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Reloading Berger Bullets


BFR loads

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Unread 07-18-2008, 07:23 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 63
BFR loads

Hi, I found a new BFR in .50 S&W at a local store for a lot less than normal market price. They are closing out the store. I had my mind set for a 45-70, I have a M1895, but try as I may, I can't find anything about loads for this pistol. The BFR people list how good the 45-70 is, and then never do a proper ballistics on it, but do say that the 450 Marlin smokes. I load for the 45-70, and know it can put the Marlin out to pasture. Rifle loads will fill the air with unburned powder, so unless I can locate a listing of some good starting loads, I intend to buy the Smith cartridge. Any ideas where to go??
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Unread 07-18-2008, 11:09 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Columbia, MO
Posts: 1,476
My Marlin Guide Gun doesn't leave much unburned H4198 out there. BFR in 45-70 and 450 Marlin are equal unless you intend to shoot factory loads. They should beat the 500 S&W with handloads.
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Unread 07-18-2008, 11:24 PM
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: California
Posts: 458
Here you go: 500 S&W Magnum Load Data - Handloads.Com=

Why does a girl want a 500 S&W? :confused:...or anyone else for that matter.
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Unread 07-19-2008, 08:38 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Fort Shaw, Montana
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Go to www.hodgdon.com

They will have plenty of load date for you in most bullet weights.

The 500 S&W will get you +1600 fps with the 440 gr hard cast bullets. Some 500 gr loads will get you very close to 1500 fps.

Hodgdon lists the 45-70 in a handgun as a 1200-1300 fps round in a handgun with a 485 gr bullet and under 1500 fps with a 405 gr bullet.

Now I am not saying the 45-70 can not be loaded to higher levels but it is not designed to be loaded that hot, the 500 is designed for these pressures.

THere are two schools of thought as to which would be better. THe 45-70 and 450 marlin are identical, what one will do so will the other with similiar loads so we will just compare the 45-70 to the 500.

Some feel that the higher Sectional density bullets for the 45 cal for a given bullet weight will penetrate deeper. THis is true to some degree but if you use a quality hard cast bullet, the difference will be very little.

Others feel the larger frontal area of the 50 cal will have more authoritative effect on big game. Again, this is true to some degree but remember that neither of these generate enough velocity to have any real hydrostatic shock wave.

Simply put, both will put a heavy hard cast through any animal on the planet. The 500 maybe better suited for handguns because of the powders used and the pressures its loaded to which both add up to more powder burnt in the cylinder which will make it more efficent and burn cleaner as well.

Its just to bad that the cylinder on the BFR is so long for the 500 S&W.

There are also bullets up to 700 grains for the 500 which I have read some load data that lists them at nearly 1400 fps with this bullet weight in the smith. THe BFR is at least as strong as the Smith.

That said, if you already have the 45-70, is getting tooled up to handload the 500 worth it? That is your call.
Kirby Allen(50)

Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.

Farther, Faster and Flatter then ever before.

Web Page: www.apsrifles.com

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Unread 07-19-2008, 09:26 AM
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 63
Actually, I have found this site before, and they really are lacking when it comes to the 45-70 in pistol loads. I got reloading manual that cover the S&W quite nicely, but thanks for offering the link.

Why I want a .50, cause I can't find loading stuff for the 45-70. I guess I am the female version of Elmer Keith, I like big bores.
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Unread 07-19-2008, 09:48 AM
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 63
I had their manual, a new version, but the reload section on the site was new for me. Thanks for the link. I checked out the 45-70, and again, I can't do a proper match up as the 45 is fire out of a 15" barrel, not a 10" like the .50S&W. It is frustrating search for me. Stuffing a cartridge loaded for a 20 to 24 inch rifle barrel into a shorty 10 incher can't be efficient burn.
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Unread 07-19-2008, 09:54 AM
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 63
Another question is why they can load a .50 to 50,000 psi, and keep the 45-70 down to 33,000 psi. Same pistol, most likely same .45 cal. cylinder bored out to .50. I know the 45 brass isn't that strong, but why not use Ruger #1 loads in it then, good for the Ruger, so should be OK in the BFR??? I am about to give up this quest.
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