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Hi
New to this forum .thinking about picking up a vintage 1886 in 45-90 I don’t reload
I’m having no luck finding ammo
Anyone know where or if this caliber is
Pretty much absolute
Thanks for the help
 

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If you have trouble obtaining factory 45-90 ammo, you can fire 45-70 ammo in it. Effectively a few things happen: 1) The bullet 'jump' (call it 'free bore') will be about an additional .3", so accuracy may not be the best. 2) You will get a fouling build up ahead of the shorter 45-70 case, that if not cleaned out (frequently?) would interfere with chambering, and/or ejecting, the longer 45-90 ammo should you be able to find it at a later time. 3) If you shoot the 45-70 ammo a whole bunch, you can possibly erode the chamber ahead of the case, which would be permanent damage, meaning not something that cleaning will remove. I would think that would take considerable shooting.
Obsolete (assuming that is what you meant?) is a 'tricky word'. Officially, the 45-90 has been 'obsolete' for many years, but cases are available to handloaders and some do provide loaded ammo for it, so.....

BTW, welcome to the forum!!
 

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A couple of other points, if you do choose to shoot 45-70 ammo in it: Since you are talking a vintage 1886, I'd tend to stay away from the higher pressure loads that are now available. While the 1886 is certainly stronger than say a trapdoor, it is still an older gun with steel not quite what it is today, respect the old girl! Due to the 45-90 having a slower rate of twist, the 'standard' 405 gr. 45-70 load likely won't yield the best accuracy, so try to stick with something like 300 to 350 gr. bullet loads as they should produce better accuracy even though the bullet jump will be greater. You may have to experiment to find the best compromise. Jacketed bullets are probably a better choice than lead, as the jump in the chamber before engaging the rifling can lead to unacceptable leading.
If you are planning on using the rifle for hunting (at normal ranges), just keep in mind that people have been successfully shooting the 45-70 in 45-90 chambers for many years. It comes down to what level of accuracy is acceptable to you.
 

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I know I've seen factory 45-90 ammo available somewhere. Kind of a specialty outfit. It was loaded to old specs. Let me see if I can find it and I'll post a link.
 

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Buffalo Arms. While not currently in stock, they do offer several types of loaded 45-90 ammo, smokeless or BP. Just be sure and get stuff that is compatible with your lever action 1886 as some of it is only intended for and will only work in single shots.

 

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That's the main problem with 'out of stock' availability....it ain't available!;):)
If and when they do replenish, I would shy away from their heavier offerings as your rifle will likely have a 1 in 32" twist (you should measure it) which was designed for stabilizing 300 grain bullets. Also note that many of the Buffalo Arms offerings are black powder loads. You have to decide your 'cleaning tolerance threshold' for shooting BP loads.

I'm reminded of the story where a guy goes into a hardware store to buy a certain tool. The price is $15.00. The guy tells the proprietor that the store down the street a piece sells that tool for $12.50. The proprietor says, well, then you should buy it from him. The guy says, he doesn't have any in stock right now. The proprietor says, my price is $10.25 when I don't have any in stock.o_O;)
 

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Yessir, that's true. Also, the heavier bullets stated to be for single shots only may simply be too long of COL to cycle and safely chamber in the 1886.

It stinks that we are still contending with the availability of ammo and some components. But, at least one can set up the "notify me" and be prepared to scoop up a box or two when they do come into stock. I was a little surprised that Buffalo Arms offered loaded 45-90 ammo at all when I first discovered them. Availability being what it is, it's still good to have someone out there making this stuff. 🙂
 

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Yep! I have a 'modern' Win. 1886 (Miroku made) Extra Light in 45-70 and a Win. High Wall (also 'modern') in 45-90 with a 32" barrel. Since I 'roll my own', availability is not a word often found in my vocabulary (thankfully!!). I also have molds from 350 to 550 grains, so bullets are as plentiful as my time and patience allow.:D
 

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At my age, out waiting 'out of stock' status is a bit risky, so if it were my rifle (I'm assuming you will get it) I'd buy a box of Remington 45-70, 405 grain loads (or whatever 45-70 loads you can find) and get that ol' girl slinging some lead downrange!
 

