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Old December 3, 2016, 04:53 PM   #1
BravoWhiskey
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Join Date: October 4, 2016
Posts: 6
Where to get started with loading variables?

First post for this black powder rookie. I've been shooting my '61 Navy percussion revolver for awhile, and got so enamored of it, I've moved up to black powder cartridge rifle. I've shot now about a hundred rounds of (expensive) store bought rounds in my new .45-70 Sharps Sporting #3. My best 4-shot grouping was 3" at 150 yards, but lately I'm scattering them around several inches or more at 100 yards. I want to start loading BP and push my distance out to 300 yards, then to 650. Eventually I'd like to consider a trip to Montana to try my hand at the 1,000.

Now I've collected 100 cases, time to start reloading. To practice, I've purchased a Lyman T-Mag kit and have loaded several batches of .38's and .357's for my Smithy-Westie 686. Not sure, though, on where to start and on what variables to test first on loading for my .45-70.

I've gathered up a couple of lbs of 1/2 Fg, Ffg, and Fffg Swiss powder, 50 .459" RN 520 gr lubed bullets, 50 .459" Creedmore-style 545 gr. lubed bullets, and .030" vegetable fiber wads. I'm going to use Federal Large Magnum Pistol primers until I can locate some Fed 215's (is this okay?). Should I start with shooting 25 each of the 520 grain and 545 grain bullets with everything else constant (using 1/2Fg), and next change up the powder? Once I get the 215 primers, will this screw up the load data I have already acquired. Not sure the most efficient way to get started on this and wanted expert advice.

Semper Fi,
1/23 Marines, Al Anbar 04-05
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Old December 6, 2016, 02:40 AM   #2
Chowmif16
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Join Date: April 22, 2012
Location: Huntsville, Utah
Posts: 106
Crap,
I just spent 20 minutes writing a response that would solve all the worlds problems and get you shooting bulls eyes at 3000 yards when the hotel internet quit. Bugger.

I would write it again, but I'm afraid that I would be rewarded with Internet failure again.

So here is the short version:
Buy two books.
1. Loading the Black Powder Rifle Cartridge, by Paul A Matthews.
2. Shooting the Black Powder Cartridge Rifle, by Paul A Matthews.

Also, PM me with your email and I would be happy to write out a bunch of starting pointers.

You will have a great time with it, but it will be a long road if you want to shoot out at 300-1000 yards.
You mentioned variables. There are lots of them. Really. Lots.
Loads even. Quite a few. Many. Bunches. Tons. A lot.

Every one is fun to solve.

Cheers, chowmi.
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