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Old 09-05-2010, 03:53 PM
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Default Any loads for a 45-70 405 gr cast bullet

I just got a marlin in 45-70 and want to load some heavy lead,my speer book has only one load for a jacketed 400 grain. Are there any of you that have lever guns that you load for this caliber. I have a Lee 405 fp mould no GC I would like to use.
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Old 09-05-2010, 04:15 PM
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I've had good results using M1873 Trapdoor Springfield-level loads with the 405 grain RNF lead bullet. Start at about 36 grains IMR 3031 and work up carefully. You can certainly load hotter, but don't try to get .458 Winchester Magnum velocities!

You have to really watch the COL in that Marlin M1895. Overlength cartridges will jam in the feedpath and you can not extract them without disassembling the action.
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Old 09-05-2010, 10:29 PM
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3031 is a great powder in the 45/70. I shoot 47.0 grains of it with an RCBS 405 gr. out of a Ruger #1. Work your load up carefully.

68 grains of FFG with a Lyman 457193 with a Federal 215 primer works good too if you like a little smoke and don't mind a little cleaning up afterwards.
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Old 09-06-2010, 07:53 AM
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AA 5744 is really great in a 45-70. 27gr is very accurate in every rifle I've ever shot it in.
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Old 09-06-2010, 08:27 AM
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In my original trapdoor Springfields I have used the Lee 457-405F cast bullet with 26 grains of IMR 4198, standard primers, and a 2-grain tuft of dacron fiberfill under the bullet. Velocity is estimated at about 1100FPS, and my standard sight settings work well out to 200 yards. Recoil is negligible in the 11-lb. +/- 1884 Springfield.

In my 1886 Winchester I have gone up to 38 grains of IMR 4198, standard primers, and a 2-grain tuft of fiberfill. Velocity is estimated at about 1600 FPS. Recoil is brisk. This load shot through a bull elk from just behind the ribcage, through the lungs, and breaking the offside shoulder (about 4 feet of penetration) for an instant stop from about 80 yards.

I cast these bullets with a 50/50 mix of wheelweights and linotype metal, lubed with Alox but not sized (.459 lubri-sizer die). Actual weight is 388 grains, actual diameter .4582", with that metal. I have cast a few hundred of pure linotype that would be better for the heaviest charges, finished weight 370 grains, diameter .4585".

The fiberfill under the bullet provides good protection to the bullet base and is fully consumed. Either of the above loads will provide groups under 6" at 100 yards in my vintage rifles.

I have since gone to the 500-grain Lee gas-check mold which also works very well in the .45-90 Winchester and .45 2-3/4" Sharps.

I hope that your Marlin has standard cut rifling. The MicroGroove barrels do not handle cast bullets very well according to most reports.
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Old 09-06-2010, 09:29 AM
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My light 50 yd load is 11.2 gr. Unique behind the 405 gr. cast lead bullet. Punches clean holes with mild recoil.
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Old 09-06-2010, 10:29 AM
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I have used a cheapo commercially cast 405 gr. plain base bullet in my Guide Gun with heavy charges of IMR 4198. Accuracy is excellent, with very little leading. In fact, I killed my last whitetail with this load. It's very simple but very effective. I also use XMP5744 for reduced loads with excellent accuracy. These are the only two powders I now use in the .45-70, as IMR 4198 also gives the highest velocity with the super heavyweight bullets.

Oh, if you want some really reduced loads 231 works fine with practically all cast bullets meant for the .45 Colt.

Dave Sinko
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Old 09-06-2010, 12:38 PM
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I have had good results with 27.5/5744, and 25/2400 using cast bullets, both 450 paper patched and naked 405s.
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Old 09-06-2010, 03:38 PM
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Default Thanks,It's a micro groove barrel......

It's a Micro groove barrel with a 1 in 20 twist, so Ill have to keep my velocity down to 1600 fps or less to keep from slipping due to the shallow rifling. I think thats where the problem is ,unlike the ballard style rifle barrel that cuts better on a cast bullet. I casted some 405 rfp gr last night and water quenched them and they came out pretty hard for the speed I'm looking for. 16-17 for hardness. It's a no gc bullet. I'll give that a try and post my results. I'll save the jacketed stuff if I ever decide to hunt anything. If you guys dont mind post a few more loads as I want to experiment with this rifle. Keep in mind the 1600 fps or less loads as it's a micro groove barrel. Thaks for all your input.....Super.
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Old 09-06-2010, 04:05 PM
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I would suggest that you get the book "40 years with the 45-70" revised version by Paul Matthews. part of the revised edition is additional information with the Marlin 45-70. if you own a 45-70 you should have this book. it is a very good read
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Old 09-06-2010, 05:12 PM
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I've tried Reloder 7 in mine...the exact charge eludes me now, but, they were pretty stout. However, I seem to have settled on near max charges of H4198 and Hornady 350 JRNs.
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Old 09-06-2010, 05:35 PM
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For light loads shot in a Trapdoor type rifle I charge 31gr IMR4198 w/405gr Cast bullet.

