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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) sharps 45/70 smokeless loads (Read 1936 times)
beltfed
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Re: sharps 45/70 smokeless loads
Reply #15 - Mar 2nd, 2019 at 9:05pm
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Just wanted to say:
Re. This Obturation thing.
over the years I have used my "standard" bullet alloy
of 9 +1 WW/Lino on Handgun, smokeless rifle , BPCR
and even Schuetzen bullets.
this alloy is estimated at about:  94.5 lead/4.5% antimony
and 1% tin.  Has been tested at about 14.5 BHN.
It has been said that such an alloy is not likely to bump up well.
KEY HERE is to make the bullets at or 1-2 thousandths
larger than groove/freebore diameter so as to avoid
blowby gas cutting. In other words, the bullets don't need to bump up. They are already "there"
Works for me.
Oh, this has been working for last couple years even for
my Paper Patched bullets:  Dual diameter, with the
base band patched up to freebore/groove dia.
beltfed/arnie
  
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Schuetzendave
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Re: sharps 45/70 smokeless loads
Reply #16 - Mar 3rd, 2019 at 12:20am
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The codes used in the Lee Manual indicate:

A or AA: Accurate Powders (previously Accurate Arms Company)

XMP or XMR were pistol or rifle codes previously used with a 4 digit number for a powder.
Accurate Powders has since dropped the 3 letters in front of the powder name and now only call it by the 4 digit name
i.e. previously labelled XMR 5744 is now labelled as 5744

IMR: IMR Powders

(You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)

SR 4759 is the specific name of an IMR Powder which  is no longer being produced and only old supplies would be available.
It was a great powder for use in straight walled rifle cases but discontinued when the Company was bought by Hodgdon.

Both IMR and Winchester Powders are now owned by Hodgdon Powders FYI.
« Last Edit: Mar 3rd, 2019 at 12:42am by Schuetzendave »  
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john d
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Re: sharps 45/70 smokeless loads
Reply #17 - Mar 4th, 2019 at 6:25pm
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Gentlemen one and all.

Thank you for your responses and I think i am beginning to see "'the wood for the trees".
I have several  1 lb pots of Alliant UNIQUE which says on the pot "Most versatile powder made, good in all popular pistol calibres". Made with pride in the U.S.A."

It does indeed suit my ML Nitro converted muzzle loading revolvers and my 94 Winchester carbine.

In the table of relative burn rates kindly pointed out by oneatatime,UNIQUE appears as No 32  out of 150 meaning it is, I assume, quite a fast powder.

As a complete ignoramus, should I assume this is NOT good for a long .45 /  32" barrel.

Conversely Vita Vuori ( of which I have a a goodly supply), appears at No 101 of 150, meaning it is slower.

I use 38 grains of this in my  1898 Long Lee Enfield .303 and my 1918 SMLE .303. very successfully. (a Lady Friend of mine got  five out of ten in the black at 1000 yards at Bisley, with the' Long Lee' rifle resting on  her haversack. (vernier rear sight).

Therefor, would this be a better powder for the Sharps with its even longer barrel and heavier bullet ?????

Going back to Unique, 12 grains has been suggested but bullet wt. not specified and, 25 grains of 5744 (burn rate 68 in the table) with a 405 bullet. and at about the same burn rate, 4198,   24/28 grains and 405 bullet.

BUT, sheutzenmiester says he read 24 Grains of 2400, (57 in the table), would blow up a trapdoor. (but they are weaker than a falling block I gather).

Before I found this site and with no real knowledge I loaded
13 grains of UNIQUE behind a 410 Grain RN-FP  bullet, with little recoil and a not very good group.

I have now loaded, but not fired, 15 grains of UNIQUE behind a 530 Gn. Postell bullet. The pointy/round part, about the first half of the length, measures .442 and is like a **** in a dustbin at the muzzle end but the bottom half has four grease grooves and measures .456.

