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Finally... Some loads through my 1895CB

4470 Views 21 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  nframe
Saturday was a beautiful day and I finally managed to get out and set up the chronograph to test my first .45-70 loads. The only component bullet I could get locally was the Hornady 300 gr JHP. Using Remington Brass, Winchester Lg Rifle Primers, and Alliant RE-7, I loaded up four rounds each of 45.0, 46.0, 47.0, 48.0 and 48.5 grains, all to an OAL of 2.550".

On paper, the 48.5 gr load printed the best overall group (~3/4" for 3-shots at 50 yards & 1-1/4" if we include the fourth shot), and was running ~1,966 fps from the Cowboy, but statistically, the 48.0 gr load should have been the best load. Granted, four rounds isn't much of a sample population for statistics, but it is a starting point. My next set of test loads will go from 47.5 gr on up to 49.0 gr in 0.5 grain increments, and that should tell me pretty well where the sweet spot is for this rifle/bullet/powder combination. I don't think I have any desire to try for a hotter load than about where I was at, and probably won't test anything with more than 49.0 gr of Re-7 with this bullet. Which leads me to the next thing... ::)

One thing about that Cowboy, with its thin butt, plastic butt plate, and relatively light weight, it kicks like a Missouri Mule. I haven't had a black, blue, red, and yellow shoulder for many years. I don't mind recoil, and though these loads are reasonably light compared to what I have seen others posting, I am not ashamed to say that my 1895CB literally kicks hard.

I have shot some pretty brutal loads in some other rifles, but this 1895CB lets you feel every single foot per second the various loads generate, particularly from a bagged postition off a bench. If nothing else, the action is smooth and snug, the rifle accurate and a pleasure to carry, looks cool, and launches a big ol' chunk of bullet. After these H'dy 300 gr JHP are gone and I am satisfied that I have the best whitetail thumping load I can manage, my next venture will be with some 350 or 400 gr cast boolits over IMR-Trail Boss, and the experimentation will continue. The trick will be learning what the rifle likes, the trajectory, and how well I can see the target(s).

So far, so good... ;)
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I'm with you on that one. I've kicked up some hunting loads I made several years ago when I was not sparing any powder. ::), and found that cowboy kicks way more than my 22 inch, my Buffalo Classic, and my Ruger #1. I got that leather slip on kick killer from Cabelas that has a bit of padding (you can add to it). Certainly helps for my increased length of pull and a little buffer. Even light loads let that thing kick??? Your load looks good. Back in the first days with the caliber, I had the 300's going 2200, but it isn't necessary. Have fun!
I had read in some of your other posts regarding felt recoil from the 1895CB. Also, read of your enthusiasm for "pooch" loads, and seeing the kind of accuracy others have gotten from their similar "pooch" loads, I am looking forward to "pooch" loads myself. ;) ;D

I have plenty of 2400 and Trail Boss (now...) and will be sitting down to see which is the best for me and my rifle. It will be an interesting challenge for me to get a "pooch" load dialed in, become proficient with it, and then sit back and wait for another hunting season.

After seeing my shoulder, the wife asked if I was getting soft in my old age. She had never seen me come back from the range that marked up. After looking in the mirror, and feeling how tenderized my shoulder had gotten from the Cowboy, I understand (all too well) your enthusiasm for the "pooch" loads in that rifle. Good thing I didn't run right out and try to work up and test loads in that 2,200 fps neighborhood. ;)

If I need a load with that much oomph for something, I still have my .444 - - at least it has the XLR factory recoil pad. ;D
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Contrary to what it may sound like, with that kick killer, its easy to take the kick, and as long as you use the same bullet with different loads, the POA will be fairly similar. I like lead, so I seem to gravitate to the 400gr. variety. Using the 13gr of Unique or Trailboss for plinking and that 2400 load is good for hunting as long as you dont mind a little more arc than the 300's. Those 300's are fine, but the lead going slower makes for a more pleasant load in my estimation. Might even tone that load to 23 gr. or so of the 2400 to keep it more accurate with that long barrel. 25gr. of 2400 also works with a good Remington HP. That is not very fast, but definitely works, and is a powder puff compared to what you're shooting now. :D Give it a try. You might become a convert. ;D The remington is the key component there, cause its so soft.

I know the trail boss/unique would work fine for hunting, but prefer that 2400. It really rocked the hogs world we used the other day. I can't believe I used to load those 400's at just under 2000fps for my mental security. It simply isn't needed. That CB will probably spit them out at 1500fps, and that really isn't all that slow. (much faster than Remington's express load)
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DWB – ;D ;D ;D
That’s about what I did with my CB also after first getting it.
How so much recoil can be transmitted thru that skinny grip w/o splitting it is beyond me ?... It didn’t take but one range session for me to “reevaluate” my shoulder’s capability.

