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Old May 25, 2022, 08:29 AM   #1
Clockwork
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Trapdoor Ammunition issues?

I have heard over and over again people religiously saying that these can only handle the lowest of low pressure loads and that even level action ammo would be dangerous in a trapdoor. However, i have never found any actual data to back this up despite scouring the internet for any evidence to back these claims. Contacting the Pedersoli company i was told to only use trapdoor loads HOWEVER was told that they have been tested to handle the same loads as falling block guns and MUST PASS to be sold. I went further and obtained info on the actual proof tests of the firearms they sell.

(linked here) http://bpcr.net/site_docs-results_sc...mits_09-04.htm

The email response is as follows
"To answer to your question about the ammunition, our Springfield Trapdoor rifles .45-70 caliber go through the same forced proof test of the much stronger Sharps and Rolling Block rifles actions.(By law we have to proof test all the guns in Europe).

It is true that our TD rifle is manufactured with improvements which are possible only with now- days technologies, however it comes from an original design which mechanic presented some weakness in the old days.
Therefore the suggestion is to use reloaded cartridge with black powder only that do not exceed the 18.000 PSI (1,241 bar) or to load commercial smokeless powder cartridge, light type with bullets within the 300 grains.

Our tests recorded 1250 fts with the 300 grains bullet in the Springfield Trapdoor Officer.​
"

Once again i am dumbfounded as the trapdoors in testing have been proven (proofed) to handle any standard modern 45-70 load. EU testing means that those guns didnt just pass the test of any modern load but fired 2 consecutive shots at 30% above it. Effectively a +p load. I am at a total loss and am hopeful that anyone can link me to some data or even evidence that these guns are in practice actually limited to the loads people claim. I cannot find even so much as a youtube video demonstrating that this is dangerous in a modern gun or a first hand account attesting that modern ammo made for lever actions caused any form of damage or failure to the firearm. I make no claims to what is or isn't true but rather am desperately trying to find any actual information on the subject that isn't based on either a 120 year old gun or hearsay. I am just looking for some real information that somone can back up one way or the other.
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Old May 25, 2022, 08:55 AM   #2
Drm50
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I have no doubt that the H&R and Pedersoli repros are safe with over the counter 45/70 ammo. 45/70 is loaded geared to weakest gun that may be out there, for liability reasons.
I have had both and both were used and owners had shot off the shelf Rem, Win, and Fed
ammo.
I shot them little because my interest is in originals in which I shoot cast , moderate loads of Unique. I also had original Rem Rolling Blocks, rebarreled originals and repros in which I shot same type of loads. I saw no reason to hot rod them.
I had Ruger #1, #3 and 1895 Marlin that I did load heavy with 300gr JHPs for hunting purposes.
I’ve killed deer with 322gr cast HP, running 1200fps with both TD & RB. I’ve shot 45/70s for 50yrs if I wanted to see how far a 45/70 can be pushed I would get #1 Ruger or Wycliffe.
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Old May 25, 2022, 09:06 AM   #3
Jim Watson
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Well, yes, as Dick Trenck said, a modern made Trapdoor can be shot with top loads.
Why Pedersoli is now recommending their rifles be treated as antiques, I don't know.

I don't think you have as much safety margin as with a falling block. But I don't know of anybody who tested one to destruction. In fact, the only demolished BPCRs I have seen illustrated were Rolling Blocks and that one old cast Ballard that blew up at the Q.

But here in the USA, we have to deal with those 120 year old rifles; there are a lot of people still shooting real Army surplus trapdoors. Hodgdon shows a 405 gr bullet at 1700 fps for 21000 CUP, which might be all the fun you want.


CIP maximum for .45-70 is 2200 bar = 31900 psi. Proof test is 25% over.
https://bobp.cip-bobp.org/en/tdcc_pu...idge_type_id=2

SAAMI maximum is 28000 in both CUP and pizeo. While there is no US government proof house, reputable manufacturers test their guns at 30-33% overload.
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Old May 25, 2022, 09:25 AM   #4
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SAAMI spec is 28 ksi/1930 bar, just below Pedersoli's CIP spec. In fact, in some strong modern actions (think Ruger No. 1) folks load them a lot higher than that. And why not? Well...

