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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  BROW (Moderator: Delmonico)  |  Topic: 45-70 Ammo for Sharps 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: 45-70 Ammo for Sharps  (Read 7980 times)
jolasa
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« on: November 17, 2010, 12:38:39 am »


Thinking of getting an 1874 45-70 Sharps (Pedersoli, Armi Sport, etc., but not Shiloh or C-Sharps for the first rifle).

Ten-X makes some of the best manufactured 45-70 cartridges from what I hear.

They make two sizes of 45-70 cartridges: SS (single shot) and Govt (government).

The SS overall length is 2.659 inches long; the Govt is 2.510 inches overall length.

Do I have to have a rifle chambered for SS or Govt, or will either shell fit an 1874 Sharps?

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boilerplatejackson
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« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2010, 01:44:43 am »

I dont own a 45/70 sharps but have shot a few that friends have owned. I suspect the difference in overall lenghth has to
do with the difference in bullets loaded for different makers or specificly the way a sharps may have their chambers cut vs
a trapdoor. I do shoot a 45/70 rolling block which is an old Numerich conversion.  It is more fussy about bullets which are not
stepped down before the lube rings.

My simplest suggestion is buy a box, take it to the range and see if it chambers and allows the breech to close. If not take
them back and try the other type.

I prefer to reload my own 45/70s which I find more accurate than factory loads. I prefer black powder loads with a vegtable
card wad against the bullet.
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Blackpowder Burn
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« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2010, 08:00:26 am »

Jolasa,

The cartridge brass is the same with both loads.  However, lever action rifles are limited in the overall cartridge length they can handle, while single shots are not.  Thus lever guns are typically loaded with shorter bullets not exceeding about 400 grains and single shot rifles frequently use bullets of 500+ grains weight for better ballistics at long range.  The shorter cartridges you refer to would be specifically aimed at lever action rifles.
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« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2010, 09:49:37 am »


 In the beginning there was quite a selection of "factory" loads, ranging anywhere from the government 380 and 405 gr loads , to the Sharps 420 gr paper patch , to the 45-70-500. But they would all work thru most any rifle chambered for the 45 government.
Either cartridge will "work" in a sharps . But the fly in the ointment comes from which rifle do you end up getting? The Italian imports are mostly chambered for the 500+bullets, so there maybe some leading troubles  brought on by excessive freebore using the short rounds. Also those Italians generally have a pretty generous chamber and will do best with .460 diameter bullets, and most if not all "factory" lead bullet 45-70 loads use .457 or .458 diameter. You will learn good lead mining technique.

 I urge you to do some careful cost comparisons if buying new, before you rule out the USA built rifles, over the nearly indentical priced foreign imports.
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« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2010, 08:26:45 pm »

I highly recommend rolling your own ammo for the 45-70. I find this cartridge & rifle to generally perform best with black powder...and if your going to shoot 300yds or further, the 500 grain+ bullet is what you want (I cast my own). If that is the case, be sure the rifle has a 1-18 twist. The 405 grain bullet works ok in the 1-18 twist, particulaly at closer distances (But not as accurate as the 500).

I have a Pedersoli Sharps & it does not seem to have any defects in the manufacture of the barrel or chamber. I've been using mine since about 1997 & have no complaints.

Slim
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James Hunt
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« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2010, 11:13:19 pm »

I have always found the .45-70 so easy to load for that when considering the price of factory ammo you may want to get started right away. As above, the 405 grain bullet shot OK, but I had better luck with the heavier ones.

I started with a Pedersoli, still have it and it is a fine rifle. Honestly, as also suggested above, seriously consider the American guns, had I to do it over I would have waited a bit longer or robbed a train, and started with a Shiloh or C. Sharps. They ARE worth the price when compared to an Italian that costing over a grand now. It is said you buy two of everything, the first for the cost savings and the second to get what you really wanted in the first place. So if you are having any doubts, buy once.
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Short Knife Johnson
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« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2010, 07:06:28 am »

I'm more than inclined to agree.  Having lusted after a suitable 1874 for years, then squirrling away the funds only to waste them on a Pedersoli is ludicrous.  I ALMOST did.  There is nothing wrong with the way they shoot, but more the return on investment.  Around here, Pedersolis cost about $1800 CDN.  I bought my first Shiloh used for 3000, and the one I have on order came to 2900 plus whatever taxes, import/export BS that will arise. 

