45-70 reloading

Blackpowder72

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Iowa
I'm going to start reloading for my 45-70. Just need a good deer load . What are your guys favorite loads. Bullets, powder how much and what kind , primers ? Also I shoot a single shot not a lever action. Thanks .
 

Orange Dust

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We used to load 300gr hp and IMR 3031. Tried heavier and different powders, but settled there. Velocity was about 2200 in that old Marlin if memory serves. It kicked like a mule and would literally flatten a whitetail under any condition. Heavier bullets only kicked more, and did little else.
 

Blackpowder72

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Jun 11, 2015
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Iowa
We used to load 300gr hp and IMR 3031. Tried heavier and different powders, but settled there. Velocity was about 2200 in that old Marlin if memory serves. It kicked like a mule and would literally flatten a whitetail under any condition. Heavier bullets only kicked more, and did little else.
How much 3031 did you use ? I've got a bunch of 4198 to bad I can't use that lol
 

Orange Dust

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How much 3031 did you use ? I've got a bunch of 4198 to bad I can't use that lol
can't remember but it was max in the old Sierra manual for an 1895 Marlin. Primers would have been CCI. All we used to could get. Memory says it was a compressed load. Unless you have a Ruger #1 you can't load nearly so hot. We loaded that thing like it was a short cased .458. It kicked and killed like it too. Good luck.
 

CHAGA50

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Sep 12, 2020
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Roseburg Oregon
I found any HP bullet would waste meat , the little deer isn't going to stop the bullet it will exit any dear from any angle , my favorite load is any 350 grain in cast or jacket , moving between 1600 to 1800 fps will be very effective . I have a buddy that uses Speer hot core 350s and takes deer , Black bear , and elk 4895 or if you like hotter loads 4198, but any of these 3031 , 335 , 322, powders will get the job done . I even had my eight year old nephew shooting my Marlin with 250 grain and trail boss powder . I let his Daddy shoot some 530 grain hard cast , the recoil almost pulled his glasses off his nose :)
 

RT2506

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Jan 10, 2008
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What kind of single shot rifle are you shooting? You can load the 45-70 from mild to wild. If it is a Sharps style falling block stay in the mild range about middle or the road for Marlin rifle loads as a max. Now if it is a Ruger #3 or #1 then you can load all YOU can stand to shoot. I have killed a number of deer with my Sharps style 45-70 with black powder and AA5744 smokeless equivalent loads. Like has been said unless the deer is wearing armor plate the bullet is not going to be stopped. Any of the 300 gr JHP bullets work well. 36 grs IMR 4198 with Sierra or Hornady 300 gr runs 1700ish fps from my 28" barrel and does fine. IMR 4198 and RL7 are really good powders. For cast bullets Accurate 5744 is GREAT. It is not position sensitive, shoots the same if the powder us up against the bullet or back at the primer. 27 gr AA5744 WW case, Federal 215 primer with my cast (from a Lyman 405 gr mold) flat nose out of straight wheel weight drops at 418 grs. and runs 1400 fps and is VERY accurate in my rifle. This is equivalent to a black powder load as to velocity. This at 100 yards will shoot through a deer from any direction, stem to stern and a 6" pine tree that is behind it. I did it. A freight train don't have to be going fast to plow through a bunch of stiff. The JHP kills better and IF they run leaves a great blood trail. The cast bullet through the lungs they will run most of the time and don't leave the greatest of blood trails because any fat and the hide usually plugs the holes. The actual hole in the hide is usually only about 30 caliber size because the hide stretches and that is about as wide as the flat nose on the bullet but as the old timers used to say "you can eat right up to the bullet hole" if that is your concern. You have to know your exact yardage when shooting the 45-70. The BP or like loads have about 4" drop from 50 to 100 yards and about 12" from 100 to 200 yards. It don't matter how far away a deer is though because if it is 1000 yards away and you can put your bullet into his chest it is dead with two holes one coming and one going with the heavy cast bullets.
 

Varmint Hunter

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Dec 26, 2001
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I've shot just about every bullet made from my 45-70 and have used all the usual powders. At the end of the day it's hard to beat 4198 (H or IMR) regardless of bullet weight. An all around effective bullet that shoots well, expands adequately, penetrates more than enough and is reasonably priced would be the Speer 400gr JFN.

You could load them up to any reasonable velocity and expect good results on game. I normally shoot them at 1,700 ft/sec and have take many black bears with that bullet, including the bear in my avatar which was taken in Newfoundland.
 

CHAGA50

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Sep 12, 2020
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Roseburg Oregon
I've shot just about every bullet made from my 45-70 and have used all the usual powders. At the end of the day it's hard to beat 4198 (H or IMR) regardless of bullet weight. An all around effective bullet that shoots well, expands adequately, penetrates more than enough and is reasonably priced would be the Speer 400gr JFN.

You could load them up to any reasonable velocity and expect good results on game. I normally shoot them at 1,700 ft/sec and have take many black bears with that bullet, including the bear in my avatar which was taken in Newfoundland.
Those 400 grain slugs are always on target and any animal I shoot drops fast , I did have a deer make it 40 yards once . those 400s always make two holes . I like mine running about 1800 to 2000 fps they are the most accurate in my Marlin and it shoots 300 yards in very tight groups :cool:
 

Varmint Hunter

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Dec 26, 2001
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BTW - the case capacity of 45-70 brass varies widely from manufacturer to manufacturer. You should purchase 100-200 cases of a single brand and work from there. Personally, I've had good luck with Starline cases and prefer their nickel case option. Nickel cases don't shoot any better but they cycle smooth and clean up nice.

For primers - any large rifle (non-magnum) primer will work fine. I use Fed 210M only because I've got them for other cartridges. Probably more shooters using CCI 200 with good results.
 

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