I load for both a vintage Trapdoor (1891) and a modern replica of the Winchester 1885. The Trapdoor gets BP and period correct cast bullets. The replica loads 300 Hornady FP over IMR-4198 for about 2,000 fps. According to Quickload, that's running right about SAAMI spec. Modern steel notwithstanding, this is a stronger action than the Sharps and rolling blocks Pedersoli mentions. And given the old timey stock design, this load kicks like the proverbial mule.

So, why should you not load up your replica Trapdoor? Proof tests are not operating tests. You may find cumulative damage to your rifle that shortens its life. And for what purpose, to experience more recoil?

Bottom line, it's your gun, bought for your purposes. The proof tests show that you won't have a safety issue inside the published limits. Let us know how it works out.

Last edited by ligonierbill; May 25, 2022 at 05:34 PM.
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Old May 25, 2022, 10:43 AM   #5
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welcome to TFL

I think at least part of your confusion is due to assumptions that simply are not valid. Perhaps its just your manner of speaking, but when you make broad general statements, I take them as such, and apply them to everything in the stated group. Later on your comments are about modern made trapdoors, which changes the discussion, a bit.

Quote:
I have heard over and over again people religiously saying that these can only handle the lowest of low pressure loads and that even level action ammo would be dangerous in a trapdoor. However, i have never found any actual data to back this up despite scouring the internet for any evidence to back these claims.
You say "these rifles" and you're talking about Trap Door Springfields. TO me, that includes ALL of them, from the 1873 originals to the guns coming off the reproduction lines today.

Not finding data on the Internet doesn't mean the data doesn't exist, all it means is that it isn't on the Internet, just as finding something on the Internet doesn't mean it actually exists.

Asking Pedersoli (or any modern maker) will get you information about what they build, and test, TODAY. They can't tell you about anyone else's guns or what was done with/to them by others in the past.

The Trap Door design is considered a weak action by today's standards. This does not mean they are made of spun glass it just means they won't take the pressure that different and more modern designs can handle. The Trap Door doesn't lock up like other stronger designs. That's not a flaw or a failure, its just a machine built well enough to do the job it was made to do at the time it was made, and not much else.

MODERN made Trap doors are somewhat stronger (in absolute terms) than originals, due to the use of modern, stronger steel alloys. While this does provide a greater margin of safety, it does not overcome the limitations of the design itself.

Pretty sure the biggest reason you aren't finding information about how strong modern reproduction 1873s are is because no one is buying them to test to destruction to "proove" what has been known for well over a century.

There's nothing stopping you (but $) from getting a modern repro 1873 and running 1886 Win level loads in it to see what happens, or doesn't happen. The old books say don't do that, but the old books are referring to the old rifles.

Ammo makers "standard" loads are made to be safe in everything, so that means keeping loads to levels that are safe in ORIGINAL 1873s because there are some still being used. Heavier factory loads do exist, but they are made for specific rifles and are not the "standard" loads.

The guns matter, and are by no means all equal. I've fired loads from my .45-70 Ruger that were safe in MY gun, but would be a 100% overload in a Trap Door and I don't need to see anyone actually doing it, to know that firing that load in a Trap Door would be a very bad idea.

Nearly all the information you're going to find was based on real experience with the original guns over the years. Some of that is repeated as dogma and applied to modern reproductions, but erring on the side of being safe is seldom a risk, while the opposite often is.
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Old May 25, 2022, 11:36 AM   #6
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Destruction testing has been done before on other rifles but I can find nothing on destruction testing of the original or modern pedersoli trapdoor springfield .
This would make an interesting magazine article ..." How Strong Is ..."
The boy's over at Gun's Magazine have always been into doing things like this ...
they did the Lone Ranger silver bullet tests ...casting , loading and shooting silver bullets , and several other interesting "projects" this would be right up their alley ... Heck they may have already done this and have an answer Send an E-mail to the Editor , Brent Wheat , at [email protected] .
If they haven't done a test , someone on the staff might know the answer ...and I think it's a good question to ask ...I bet Pedersoli has sold more than a few of these rifles .
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Old May 25, 2022, 12:02 PM   #7
Clockwork
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Thanks for the Info.

