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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) sharps 45/70 smokeless loads (Read 2084 times)
john d
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sharps 45/70 smokeless loads
Mar 1st, 2019 at 6:57pm
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New to this forum and from Britain to boot.

Have just purchased a brand new Pedersoli Sharps 45/70  34" Octagonal Barrel. proofed for smokeless.

I use Unique in my ML Handguns (legal in UK) and my .357 Winchester U/L. I can find plenty of info on BP loads for this rifle but little for smokeless. Reading through dozens of forums there seem to be many varying opinions on Powder to Bullet weight, filler or no filler. Position sensitive, or not, and so on.

I am using Starlight brass, 2.100" long and want to load both Postell bullets at 530 gns and RN FP at 412 gns Hard cast lead with grease grooves. Just about all there is available over here.

The rifle will chamber a round loaded with the 1.440" long 530 gn Postell Head to a LOA of 3.100", meaning the round has no 'jump' to engage the rifling which I gather is a good thing. However this means a lot of space in the case and loading Smokeless powder, which is position sensitive, (some say), will affect the accuracy.

There is a saying, ask 5 different people the same question, you get 5 different answers. Trawling through the many forums on the net seems to support this view.

The 12 Lb rifle is accurate I am sure and I am not a bad shot with a Vernier back sight and ring foresight, so I realize much of the results on the range will be down to the home loaded ammo.


Can any of the undoubted experts in the US offer any guidance to a beginner in these matters.

Many thanks

John D
  
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Premod70
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Re: sharps 45/70 smokeless loads
Reply #1 - Mar 1st, 2019 at 8:21pm
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What smokeless powders do you have access to and bullet speed you intend to run?

As a side thought, a lot of Pedersoli's have a throat that is best suited to black powder usage. Not saying you can't get a smokeless load to shoot well but the lack of obturation requires a specific bullet to fit the throat and seal properly, that bullet I have yet to see.
« Last Edit: Mar 1st, 2019 at 8:33pm by Premod70 »  
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Joe_S
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Re: sharps 45/70 smokeless loads
Reply #2 - Mar 1st, 2019 at 8:35pm
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There is lots of reliable and safe load data for smokeless powder in 45-70, and a large selection of powders that can be used. My old standby is 4759 but that is no longer available. Accurate Arms 5744 is currently available in the US and also an excellent choice. If you can let us know what powders you have access to I am sure we can help you out.
Welcome aboard!
Joe S
  
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Schuetzenmiester
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Re: sharps 45/70 smokeless loads
Reply #3 - Mar 1st, 2019 at 11:29pm
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You might want to experiment with the cartridge OAL, engaging the rifle might not produce the best accuracy.
  

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oneatatime
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Re: sharps 45/70 smokeless loads
Reply #4 - Mar 2nd, 2019 at 12:11am
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I think someone will come along and say just try 12 grains of Unique with no filler or 1/16th of a sheet of single ply toilet paper pushed down to just off the powder. I once had a sheet of TP that was marked Property of HM the Queen. That might work better over there;-)
  
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art_ruggiero
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Re: sharps 45/70 smokeless loads
Reply #5 - Mar 2nd, 2019 at 8:26am
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   24 to 28 grains of 4198 or 22 - 23  grains of 2400   or 24 to 28 gr, of 5744    art
  
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Bullshot
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Re: sharps 45/70 smokeless loads
Reply #6 - Mar 2nd, 2019 at 9:11am
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I have the same rifle and use 25 gr 5744 with a 405 fp cast bullet.
  

Bob  NRA Life Benefactor
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Schuetzendave
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Re: sharps 45/70 smokeless loads
Reply #7 - Mar 2nd, 2019 at 9:47am
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Lyman 457658 490 grain cast bullet  C.O.A.L. 2.910 (.010" off the lands):

24.6 grains XMP 5744  1,186 fps Best Accuracy
23.5 grains SR4759     1,257 fps
47.0 grains IMR3031    1,704 fps Major Recoil
44.0 grains Varget       1,434 fps Worst Accuracy


Never use information listed without the bullet identified since minimum and maximum powder loads are specific to a certain size of bullet and if it is cast or jacketed.

All of the listings above have been confirmed to be acceptable loads that have had the pressures confirmed for the bullet I used.
Some of these loads would not be acceptable for use in a Trapdoor or a Rolling Block.
So always confirm published loads for your specific rifle and for a specific weight bullet before using it.

From Richard Lee Modern Reloading:

520 grain cast bullet:

XMP5744  21.6 to 24.0 grains  1060 to 1205 fps

530 grain cast bullet:

A-XMR-2495 41.4 to 46.0 grains 1237 to 1406 fps
A-XMR-3100 49.5 to 55.0c grains 1196 to 1359 fps
A-XMR-4350 43.2 to 48.0 grains 1167 to 13226 fps
AA 8700 58.5 to 65.0c grains to 1059 fps
« Last Edit: Mar 2nd, 2019 at 10:32am by Schuetzendave »  
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boats
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Re: sharps 45/70 smokeless loads
Reply #8 - Mar 2nd, 2019 at 10:15am
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All less than case full loads are position sensitive . Best way to get around it is mount the gun exactly the same way every shot.  Some very good work has been done large cases less than case full smokeless powder. You can bet the rifles were handled consistently .

