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Many years ago, Ken Waters and I were talking about loading the .45-70. He had finished his great series of articles in The Handloader/The Rifle. In those articles, he was the first to recognize the inherent strength og the Marlin 336 series. No one has been able to add much, except as new powders came aboard. The class of rifles I will address here are the one's most overlooked by so-called gun writers, the weaker actions. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of fine shootable rifles out there, like 1873/1884 Trapdoor Springfields, Remington Rolling Blocks, Sharps( including conversions), Ballads, etc. Trying to load smokless, with low powder charges, causes many shooters to put these fine rifles back in the rack. For those who do not want to go through the hassle of blackpowder in these rifles, there is an answer....Pyrodex. There are Traditionl Shooters who will still want to use blackpowder, however many don't.
Lets look at methods...Pyrodex Rs, Pyrodex Select, and Pyrodex CTG all load by equal volume as blackpowder. Thats no problem, however modern case for .45-70 have less case capacity than the orignal cases and most bullts of today have crimp grooves deeper that the orignals. I have before me an original 500 gr infantry round ( dated 8-1899)that is 2.8" long, with 0.70" of bullet out of the case. It is loaded with 70 grains of FFg. With modern cases we can't duplicate, but we can come close with 60 grains of any of the three grades, Pyrodex Select, RS, or CTG and one Ox-Yoke  .45 cal Wonder Wad with a 500 gr Hard Cast Bullet. For the carbines, I suggest 50 grs of Pyrodex and one Wonder Wad with a 300 gr Hard Cast Bullet. I do not subscribe to using soft lead bullets in these rifles. Rather, slug the barrel and use one of Marshall's bullets @ .002" over geoove size.
For cleaning..forget the old hot water trick and use Thompson/Center Number 13 Bore Cleaner! A good idea, on these older rifles, is to use Flitz on a tight patch to smooth bores up. Give these old "Blasters" a chance and they will"Make Meat" like they did 100 years, or so, ago!
Best Regards from The Hammock....James  

(Edited by James Gates at 6:01 am on Jan. 13, 2001)


(Edited by James Gates at 10:24 am on Jan. 13, 2001)
 

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Sounds like fun!

If ordering bullets from Beartooth for BP use, make sure to request SPG lube instead of our standard smokeless lubricant on the bullets.  The SPG lube is one of the finest black powder lubricants available, and will keep that BP residue and carbon soft.

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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Marshall is correct...Lube is super important with these cartridges with blackpowder,and even Pyrodex. Even with the lube Marshall offers, use the Wonder Wad and no gas checks. And, by all means, stay away fron Jacketed Bullets in these old timers. They were made with good steel, but on the soft side. Hard Cast will not hurt their lands/grooves! Another item I overlooked...When talking to Hodgdon, I found they had discontinued CTG grade Pyrodex, do to low demand. I told them I thought it premature as the Cowboy Shooters are starting to go more "authenic" and picking up on Black and RS. For your information.."P" pyrodex duplicates the burn rate of FFFg black, "RS" equals FFg, and "CTG" equals Fg. So, if you are interested you might stock up on some CTG now while there are stocks around.
Best Regards from The Hammock....James
 

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For those that wish to use Pyrodex...no problem by me. But I can tell you from experience, concerning the .45/70 that if straight blackpowder is utilized, such as Goex that only then will one gain optimum performance out of this old historical case! Up to 80 grs. of Goex 2f can be loaded into this case with no problem; one just has to have the right tools for the job such as a compression stem which screws into the top of the expander die and the stem fits right down into the mouth of the cartridge case.  I am quite familiar with this reloading procedure as I own and shoot 5 different BPCRs in calibers of .45/70, .45/90, and .45/110. I utilize the Paul Jones Creedmoor bullet of 554 gr. weight with 4 grease grooves for all calibers, as many shooters have discovered that this is one of the most accurate bullets available for BPCR shooting. If you wish to see what this bullet is capable of out of my .45/110 just go to www.photopoint.com and type in my email address of [email protected] where it states Visit Friends Albums; upper right hand corner of the page. Click on Targets. Goex BP IS NOT DIFFICULT to clean!  Run one patch of the right size through the bore, follow with a wet patch, another dry one, and then run another through saturated with regular old lamp oil and forget it! The bore will be clean and WILL NOT rust! Before running the first dry patch through the bore it helps to use a "blow tube" to moisten the fouling. Again....BP straight cases were designed for blackpowder and the more I shoot them....the more I discover that those "old timers" knew what they were doing! Best regards!

Hardholder

(Edited by Hardholder at 3:28 pm on Nov. 20, 2001)
 
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