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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a couple questions regarding my brand new Starline 45-70 cases. I will be loading them with 405gr .459 diam. hard cast bullets to moderate loads of approx. 1400-1500fps. They will be shot out of my H&R Buff. Class. w/32" barrel. 1) How many times approx. can I expect to be able to reload using this same brass...3,4,5 or more? 2) Will it help to prolong their life by annealing the case mouths after x-amount of reloading them? I will be using a seperate mouth expander die but I of course will not be expanding the mouths any more than I have to. I know working the case mouths like this can cause some stressing over time....but how much time? I have some experience loading 45LC with some pretty heavy loads and I do flare the case mouths.....I haven't noticed any cracking or splitting at the case mouth so far after reloading them 4 or 5 times. My objective is to get as much life out of these 45-70 cases as humanly possible, they ARE expensive and I'm not made of money! Part of my background is technical (electro-mechanical) if that helps with your response. Please advise, thank-you, David.
 

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Since you already reload 45 LC cases without case life problems the 45-70 shouldn't be much different. I'm still using the same cases I bought several years ago with no split problems. Like you I never work the mouths more than necessary. Some of the cases are on either there fifth or sixth reloading with no problems. Putting case expense into perspective after how many reloads does it become just a small part of the overall shell cost. If cases cost one dollar each when new and you get ten reloadings then case cost is only ten cents per loading. Primers at 3 to 5 cents each, bullets at 20 to 30 cents each and powder running about 20 cents per shell the case cost is minor compared to other components in a loaded round.
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Have some W-W 45-70 cases that have been reloaded in excess of 25 times, sizing only the bullet seating depth of the case and using the Lyman "M" die to expand for the BTB cast bullets. Never annealed any of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks hailstone for the reply, but I am more than aware of what things cost "per round". I live on a very fixed income and am very lucky I can shoot at all. Every penny I save helps me shoot. Brass IS very expensive, so are bullets, powder, primers and all other expendables in this life......everything has gone up in price a lot. What hasn't gone up accordingly is wages, but this isn't the place to discuss such things.....therefore I won't debate this with you. As I mentioned in my thread, I want to prolong the life of my brass as long as possible and I don't believe there is anything wrong with that. It really doesn't matter what the brass costs, if I want to prolong it's life, then I do....call it frugal or whatever you wish, I call it a necessity. If it bothers you that I think (know) that brass is expensive I can't help that. You may have been trying to say that relatively speaking the per round cost is not that much, but my response to that is please don't insult my intelligence or anyone elses with such comments. I realize there is more than one reason to want to handload but the biggest reason for me is the cost savings and I know I'm not alone in this fact. Thank you kdub for your reply, I appreciate your direct answer to my specific questions based on your experience. I'm looking for specific answers to what I'm hoping are fairly simple questions. I would appreciate more people chiming in regarding my questions, but I'm not willing discuss money or the reasons I may have for wanting to prolong the life of my brass. I think my reasons are obvious and very common and reasonable.
 

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Jeez Dave , lighten up . Why not cut yourself some fiber wads to put behind your bullets and not resize at all . Take your camfering tool and sharpen a case to a knife edge , cut wads and pick them out of the case with a dental pick . These loads would only be good for target shooting because of the loose bullet fit !
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
As far as lightening up, I don't agree. I have obvious reasons to take offense as I already explained. When my intelligence is insulted I believe in saying so, if you don't agree with my operating that way that is your choice....but then it's really not for you to say. I'm tired of certain individuals that think and act like they're experts on something and then do so in a totaly tactless way and sometimes insulting. Unfortunately their comments are usually off base, off the subject and usually just opinion. Sometimes I think people like that just like to hear themselves talk and it helps them feel big or important or something. Appparently no one seems to want to answer my questions or take them seriously except kdub so far. I'm not so sure I wish to continue with this thread, unless someone cares to answer my questions with some common curtousy and mutual respect. It's unfortunate because I believe my questions are valid and with valid replies could have helped many other people.
 

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David, we don;t know your intelligence, we only know that you asked how many firings you could expect from the cases and what you might do to ensure the highest number of reloadings. Hailstone was only trying to help. You're going to get all manner or responses from all calibers of experience.

Nothing in this thread so far is unfortunate.....except your perception of the respones given.

Straight-walled cases tend to last quite a bit longer than shouldered brass, which is probably why Kdub has got so many firings out of his. I've got 6 firings on my .35Rem brass and, so far so good. On shouldered brass, I anneal after every fifth firing.

Good luck!
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Alright - let's all lighten up.

Would hate to close a thread when someone has asked a sincere question or two.

Anyone else with 45-70 reloading experience, please give an opinion.
 

