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I have a question; when you load a 45-70 shell with say 46 grains of powder it's only maybe half full. Then when it's chambered laying flat in the rifle ready to shoot, I would think the powder has moved to the bottom half of the shell and maybe only half way on the primer. How does that work? I thought the bullets were full of powder? But after my first reload session loading 45-70 I see that is not the case.

Is there ever a time that you would want to push a wad into the shell to keep the powder tight against the primer?

Baffled on how this works... Can someone explain

Thanks

Gary
 

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I have a question; when you load a 45-70 shell with say 46 grains of powder it's only maybe half full. Then when it's chambered laying flat in the rifle ready to shoot, I would think the powder has moved to the bottom half of the shell and maybe only half way on the primer. How does that work? I thought the bullets were full of powder? But after my first reload session loading 45-70 I see that is not the case.

Is there ever a time that you would want to push a wad into the shell to keep the powder tight against the primer?



Baffled on how this works... Can someone explain

Thanks





Gary
Gary...First of all , Have you ever Completely" read a reloading manual all the way through ... Every Page in say a Good manual like Lyman :questionmark: Just wondering , because I believe if you Have" , you wouldn't be asking this kind of a question..... If you haven't... DO SO My Friend , and Understand What" your reading ! If you don't understand something in the book you read ..... RE Read it , until you Do" Understand it...... Don't second guess this stuff man....

But your best bet when your loading that 45~70 case.... Pick and use a powder that Ether fill's that case , or Pretty close to it . Your accuracy will pay off in the long run . But You Need to understand the burn rate of the VAST different powder's , and NEVER Overload Any Case" Rifle Or pistol , Past what the Max. Chamber pressure , for what ever Caliber Rifle Or Pistol your trying to load for .

Magnum6
 

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Even though that primer looks pretty small, it fills the case with very hot flame and tiny particles of burning metal. Try this - seat a primer in a case with no powder or bullet, then go outside, load the case in your gun and fire the primer with the gun pointed in a safe direction. You will most likely see flame come out the end of the barrel. If there is no powder in the case and a bullet is seated, the gas generated by the primer itself is enough to get the bullet out of the neck and at least partway down the barrel (do not try this unless you want to spend the rest of the day getting a bullet out of your barrel). There is no chance that powder will not be ignited if it is anywhere in the case, regardless of its orientation within the case.

That said, some powders don't seem to care much if there's a good bit of space left in the case, some burn much more uniformly when there is less airspace in the case, and some few powders even prefer to be compressed. All powders act differently and its all about how easy it is to get the powder to light completely and quickly, and getting a hot, uniform burn going before the bullet starts to move. Most of the time it's easier to do this consistently when the powder nearly fills the case.

Go with what your manual recommends, make notes of any questions you have during the process and find the answers. This is a long journey and there's lots to learn.
 

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Good morning gentlemen, I'm happy to see this post simply to see the safety factor pushed.
I've also started to load for my 45-70, so I like to read these discussions. My question, is there a source/book/web site for lighter loads with different powders etc for the 45-70, 44 mag etc? I have heard the term "cowboy loads" and I'm guessing this means the same thing. Please forgive me for not knowing all the correct terms, I've been loading a while, just not in these calibers. Thanks in advance.
 

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Efin, remember that the 45-70 can be loaded for "trap door" rifles (basically older rifles with weaker frames designed for use with black powder cartridges), use those loads and see how it goes. You need to be just as careful "loading down" as well as "over charging" a rifle case. How far you can load down will depend on the powder, and weight of bullet, and length of bullet. For example, a "light load" for a 405gr LRNFP bullet would be 28gr's of IMR-4198. However, increase the bullet weight....which will also increase the bullet length so that it seats deeper into the cartridge, will make that same load feel like a "hot load".
In my Sharps I went to 26gr's of IMR-4198 for my 630gr bullet, which would have been a VERY light load with my 405gr bullet. The 630gr bullet with that powder beat the tar out of my shoulder! So I reduced the load to 24gr's, now it's better!
Here is a pic of different bullets, you can see by the lengths what I'm talking about..longer bullets leave less room in the cartridge for powder and the impending explosion of powder!
Left to right:
147gr LRN - 9mm pistols and 38cal revolvers
350gr LRNFP
405gr LRNFP
405gr JSP
520gr LRNFP
480gr Spitzer
560gr LCNGC
630gr LRN
 

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I have heard that there is a possible danger of "ringing" your chamber/bore ? if something is used to hold the powder in place against the primer. I used to load light loads for grouse with the Lyman "collar button" bullet. I don't believe Lyman listed the mould for it anymore but Rapine might still make it. It was a bullet shaped like a wadcutter but with a conical tip, and they weighed around 155 grains. I used 7 grains of Unique and folded a square of toilet paper to hold the powder against the primer, as there was so little powder in the case. I can't remember now where I got the data and instructions to use the T.P. filler, maybe an old Lyman manual. Velocity was around 1000 fps. and the rounds were very quiet and accurate at the ranges I used them at, under 30 yards. 1" groups at that range. I used up the supply I had from a friend's mould and had since read where you shouldn't use something to hold the powder against the primer. As others have said above, the primer flame will ignite the powder reliably.
 

