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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
45-70 / 45-100 PP Progress Report

I have tried, with great success, 45 Colt bullets (.451") with paper patch in a 45-70 lever at around 1,600 fps. Very low recoil and outstanding accuracy. I am now considering moving to heavier bullets, 360 and 530 gr.

I have seen YouTubes and other articles that suggest differing opinions about starting and finished bullet diameters. Before I order a mold, I would appreciate any real world advice from MO members and their experiences, good and bad.

I have seen guidance that indicates the finished PP bullet should be able to fit into the lands without issue. I have also seen advice that indicates using a finished bullet where the unwrapped nose can fit into the lands and the PP section should be around groove diameter.

The light weight 230 gr PP 45 colt bullets are a finished bullet diameter of .001" over groove diameter, using Unique and Herco powders produces touching groups at 50 yards and better than most groups at 100.

The next venture is for BP loads and PP bullets in both a 1886 lever and single shot 45-100. Any real world experiences you can share about bullet and finished PP diameter are appreciated.


Thanks

UPDATE,

I got the mold from Accurate this week and was able to get some garage time this weekend. Loading this week and possibly to the range next weekend.

Ordered .450" and they drop for a perfect slip fit. Smaller is two x's longer than diameter 358 gr and longer is three x's longer than the diameter at 538 gr with my normal alloy for smokeless powder. Moving to softer alloy 30-1 after this pot is used up.

Tools are soap dish and sponge, rolling board, and not in the picture the lowest price guillotine paper cutter from WalMart I could find with a plastic 60-30-90 triangle for angle guide. Three turns of tracing paper final .458" diameter.

PP 45 board.jpg PP 45 Bullets.jpg PP 45 all.jpg
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Before I dropped big bucks on a paper patch heavy bullet mold, I would buy a couple of boxes of test weight bullets from these guys and see how they shoot. I guess I would also try different paper thickness to see what works.

https://www.buffaloarms.com/reloading-supplies-accessories/jacketed-lead-copper-coated-bullets?cat=69&p=2

25/20Marlin,

Thanks. I have had success with two layers of notebook paper on some and 3 layers of tracing paper on others. I will try some off the shelf before picking up a mold. Buffalo arms knows me. I wish they offered a customer lifetime value discounts. I would be at the highest discount level! My favorite so far is a 410gr PP in a 1885 low wall 45 Colt. 4198 gets the bullet moving at 1,030 fps. Only problem is the wispy 6# rifle and the steel crescent butt plate.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Are the rifling twists the same in both the 1886 and the .45-100? Or are you thinking the 400 grain bullet for the 1886 and the 530 grain for the 45-100?
Exactly, I am thinking a 350-365 gr for the 1886 with a 1 in 20" twist. I will shoot Big Bore Lever Silhouette in strings of 40 as well. No need for a heavy weight. The 45-100 single shot has a 1 in 18" twist and the ballistic twist calculators indicate it will support a subsonic 1.3" bullet easily.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Have you spent any time over on the cast bullet forum. There is a lot of good information over there.
Travlin,

Yes, thanks for asking. I have been casting for years for 25 cal to 45 cal with traditional grease grooves between 83 to 530 gr. I have dipped my toes in the PP water with some light weight paper patch loads that have proven successful. Now I am interested in more traditional weights. I appreciate all of the feedback from the MO mates. I knew the members would be able to help me with a new venture.

Cheers,
 
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Pappy, Please keep us updated on your paper patch progress. I for one will be following them with an eye toward trying some p p slugs in my heavy barreled Rolling Block 45-70.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Pappy, Please keep us updated on your paper patch progress. I for one will be following them with an eye toward trying some p p slugs in my heavy barreled Rolling Block 45-70.
Travlin,

If you also have a 45 Colt, start with what you have. Size some 230-250 gr cast bullets to .451-.452" and roll them with tracing paper. Two turns will add .005" and three turns will add .008". Give them 14.0 gr of Unique, a paper wad cut from a used NRA target under the bullet, and a light taper crimp. Just enough crimp to remove the bell and straighten the case for a smooth feed. It will move out at around 1,550-1,600 fps with the recoil of a 2 1/2" 410 shotgun load. You may need to work the charge a little depending on the barrel length to find the best accuracy.

