Mould for 45-70 for BP

  • Last Post 27 February 2015
kevo posted this 31 July 2013

Have been shooting my 45-70 with 300gr, 350gr and 425gr bullets made using .460 dia moulds from Ranch Dog lee. These bullets work great with modified alox base tumble lube with smokeless powder. I now want to use BP. Can these same bullets be used in a beeswax, crisco & anhydrous lanolin pan lube?? Will they hold enough lube? Does anyone know of a 405gr mould for 45-70 cal with .460 dia? Cheers, Kevo :rpdfire: :showdown:

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curator posted this 02 August 2013


Lee makes a .459-405 HB mould that is an accurate reproduction of the original bullet loaded in the Trapdoor Springfield. It is designed to cast at .461-.462 and for the cost can't be beat.

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kevo posted this 04 August 2013

Can't quite picture how a HB bullet would load without an air space between powder and projectile. Can someone educate me on using HB bullets over BP??? Thanks Curator, I'll look into the lee moulds once I fully understand the concept. Cheers, Kevo.

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RicinYakima posted this 04 August 2013

First, you don't compress the powder, but load it loose. As you seat the bullet, the powder realines into the cavity. Takes some working with the right amount of powder and some measuring.

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kevo posted this 04 August 2013

I usually use a wad between BP and bullet. 0.060" vegetable wad. Will the wad be stuck into the bullet? Do I discard the wad??

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delmarskid1 posted this 04 August 2013

I used to use a wad with that hollow based bullet. I think the wad will hold the powder down to negate the air space. They shot well for me till I wrecked the mold. I filed down the forming cone to make the base wall thicker.

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Dirtybore posted this 30 January 2014

I haven't had the best of luck with the smaller weight bullets in the black powder loaded 45-70.   That said, I've always had good luck wiht large bullets that have ample grease grooves.  A couple of examples being Lyman's #457125, #457132 Postel, and an Ohuas bullet that looks like Lyman's #457193.

The small 300 gr bullets just didn't prove all that great with black powder.  The 400 gr lee bullet is anothe non performer in my rifles.  In my opinion, it doesn't carry enough lube.

45-70 smokeless loads on the other hand, have prooved best with the Lyman #457122 HP and the RCBS 400 gr gas check bullet.

The 500 gr NEI paper patch bullet is one of my favorites in the 45-70 and 45 2-7/8” Sharps.

Last but not least; though I've shot black powder in my lever actions, I prefer to shoot black in my single shots and smokeless in the lever actions.   It's all about cleaning and getting the fouling from getting in a levers action is next to impossible.  They just don't make guns easier to clean than a single shot.  Besides that, the lever actions predominately chamber the 300 and 400 gr bullets whereas the single shots can easily chamber the large 500+ gr bullets.

John R

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corerf posted this 01 February 2014

As per my finding and the Astra, use lee hb mold as is. Use a wad if you like or don't use a wad. The hb air space is not considered an air space of that warrant discussion.

Please don't take my word for it, paruse the assra forums for absolute truth.

I understand the air space concern. I compress and have both used and neglected the wad and I'm alive to talk about it.

Lee would tell you no wad. Compress, seat bullet. Done. The pressure that will normally expand the hb will not be hindered by a wad. A wad is no match to 12000 psi.

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Dirtybore posted this 24 January 2015

I always use a wad in my big bore Black powder cartridge rifles. The wad is cut from the back of tablets and I have a large pile of these tablet backs that I squirreled away from work. Yes, I fished the backs out of the trash cans after co-employees finished off the tablets.

The sequense is powder, wad, and then compress the load. If a grease groove bullet is being used, it's time to seat that bullet. If a paper patch bullet is being used, the next step is a grease cookie and then the bullet. If the ammo is going to set around for some months or longer, I place wad made of wax paper one layer thick, between the grease cookie and the paper patch bullet. This keeps the grease from compromising the paper patch.

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Bohica793 posted this 24 January 2015

kevo wrote: Does anyone know of a 405gr mould for 45-70 cal with .460 dia? Cheers, Kevo :rpdfire: :showdown: NOE makes a very nice 460-405 mold.  I shoot it in my 45-70 with both the Beeswax/Crisco/Lanolin lube and power coated. 

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tlkeizer posted this 26 January 2015

Greetings, I use both a Lee mold for 405 grain HB bullet, and Lyman 500 grain flat base bullet, and shoot both as cast.  I pan lube with SPG, and get good groups at 100 yards (if you look up under my name you will see my wanderings in getting my trapdoors to shoot well). One of the things I have found for my rifles is I load 5 grains under my desired load, and press the powder with the case beveling die, then add 5 grains loose on top which seems to fill the void on the hollow base bullet.  A bit time consuming, but if I was not willing to spend the time I wouldn't shoot cast.  I tried dropping the powder, but the compression seems to give me better groups.  Also, for me the rifle I use most likes a full 70 grains of FFG Goex for the 500 grain bullet, but 65 for the 405 grain bullet (I have tried 55-60-65-70 with both rifles).  My rifles do not like the Hornaday cases as well as WW or RP either. I tried sizing the bullets, but that did not get the accuracy I hoped for; but my sizer is under .459. I tried wads, but plain bullets gave better groups.  I have also tried not filling all the lube holders, but noticed no discernible advantage, so fill all the lube holders.  I seat the bullets to the top ring. Hope this helps.  Oh, and if you order a mold from Lee and it does not cast well, send it back with a couple examples of cast bullets and they will make it right. TK  

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Bud Hyett posted this 26 January 2015

With black powder, I have a distinct prejudice for the SAECO M881, the copy of the 1881 Government roundnose bullet. Does not shoot as flat as other shapes, but I score better with it at 300 and 600 yards. Maybe my two .45-70 rifles simply prefer this bullet. The SAECO has wide, deep grease grooves for black powder lubing.

For a lighter bullet with black powder, look at the RCBS 45-325-FNU bullet for a large grease groove and plenty of room for lube. I also use this bulet in .45-60, a 1876 Winchester, this is closer ot the original weight of the factory load. With 25/1 Pb/Sn alloy, the mold throws at 335 grains and 460 diameter.  

Farm boy from Illinois, living in the magical Pacific Northwest

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OU812 posted this 27 January 2015

Black powder leaves some nasty fouling regardless of any soft lube used. You can use a blow tube to soften it between shots or you can clean barrel between each shot for best accuracy.

I used WW brass and WW large pistol primers, drop tube, compression die to compress FFg powder 1/8” under Walters wad, RCBS 500gr 1/20 bullet. My Browning BPCR will shoot 1” @ 100 yards with this load.

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Dirtybore posted this 27 February 2015

I'm sure that RCBS 500 gr bullet performs very well but one needs to be mindfull of what matches they plan on using it in. Not all BPCR matches allow gas check bullets to be used.

I've used the RCBS 400 gr bullet with fantastic results but have relegated it to my lever actions and smokeless powder.

Another good smokeless powder load for lever actions is the Lyman 322 gr HP bullet.

For stricly BP shooting in my single shots, I've stayed with the Ohause 440 gr FN, Lyman 500 gr RN, Lyman 500+ Postel, and the NEI 500 gr paper patch. You might notice my listed grease groove bullets have large grease grooves to occommodate a large amount of lube.

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