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A potential issue with using .45-70 ammunition is the bullet - the .45-90 had a 1:32” twist for factory 300 grain bullets. The longer 405 grain bullet at a pretty low velocity may not be stable in the .45-90 barrel. And some 300-grain factory jacketed loads are loaded to reasonably high pressures not well suited for some antique rifles.



.
 

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Yep! I have a 'modern' Win. 1886 (Miroku made) Extra Light in 45-70 and a Win. High Wall (also 'modern') in 45-90 with a 32" barrel. Since I 'roll my own', availability is not a word often found in my vocabulary (thankfully!!). I also have molds from 350 to 550 grains, so bullets are as plentiful as my time and patience allow.:D
I have a very early Miroku Winchester 1886 Takedown. It is stamped USRA and I believe it is the 17th such unit to leave the factory from what I've been able to discern with the serial. That said, she's at Turnbull as we speak, and I'm expecting an email any day now that it is complete and ready to be picked up. It was in excellent condition when I got it, but having a Turnbull rifle has been a years long dream of mine. I live about 2 hours from their shop and dropped it off in June. It went in a 45-70, it's coming home a 45-90. I've scored some brass, have lots of bullets, and a descent little variety of powders to develope smokeless loads for it. Last thing I'm waiting on is the die set which is ordered and should be arriving in the next 2-4 weeks. I'm pretty excited 🙂
 

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RIDE-RED, That sounds awesome and certainly worthy of excitement! You should start a thread, with photos, after you get it. Turnbull doe some beautiful work, I have a S & W Model 24-5 Heritage 44 Special that has the Turnbull 'treatment'.
I just use my 45-70 dies to load my 45-90 High Wall, seems to work just fine.
 

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Red-Ride, since this is a lever gun is there going to be any issues with feeding the longer 45-90 bullets through the action? Just wondering. I had Turnbull do three Win/Miroku rifles for me and they did excellent work. I had an 1885 45-70, an 1886 45-70, and an 1885 Low Wall 357max. Both 45-70s required the chamber to be lengthened to feed and function with the 405g bullets. Miroku has virtually no leade per SAAMI specs. The ogive on a few bullets (Rem 405 JSP for one wouldn’t fit the factory chamber) .They added .250 and both of those guns are super accurate.
 

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RIDE-RED, That sounds awesome and certainly worthy of excitement! You should start a thread, with photos, after you get it. Turnbull doe some beautiful work, I have a S & W Model 24-5 Heritage 44 Special that has the Turnbull 'treatment'.
I just use my 45-70 dies to load my 45-90 High Wall, seems to work just fine.
I certainly will be making a thread once I get her home. The last update I received stated they expect it to be complete shortly after the new year. So it could be any day now.

As to the dies, I have seen it said that one can use 45-70 dies to load 45-90, particularly if it's only used for one rifle. I'm open to the idea but I wanted to get a 45-90 die set as well just in case I ran into any issues. I already have the Lee FCD for 45-90. I figure belling and seating won't be an issue, but wasn't sure about the sizing die coming up .300" short of a full length re-size.
 

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Red-Ride, since this is a lever gun is there going to be any issues with feeding the longer 45-90 bullets through the action? Just wondering. I had Turnbull do three Win/Miroku rifles for me and they did excellent work. I had an 1885 45-70, an 1886 45-70, and an 1885 Low Wall 357max. Both 45-70s required the chamber to be lengthened to feed and function with the 405g bullets. Miroku has virtually no leade per SAAMI specs. The ogive on a few bullets (Rem 405 JSP for one wouldn’t fit the factory chamber) .They added .250 and both of those guns are super accurate.
Ive seen other folks state the Miroku 45-70 chambers are pretty tight just as you say. When I first got my '86, I did some testing to see if it would fully cycle and safely chamber the 325gr FTX with standard length brass. I checked the chamber first using a lightly seated bullet and slowly chambered it and locked the action letting the rifling push the bullet into the case. I ended up with about .070" lead to the lands with the FTX seated to the cannelure on a standard length brass. Apparently, some of the early Miroku rifles didn't have the tight chamber issue, or at least my specific rifle didn't. After figuring that out I made a dummy round with the FTX and ran it all the way through the action from the mag tube, into the chamber, and ejected out of the action, no issues whatsoever. I made a test batch of rounds and shot the second best group I've ever done with open sights at 100yds, only being beat my my Springfield 03. No signs of over pressure at all.