+1 on what Dr. A said :)
Once you go to the heaver lead bullet at a lower velocity – the recoil pulse changes from that quick sharp snap… To more of a long big push… ;)
I am pretty sure I saw some 400 or 405 gr cast available somewhere - just need to remember where. Perhaps, rather than trying to find a good, accurate, heavier load with the 300's I still have on hand (up in that 1,900 to 2,000 fps range), I should focus more on lighter loads with them, just so I can get them used up.

Funny thing is that I should have known that a lighter bullet at higher velocity whacks as hard (or worse) on the shoulder than a heavier bullet going a bit slower. I went through that experiment previously with my .444 when I was farting around with some 240's. A 240 gr from the .444 at ~2,400 fps has more felt recoil (to me) than a 280 gr (at 2,200 fps) or a 300 gr bullet (at 2,100 fps) does, or at least that's the way it feels.

I never was a real quick study. ::)

When I get a chance, I am going to try those heavier cast bullets with the Trail Boss - - along the lines of the loads posted in another thread. Just for plinking. Once I get it squared away, I will have to try the "Dr. A" load with the 2400 as well. A bullet weighing near an ounce, shuffling along at 1,100 or 1,200 fps (with the Trail Boss) should be fun, and the same bullet shuffling along at near 1,400 or 1,500 fps (with the 2400) is bound to be more pleasant than the loads I tested this past weekend.

Either way, at least I was given a kitchen pass long enough to get it out and make it go bang. ;)
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I really need to get to casting. I haven't shot my 1895 in months because the ammo is so expensive to buy, but it's such a hoot to shoot that's almost a crime...I have the Lyman dies, 2400 powder, Unique powder, plenty of brass, and the casting setup...just need to order the mold from Ranchdog and get some lead to cast with. Okay, I'm going to order those today.
I'm sure I'll go back to shooting the hot stuff some day, but not in this gun. I don't think anything convinced me of the need for downloads more than watching my buddy shooting my hot loads. He rated expert in the military and teaches weapons/techniques etc. in the local police force. He hunts with a 300 win mag some of the time. There is no reason for a heavy load for 99% of what we do.
miatakix said:
I really need to get to casting. I haven't shot my 1895 in months because the ammo is so expensive to buy, but it's such a hoot to shoot that's almost a crime...I have the Lyman dies, 2400 powder, Unique powder, plenty of brass, and the casting setup...just need to order the mold from Ranchdog and get some lead to cast with. Okay, I'm going to order those today.
I think he now offers them without the gas check shank. Something I'd be looking at for sure. Even getting just half for the gas check would be better.
Pretty cool, Dr. A! Now I just need to figure out which bullet weight to go with...I don't think there is a 405gr RD bullet, the 350 and 425 are all I see. Oh bother. I guess I could always get both, but I was hoping for just one ;D
I'll put in a kind word for the slip-on pads that Wallyworld has. I went looking for one before I shot my new CB, because the LOP was too short and I'm lazy. The pad not only made the stock more ergonomically friendly, but took any sting out of shooting it. For pain, nothing compares to shooting the 'Old One' (38-55 model 1893 made in late '94, with the carnivorous crescent but plate).
Stoke them up and they will get your attention.

I've had some Hardcast 420's going at 1730 fps and that was plenty for me.

My best load is Rem Brass, 47 gr IMR 3031, Winchester Large Rifle Standard Primer, 405 Remington bullet @ 1650fps. Very accurate in my 1895 CB.

I use a Past Recoil shoulder pad to ease the pain.

I found some 405 gr Cast plain base boolits at a LGS that are priced pretty reasonably. Those should work well with my supply of Trail Boss. I still have 30 more of the H'dy 300 gr JHP to do some more testing with.

If I get a chance to pick up some boolits, I will check into a slip on pad for the rest of the bench work I am planning with the jacketed bullets. Once I settle on a load, and get a few more loaded, I will finish that box of H'dy bullets out with some shooting from positions. Off-hand standing is bound to hurt way less than shooting from the bench.

Just need to determine some limits of what I can tolerate with this rifle, recoil wise, and bench work doesn't help at all with that.

FWIW, even though I fired only 20 rounds this past Saturday, it has been five days and my shoulder is only now turning that mottled yellow color. The collar bone is still a tad tender though - - felt like I was stepped on by a steer, but that is slowly improving as well. :-\

Geez, I love big bores. ::) ;) ;D
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I'm no big guy, or tough guy, but the CB is only bad on the bench. Off hand or when hunting I've never felt it or gotten a bruise. On the bench if the loads are above 36gr of IMR4198 they will leave a mark on me. It's the position of your body, more prone, when on the bench.

I wish the CB had a good recoil pad but I have avoided that to keep the traditional look. When at the bench, now I use one of those slip on rubber-like pads to soften the blow if I am using high end rounds like Hornady LE. The LOP is greater but doesn't really get noticed since it is on the bench only.

