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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Range Session – New Load Testing

I had the opportunity to spend some time at an indoor range last night to test some new loads for the 1895GS 45/70. Checking in to get your view if I am on the right track.
My 45/70 is currently wearing an Tasco 1.75-5x20 shotgun scope which I using for laod development. After I have found the right load, will probably remove the scope and put the Williams FP back.

Range was at 50m (approx. 55 yards), 3 shot groups using front and rear rest.

405gn cast, coated projectile (I think they are sized to .458), AR2208 (Varget).

One 3 shot group of each with centre to centre spread as follows.
40.0 grs – 1.6 inch
40.5 grs – 0.7 inch
41.0 grs – 1.5 inch
41.5 grs - 1.6 inch

The attached photo shows the best group – 40.5 grs

As a comparison, over the last few range sessions, I have shot 22 groups using the same projectile and 12.6 grs Trail Boss and the average group size has been 1.6 inch at 50m (ranging from 0.6 to 3.3).
Circle Sport venue

Now my question, should I just stick with the 40.5 grs load or try the same test again a few more times to see if the results can be replicated? My feeling is that 1 x group of each is probably not enough and I should do the same testing at least a few more times.
 

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No harm in testing more, but since this is a close-range hunting rifle, and I've already been through this sort of testing recently with my own 45-70, well, I'm satisfied with the results I have, which was the same testing methodology you've used.

Call it good and then go out and get us some pictures of you and your rifle leaning on a dead water buffalo or a dead hog. :rock:

If you had a high-end 308 or 6.5CM and you were getting ready for some serious competition, I'd advise to keep testing.
 

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looks pretty good, I would say stick with that 40.5 and take it out and shoot it at your "real world" intended application and distance to see where you're at with those new variables. to me, it all revolves around your application and "whats good enough".

50 is a great spot for zeroing and development. but if you're going to be typically shooting farther, and mainly off hand, the groups will open up a bit, and POI is gonna change a bit as well. I would do some quick, basic, real world simulations at the distance and target size you're intending to primarily use it for. and in the climate, heat and elements.

I dialed mine in at 50yds, around 1" groups from the bench on paper. then dialed in on 6" plates, off hand shooting at 100 yards. (real world) I have mine for range blasting, light hiking in the desert, and fun. basically I was happy when I could consistently hit sporting clays and small bottles of water at 100yd consistently, and stayed around there in my load development.. for my application, that's all i really needed.

Here, there's a possibility of bear, mountain lion and coyote.. I am not under gunned. and confident at 100yds with a 6" target zone offhand shot if i do my part for anything that might be coming my way in a hurry..

Great side of the 45-70 is the sheer force on impact. so shot placement doesn't have to be .7" accurate. If you're using it for 100yd deer shots, I don't think its gonna complain if you're an inch left of the sweet spot. :smile:
 

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Three shots can't tell you much. They can tell you if a load might be good enough for some particular purpose, but if you want to know is load A better than load B you need more. I like a single ten-shot group, but it can be brutal shooing multiple ten-shot groups from a bench with a .45-70. From the difference in sizes any of them might be the most accurate.

What do you want to use the load for? If it is for hunting I would suggest a ten-shot group of the 41.5 gr. If the intended use is on targets I'd try a ten-shot group of the 40.5 gr.
 

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If that is the group you shot with 40.5 I think I would stick with that. At longer ranges you want to remember the group is going to open up further. I don't know what the average range you are going to be shooting at when hunting but if I were doing your comparison I would find a spot that I could use at 100 yds and see how it comes out.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
No harm in testing more, but since this is a close-range hunting rifle, and I've already been through this sort of testing recently with my own 45-70, well, I'm satisfied with the results I have, which was the same testing methodology you've used.

Call it good and then go out and get us some pictures of you and your rifle leaning on a dead water buffalo or a dead hog. :rock:

If you had a high-end 308 or 6.5CM and you were getting ready for some serious competition, I'd advise to keep testing.
Buffalo and wild pig hunting is on my bucket list. Will have to wait a few more years before I can do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
looks pretty good, I would say stick with that 40.5 and take it out and shoot it at your "real world" intended application and distance to see where you're at with those new variables. to me, it all revolves around your application and "whats good enough".

50 is a great spot for zeroing and development. but if you're going to be typically shooting farther, and mainly off hand, the groups will open up a bit, and POI is gonna change a bit as well. I would do some quick, basic, real world simulations at the distance and target size you're intending to primarily use it for. and in the climate, heat and elements.

I dialed mine in at 50yds, around 1" groups from the bench on paper. then dialed in on 6" plates, off hand shooting at 100 yards. (real world) I have mine for range blasting, light hiking in the desert, and fun. basically I was happy when I could consistently hit sporting clays and small bottles of water at 100yd consistently, and stayed around there in my load development.. for my application, that's all i really needed.

