PDA

View Full Version : Was there ever a Semi-Auto 45-70?


barnbwt
October 29, 2012, 09:14 PM
Well, was there?

I've been looking at these weird/cool Steyr M95 milsurp rifles (unrelated to my question), and being straight-pulls, they made me think of semi-autos. Since ammo is non-existant for the Steyrs, I've been checking out rechambering job projects others have tried, and 45-70 came up. Then it hit me; why hasn't anyone made a semi rifle (not even an AR upper, for Pete's sake! :)) in one of America's most storied cartridges? Closest I found was some guy's blog on attempting to convert an AK to 45-70 with chopped-up Madsen mags.

His mags sure look like they'd be a hoot to empty!
AK in 45-70 Build Project (http://pookieweb.dyndns.org:61129/45-70/45-70.htm)

I know it's pretty much the same as a 458 SOCOM round, but with all the tricks a reloader has in the 45-70, an auto-repeater would be very adaptable. If they got the SVT-40 to work (fairly) reliably with the rimmed 7.62 round, it should be equally plausible for the 45, right? (The concept of a light/short carbine like the M95 in 45-70 is cool, adding a gas-tube would be cooler :D; right up there with the FrankenRuger, I suppose :p)

TCB

tahunua001
October 29, 2012, 10:08 PM
I suppose probably because its so close to 450 bushmaster and 458 socom but also is a rimmed cartridge so it would no doubtedly have lover capacity and be more finnicky about extraction, operation, etc etc.

jimbob86
October 29, 2012, 10:17 PM
If they got the SVT-40 to work (fairly) reliably with the rimmed 7.62 round, it should be equally plausible for the 45, right?

Well .... if you were relying on it to break, yeah, then it was reliable.....

barnbwt
October 29, 2012, 10:24 PM
I suppose probably because its so close to 450 bushmaster and 458 socom

Are those loadings typically more common than 45-70? (I'm new to this whole big-bore thing, you see) Are they as variable in loadings as the 45, or do they top-out sooner?

Well .... if you were relying on it to break, yeah, then it was reliable.....

...dream-smasher...*sob
;)
I was under the impression SVT's were fairly good about not breaking when the gas was set up correctly (I do know their custom-fitted mags were an issue, though). If overgassed they'd certainly splinter the stock and peen themselves to death, though.

But yeah, by the time semi's came around, no one had designed a new rifle in 45-70 for like, what, 50 years? I just hear so much praise for the round and its many possibiliities from lever guys, bolt guys, and double-rifle guys. It'd be nice to avoid neck-sizing a full-power round on the load bench, for a change :)


TCB

tahunua001
October 29, 2012, 10:37 PM
SVT 40s broke a lot but that is due to the fact that soviet soldiers were not trained on how to properly maintain them. when properly maintained they aren't a bad design at all.

45-70 is a very common round that's been around for almost a century and a half but it has always been considered a trapdoor or lever action round. as militaries switched to bolt actions the bottleneck cartridges become more popular and by the time semis came around most militaries went with the same cartridge that their bolt actions were using at the time.

fast forward to modern semi auto military pattern rifles where you have more modular setups like the AR15 where there people want a big bore to play with and they people tend to go with non rimmed cases because they allow for higher ammo capacity and easier magazine design. the 45-70 is way more popular than the big bore semi offerings but it's just more suited to lever actions and break actions than it is toward semi autos.

johnwilliamson062
October 29, 2012, 11:26 PM
when properly maintained they aren't a bad design at all.
A salesman once told my father the same thing about a Porsche.

raftman
October 30, 2012, 02:12 AM
Why get hung up on the SVT-40? There have been plenty of more successful semi-autos in the rimmed 7.62x54R cartridge, the SVD or PSL for example, or commercial firearms such as the Saiga and VEPR rifles.

kozak6
October 30, 2012, 05:37 AM
There was a lot of talk about converting a .410 Saiga to .45-70 a few years back, but I don't seem to recall that it went anywhere.