And sorry if i was being unspecific in my terms i am simply asking from ignorance because of the torrent of confusing information out there. I read pages where people say "it wont work" then read test results that say "It will work" but also get the response "We recommend you don't despite the numbers".

My reason foe asking is because i am shopping around for a rifle using the 45/70 cartage. I am not a fan of lever action guns (Sacrilege i know!) and while a sharps is a lovely firearm it still has that lever for the falling block. In the absence of a Bolt action gun the trapdoor seemed to meet all of my criteria. Single shot, correct ammo, fast action (considering), very simple construction, and easily reloaded greatly variable ammunition. But the more i looked into it the more leery i became because of hearing how careful i had to be with type of ammo.

After so many conflicting reports and opinions, even contacting the company i was still confused so the only logical step was to simply ask people with real world experience. So far this has been the most useful information i have gotten so i have to thank you for that.

This -"Ammo makers "standard" loads are made to be safe in everything, so that means keeping loads to levels that are safe in ORIGINAL 1873s because there are some still being used. Heavier factory loads do exist, but they are made for specific rifles and are not the "standard" loads."

Was perhaps the biggest "aha!" Moment as far as clearing the confusion. The definition of standard isnt quite as standard as i believed.

I suppose this leaves me where i started. Looking for a big game single shot. The trap doors DID take down buffalo back then so with or without the Winchester loads its got some power. I will defiantly keep all of this in mind as i continue to look.
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Old May 25, 2022, 01:17 PM   #8
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I understand where you're coming from . I've always felt a nice rolling block action would make up into a nice big bore rifle . The original rolling block was chambered in 45-70 and I believe modern reproductions are being made ...but not sure how strong they are .
Cabela's sells Pedersoli 45-70 reproduction for $1500.00 !
I think a used Ruger #1 in 45-70 runs about the same ...

I could be forced to live quite well with a Ruger #1 falling block ... we know how strong they are ! The sky's the limit !
Gary
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Old May 25, 2022, 02:47 PM   #9
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Welcome to TFL , I do try to cut newcomers some slack, but its easy for old guys to forget nobody starts out knowing what we've spent 40-60 years learning. I mean my responses to inform and educate, not chastise anyone.

The .45-70 was the .45-70-500 when created and adopted by the Army in 1873 for the 1873 rifle. Convention at the time was to use caliber (45) powder charge (70gr) and bullet weight (500gr) to identify the round. Conversationally, the bullet weight number was usually left off, and so it was the .45-70.

Different bullets and loads were tried and used, and eventually became more or less standard with a 500gr bullet for the infantry and a 405gr bullet for the cavalry carbines. Over time, use of the 500gr slug declined and the 405gr became the most common and was the bullet used by civilian ammo makers as "standard" and still is, to this day.

The .45-70 will certainly kill buffalo. (so will a lot of other rounds), and is widely thought of today as one of the "buffalo rifles" but it actually wasn't widely used for that, because it didn't appear until the very last days of the great buffalo shootings. It was other .44 and .45 caliber rounds which were widely used and by the time the .45-70 appears, the big commercial buffalo hunting era was already over.

The Army was not into hunting buffalo, they were happy with the .45-70s ability to put down a horse, (and at range) and most of the time, horse down meant man down as well or if not down, on foot and at a serious disadvantage.

Everything was black powder. You'll seldom find accounts from the period calling it black powder though, it was just "gunpowder" because there was only one kind. Calling it black powder generally didn't happen until smokeless powder was developed and just saying gunpowder wasn't enough to easily distinguish between the two.

Black powder has limits, both velocity and pressure, and when it was the only game in town, guns were made to handle those limits, and with a bit of a safety margin.

