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  #1  
Old 10-18-2011, 02:00 PM
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Anyone loading for the 45/90?


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I have a 45/90 highwall replica that I want to load smokeless rounds for but I have searched the net with little luck, info on these rounds is scarce indeed! Strange that smokeless data is easily found for the even rarer 45/120 and of course the 45/70 but not much is there for any of the rounds between these two. I have been told that lyman lists data for smokeless and cast bullets, I am interested in loading a 500 gr cast from wheel weights using H4198 but I need a starting point and maybe info on a better choice of powder for this bullet weight. Could someone suggest which issue might have this data?

My plight seems to be common because when I google the 45/90 loads I find lots of links for people asking about this round but little in the way of usable data, most start out the same way by saying they have searched but with no luck. Since the 45/90 is so close to the 45/70 in case length it would seem that maybe 45/70 data could be used but I have asked this question before with the result being mostly conflicting answers. I know true black is always an option and I do enjoy shooting BP but the fact is it can be a hassle sometimes and I would very much like a suitable alternative.
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  #2  
Old 10-18-2011, 02:10 PM
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I have a friend with an original .45-90 highwall. He casts his own lead and loads. I'll show him this thread.
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  #3  
Old 10-18-2011, 06:39 PM
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I have a .45-90 Winchester High Wall, and I only shoot smokeless. 5744 is pretty much the powder of choice for this cartridge, although 4198 and RX7 work well also. First of all, I've found the Lyman data to be well above what seems to work well (although I haven't seen any signs of pressure issues using their loads). The first load I tried was 45 grains of 4198 behind a 500 grain bullet - a mid-level load according to the manual. The bullets came out at 1880 fps, kicked like a mule, and formed a shotgun pattern! For the Lyman 457132 535 grain Postell bullet, the Lyman manual shows a starting load of 40 grains of 5744 (and suggests it as an accuracy load as well). In talking with some very experienced bullet casters, as well as checking some data I found on the web, it was recommended that I go with more like 29 - 32 grains of 5744. So far, with the Lyman 535 gr. bullet, I've found that 30 grains of 5744, a 1/4 square of toilet paper over the powder (pushed down with the eraser end of a pencil to keep the powder in place), and the bullet seated about .010 off the rifling makes a very nice shooting, accurate load. When I tried the 40 grain load, the bullets went all over the place, and recoil was fierce.

Going to jacketed bullets, I found the Hornady 325 grain FTX bullet shoots exceptionally well with 40 grains of 5744. I'm still experimenting with various bullets and powder weight combinations to find the "ultimate" lead bullet load, but so far nothing seems to shoot better than the Hornady FTX.

As usual, these are loads I've found to be safe and effective in my gun, and I assume no liability for whatever use you may make of the data.
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  #4  
Old 10-19-2011, 05:49 AM
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500 grain bullet@1880 FPS, OUCH!

Red Pepper, I was hoping you would reply because I have seen a couple of your posts on the 45/90. I have heard that 5744 works great with lighter bullets but that heavier bullets tend to produce much higher pressures than real BP to attain BP velocities, not sure if that's correct but that is the kind of thing I am trying to find out about. I also load for my Marlin 45/70 and H4198 is what I use for that (400 grain JSP for that one) and having more of the 4198 on hand than I really need I would like to use that if it's a good powder for the 45/90 round with a 500 grain cast bullet. However I would not hesitate to buy a different powder if another one is a better choice for my goals, I am looking for BP velocities or slightly higher but I want to limit pressures at around 25,000 PSI.


Is that H4198 you were using or IMR4198?
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  #5  
Old 10-19-2011, 08:10 AM
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I was using IMR4198. Again, as with 5744, I would suggest keeping the loads down in the 30 grain region (the bullet casters both suggested 4198 as a good option, along with 4759 and 5744, all in the 25 - 30 grain range) . That should give you roughly black powder velocities and low pressures. I'll have to check my Lyman manual when I get home, but I think even their higher loads are listed at fairly low pressures. I only neck-size my cases, and with all the loads I've tried the cartridges load easily even after multiple firings, and brass extracts easily.

