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Reloading The .45/70


(WC= WadCutter, SWC= Semi-WadCutter, HP= Hollow Point, RN= Round Nose, FMC= Full Metal Case, FMJ= Full Metal Jacket, JHP= Jacketed Hollow Point and if GC indicated, means Gas Check at bottom of lead bullet)

Loads for .45/70:
(Note: These are near MAXIMUM loads, you should use 10% less to start.)
(See note on Powders below or read all about various Powders.)
Bullet sizes vary from .458" for jacketed to .459" for some lead in diameter. Due to different barrel lengths, type of bullet, seating depth, primer type and other factors, you may not get near the FPS charted. It is just a guide and the reason you should start under these charges and work up.
These loads are for MODERN guns. Make sure your gun can handle it. Powder Mfgs. Velocities in a test barrel differ from a 4 4/5" revolver by about 175 fps and from 7 1/2" by 50 fps. Some of these velocities were shot in a 10" or a 14" barrel, similar to a Thompson Contender. Recoil is severe with these near MAX loads. You should consider 10% less for starting loads. However, with something like 2400, which is really a pistol powder, too little can be as dangerous as too much. It's a big case. With the powder down at the end near the bullet, it can cause problems or even an explosion with minimum loads (or less). Be advised.

Do not use any of this data with guns designed for black powder loads or any original TRAPDOOR rifles, EXCEPT WHERE NOTED that it is a "TRAPDOOR" Load. If condition of old gun is doubtful, even these loads could be risky. Consider using original Black Powder loads and lead bullet for old guns.

