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Reely fast .45-70 500 grain loads.
Old 04-18-2005, 09:32 PM
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Default Reely fast .45-70 500 grain loads.


I was on the phone with Drinksgin, and we were discussing our respective H&R .45-70s and what "kicks". He mentioned that in his 7.5-pound rifle, the 500 grain bullet going 1600-ish fps was a real eye-opener. I commented that the 500 doing 1800-ish fps in my 9.5 pound rifle was none too 'pleasant' either. Then we started talking about lead/bullet hardness, and where the "failure" point was wrt to PSI, so I got out Lee's reloading manual (2nd edition) and noted that it didn't list ANY charges for ANY .45-70 rifles, regardless of how "modern" they were, with 500 grain MVs greater than 1600-ish fps. (If you check my most recent range report on my .45-70 you'll see that I was getting 1799 on average from 50.0 grains of N-135.)Hmmm....

So I looked at Hornady - no 500 grain bullets offered. Hmmm.... so I looked back at Lee, and looked under the .458 Win Mag cartridge. Shore enuf, there about in th emiddle was a load that yielded 1810 fps at the muzzle for a 500 grain bullet. CUP was 30,300. Hmmm.....

Now I don't use load manuals for much except sorta starting loads, and to check on where max might be. Thereafter, I rely on my experience and some physical characteristics of the fired brass to tell me when things are getting 'hot'. These loads of 50.0 grains of N-135 would appear, based on the muzzle velocities, to be 'hot'. However, the primer shoulders are still rounded! I get NO signs of excessive pressure with this load whatsoever. Cases are fine, extraction is easy.... By the way, the load that yielded 1810 f/s in the .458 Win Mag was 72 grains (of H4350 I think). I'm using 22 grains less powder (30% less), and achieving the same MVs, without any apparent signs of excessive pressure. Hmm...

I slathered on RCBS Case Lube-2 as a bullet lubricant. I wonder if this has anything to do with the extra velocity without the "extra" pressure? Any thoughts about any of this?

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.45-70, postell

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