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Good morning gentlemen, I'm happy to see this post simply to see the safety factor pushed.
I've also started to load for my 45-70, so I like to read these discussions. My question, is there a source/book/web site for lighter loads with different powders etc for the 45-70, 44 mag etc? I have heard the term "cowboy loads" and I'm guessing this means the same thing. Please forgive me for not knowing all the correct terms, I've been loading a while, just not in these calibers. Thanks in advance.
Here is what you are looking for, Efin... enjoy: Lever Gun Performance Studies
 

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If you want a light load for target shooting use IMR Trail Boss Powder. I use 300 grain Laser cast bullets for target shooting. When you go to the Hodgdon Reloading data site there will be 3 levels of 45-70 loading, Trapdoor, Lever action and Modern Rifle. If one has an older model rifle DEFINATELY stay in trapdoor load data. Trapdoor loads can be shot in either the Lever action or modern rifle but the reverse is not. Never shoot Modern lever or Modern rifle in a trapdoor you will blow your face off. The comfortable Trail Boss loads I use is 15 to 17 grains of powder for the 300 grain bullet. I also place a .060 John's vegetable wad over the powder. This is done not to compress the powder but to cut down on the leading in my barrel. The wads are 20 dollars for one thousand wads. Here is the address and phone number for John Walters. He is a real nice guy. Good Luck ,be safe, and have a hell of a lot of fun reloading and shooting. By the way I chronied the 17 grain load averaged a bit over 1200 feet per second. I also hit clay pigeons on a berm at 105 yards dead on. Good load.
John Walters
500 N. Avery Dr.
Moore, OK 73160

Phone: 405-799-0376​

ALSO WELCOME TO THE FORUM FROM THE GREAT PLAINS OF KANSAS!!!
 
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When I first started reloading about 25 years ago, I distinctively remember hearing about ignition and pressure issues if you didn't contact the primer with powder. Frankly it scared me.
Now that I'm older and more interested in getting less out of some firearms, I've done some research and found what others have said.
I have a tendency to overthink things because I don't want to be "that guy who blows off a body part.
If I read something in print or on the internet I'll verify several times over for safety sake.
That said, I really need to pick up the latest and greatest reloading manual and read cover to cover. I'm not working right now and would add it to my reading list.
Any suggestions on which one to get?
 

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If a half empty case worries you (and it shouldn't) you can use fluffy powders that will fill the case. Try SR4759, AA5744 and Trail Boss. Of course you can go back to the original Black Powder or Black Powder substitutes which completely fill the case.

I use AA5744 because it shoots so well in my 45-70 ammo.
 

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Good morning gentlemen, I'm happy to see this post simply to see the safety factor pushed.
I've also started to load for my 45-70, so I like to read these discussions. My question, is there a source/book/web site for lighter loads with different powders etc for the 45-70, 44 mag etc? I have heard the term "cowboy loads" and I'm guessing this means the same thing. Please forgive me for not knowing all the correct terms, I've been loading a while, just not in these calibers. Thanks in advance.
Good afternoon My Friend" , good question , and the answer is Yes" .... you Can make lighter load for your pistols and your rifles . And that is a good way to start on , esp. getting use to the recoil of big bore pistols And rifles . Efin you can pick Any" good published loading manuel and always go by what it tell you to do when loading Any caliber case , rifle or pistol . Most manuels will tell you to dump..... say a Maximum" of 21 grains of H~110 powder in like a 44 mag. case , which is a pretty hot load for that 44 case . You will also see in in that Same little area of that manuel , where it tell's you to alway's use 10% LESS powder grains of the powder to start out with , and Build your load up in like 1/2 grains increment's at a time clear up to the Max. for that case , and Chamber" pressure for your gun your using . Now not ' all powder tell you to start of with 10% less ..... Powders like Winchester 296 .... You want to load the case JUST Like It Say's" 21 gr's or what ever they have there in black and white , don't use 10% less powder in the case if THAT powder your using say for you NOT" to . Lyman is a Very good book that teaches you all about the different burn rates of the powders.... there All" listed in the Lyman reloading Manuel , as well as most other manuals . the l recommend The Lyman manual , because it get's DEEP in to Each chapter and make's thing's soak in to your head in Great Depth . Very good for new guy's that haven't been reloading very long or much , Esp: for Rifle Reloading . Your dealing with pressures well over 60,000 psi in some of your average rifle chambers , and There is MAXIMUM limit you don't want to go much past that point , Same go's for pistol chambers , because I'm sure you know , they will ALL Blow to smithereens if you go much past that chamber pressure in a fire arm.... There is a limit in Every one ever made . If ya didn't know that" , now ya do :)

