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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
me and my buddy are getting ready to start reloading for our hunting rifles his being a .35Rem and mine being the more manly 45-70 :biggrin:....

for the 45-70 i am looking to use a 350 gr soft nose jacketed bullet, and am wondering which bullets i should look into and also what powders.

we feel that filing the case leads to a better burn of the powder (com[pressed load) so any and all help would be greatly appreciated.. thanks. Mike
 

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Yup; agreed. A good loading manual (or two) is a very handy reference as well as "how-to-do-it-safely" guide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
i have an old Speer #9 looking at getting a new one, this one only has IMR powders for the velocities i am looking for.. though i looked on an online one and like the IMR4895 and the Hodgdon4895..
 

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With all due respect to the 45-70, I'm not sure how it is "more manly" than the .35 rem., that said, there is a great deal to learn about reloading. Read, read, read and re-read quality manuals and expand from there with wisdom from people like .35 remington and many others on this sight and elsewhere. Form your own routine and take things slow and careful.
 

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Bullet suggestions...Beartooth, get his cast bullet manual it is a must read for the money. Carolina Cast bullets does the Ranch dog Outdoors design bullets. Both companies have great service. You will need to slug the barrel, info in the Beartooth bullet book, to determine the size bullet you will need. Beartooth will ask what size when you order. Most find that the Marlins shoot best with a slight oversize on the bullet. ie: .459-.460 where the J word bullets come sized at .458.


Hope that helps,
Ken CO
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
lol sorry about the .35 reference i was talking to my friend on the phone while i was typing that.. its a joke between he and i! it's agreed that the .35 Rem is a fantastic all around caliber!
 

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I'll also suggest getting and reading at least two manuals but on top of that, I'll suggest that you don't try too hard to hot rod your ammo. Especially when starting out. The 45-70 with the standard 405 grain bullet will take anything in north America when loaded to trap door velocities. It's also pleasant to shoot. Trying to push a 300 or 350 grain bullet to top velocity can be fun but there's not much point in it when it comes to actual hunting. Only reason I'm saying this is that your first post reference to compressed loads implies that you want to get the maximum possible velocity and I'm just saying that it's not all about speed.

Not sure how much you have read so far but if you noticed, above I mentioned bullets loaded to "trap door velocities". That is a point worth mentioning. You may or may not be aware that there are generally 3 levels of data for the 45-70 in all loading manuals. The first is for old Springfield trap door rifles which are black powder equivalent loads. The second tier is for Marlin 1895's and Winchester 1886's and are quite a bit "hotter" than the trap door loads. This will be that data you will use for your Marlin. Well, correction, you can also use the trapdoor data. The last level is for the Ruger No. 1 rifle and takes the 45-70 up pretty close to the 458 win mag. This data will destroy lesser rifles. The Rugers are REALLY strong actions.

Another thing to be aware of is that the brass from different brands has different capacity due to design and thickness differences so for maximum accuracy, try to sort your brass by headstamp. Also, the brass from the Hornady Leverevolution is about 1/16" shorter than standard brass and you can not use standard data with that brass because the lower case capacity results in higher pressures. You can load it with the Hornady gummy tip and Hornady LE powder and Hornady data. It can be used with other powders and bullets too but only at the lower end charge weights and there is more to it than just not going to max powder charge and thinking it will be okay. It takes some research to find the safe limits for the short brass.

It is always a good idea to load stair stepped loads with any given powder and bullet combo. That is, load about 3 rounds with the starting weight charge then another batch 1/2 or 1 grain higher, then the next batch higher yet etc until you reach the PUBLISHED maximum. Then go shoot them all for accuracy and see where you get your best groups. Say you want to load a bunch with a given powder and bullet. You look them up in at least one paper manual (avoid on line data until you gain some experience) and find a listed starting weight of 30.0 grains of powder X with bullet Y and the max listed charge is 35 grains. You could load 3 at 30 grains, 3 at 31 grains, 3 at 32 and so on. Maybe when you go shoot, the 34 and 35 grain charges shoot the best and both are about the same. Next you would load at say 33.6, 33.8, 34, 34.2, 34.4, 34.6, 34.8 and 35 then go shoot all of those. You might find that you get the best accuracy at 34.8 and that would be your best load possible with that powder and bullet combo. Realize, that I'm just pulling numbers out of the air for this post to make a point.

