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Tried two new loads today in my Marlin 1895 XLR .45-70 24" barrel. First was BTB 325 gr FNGC over 53gr of IMR 3031. Grouped great at 50 yards with speeds of 1870 to 1886 fps. Second was the BTB 525gr Pile Driver over what I thought to be a conservative 47 gr of IMR 3031. Marshall shows a max of 52 gr of IMR 3031. With this load we got 1786 to 1797 fps. You knew you touch off something big when you pulled the trigger. The cases swelled slightly about 1/8" up from the rim and took some effort to lever out of the chamber. What do you think? Too much pressure? I was not expecting those numbers with 47 grains. I used Remington brass and Federal 210 primers.
 

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Each gun is different! That sounds like you had exsesive pressure! Hard extraction is not a good sign! IMR 3031 is a pretty fast powder try something slower! Dropping that 500 gr slug down to 1700-1725 isn't going to make much diference on the recieving end!
 

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Tried two new loads today in my Marlin 1895 XLR .45-70 24" barrel. First was BTB 325 gr FNGC over 53gr of IMR 3031. Grouped great at 50 yards with speeds of 1870 to 1886 fps. Second was the BTB 525gr Pile Driver over what I thought to be a conservative 47 gr of IMR 3031. Marshall shows a max of 52 gr of IMR 3031. With this load we got 1786 to 1797 fps. You knew you touch off something big when you pulled the trigger. The cases swelled slightly about 1/8" up from the rim and took some effort to lever out of the chamber. What do you think? Too much pressure? I was not expecting those numbers with 47 grains. I used Remington brass and Federal 210 primers.
Wow, that sounds pretty hot to me. I don't use BTB as they don't ship to Canada, but from all I've heard, people are usually getting in the 1500fps or so with the 525gr piledriver.

I had a look at the data and you are in the range that they publish, but I expect that if you are having trouble extracting that you are likely over pressure. You are definitely over the expected velocity though, so I'd back it off at least several grains.

Chris.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the responses. Do you think the 24" barrel would make that much difference? What do you think of the 325 gr FNGC numbers?
 

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The 325 load looks moderate to me. The 525g load looks over pressure. My guide gun shoots my 39g load of H322 at 1475 fps. Looks at DOK's load, his guide gun gets a little more velocity at TWO grains more powder. There are a lot of variables, and as Gunnut said, each gun is different.

Also chronographs all seem to give different readings. I usually shoot some .22 long rifle over mine to see if it's even in the ball park. A weak battery can cause mis-readings.

As far as the barrel length, my Pile Driver seems to have a nice linear relationship to barrel length. the highest velocity I get is from the 32" Buffalo Classic barrel, and the lowest from the 10" BFR, with an unsurprising distributions of velocity from all the intermediate barrels I've tried it from. So your barrel probably is assisting the velocity somewhat compared to shorter barrels. It would be instructive if you could clock that load from a roller or Ruger #1, guns that are less prone to grenading than Marlins. And if it were me I would never fire that round from a Marlin again.

It's possible your load is WAY OVERCHARGED because nearly straight cases don't give much pressure sign, and usually by the time the cartridge is talking back you're got very high pressure.

It might be useful to pull a couple of bullets and weigh the charge as a double-check.

This is Marshall's data:

H-4895 52.5 1820 1752
H-322 41.0 1610 1549

Note that you CAN get 1800 fps, but look at the H322 data. That 41g load is top pressure, and I am not sure I would be comfortable with the H4895 data. Looks iffy to me, I'd want to know the actual pressure before I tried it in my Marlins.

Please post a follow-up because it's useful to all of us to learn from everyone's experience.
 