The on-line data I found showed the following for the .45-90 (keeping pressures to 28000 psi) with a 500 grain Schmitzer bullet:

Starting load: 29.2 grains 5744, giving a velocity of 1243 fps
Max load: 32.5 grains of 5744, giving a velocity of 1413 fps with a pressure of 27,200 psi.

I haven't used H4198, so I can't comment from experience. If you have some good H4198 .45-70 loads with a 500 gr bullet, you may want to up the load a few grains and see how it performs in the .45-90. Another option is to look for cast bullet loads for the .458 Win Mag. Case volumes are close between the .45-90 and the .458 Win mag; you can sometimes take .458 cast loads and back off a few grains for use in the .45-90. As usual, you're on your own when you start experimenting.
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  #6  
Old 10-19-2011, 08:55 AM
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From my experience, if you are going to load black powder cartridges with smokeless powder whether its the .45-70, .45-90 or .45-120, the pressure factor associated with smokeless powder won't allow you to shoot the .45-120 to any real advantage over the .45-70. My favorite load with the .45-70 back before they had a lot of these different powders was 29 grains of IMR 4198 behind a 405 grain cast bullet for a velocity of around 1300 fps. I had a .45-90 for a while and would use the same 405 grain bullet with 32 grains of IMR 4198 for the same 1300 fps. I shoved some dacron wading on top of both loads and I don't know if it was because of more wasted space in the .45-90. Loading with BP or pyrodex, on the other hand, I could get about 100 fps better. By the way, my original trapdoor carbine loved the smokeless IMR 4198 load. I have killed several deer and even a cow elk with it.
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  #7  
Old 10-19-2011, 02:03 PM
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As a general rule of thumb, a larger case capacity will allow you to shoot the same velocity (as the smaller capacity case) with less pressure, or achieve higher velocity at the same pressure levels. The downside is the extra powder consumed to achieve the higher velocity. Lyman says in their testing the .45-90 typically produced 200 fps more velocity than the .45-70 at the same pressure levels, so you do gain by going to the higher capacity cases.

As a side note, I've read a number of comments by people saying cases such as the .45-90 are too big for smokeless powder, and should only be used with black powder. Then I'll turn around and read how the .458 Win Mag is such a versatile cartridge because you can load it for elephant, or down load it to .45-70 levels for brush hunting. Now if the .458 loads fine with smokeless at .45-70 performance levels, how is it the .45-90 is too large for smokeless with a very similar case capacity?!?
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  #8  
Old 10-19-2011, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Pepper View Post
As a side note, I've read a number of comments by people saying cases such as the .45-90 are too big for smokeless powder, and should only be used with black powder. Then I'll turn around and read how the .458 Win Mag is such a versatile cartridge because you can load it for elephant, or down load it to .45-70 levels for brush hunting. Now if the .458 loads fine with smokeless at .45-70 performance levels, how is it the .45-90 is too large for smokeless with a very similar case capacity?!?

I had noticed that same thing and I am always puzzled when someone insists that the 45/90 is unsuitable for smokeless but unless I am mistaken didn't the factory loadings come as smokeless loads after smokeless powder became available? I made the mistake of asking a similar question on another site and I was quickly hit with posts insisting that it was much better to use BP and nothing else for these cases, some of the posters seemed to think using smokeless was some kind of insult to history or something along those lines. Maybe some guys do like to shoot BP and that's fine with me but I don't because to me the corrosive nature of the stuff, bore fouling and clean up hassles with both the gun and the cases is just a PITA. Besides I wonder how many of the old buffalo hunters would have used BP if they had of had a good smokeless powder available to them?
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  #9  
Old 10-19-2011, 08:04 PM
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I thought about shooting BP with my .45-90, but after realizing the difficulty in disassembling the High Wall for a thorough cleaning (and the extra expense and hassle of setting up to load BP), I opted to stay with smokeless. It's a modern rifle, it's strong, and it shoots well with minimum hassle using smokeless. Besides, I want to - and it's my rifle!
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  #10  
Old 10-20-2011, 09:42 AM
NFG NFG is offline
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Exclamation

It depends on WHICH modern replica you have...a Win 1885 will get you into the very high pressure realm, a Pedersoli will give you THEIR proof limits somewhere on the receiver.

AND you have dyed in the wool BP shooters that would rather eat worms than change, then you have the rest of us and never the twain shall meet...seems like.