But Yeah Efin , you can load that big ~0~ 45~70 down a lot , depending on which powder your using and how much of it .... Slower burning powders like IMR 4064 , build HIGH Pressures . Faster burning powders like Bullseye , build less pressures . .... Less Kick" or Muzzle Blast on your arm or hand ..... Re: ... different burn rates . Each powder mfg. also publishes and loading manual for each one of there powders they sell.... Same way with bullet mfg's , the each have a load manual for each of the bullet's They sell . You can buy them to put in your library , or down load them from your computer . I Keep a Whole Wall full of Loading manuals , for my quick reference , when I'm working in my loading room ..... Hope that give's ya little incite there man .... :tee:


Magnum6
 

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When I first started reloading about 25 years ago, I distinctively remember hearing about ignition and pressure issues if you didn't contact the primer with powder. Frankly it scared me.
Now that I'm older and more interested in getting less out of some firearms, I've done some research and found what others have said.
I have a tendency to overthink things because I don't want to be "that guy who blows off a body part.
If I read something in print or on the internet I'll verify several times over for safety sake.
That said, I really need to pick up the latest and greatest reloading manual and read cover to cover. I'm not working right now and would add it to my reading list.
Any suggestions on which one to get?
I recommend the latest Lyman Reloading manual Fred....

Magnum6 :tee:
 

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Excellent information gentlemen, I wish I could find Trail Boss, it always seems to disappear fast. Thank you.
 

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When I used to use smokeless, I always filled the case. Powder, veggie wad, dacron filler, boolit.
They just seem to group better.
 

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And I avoid fillers/wads etc. and go to another powder if loading info suggests that use.

One thing that is a bit mind blowing with the 45/70 is that any load listed for the Trap Doors will fire safely in the Marlins or Rugers, which brings about the oft said comment of loading from, "Mild to Wild".

So, don't over think this situation, as a load listed as safe in the Trap Door rifles will surely NOT damage the other two, or the person shooting them.

Confusing? YES! I found it so during my early days with this grand old cartridge after years of loading for typical and more modern centerfire firearms, and very likely the load in use for my RUGER #1 (465gr WFN at 1650fps) falls solidly within the load information deemed safe for the Marlins. Works and puts down elk and deer in awesome fashion.

Nothing more is needed!!

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Gary...First of all , Have you ever Completely" read a reloading manual all the way through ... Every Page in say a Good manual like Lyman :questionmark: Just wondering , because I believe if you Have" , you wouldn't be asking this kind of a question..... If you haven't... DO SO My Friend , and Understand What" your reading ! If you don't understand something in the book you read ..... RE Read it , until you Do" Understand it...... Don't second guess this stuff man....

But your best bet when your loading that 45~70 case.... Pick and use a powder that Ether fill's that case , or Pretty close to it . Your accuracy will pay off in the long run . But You Need to understand the burn rate of the VAST different powder's , and NEVER Overload Any Case" Rifle Or pistol , Past what the Max. Chamber pressure , for what ever Caliber Rifle Or Pistol your trying to load for .

Magnum6
Got it, I will take that advice and go with it! I have a couple good books, Lyman is not one of them...I'll pick one up and start studying... It was a simple question... Lots of good feed back

Thanks all
Gary
 

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Good morning gentlemen, I'm happy to see this post simply to see the safety factor pushed.
I've also started to load for my 45-70, so I like to read these discussions. My question, is there a source/book/web site for lighter loads with different powders etc for the 45-70, 44 mag etc? I have heard the term "cowboy loads" and I'm guessing this means the same thing. Please forgive me for not knowing all the correct terms, I've been loading a while, just not in these calibers. Thanks in advance.
"Cowboy loads" refers to Cowboy Action Shooting which is a type of shooting, a recently developed game really, where well meaning and very nice people in cowboy attire, stand in front of huge stationary targets waaay too close to them, and hit them with lots of bullets as quick as they can, with pistol, rifle and shotgun. In order to do this they like to have the lightest ammo possible. I just went to a CAS shoot last week and while the folks were great, I came away shaking my head.
 
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