AND, the period from the 1870s to 1900 saw a number of huge improvements in firearm and ammunition technology. Better gun designs, better steels, and better (smokeless) powders all came about during that period and, the improvements have never really stopped, though we have reached plateaus in certain areas over the years.

Black powder was still loaded in many rounds up through the 1920s, and the very last commercial rounds loading black powder essentially ended with the start of WWII.

Ammo makers went to smokeless powder in the .45-70 well before that, but because there were a LOT of guns made during the black powder days still being used, the smokeless loads were kept to black powder pressures and speeds. And they are still at those pressures and speeds today, for the same reasons.

The .45-70 is in a bit of a unique place, because over the years many different rifle designs have been made to shoot it, and handloaders have taken advantage of this, being able to load ammo to higher pressures and velocities, than the standard BP level, when they had a rifle that would handle that.

The 1886 Winchester rifle will handle higher pressure than the 1873 TrapDoor. Doubt anyone is testing that today, because they did the testing over a century ago. Totally modern designs, (like converted Mauser bolt actions) and the Ruger No.1/No.3 single shots will handle pressures in the 50K range, but NO ONE is making ammo to do that, commercially (with the possible exception of some small "boutique" ammo producers.

None of the big ammo companies are doing that, due to the rather large risk of some un/under informed buyer using their ammo in a gun where it is dangerously unsuitable.

For generations, the hotter 300gr loads were recommended for the lever guns (1886 Win, and Marlin 95s) and NOT for the Trap Door rifles.

By the 1970s handloaders had developed a "3 tier" system of classing .45-70 loads. The standard BP level load (405gr slug, usually) safe in the Trap Door and everything else. The next tier was hotter loads (usually the 300gr bullet but not exclusively) safe in the lever guns, but not recommended for the trap door and possibly dangerous if used in one, and the top level, loads developed for bolt actions and modern strong single shots like the Ruger. Not recommened for the lever guns and possibly dangerous in them, and FORBIDDEN to use in the Trap Door rifles (original or reproduction) because of pressures dangerously too high for the action design.

You can find a more detailed history of this on the Internet, and even more in books.

I've got experience loading and shooting .45-70s going back to 1983, and I've shot the older designs, (Trapdoors Sharps, etc) and have owned and extensively loaded for the more modern guns, converted Mauser, Ruger and Marlin rifles as well as the T/C Contender pistol.

Get some good books, (or websites) your preferred beverage, maybe a snack, and spend some time reading. There is a huge amount of information out there and none of us knows it all to start with so its confusing, at first.

The SAAMI standard is still the same BP level load the round has always been loaded to. The European standard uses different measuring units and comes out little higher than the US one, but still within the safety margin of the older guns.
Modern loads, with higher pressures, tailored to specific modern guns, are quite different and should NEVER be used in old original black powder guns
OR modern reproductions of those guns.

hope this helps
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Old May 25, 2022, 05:10 PM   #10
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Excellent explanation by 44 AMP.

I'm not in any way a expert on trapdoor Springfields.

For general context purposes only,our military fought through the Civil War primarily with muzzle loaders. They built a lot of them.

Technology changed. Brass cartridge fixed ammo came along. Breech loaders happened. Potential rate of fire and tactics matter a lot.

And the military always has trouble with budgets. The USA was not financially prepared to buy new rifles to replace the muzzle loaders.

A man named Mr Allen that I know nothing about designed a conversion kit to retrofit the military muzzle loaders into breech loader military rifles.

Thats a thumbnail of how your trapdoor Springfield came to be.

And that trapdoor Springfield was THE modern US Military Service Weapon through the USA Western Expansion and conflict with Native Americans. Like Custer at The Little Big Horn.

In later years,the Texas Rangers bought a batch of 50 Winchesters,but most of their actions were fought with the Trapdoor. A real key to the combat effectiveness of ,(for example),the Comanche warriors the Rangers might have conflict with was the horse. The 45-70 would unhorse a Comanche at range.
The early rimfire Winchester lever actions gave up considerable reliability,ruggedness and ballistics for firepower.