While I prefer Black Powder when I Shot 45/70 majority of my loads were smokeless with Unique & light bullets or 4759 & duplicates of black powder loads, bullet weight and velocity . About the same as Schuetzen Dave’s 4759 load. 

Boats

Boats
  
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john d
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Re: sharps 45/70 smokeless loads
Reply #9 - Mar 2nd, 2019 at 2:42pm
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Gentlemen one and all, Thank you for your responses.

You are fortunate to live in a country that is 'gun friendly', here in the UK, Gun ownership and shooting is discouraged or at least made difficult. (unless you are a criminal of course).

As an example, although being ex military and having held a firearms certificate for nearly 60 years, I have a round trip of over 200 miles to be able to shoot anything,( other than my .22 Rifles), on an approved range. Usually Military or in my case Bisley.

Then there is a limited choice of components for re loading ( unless importing from the U.S. in itself problematic ).

So.

Thank you 'Boats' for your comments on position sensitivity I will bear that in mind

'Oneatatime'.
I wonder if a wisp of Cotton Wool would deputise for Her  Majesties' toilet paper since I am no longer in her employ.

Shuetzenmiester/Premod70
I will experiment with seating the Postell Head further back in the case, just that I read somewhere that a 'jump 'across the throat could be detrimental.

Bullshot/art. It seems the norm on American forums to refer to powder by a four figure group. Looking on the internet there seem a variety of meanings for these groups depending on the manufacturer, none of which I can relate to powders available here.


To answer Joe_S.

I currently use Alliant 'Unique' in my Nitro Converted M.L. Revolvers. (Ruger Old Army and Uberti Rem. 44 New Model Army), and also my Winchester Model 94  .357 U/L Rifle,
which is easy to come by over here.
I shoot Vitavuori 'Premium'  N 140 in my .303 No 1 Long Lee Enfield and my SMLE. again freely available.

I intend shooting Swiss 2Fg, which I use in my M.L.Parker Hale .451 2 band Volunteer. in the  Sharps 45/70 and information on this is plentifull, however on the occassions that my range time slot is short I want to be able to dispense with the cleaning after every shot that seems to be the prerequisite for accurrate B.P.shooting.

To sumarise, thank you all for your input, if anyone has a view on a suitable load of Alliant 'Unique' or indeed Vitavuori N140, for both a 410gn RN-FP and a 530 gn Postell, I would be greatly obliged since the four figure groups you almost always refer to, I can not relate to any powders I have available here.
Thanks again
Regards

John D.




  
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john d
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Re: sharps 45/70 smokeless loads
Reply #10 - Mar 2nd, 2019 at 2:51pm
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schuetzendave.

Could you enlarge on the meaning of
A-XMR
AA
XMP
SR
IMR,

Thanks

John D
  
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frnkeore
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Re: sharps 45/70 smokeless loads
Reply #11 - Mar 2nd, 2019 at 3:10pm
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In my opinion, you already have one of the best powders for the 45/70, Unique!

My best accuracy (Douglas barreled Borchardt), with a 430 gr bullet was 10.0 and 10.5 gr. It is easy shooting and produced a best 5 shot group (100 yd) of ~.80, I'd have to go to my records to get the exact size group.

A very good friend of mine, worked with his Trapdoor and got the Lee, 450 gr, bore riding bullet, to shoot best with, the above cited, 12.0 gr load.

One of my concerns, with your load, is the hard cast bullets. Are you allowed to cast your own bullets, in the UK? If you can, I would diffidently suggest you do that, using 30/1 for the light loads that I suggest.

Frank
  

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oneatatime
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Re: sharps 45/70 smokeless loads
Reply #12 - Mar 2nd, 2019 at 4:09pm
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John D, this chart may help you with the full manufacturers and the various powders burning rates that you can compare with those you know. (You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)
Also, SR and IMR are old duPont designations for Sporting Rifle and Improved Military Rifle. SR4759 is an old single base powder that replaced the older No. 80 and was our standard powder to use in large black powder cases. Being single base it burns cooler and is kinder on old barrels than the double base powders which are most, but not all powders available today. Even the Accurate Arms 5744 which some deem the logical replacement for SR4759 is a double base powder.
  
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Re: sharps 45/70 smokeless loads
Reply #13 - Mar 2nd, 2019 at 7:55pm
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One of my trusted sources told me I could not go wrong with 24 grains of 2400 for the Trapdoor.  I used it until I saw an article in the American Rifleman saying 24 grains of 2400  was a good way to blow up a Trapdoor   Shocked  Cry
  

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Re: sharps 45/70 smokeless loads
Reply #14 - Mar 2nd, 2019 at 9:05pm
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26.5 gr of 5744 works great in my Pedersoli 1874 with a Lyman 535gr GCd boolit. Just over 1300 fps & really bangs the steel at 200 yds Smiley Smiley Smiley
Mark
  
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