What reloading equipment do you have or plan to buy? I would recommend the RCBS Rockchucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit if you can afford it. They run about $300 and up depending on where you look and availability. Here is a basic link with some choices.

RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Master on sale for $289.99

By the way, I think that's what I paid for my kit back in 1991!

If money is wicked tight, about the cheapest option is the Lee Loader kit. These kits are not used on a press but require only a solid work surface and a decent hard rubber mallet. They run only about $30 new but you would still need a couple accessories. The absolute minimum would be the kit and a mallet but "nice to have" would be a caliper to check loaded cartridge length and other measurements and lastly a decent powder scale. You can load safely without the scale but the scale allows you to verify your charge weight and also to measure each charge to exactly the same which helps accuracy. It also helps you learn HOW to scoop consistently and to trust your scooping ability. Some powder shapes scoop very consistent, others do not. You have to learn what works. You could easily spend $200 on the accessories but can also get by for half that or less if you are careful and patient. Calipers can run from under $20 to over $200 depending on quality. Used is the best option and ebay always has a bunch of them. You can find good used brands for $50 to $60. I always try to buy the best I can afford and that seems to work well. My personal set is a 6" Mitutoyo with a dial indicator and they have been very reliable. The good thing is that virtually all reloading equipment lasts forever if taken care of even just a little bit. You can google the Lee Loader or Lee Classic Loader (same thing) and find a lot of great info. I've got them for nearly all my guns and like them a lot. Not sure why exactly but something about the simplicity is appealing to me. I also feel that there isn't a better tool out there to LEARN reloading on because every step is fully visible and makes sense. Once you get the basics mastered, it's a piece of cake to switch to a fancier setup with a press and dies because you will understand what is happening in each step. Some guys knock the Lee Loaders but I find that they load ammo just as good as my Rockchucker kit can if I am careful and I honestly just like using them. If there are any drawbacks it would be the priming step and the crimping step. When priming it is possible to pop a primer which can startle you a fair bit and, when crimping, you have to keep the stack straight to get a uniform crimp. Both steps can be done quite well but both require that you pay attention to what you are doing to avoid messing something up. Piece of cake if you are careful.

Hope this helps and doesn't "insult your intelligence". I've got no idea what you know so I started with the basics.

Oh, last but not least! ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS label your loaded ammunition boxes. Show date, caliber, powder type, powder charge, bullet type, bullet weight, primer type, overall length and number of times reloaded.

Example:

Date-------------------March 20, 2014
Caliber ----------------45-70 Govt
Bullet------------------Remington jacketed hollow point
Bullet wt---------------405 grains
Powder-----------------IMR 3031
Charge wt--------------51.2 grains
Primer------------------Winchester lg rifle
C.O.L.------------------2.55"
Load count-------------2x
Comments-------------- Loaded on Lee Loader, neck sized, each charge weighed. Or maybe... Loaded on RCBS rockchucker, Redding dies, full length sized. Lyman M expander die, all charges weighed.

If doing stair stepped loads, I also use a sharpie marker on each case to record charge wt. to avoid mixing them up.
 

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Blah, blah, blah

Keep it stupid simple (KISS)


The Lee Classic Loader for 45/70 comes with almost everything you need

AND

Its own reloading chart with bullet weights, powders, primers etc.
Built in crimp too

I have a dedicated press for 45/70 and still use the Lee Classic Loader in the field to makem on the run.
This is how the troopers did it from 1873 to 1895 when the 45/70 said Government on the bottom of the case

