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Remington Rolling Block Problems

6891 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  kaytod
A shooting friend of mine has a new Remington rolling block rifle in 45-70. The other day, he took it to the range with some reloads consisting of Starline cases, CCI primers. IMR 3031 powder, and Magnus 405 grain cast bullets sized .458". The powder charge was the starting charge for ths type of rifle.

Accuracy was horrible! He was really unhappy. The bore leaded up badly.

I think the main problem is the bullet (too small), and wrong alloy for the pressures he is getting in this rifle. The bore is good. We have not slugged it. This rifle shoots commercial "cowboy loads" well. Any ideas?
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I think you've probably got the reasons it doesn't shoot well with that bullet covered. Did you happen to chronograph the loads? I would slug the barrel/throat and see if bullet size isn't your problem. Did you see any keyholing or tumbling of the bullets in the target?

Thanks for the reply. We don't have a cronograph. The holes in the target showed no signs of keyholing or tumbling, just poor accuracy. I even shot the gun with the same results- all over an 8&1/2"X11" target at 50 yards! Horrible.....

I have some Beartooth 405 grain gas gheck bullets sized .460" that shoot beautifully in my new Winchester 1886 Extra Light rifle. We are going to try some of them in the Remington. Any powder suggestions? I am using a heavy charge of H335 in the Winchester. I think it would be unsuitable in the Remington.
I don't know much about loading for 45-70's. I was responding to your question in the sense of bullet problems, which seem to be your problem. It sounds to me like a bullet that is undersize and probably too hard is the culprit.

As far as loading goes, you should be able to get some data from the many loading books or online sources, I think the rifle you're using is only suitable for the lowest tier loads. I'm sure someone in the know on this issue will chime in. I'd err on the side of safety in this matter.
Yeah I'd agree, don't get carried away with a Rolling Block. Note that SAAMI max for the .45-70 is 28,000CUP which can still produce some rather potent loads.

Probably bullet too hard & pressure too low. The Beartooth GC bullet should help a lot.

Those Magnus bullets still might work out, you'd have to carefully work up and see if you could get enough pressure on the bullet to make it fill up the grooves (safely). Also the lube is a significant factor.

If the gun is brand new, the bore may be a little rough.

Shoot the Beartooth bullets, and even try a few jacketed factory loads for comparison so you have some idea of the gun's potential. The commercial 'cowboy' loads are probably a real soft bullet, I would guess.
No, you wouldn't want to run the same loadings for your '86 through the rolling block.

3031 is a good powder for the 45-70, along with a host of others. I'm fond of the Vihtavuori N133 for my Marlin 1895LTD. The Alliant 2015, Hodgdon 332 and 335, Varget, etc. are all good propellents.

A few days ago, Marshall and kicH were discussing the types of lubricant for use on cast bullets. Along with the wrong alloy, your bullets may be using a lube that is not really suited for this application. Might want to run this by them for their thoughts.
Think you've gotten good advice on bullets here...softer, larger diameter, and perhaps longer would be better (longer as in heavier). Don't have a modern repro., but do run two old Rollers, a 120year old 45/70 and a 131year old 50/70. Occasionally use smokeless loads, but certainly don't tend to the heavy ends of things.

3031 is great for loads that are too hot for my old guns...have seen listed loads that are supose to be within BP pressure limits, but they don't work as well as faster powders (suitably reduced to BP pressure). No doubt a modern RB can take more pressure than a 130yer old one, but there is still a design limit that can't take what that Winchester lever can take.

You'd think modern made 45/70's would have standard bore dimentions...they don't. A lot depends on who made the repro. (or it could be aclassed as an original if it's one of the Remington made ones). Have seen bores as tight as .454" and as large as .459" so it would pay to slug that barrel (but I'm betting ,460" bullet will wrok well).
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I've always had good accuracy with IMR3031 in the 45-70. However, I was loading for a custom Siamese mauser, Ruger NO.3 and a T/C Encore. The T/C & Ruger with cast bullets. My neighbor loves the 45-70 and swears by AA5744 for all his cast rifle bullets. I've not used it yet & I don't know his loads but I have seen him shoot M.O.A. and less at 100 yards. You might try it after you eliminate your other variables, bulllet fit, hardness, etc.
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