I did inform Turnbull that I would like a 45-90 chamber that would allow the use of up to about 400gr bullets. They replied that their reamer is a standard spec chamber reamer for 45-90 and don't offer custom chamber specs. So I'll have to conduct the same experiment with 45-90 cases when she gets home.

As far as the 45-70 action running the longer 45-90, when I asked to have that conversion added to my build they said the internals do require some modifications but didn't elaborate on exactly what modifications and to what parts. My guess would be primarily the lifter. I don't imagine it to be real extensive as they only added $150 to the build cost for the rechamber to 45-90 including the internal modifications.

Will make a thread about it as soon as I get it back, and will also post the results of finding out what chamber dimensions will allow in terms of bullet types and weights. Heaviest 458 bullets I have on hand are Hornady JRN 350gr. Also have 325gr FTX, 300gr JHP, and 250fr Monoflex which are dimensionally identical to the 325gr FTX, just lighter due to their monolithic construction.
 

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Ive seen other folks state the Miroku 45-70 chambers are pretty tight just as you say. When I first got my '86, I did some testing to see if it would fully cycle and safely chamber the 325gr FTX with standard length brass. I checked the chamber first using a lightly seated bullet and slowly chambered it and locked the action letting the rifling push the bullet into the case. I ended up with about .070" lead to the lands with the FTX seated to the cannelure on a standard length brass. Apparently, some of the early Miroku rifles didn't have the tight chamber issue, or at least my specific rifle didn't. After figuring that out I made a dummy round with the FTX and ran it all the way through the action from the mag tube, into the chamber, and ejected out of the action, no issues whatsoever. I made a test batch of rounds and shot the second best group I've ever done with open sights at 100yds, only being beat my my Springfield 03. No signs of over pressure at all.

I did inform Turnbull that I would like a 45-90 chamber that would allow the use of up to about 400gr bullets. They replied that their reamer is a standard spec chamber reamer for 45-90 and don't offer custom chamber specs. So I'll have to conduct the same experiment with 45-90 cases when she gets home.

As far as the 45-70 action running the longer 45-90, when I asked to have that conversion added to my build they said the internals do require some modifications but didn't elaborate on exactly what modifications and to what parts. My guess would be primarily the lifter. I don't imagine it to be real extensive as they only added $150 to the build cost for the rechamber to 45-90 including the internal modifications.

Will make a thread about it as soon as I get it back, and will also post the results of finding out what chamber dimensions will allow in terms of bullet types and weights. Heaviest 458 bullets I have on hand are Hornady JRN 350gr. Also have 325gr FTX, 300gr JHP, and 250fr Monoflex which are dimensionally identical to the 325gr FTX, just lighter due to their monolithic construction.
Hi
New to this forum .thinking about picking up a vintage 1886 in 45-90 I don’t reload
I’m having no luck finding ammo
Anyone know where or if this caliber is
Pretty much absolute
Thanks for the help
Ive seen other folks state the Miroku 45-70 chambers are pretty tight just as you say. When I first got my '86, I did some testing to see if it would fully cycle and safely chamber the 325gr FTX with standard length brass. I checked the chamber first using a lightly seated bullet and slowly chambered it and locked the action letting the rifling push the bullet into the case. I ended up with about .070" lead to the lands with the FTX seated to the cannelure on a standard length brass. Apparently, some of the early Miroku rifles didn't have the tight chamber issue, or at least my specific rifle didn't. After figuring that out I made a dummy round with the FTX and ran it all the way through the action from the mag tube, into the chamber, and ejected out of the action, no issues whatsoever. I made a test batch of rounds and shot the second best group I've ever done with open sights at 100yds, only being beat my my Springfield 03. No signs of over pressure at all.

