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Short throat, deeper seating, & lowering powder charge: advice please

1440 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Fuzzball
I am new to the .45-70 and have a new 1895GS but it appears to have a short throat.

Factory Hornady 325gr LeverEvolutions and Remington 300gr HP’s seem to feed and shoot fine.

I bought some of JBY’s 550gr Craters and would really like to use the bullet. Its reviews have been great and I am extremely interested in trying it in developing a load for moose. There is nothing wrong with these bullets.

Using new Winchester brass trimmed to 2.100”, I seated and crimped to the groove for a COAL of 2.55” – which should be perfect.

Problem #1 is the initial dummy rounds won’t chamber. I have to seat them to 2.48”, and have to squeeze the lever closed at that. Seating them to 2.45” seems to be the max OAL that will work, but leaves very little room still.

This leads to Problem #2: all the H322 load data I’ve seen for the 550gr Craters indicates a OAL of 2.55” (with the general concensus being 38 to 40gr of H322) and I am very leery of using those same loads & seating deeper given the reduced case volume.

How would you go about working up a load with the shorter OAL?

Am I correct in thinking the safest way is to back off the 38gr 10% plus the 4% for the reduction in case volume, for a total of 14% = approximately 32 to 33 gr starting and work up?

Anyone else have short throat/reloading problems with their 1895s?
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2 things:

Ream the throat or seat deeper and chrony your loads (and use less powder). The piledrivers will fit better...
2.550 is the MAXIMUM overall length for the .45-70. Factory loads are loaded much shorter.
In the 19th century, loads for lever action rifles used bullets in the 300-400gr range.
Troopers found the 500g bullets unpleasant to shoot in their Springfields, most used the 405 gr. carbine load.

"I am new to the .45-70 and have a new 1895GS but it appears to have a short throat."

If factory ammunition feeds and fires OK, I doubt your rifle has a short throat. The Marlin 1895 was not designed to use a bullet of that weight (550g) and nose profile.
If you decide to load them, seat to 2.450 or shorter and REDUCE your powder charge appropriately.
Also, only load a few at at a time, you will find them unpleasant to shoot if you get above 1200fps.
A better choice would be Ranch Dog's 350 or 425gr bullets. They are DESIGNED for the 1895 and will have all the penetration you need for anything in North America. You can buy them already cast at
Let us know how your loads turn out.
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Moose do not require a 550gn .458 dia bullet.

Get a decent cast with gas check in the 350 to 405 gn range and you will do well. Many do well with jacketed partition bullets.
Thanks all!

I'm loading up a few trial rounds with shorter OAL and reduced charge to try in a couple weeks.

Getting components and other bullets can be a challenge up here. Most of the stores in my neck of the woods have intermittent stock anything .45-70 related, factory jacket bullets even, let alone specialty cast bullets, while some companies don't ship up here (understandably).

The "cheap and easily available" Rem 405's: I literally have never physically seen - bullets or factory ammo. I was able to find one store locally this week that had the Hornady 350gr FP in stock and I grabbed all FOUR boxes to load up.

Am not whining, just stating how it is.

I've been lurking here and some Canada forums getting information on where to look for stuff and people's experiences loading; Marlinowners has been a godsend.

I chose the Craters due to good reviews and, well, I've always wanted to shoot an ounce and a quarter of lead, darn it! Regardless if not needed for moose, it is something I want to try and see how they work. That's the fun of this.

Again, thanks for the advice. I'll let everyone know how it turns out.
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I have used the Crater 550gr and will be using them on Asiatic Buffalo later this year. I have not had any chambering problems with this bullet. I load with 40gr ADI 2219 (same as H322). They are really heavy on both ends, I suggest when you have sorted out your problem to shoot a quite a few of these off in practice. This is one way to delete any flinch you may acquire by not being used to the big bullet.
When I had my Browning 1886 I bought a box of Hornady 500grn SP's... and found out I couldn't use them in the lever gun. I just stuck with the 350's and 405's...
"I am very leery of using those same loads & seating deeper given the reduced case volume."

Don't be. First, the difference you speak of is trivial in such a cartridge as the .45-70. Second, the cautions of not seating too deep mostly apply to small, high intensity autoloder handgun rounds, 9mm and .40. Second, with rifles it's the reverse; seating long, into the lands runs pressures up while seating deeper (within reason) actually reduces pressures by allowing the bullets to get a running start before hitting the rifling.

"How would you go about working up a load with the shorter OAL? "

As if it didn't make any difference; "Start low, slowly work up to book max unless you see pressure signs sooner, ...etc" applies. And it's VERY unlikely you will experience an early pressure problem.
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