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  1. #1
    Tenderfoot
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    Sep 2009
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    Cast in my microgroove 45/70

    Hey all,

    I'm in the process of seeing what my microgroove marlin can do with cast bullets after reading up on how to get them to shoot. I'm after some light paper punching loads... The trail boss loads I've seen here and light trapdoor loads is what I'm going after.

    First off I slugged my barrel and its .459, no wonder years ago when I tried some cast in it at .459 or maybe even .458 it grouped like a shotgun. Lots of info points to the Lee 405 hollow base mold dropping bullets that should be big enough so I've got one coming in the mail to try out. My locally commercial caster Westcastings makes coated cast bullets and after a chat to them I now have some 405grn FN bullets at .461 to try. At the moment a trip to the farm is a 3hr round trip so I'm starting out on a local indoor range that is limited to 34m/37yrds .. Not ideal but its a start, I figure get good groups here and then take them to the farm and see what they will do at 100/200.

    On Saturday I had a chance to try a couple of loads out... Details go like..

    Marlin 1895 - Microgroove barrel, pistol grip stock, half mag.. serial number dating puts it at a 1987 build (I've had it from new)
    Leupold VXII 1-4x20 on Leupold mounts (recently added, my eye sight isn't what it was)
    Remington brass (new), Federal Match primers (210M?), Westcastings 405FP coated cast projectiles @ .461 Dia

    I was a little worried how the big bullet would chamber but my first round loaded dropped in no trouble and could be lifted out with a finger nail with no resistance. Powders I used were Trail boss and AR 2207 (Same as H4198 in the US i think? But DONT quote me on that).. I worked out my full but not compressed load with trail boss was 16grn with this bullet, I could tap the case and get more in without compressing but I decided to stick to 16grn as a MAX. Looking at the good results others are getting with TB I loaded some at 13grn and 14.5grn, my 2207 load was 27grns (ADI's starting load for 405 lead in a trapdoor, should be ~1250fps)

    So how did I go? A bit hit and miss but I think its down to the shooters and not the gun/loads

    After a few of each off hand to get a feel for the loads (all very light to shoot) and check for unburnt powder (none) and the likes I started testing them off the bench with a friend shooting also. We used a forend rest and our left hand pushing the stock into our shoulder (maybe not the best as it turns out) and all loads produced groups like the first two targets for both of us, a few in a ragged hole with a couple of unexplained fliers.. Not terrible but not what I was hopping for at 37yrds ... Then my mate with the last of the ammo decided to reach around the forend rest with his left hand and pull down on forend and proceeded to put 5 shots in the last target.. I swear my eyes got bigger and my jaw dropped lower with each shot, afterwards we looked at the target and at each other and started laughing.. I'm not sure I would have bought 5 in that one hole if I didn't see it, and now we were out of ammo!! Well maybe it was a fluke but I'm itching to load the same and try again gripping that forend this time haha.



    All with the Westcast 405grn coated shot from the bench @ 37yds... First group is 7rnds/13grn TB - second 5rnds/14.5grn TB - third 5rnds/27grn AR2207 (pulling down on the forend for the last target)



    The same 405 grn bullet. The one on the right is the coated bullet ready to shoot, the plain bullet was a one of a couple I was given so i could slug my barrel


    Ok so that last group fluke or not has got me going.. Hopefully I'll get some loading done and get to the range again this week



  2. #2
    Marlin Marksman
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    Re: Cast in my microgroove 45/70

    Can't say that I've ever seen a coating like that...I would be curious to know just what it is.

    I'd highly recommend a gas checked bullet of 350-400 grains....specifically either of Ranch Dogs designs (350, 425) or an RCBS 400 grainer.
    These work well "as cast" in my guide guns as well as Sharps and rollers, and leave a pristine barrel, absolutely clean with Reloader 7.
    I run these through a .460 sizer only enough to seat the gas check

    The gas checks are well worth the extra expense, eliminating most fliers, and scraping the barrel clean with each pass.
    Salvaging old Marlins is not a past time ... It's a passion.
    Mostly 1893 through 1959 Marlin levers, short carbines to long rifles.
    Most models and variations in calibers
    30/30, .308, .32, .35, .357, .45 Colt, 45/70 (a few)...
    Cast and reload for 'em all, hunt year round.

  3. #3
    Tenderfoot
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    11692

    Re: Cast in my microgroove 45/70

    Quote Originally Posted by pls1911
    Can't say that I've ever seen a coating like that...I would be curious to know just what it is.
    Just about all the commercial caster here in Oz use a similar coating, I haven't seen a wax lubed bullet at the range in years.

    Quote Originally Posted by pls1911
    The gas checks are well worth the extra expense, eliminating most fliers, and scraping the barrel clean with each pass.
    With this style of coated bullet there is no lead to barrel contact so a gas check wont do much, and with the light loads I'm working on I doubt I'll pass the companies "up to 1700fps no leading guarantee" .. but thanks for your reply

  4. #4
    Marlin Marksman
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    Re: Cast in my microgroove 45/70

    If you can get us the details on the coating, I'd be pleased to pass it on the others.
    Thanks.
    Salvaging old Marlins is not a past time ... It's a passion.
    Mostly 1893 through 1959 Marlin levers, short carbines to long rifles.
    Most models and variations in calibers
    30/30, .308, .32, .35, .357, .45 Colt, 45/70 (a few)...
    Cast and reload for 'em all, hunt year round.


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