View Full Version : 45-70

12-02-2010, 05:45 PM
Hello every one, been mostly a lurker here but got time on my hands now and was wondering if anyone here shoots contender rifle in 45-70 and could share a little load data,Its a new barrel for me and want to start loading foe it.

I was thinking about trying some cast and was hoping some has deer bear hunting infoe,hunt primarly Pa.so large bear is not a real consideration.

school of mines
12-11-2010, 12:51 AM
I have a 45/70 encore barrel. I shoot trapdoor level cast loads in it and the recoil is significant but I can run 30 rounds through it with getting too sore! The only disappointing thing is the sights. I couldn't lower the rear sight enough! At the bottom of the adjustment I was still at least a foot high at 100 yards, and was still high at 200! I am going to put a low powered scope on it, but I really wanted to use the iron sight for timber hunting. Other than the sights, I have a blast shooting it!

My trapdoor loads consist of 5744 under 405 grain LEE HB and 385 grain Lymans. I don't care for how the 5744 burns so dirty and leaves unburned kernels in the barrel. I am thinking of switching to 4895 or Varget.

12-11-2010, 05:22 PM
I would suggest two things for your POI problem. First, install a T/C reciever sight. It has a lower profile than the notched rear sight. Then change the front sight. In the older T/C front sights, you could drift the pin out and change the blade to a taller one, but if yours has one of those &%^$ing fiber optic self destructing sights, you'll have to replace the whole sight, something I would want to do anyway. The last few I've bought have come without any sights, but from their website it looks like they are only putting the good ones on handgun barrels and have a different all metal front sight on centerfires and fiber optic ones on the M/L's. If you have or can get one of the older ones, that's the way to go. You can easily make a taller replacement blade for it out of flat brass or steel stock.

I cannot advise you as to powders or bullets as I don't have anything that shoots .45-70 right now, but I know my shoulder would prefer me starting with lighter bullets. Heavy .45-70 loads are painful enough in a heavier rifle, but in an Encore or more so in an even lighter Contender they are downright abusive to shoot. I have shot both with 300 & 400gr bullets. Me, I would be going for light cast loads with a bullet in the 200-250gr range if I could find a mould that the barrel liked. An almost half inch hole through the boiler room is going to stop any large animal permanently even at relatively low velocitiy. A 250gr bullet at 1500-1700fps has more than enough energy to drop anything you'll run into in the lower 48, including elk, moose, and buffalo (and even the occasional foreign compact car if you have some extra space on the wall of your trophy room for a front end mount).

12-13-2010, 12:12 AM
Don't have a Contender or an Encore but do shoot the 45-70 in a Roller, Trap and a sharps.


12-16-2010, 08:06 PM
I looked for 200 to 250 cast I can't find any body that makes a mold,for less than 292 grns for 45-70, Its .458 dia. for the 45-70 .45.
I was thinking of something in 330 to350 grns if anyone has used them and how well the shoot out of contender.

12-16-2010, 11:49 PM
350gr will be findable, they don't go too light in the 45-70 as they become rounder than they are long.
if you want to try 200 or 250 gr you could paper patch some 45 colt boolits.
for general light load try unique or 2400 they will do fine in the 12-1400 fps range.
my friend shoots a 350 gr boolit over 10 grs unique with some good success.

12-17-2010, 02:57 PM
I shoot a Ruger #1 in 45-70, it is short, light and handy; also can deal out substantial recoil. I cast the Lee 340 gr. and load it over 4759 or 5744 for 1500 FPS 10' from the muzzle. It is pleasant, and accurate. I use the factory sights even with tri-focals on 65 year old eyes it is very useable.

01-08-2011, 06:34 PM
Thanks for the replys,and the contender is very lite and does have a lot of muzzle jop but not bad I have been shooting 300 grn hornadys about 1600 fps but was read about everyone using cast,(castboolets site)and was going to start loading the cast but don,t want to start casting my own,and was thinking on 405 grn bullets to start.

01-08-2011, 08:37 PM
magma engineering makes a pretty good mold that weighs 405 grs.
now the good news.
just about every commercial caster uses that mold.
look for a company that uses a good lube not the plastic shipping stuff most use,
and a softer alloy if possible something in the 11-12 bhn range, most commercial is in the 15-16 or harder range and is often counter productive to realistic loads [1300-1500 fps] in the 45-70.

01-08-2011, 10:54 PM
If you don't want to cast your own, go over to Cast Boolits and follow the link to The Bullshop. They are a fairly priced source of custom cast bullets in your choice of size, lube, and alloy. They are great folks to do business with.

01-08-2011, 11:59 PM
I think if you go with the 405 you will never regret it.
Anything that shoots 45 (.457) around here be it trapdoor, roller, sharps they all like that 405 bullet.
Another bullet that I have really good luck with is the 535 Postell, but it is a big old honker for just shootin.

Good Luck Ken.

01-22-2011, 04:08 PM
I shoot a #1 Ruger in 45-70, and it seems to digest every thing I put thru it quite well from collar buttons and round ball(s) thru the big 500 plus lobbers. I shoot mostly 2400, but for strictly paper, am finding that Trail Boss is the cats whatever!

02-09-2011, 05:52 PM
the 45-70 just begs to be shot with full power loads, in all bullet weights. I have 3 45-70's 1-NEF single, 1-Marlin lever, 1-Dantish rolling block. I use both cast and j-word bullets with smokless and B-P and have fun with all of them. Load them to the gills and go for it. tdoor4570:p

retired PO
02-22-2011, 11:57 AM
I have an original 1884 trapdoor, and load for it,.. but wanted to try blackpowder, How the hell do they get 70 grs, in there???????

02-22-2011, 04:23 PM
With a long drop tube just like with smokeless powders. Granule size is a factor, too. I assume that what the gvt loaded was at least FFFg, possibly even finer.

02-23-2011, 12:52 AM
65 plus Grains of Black will make her work very efficent.


retired PO
02-23-2011, 12:06 PM
Next shoping trip Ill try and find fffg and see if that makes a difference. I assume the large rifle pimer will work fine, or do I need to go mag????? (long as Im shoppin)

02-23-2011, 03:34 PM
I would only bother considering a mag primer if I were loading Pyrodex, and not even then unless I was getting erratic ignition.

retired PO
02-23-2011, 03:38 PM
I am using pryodex ffg right now because thats what I have,... it works ok, in the .58 1862. and if they say its a cleaner burning powder,... Im not lookin forward to shootin the dirty stuff.
but would love to load some bp cartiridges.

02-23-2011, 06:13 PM
I don't think Pyrodex is any cleaner burning than BP, it just doesn't stink as bad and it's easier to find locally. It's every bit as corrosive if not cleaned out promptly, though, but like BP, really hot water does the trick. I'd hate to have to clean either out of a lever action, though. Thank god for single shots.

retired PO
02-23-2011, 07:25 PM
One of you guys put me on to Dixie Gun Works,... and I ordered a bunch of stuff, and one thing was a nipple wrench,... I put some moose milk in the barrel, and put my thumb over the barrell, sloshed it back and forth a few times, then proceeded to swab,.... The insuing gusher of putrid, black/grey gruel, that shot out of the nipple onto the wall behind my work bench was damn near a picasso......Lesson learned!!!!!!