Iffen I had to (that's a big "had") part with one, I could at least break even (or lose or gain a small profit dependant on finding the right buyer) on the initial investment.  Meanwhile, the Pedersoli I have 1800 tied up into is only worth maybe half of the original 1800.  That, and they just feel so much nicer.
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Haggis MacGurk
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« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2010, 10:40:10 am »

I'm gonna back up Mr Johnson and Mr Hunt even further. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with the Pedersoli rifles, I bought my first Shiloh Sharps this past spring. I got a brand new #3 Sporter in 45-70, from the factory for about 2650.00. I didn't even have to wait for it to be made, as it was sitting on the rack when I called.

Incidentally, Short Knife, if you're looking for a good importer with reasonable prices, PM me.
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Short Knife Johnson
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« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2010, 08:11:31 pm »

You had pictures of your rifle somewhere on here.  Gorgeous piece of iron.  When I stopped by the shop in Big Timber, Heather had something similiar to what I wanted on the rack, but I couldn't bring myself to settle.

PM is inbound.  Curious to know who you have in mind.  Thanks
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jolasa
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« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2010, 01:59:36 pm »

So for 45-70 (or 45-90, 45-110, etc.).

How about the gap between the front of the bullet and the beginning of the barrel lands?

This distance will of couse vary with the overall length of the cartridge, and a significant gap can cause the bullet to enter the barrel slightly lopsided?

If you load your own cartridges, you could probably correct for this to make the bullet just touch the beginning of the barrel lands.  But if you use commercially loaded cartridges, what does one do?
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jolasa
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« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2010, 01:26:38 pm »

Here is what I have found out about SS (single shot) 45-70 as compared to 45-70 government.

45-70 govt - case length 2-1/16", overall length with bullet is 2.51".

45-70 SS (single shot) - case length is the same 2-1/16", overall length with the SAME bullet is 2.659". Thus the case can contain more powder and get a bit more juzzle velocity.

Both of these cartridges will fit standard 45-70 chambering.
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Wild Billy Potts
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« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2010, 10:39:05 pm »

Jolasa, as a current owner of a Pedersoli Sharps I can tell you that if you buy a Shiloh you will not be disapointed in the least. The fit and finish between the two are worlds apart. I am almost ashamed to get mine out at the range when there are Shilohs present. The cost is higher somewhat, but it is worth it, which is why I am now on the wait list for a Shiloh.
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Kent Shootwell
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« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2010, 11:19:33 am »

Jolasa
The case length of a 45/70 should be 2.1" not 2 1/16 which equals 2.0625" as that would not fill the chamber. The bullet length will change the over all lenght but the shape will also if the driving bands are few the nose will be long as opposed to one with a lot of driving bands of equal weigth.
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richardmoo
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« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2010, 10:46:29 pm »

i really love loading the 45-70 cart., very easy with smokeless loads. haven't tried black in my shiloh #3 sporter yet. i'd say once you put up the $ amount for a shiloh , you'll soon forget about the price.... you'll have the best!  i f you can't get one in stock by calling shiloh, " it took me 2 months to get one "  look up bill goodman at  www.shiloh-ballard.com   he buys a lot of rifles form shiloh. if you have one custom built, he can have it for you in 3 to 4 months instead of a year and a half through shiloh.  Grin
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Short Knife Johnson
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« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2010, 12:00:10 pm »

What Bill does is (or started doing was) buy one spot a month, and then sells the spot when it comes up.  You order what you want and he tacks on $200 for his trouble.  Not bad considering his initial investment of $250 per month until the first rifle shows up. 

