderstandings are keeping you from thinking strait on the subject.

Don't remember if you Cast Boolits or not? if you do the most common Boolit is the RCBS .45-300FN which is joined by the .45-405FN and the .45-500 FN.

All three of these Boolits were designed specifically for Leverguns, and the distance from the Nose to the Crimp Groove is the same on all three. The heavier ones just have more Driving Bands.

Of the 3 the most common is the .45-300FN and Mine drop at 325 gr. I run them with 33Gr of 5744 for @ 1550 fps. I can shoot 50 of these in a morning with no after effects.



For Hunting the .45-405 FN is most used as are other 400 gr bullets. I can run those up to 1600 fps for hunting and be able to live thru a few shots. Others load 400 gr Solids up to 2200 fps for the really big stuff like Cape Buffalos or other big critters in Africa that need serious penetration to deal with. These loads have serious Recoil in a Light Rifle. A Proper Rifle needs to weigh 8-9 lbs. to deal with the Recoil.

The reason you want the .45-70 is because it is arguably one of the Most Versatile Rounds in existence and has been for the last 150 years, and has killed everything on this planet with the possible exception of Blue Whales!

The .450 Bushy is not even close.

I realize that new Marlin .45-70's are $1500+ but there are quite a few used ones out there that are more Reasonably Priced. But once you actually get to shoot one with correctly tailored handloads, that don't kick the snot out of you, you will understand why.

Marlins and Winchester 1886's are IMHO the guns of choice for this caliber, and there are a bunch of Italian 1886 copies that are superbly made.

My personal gun is a 2005 Marlin 1895 CB 26" it weighed less than 7 lbs. new. I reworked all the wood and put a Mercury Recoil Reducer in the stock along with a Large Pachmayer Recoil Pad. It now weighs just over 8 lbs. I also added a Lyman 66LA Receiver Sight with a XS White Line Front Sight.



The gun is a joy to shoot and I have shot a 1 3/4" 5 shot group with it at 100 yards.

There is also Guide Guns with 18" barrels and Short Rifles with 20" barrels and older Rifles with 24" barrels. You have to be Lucky and Quick to get them because they don't stay around long.

Just shot another ground squirrel in my Front Yard with my Air Rifle. That makes 6 in 6 days! It's only a .177 cal.

You should look around before you dive off this cliff, a .450 Bushmaster in an AR is not going to be pleasant to shoot, and it won't be that easy to get rid of when you don't want it any more. The Levergun would be gone in 15 minutes.. They are that desirable!

Randy
Great post Randy. And a fantastic rifle!

MLC
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Old 08-07-2023, 1:02 PM
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Thanks,,, I appreciate that!

Randy
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Old 08-08-2023, 11:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigstroker View Post
Both Hornady and Speer have 300 gr bullets for semi-reasonable money. I think they're intended for .454 Casull.
454 Casull and 450 bushmaster should be using 0.452" bullets while 45/70 and 458 Socom uses 0.458" bullets.
Don't mix the 2 diameters.
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