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Old November 26, 2012, 08:02 AM   #1
Doc Hoy
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45-70 Springfield performance question

As perhaps you might assume, I am going to have to make myself a lot smarter about the capabilities of the 45-70 Springfield.

Can one of you experts help here?

What I am interested in (at this point) is what kind of accuracy can be expected at 100 yards using an original barrel in perfect condition with 70 gr. of black powder and a home cast bullet when the cartridge is loaded by an expert at reloading 45-70 for accuracy.

I see this situation as being optimal. My situation will clearly be at a lower level of performance because:

1. The barrel is not perfect.
2. The casting will not be perfect.
3. The load will not be perfect.
4. I am a lousey shot.

Armed with the information I am seeking, I intend to determine:

1. How well the rifle shoots
2. How well my rounds shoot
3. How well I shoot (I have not shot a rifle since the Navy in about 1993.)
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Old November 26, 2012, 10:19 AM   #2
Strafer Gott
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Buy some Remington .45-70-405 Government for practice in the meanwhile.
They hit pretty close.
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Old November 26, 2012, 10:26 AM   #3
Chowmif16
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Springfield accuracy

Doc,
I can't directly answer your question, however I have an original Springfield Trapdoor that I have shot (about 10 years ago). I found that even with a barrel that had some pitting it was pretty darn accurate. Paul Matthews talks about being happy with a gun that shoots within about 1 minute of arc. Obviously he spent decades working on all of the variables.
I've done more reading than actual shooting and working up loads for my 45-70 Sharps, and what I have learned is that there are an enormous amount of variables. So, I wouldn't necessarily assume right away that it's your gun if your patterns are not good!
I'll let the experts give you a grouping number... my 45-70 groups at 100yds are nothing to speak of, even with a new sharps.

Cheeers,
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Old November 26, 2012, 02:25 PM   #4
Doc Hoy
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Strafer and F16

I will take your advice, Strafer.

F16,

Very good news about the performane of a less than perfect barrel.

I went to work on the bore of the rifle I bought on Saturday and the thing came out looking pretty darned good.

The rifling is very good. The finish on the surface of the lands and grooves has some very minor pitting. Very minor indeed.

We shall see.
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Old November 26, 2012, 07:39 PM   #5
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My 84 carbine would do 4 inches at 100 yards with 70 grains of Pyrodex and a 405 bullet. I think it could have done better if I'd played with loads a little more.
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Old November 27, 2012, 05:13 AM   #6
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More good info

Tnx Hawg.
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Old November 27, 2012, 05:38 AM   #7
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Just read an email response...

From Titan Reloading recommending the 405.

Got my eye on an auction on GB for some dies, some brass and some bullets.

Fifty bucks right now but that price will definitely go up.
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Old November 28, 2012, 10:46 AM   #8
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The barrel being less than pristine doesn't mean it wont shoot. My friend got himself a 22 (mod 60) that had been in a house fire and got wet and rusty from sitting after it had been drenched with fireman hose water. We "knew" it was to be a lost cause but cleaned it up anyway and I'll be darned if it didn't shoot better than my 10/22.

So the only thing you can do is to try and hope for the best. I have no knowledge of BP loads but I know that RX7 works very very well in many 45/70 loads.
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Old November 28, 2012, 10:56 AM   #9
Jim Watson
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You could check with "Woody" on the Shiloh board.
He was shooting a Trapdoor at the Southeastern Regional Midrange in Georgia last month and doing pretty well with it. It kind of fell off at 600 yards but was right in there with the custom and sporting rifles at 200 and 300.

http://www.shilohrifle.com/forums/index.php
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Old November 28, 2012, 11:22 AM   #10
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Ed and Jim

Thanks for the inputs.

I have looked closely at the muzzle and it appears the shortening of the barrel was done by someone with less than the right tools. The barrel was not crowned and I am not certain how square it is. This will be another thing I will keep in mind as I go shoot the thing.



Looks like the work was done a long time ago.
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Old November 28, 2012, 11:32 AM   #11
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Heres some more shots

Lock after a little clean-up



Breach



and receiver

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Old November 28, 2012, 11:56 AM   #12
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I own a carbine looking cut down rifle with a primo barrel. Back when I could see I could put five rounds into two inches @ 100yds, currently can't put two rounds into five inches.

The bores on the Springfields weren't necessarily .458. Mine is 462, so I ordered a mold for that calibre loaded it with a bunch of pyrodex, put a milk carton spacer over the powder, kaboom.
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Old November 28, 2012, 12:19 PM   #13
Strafer Gott
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Hawg, is that 70gr. weighed pyrodex, crush compressed with the bullet?
I'm casting about for a proper recipe for a BP plinking load. Thanks.
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Old November 28, 2012, 06:37 PM   #14
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70 grains measured and bullet compressed. Its not crushed.
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Old November 28, 2012, 09:14 PM   #15
Jim Watson
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Fake powders like Pyrodex are figured on volume measure.
The load would be however much Pyrodex filled a measure that held 70 grains of FFg.

As Salvadore says, Trapdoor barrels run large. You need either a large diameter bullet, a hollowbase bullet (like 1873) or a soft bullet bumped up by real black powder.
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Old November 29, 2012, 02:50 AM   #16
Doc Hoy
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Hmmmm

I am just about ready to get a mold for bullets

Sounds like I had better find out the bore diameter before I waste some money.
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Old November 29, 2012, 06:34 PM   #17
Hawg Haggen
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Quote:
Fake powders like Pyrodex are figured on volume measure.
The load would be however much Pyrodex filled a measure that held 70 grains of FFg.
I should have said measured by volume.

Quote:
You need either a large diameter bullet, a hollowbase bullet (like 1873) or a soft bullet bumped up by real black powder.
Don't think for one minute that Pyrodex wont bump a bullet up.
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Old November 29, 2012, 06:38 PM   #18
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OK.
I am unacquainted with Pyrodex. My game (NRA BPCR) allows it but I don't know anybody who uses it.
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Old November 29, 2012, 07:52 PM   #19
Hawg Haggen
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Pyrodex is basically the same as bp but it has less potassium nitrate and uses potassium perchlorate to make up the difference.
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Old November 29, 2012, 11:39 PM   #20
Jim Watson
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I know. I am not going to put that stuff in MY nice rifles.

Maybe in a blister packed straightline so as to get a longer hunting season because they don't sell the real stuff at Cheapmart.
There was an effort to get black powder classed with smokeless and subs for shipping, but I guess it fell through.
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