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Hello Wind and thanks for a good piece of information.
I noticed that you are using cowboy dies.
May I ask, since I am about as far away from cowboys as you can get:), what is the difference btwn cowboy dies and std dies?
Also why do the cowboy type seem to be favored by so many reloaders "over there"?

Thanks on beforehand!
HunterSwede
 

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Discussion Starter #62
Hey there HS -- It's mostly due to the expander plug and cast bullets. The other manufacturers are often smaller, complicating cast bullet reloading. With jacketed bullets sized in the .458" area and cast bullets often running .460-.461", smaller expander plugs often create issues with loading fatter lead bullets. The RCBS 38-55 Cowboy die set comes with two expander plugs to help cover all the bases.

View attachment 85290

Jacketed bullets are kind of a novelty to me as in "Hey look at these! They're shiny but a different color, and what's with the big hole in the end"? The fact that RCBS makes Cowboy dies for just about all the traditional lead bullet calibers is great. I recommend them so most folks can get a good start reloading right from the beginning.

Hope this helps. Best regards. Wind
 

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Thanks Wind!
So finally I got to know.
I just bought my first Marlin 1895 in 45/70 and this thing with cast bullet is all new to me.
In Sweden we use jackted bullet for almost everything, well except from the enthusiasts that cast their own of course.
Not quite there yet:)
I am using a 350 gr jacketed from North Fork for hunting and a 405 gr cast (think it is a czech brand) with some kind of coating for practice.
I guess I should get out the micrometer and start checking bullet diameters to make sure, but I suppose that if there is an issue it shows immediately when you seat the bullet.

A bit late but still
Happy New Year!
Ulf
 

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Discussion Starter #64
Hey again Ulf -- Most of the jacketed bullets are .458" in diameter. Most of the 45-70 die sets are set up for these. You should probably have no issues. Lead bullets require a little finesse in relating barrels, bullets and cases. Most often a case sized for a jacketed bullet will shave lead off the side of a lead bullet in the seating operation. If the case is sized for a lead bullet, a jacketed bullet might just fall in, as there may not be enough neck tension to hold it in place. Crimps are not designed to hold bullets in place with insufficient neck tension.

RCBS has been backed up in their production for some time. It's hard to get dies here in the States. If you are planning to go down the cast bullet road, you might get your European suppliers to try and get a few sets of Cowboy dies headed across the pond. Best regards. Wind
 

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I have a problem with crimping my 45/70's with my Dillon 550. Called Lee yesterday and found out my shell plate is to thick to use the LFC crimp so sometime this week I will buy another press just for the 45/70! it will be a Lee press and I'l use the Lee FC for a good crimp.
Hey kd115,

I doubt very much that you need another press to reload your 45-70 ammo. Before we blame the Dillon shell-plate we might want to examine the setup & adjustment of your LFC Die. On occasion, I have experienced drama with the LFC Die if I neglected proper adjustment. In other words it was my operator error and not the fault of the press or dies. I will wager that if you remove the LFC Die, disassemble and thoroughly clean it, reset it in your 550 after re-reading the instructions http://leeprecision.com/cgi-data/instruct/RM3508.pdf you will solve your problem.

If it helps, just post a pic of the cartridge after the seating station just to make sure that step yielded the correct result. The post with pics by Wind is a very good guide also.

Best of luck and if I can help please don't hesitate to pm me.
 
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Well boy and girls -- There has been some discussion lately, mostly directed at reloading the 45-70 cartridge, complete with bulges and crimp issues. I thought I’d offer up a few ideas on getting to the point where one needed to apply the crimp. I’ve been using the RCBS Cowboy dies and I think they do a great job. Here is how they play with a 405 grain Laser-Cast bullets sized to .459”. The brass in the pictures has been fired at least 10 times.

A full length size gets everything back where it’s supposed to be. Worrying about wearing out a case mouth is a waste of time. It will wear out eventually. With at least twenty loadings within reason, one or two more or less isn’t worth sweating. It’s the price of doing business.


A proper bell and flare will probably do more to extend case life than partial sizing. It also establishes the case neck tension holding the bullet. A proper flare will allow the bullet to enter the case neck to about the first lube groove on these 405 grain bullets. You can see the light reflective lines on the first case, sized only. The second case shows the edge of the case mouth flared. You can’t see or feel the bell if done correctly.


The second picture shows the bullet, the bullet sitting on a case that is sized only, and the bullet in a case sized, belled and flared.


And finally we have the bullet seated and crimped. Notice on all these cases the reflective lines are straight, except at the case mouth of the flared case. Also notice the case with the seated bullets has no bulging.

I’d like to suggest that doing a complete operation on reloading, from sizing to crimping will produce quality ammunition and eliminate many aggravating problems with feeding and chambering. It may also increase accuracy. Hope this helps. Best regards. Wind (I’m not on the RCBS payroll and no blue poly tarps were harmed filming this blurb.)
i am using hornady t/c set should i be using a cowboy die for laser cast bullets or just adjust my dies accordingly.

charles
 

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I,m using an old RCBS two die set with a lyman m die for neck expansion Works well for me No Bulges
DOGG!!!
 

