View Full Version : 45-70 NEF Handi-Rifle lmild recoil deer load needed ASAP!

08-13-2014, 06:36 PM
I need to come up with a low recoil "deer load" for a NEF 45-70 pretty quick for my daughter's 1st hunt.
Expected max distance of the shot is ~75 yards with a scope.

What has worked in a NEF for you?

08-13-2014, 08:04 PM
Try the trapdoor loads first. They are the lowest level published loads. Even light loads with 300-500gr bullets aren't going to be easy on the shoulder in such a light rifle. But remember, with cast bullets you can reduce 3031, RL7, 4895, 4064, Varget loads below the START loads safely. I would start with a cast 300gr if you can find some, or 400's if you can't, and some 3031.

Lee has 340gr (457-340F) and 405gr (457-405F) 2cav PBFN moulds. If you want, send me either mould and .457 Lee push-through sizer and I'll cast up a lifetime supply out of WW's for you. Slug the barrel so we know if we need to open up the sizer a couple or three thou. (BTW, I haven't forgotten those .58 Minnies I promised you, just haven't done a run of pure lead yet.) My Email is still down, message or call me if interested, or just have them shipped and I'll get the hint. ;)

As per the Midway catalog, Sutter's Choice, Meister, Hunter's Supply, Montana Precision Swaging, and Cast Performance all make 300 cast, but it would be cheaper for you to buy the mould and sizer kit. I can't find anything available lighter than 300's.

It sucks that The Bull Shop is closed, IIRC he had some light custom .45 moulds that would have done the trick. Maybe if BullShopJr sees this post he may have some suggestions.

No sense in loading anything with a jacket (or even a GC) on it for the .45-70, even if there were some light jacketed bullets available, but I haven't been able to locate any.

It would be nice if one could simply load those 200-230gr .451-.452 handgun bullets as light .458 rifle bullets are not easy to come by.

Mike in tx
08-14-2014, 09:26 PM
Did you get my e mail?

08-15-2014, 08:24 PM
Thanks guys!
I picked up 50 292GRFPPB (AKA 457191) at Riley's today. That will get me going

Mike in tx
08-15-2014, 08:54 PM
Good luck working up a load. 45-70 is one of my favorite calibers and it should work great for you daughter.

08-16-2014, 01:01 AM
As per Sierra: Trapdoor Level, 300gr JHP data: IMR3031 START 38.4gr (1400fps) MAX 43.5gr (1600fps)

General thoughts.... A 300gr .45 bullet at 1000fps through the boiler room within 100yds will drop a moose in its tracks. I think I'd reduce the Start load to 29 or 30gr and chrono it. I would want enough velocity so she would hit the pieplate from 25-100yds with a 75yd zero without worrying about bullet drop, but with the load reduced enough to minimize recoil. (Past makes recoil shields for women to wear under clothes on bra strap, two of my daughters, several nieces, and some female friends use them at the range and in the field.) You could increase the charge as she gets used to the rifle too, if the accuracy node required a warmer load, but practice loads to get her used to the rifle should be minimum loads anyway as the powder is over $30/lb. retail and you'll go through a lot of it in those big cases. As a cast bullet target cartridge shooter the lightweight Handi-Rifle is stout enough for more than just trapdoor loads, but the recoil gets fierce in them. I think the .45-70 Handi I shot last fall was manageable recoil-wise with trapdoor loads and a heavy hunting coat, but with my light frame it was not fun and I wouldn't want to do much at the bench with it. I did not have the chance to do any loading for it, but I am convinced reduced loads would have made it a lot of fun because I was shooting 5 shots into 5" offhand @100 with it, so I know with a better shooter it could be impressive. The downside is this one is starting to loosen up after maybe 200-300 rounds. Light loads would help out there, too.

I think I would enjoy a Ruger #1 in .45-70 and peep sights for shooting cast bullets at gongs out to 200yds.

You know they make/made .45-70 barrels for the Encore and Contender, too. I would consider an Encore barrel (one of the older ones made in NH) or an aftermarket like an MGM for the larger frame. But holymotherofgod don't even think about the sooo light Contender with a .45-70 carbine barrel unless you shoot a round ball bunnyfart load. Even with a Past magnum shield and a slip-on boot recoil pad on the butt stock I wanted to stop after two light 300gr loads. Needless to say I did not buy that barrel.

08-16-2014, 05:56 PM
I have a H&R Buffalo Classic
After 5 rounds I would put it away
I was using 500 gr cast and smokeless powder
IIRC it was imr 3031 and 4895
Don't remember how many grains
The loads were for the marlin lever rifle
I tried some pyrdex but didn't have a chance to work up a load
The couple of pyrodex rounds were 70 grains by volume and felt mild
I want to get some ready for this Clayt
Real Black Powder for it (someday when I can find some time to play)

08-16-2014, 10:45 PM
What about 2400 loads?

Skykid, funny you mention BP. I was thinking about that today.

