Reloading 45-70 Govt.
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Thread: Reloading 45-70 Govt.

  1. #1
    Senior Member boznarras's Avatar
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    Reloading 45-70 Govt.

    Well it does say off topic here.

    Anyway this is a long shot but I just got a 45-70 Govt. and am working up a load. I thought somebody here might have already worked that out, cant hurt to ask....

    My rifle is a Marlin1895SBL guide gun, with the 18" barrel.

    In the summers I escort tourists to a bear viewing area, and carry spray and a gun. I have never had to shoot, but do get charged. If I did shoot it would be close in, less than 25 yards. We have a mix of black and brown bears.
    Obviously I want knock down power, and dont care too much about bullet drop at longer ranges. I dont want any wounded bears running off, and I dont want them taking 30 seconds after being shot to die either.

    Once in a great while I have been farther away when another guide was dealing with an ornery bear, and wanted to back him up, say 75 yards. These scenes made me change from carrying a pump 12gauge, I just couldn't trust shot placement much past 40yds. I carried my 338 WM last year but it is long and slow for close in. Its also my moose rifle, has a scope which I dont want to take off for summer and have ro resight in the fall. That's why I am trying this new rifle on for size. Plus I had not bought a gun in a while.and this one is a business expense! .

    I was thinking of using IMR4198 powder. Looking at Barnes Buster 400g. bullets, but then also considering a lighter bullet that will open up better at close range and not pencil right through. Not to mention faster recovery from recoil on the back end. It is hard to plan when the target could be 200lbs, or could be over a 1000lb. critter...what to do.

    So, anybody else out rhere already figured this out?

  2. #2
    Senior Member wolfy's Avatar
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    I have hunted with, and shot the .45/70 in competition for many moons......most all of it with cast bullets & black powder. However, I have no experience in shooting brown bears with one, but I do know that a 500 gr. cast lead bullet/blackpowder load will pass completely through a buffalo LENGTHWISE. You can't put a bullet of that length in your Marlin, but any well-constructed bullet of 400 gr. should work fine. Why don't you consult somebody that you trust that sells reloading components up there? They should know what works best for what you are trying to do.

  3. #3
    Senior Member boznarras's Avatar
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    Thanks for feedback.
    I am not opposed to factory loads, just find the shelves in a small town either empty or something different each time, so was thinking to reload for consistency in he acclimation to this rifle. Plus I always handload all my hunting ammo, feels good to DIY.
    The heavier cast bullets wont be far off the one I picked out from Barnes, I think. Same idea of a big meplat nose.

    You can see my dilemma, I want penetration to the vitals, but I dont want to pencil through and expend a lot of kinetic energy on the landscape behind the bear, I want enough expansion for a big wound channel, and him to take up all the energy in the bullet. If hunting from afar it would be OK for him to travel 20-30 yds after hit, I could watch from 100 yds away. This scenario if he has 30 sec to keep coming at me it is way different.
    I know there is no ideal bullet or load for all this, just trying to pick a good one.
    The Barnes bullet is so new, the load data is hard to find. What I was hoping was somebody had worked up a load already, mght share their recipe. But thanks for the comments, it is all good to process beforehand. Maybe some load data will come along yet.

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    Senior Member Devils Advocate's Avatar
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    I use this site a lot.

    Check this out down towards the bottom; http://www.handloads.com/loaddata/de...=Powder&Source
    Last edited by Devils Advocate; 01-23-2016 at 06:17 PM.
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    Senior Member phelonius's Avatar
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    That rifle should be safe with a load that will fling a 405 grain jacketed flat point at velocities up to about 1800 fps muzzle velocity.
    To stop a charging brownie, the shoulder shot is preferred. It won't kill but it will stop a charge. Then after he stumbles with a broken shoulder
    you have time for an aimed kill shot, or two or three. Don't stop shooting until the bear understands that he is dead.
    If memory serves me correctly, factory loaded 405 grain bullets fly at about 1350 to 1400 fps. This is so that old antique firearms do not burst from overload.
    Remember, the first .45X70s were a black powder cartridge. Trap door springfields and such.
    If you have a Ruger # 3 or #1 in .45X70, you may load it as high as 2200 fps. I would not try that with an old lever gun though.
    Standard ammunition does not kick any harder than a shotgun, but the heavier hand loads can kick impressively.
    Last edited by phelonius; 01-23-2016 at 05:56 PM.
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    Phelonius

  7. #6
    Senior Member TexGX's Avatar
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    I so want that gun. Post some pics. I am guessing that this is a new model not an antique. This is the gun in the new Jurassic Park movie.

    TexGX
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  8. #7
    Senior Member WECSOG's Avatar
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    Here's a link you need: 45-70 Load Data - Handloads.Com

    Personally I have an 1895 Guide Gun and an H&R single shot (and used to have a non-GG 1895 and a Ruger No.3) and my favorite load is the Lee plainbase 405 grain flat nose, non-gas checked, over 26 grains of 2400. Dirt cheap, good thump but not too much recoil, and a good hunting load. But you probably want more horsepower for brown bears.

    RCBS makes a bullet mold for a gas checked, flat nose 500 grain bullet that is designed to work in the 1895. If you want more mass than 400ish grains, that one is a top choice.
    I don't know if you cast your own, but the .45/70 is the quintessential cast bullet rifle. You can save a lot of money if you cast your own. Or more likely you can spend the same or more money, but shoot a lot more in the process!
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    Senior Member plumbstraight's Avatar
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    I have that same carbine in stainless. When in the bush with the quad it lays across the handlebars or in my hands when walking. There is also a 454 casull in my holster. The idea of being on the menu is enough for me.

    When you get the loads that work I would sure like your information. I am using the factory buffalo ammunition at this point.

  10. #9
    Senior Member boznarras's Avatar
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    Wecsog and Devils's Advocate, thank you for that Handloads .com site. That gives me a starting point. I can.start low and work up until my shoulder or the cases show signs of hot enough.
    This Buster bullet is a throwback for Barnes, has a lead core and a thick copper jacket with just a pinhole showing lead in the nose and base. They advertise it to bust bones real well and stay on a straight path where you aimed it. It is way different from their all copper X bullets.
    Plumbstraight, mine is stainless too, with the 6 shot magazine. I am sometimes carrying my Redhawk 44mag, which used to be a big pistol. Now a lot of the guides have the 454 Casull, or even more popular is the 500 S&W. I will get back to this in a bit, living here have to wait for the powder to come on a barge, can't just go to the store for it.
    TxGx, dont have pix but go to marlin.com and search 1895SBL. They got pix there. Didnt know about the movie, what load did they like for a T-Rex? Might be what I'm looking for.
    Last edited by boznarras; 01-23-2016 at 11:50 PM.

  11. #10
    Senior Member phelonius's Avatar
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    Dixie Gun Works muzzleloading, blackpowder and rare antique gun supplies.

    I believe this is what they use on T Rex. Not recommended for grizz.
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    Phelonius

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