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I load all my own 45/70 cartridges (cost $45.00 per 20 factory rounds here in South Australia). Also can be hard getting good quality unprimed brass. I use a lee die set with case sizer, flarer and bullet seat. We also use ADI powders here, min load of 55gn for 2,221 for a 300 grainer, but loading up some 350 cast Black hawks for a tad over 2,000 fps. The only part that took some time was the adjustment for the crimping, but the locking nuts are easy to set and forget. I still measure all my loads with verniers though. I use RCBS for my 338 magnum etc. Always remember to use case lube, I have a RCBS lube tray. If you dont you risk having a 45/70 shell stuck in a die, the inertia on the loading lever will easily ruin the case.

cheers

Johno - land down under
 

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I have a problem with crimping my 45/70's with my Dillon 550. Called Lee yesterday and found out my shell plate is to thick to use the LFC crimp so sometime this week I will buy another press just for the 45/70! it will be a Lee press and I'l use the Lee FC for a good crimp.
I use a lee Classic turret press for all my 45-70 reloading, it has worked well for me.

LEE CLASSIC TURRET PRESS
 

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I will add too what is all ready here.

I use regular RCBS Dies, and a Lyman 310 tool to load 45-70's. However the hardest lead I have shot in years has been aprox 20-1 to ....uhm dead soft 40-1 and nothing other than real Black powder (FFg and some FF/ FFF 777 when I couldn't get real black, for those looking for real black try powderinc )

For those unfamiluar with the 310 tool, it does it all , except full leangth re-size. I use it on Remington cases to get a full charge of powder in the case, makes them look a little more bottle necked, however this method kinda makes it gun specific. ie rounds form the rolling block didn't work in the guide gun, or 86 Win, or my budies trapdoor...
These dies are for cast bullets and work very well with blackpowder loads, but can be very aggressive on the flare and ruin cases, as can the crimp. I personally like the crimp these dies provide.
***However the agressive crimp can ruin cases if you do not have your cases trimmed to the same leangth. This allso is important for accuracy beyond 100 yds, as case leangth will effect the amount of crimp aplied round to round, which will effect velocities and create up and down stringing.

I use a standard set of RCBS 45-70 dies but to get an adequate flare on the case I have to set everything down as far as I can get it to get a good flare.
These dies are full leangth resize, they run about $35 $45 bucks per 3 die set and have searved me very well. I have seen no need to pay the extra for a set of RCBS Cowboy dies. I do have a set in 32-40, and they are very much like Lyman dies, I have 2 sets of those, 1 in 38-55 and a set in 45-90. Lyman dies are about the same as the RCBS but seem to be more BP shooter friendly, and I do prefer any of the dies I mentioned over the Lee dies (I own some of them too, .9mm and .223, I didn't care for the .45 dies I had from them) The standard RCBS or Lyman 45-70 dies will work fine and all truth be told current green box RCBS dies are designed around 45-70 lever guns with hard cast bullets and smokeless loads.

as I mentioned above I no longer shoot hard cast, and cast my own bullets these days. I do give warning here if anyone is interested/ new to casting...wheel weights today are not what they were 20 years ago and are too hard. Look for sheet lead and tin, Roto Mettles sells tin and dead soft lead, or you can buy it pre mixed. 20-1 lead would be very good option for casting your own, and BP loads. The crimp is very important for long range accuracy and allows the soft bullet to grow slightly creating a a gass seal. Hard casts used with BP loads will not grow, and allow blow by which leads the boore....I allmost have out of my Rem... On smokless loads the crimp is less important in this aspect and mainly holds the bullet to keep it from sliding back into the cassing under recoil however that can create accuracy and pressure problems.
So here is a simple way to decide to crimp...1. it loads into a tube, or 2. was made prior to 1900 it was likley sedigned for BP and those were crimped, 3. wonder magnum hand cannon (500 S&W) Crimp it

As for a good load, I will suggest the Lyman reloading manuale, and suggest that you do not exceed 450 grn bullets or you may have feeding issues due to weight and overall cartridge leangth.

Hope this helps answer some of the upcomming questions about 45-70 here on the thread that was started.
 

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I forgot something, Getting more reloads from your case.

Anneal your case mouths and they should last longer. If your shooting StarLine and want to shoot BP loads they tell you on thier wep page to aneal the cases.
 

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I realize this thread was started years ago but is there any chance of recovering the pictures from the original posts? Heck, there is nothing in the first several pages.
 

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I use Starline brass for reloads. Its tough stuff, so I find I must use a bench-mounted press for the entire reloading process. My dies are Redding and I don't need a separate crimping die to seat/crimp bullets.

YMMV
 
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I use Starline brass for reloads. Its tough stuff, so I find I must use a bench-mounted press for the entire reloading process. My dies are Redding and I don't need a separate crimping die to seat/crimp bullets.

YMMV
I use a Lee hand press for reloading and all go well and easy. I do have a fixed press but I don't use it much.

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Found using Lee Factory Crimp die reduced S.D. down to less than 10 fps using H335 and a 300 gr. JSP @1900 fps. No degradation in accuracy either. Was amazed.
 
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