Lots of history with the 45-xxx and lots of mis-information and diss-information floating around the web.

For all intents and purposes the 458 WM and the 45-90 have identical case capacities so you can use reloading data interchangeable...AS LONG AS YOU LOAD THE THE PRESSURE OF THE RECEIVER. IF YOU WANT TO STAY AT 25KPSI THEN USE THE 458 WM DATA THAT PRODUCES THAT AMOUNT OF PRESSURE.

Anytime you go outside the "normal" limits, you step into that "it's YOUR azzz" kind of thing.

I have a 45-120 and shoot ALL the different 45 cal case lengths including 45-90...I also have two 458 American, one SMLE bolt gun and one Marlin levergun, and a 450 Marlin Browning BLR AND use several smokeless powders that stay within the pressure limits of the receiver...higher for the bolt and BLR and lower for the Marlin lever gun.

You can also use data for the 458 American and 450 Marlin cartridges as long as you STAY at the pressure limits of your Hi Wall.

The main problem with giving advice on the net is not knowing to what level the requestor is with their reloading knowledge and skills...if you are a beginner, stick with what is published in a reputable reloading manual...

There are several good manuals available that have 45-90 data, and Hodgdons online reloading data can start you out. The modern Hi Walls are very strong and will save someone that gets slightly on the wrong side of the hill, but it only takes one time getting caught with your finger in the wrong pie, to ruin your day and your gun.

I ran 45-90 data through QL and came up with Varget, RL-15, AA 2460 and 2520, and H4895 as good powders for 430 gr bullets which were safe in the 45-70 case at or below your 25KPSI limit which means they will be safe in a 45-90 case.

Cartridges are loaded more by NET case volume and pressure limits, bullet weights and receiver pressure limit...all the software programs use basically the NET case volume, bullet weight and size to calculate pressure and velocity...which means for the most part and within certain limits, it doean't matter WHAT the caliber is(again certain limits apply) as long as the NET case volume and bullet weigths are close, so will pressure and velocity be. You can check this out by looking at ballistics tables.

I don't post reloading data so if you find data in a reloading manual for a 45-70 case you can use it as starting loads in your rifle...AT THE PRESSURE LIMIT YOU SET. Notice I keep pounding the pressure limit YOU set...

Just start low and work up slow.

Steves pages... http://stevespages.com/page8.htm ...has some data on all the above cartridges that might help you out.

Luck

Last edited by NFG; 10-20-2011 at 10:22 AM.
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  #11  
Old 10-20-2011, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NFG View Post
It depends on WHICH modern replica you have...

Anytime you go outside the "normal" limits, you step into that "it's YOUR azzz" kind of thing

The main problem with giving advice on the net is not knowing to what level the requestor is with their reloading knowledge and skills...if you are a beginner, stick with what is published in a reputable reloading manual...


Actually it's a custom built high Wall replica with the receiver, breech block and most of the internals being machined from 4140 HT steel and the barrel is a heavy octagon machined from a Green Mountain blank which is also 4140 steel. The receiver is a "Thick side" version and this rifle was proof fired with Ruger no.1 level loads but I would never consider using loads near that heavy except for the initial proof testing, my goal is to duplicate BP pressures or maybe slightly higher but I have no desire for heavy loadings. Since it was proofed at pressures well in excess of 40,000 PSI I am confident of it's ability to handle 25,000 PSI loads with ease and that's the most pressure I want or need.



I really appreciate the info and I am well aware that I am on my own here and that doing this assumes a certain amount of risk but I also take every precaution and I will not do anything reckless. The info that you and Red Pepper have given is exactly the kind of thing I am looking for, guidelines and not specific loads for which I am aware I must work up to for my rifle. My reloading experience is limited and I intend to learn as much as I can before I start to develop loads for this thing but I needed advice on where to start, things like powders that are suitable for this case. I agree that as a beginner I need to stick with published data and that would certainly be a big help but that data does not seem to exist for the 45/90, at least not where I have been looking so maybe I need to get the Lyman manual.
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  #12  
Old 10-20-2011, 12:44 PM
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Good points, NFG. Since we were discussing low-pressure loads at BP velocities, that's what I was pointing towards, but your comments are good reminders of the need to be careful and discerning when working up loads for any rifle.
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  #13  
Old 10-23-2011, 04:39 PM
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I chrono'd some of my .45-90 smokeless loads today. With 30 grains of 5744 and lead bullets weighing between 500 and 535 grains, velocities ranged from 1363 to 1443 fps. Gas check bullets ran slightly faster for similar bullet weights. I shot 530 gr. Postell bullets (.4585), 530 gr Postell bullets (.4595), 508 gr RCBS bullets w/ gas check (.459), 535 grain Beartooth bullets w/ gas check (.459), and 500 gr LaserCast bullets (.459). All loads used Remington 9 1/2 LR primers. Load were fired from a Winchester High Wall w/ 34" barrel. These velocities appear to be pretty much in the range of Black Powder loads.