Buffalo arms has a variety of punches for cutting your own wads.

This is my target practice load with the 1886 Win. They all touch at 50 yards from the bench. I have even shot a few NRA Big Bore Lever matches with this load. It rolls the rams easily and the light recoil is great for the 40 shot strings.

The only thing about PP is the additional handling of lead. Just like COVID, wash your hands and don't touch your face.

230 gr PP 9# 45-70 50 yards.jpg
 

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Thanks Pappy, I have loaded 45 Colt cartridges for many years and have plenty of cast Keith type 250 bullets and also have the mould and a lot of lead to make more. Do you use an alloy the same as would be loaded in a revolver? My roller is an old number one action that I had re-color case hardened and it's fitted with one of the old Numeric Arms heavy 30 inch octagon barrels. With the tiger stripe maple stock the whole thing weighs about eleven pounds. So far I have only shot it at 25 yards but it keeps a tight group with my loads using 4198 or 2400.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks Pappy, I have loaded 45 Colt cartridges for many years and have plenty of cast Keith type 250 bullets and also have the mould and a lot of lead to make more. Do you use an alloy the same as would be loaded in a revolver? My roller is an old number one action that I had re-color case hardened and it's fitted with one of the old Numeric Arms heavy 30 inch octagon barrels. With the tiger stripe maple stock the whole thing weighs about eleven pounds. So far I have only shot it at 25 yards but it keeps a tight group with my loads using 4198 or 2400.

Travlin,

I have used 40-1 to Electrotype 96-2-2 alloy wrapped in paper. I have found for best accuracy, especially using bore ride nose designs, they prefer softer alloy. For a light weight traditional grease groove bullets, mold what every is in the pot.

I have shot the 45 Colt rifle with the heavy bullets out to 200 meters so far with good results. Your rifle @ 11 pounds should be much easier on the shooter. The heavy 410gr heavy bullet in the single shot colt with a little more than 1/2 wrapped and the rest in the barrel has proven a good performer. Think 9/16-5/8 coverage. The diameter of the bullet is right at the lands diameter. Also, 4198 was the best powder tested starting at 19.0 gr and topping out with signs of case bulge starting just below 20 gr with Winchester large pistol primers.

You should really enjoy the variety the 45 colt provides in a rifle. I shoot 200 gr case up to the 410 gr and really like the variety. One other suggestion, only resize about 1/2 the case. If your chamber is like mine, your case may look more like a 44-40 with a small shoulder.
 
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Pappy,
Thank you for all the good advice based on your experience. As I stated I have moulds for both a Keith type S.W.C. and the round nose flat point bullet both @ about 250 grains plus the Lyman 385 and the Lee 405 grain rifle bullets. Also I have enough pure lead and hardened alloy so that I can pretty much cast them any hardness that I wish. I have been reloading and casting my own slugs since 1969 so I think that pouring hot lead won't be a problem. That said I always try to learn every time I heat up the pot. I am looking forward to trying out this new way of loading. Thanks again.
 

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The .450" nose and base dimension is used here. Also note that tests reported in the Am. Rifleman suggest shallow grooves in the base provide better accuracy than smooth sided bullets. A groove to catch the top edge of the paper can help prevent the paper from being torn on loading gate of lever action rifles. Harrison found chassis grease and a sprayed on coating of teflon was the best lube. I substitute rolling the patched bullet in a liquid teflon (as inhaling teflon does not seem like a good idea) then applying a finger applied coating of lithium based chassis grease. I do not use fillers, wads or grease plugs with this form of lubrication.
 
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