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Old January 31, 2000, 10:16 AM   #1
Bob S
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Join Date: August 28, 1999
Posts: 107
First, let me say Im NOT much of a reloader! When I was a kid, I bought a lee hand press and .38 dies. Reloaded for a while, but then gave it up because it took too long. I just bought a Marlin Guide gun in 45/70 and realized how expensive factory ammo is. (last box of 20 cost me $21.00) So here are my guestions:
1. If I bought 45/70 dies for the old lee hand press, how much could I expect to save loading 45/70?
2. Is it worth the effort to use the lee hand press, or should I move up to a progressive? (Note, I probably wont shoot hundreds of rounds of 45/70 at a sitting, maybe 30-40)
3. Where is the best place to find info on hot loads for the 45/70?
Anything else I need to help me load for this round???
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Old January 31, 2000, 01:56 PM   #2
Paul B.
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Join Date: March 28, 1999
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Bob. You got to walk before you can run. Unless you plan on loading many hundreds of rounds, I see no need for a progressive press. Any good single stage press will be more than adequate for your needs.
I still use my old Rockchucker press for handgun ammo, and load several thousand a month. Of course, I am retired and have all the time in the world.
I also cast all my lead bullets, including those for two 45-70 rifles. (a Marlin and a Ruger #1)
I'm not sure from your post if you are using a reloading press, ot those Lee hammer them in, and hammer them out dies. They sure are slow, but have their place. (I can see the flames now.)
Anyway, I hope I have helped you out some. BTW, those 45-70 kick like hell with the hotter loads. My Marlin is one of the first "New" models with the curved buttplate.
No recoil pad, and a couple of boxes of the hotter loads will leave an impression off the bench. Let me know how you come out.
Paul B.
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Old January 31, 2000, 02:48 PM   #3
Bob S
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Join Date: August 28, 1999
Posts: 107
Paul, I guess I should have been more clear. The press I have now is a Lee Hand Press, it is actually a press, but it does not mount on a bench.... designed to use in your hands. It accepts all Lee Factory dies, it is basically a singlestage press that you cant mount. Got it as a gift years ago. Does the 45/70 require much more leverage than hangun cartriges, if so, the hand press may not be the answer. (And no, this is not the old lee loader hammer it in kit... those would be REAL slow I would think.)

If I can ask, how much does it cost on average to load a box of 20 45/70 rounds... is it a significant savings?
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Old January 31, 2000, 10:55 PM   #4
SEshooter
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Join Date: November 5, 1999
Posts: 11
Bob, I just loaded some for my Ruger tonight. You are right, the factory stuff is expensive! The break down came out to $0.52per round with new brass. Once you aquire the brass the cost drops to $0.22 per round. With new brass its still almost a 50% savings! This was figured with hard cast bullets and a mild load of powder (40ish grains) for grenaral shooting. Shopping around and the cost can be less. A game load will not be much more, maybe .10 more per round with jacketed bullets. Good luck and enjoy your 45/70. There great fun to shoot!
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Old February 11, 2000, 01:45 PM   #5
AEM
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Join Date: November 1, 1999
Posts: 171
I would suggest compromising between the Lee setup and a progressive loader. Buy a single stage press like the RCBS Rockchucker and a three die set and shellholder from RCBS, Lee, Redding, etc. Get a powder scale and some measuring dippers, or a scale if you want to speed it up a little. Buy several reloading manuals, for example the Speer or Sierra.

Then do some research to find some lead bullets and a suitable powder that shoot well in your rifle and buy them in bulk.

Once you are comfortable, work up some jacketed bullet loads as well. This set up isn't as fast as a progressive loader, but you can safely load some very high quality ammunition a lot faster than with the Lee hand press.

Have fun.
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Old February 11, 2000, 08:40 PM   #6
LOCHFAL
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Join Date: January 7, 2000
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Bob, I don't have the 45/70 but I just bought the .444 last year. I bought two boxes of factory loads and decided I had spent enough. My reloads for it are much more affordable. I spend about $.17 per round now as opposed to $1.10 for factory. I'm sure your savings would be similar.
As to the hand press, I have one of the LEE hand presses that you can get for about 25 bucks and although I have not used it on the .444 or 45/70 I have used it for .223 and .308 without a problem. It does require a good bit of leverage to size the long cartridge but I don't think it should be a problem as long as you lube the case good first.
Good Luck
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