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If I put 47 grains of IMR3031 into QuickLOAD and adjust the case capacity to 81.5 grains of water to give 1786 fps from a 24" barrel, the pressure shows 46,000 psi. It also shows the load is heavily compressed at 115%. Marshall's listed 52.8 grain load shows 137% compressed (don't know how to get that in a case) and a calculated 74,000 psi, with a predicted 22" barrel velocity of 1971 fps. That is far above Marshall's measured 1683 fps. On a hunch, I reduced the case capacity to the default 79 grains and dropped Marshall's listed load from 52.8 to 42.8 grains, figuring the first digit might be a typo. Then the predicted velocity is 1641 fps and the predicted pressure is 38,000 psi. Much more reasonable. Charge compression also drops to a more possible 111%.

So I think that's what happened. It's a typo. I'll see what I can do to alert Marshall?
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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"Marshall's listed 52.8 grain load shows 137% compressed (don't know how to get that in a case"

You don't, at least I wasn't able to last year. I didn't come close to getting the top of the case to the crimp groove....and I sure tried....the top of the bullets had a ring indentation of about 1/16 of an inch due to my pressing so hard, and still a "no go".

I included that issue in a thread last year.

Dan
 

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All the more reason to start at or below the suggested starting load and work up in "Your" rifle, watching for pressure signs and stopping at or below that point regardless of whether you reach max or not. In all probablity you have reached your max load in your rifle. Just because someone publishes a given load doesn't make it correct. Typo's, bovine scatology, etc could have entered into play. I have seen several post on other sites where someone has taken the max load listed in a reloading manual and posted it as a safe load in any rifle. Tain't so one can reach max load in a given rifle before ever reaching max load besides, the most accurate load is many times somewhat less than the max load listed. One can never be too careful afterall it is your fingers, eyes and possibly your life that you might be trusting to someone elses data.
 

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All the more reason to start at or below the suggested starting load and work up in "Your" rifle, watching for pressure signs and stopping at or below that point regardless of whether you reach max or not.
Indeed. In this case the original poster started at 10% below the maxium load and encountered pressure signs right away. Probably a good thing that he didn't start closer to the max published load :).

Chris.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks to all. I normally try all loads with at least a 10% lower volume as I did here. Good thing! I measured and it was a true 47 grains. The chrony is on as we shot several other guns and loads that day.
Today I tried the 325 gr FNGC with one more grain of IMR 3031 totaling 54gr. Got 1876 to 1907 out of it. I'm thinking I'll drop that load back to go for about 1800 fps and stay there for hunting whitetail and black bears here in Ontario, maybe even moose. What do you all think?
The 525gr Pile Drivers I'll pull back to 40 gr of IMR 3031 and try and find something around 1500 fps.
Thanks again for the replies and a place where we can get advice.
 

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I have some of the BTB and alot the Marlin rifles in QuickLoad so I ran both the 325 FN and 525 WLN with the request for IMR 3031 using the following parameters. For Marlin leverguns I use a SAAMI 45-70 case at 42.0K Pmax and an overall length of 2.555" (crimp groove with both bullets). The suggested load is requested at NMP+1% and a maximum compression of 105%.

325 FN - 57.3-grains - 105% - 29.4K PSI - 2090 FPS
525 WLN - 40.5-grains - 105% - 21.4K PSI - 1566 FPS

Use good loading practices, start low.
 

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Looking at the entire list of powders in QuickLoad and respecting the integrety of the the Marlin rifle, 1800 FPS with the 525 WFN is not possible IMHO (reference post title). Only a couple of powders pushing it over 1600 FPS. The more common are; BL-C(2), Win 748, H4985, Norma 202, and H335. 3031 is the best choice of the IMRs.
 

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Piney Woods Moderator
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I gave up on any bullet over 405 grains a long time ago. Those heavy bullets hurt me when I was 30 years old much less now. Kind of like going a round with Mike Tyson except you get to keep your ear.
 

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A lot of threads include reports about game taken with the Beartooth bullets and the effect of them on game (wound channel created). Too many to list here. Use the advanced search feature, and you'll turn them up. I would say the typical report is of the wound channels are much bigger than you would expect. Not as wide as conventional hollow points make, but deeper, so the total wound volume may be the same? A longer, but narrower channel, open at both ends, will give you faster bleed out and more blood trail to follow, assuming the game isn't DRT. Usually is.
 
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