This is a starting point so not to get over whelmed
 

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BigMike67 - You have a BIG question in such a small post, as you can see there are a lot of opinions on reloading, and the best one is to read how to do it, once you understand the principles on how to do it then you can begin to understand the size of the question you ask! :) But keep in mind you make us nervous when you don't know how to reload yet and you are talking about "compressed loads", that is something that most of us here will tell you is NOT something you do till you've been reloading for quite some time, and is especially dangerous with the use of "smokeless powders". Most compressed loads (especially for the 45/70) are a result of the use of Black Powder, much different than working with Smokeless powders.
But reloading manuals have suggested "loads", they tell you precisely the length your round needs to be, how much is a "beginning" load and a "max" load and everyone here will tell you not to exceed the max load. That said, different manuals will give you different ranges of loads, and these by bullet manufacturers, powder manufacturers etc. and they all use different rifles with different barrel lengths to test for speed and accuracy.
So, when you begin to reload ALWAYS START AT THE LOWEST recommended level. Why? Because:
A) you are learning and will have less likely chance of making a mistake, and mistakes can range from just being a slight pain to catastrophic.
B) you need to get a feel for what your particular gun likes (and THIS will vary from gun to gun it is VERY individual) and that goes for bullet weight, powder, bullet shape, primer mfg etc.
C) reloading isn't about how fast you can put a load together it's about taking your time and developing a load that will give you the best combination of speed, accuracy and hitting power so you will want to TAKE YOUR TIME!
D) most mass produced ammo is VERY underpowered, especially the 45/70 ammo which has 3 different levels of loads, so, you will find that you will match the speed and accuracy of commercial ammo very quickly
So, start slow and enjoy the process of getting to the load you want! You will want different bullets for different jobs, jacketed AND cast!
Have you got any of the equipment necessary to start yet?
Definintely read Lyman #49 and anything else on reloading you can find, also, there are some great youtube vids that walk you through how to do it and will help you understand what you've read!
Good luck! and you are always free to ask questions! Look at our reloading section for help and if someone is near you they might be able to help you get started! This is easier to learn with a mentor!
Cheers!
Mazer
 

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these gentlemen are telling you straight up mike, no two ways about it! mazer and a few others have been in this game for a long time and know what they are talking about! i have just gotten into reloading myself and if it weren't for these fine folks i might have blown my rifle sky high. if they seem a bit harsh it is only for your safety. we do NOT want to see another person, be it the shooter or an innocent bystander hurt or even worse, killed because of a mistake that could have been avoided. from my personal research compressed loads in a 45-70 with smokeless powder are a WASTE of time, all i hear about it is bruised shoulders and egos and no real pros only cons, loss of accuracy, physical injury and game that was severely damaged causing a loss of meat that was ridiculously large. just my penny's worth, kurtis
 

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All good advice. Learn to make good reliable ammo first. I started with the Richard Lee Book/loading manual and a basic kit, (Lee Classic Press Kit) that had all of the main items needed. I just had to pick a powder, bullet, primers, and die set.

If you load for multiple calibers you might want to look for one or two powders that work for multiple guns that you own. Read the manuals over multiple times then start with starting loads until you get the hang of it.

The animals you hunt won't know the difference between starting loads and loads shooting 150 fps faster.

As your skill grows you will learn of tips and tricks to make better ammo. Until then read all you can from as many different "credible sources" as you can. Be very careful with internet loads. A lot of guns have been destroyed by some experts "special loads".......
 

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Get a couple of manuals. Lee and Lyman to start. Don't worry about compressing loads or even running them up to max. You gain very little if anything. I haven't loaded anything to max in years. I believe the Lee manual says 2% under max actually gives better performance than a hot load.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
thanks everyone. wow so much to learn.. and sorry for not emphasizing better, we have a rock crusher set up (his dads) with everything we need to get started except powder bullets and primers.
when i mentions compressed loads it was not for higher pressures or fps it was only to find out which powders i could get that wold fill the case so that there is no "air pocket" so to speak.. i am looking for a 350 gr round nosed or hollow point jacketed bullet (brands to look for?)and the right powder to fill the case the most with that bullet, also which primers? i have seen mostly CCI 200's? but wanted to ask you fellas i don't post much but i look at posts every day almost and know you guys are really into the hand loading....
im not going to worry about hand casting bullets for a while. i just want a nice reliable round for black bear and poking around at the range now and then.. i have a few boxes of the Winchester 300gr hollow points and those shells are what i will be starting off with.. thanks again everyone for the great input and information!
 

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As always some very good wisdom from the forum members. The only thing that I can add is that to me reloading is enjoying the journey to the destination, shooting.
 

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mike as far as primers go there ain't a dimes worth of difference in them. you don't need mag. primers with the powders used for the 45-70 or 35 never hot rod any load, keep records, when you find a load that works stick with it. i used to load 45-70 but i can't remember what powder i used, i was not manly enough to take the recoil.:biggrin: the 35 i use varget or 3031 when working with a new round i always use the powder that generates the most volicity while filling the case, they usually are the most accurate. i always go for accuracy over speed. i have been loading 47 years and have never chronographed any of my loads. take your time loading and have fun.
 
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