I also fired some 325 gr Hornady FTX bullets w/ 40 gr of 5744 and Remington 9 1/2 LR primers. Velocities averaged just under 1800 fps.

Obviously, I can't verify pressure levels and such, so use at your own risk.

And keep plenty of paddling between you and your shoulder. I found that 4 of the FTX bullets (fairly mild) followed by 24 rounds with 500 gr + bullets off the bench was more than sufficient shooting for a day.

Last edited by Red Pepper; 10-23-2011 at 04:42 PM.
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  #14  
Old 07-19-2014, 11:49 AM
dp2 dp2 is offline
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Thanks for going Smokeless

Smokelss Friends

I am so glad to find this thread. The BP guys have lots of information about BP but I want to go smokeless.

I just ordered a C Sharps 1894. I take delivery in Nov. I have not decided on bullet length yet. Originally I was going to go 45-110. But now I'm leaning on 45-90. So here are my thoughts. My manhood wants the 45-110 but most of my shooting will 500 yds or less. 45-70 is an excellent caliber but again I want something different. So am I nuts going with 45-90???
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  #15  
Old 07-20-2014, 11:21 AM
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No
A person should get what peaks their interest. you can load them all to the same level if you want
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  #16  
Old 07-23-2014, 02:33 AM
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The one great advantage of using BP over White Powder is that you cannot overload a round. With modern powders it's easily done. The 45/90, 45/100, 45/110 etc. were all designed as Black Powder rounds, why would you want to change?

Harry
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  #17  
Old 07-23-2014, 10:02 AM
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Lots of reasons to use smokeless vs BP in the 45-90, fouling (lack of), cleaning importance to prevent corrosion, extra case care for corrosion prevention, etc but mostly fouling and besides the 45-90 was factory loaded with smokeless for a lot longer than it was with BP. According to Cartridges of the World the 45-90 was factory loaded with smokeless almost from the first days smokeless was available, IIRC from what I read in C-O-W smokeless was used in the 45-90 from around 1898 to to around 1940 when factory loadings were discontinued. BP can be fun to shoot but it is not at all necessary to make the 45-90 a fine round.


Of all these cartridges based on that 45 caliber case the 45-90 is IMHO the best all-round choice with either smokeless or BP, I honestly believe even better than the 45/70! For sure that extra capacity is a plus when using BP but it actually is with smokeless also, a shooter can use that case to even better advantage than with the shorter 45/70. It's often said that the 45-90 is wasted case space when using smokeless since the 45/70 can easily be loaded to max pressures with case capacity left but actually that's not quite true. Because of the extra capacity with the bullet seated farther out the 45-90 can achieve about 200 FPS more velocity at the same pressures as the 45/70 or the shooter could opt for the same 45/70 velocity but with less pressure so the '90 does have an advantage!


I really think the 45-90 would have endured and been the popular round today except for the popularity of the 45/70 "back in the day". With the overwhelming numbers of 45/70 rifles and ammo vs the others in use at the time, mostly due to the adoption by the military, it was inevitable that the 45/70 would be the one to remain popular but in today's rifles and with the powders we have now the 45-90 is an excellent choice!
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  #18  
Old 07-23-2014, 11:14 PM
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What are your thoughts on 405 gr. bullt vs. 535 gr in the 45-90?. I just cast some 535s, That is one big bullet,
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  #19  
Old 08-11-2014, 09:24 AM
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It depends on what your going to want to do in the field with that 45/90!
Long Range I want the heavier bullet, short to medium range hunting the 405 will do just dandy.
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