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Old November 22, 2011, 08:17 PM   #1
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Using smokeless in my 45-70 sharps

Been trying to get some loading suggestions using smokeless powder
with cast bullets in my sharps rifle...My CONCERN IS PRESSURE issues.
It is a Pedersoli 1874 model..I just want to keep it safe is all..I wrote to the
company,but have never gotten a reply from them..I am certain it will handle
the loading data recommended for the older Trap Door rifles....Let me know what you think please.....John
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Old November 22, 2011, 08:26 PM   #2
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16.5 grains of Unique was a very accurate and low pressure load, that gave the same velocities as black powder when firing a 400 to 435 grain bullets.
I used 16 even with 500 grain bullets.

That was the old Unique. The new "cleaner burning" Unique may not be the same, but I bet a call to Alliant would tell you.
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Old November 22, 2011, 09:07 PM   #3
Jim Watson
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All Pedersoli .45-70s are proof tested for use with the SAAMI maximum of 28,000 CUP ammunition. The late Dick Trenck, US rep for Pedersoli, said:

"Although it is unpleasant to shoot maximum pressure loadings, we do permit the use of ammunition which does not exceed 29007 psi or CUP in these BP Ctg Rifles, regardless of their caliber. This allowable maximum pressure may be obtained using either black powder or smokeless powder loadings.
When using smokeless powder it is the responsibility of the reloader to use only the correct type of powder as well as the correct weight of powder in conjunction with the type and weight of bullet being reloaded.

Use ONLY the printed reloading charges listed by the powder manufacturer and which show the chamber pressure for each such reloading combination.

We recommend the Accurate Arms reloading book #2 (phone 800 416 3006 ) as meeting all our requirements for bullet types, pressure readings and powder charge selections.

Other powder and bullet manufacturers books are equally recommended if they list all the required data."

Manuals differ. Hodgdon goes up to that 28,000 for a few loads in their "Trapdoor" data but most are down around 22,000 or less. A STARTING load with many of their powders will equal or exceed black powder velocities at pressures under 20,000.

Lyman does not show Trapdoor loads much heavier than 17,000 and put the 28,000 CUP data in the "Lever Action" section. A Lyman Lever Action starting load is in there with the Hodgon Trapdoor data.

Confusing, maybe.
I would go in with a medium burning powder at black powder velocity, say a 405 at 1200. If you want more fun than that, there is tested data for heavier loads.
Actually, I only load real black powder in the old calibers, even for modern guns. Truthfully, even that is more than I like for target shooting and my BPCR match guns are .40-65 and .38-55.
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Old November 22, 2011, 10:58 PM   #4
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Location: West Texas
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Back about 10 or 15 years ago when I first started shooting 45-70's I use to shoot 28gr. of IMR 4198 and 485 gr. lead cast bullets from my first Shiloh. After that first year I switched to black powder in my single shot rifles and have never shot modern powder from them since. I still shoot modern powder in my lever guns and don't go over 405 gr. bullets. I have been shooting 28gr. of IMR4198 and 350gr. gas checked bullets from my 1886 lever rifle. I also shoot factory hollow point loads from my 1886 lever rifle.
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Old November 22, 2011, 11:31 PM   #5
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wyosmith, re unique, I actually used to load appr 16 grains of unique behind 110 grain GI carbine bullets in my 30-06. That was a sweet load. it was about the same as a standard carbine round, I think.

Popped a squirrel or two with them.
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Old November 23, 2011, 12:22 PM   #6
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I used this chart off Hodgdon website, 3031 & Varget in my Trapdoor.
US Navy Retired,NRA Life Member,SASS member, Time magazine's Person of the Year 2006!
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Old November 23, 2011, 12:24 PM   #7
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Sorry double post please delete.
US Navy Retired,NRA Life Member,SASS member, Time magazine's Person of the Year 2006!
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Old November 23, 2011, 04:03 PM   #8
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Varget is one of the best powders for the gives good velocity without the pressure...look at the Hogdon manual and you will see what I mean.

Don't think you have to worry about the strength of the Ped Sharps is Very strong. It is not any fun to shoot with the big loads so yiou will probly want to keep the loads light just to have more fun.....

Don't worry about killing power, Shot a buffalo with mine. Load was a 500gr. JSP at -1200fps and it shot right though the beast. Broke a rib on the way in and shattered the shoulder on the way out...the bullet raised a huge cloud of dust out in the prairie behing the buff.
Maker of Horse Tack and Cowboy Gear.

Mister, why do you carry a 45? "Cause Sam Colt don't make a 46."
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Old November 24, 2011, 08:46 AM   #9
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thank you for your replies and have a nice holiday....Befor I forget my bullets are 500 grain round nose..cast of course....
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Old November 24, 2011, 01:08 PM   #10
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in my pedersoli sharps target,i use h-4198. 27grs with the 525 pointed and round nose postel,s and 33grs with the 405 flat nose bullets,i have never shot jacketed bullets out of my sharps,no need to. i have shot many hunderd,s of rounds with not a single problem. eastbank.

Last edited by eastbank; January 24, 2012 at 09:26 AM.
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Old November 24, 2011, 01:47 PM   #11
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This is a black powder era action and AA5744 worked well in the rifle.

45/70 Martini Henry

26" Shilen Barrel

405 LRN 26.5gr AA5744 R-P cases WLR
29-Apr-04 T = 80 °F
Ave Vel = 1294
Std Dev = 14
ES = 40
Low = 1274
High = 1314
N = 15

405 LRN 27.0gr AA5744 R-P cases WLR
24-Mar-04 T = 70 °F
Ave Vel = 1284
Std Dev = 23
ES = 80
Low = 1263
High = 1343
N = 12

405 LRN 27.5gr AA5744 R-P cases WLR
24-Mar-04 T = 70 °F
Ave Vel = 1323
Std Dev = 14
ES = 38
Low = 1307
High = 1345
N = 5

If I'm not shooting, I'm reloading.
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