Mike in tx
09-05-2014, 11:35 AM
How is the load development going or did you get her a 7-08? LOL

09-06-2014, 01:58 AM
I loaded up 5 of the 292s with 25 gr XMP5744 powder (yeah I never heard of it before, but somehow I had some) Think of it as pre-Trail Boss, yeah it's bulky.
Anyway, while digging up a scope I found a mercury recoil reducer that fits perfect in the stock. I fired 2 of the loads and they are very mild. I have to properly mount the scope and get her shooting.

this will be a REAL challenge as she flinches badly just dry firing the rifle. No I'm not kidding! [smilie=b:

09-11-2014, 10:52 PM
My daughters use the recoil shield in the top link for most of their shooting, as do several other women shooters that I know. They swear by them. I use the bottom one for bench work. They come in several thicknesses. No reason both kinds can't be used together. Sorbothane is fantastic stuff. I walk on it, too, and wouldn't be able to get far without it, especially on rainy days and in colder weather. That is what I was talking about in my post above. I should have posted these links in it.

Also important with small-framed people and/or those without much upper body muscle development is teaching them to set the buttstock of rifle or shotgun on the front shoulder muscles and not over on the collar bone. I was in my twenties before it was pointed out to me - wish I knew it in my teens.


Mike in tx
09-28-2014, 10:41 AM
Clayton I am going to the range Tues and will be trying out Trail Boss on 405 cast.

09-29-2014, 11:34 AM
This is a challenge, it's like Barbi goes hunting!

Mike in tx
09-30-2014, 09:24 PM
Clayton, 12.5 grains of Trail Boss under 405 grain cast. Eight shots in 1 inch at 50 yards. Supposedly 1000 fps. Very mild load. Savage 99 in 308 did even better. Muzzle loader shot about 2 inches at 50 yards. Good day for me. This was Ryan's second day shooting and he is coming along good. Better trigger control and actually had 10 shots from the AR in 2 inches at 100 yards.

09-30-2014, 10:50 PM
Good news Mike. Any progress with Barbie Clayt?

Mike in tx
10-01-2014, 12:54 AM
No senor Oh I forget he is French model

10-01-2014, 11:26 AM
Thanks Mike.

I'm loading up for a full range day in 2 weeks. I did order the ladies recoil pad that Vers suggested. (Thanks) I have had Hunting Barbi shooting the air rifle with a scope to learn the basics. it's a coin toss as to how this all will go.

Mike in tx
10-01-2014, 12:27 PM
Try some 300 grain over Trail Boss.

10-01-2014, 06:13 PM
Keep telling her how impressed and proud you are that she has the courage to try it and keep at it. She may not be ready for it this year and that's OK if it gets her into shooting. If the recoil is still too much for her even with bunny fart loads, a single shot .410 with slugs and a peep sight may be a better choice, or a Whisper, .30-30, 7-30Waters, 6-6.5-7TCU, .250Sav, .257Bob, or .243 barrel for the H&R. I just cannot recommend a .223, but you already know my reasoning on that. Or she might like bowhunting better. Keep an open mind about it and continue being patient. Every new shooter and hunter is our future. Things will work out.

Mike in tx
10-08-2014, 09:23 PM
Clayton, how is the testing going. I am going to try some different loads next week. Steve is taking me dove "shooting" tomorrow. We'll see if I can remember anything from last summer. LOL

10-09-2014, 10:27 AM
I use AA for doves, as in anti-aircraft!

I put so much shot in the air that something must fly into it!!

Mike in tx
10-10-2014, 09:36 AM
I have a 340 gr 457 mold coming. I will cast some and try a couple of other loads.

10-10-2014, 02:04 PM
Do you have a push-through or a conventional sizer?

I wouldn't think you'd need or want a very hard alloy for a hunting bullet, though with .45cal expansion isn't critical. Just enough tin for good fillout, 2-3%, I cast rb's, minnies, and Maxi's for the muzzle loaders from it, soft enough to load easily in them and soft enough to obturate well in a .45 barrel with very light to heavy loads over 1500 fps without leading if they are correctly sized. WW's will work fine, too, or #2 alloy for longer range shooting, but you're not pushing those slugs to hyperspeed and the heavy .45cal bullets don't develop the rotational energy to strip a soft mostly lead bullet within the cartridge's working velocity range, nor do they need GC's for any but the very hottest lightest fastest loads.
Nice to be able to check the drop diameter with a couple of alloys because you would want something a lot harder if the barrel was accurate enough to shoot at longer ranges. And depending on the mould if you experiment you might find an alloy you don't have to size unless it needs GC's, just tumble lube, dry, and load. I love getting a new mould.

It's an easier process when you have only one or two rifles a mould can be used in. I'll be testing my dozens of .30cal (and 6.5 and 7.7 and 8mm) moulds and rifles for decades.