9-9-11

-----------------------------------------
300 grain lead RNFP  Cowboy
    Trail Boss 14.0 gr.  1199 FPS minimum
    Trail Boss 16.5 gr.  1285 FPS MAXIMUM
    5744       30.0 gr.  1377  Max
    Varget     44.1 gr.  1372  Max
----------------------------------------
300 Grain Jacketed Hollow Point MODERN
    H4198     33.0 gr.   1,542 FPS
    Varget    62.0 gr.   2,090 (Compressed load)
    2400      30.0 gr.   1,650
    Reloader7 50.0 gr.   2,075
    IMR 3031  43.0 gr.   1,410
    Federal Factory load 1,674 (in Marlin Rifle)
     (Hi=1692, Lo=1659, ES 33.4)
-----------------------------------------
340 grain LEAD HP TRAPDOOR (hot loads)
    A2495BR   51.3 gr.   1,628 (start)
    A2495BR   57.0 gr.   1,850 (MAX, I do not recommend)
    AA 5744   30.0 gr.   1,494 (MAX) (Also HOT for old trapdoors)
    AA 5744   29.0 gr.   1,348  good load
-----------------------------------------
350 grain LEAD RNFP TRAPDOOR (mild loads)
    AA5744    27.0 gr.   1,292 (in Marlin rifle)
     (Hi=1328, Lo=1264, ES 64.5)
    IMR 3031  36.0 gr.   1,152 (in Marlin rifle)
     (Hi=1260, Lo=1055, ES 205)
    IMR 3031  36.0 gr.   1,154 (in TRAPDOOR rifle)
     (Hi=1198, Lo=1122, ES 76.3)
    Trailboss   Use 14 to 16 grains for 1,000 to 1,200 FPS
-----------------------------------------
350 grain JSP (Jacketed Soft Point) MODERN
    H4198     32.0 gr.   1,387 FPS
    Varget    61.0 gr.   2,027 (Compressed load)
-----------------------------------------
378-385 grain Lead  MODERN
    A3100     60.0 gr.   1,485
    A2495     55.0 gr.   1,935
    2400      25.0 gr.   1,340
    Reloader7 45.0 gr.   1,810
    AA 5744   28.5 gr.   1,418
-----------------------------------------
378-385 grain Lead  TRAPDOOR
    A2495BR   45.0 gr.   1,479 (start)
    A2495BR   50.0 gr.   1,681 (MAX)
    A3100     50.4 gr.   1,159 (start)
    A3100     56.0 gr.   1,317 (MAX)
-----------------------------------------
385 grain lead RNFP  (C)owboy & (N)ormal loads
    Trail Boss 11.8 gr.    955 FPS minimum (C)
    Trail Boss 12.8 gr.  1,014 FPS MAXIMUM (C)
    Trail Boss 14.0 gr.  1,075 FPS minimum for regular rifle (N)
    Trail Boss 16.0 gr.  1,142 FPS MAXIMUM for regular rifle (N)
-----------------------------------------
400 grain Jacketed Soft Point TRAPDOOR Loads
    H4895     40.0 gr.   1,312 MAX
    H4198     30.0 gr.   1,204 MAX
    2400      22.0 gr.     954  Old Rifles*
    2400      25.0 gr.   1,260 MAXIMUM
    IMR4064   47.0 gr.   1,391 MAX
    IMR3031   34.0 gr.     750  Old Rifles*
    IMR3031   45.0 gr.   1,389 MAXIMUM
*(minimum charges in large cases can be dangerous - caution)
-----------------------------------------
400 grain Jacketed Soft Point MODERN Loads
    H4895     52.0 gr.   1,668
    H4895     56.0 gr.   1,824 MAXIMUM
    IMR4198   36.0 gr.   1,368
    IMR4198   40.0 gr.   1,596 MAXIMUM
    Reloader7 45.0 gr.   1,677
    Reloader7 49.0 gr.   1,828 MAXIMUM
    IMR4064   51.0 gr.   1,391
    IMR4064   55.0 gr.   1,718 MAXIMUM
    IMR3031   45.0 gr.   1,553
    IMR3031   52.2 gr.   1,787 (actual in 22" bbl) Hunting load
    IMR3031   53.0 gr.   1,704 MAXIMUM
-----------------------------------------
405 grain lead RNFP  Cowboy
    Trail Boss 12.0 gr.  971 FPS minimum
    Trail Boss 13.0 gr.  1007 FPS MAXIMUM
(Note: one shooter has experimented with using up to 14.6 grains in a Marlin
 and reported at this level the recoil was about the same as factory
 loads and felt 14.4 was his best accuracy 100 yard load. There was still some
 room in the case and likely the case would hold 15 grains of Trail Boss.
 These loads are NOT recommendations, but just reports from another shooter)
-----------------------------------------
405 grain LEAD MODERN Loads (Gas Check recommended)
    A2495     54.0 gr.   1,801 MAX
    IMR4895   45.0 gr.    ---- Load from Bob Gabler (bpbg@metro.net) 
    H-4895    40.0 gr.   1,424 start
    H-4895    48.0 gr.   1,645 MAX
    A3100     60.0 gr.   1,422 MAX
    AA 5744   28.5 gr.   1,375 MAX
    AA 5744   25.7 gr.   1,250 For Cowboy Action shooting
-----------------------------------------
405 grain LEAD TRAPDOOR Loads
    IMR 4198  21.5 gr.     733 (MAX is 28.5 @ 1,195 fps)
    IMR 4198  28.0 gr.   1,125 (from bdmolloy@mlode.com)
    IMR 3031  34.0 gr.   1,061 (Max is 38.5 @ 1,304 fps)
-----------------------------------------
405 grain Jacketed Soft Point TRAPDOOR Loads
    IMR 4198  30.0 gr.   1,250 
    IMR 3031  34.0 gr.   1,137 (Max is 39.0 @ 1,356 fps)
-----------------------------------------
420 grain Lead FN  TRAPDOOR
    A2495BR   45.0 gr.   1,457 (start)
    A2495BR   50.0 gr.   1,656 (MAX)
    A3100     54.0 gr.   1,251 (start)
    A3100     60.0 gr.   1,422 (MAX)
-----------------------------------------
475 grain Lead FN  Modern (reduce for Trapdoor)
    AA 5744   27.0 gr.   1,253
-----------------------------------------
500 grain Jacketed MODERN Loads
    A2495     46.0 gr.   1,538 MAX
    A3100     60.0 gr.   1,441 MAX
    H4198     28.0 gr.   1,082 MAX
    Varget    50.0 gr.   1,603 MAX
-----------------------------------------
500 grain LEAD MODERN Loads
    A2495     49.0 gr.   1,670 MAX
    A3100     60.0 gr.   1,493 MAX
    AA 5744   26.0 gr.   1,217 MAX
    AA 5744   24.0 gr.   1,128 
    Varget    35.0 gr.   1,169 good
    Varget    37.0 gr.   1,255 max
-----------------------------------------
Discussion: This is a very old cartridge. It was introduced in 1870's in the Springfield "Trapdoor" rifle. Do not use any of this data with guns designed for black powder loads or any original TRAPDOOR rifles, EXCEPT WHERE NOTED that it is a "TRAPDOOR" Load. It's best to use new brass. Some old cartridges also used corrosive primers. I recommend lead bullets and loads in the neighborhood of 1100 to 1200 fps as maximum for TRAPDOOR rifles, unless you are sure of the gun.

*
Bullseye, Unique, Reloader 7 thru 19 and 2400 are products of Alliant (formerly Hercules) Powders.
Universal, HP38, HS6, HS7, VARGET, H4198 and H4895 are products of Hodgdon Powders.
IMR 4227, IMR 3031 and IMR 4895 are products of IMR (formerly DuPont) Powder Company.
No.2, No. 5, No.7, No. 9, #5744, #2230, A2495, A3100, and #2460 are products of Accurate Arms Company.
231 is a fast burning powder from Winchester.

References: Accurate Arms Co. 1996 Reloading booklet - - Alliant Powder Co. Reloaders' Guide (1995) - - Hodgdon's Basic Reloaders Manual (1996) - - Speer Reloading Manual, #12 - - Winchester Reloading Components Manual, 14th edition - - Lyman Piston & Revolver Reloading Handbook, 2nd edition. - - VihtaVuori Oy Company,reloading booklet (1995) - - Numerous magazine articles on reloading special calibers and personal loads where noted.

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This page created 7/29/96 by M.D. Smith and last modified on September 9, 2011 ©