I'd love to be wrong, though.

hodaka
October 30, 2012, 07:05 AM
A Gatling if you don't mind wheeling it around.

tahunua001
October 30, 2012, 11:43 AM
A Gatling if you don't mind wheeling it around.
are you kidding? I would love to be able to take a gatling gun squirrel hunting :D

Slopemeno
October 30, 2012, 01:26 PM
I read an article about 35 years ago on converting a sporter BAR to .458 win mag. That'd pretty much do it, whatever it is.

Stevie-Ray
November 1, 2012, 09:28 PM
Cobray Street Sweeper was once available in .45-70 Govt. I had one in my hot little hands intent on buying it just for novelty and grins. Let it go and I've been sorta kicking myself ever since.

teeroux
November 1, 2012, 10:17 PM
Probably never been an autoloader for the same reason as for every other black powder cartridge. Black powder. It makes too much of a mess to stay functional for long. When smokeless came out so did a new era of cartridges to build around.

barnbwt
November 1, 2012, 10:34 PM
Cobray Street Sweeper in 45-70 (http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=313553686)
That'd be a good sight nastier than a lever action :D. Were those semi-auto, though? I think you'd need a new hand after shooting some Buffalo Bore, though... Not sure about the seller's describing it as shooting 45-70 or 410. I thought they were signifcantly different sizes at the case head :confused:? In my research I've also come across a number of people converting Saiga 410s to 444 Marlin guns successfully (the cartridges nearly share the same envelope).

------------------

Say what you want about whether it'd be "prudent" or not, semi-autos are popular, 45/70 is a round beloved by reloaders and hunters, and rimmed semi-autos have been successful numerous times. It seems odd that no one has combined these in all the permutations of gunnery that've been tried up till now.

It seems like it would have been easier for Browning or Remgington to develop a 45/70 BAR or 750 than to try and create a "new" caliber from whole cloth, just to duplicate something with a 100+ year track record. Especially since I've heard 45/70 is big in Europe still, and isn't considered a "military cartridge" anymore (valid for civilians to use).

458 SOCOM and 500 Beowulf, while fine cartridges, don't perform significantly differently from certain 45/70 loads, and are both proprietary calibers with no guarantee of continued support. Is there even much flexibility for reloaders on those chamberings (since they are so compact)?

Most of my ideas are merely good concepts in need of a market, but this one seems like an untapped market in search of a product...

TCB

Rainbow Demon
November 1, 2012, 11:26 PM
A co-worker, who was not a gun as gun savy as most of us, was given a .45-70 Trapdoor Springfield by a elderly friend of his in return for cleaning up and refinishing two trapdoor rifles they old guy had never fired.
His old friend had bought both rifles for $1.25 each back in the 20's or 30's.

Aside from a too shiny wood finish the rifles looked great.

Not having any idea what cartridge the rifle was meant for he just used .410 shells because they fit the chamber.
On seeing the rifle I told him about the .45-70 cartridge and where to look for them.

barnbwt
November 2, 2012, 09:39 PM
From a Google search on whether there were any pump-action 45-70s ;)

It's amazing what can be accomplished by someone who's willing to put the time and effort into it on a one-off basis, and .45-70 seems to inspire people to go over the top. Wouldn't surprise me if there's been autoloaders rigged up for it...

"Hee hee hee... Them 45's, they'll make a man crazy..."

Seems like this question is an old one (as old as the interwebs, anyway), and the answer is NO. Can't seem to find any reason why no one's tried a 45-70 auto, and I haven't found any strong evidence suggesting it can't be done. Just a whole lot of us yahoos saying it's both brilliant and assinine :D. But, for now, they've only been done in single/double shot and lever action.

Definitively the closest thing that's been done is the AK in 444 Marlin the guys at Tromix put together (supposedly).

TCB

Stevie-Ray
November 3, 2012, 09:27 PM
Cobray Street Sweeper in 45-70
That'd be a good sight nastier than a lever actionOh fine, that ad just made me even sicker, as the one I was tempted to buy, back when they were new, was less than $400!

And yes, they were considered semi-auto.

johnwilliamson062
November 3, 2012, 10:54 PM
http://www.gunsamerica.com/989736047/45-70+Street+Sweeper+Pistol.htm

Now that would be difficult to handle.