Here, there's a possibility of bear, mountain lion and coyote.. I am not under gunned. and confident at 100yds with a 6" target zone offhand shot if i do my part for anything that might be coming my way in a hurry..

Great side of the 45-70 is the sheer force on impact. so shot placement doesn't have to be .7" accurate. If you're using it for 100yd deer shots, I don't think its gonna complain if you're an inch left of the sweet spot. :smile:
That is some great shooting. I can only wish that I can hit a 6” plate at 100 off hand. Currently I am struggling to get all shots on an 8” plate at 50 meters. At least now I have a goal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Three shots can't tell you much. They can tell you if a load might be good enough for some particular purpose, but if you want to know is load A better than load B you need more. I like a single ten-shot group, but it can be brutal shooing multiple ten-shot groups from a bench with a .45-70. From the difference in sizes any of them might be the most accurate.

What do you want to use the load for? If it is for hunting I would suggest a ten-shot group of the 41.5 gr. If the intended use is on targets I'd try a ten-shot group of the 40.5 gr.
General plinking at the target range. Haven’t had the opportunity to go hunting for a very long time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks everyone for your response. Comforting to know that I am on the right track.
I will load up the same again and see if I can replicate the results. If the 40.5 is again the most accurate, I will call it quits and just use that.
Then more trigger time.
Not sure what it is about the 45/70, but very satisfying sending that 405 grain piece of lead down range and the sound of the case being ejected and hitting the floor.
 
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Buffalo and wild pig hunting is on my bucket list. Will have to wait a few more years before I can do it.
Well, the buffalo hunts can get kinda spendy, but you can do a weekend pig hunt in Texas and bring back a cooler or two of meat for about $1000, give or take a little. That doesn't have to be way down the road.
 
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Thanks everyone for your response. Comforting to know that I am on the right track.
I will load up the same again and see if I can replicate the results. If the 40.5 is again the most accurate, I will call it quits and just use that.
Then more trigger time.
Not sure what it is about the 45/70, but very satisfying sending that 405 grain piece of lead down range and the sound of the case being ejected and hitting the floor.
If you don't mind a 5-6 month wait, order some Beartooth Bullet Pile Drivers (525 gr) or Pile Driver, Juniors (425 gr).

50 yards with the PDJs out of my 1895 GBL, through an aperture sight.
Circle Orange Line Diagram Illustration


5 shots
starline brass
cci LR primers
RL7 37.7 grains
chronied at 1480 fps
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, the buffalo hunts can get kinda spendy, but you can do a weekend pig hunt in Texas and bring back a cooler or two of meat for about $1000, give or take a little. That doesn't have to be way down the road.
Would love to come to Texas - air fares from Oz would add a bit to the cost. Another item for the bucket list.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Finally had the opportunity to get back to the range and fire a few more loads. Looks like I have settled on 40.5gns of AR2208 (Valget). Getting about 1/2 inch groups at 50 meters. The load is at the starting end of the trapdoor range, so recoil is very mild and just a pleasure to shoot. Estimate the 405gn projectile is doing around the 1280 fps mark from that 18.5 inch GS. Now back to the reloading bench.
 

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Finally had the opportunity to get back to the range and fire a few more loads. Looks like I have settled on 40.5gns of AR2208 (Valget). Getting about 1/2 inch groups at 50 meters. The load is at the starting end of the trapdoor range, so recoil is very mild and just a pleasure to shoot. Estimate the 405gn projectile is doing around the 1280 fps mark from that 18.5 inch GS. Now back to the reloading bench.
You can get a better idea of MV by comparing POI at 50 and then again at 100. It'll taking a little messing around with Hornady's ballistic calculator. Assume a BC of maybe 0.275. That'll be close enough.
 
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If your going to be hunting at the max of 100yds I'd try and find a spot that you can test that load at 100. At that speed your going to get some drop. Sight it in at 100 if that is max for you then drop back to 50 and you will know where to hold it at a closer range for a good kill shot. But you definitely have a good load for accuracy.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
You can get a better idea of MV by comparing POI at 50 and then again at 100. It'll taking a little messing around with Hornady's ballistic calculator. Assume a BC of maybe 0.275. That'll be close enough.
Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. Had a bit of a play with the ballistic calculator and I have worked out how to use it to determine velocity once I have shot it at 100. Was quite surprised on how quickly it nose dives past 125.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
If your going to be hunting at the max of 100yds I'd try and find a spot that you can test that load at 100. At that speed your going to get some drop. Sight it in at 100 if that is max for you then drop back to 50 and you will know where to hold it at a closer range for a good kill shot. But you definitely have a good load for accuracy.
Thanks for the advice - and can understand that this approach will make it easier to hit the target at any distance up to 100.
 
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