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I'm also using Starline brass and 405's (458124) in my 45-70 in 1895 Marlin. So far I'm up to 8 reloads on 20 of the first 100 pieces. I've singled these out to see just how many I can "expect" to get out of the rest.

OK, the rest are all loaded, I'm just using these as a benchmark test to see how long they will last. :D

David, how "hot" are you loading yours? I've got mine loaded to the original velocity for the 405 grain bullet load developed for the Springfield of 1380 fps.

RJ
 

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I've been reloading for my 45-70 since I first bought it in 1997 or 98 using the same batch of about 60 brass I got by shooting some factory ammo. I have WW, R-P and FC headstamps and have never had to anneal any of them. I don't shoot the gun as much as I used to but I bet I have in excess of 20 reloads on most of them.
 

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Straight wall case life is highly variable. I've had magnum revolver loads that got neck splits in five reloads, owing mainly to a heavy crimp. I've had cases running light target loads with a taper crimp in .45 ACP get up to 50 reloads. No annealing in either example. Board member Humpy mentioned having one case that had been reloaded 156 times (IIRC) and I believe it was a .308 case that he anneals regularly. So this stuff is all over the map.

Starline makes very good brass, similar to the Winchester brass I got the large reload count fr<link rel="File-List" href="file:///C:%5CUsers%5CNick%5CAppData%5CLocal%5CTemp%5Cmsohtml1%5C01%5Cclip_filelist.xml"><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com<img src=" images="" smilies="" redface.gif="" border="0" alt="" title="Embarrassment" smilieid="3" class="inlineimg"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com<img src=" images="" smilies="" redface.gif="" border="0" alt="" title="Embarrassment" smilieid="3" class="inlineimg"></o:smarttagtype><o></o>om in .45 ACP. I have some Starline 45-70 brass, but have not got any long reloading history on it. I fully expect it to behave just like pistol brass. That is, if I load it warm and crimp it hard, it will split young. If I load it mild and crimp only to the minimum degree needed, it will last a very long time, and 50 reloads are not impossible.

Because the H&R BC is a single-shot, it doesn't need the crimp my Marlin 1895 needs to prevent recoil from pushing bullets into the case in the magazine tube. Indeed, shooting lead bullets, the only crimp it may require is enough to prevent the air that is compressed at bullet seating from pushing the lubricated lead bullet back up out of the case. I've seen that happen, but a very light crimp prevents it. In the single-shot rifle, Lyman's 45-70 taper crimp die for black powder loads will work perfectly to extend case life if you have have that trouble with bullets expanding back out? It will also press the belling back out of the case mouth more gently than a roll crimp does, but check that you have the problem with bullet push-out first? You particular bullet and lube may not cause the issue?

With the long 32" barrel, very light charges of pistol powder can achieve the desired 1400-1500 fps velocity range with great economy. Too fast, though and you wiill create pressures in the magnum+ handgun range, and that won't be easy on the brass. QuickLOAD predicts 18.5 grains of Alliant Power Pistol will make 1450 fps without exceeding SAAMI pressure limits; about 25,500 psi. It only fills about half the space in the case under the bulelt. Any time I have less than 60% fill, as with some of my Bullseye squib loads in .45-70, I use a tuft of Walmart's store brand polyester pillow stuffing over top of it. It is also perfectly suitable to use paper or fiber or card wads. Just take an old case with a split neck and cut it in half. Sharpen the brass by turning a chamfering tool into it until you have a sharp outside edge. That will cookie-cut tight fitting wads of newsprint to hold the powder back against the flash hole for consistent ignition.

You will need adequate start pressure without relying on a crimp for it. The single-shot is perfect for that. You just seat the bullets out until they touch the lands in the throat. That helps accuracy with lead bullets, anyway. I can't do it with the lever gun, because the rounds don't feed from the magazine if I do, but the H&R won't impose that restriction.

Figuring out the best load economy is tricky. I've gone through the exercise for myself on a number of occasions. For still longer case life, you may want a still lower pressure, but that will take using larger charge weights of slower powders to maintain your velocity target, so you end up paying less for brass, but more for powder. I can't tell for sure where the best cost balance will lie? An example would be 22.8 grains of 2400. It gets to your velocity with a peak pressure of only 18,250 psi. About .45 ACP pressure. That would be very easy on the brass, but

Once you get your first case split, you can anneal the mouth of a .45-70 case.

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Regarding the subject of annealing, does anybody sell a dvd showing the proper way to do it? I need to learn how and dont know anyone to show me.I could try to follow the various methods Ive read about here.but would not know if I really got it right, and worry about creating a dangerous batch of cases. Thanks for any help. Paul
 
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