45-70

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  • Last Post 13 May 2021
nworegonman posted this 08 April 2021

Hi All,  I recently purchased a 1873 Trapdoor Springfield.  It needs some love and I an going through that, but when I get it together, I would like to shoot it.  Anybody have Brass, bullets, dies, mold they would be willing to sell? 

I would love to start with a dozen or so casings and 405 gr hollow base cast bullets. 

I would love a full set of full length dies, but would do a hand loader also.

Thanks

Nick

 

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 10 April 2021

if it would help i could spare 10 of 45-70 brass 

i could full length size them. and if you stick to mild loads you probably would not need to size them again.

since you have a single shot, just use a waxy lube and that would keep your bullets from falling out.

if you like i could turn you a simple primer knock-out rod.

all for postage, pm me if.

ken

 

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nworegonman posted this 12 April 2021

Thank you very much Ken.  PM sent.  Nick

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nworegonman posted this 05 May 2021

To finish this one up, for anyone who may be interested, but for sure Ken, who definitely went out of his way for me!

I bought the trapdoor on gun broker from another nice guy in New Hampshire for a reasonable price.  It was covered in a layer of varnish, extractor spring broken, hinge replaced with a screw and the wrong hammer.  Other than that it was just sporting a cracked and sporterized stock and a healthy bit of rust - everywhere- Inside and out!  I am not complaining a bit, I knew for the most part what I was getting.  The barrel has pits, and some would use the sewer pipe description, but solid and rifling present mostly.

Found the parts I needed, original stuff from various places for about $50.  I was looking for solid parts but certainly needed some "patina" to match the rest.

Got it cleaned up and de-varnished and made correct for what it is this last week.  With the stuff Ken helped me with I loaded up 10 rounds of 45-70 with 50gr of FFg and the bullets are 410 grain.  The first round I was hiding behind a tree..... But all was well!

At 70 yards my pattern with 8 of the 9 remaining rounds was about 18 inches and high and to the right. One not on the target. I need to figure out how to focus my eyes on the back sight, so I am guessing the rifle can do a little better!

Got a gun to clean!

Thanks again Ken

 

 

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blackout52 posted this 05 May 2021

Did you still need some more brass? And did you get a set of dies?

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nworegonman posted this 06 May 2021

Hi, Thanks for asking.

I have enough brass.  I found 50 cases at a pawn shop.

I have a crimp die.  I can get by.  If someone has a seating die, that woudl be great.  or a set.  I am using a 45 acp die to seat the bullets.  I just go slow and measure carefully.

For sizing, I have seen no case expansion from my light loads.

Bottom line, a die set woudl be nice.  But I am able to reload and shoot today from what Ken helped with.

Nick

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Ross Smith posted this 06 May 2021

nworegonman: I have a full set of Lee dies that are duplicates. If you want them for postage,,,,,let me know.

 

Ross

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nworegonman posted this 06 May 2021

 Hi Ross, Thank you.  Message sent.

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Tom Acheson posted this 06 May 2021

FWIW, the trapdoor that I had hit very high at 100-yards. Someone told me that these rifles had the sights regulated for 300-yards. Not sure how accurate that statement was.

Our eyes, at least older ones, cannot focus on three things simultaneously....rear sight, front sight and target. A lot of shooters believe that when using iron sights, we should focus on the front sight. Doing that has the target turn into a blur, all of which makes shooting iron sights fun!

Like I said, FWIW.

Tom

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hporter posted this 06 May 2021

If you want to have some cheap fun getting to know your new rifle (and have some Bullseye powder) you might want to try some of these:

http://www.westernbullet.com/noe4gr3.html

They charge $14 for 100 collar button bullets.  These are a gallery bullet at 190 grains.  He also sells the classic Lyman 457130 collar button for $13 for 100, but I have not tried that one yet.

My trapdoor is a full size 1884 rifle with the Buffington sights.  I wanted a "fun" load, so I tried these two loads a couple of years ago.

