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Hi all,


I'll be picking up my new 1895SBL next week and in anticipation I have been thinking more about what ammunition I should acquire for target practice at the range. I'm new to the 45-70 format and am not quite ready to jump into reloading at this point, so I'll be buying factory ammo. Obviously, I'll be interested in finding the best "bang for the buck" and looking for something (relatively) inexpensive without breaking the bank... of course I don't want anything that is so crappy it's going to give my levergun or barrel any problems either.

Some of the brands I've noticed around the online retailers are as follows:
(roughly, cheapest to more expensive)

Black Butterfly Ammunition, Target, 350gr, Berry PRS "Sitting Bull" ...(looks like a "new" brand, never heard of it before)
Steinel Ammunition 300gr Hornady JHP High Power ...(Is this stuff any good?)
HSM Cowboy Ammo 405Gr. RNFP-Hard-TLG
Privi Partizan 405gr Semi Jacketed Flat Point
Winchester 300gr Polymer Tip Ballistic Silvertip
Armscor 300gr JHP
Sellier & Bellot 405gr Soft Point
Federal 300gr Bonded SP Hammer Down
Great Lakes 405gr RNFP
Hornady 325gr FTX LEVERevolution
Ventura Heritage 360gr RNFP
Federal Power-Shok 300gr FN
Fiocchi 405gr Lead Round Nose Flat Point
Remington 405gr Core-Lokt Soft Point ...(2 kinds? Marlin & Remington Express?)
Hornady 250gr LEVERevolution Monoflex
Winchester Super-X 300gr JHP

*These prices are roughly ranging from $1.17 to $1.65 per round (at today's prices online)

Also, trying to understand what the deal is with ammo listed as "Cowboy"... some are, some aren't. I assume that maybe this has something to do with the bullets being "lead" (Cowboy) verses "jacketed" (non-Cowboy), yes? Also there seems to be some difference in the amount of recoil in some of these "Cowboy" loads (reduced velocity? less recoil? safer for Trapdoor leverguns?) Anyone care to enlighten this 45-70 NOOB? :embarassed: Are "Cowboy" loads not recommended for the Marlin 1895SBL, safe (or worse) to use that the non-Cowboy loads, or does it even matter?

Any brands, types of ammo you recommend on the list above or otherwise for practice at the range? Thanks in advance for your advice, recommendations, or comments!
 

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Of those listed I only have experience with the Hornady and Winchester Super X. Cowboy loads are fine in your gun and easy on the shoulder. Most of my shooting is with subsonic 405s through a suppressor so have to roll my own.
 

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"Cowboy" loads are indeed mild, and a lot of fun to shoot. Actually the standard Remington 405 grain soft point ammo is gentle shooting too.

I haven't shot a lot of factory ammo through a 45/70, preferring to handload, but yes, there are quite a few options. I'm impressed that you found so many different 45/70 ammo choices!

Guy
 

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Commercial bullets in this caliber are going to be expensive for “plinking” most manufactures do not make a “plinking”round. Cowboy action is a light recoil and would fall into the “plinking” category. Purchasing loaded bullets via the mail is expensive unless you purchase in large quantities Your best bet is finding somebody that reloads and buy the components. I just loaded up 50 rounds of 290 grain lead “plinkers” over 11 grains of unique. Very light to no recoil, fun and economical to shoot. Well below the projected $1.17-$1.65 per bang.
 

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If you are going to get the itch to shoot the 45 70 it is time for you to invest in a lee loader, some cast bullets, and trail boss powder. Virtually fool proof equipment and components. Sit at the bench and reload more as you are enjoying the day at the range. Straight wall cases are a bunch of fun with the lee loader and Trail Boss powder will give you all the plinking loads you desire. You might as well do it now and save the time of doing it later.:biggrin::biggrin:
 

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Dallesed is spot on. I started shooting 45 70 with factory ammo and could hardly afford to shoot, so I soon started reloading. Trail boss with 405s is so cheap, and a lot of fun. Get the cheapest ammo you can find if you just want to plink, and be sure to save your cases. Reloading straight wall cases is not hard to learn. When you're ready to start reloading you will easily be able to find more than enough instructional videos.
 

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I have to agree that if you are plinking with factory ammo, price will probably be your primary consideration. I'm one of those that started reloading because of my 45-70s. It doesn't take long for a modest reloading kit to pay for itself at $1.17 to $1.65 per round. Regarding the cowboy loads, my GBL loves the Black Hills, 405 grain at about 1250 fps. In fact, I've hunted whitetail the past few seasons with them and had excellent results. Of course, 50-60 yards is a long shot in my hilly hardwoods.

Congratulations on the SBL! We're looking forward to some pics and a range report when you bring it home. I think you'll really enjoy it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks all for all of your input on this subject. It appears that the consensus is that I ought to start looking at reloading if I want to save any money in the long haul with my 45-70. I'm not quite ready for that just yet. I'll need to find a space in which I can do that first, but certainly will consider it. It's kinda funny... just the other day I ran across a YouTube video (see below) whereby this guy gives 10 things he wished he'd have known before starting to reload ammunition... and the first item of the 10 things he mentions is "Reloading Can Actually Be More Expensive Than Factory Ammunition"... go figure. I'm sure it's all how you put it in context, but something to think about anyway.

So in the meantime, I've been trying to acquire a few different loads to check out with my new Marlin 1895SBL... thus far I've ordered 560 Rds of the following:

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Federal Power-Shok 300gr Speer Hot-Cor Soft Point ($1.33/Rd) [200Rds] Target Sports

Fiocchi Cowboy Action 405gr LRNFP ($1.14/Rd) [100Rds] Target Sports

Federal Premium Hammer Down 300gr Bonded Soft Point ($1.33/Rd) [100Rds] Target Sports

Black Butterfly Target 350gr Berry PRS “Sitting Bull” ($1.17/Rd) [80Rds] Black Butterfly Ammo

Black Butterfly Premium 300gr Hornady “Cochise” ($1.19/Rd) [40Rds] Black Butterfly Ammo

Black Hills Cowboy Action 405gr Lead Flat Point ($1.73/Rd) [40Rds] Brownell’s
.................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .........................

Some of it hasn't even arrived yet... seems a lot of ammo suppliers are pretty backed up during these times. I'll hopefully get some pics uploaded and report back once I get a chance to get to the range.

Thanks again, and keep the comments and suggestions coming... :top:

 
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