View Full Version : 45-70 reloading for Pedersoli Sharps

February 22, 2009, 05:09 PM
I have recently purchased a Pedersoli Sharps and now I am ready to reload.I did a little research and decided to try some IMR 3031 and some H4895. I had the Hodgen reloading chart and said I should be good to go once I get some Oregon trail bullets. When I received the bullets in the mail I was quit exicted except the reloading chart that came with the bullets was quite different than the hodgen chart. For example, the hodgen chart says to start with 45.5 gr 3031 max at 48.5. The chart that came with the bullets start with 34 gr 3031 and max 37. both charts are based on Trapdoor rifles and using the 405 gr lead bullet. Why such a drastic difference? Also, will it be safe using the lower powder charge since there will b a lot more airspace? Any help will be much appreciated.

February 22, 2009, 05:46 PM
I'd want to find the powder that was the bulkiest so as to have the best load density possible. The rifle will be safe with those loads in any case.
My Hodgdon manual lists the 405 grain Trapdoor/antique replica load of IMR 3031 as a Max load of 51.5 grains. That is the only load listed for 3031.
The load listed for IMR 4895 is a max of 52.5 grains.
Where did you find your Hodgdon data?
The best load density is with the holy black (FFg), what that gun was designed for.

February 22, 2009, 06:11 PM
I found the hodgdon data on their website. I would think its pretty up to date.

February 22, 2009, 07:55 PM
Every once in a while I get the urge to use a .45-70 on deer and elk. I discovered years ago (with my original '86) that 4831 and 400 grain cast bullets provided excellent accuracy in the field and on the range. I use this same load in a first generation modern Marlin '95 with the same results. I hunt in the mountains and stalking is a necessity... so the range, generally, does not exceed 125 yards. I have had one or two occasions to shoot nearer 200 yards with no problem. All of these rifles have iron sights only. (This is also the reason why I can use both flintlock and caplock for big game).

You might give 4831 a try as it is rather bulky and works well with heavier bullets in straight sided cases.

February 25, 2009, 07:35 PM
I am going to buy a sharps myself, but I am trying to learn all I can before doing so. What everyone is saying is that black powder works best in these rifles for accuracy and you need a bullet some where inbetween 500grn to 535 grn. The rifle twist in these guns will make a smaller bullet tumble, it is designed for the big bullets.

Maybe you need to hang out on some of the BP cartridge sites.

February 26, 2009, 03:45 PM
The magic load in my ArmiSport Sharps 45/70 is 67grs of 2F goex .060 card and Lyman .535 Postell bullet ...I`ve been shooting a ragged hole at 100 yards with it and 3 inch groups at 200 yards ......
KAT sounds like you have it figured out ...;) when are you going to give in and buy one ? 2Fish told me he`s got the heat turned up on ya ...haha :eek:

March 1, 2009, 01:36 AM
"The rifle twist in these guns will make a smaller bullet tumble, it is designed for the big bullets."

I deffinatly agree K.A.T. that these guns were designed to shoot the longer heavier bullets. I am using 525gn postells and having fair results... still haven't got the perfect load but I'm working on it. As for lighter bullets key holeing, I actually started shooting my Pedersoli Quigley 45/70 with the Hornady Leverloution bullets. At 325 gn flex tip they shouldn't work very well... but I was very suprised to find that I was getting 3" groups at 200yrds with a vernier tang and globe front sight and perfect round holes. I don't like shooting these however as I think they are almost too hot for my rifle, and now that I've got the reloading equipment I don't buy factory anymore.
As I said, I'm still having mixed results with accuracy, but I'm very new to it and there is alot I have to learn and try. Best so far has been 3" group at 100yrd, using 525gn postels, Imr 4198 powder and a .5gn dacron filler.

March 1, 2009, 09:16 AM
Yep these Italian made Sharps do have the freebore ..I experienced the tumbling bullets out of mine untill I went to .500 gr Lee mold 45/70 big improvement ...but still 4 inch groups at 100 yards .......but the largest mold for 45/70 Lee makes is the .500 gr ..........so Lyman molds I went ...I ordered a Lyman .535 gr Postell mold from Midway ...expencive yes but now I`m shooting one ragged hole groups at 100 yards ...
I found this mold site the other day ...the next to last bullet it the same as the Lyman .535 I`m useing ....but check out the last bullet ...550gr says Pedersoil chamber .....expencive mold though ...about 200 bucks ...but it`s on my wish list ..........http://www.pauljonesmoulds.com/45_caliberpage2.htm