Here is the target at 15 yards with the 4.0 grains of Bullseye Load:

 

And the Chronograph Data:

Here is the 4.8 Grain Bullseye Load target:

 

And the Chrono Data:

The distance to the target was only about 15 yards, but my purpose was just to chronograph the loads.  This was the first time I had tried a cat sneeze load in my trapdoor, so I was surprised it shot as well as it did.   I was aiming at the center of the target with sight in the lowered battle position.

It was also a surprise to me that the SD with the 4.0 grain Bullseye load was only 10.1 fps.  That is a big case with a tiny charge of Bullseye powder with no filler.

These loads are quiet, absolutely zero recoil and a hoot to shoot.  I shot the rest that I loaded at an AR-500 plate about 40 yards away and managed to pop it almost every time.  Which is a minor miracle, considering how teeny tiny and fine the sights are on my rifle.

I just thought I would share a cheap and fun way to get to know your rifle.  The $14 I spent on the 100 bullets from Western Bullets made me smile enough that the NOE Collar Button mold is on my short list to buy next.

Regards,

Harold

 

 

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hporter posted this 06 May 2021

BTW - nworegonman, I wanted to mention that the chronograph screen captures I posted were from the Caldwell chronograph we were discussing in your other thread.

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nworegonman posted this 07 May 2021

 

Harold,

Thanks and noted on both the bullets and the Chrono.

I have ordered three different bullet types form LaserCast Bullets.  They have a $6.00 a Lb deal.  I like the 100 for $14.  I may do that next!

Regards,

Nick

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M3 Mitch posted this 08 May 2021

It could be that the poor accuracy is due to the cases not being sized enough to hold the bullet tightly enough to get the powder to burn correctly.  If you don't have a press or room for one, the old Lee loader is still AFIK available in 45-70, and will load decent ammo, if you are not in a hurry. Make sure your bullets are not too hard and are big enough in diameter for your chamber and barrel, Trap Door Springfields usually have rather large chambers and bores by modern standards.  Bullets sized "tight" to .457 are not likely to work very well in most. 

I have one in my gun safe, have not had it out in years, need to bring it out to play.  Mine came to me in decent shape, full length rifle, and shoots "well" with properly sized (big) bullets. 

As to where to focus one's eyes when shooting open sights - handgun or rifle, as I understand it, the front sight is the right answer here. That's what Uncle Jeff taught, and it works for me.  Even a 12 year old can't focus on 3 things at once.  They might be able to shift focus quicker than older people, but the front sight is where all of us should focus if we want to hit the target reliably, IMHO.

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RicinYakima posted this 08 May 2021

A trapdoor barrel front sight is so far away, that even most older eye can see the front sight and target. Rear sight is just a "ghost" figure anyway. 

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tlkeizer posted this 13 May 2021

Greetings nworegonman,

What I have read is that the original sights were set for 285 yards, close enough to 300 to count.  I have 2 original trapdoors, one of which I had the barrel re-sleeved by Mr. Hoyt.  Both shot very high at 50 and 100 yards, 10-18 inch high as a matter of fact.  The 1873 with the re-sleeved barrel I replaced the front sight with a home-made brass sight much higher, and it pretty well shoots to point of aim.  The other shoots quite high with original sight up front.

The 1884 shoots at aim point at 200 yards with a 500 grain bullet and 55 grains Goex FFG, CCI 200 primer.  The other I am working on for the BP Cartridge shoot.,  Both with 70 grains BP using 405 grain hollow base bullet and 420 grain (nominally) flat base bullet  shoot high as mentioned above.  Shooting with or without vegetable wad gives the same results.  With 5 rounds I can get 3 inch groups regularly out to 100 yards, 2 inch groups regularly, and every once in a while a 1 1/2 inch group.  If you are trying for group, set a bullseye about a foot below where you expect to hit, and use that for sight picture.  Adjust as needed.

I find the 2 rifles are load specific to a degree.  The 1873 likes heavy loads with heavy bullets, the 1884 likes light loads with light bullets (500 grain bullet with 70 grains BP vs 405 grain bullet with 55 grains BP).  You may have to do as I did, and replace the front post with a much higher post, I cut mine from a solid brass rod and filed then emoryed it to size for fitting.  If you make one, make it plenty tall for initial installation.

Don't know if this does you any good, but thought I would add to your arsenel of info.  Have fun with your 45-70.

TK

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