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Discussion Starter #1
I recently met a fellow who has an original 1920s manufacturer Winchester High Wall in 45/90 and he is shooting some questionable (to me anyway) loads in this thing. Using 500 grn jacketed bullets and H4198, not sure about the charge, that thing not only kicks painfully but hard extractions are common however he is writing this off to an extractor problem. I just met the guy and could say little except that it looked to me as if the loads were a bit hot and that it might be a little too hot for an old gun. He assures me the rifle can handle anything a new High Wall can but IMO there is soon going to be an accident.This however does raise a very interesting question to me and that is just how much pressure can an original High Wall handle? The reason I ask, and the reason I became acquainted with the guy I mentioned, is because of a 45/90 High Wall replica I hope to have soon. I certainly don't intend to "hot rod" my rifle and BP load pressures will be just fine with me however I do want to use smokeless if I can keep the loadings within a safe and sane range.
 

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I don't know what an original High Wall can handle, but I do know they have been chambered for all manner of modern cartridges. Having said that, it sounds like he might be pushing the envelope. Do you know how many grains of 4198 your friend is using? My Lyman manual shows up to 48 grains of 4198 with a 500 grain bullet, but I found that a reduced load of 45 grains sent the 500 grain projectile down my 34" barrel at 1880 fps! Talk about a hard wallop on the shoulder - that was pushing the low end of .458 mag levels! No extraction problems or any indications of high pressure, but it just wasn't a fun load - especially with the curved steel butt plate.

I've since developed a load of 40 grains of 5744 behind a 325 grain Hornady FTX bullet that seems to be quite accurate, and relatively gentle to shoot. There are plenty of good, gentle smokeless loads you can shoot in your .45-90 High Wall.
 

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high-wall

There is never any reason to abuse an action like that. I never met a deer or a target that knew what the speed was of the bullet that was shot at it. You will get a lot better service with a slightly reduced load in any rifle. Hot loads only succeed in wearing your barrel out early. If this is an original rifle he should not be shooting jacketed bullets in because they will wear the barrel out. If the barrel is modern then jacketed bullets are ok,
 

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Discussion Starter #4
There is never any reason to abuse an action like that.

Exactly the way I see it and I never could understand why so many people think they have to jack-up the performance in everything they shoot! Many personal injuries have resulted from this as well as the destruction of many fine old guns, a lot of them very desirable collector guns. I think that is what made me post this in the first place, just seeing that well kept (until now) original High Wall mistreated like that just didn't sit right with me. The Italian replica I have coming soon and (hopefully anyway) a custom built High Wall will never see anything except what they are meant for. I have nothing against shooting high power loads IF the gun is designed for it and apparently the new High Wall models, Browning and Winchester, will safely digest about any sane load a person can put in them but an old original?


Red Pepper, I didn't find out what the powder charge was he is using but unless I am seriously mistaken I saw what appeared to me to be some very obvious warning signs, most notably the sticking cases and horrendous recoil.
 

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The .45-90 can generate some very stout recoil with a 500 grain bullet at relatively mild pressures; I can't imagine what your friend is shooting that would cause the high pressure warning signs!
 

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.45-90 Browning Hi-Wall

I don't know what an original High Wall can handle, but I do know they have been chambered for all manner of modern cartridges. Having said that, it sounds like he might be pushing the envelope. Do you know how many grains of 4198 your friend is using? My Lyman manual shows up to 48 grains of 4198 with a 500 grain bullet, but I found that a reduced load of 45 grains sent the 500 grain projectile down my 34" barrel at 1880 fps! Talk about a hard wallop on the shoulder - that was pushing the low end of .458 mag levels! No extraction problems or any indications of high pressure, but it just wasn't a fun load - especially with the curved steel butt plate.

I've since developed a load of 40 grains of 5744 behind a 325 grain Hornady FTX bullet that seems to be quite accurate, and relatively gentle to shoot. There are plenty of good, gentle smokeless loads you can shoot in your .45-90 High Wall.
Red Pepper,

Got a good loading for 400 or 405 jacketed bullets with AA5744 powder? Do you use magnum primers?:)
 

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I don't have the rifle anymore, but I just used standard primers. You should be able to pull up a good .45-70 load with the 400/405 bullets and 5744 in most manuals. You're pressure should be less in the .45-90 since it's a larger volume case. Also do an on-line search; I found some good load recommendations that way (checked against other loads in my manual to make certain they looked reasonable).
 

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Hello, oldred. If it has an original barrel..I can't imagine the accuracy would be much to brag about..the original Win. .45-90 with its slow twist was designed for relatively light (short) 300gr. bullets.
 
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