Author Topic: .45/70 Government  (Read 9756 times)


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Re: .45/70 Government
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2016, 08:21:06 PM »
Started playing a new game this winter - Cowboy long range.  I picked up a .45/70 lever action for the rifle cartridge, but I am having difficulty finding reload data.  I have a couple recipes from others, but would like a few more to try out.  Anybody done any reloading of .45/70 Government for rifle with lead bullets?

I have.  For long range work, you would be better off with a single shot, since you can use bullets of any shape.  I would share my loads with you - but I shoot an H&R that likely can take more pressure than a lever gun.

The 45/70 is a wonderful cartridge for lead bullets.  I cast mine - the only problem is that 300-500 grain bullets use a lot of lead!  Lee makes a 340 gr. mold that produces very accurate bullets.  They make flat nosed bullets as heavy a 500 gr. - and the price of their molds is quite reasonable.

As others have mentioned, you need to get a good reloading manual.  After you do that, you will discover that there are three categories listed.  The first is for original trapdoor rifles and similar old guns.  The next is for modern lever guns.  Finally, there is the highest pressure loads for modern single shots and Mauser bolt action conversions.  You will be limited to the middle category and to flat nose bullets (unless you want to single load it.

If you Google "reloaders reference" you will find an online manual that is quite useful, especially for cast bullets reloading.

Hope this helps!


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Re: .45/70 Government
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2016, 07:52:32 AM »
Yea, single shot is next on the list, but with four categories you work your way up one gun at a time.  This rifle meets "lever action rifle cartridge."  Most of the guys at the two local clubs are using modern Sharps for both smokeless and black powder single shot.  Most of the other half have old trap doors for black powder and modern Sharps.

Still searching for that manual with more categories, but the main stream so far have neglected what I am looking for, so I came here to find which manual to check out.
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Re: .45/70 Government
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2016, 08:17:56 PM »
Loads for the .45-70.  Boy, is that a tough question, sorta like "How high is up?" there just ain't no simple answer.

If you are using an antique gun, or a reproduction of an antique gun, you really ought to use black powder.   The gun was designed for lead bullets and black powder velocities, and believe me, it will just plain work better if you use lead bullets and black powder.  And remember it isn't just matching the velocity of black powder, you want to match the pressure of black powder.  Which is gonna be pretty difficult with smokeless powder.  (Some of the black powder substitutes might work well, but I have found them to be more of a problem to work with than real black powder.)

Someone already mentioned "you can't get 70 grains of black powder into a .45-70 case."  Well, yeah, you can, you just have to do it differently.  If you're using GOEX powder, you will need a drop tube.  This is a two or three foot long tube with a funnel on the top.  Pouring the powder into a case with this uses the falling of the powder to pack it in uniformly, which you can't do pressing it in with a bullet.  But a better idea, if you feel you just have to have a full 70 grains in there, is to purchase some of the Swiss black powder.  This stuff is about 15% denser than GOEX, and you won't have any problem getting your full 70 grains in.

I should mention that the best load for any cartridge using black powder, is however much powder you can get in there and still seat your bullet.  The exact amount don't mean nothin'.

One of the big problems newcomers to black powder have is with bullet lube.  You absolutely can not use any modern, waxy, petroleum-based bullet lube.  It just don't go with BP.  You need something natural, and the best place to start is with beeswax.  I melt it together with the same weight of Crisco, and it works great.  Some folks mix beeswax and olive oil.  I've tried it, but think Crisco is just as good.  This lube is for both your bullets and any sort of wads or cards you might want to use.

Most of the bullet moulds available for the .45-70 are, unfortunately, meant for smokeless powder, and just don't carry enough lube for back powder.  You need plenty!  Look into the "Big Lube" line of bullet moulds.

And finally, the most important thing about shooting black powder is cleaning up afterwards.  This is usually the main reason folks steer away from using The Holy Black Powder.  But just one word is the answer to this, and that word is "Ballistol."  This wonderous substance is available in both a spray can and as a liquid.  You need both, the spray for shooting down the barrel of your guns if you don't want to clean them right away, and the liquid is for mixing with water when you're ready to clean them.  You can spray down a black powder fouled gun with Ballistol, and put it back in the safe and forget about it until the next time you want to go shooting.  The Ballistol neutralizes the acidity of, and removes the moisture from, the fouling.  The mixture on a patch or two will clean out the remaining gunk, and leave a shiny barrel.  Dry the barrel, and DO NOT put any petroleum product in there, and you will be ready to shoot the next time.

In case you haven't figgered it out, I have been shootin' black powder for a long time, in muzzleloaders, cartridge guns, single shots, lever actions, shotguns and revolvers.

Grizzle Bear


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Re: .45/70 Government
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2016, 06:13:23 AM »
Why not the original load of 70 grains with a 405 grain bullet for rifle and 300 grainfor carbines and other short barrels ?


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Re: .45/70 Government
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2019, 02:40:25 PM »
If shooting a large caliber,
Use two hands!


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Re: .45/70 Government
« Reply #15 on: Today at 06:25:30 AM »


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Re: .45/70 Government
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2019, 03:57:40 PM »
Why not the original load of 70 grains with a 405 grain bullet for rifle and 300 grainfor carbines and other short barrels ?

Tom, those loads were with the old balloon head cases, the most Black Powder you can get into a solid head cartridge is 67 grains and you need a drop tube and powder compression die to get that much in.
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