For use in a levergun with the same 405gr Cast bullet I charge 41.0gr IMR4198.
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Old 09-07-2010, 02:24 PM
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Default Good luck

You used the ugly M-word -- microgroove rifling. I had a Marlin 1894 in 44 mag. Could not hit a 5-gallon bucket at 50 yards with lead bullets, but it shot 2" - 3" groups at 100 yards with jacketed bullets. Both bullets were 240 gr SWC.

If its hour-of-angle (60 times bigger than minute of angle) accuracy with lead bullets you have 2 choices: jacketed only or get a newer lead friendly rifle. My Quigley by Taylors Arms does great with AA 5744. 8# jug is almost gone !!
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Old 09-07-2010, 03:30 PM
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Don't let anyone deter you from shooting cast with a microgroove barrel. What's important is the bullet size. Either slug the barrel or just go ahead and try .460" fodder.

That 22" barrel will get you to almost 2000fps with a 405gr cast. There are so many good powders with the 45-70 that I hesitate to get dogmatic about a load. I really liked Benchmark, but I also liked H322 and just about every powder in Hodgdon's extreme line. I've settled on H4198 - if you want some cast load data pm me.

When you have shot 3, check the muzzle for a lube ring. If you've got one then the bullet is sealing just fine. If you don't then the bullet is likely undersized (or you don't have any lube )

My guess that you'll be fine with .459 -.460, iffy with .458" and pathetic with .457". I don't know the art of casting so I don't know what your mold throws.
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Old 09-07-2010, 09:52 PM
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Trail Boss can work for wimp loads. IME IMR 4198 has been my best all around powder. Worked better than 3031 for me.
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Old 09-08-2010, 12:20 AM
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Bullet size is key in a Marlin.

My 1894 likes my Lyman 429244, but I never size them past the grease grooves, so the front driving band is as cast and that's enough to make the bullets engage the MG and it shoots like a laser.

Like you I am new to the 45-70, but with all the reading I've done at MO group and CastBoolets, and owing to the fact that 4198 is my powder of choice for my Mini 30, I'm going to start with 4198. Fewer powders is a tenant of my operation.

I've got 2 moulds on order at CastBoolets, both NOE customs. One is the 350g and the other is 425g. In both cases they are 3 cavity with two of the cavities GC and one plain base. Should make for some good loads.
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:21 AM
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I've gotten 2 and a quarter inch groups out of 38 gr. of H4895 and a 500 gr. round nose bullet from a Trapdoor with Buffington sights at 200 yds. Frank Barnes recommended the load in the 1973 Gun Digest. The oal of the cartridge is .2" longer than the common 405 gr. load.

YMMV

Regards,

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Old 09-09-2010, 05:36 AM
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Good morning
I highly recommend you go to the Castboolit Gunload sight and get some very good info.
Shooting cast is a bit more detail demanding.. that´s why many have problems. Use too small diameter bullet and will learn alot about lead mining.
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Old 02-18-2014, 05:19 PM
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I cast the RCBS 405 gr bullet (gas checked) and load with WLR primers and Reloader #7. You can easily get velocity up to 2,000 fps out of an 18" barrel with this powder/bullet combo, but my go-to load is right around 1,600 fps. Anything more than that, and it gets really unpleasant for me to shoot, and I seriously doubt if any bear or moose would know the difference between 1,600 and 2,000 fps at 50 yards or less. I previously tried most of the powder listed in this thread, but RL #7 seemed to perform best in my Marlin. Might be our consistently cooler temperatures or maybe even the rifle itself. Who knows, but it likes RL #7.

My 45/70 is not microgroove, however I do have other Marlins that are. As previously posted, properly sized bullets are key to accuracy with these barrels. I would not hesitate to buy a MG Marlin for cast bullet shooting.

I will mention one more slightly off topic thing about Marlins. If despite your best efforts, you just can't get it to group cast bullets worth a darn but it seems to shoot jacketed bullets just fine, then you need to check the barrel for a slight choke or restriction wherever there is a dovetail cut into the barrel. If present, it will NOT be visible to the naked eye, however you can find it by running a tight patch down the previously cleaned barrel feeling for an increase in effort, or some resistance to the patch and marking your cleaning rod with a sharpie when you feel that constriction. It's usually the worst at the Magazine hanger dovetail, but also noticeable at the rear sight dovetail. I have noted this defect in a number of Marlins over the years, both with Microgroove barrels and modern ballard rifled ones. This constriction does not seem to have any detrimental effect on jacketed bullet accuracy, but if present, really opens cast bullet groups up big time. The good news is, that if you do have a constriction it can be cured with less than 50 rounds of fire lapping using reduced loads and cast bullets.
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:09 PM
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My best 405 gr cast bullet load for my Marlin 45-70 has been 25 gr 5744; mild load, quite accurate. This from a rifle with Ballard style rifling. My experience with the microgroove rifling and lead bullets has never been good (other than in my Mdl. 39 in .22 lr).

Last edited by wb4ky; 02-18-2014 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 02-18-2014, 11:51 PM
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Another 4 year old thread brought back from Zombie land...
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:32 PM
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Yikes, and its MY fault... sorry, didn’t even notice the OP post date..
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