I have not 'slugged' the bore but a caliper at the front end  reads  .456 so can I take it this bullet should engage the rifling o.k. allowing for a touch of 'obduration'.

I seems to me that in future, I should look at Vita Vuori N 140, (101 in the table), as an alternative to UNIQUE,  (32 in the table), being  considerably slower burning.

Am I moving slowly in the right direction your views would be appreciated

Regards

John D

  
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Premod70
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Re: sharps 45/70 smokeless loads
Reply #18 - Mar 4th, 2019 at 7:36pm
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If a load of 13 grains of Unique does not shoot well you need to slug the barrel and find a proper fitting bullet before venturing any further in the smokeless powder world. There are plenty of mold makers that can make a mold for your needs, all will need proper measurements. LBT molds on their website details the proper way to slug the chanber neck/throat/leade and groove dimensions in one step, good luck.
  
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oneatatime
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Re: sharps 45/70 smokeless loads
Reply #19 - Mar 4th, 2019 at 7:46pm
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John, N140 sits between our IMR4895 and IMR4320 in the table so it shoud be usuable. For 350 to 450 grain bullets both of the IMRs can be used in the 38 to 43 grain range and be safe in our old Trapdoor Springfields so should be fine in a Sharps. I saw one reference to 40 grains of 4895 giving 1365 fps with a 405 grain bullet. If you have a chronograph and stay in the 1250 to 1350 fps ballpark with your N140 you and your shoulder should be OK,
  
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JS47
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Re: sharps 45/70 smokeless loads
Reply #20 - Mar 4th, 2019 at 8:52pm
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john d

As an undoubted expert (at least in my own mind) I can agree with the previous posts regarding Unique. I keep a good supply on hand because it is indeed unique in that I make any gun I have from 22 Hornet to 12 gauge shotgun work at least fairly well and sometimes very well with it. For higher velocity loads in the 45-70 Reloader 7 is a good one if you can get any.

JS
  

"I'll be happy to contribute to the wolf recovery program, 180 grains at a time"  Unknown western rancher
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john d
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Re: sharps 45/70 smokeless loads
Reply #21 - Mar 6th, 2019 at 4:55am
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Hi premod and oneatatime.

I have printed off the info on slugging a barrel that you suggested and will give it a try having made a suitable slug.

4895 is faster than Vitavuori 140 so I'm encouraged to give Vitavuori 140 a try.

I do not have access to a chronograph more's the pity. I guess the people I shoot with are not quite into the high tech stuff.

With limited funds available and the difficulty of getting reloading supplies in the abundance and variety available in the U.S. I will just have to 'trial and error' with what is to be obtained.

I really did not want to risk damaging what to me was a huge investment and I think joining this forum has been well worth while in view of the information that has been forthcoming.

Many thanks

John D

  
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Re: sharps 45/70 smokeless loads
Reply #22 - Mar 6th, 2019 at 7:35am
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John, I would caution you about using burn rate tables because powder reacts somewhat differently in actual use than it does in a closed bomb. Some powder is very flexible and doesn't gain burning rate very much as pressure goes up but others do and small increments of powder increases can really up the pressure. Bullet weights and loading densities mean a lot as well. They might be good as references but be careful. Thanks, ratseye
  
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Re: sharps 45/70 smokeless loads
Reply #23 - Mar 6th, 2019 at 3:08pm
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Another thing about the possible dangers of using the burn rate charts besides the changing characteristics with loading of different types is that you cannot see how big the 'jumps' are between any two groups of powder. While experimenting, you may look at two or three that seem to be just a wee bit faster, say, than the last one and then go to the forth and find that the small increment is now a big leap faster. Stay safe out there boys.
  

happily ignored by J. "Sonny" Louis
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Re: sharps 45/70 smokeless loads
Reply #24 - Mar 6th, 2019 at 6:26pm
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As I told John, N140 sits between 4895 and 4320 in the chart and the listed Trapdoor safe loads for both 4895 and 4320 are greater than the range I suggested for his Sharps. I just found a German reloading video where he is testing a 74 Sharps with RS30 and N140 powders and 405 grain Missouri Bullet Company (lead) bullets. He shot the N140 in 41-43-45-47-49 grain loads off bags at 50 meters. The 41 and 43 grain loads did the best at about 1 inch. The groups opened up past that (or his shoulder was getting sore.)
  