That trapdoor served as the USA primary battle rifle and carbine till the bolt action Krag-Jorgensen around 1896. That was replaced in 1903 with what became the 30-06 Springfield.

To my mind, we probably ought to carry and use a Trapdoor Springfield with an appreciation for where it fit in USA History and the Infantry,Cavalry,and Texas Rangers doing the "40 miles a day on beans and hay" thing.

Appreciate it for what it is. It will likely kill whatever you need to kill within the limits of how well you can use the sights and trajectory.
And you can have fun.

I suggest you at least consider using black powder and home cast bullets. Mike Venturino wrote an excellent book on Shooting Buffalo Rifles (Title is approximate) And another author, Paul Matthews wrote several books around casting,loading and shooting for Black Powder Cartridge Rifles (BPCR)

A tidbit for perspective: The speed of Sound is roughly 1100 feet per second.
Bullets going through the transition from supersonic to subsonic typically suffer some loss of stability/accuracy along the way.

The folks who shoot BPCR competition at ranges that may go 1000 yds tend to lean toward launching heavy bullets at subsonic velocity. Thats what works for accuracy.

Your Trap Door can safely do that. No hot rodding necessary.

As far as effectiveness on game....A big,fat,softlead slug just has a different set of rules regarding killing power. It punches a big,straight hole.

Over 150 years, they have made bison,elk,moose,etc tip over pretty reliably.

BPCR is just a different approach .
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Old May 30, 2022, 01:45 PM   #11
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Recommend buying the Lyman 50th edition reloading manual...

there is a three section for the 45-70 and and to load for the specific firearms.

i reloading for a Original T/C with the 18:carbine barrel. and I am using the Trapdoor section and the pistol section loads for handling the pistol frame.

Will try tp get a state lottery for black bear this fall.
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Old May 30, 2022, 02:56 PM   #12
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Without going into long winded rant and not considering the design of the Trapdoor, can you visualize the condition of some of these old rifles still surviving. The manfs can only gear down so far. They can’t be held responsible for rifles that are not safe to shoot under any condition.
I don’t like black powder. I use a lot of Unique in old BP guns. I had an original Rem RB on large BP receiver. I had another with Numerich Buffalo kit 45/70 that I put together on the smaller smokeless action, which had been a 7x57Mauser. I know the smokeless action can take more, but what have you to gain?
I advise people not to fire smokeless in the old wire twist shotguns. It never fails someone that’s into Mule Ears wants to argue that they are stronger than steel. Some of them may be but I don’t care. They have never looked down the bore of a 150yr old shotgun with pits that are 1/2 through barrel. They haven’t seen one blow out so I their mind it cants happen. You only get issued one pair of lookers. Use your head when loading anything. Take no third hand information. Most guys will not even want to get involved giving advice without actually seeing the gun. Then many will definitely not once they see condition.
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Old June 8, 2022, 09:15 PM   #13
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Main problem with SXS shotguns are the chambers were standardize after WWII.
I have my Granddads Remington 1894 and Dad's Parker made 1916] chambers were made @ 2 - 5/8 for se with the 2-1/2" shells.

Had both check out by Known gunsmiths the one recommended the Parker get the 2-3/4
reamed that he cleared if for maximum velocity of 1220fps, so I made some shells that gave velocity of 1145fps # 8400PSI [Alliant reloading manual form 2004]
The second SXS [1894] was proofed test by Remington with the "nitro-powder" available. He recommended using over the counter RIO shells @ 2-1/2 length.
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Old June 9, 2022, 04:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Hodgdon shows a 405 gr bullet at 1700 fps for 21000 CUP, which might be all the fun you want.
You got that right Jim! LOL

JT
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Old June 9, 2022, 05:27 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OP
Pedersoli: "Our tests recorded 1250 fps with the 300 grains bullet in the Springfield Trapdoor Officer.​"

OP: Once again i am dumbfounded as the trapdoors in testing have been proven (proofed) to
handle any standard modern 45-70 load. EU testing means that those guns didn't just
pass the test of any modern load but fired 2 consecutive shots at 30% above it.
Effectively a +p load.
Somebody else weigh in here, but 300gr at 1250 is not a +p load.
In fact it's not even a smokeless/"standard Cowboy Load" (405/1,250)
(Nor BP performance w/ same bullet.)
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Old June 9, 2022, 12:46 PM   #16
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A couple points for added clarification,

There were at least a couple different designs to convert the muzzle loading military "rifle muskets" to breech loading cartridge rifles. Some hinged to the side, some to the front.

