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  #1  
Old 06-06-2010, 04:22 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: RobCo, North Carolina
Posts: 128
New 45-70


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Hey guys, just picked up a CVA Optima Elite 45-70 and have about 40 rounds through it so far. It has a nice heavy bergara barrel that i'm very impressed with. recoil was tolerable but from the factory with 300, and 405 grs, but the rifle felt overly barrel heavy... since the synthetic stock was hollow i flattened a 1# fishing weight and epoxied it in the butt. rifle handles much better now, i'll report on recoil later.

i was looking in my lee 2nd edition manual and saw a load using 300gr jacketed bullets and 16.5 gr blue dot at 1100fps. this is no doubt a plinking load, and i'm assuming the use of the fast powder is to somewhat simulate black powder? i'm interested just for the savings factor when i don't feel like shooting the 500's. anything i should know about this method?

lee's also has a modern rifle design section, am i safe to assume my rifle falls into this category and is safe for these loads? is there a place where i can find what pressures bergara barrels are tested to?

H4895 and Varget seem to be good for the caliber according to lee, which is a plus for me since .308 is my #1 caliber. any spicy recipes' you guys like for single shots?
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  #2  
Old 06-06-2010, 04:41 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 258
I always used IMR 4198 in my old Contender with a 14 in. Barrel. 350gr. Hornady sp. Very accurate. I won't say how hot the load was but there were no loads in the books at the time. Shot about 1500 Rds. Through it, about 200 Fed. 300gr. hpoints just for the brass. It held up without a hitch and the recoil was by far the worst of any pistol I've shot. I'm sure your rifle frame is far more durable.
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  #3  
Old 06-06-2010, 05:55 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Deary, Ideeeeho
Posts: 1,068
If your look'in for 45/70 brass, check out Star brass.

I bought mine through Buffalo Arms here in Ideeeeeeho, for close to half of what Winchester or Remington brass would cost.

Keep em coming!

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
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  #4  
Old 07-05-2010, 02:31 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crusty Ol'Coot View Post
If your look'in for 45/70 brass, check out Star brass.

I bought mine through Buffalo Arms here in Ideeeeeeho, for close to half of what Winchester or Remington brass would cost.

Keep em coming!

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot

Thanks for the link! You are absolutely correct plus the Starline brass that I've bought is first rate. I save about every gun related website, categorize them, etc but I'd never run across Buffalo Arms up in Ponderay, Ideeho. They carry alot of things I'd never even seen elsewhere.

$.47 each for Starline brass vs. $.83 to $.99 each for Remington and Winchester......! Go figure!
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  #5  
Old 07-05-2010, 04:36 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Deary, Ideeeeho
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Yep Jaybird, and the one order I have sent them, was handled QUICKLY.

I found out about them from a fellow that owned and operated a good/local sporting goods.

He is now retired and shooting the blackpowder silly wet game.

Keep em coming!

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
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  #6  
Old 07-06-2010, 08:07 AM
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Grafs sells Starline for less at $42.99 per hundred and have flat rate shipping of $4.95.

http://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/...roductId/17844
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  #7  
Old 07-06-2010, 08:16 AM
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Thanks Wrongtarget,

That is a good price!

Keep em coming!

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
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  #8  
Old 07-06-2010, 10:06 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
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Since we're talking 45-70 here, I almost bought a Ruger #3 but they wanted a bit too much and I'd heard it is rather unpleasant to shoot. So now I am considering a Ruger #1, a Browning 1885 and yeah, a Shiloh Sharps except for that one, I'd have to somehow get it past the wife. Just wondering, does a Shiloh Sharps handle heavy, smokeless 45-70 loads like the #1 or 1885 or is that just abusing an expensive, beautiful rifle? I've seen fairly heavy loads, like 405 grn cast generating 1800 fps @ 27,000 cup. With 300 grn bullets, 2400 + fps and about the same pressure. I know a Ruger will handle that but what about a Shiloh Sharps?
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  #9  
Old 07-06-2010, 12:34 PM
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Location: Deary, Ideeeeho
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Jaybird,

I can't answer your question about what the Sharps is able to safely handle.

However, I would comment that part of the #3's problem is stock shape.

Anytime you are dealing with drop at the heel such as that found on the #3, the potential is there for painful recoil, depending of course on the cartridge/load being shot.

But, be that as it may, I found the RUGER #1 in 45/70 to be very unpleasent, with 428gr. cast boolits in the 1600fps range, while trying to use the factory iron sights.

The head position was so low with iron sights, even the "classic" style of butt on the #1 was painful to the face/cheek.

Once I had mounted the scope, the head position is higher and the recoil is back and into the shoulder with no abuse to the face.

With the scope, heavier loads with the same boolits, now in the 1960fps range, while quite firm in the recoil department were not painful.

As soon as I get the throat opened up a bit on my #1, I will be testing boolits from my new 350gr LBT mold.

Keep em coming!

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
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  #10  
Old 07-06-2010, 01:46 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Wrangell Ak
Posts: 18
The #3 for sure needs a recoil pad or better stock. Stuck a B&C #1 stock on mine and its shoots 430gr BB ammo with no problem recoil wise.When reloading remember if you get some Hornady LE brass its shorter than standard
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  #11  
Old 07-09-2010, 11:18 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 123
#3's in "ANIB" or 98%+ seem to be garnering from the mid $400's to over $500 from the little I've seen.
Back in 1980 the retail for a #3 was $205. $350 was the retail for a #1. My 1969 Shooter's Bible lists the #1 @ $225. Don't know why I mention it except that it is fun to look this stuff up.
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  #12  
Old 07-10-2010, 02:02 AM
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Join Date: May 2008
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About the CVA Optima Elite and "modern" loads. There are three levels of "modern" rifles as far as the 45-70 is concerned.
The first is rifles with relatively weak actions, rated to pressures of about 21K CUP, The second is for rifles in the 28k CUP area - modern lever actions like the Marlins are in this class. The third is for high pressure loads in the 35K CUP area - Ruger #1, Browning 1885. I'm not sure into which class the Optima falls,
These pressure ratings are taken from the Hornady manual. Other manuals will give you different numbers - from 18K up to 50K. What is consistent is the divison into three classes; the point being that some modern actions are way stronger than others.
I'd be cautious about loads for the Optima until I knew into which group it fits.
Pete
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  #13  
Old 07-17-2010, 11:11 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: RobCo, North Carolina
Posts: 128
well i've shot the lever evolution rounds through it with no problem or pressure signs... the action is very stout, and it locks up firmly with no play at all... i'm pretty confident with the action, but i'll definitely be sure to work up slow and watch for pressure signs.
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