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Re: sharps 45/70 smokeless loads
Reply #25 - Mar 6th, 2019 at 8:48pm
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John, I think Viht N-140 might be a little on the slow side even with that heavy Postell bullet. The program I run shows low efficiency and only burning about 80 or so percent with the bullet against the lands. It is worse for the light bullet. I might try N-133 or even N-130 depending on how fast you want to go. Loading density goes down as you try to slow it up and faster powder usually does better. For what it's worth. Thanks, ratseye
  
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Re: sharps 45/70 smokeless loads
Reply #26 - Mar 7th, 2019 at 8:28pm
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I have quite a few current and old reloading manuals and there is quite a bit of load data there for Unique in cal 45-70. However, none of it is recommended for the trapdoor, so you have to decide what your comfort level is with your rifle in terms of what it will take. I suspect Pedersoli may recommend black powder only, so they will not be of any help. Many people rate the sharps as being stronger than the Trapdoor but definitely not in the same category as a Ruger #1.
I also just found a post stating that Accurate Arms powder is no longer available in England, so that might not be a viable option.

You can e-mail the powder companies and ask for specific load date for your rifle with a particular powder and bullet, and you might get data not otherwise published. I would try that for Unique and Vita Vuori.
Otherwise, find out what powder you do have access to and work from there.
If you are comfortable working with Unique, that might be your answer.
Joe S
  
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Re: sharps 45/70 smokeless loads
Reply #27 - Mar 21st, 2019 at 7:35pm
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Gentlemen,

Since many of you kindly offered advice on Smokeless loads for my Sharps 45/70, I thought I should note the results of my experiments so far.

Having put 45 rounds down range in groups of five, all slightly different, the best results so far, (albeit at only 125 yds.), have been.

28 gn. of 4198 under a 535 gn Postell soft lead bullet.   0.6 gn Cotton wool and thin card wad. Federal 215 Magnum Primer  3 holes virtually touching, the remaining 2 at  1- 1/2"  and 2 1/2" off.

14 gn Unique under 412 gn RNFP  0.6 gn cotton wool and thin card wad. Federal 210 Primer.  2 touching,  remaining 3 within 1- 1/2".

15 gn Unique under 535 gn Postell  a  Fed 210 Primer.            
      2- 1/2" group.
NO cotton wool OR wad.

4198 used in five out of the nine details always seemed to leave unburned powder in the barrel.

The four groups using Unique did not.

Probably not great results but then I'm not that good a shot with this rifle yet, trigger control could improve and the bull had a lot of daylight round it in the foresight aperture ring. Might try the insert with the very fine cross hairs next time.

Now to see how it performs with Swiss No 3.

John D
  
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Re: sharps 45/70 smokeless loads
Reply #28 - Mar 23rd, 2019 at 8:43pm
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I have been reloading 45-70 for years in various rifles.  With a lot of variation in old barrels, the best all around bullet I have found was for a Lee mold, 405 grains, a hollow base which seems to fit all barrels, 3 or 4 Sharps, and two trapdoors.  That bullet looks very close to the original military load which was swedged with a small hollow base and 16-1 lead to tin which obturates well.  I believe the original was 70 grains of FFg with a card wad, big wad and 55 grains for carbines, they kicked like a mule.  24 grains of 2400 gives about the same performance as black, using kapok or a little toilet paper or Dacron.  Any of the reasonable 5744 loads should work well.  The Lee mold sells for 26-30 $ US here.  Actually, I use plumbers scrap lead and a few wheel weights.  Might get scientific if I shot matches.

James
  
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