Mike in tx
10-10-2014, 08:27 PM
V I have both, a Lyman 4200 and Lee push through. I prefer the Lees as I use them most often

10-10-2014, 11:03 PM
No nose distortion with a nose first sizer. And it's easy to open a Lee up a few thou and save the expense of another sizer. You don't need to modify an individual sizer to fill specific lube grooves or readjust it for different bullets. The tradeoff is of course time lag, a longer wait for the lube to dry on the bullets before sizing them, sometimes several days, where you can run a conventional setup right away as soon as the bullets are cool enough to handle.

If you are not pressed for time, the tumble lube is a more effective and versatile system. I have yet to find its limit on a .30cal bullet, have gone to 2700fps with a 120grFNGC bullet (best accuracy around 22-2300) no leading, linotype alloy, around 2500 with 150-180gr RN&FNGC and a softer expanding hunting alloy like WW's (best accuracy around 2000-2200). Part of the accuracy is the undistorted noses of the bullets from the nose first push through sizing and consistent straight square GC's on their bases, but the Liquid Alox lube has not approached a limit of its working range in any of my tests over the last twenty years. By exceeding them I have found the rotational limits of different alloys and how that effects relative and comparative bullet diameters and in the process created a few lead mines in perfectly good barrels, but I have never once in thirty plus years of casting had a lube failure with LLA.

The lube is good stuff, summer, winter. After loading you can wipe the bullet noses of hunting loads clean of excess lube with some mineral spirits on a cloth so they won't gather lint in your pocket, the lube they need is inside the neck of the case, crimped in. I will dip lube a few dozen hunting bullets just up to the crimp groove and stand them on their bases to dry for a few days before fitting the GC's and sizing them so there's never any lube on their noses at all, but I don't take the time to do that for test or target bullets. Not every nose shape lends itself to easy dip lubing. Not every set of fingers does, either. I can only grab hold and dip long stumpy bullets, not short round nosed ones.

10-13-2014, 08:57 PM
She has decided not to hunt this year.
Geesh, kids! :roll:

10-13-2014, 09:37 PM
Don't make a big deal out of it and keep a positive attitude. You got her out shooting and that's a good start. And it doesn't mean she can't come out and sit on stand with you and a camera for a few hours here and there.

10-14-2014, 11:15 AM
Yeah, I told her it's supposed to be fun and she clearly wasn't having any fun at the range for many reasons.
Oh well....................

10-14-2014, 02:34 PM
So give her a 10/22 and a bunch of reactive targets at different ranges, include a few exploders too, and maybe a few suspended eggs. And then take her out for ice cream/pizza afterward. If you get creative, she'll have fun. If she has fun, she'll be asking YOU to bring her next time. Do any of her friends come from hunting/shooting families? Peer pressure can work in your favor here if you plan it right. ;)

10-16-2014, 10:54 AM
I haven't given up totally, just for this hunting season. No luck on the peers hunting.

10-16-2014, 04:30 PM
She'll be dating before much longer (if she isn't already). That will greatly increase your odds of outside positive motivation.

My youngest didn't need anything but a good example, but I got off easy. A couple years back, at 15, she lit into one kid who was spouting off about how evil guns are, evil assault weapons, etc., thinking it would impress her as he hit on her. She said, publicly turning him down in a crowded lunch room: "I've been shooting since I was seven, and I got my HE card as soon as I was old enough. Probably you were playing with dolls. Probably you still are. I load my own hunting ammo for the 6.5 rifle my Dad built for me. You're hitting on the wrong sex. I'm female and date actual males, not pretend ones. Maybe you'll have better luck with your mother." So far she has shown excellent taste in boyfriends. We all shoot together.

Mike in tx
10-16-2014, 04:45 PM
Don't know your daughter but it looks like she takes after Dad. LOL BTW I sign up for SS this month. See everyone north in the summer. This if for V

Mike in tx
10-17-2014, 12:01 AM
Clayton The mold came in for 457 340. Got to work this weekend and next week is full. Hopefully will be used before Halloween.

10-17-2014, 03:28 AM
Good. I will be interested in more details about the mould and its bullets (alloy you choose, drop diameter, drop weight).

I will bite the bullet and get a club membership in Berlin/Milan this year so we can shoot there at our convenience if we can't go to the private range in Bethel ME due to my friend's unpredictable schedule. If you're going to be in the general area for a few days or even just an afternoon, that will give us more options. You will have a lot of different guns to try out.

11-29-2017, 01:19 AM
Hey guys was reading thru your threads and thought I would throw you a load that I worked for my Trapdoor sporting rifle. Montana laser cast 405 gr FN cast bullets, over a W-W wad and 38 grs by weight blackhorn 209 giving me just over 1600 FPS in my trapdoors 26 inch barrel but it really does a number on deer, 2 to be exact. But it's an easy shooting load much like black powder loads.
Just swing up on the shoulder and let fly, it breaks the shoulders, yes both, and tears up the lungs, heart, and blood vessels that get in the way. It dies right where you shoot it and it doesn't tear up hardly any meat.

11-30-2017, 12:20 AM
I was thinking of giving Blackhorn 209 a try in my ML, now you gave me a second reason to get some, thanks!

02-19-2021, 04:27 AM
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