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I don't know how many of you read my recent post about my vintage 1906 Extra Lightweight Takedown .45-90 Model 1886 rifle, but I finally got around to shooting it yesterday. This was originally posted under that thread in the Big Bore Leverguns section. I thought it would be better suited to this part of the Forum, so here it is, again.:D

I took the old rifle out to the ranch yesterday afternoon and ran ten rounds of not so hot and some very hot loads through her. My first 5 shots consisted of 40 grs IMR 3031 and 300 gr LaserCast LFNs. These passed over my Beta master Chrony at 1588, 1582, 1583, 1583, and 1580 FPS. These were low recoil rounds that hit the target high and to the right, and in a 3 1/2" group at 50 yds. I'm sure it was me because the temp was hovering around 100º and I was sweating profusely sitting in the sun.

The second group was another story entirely and a real eye opener and shoulder wrecker. YOW!! According to the charts, this isn't even a top load for the nickel steel barreled 1886s. Well, if it isn't maximum, I don't know if I'd go any higher. This one was 52 grains IMR 4198 under 300 gr Barnes Original Jacketed FPs. These smokers crossed the Chrony at 2454, 2447, 2437, 2443, and 2451 FPS!

There were absolutely zero problems with either load. The cases ejected easily and showed no indication of excess pressure. No sooting, protruding primers, nothing. Aside from the serious recoil and bruising from the steel shotgun butt plate it was all good.

This morning, I went ahead and removed the bullets and powder from the other 20 rds I had loaded a few weeks back and will think long and hard on the load for the 250 gr Barnes TSX bullet. I think that even 60 grs 3031
will be a tad on the hot side. The all copper bullets leave the muzzle at a higher velocity than jacketed lead with the same powder measurement, so I don't want, or need, 2600 FPS from the .45-90.
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I shoot with some old guys that shoot takedown '86s in .45-70 and .45-90. I believe both are loading XMR5744 in loads meant to duplicate the original black powder loads. They are only doing 1200-1400 FPS and both guys shoot out to 500 yards offhand with little trouble.
 

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I really like Reloader7 and I've been using mainly Hornady 300 gr. FTX or 300 gr. Interlock HP. I use between 34.3gr for my wife level loads ;) and have shot everything in between up to 51.2 gr. which is the maximum load listed for leverguns in RL7 with this bullet. (Per Hornady's loading spec.) I have found though that 46.3 gr. RL7 produces superior touching groups at 100 yards from my Buffalo Classic. It works for both bullets nearly exactly the same for accuracy and even with the high end loads, a limbsaver slip-on pad really takes the ouch out of the steel butplate. 8) Happy shooting.

Here's the link to the reloading data: http://www.hornady.com/assets/files/ftx_load_data/45-70_1895-marlin_ftx.pdf

***edit*** I will say this though, the Winchester slip on pads sold at Wally world etc. are also made by limbsaver and cost 1/2 as much. I learned this too late to do me any good though. hehe
 
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