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I would bet that you were bench shooting.
I found that shooting a 458 ruger no. 1 with a metal butt plate was no big deal when shooting 500 grain Barnes bullets loaded to the max as long as I was standing and shooting.
I shot it from the bench a couple of times and even though it didn't bother me when I was shooting, the next day my shoulder was torn up.

Step away from the bench and I'll bet you find the recoil a lot better.
I know that it's true with my 45-70 sharps with hot loads also. Fun to shoot until you start trying to shoot a bunch from the bench.
 

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I have never understood why one would think that something along the lines of a 45-70 needs to be a hyper velocity type round. Millions of bullfalo were killed at extreme ranges with the 405 slug going about 1200 fps.

I have the Browning 1895 in 45-70. I shoot nothing but BP or a 4198 equilent load, pushing a cast 405 grn bullet about 1200 fps. Its mild shooting and accurate.

I have other guns if I feel the need for velocity. Velocity isnt accuracy. An accurate rounds dosnt have to be fast, we just need to know its trejectory and how to judge wind for that round. Its about fundlmentals not speed, Its hard to concentrate on fundelmentals if you are getting the crap kicked out of you.
Well you're right but with a modern built gun you don't know what load and what velocity will shoot best in it just like with modern rounds. I think that hot loads are why some guys can't get their gun to shoot where it should. Modern cartridges included. You have to shoot what the gun wants.
I am actually going to try changing to black powder loads for my sharps, and of course my trapdoor is black powder only and only a fool would try and push the loads in that one.
Would love to try an 1885 also!
 
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