I did inform Turnbull that I would like a 45-90 chamber that would allow the use of up to about 400gr bullets. They replied that their reamer is a standard spec chamber reamer for 45-90 and don't offer custom chamber specs. So I'll have to conduct the same experiment with 45-90 cases when she gets home.

As far as the 45-70 action running the longer 45-90, when I asked to have that conversion added to my build they said the internals do require some modifications but didn't elaborate on exactly what modifications and to what parts. My guess would be primarily the lifter. I don't imagine it to be real extensive as they only added $150 to the build cost for the rechamber to 45-90 including the internal modifications.

Will make a thread about it as soon as I get it back, and will also post the results of finding out what chamber dimensions will allow in terms of bullet types and weights. Heaviest 458 bullets I have on hand are Hornady JRN 350gr. Also have 325gr FTX, 300gr JHP, and 250fr Monoflex which are dimensionally identical to the 325gr FTX, just lighter due to their monolithic construction.
 

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ECHOPLEX,
Please define what you mean by VINTAGE.
Some use that word to mean an old design and others mean a physically old gun. No Miroku made 1886 rifles are
Vintage. Their 45-90 also has the same barrel twist and the Miroku 45-70. Bullets from 300 grains to 500 grains shoot fine in those barrels.

FYI, I have two Miroku made Winchester 1886 rifles. One is a 45-70 and the other is a 45-90. Both have been hunted hard in the USA and in Africa and always delivered the needed performance.
FYI, I have done most of my USA hunting with 45-70 ammo in my 45-90 and NEVER had any fouling or crud or deposits in the chamber. Cleaning a rifle after use just makes common sense. With Winchester 300 grain ammo with Nosler PP bullets, the bullet is well into the bore BEFORE it leaves the cartridge case.

I also have a Beretta 45-70 double rifle that is presently having the chambers reamed to 45-90 specs. The 45-90 cartridge has about 96% of the powder capacity of the .458 Win Mag and our African loads were 450 grain solids at 2150 fps. That will knock down Bison and cape and water buff. Solids usually shoot through all buff.
 

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Hi
New to this forum .thinking about picking up a vintage 1886 in 45-90 I don’t reload
I’m having no luck finding ammo
Anyone know where or if this caliber is
Pretty much absolute
Thanks for the help
As for availability of 45-90 ammo, Buffalo Arms would also be my first stop. I've bought 45-120 and 50-140 Sharps ammo from them, but both were on back-order for a while.
My only 1886 is a late 1990s-vintage Miroku in 45-70, which I intend to have converted to 50-100-450. Other posters have beaten me to the punch with most of what I could have said. One thing you should check in addition to rifling twist rate is whether your "vintage" 1886's barrel is of nickel steel and so marked. From all I've read, if the barrel is not made of nickel steel, loads for it should not exceed blackpowder pressures.
In his collector book, Winchester Lever Actions, Volume 2, The Models of 1886 and 1892, (ISBN 1-882391-13-6) Arthur Pirkle writes on pages 76-77 "Barrels of nickel steel were sometimes installed on the M1886 rifle and carbine after 1895 (circa serial #95,000) when these barrels were first introduced. They were marked on the left side...

NICKEL STEEL BARREL
ESPECIALLY FOR SMOKELESS POWDER

"After circa serial #150,000, this marking was dropped and nickel steel barrels were marked:
NICKEL STEEL
"
Some of the very last Model 1886s which were made up of parts on hand in the late 1920s and early 1930s without nickel steel barrels may be marked "WINCHESTER PROOF STEEL" on the barrel."
I'm sure that serious collectors are sure to know more about this aspect than I do.
 
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