If I remember the story correctly, the Army chose the front hinge design, (later known as the trapdoor) because it was designed by an Army officer who worked at Springfield Arsenal, so the Army essentially got the design for "free".

The Army kept the action design and used it for the 1873 Trapdoor Springfield rifle. TO be clear, the 1873 Trapdoor was not a converted muzzle loader, it was designed and built "from the ground up" as a breechloading cartridge firearm.

The Army had finished converting the available muzzloaders some years before.

Another point to clear up, "firepower". Rifle capacity and rate of fire were not the Army's main concern at that point in time. The breech loading rifle did offer a higher rate of fire than the muzzleloader and they were happy with that, but what was most important (generally, and at the time) was the breechloader's huge tactical advantage, the ability to load, and shoot while laying down. In fact, rapid fire was somewhat discouraged outside of dire need. Rapid fire with black powder gets the rifles HOT, and the early cartridge cases (before drawn brass became the standard) very often would stick in hot chambers, leading to the case heads being ripped off when trying to extract them, and that took the rifle out of service until the stuck case could be removed, (troops often having to resort to prying them out with a knife).

There were in fact several ranking officers (and in positions of authority) who were opposed to repeating rifles. These hidebound curmud....pardon me,...distinguished gentlemen...felt that repeating rifles would ecourage the troops to waste ammunition. and, ammunition cost money!!

This mindset mostly faded over time, but not immediately, and hung on to a degree literally up until WW I. The Krag rifle, which replaced the Trapdoor has a magazine cutoff. The 1903 Springfield, which replaced the Krag, had a magazine cutoff. The 1917 Enfield, and all our rifles afterwards does not.

The idea seems sensible, at a glance. Soldiers would load the magazine, engage the cutoff, keeping the rounds "in reserve" and would load and shoot single rounds unless there was an emergency where the "reserve" firepower was needed. Combat from the Spanish American war and later proved there was no benefit to the tactic and the cutoff mechanism did add a bit to the cost of the rifles, so was abandoned essentially about the time its primary advocates retired from positions of authority in the Army's ordnance dept.
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Old June 10, 2022, 07:34 AM   #17
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I have fired two boxes of Winchester 300 grain JHP out of an original 1884 carbine made in 1889. That's over 2000 FPS. Accuracy with them was abysmal. It did much better with a 405 grain LRN and black powder.
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Old June 10, 2022, 12:10 PM   #18
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Quote:
Winchester 300 grain JHP out of an original 1884 carbine made in 1889. That's over 2000 FPS. Accuracy with them was abysmal. It did much better with a 405 grain LRN and black powder.
Was the "over 2000fps" actually clocked or an estimate based on claimed velocity? Not saying you didn't get that, it just seems kinda "high".

Good accuracy with jacketed bullets in the old blackpowder rifles isn't common. Fair to poor is the usual, and the light for caliber bullets are often the worst.

The light (300gr) bullets are short, compared to the standard 400-500gr slugs. Short bearing surface. Jackets, harder than lead, don't upset to fill the grooves like lead does, and shooting them out of barrel 120years old+, which is who knows how much worn over the years, and might even have been oversize for the jacketed bullet when brand new.

If you get good accuracy from one of the pre1900 made guns, shooting jacketed bullets, be happy and enjoy. Most of the time, they don't do all that well.