I will likely move completely to the slower 405 loads like 32-35gr IMR4198 or 24+ in 2400 if I ever get enough range time to calculate trajectories beyond 100 yards. Lighter recoil = more practice time and greater accuracy overall. IMHO
I use a cheater "Past Magnum Pad" for the biggies from the bench. That way, it don't ugly-up the rifle. ;D
Shooting the Trail Boss or 2400 loads = a t-shirt :D
BFPGW said:
... I wish the CB had a good recoil pad but I have avoided that to keep the traditional look. When at the bench, now I use one of those slip on rubber-like pads to soften the blow if I am using high end rounds...
Yup, that rifle sure looks good with the that thin pastic butt plate, and the thought of a crescent butt sounds even more appealing. However, after reading horror stories of what that crescent does - - No, Thanks. ;)

The slip on will work fine for what I need it to do, and if anybody sees me shooting with it tries to comment on the wimp factor, I will happily remove it for them to try a few heavier rounds (with the stipulation they shoot from prone or from a bench). Then we will see how flippant they are regarding my wimpiness. ;D

I am looking forward to getting some more loads worked up and then settling in for some "fun-time" after the work of research is done. Thankfully, I have plenty of readily available info and access to what I consider are some of the foremost experts on this rifle/cartridge combo anywhere - - Right here, on Marlin Owners.
Rowdy said:
I use a cheater "Past Magnum Pad" for the biggies from the bench. That way, it don't ugly-up the rifle. ;D
Shooting the Trail Boss or 2400 loads = a t-shirt :D
I did my load testing last Saturday in a T-Shirt (after all, it was almost 50*F outside ;D). Maybe I should have put on some more fabric, just to soften the blow, but I was eager to see what all the .45-70 hype was about. ;) No regrets though, it was a good learning experience.

A few years back, I was told I have some pretty severe retinal scarring, and I should avoid sharp blows to my head to keep them from tearing. One of the warning signs I was told to be aware of was "lightning" flashes if I did take a thump. Anyhow, some of those loads I tested provided enough of a jolt to give me a bit of a scare. Some type of pad is definitely on the list.
Made it out this past weekend to chrono some more loads.

13.0 gr of Trail Boss and the 405 gr cast boolit turned out to be a real pooch load - about as much recoil as a varmint cartridge. Velocity from those was just over 1,000 fps. The load was printing about 13" lower than the 300 gr jacketed loads I had tested earlier, however, the accuracy was fantastic.

23.0 gr of 2400 and the 405 gr cast boolit was a nice, mild load as well, with recoil that was entirely manageable without the slip-on pad and nothing more than a t-shirt. Velocity from this load averaged 1,500 fps on the dot, and the SD was 9.8, however, the accuracy wasn't quite as good as the Trail Boss load. That said, it was still accurate enough.

Seems like my 2400 load of 23.0 gr is generating a bit more velocity than what others are getting from 24.0 grains, but I suppose that could be due to the dacron filler that I used per suggestions from others. Don't care for the smell of that at all. May try some without the filler and see what they do for velocity, consistency, and accuracy; and I expect that without the filler, the pressure will be lower. Would like to try and find the load that will keep the velocity in the 1,300 to 1,400 fps neighborhood and still produce good accuracy.

More load work, more chrono time, and more range time... Now all I need is a kitchen pass. ;) ;D
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Interesting about that load. I found that old 25gr. to be too much in the CB, and that 23 was better for accuracy. Past that 1500 mark, the accuracy does go down. My 26 inch barrel must kick them out just a little faster than my 22 incher. Sounds like you're working some pretty good loads there. I've been sticking to the slower stuff for sure and ending up using the 2400 just for the hunt. Incidentally, I think it was BABore that ringed his barrel doing the dacron filler (in a 450Marlin). 13gr. of the Unique sends my bullet at about 1150fps, and would be entirely enough for me to hunt with. Not that much different than the Remington Express load everyone howls about. Thanks for keeping us updated!
Dr. A said:
...I think it was BABore that ringed his barrel doing the dacron filler (in a 450Marlin)...
:eek: :eek:

Well... Isn't that interesting. ??? Who was it that was so adamant about using the dacron filler - - I can't remember, nor do I think it is too important. After reading the posts of so many other Members that don't use a filler, I don't think I will be loading any more of them. Unfortunately, I had loaded up ten rounds of the 23.0 gr of 2400 (with a dacron filler, per another member's suggestions) under the 405 gr boolit, and have been waiting quite a while to get some time to play with them. Between the time I loaded them and actually had time to play, I think I counted four or five members that use a load very similar to this without the dacron.

The next test will be 23.0 gr of 2400, with the same boolit, without the dacron. This should chrono a bit slower, as I seem to remember that the dacron filler will raise pressures somewhat. Another good test to prove or disprove for myself. Regardless, will need to get enough of them loaded so I can actually get my sight settings locked in next time.

What I do know is that these bigger boolits, moving slower, still have plenty of poo without jarring my fillings loose. ;D
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