I phoned him up a while ago considering that path, but since I already had one, I figured I could wait.  Wonderful guy in my experience, and I've yet to hear anything bad about him.
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Ol Gabe
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« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2010, 06:29:34 pm »

Kind Sir,
Just for the sake of discussion only...
You have posited some very good questions for the 45-70, etc., yet as far as I can see, unless I missed it buried in another post, you have not told us what brand of 'Sharps' you bought. Is it a Pedersoli, an IAB knock-off ala as seen posted and touted in the 'Cheap Sharps Club' or is it another variety as is available from other vendors or manufacturers?
Please Sir, It really helps to have all the data before any of us that shoot the Big Bores can proffer a definitive answer, and that is only fair to us and you as nobody wants to pass on bad loading data, just posting that you have bought a 'Sharps' does not really give us the basic info we need to help you out.
So, please tell us what the rifle 'is' and those of us that shoot 'it' may be able to offer more specific info.  For example, your post about firing pin placement does not help us unless we know what type of rifle it is as the placement of pin impressions varies as you have probalby have discovered already.
I at present shoot a Pedersoli 45-70 made in the late '90's and the loads for it differ dramatically from a Pedersoli Sharps made in 2010, so please give that some consideration in your questions as those of us that enjoy the hobby would really like to help but need more data.Best regards and thanks for letting us offer our help!
'Ol Gabe
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Wild Billy Potts
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« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2010, 08:34:34 pm »


I at present shoot a Pedersoli 45-70 made in the late '90's and the loads for it differ dramatically from a Pedersoli Sharps made in 2010, so please give that some consideration in your questions as those of us that enjoy the hobby would really like to help but need more data.Best regards and thanks for letting us offer our help!
'Ol Gabe

Sir, I have a Pedersoli that was made in 1998 and have yet to find a loading it likes completely. I only shoot the black thru it and so far I've found every 400 gr bullet, .458/9 shoots low, about 1 1/2 feet low at 100 yds. I've tried the following charges, 60, 61, 63 and 65 grs of ffg under a .030 fiber wad, and all impacts were in the same area. It slugs right at .458. Would trying 500+ grainers work better?
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« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2010, 10:11:30 pm »

Wild Billy;  From what you are saying;

"I've tried the following charges, 60, 61, 63 and 65 grs of ffg under a .030 fiber wad,"

I wonder if you are still using your smokeless experience.  Working up loads with the real stuff requires a different process.  Here's generally how its done;

1.  Select a bullet appropriate for the twist in your rifle.
2.  Mark a cleaning rod with the distance breach face to muzzle.  Press your bullet with light pressure into the throat of the rifle.  Back down gently with the cleaning rod to measure the distance bullet nose to muzzle.  The distance between the two marks will be pretty close to your OAL.
3.  Measure how deep the bullet will sit into the case at your OAL.
4.  Using a 2 foot drop-tube, drop enough powder in the case to permit about 1/16" to 1/8" of compression with a card wad on top the powder.
Now you have your load, more or less after subsequent tweaking.

My .45-70 Pedersoli Sharps likes the LYMAN 457193 bullet (420gr.) over 75 grains of FFFg GOEX.  CARTRIDGE grade will be about the same with perhaps better results.  I used a Fed 215 primer but try several before going firm.  OAL is about 2.7".  For the RCBS .458-500-BPCR  I use *63* grains of CARTRIDGE.  NOTE;  This may be *59gr.* Just checked my notes. I started at 59gr and went to 63 grains of GOEX Cartridge.

Read through BROW for lots more info.  This is how I do it.  Others do it a bit differently and often get better results
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« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2010, 11:12:38 pm »

I'll give that a try and also try some 3f. I was thinking of giving seating depth a try, just haven't gotten around to it yet.
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« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2010, 04:32:34 pm »

Billy: I have a Pedersoli purchased in 1995. While I don't really shoot it anymore, I looked up the records I kept. I shot a 405 grain bullet cast from a Lee .459 mold (I did not size, just shot as cast) most often using a .030 wad and 61 or 62 grains of 2f Goex. I don't have any records of its accuracy but my memory was that it was only OK. I most often shot a 500 grain and 525 grain (Postell) bullet sized .458 and my comments were that I apparently could get about 3.5 inch groups (3 shot) at 100 yards (awfully good for me - I am no marksman). For this I used 62 grains of 2f Goex and a .030 wad. I settled on .3 inch of compression for the Goex, pretty stiff but it seemed to work for me. To me the lesson was the 405 shot OK, but the heavier bullet did better in my gun.

I am a big fan of the .50gvt now. Both the .50-70 and the .45-70 were really very easy to figure out and load for, the .45 2 7/8 was a mother for me, took me a year and time on the Shiloh board for that one.
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