Well, I will jump in on this one! The original 45-70 rifle load was a 500 fr semi soft lead bullet (lubed with beeswax) with 70 grs of FFg black,while the carbine load was various bullet weights from 400 to 300 grs with 50 or 60 grains of FFg black. Toward the last, due to heavy recoil, the carbine load was issued for both rifle and carbine. All this was well, but played havoc with the issue sights on the firearms. I have a Springfield Mod 1884 Ramrod Bayonet rifle in like new condition, except the blue turning to brown patina. This old rifle has been with me since 1956. Years ago a friend of mine that had a 1884 carbine and I set out to try ang match the bullet/powder to the issue sights on the two firearms. To my surprise the following load matched the "Buffington" longe range sight on my rifle....400 grain hard cast with a "wonder Wad" on top of 65 grains of FFg. We even shoot it at Camp Perry (for fun) on the 500 yard range. Some of the shooters like Dick Ilou posted some outstanding groups. Jim never got the carbine just right. Later, when Pyrodex RS came out I switched over to it. I still use my blackpowder dipper set at 65 grs of FFg and just fill it with RS,using the same bullet weight and wad. The best groups I ever got was with Pyrodex CTG loaded as above, but I understand CTG has been dropped from the line.
Hope this helps.....Best Regards, James
In reply to James Gates, from Pat Wolf, co-author of "Loading Cartridges for the Original 45-70 Rifle and Carbine". My late husband and I researched the development and manufacture of the original loads from the Arsenals in the 1800's, and gave details of how we constructed the cartridges, which are quite accurate, and calibrate with both styles of sights used on the original Springfields. Instructions are given on using the original sights out to 1,000 yards, plus much other valuable info. We tested everything before it was put in the book, so we knew it was all correct, with explanations as to why it was necessary to it the way we describe. Today's target shooters have replicated scores from the 1800's with the methods described in the book, and are winning matches with their original 45-70 Springfields. Book is available for ล.95 post paid from Wolf's Western Traders, 1250 Santa Cora Ave. # 613, Chula Vista, CA 91913. Phone (619) 482-1701. See web page at http://www.stormloader.com/sierra/book.html
We're judged by our intentions and not if the effort was exactly what we'd intended it to be -- you did good.
I read several major magazine articles about the Wolfs about a year ago and the jest of the articles was that the Wolfs level of research was in depth and considered one of the best references available. I suspect you and Pat Wolf would have a lot to talk about. I only envy the background and experience both of you have.
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