Now, shooting them out of a reproduction of the old designs, can be a much different matter.
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Old June 10, 2022, 01:03 PM   #19
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Trapdoor barrels are notoriously oversize, some at .462" groove diameter.
A hollow base or heavy soft bullet would obturate, spin, and stabilize, a hard cast or jacketed bullet, not always.
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Old June 10, 2022, 03:39 PM   #20
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Quote:
I have fired two boxes of Winchester 300 grain JHP out of an original 1884 carbine made in 1889. That's over 2000 FPS. Accuracy with them was abysmal. It did much better with a 405 grain LRN and black powder.
The Winchester 300 gr load doesn't even get a claim of 2,000 fps from Winchester, and they're the most likely candidate to inflate the numbers and then round up.
They list it as 1,880 fps; with an assumed SAAMI standard barrel length of 24 inches.
https://winchester.com/Products/Ammu...Super-X/X4570H

And if they're loading to SAAMI specs, they're also loading to 28,000 psi or less MAP.
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Old June 10, 2022, 04:15 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankenMauser View Post
The Winchester 300 gr load doesn't even get a claim of 2,000 fps from Winchester, and they're the most likely candidate to inflate the numbers and then round up.
They list it as 1,880 fps; with an assumed SAAMI standard barrel length of 24 inches.
https://winchester.com/Products/Ammu...Super-X/X4570H

And if they're loading to SAAMI specs, they're also loading to 28,000 psi or less MAP.
OK. It's been so long I didn't remember what the box said. I just did a quick internet search.
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Old June 11, 2022, 11:52 AM   #22
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Since this seems to have continued long after i got several good responses, i think i should clarify something that has been lost after the first few posts. I was not asking about legacy trapdoor guns from the 1800s i was asking exclusively about modern reproductions of those guns which are made from greatly superior materials and processes.

A simple youtube query will show that many of these guns such as reproductions of the later sharps rifles can reliably shoot anything that the lever action guns can. That is why i initially asked this. Its also why i posted tests which show them being tested well above trapdoor specs. I was curious to dispel some of these myths or misrepresentations as so much conflicting data was out there regarding the trapdoor specifically.

There have been many many good responses here but because of the slow regression away from the modern guns to the ones made in the 1800s i felt i needed to clarify that those were never part of the question. In the end I will likely go with the 1874's sharps. Better accuracy but slower to load and moreover a much stronger mechanism.
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Old June 11, 2022, 05:28 PM   #23
Paul B.
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"In the end I will likely go with the 1874's sharps. Better accuracy but slower to load and moreover a much stronger mechanism."

I have to ask, why would the Sharp's be much slower to load? I've played with a Springfield replica carbine and Sharp's rifle, both belonging to a friend plus Ruger numbers 1 and 3 which were at the time rifles of mine. Still have the Number one as a matter of fact. I've also shot the Browning B78 in 45-70 and like it as well. That one was also a friend's rifle. The bullets I tried were Lyman's 300,330 and 400 gr. types plus an RCBS 405 gr. bullet and last of all the Lee 500 gr. bullet. Take my word on this, you do not want to shoot that in a Springfield or Ruger #3 carbine even as black powder level. Well maybe, if you're inclined to be masochistic in nature. They flat hurt. Not so bad in a #1 or browning but you still notice it.
Just my personal preference would be for the Ruger #1 with the Browning B78 or 1885 or the current Winchester 1885 if wanting to go with the more traditional style. My preference for the Ruger is more because I've been hunting and collecting them since 1975. Nothing wrong with the Browning or Winchester models as I do have one B78 but it's a 30-06. It's very accurate too, as were the Brownings I shot in 45-70.
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Old June 12, 2022, 07:35 AM   #24
Hawg
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Funny, I didn't think my Springfield carbine kicked all that much.
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Old June 12, 2022, 09:26 AM   #25
Jim Watson
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Quote:
In the end I will likely go with the 1874's sharps. Better accuracy but slower to load and moreover a much stronger mechanism.
You value rate of fire and strength of design + "modern materials."

I like the Winchester 1885 Single Shot "Highwall."
Unfortunately the Uberti copy does not self cock like my real Winchester or my Browning/Miroku. You would have to look for a Miroku - which might be branded either Browning or Winchester - or pay for an authentic reproduction from C. Sharps.
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