View Full Version : loads for 50/70 govt.

January 19, 2005, 06:03 PM

I've not been able to find any loading info on the 50/70 Black Powder cartridge.
Do any of the members here have any data they would be willing to share?
I'm looking for a low velocity round for target shooting.

January 19, 2005, 08:43 PM
Are you talking black powder or smokeless. I dont know if your going to find any smokless data, I went through 3 of my loading books and there is nothing on the 50-70.
Some books have loads for older 45-70 loads and if you reduce that by 10% or better you should be ok, but really if your shooting older guns made for black powder you really shouldnt shoot smokless.
If your shooting black powder, and since you havent said one way or the other the 50 is diamater and the 70 is the ammount of black powder. If your looking to reduce the load you have to be cairful about casses that are not fully loaded with powder, the primer can flash across the top of the powder and cause very erratic pressure changes and can be devestating to the gun and shooter.
Also any one that shairs load data must add the disclamer that was put out on one of the threads from a staff member. This is required. and a good idea.

January 19, 2005, 09:25 PM
I'm sorry I was unclear, I'm looking for loading info on Black Powder.
I know the original cartridge used 70gr. of Black Powder with a 425 grain bullet, but that seems excesive.
I've seen info on the .45/70, could I use these figures as a starting point?

January 20, 2005, 05:07 PM
And I have loaded light loads as little as 50 grans but I do worry about not enough space taken up in the case. I think that as long as you check how full the case is you should be ok.
Put smaller ammouts of powder droping 5 granes at a time and see how full the cass is and as long as the primer can NOT become uncovered it shouldnt be a problem but not knowing the 50 70 I wouldnt go less than 50.
I know that with 50 in my 45 70 as long as I dont point the gun down I have powder over the primer. And it shoots, but I will also add that its not that accurate. They like full casses which means the total weight.
I think you should research more on the internet for the 50 70
Good luck
Ps what kind of gun is it?

January 20, 2005, 05:12 PM
But the following link sells a loading manual for all black powder cart's and might help. Its only 24$


January 20, 2005, 11:34 PM
I've come up with info on a 50/70 loaded with 55 gr, for a lighter load, for carbines.
the rifle is a Sharps carbine.

Jim Watson
January 21, 2005, 12:20 AM
For loading black powder cartridges with real black powder, the case should be full up to the base of the bullet at least, no airspace. That matters more than the weight. Black powder usually works best when compressed at least a little. If more than a VERY little it should be done with a compression die instead of squashing the bullet down on it. Bullets should be lubed with a black powder lube like SPG, the hard wax on ordinary bulk cast bullets is not much good with black.

There is a lot of good information over at the Shiloh board.

There are a lot of good products at Buffalo Arms

Is your Sharps an original or a repro?
I have shot a friend's real deal conversion carbine. It is good for about a minute of Apache, but a blast to shoot.

January 21, 2005, 10:22 AM
It's a real conversion, which has been checked out by my gunsmith.
What do you mean "good for an Apache minute"?
Didn't it shoot well? Problems?
What kind of loads were you shooting?
I was planning on starting with 55gr. FFg and 420 bullet.

Jim Watson
January 21, 2005, 10:58 AM
By "minute of Apache" I meant that with a case full of FFg and a 450 grain bullet it was about accurate enough to hit an enemy at cavalry ranges. He had not made the effort to find a top load for the old gun, he only shoots it on what another friend calls "ceremonial occasions."

Many of these old guns have oversize barrels. When converted from percussion to cartridge, the barrels were gauged. I think at .5225" Anything over was relined, anything under was used as is. The sudden acceleration of black powder and a soft bullet should make a .512" bullet "bump up" to fit a .52 barrel well enough for the cavalry.

All I can say is to give yours a try and let us know how it works out.