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45-70 Bullets Keyholing

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  #1  
Unread 02-21-2013, 09:34 PM
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45-70 Bullets Keyholing

I have a friend that bought a used 45-70 who is having trouble with his hand loaded bullets keyholing at 50 yd. I offered to ask you folks what might cause this?

The gun was build on a Mauser 98 action and has a 20" barrel. My friend casts his own bullets for this cartridge and is loading a 405 grain Lead Round Nose.

If you have any thoughts on what might cause his bullets to be keyholing please let us know.
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  •   #2  
    Unread 02-21-2013, 11:06 PM
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    Re: 45-70 Bullets Keyholing

    The first thing I would check is the bore diameter.
    The bullets should shoot well if they are .0005-.001" over bore diameter.

    What powder are they loaded with? velocity?
    Cliff
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      #3  
    Unread 02-21-2013, 11:53 PM
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    Re: 45-70 Bullets Keyholing

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CliffM View Post
    The first thing I would check is the bore diameter.
    The bullets should shoot well if they are .0005-.001" over bore diameter.

    What powder are they loaded with? velocity?
    Cliff

    +1

    Some of the older barrels are .451 to .452 diameter. the newer ones are .458 diameter.

    Also a 1 in 14 twist is best for jacketed bullets but a 1 in 48 twist is for black powder rifles with
    lead bullets.

    Tell him to try a jacketed bullet at least 400 to 500 grains if the barrel is .458.

    Sometimes lead bullets dont engrave properly if velocity is to fast or the lead alloy is wrong
    and will lead the barrel badly affecting accuracy and it must be removed.

    So he needs to find out what the twist and bore diameter is and go from there.

    J E CUSTOM
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      #4  
    Unread 02-22-2013, 12:46 AM
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    Re: 45-70 Bullets Keyholing

    All solid advice. Just restating to measure bullets, different molds and materials will throw a bit different size bullets.
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      #5  
    Unread 02-22-2013, 11:57 AM
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    Re: 45-70 Bullets Keyholing

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ShtrRdy View Post
    I have a friend that bought a used 45-70 who is having trouble with his hand loaded bullets keyholing at 50 yd. I offered to ask you folks what might cause this?

    The gun was build on a Mauser 98 action and has a 20" barrel. My friend casts his own bullets for this cartridge and is loading a 405 grain Lead Round Nose.

    If you have any thoughts on what might cause his bullets to be keyholing please let us know.
    Got to slow the bullets way down with cast lead. 1700fps is about it with the 400 grain bullet. Plus his barrel is probably leaded up from trying to shoot the cast lead bullets too fast. Try the 350 grain Hornaday bullet at 2100 fps (51.0 grains of 4198). But before you do anything else clean the lead out of the barrel!
    gary
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      #6  
    Unread 02-22-2013, 11:19 PM
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    Re: 45-70 Bullets Keyholing

    Im with trickymissfit. The few times ive had bullets key hole it was caused by awful lead fouling.
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      #7  
    Unread 02-23-2013, 07:37 AM
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    Re: 45-70 Bullets Keyholing

    Lots of excellent advice. Casting and loading for the 45-70 takes a whole lot more knowledge and skill then most modern calibers. Twist rate, bore size, composition of the lead, type of powder, etc. are all factors. This round has been in use for around 140 years. With the exception of the modern commercial rifles built to SAMMI specs, customs, repros, and older rifles have a wide range of twist rates and bore sizes. You find that out when you buy a mould. The OP's buddy's rifle is likely one of them. It can probaly be set up to shoot, but it will take some serious homework and skill to build a shootable cartridge. IMHO.
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