45-70 project moves along

  • Last Post 15 July 2021
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Wheel Weights posted this 14 July 2021

Posted a while back about subsonice loads in 45-70 rifle with 45 ACP suppressor.

Found an Encore barrel, it's on the way. Once here, it will go off to GunWorks Supply to get the strange threading used on 45 ACP cans, .578x28.

I'll try loads w/o the can to check velocity and once I work up a good load, I'll try the can.

Open issue is small charge in big case. Normally in 45-70 reduced loads, I use an over powder wad and coarse cuban cornmeal as a filler. That would probably gum up the can.

Suggestions ?

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Wm Cook posted this 15 July 2021

Not sure about fillers. My only application showed no harm, no foul but I haven’t touched it in decades. However pistol powders up to (and maybe a little beyond) Unique worked well for me in 7.62x54, 35 Rem, 30-30, 30-06 and others. I’ve had good success with Bullseye, Red Dot, W231 and Unique.

When shooting sub sonic I try to confirm powder charge/velocity from 800 to 1100 before I get serious about accuracy. Most people recommend starting high and working slower.

It may seem odd using a pinch of powder in a large case but it almost acts like a spontaneous combustion and SD’s are somewhat reasonable to actually pretty darn good. The energy dissipated by the powder charge is relevant to the amount of powder used. Too little and the bullet will remain in the barrel. Too much is dangerous. But very doable if you do your homework. I’m curious to see what you end up with. Good luck.

Great project.

My Uncle once told me that you learn something new every day. And when the day comes that you don’t learn anything, well, that’ll be the day after you die.

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  • Ken Campbell Iowa
Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 15 July 2021

my main plinking load in my 45-70 Ruger3 is 13 gr. of Unique behind the Lee 230 Old Army pistol bullet .... not especially accurate, but just right noise and recoil for bean cans at 35 yards.  i thought the Unique might be too slow for such a light bullet but it appears to burn clean without fillers.

my standard plinking load for any case that looks sorta like a 30-30 or 30-06 is 7 gr. unique behind any cast bullet without fillers.  

fwiw   ken

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JimmyDee posted this 15 July 2021

IIRC, Norman Johnson provided subsonic 45-70 load data using heavy bullets; 465 or 525 gr?  

See https://yarchive.net/gun/ammo/lowpower.html

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John Alexander posted this 14 July 2021


The Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook has some data on subsonic and near subsonic loads for the 45-70 in their cast bullet handbook for 366 and 420 grain bullets with medium burn rate powders.

I doubt that there is published data from powder or bullet manusacturers for subsonic loads in any large rifle. They don't think that there is any interest in such loada. They don't know how curious some of us out here in the sticks are.

Why scared of Bullseye in a 45-70?  A 30-06 has the same powder capicity and all kinds of subsonic loads have been tried with fast and medium burn rate powders.

If you are worried about data for subsonic loads in a 45-70, why not look for a 45 Colt barrel for the Encore?  Plenty of data on subsonic loads for that cartridge and in a modern rifle enough  power for deer at woods ranges.

Sounds like an interesting project.  Please keep us posted.


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Wheel Weights posted this 14 July 2021

Not sure any of those have data from a 45-70.

Do you have data ?

Bullseye in a 45-70 scares me.

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John Alexander posted this 14 July 2021

A lot of CB shooters shoot a lot of very light loads (15 --20% of full charge) of fast burning powders (Bullseye, TiteGroup, AA#2, etc.) in all sorts of cartridges without  wads or fillers.  I would suggest tryiing the simple solution first.


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