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Old September 2, 2014, 09:48 AM   #1
Deja vu
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Looking for a history person. Help needed on 45-70-500 history.

I am just wondering what the velocity of the old 45-70-500 was? I have read report from about 1100 to about 1350. I am looking to make a modern nitro powder equivalent just for some fun plinking and need to know where to start.
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all 25 of my guns are 45/70 govt, 357 mag, 22 or 12 ga... I believe in keeping it simple
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Old September 2, 2014, 10:06 AM   #2
Jimro
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You are in the right range. Black powder isn't exactly a uniform propellant, and the barrel length of period firearms ranged from short carbines to long barreled "Buffalo Rifles."

I would say picking up a copy of Lyman #47 would be a good place to start. I think you can use both Unique and Red Dot to duplicate that load quite economically.

"Ruger No.1 ONLY". 10.0 gr Unique with a filler at 14,100 CUP, and 888 fps. and 14.8 grains MAX. with a filler at 33,700 CUP, and 1153 fps.

You should look at Trail Boss or 2400, and consider going down to the 405gr bullet that was adopted later. It would still be "historically correct" and there is a lot more load data available.

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Old September 3, 2014, 08:31 AM   #3
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I shoot BPCR using a M1985 High Wall in 45-70. I like to practice with smokeless powder to save on the cleaning hassles.

I found that 29 grs of 4891 gives me the same velocity and sight settings that my BP load does with zero pressure signs.

I also shoot a Remington Rolling block in 44-90 Sharps Bottle Neck. I went to 30 gr of 4198 to get the same velocity and sight settings as my BP loads in that rifle.
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Old September 3, 2014, 10:41 AM   #4
NoSecondBest
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Quote:
Black powder isn't exactly a uniform propellant
Huh? You'd better look into this one a bit. The long range black powder shooters are getting less fps variation than you get with smokeless powder, and have been for many years.
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Old September 3, 2014, 10:35 PM   #5
bbqncigars
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A favorite low level plinking round has been 10.5gr Unique behind a 405gr boolit. Accurate to 100yds, and no noticeable recoil.
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Old September 4, 2014, 11:10 AM   #6
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Cartridges of the World lists the original 45-70-500 load at 1315fps (70gr Fg-blk) 20" barrel.

RCBS Cast Bullet Manual #1 lists 500gr bullet loads in the 1300fps range with IMR 4198, IMR 4227, and 2400. (also lists higher level loads)

Some loads listed are above safe limits for Trapdoor Springfields.

What rifle are you using?
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Old September 6, 2014, 01:45 AM   #7
Barnacle Brad
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Quote:
consider going down to the 405gr bullet that was adopted later.
Wrong... the 405gr bullet was superceded by the 500gr bullet in 1882.

There were two 'standard' bullets for the 45-70 Govt cartridge:
The m1873 - 405gr hollow base bullet (carbine, with 55gr musket powder: 1100 - 1150fps and rifle, with 68-72gr musket powder: 1350fps); and the m1881 - 500gr 3 groove bullet (rifle and carbine, 55gr bp: 1150-1200fps) which became the "official rifle bullet" in 1882 (Spence Wolf).

Both bullets were used in commercial offerings into the 1900's.

There was also an m1898 rifle cartridge loaded with smokeless powder (40gr IMR 3031) to 1428fps using the 500gr m1881 bullet.

Ref: Loading Cartridges For The Original 45-70Springfield Rifle and Carbine, J.S. and Pat Wolf.

I use 25gr Accurate 5744 with a card wad, in my Trapdoor and Rolling Block.

Have fun!
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Last edited by Barnacle Brad; September 8, 2014 at 10:42 AM.
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Old September 8, 2014, 03:37 AM   #8
Jimro
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Quote:
Huh? You'd better look into this one a bit. The long range black powder shooters are getting less fps variation than you get with smokeless powder, and have been for many years.
Average, mean, or extreme spread?

But I think that you didn't understand the point I was making, we are talking a milspec load used by the US Military over the course of a few decades, using bullets made by multiple manfacturers, all used in rifles of various lengths. That is why there is a listed velocity range for the original loads, not because an individual lot wasn't high quality, but because there were so many lots and so many manufacturers of components.

Expect variation between suppliers, expect variation between lots. I wouldn't randomly swap FFFg loads between manufacturers just like I wouldn't swap load data between IMR4064 and AA4064.

Jimro
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Old September 8, 2014, 01:12 PM   #9
Barnacle Brad
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Into the weeds we go!

To answer the original question in as few words as possible -
The 500gr bullet mv:
Carbine, 1150 - 1200fps
Rifle, 1280 - 1315fps
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Old September 8, 2014, 03:25 PM   #10
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The first quantity manufacture of .45-70 at Frankford was in January 1874 and had a 405 grain bullet at 1350 fps, with a chamber pressure of about 19,000 psi. The case was inside primed (Benet) and made of a copper alloy commonly called "gilding metal". Over the years, many changes were made, mainly in case/primer construction. In 1882, a reloadable case with the Berdan primer was adopted, along with a 500 grain bullet. Four years later another reloadable cartridge, the Morse system, was adopted. Over the next years, there were several more experimental and test rounds made in more or less limited quantities. Even as late as 1897 tests were conducted with smokeless powder, a charge of 30.5 grains of DuPont No. 4 giving a velocity of 1428 fps with a chamber pressure of 18,000 psi with the 500 grain bullet. (Note that in this case, smokeless powder not only gave increased velocity, but did so at LESS chamber pressure, contrary to the usual belief that smokeless powder always means higher pressure.)

Carbine ammunition always used the 405 grain bullet, with a 55 grain (black) powder charge. As with the rifle cartridge, there were experiments, but not to the same extent. Adopted changes to the rifle cartridge case were automatically carried over to the carbine case.

FWIW, firing the 500 grain infantry load from a carbine is not a pleasant experience; the recoil is brutal.

Jim
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Old September 9, 2014, 08:42 AM   #11
Jim Watson
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Phil Sharpe showed the .45-70-500 at 1360 fps.

What rifle are you shooting Deja?
A full charge might be more fun than you can enjoy for extended plinking sessions. I know I top out with a .40-65. My old load was .40-56-404 for 1207 fps. I have changed bullets and load to .40-58-420 but have not yet chronographed it.
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Old September 9, 2014, 09:45 AM   #12
NoSecondBest
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Quote:
Average, mean, or extreme spread?

But I think that you didn't understand the point I was making, we are talking a milspec load used by the US Military over the course of a few decades, using bullets made by multiple manfacturers, all used in rifles of various lengths. That is why there is a listed velocity range for the original loads, not because an individual lot wasn't high quality, but because there were so many lots and so many manufacturers of components.

Expect variation between suppliers, expect variation between lots. I wouldn't randomly swap FFFg loads between manufacturers just like I wouldn't swap load data between IMR4064 and AA4064.

Jimro
No confusion on my part. I retired as an engineer and specialized in statistical analysis of parts and processes. Not the place to start that dialog here.
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Old September 9, 2014, 03:51 PM   #13
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Let's not go drifting, okay?
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