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Anybody use reduced loads for small game? I use my .45 black powder rifle on squirrels with round balls so I thought this could be done.
I need a guide gun!
 

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I've never used the round balls in the 45-70 but I've used pistol bullets with 13 grains of Unique.
George Nonte wrote about using .460 round balls in his 45-70 for small game. As I remember his main admonition was to put lube, a stiff one, across the mouth of the case after seating the ball.
Jim
 

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I have been using a 405 gr. hollow point from a lee mold for big game. I thought about getting them to make me a mold for same bullet cut down and no hollow point. The 405gr. has 4 grease grooves. I think if they cut it down leaving only 1 groove that might cut it to about 200gr. It'll look like a hand gun bullet and should be more accurate than a round ball. Just a thought.  JTT IN NC
 

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Just for consideration, the NIE 150 grain Collar-Button bullet (a copy of the old Lyman design) is a good small game alternative for the .45-70.  10 grains Unique, and you have an effective 40-50 yard small game load that is both relatively accurate and quiet as well.

Here's NIE's URL: http://www.neihandtools.com/

Here's a look at that bullet!

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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I've used.457 or .458 round ball loads for grouse and a rattlesnake or two. Used 9 gr Unique, dacron pillow stuffing over the powder, seated the ball with the bearing surface just inside case mouth and crimped. Didn't use any lube, but then I usually don't shoot more than a couple of these at any given time. Nice quiet load.

Just loaded up some of the 140 gr "collar button" bullets lubed w/ SPG, same load as above. Will give a report after use.
 

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HBG -


I haven't actually used them for small game, but I do think my reduced laods would be good for head shots on squirrels and rabbits out to 50 yards. CCI 200, 1.5g HS-6, Oregon Trail Laser-Cast bullet (300g for 1167fps, 350g for 1061fps). Very, very accurate, very pleasant to shoot.
 

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I have a box of .452 SWC 200gr cast bullets from my 1911 that I have considered experimenting with in my 45/70. Maybe I'll give it a try!
 

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OldWolf said:
I have a box of .452 SWC 200gr cast bullets from my 1911 that I have considered experimenting with in my 45/70. Maybe I'll give it a try!
Round ball trick works, but it is nice to get .460" ball rather than trying to make do with .457". Best loads with .457" ball use a thick treated felt wad (sold for cap-and-ball revolvers) under the ball, but still not as good as when using the larger size. Best has been with 460" ball (which at least were avaialbe from Dixie Gun Works) and 5gr. of Red Dot, ball seated flush with the case mouth and lube run across the top.

The .452" pistol bullets (like those 200gr. SWC's) aren't a good fit in the bore, are usually rock-hard lead, and at the pressures of light loads aren't likely to bump-up. "Naked" they'll gas-cut and deposit a nice layer of lead at the breech.

Being "frugal" by nature, tried some 255gr. .454" bullets (factory swaged lead type with a slight hollow base) paper patched to .462" Worked well with 6gr. of Red Dot, but not well enough to resupply those bullets once they ran out. The little Lee 255 FN patched to .462" works just as well but prefers 10gr. of Unique.

(Sounds like a light load, but it's still moving that 255gr.gr. bullet to .45colt specs.)

Generally, the easiest bullet to find is a 300gr. bullet designed for the 45-70.
 

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Interesting thread. Another fun toy I've been tinkering with lately is using .45ACP cast bullets of .451"-.452", and "label-patching them to .461". They shoot really sweet in both .458's and .45-70's! Very simple to do as well. Quick and cheap, they shoot superbly with about five grains of Red Dot in the .45-70's.

Food for thought!

God Bless,
 

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Marshall Stanton said:
Interesting thread. Another fun toy I've been tinkering with lately is using .45ACP cast bullets of .451"-.452", and "label-patching them to .461". They shoot really sweet in both .458's and .45-70's! Very simple to do as well. Quick and cheap, they shoot superbly with about five grains of Red Dot in the .45-70's.
What is "label-patching"? Is that anything like using a muzzleloader patch?
 

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I have a box of Oregon Trail 500gr bullets that I'm shooting up as plinker because they are undersized for my Guide Gun. I use 7.2gr of Hodgdon Clays, WLR primers, Rem NP brass, no filler, 500gr hardcast. Velocity is 750fps.

I would imagine that they would whack a squirrel pretty good :)
 

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45-70 Gov't light loads.

144 grain collar button or 146 grain round ball
8 grains Unique 1135 fps
15 grains 2400 1300 fps
18 grains 4227 1390 fps
20 grains 4198 1350 fps

193 grain 455 Webley revolver bullet sized .457" (mold is rare)
10 grains Unique 1350 fps
16 grains 2400 1260 fps
18 grains 2400 1365 fps
18 grains 4227 1320 fps
19 grains N-200 1330 fps
21 grains 4198 1350 fps

210 grain bullet (mold and manufacturer unknown)
10 grains Unique 1330 fps
17 grains 2400 1310 fps
18 grains 4227 1295 fps
20 grains N-200 1325 fps
22 grains 4198 1400 fps

250 and 255 grain Colt revolver bullets (250 grain gas check #454485)
26 grains 2400 1480 fps
27 grains 4227 1440 fps
28 grains N-200 1460 fps
34 grains 4198 1630 fps
37 grains 3031 1510 fps

Source:Frank C. Barnes, Gun Digest 27th Ed., 1973

Obviously the powders except Unique and N-200 are IMR.
 
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