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IdahoArcher 11-07-2002 09:16 PM

45-70 405 grain Cast Bullet loads
I recently purchased a lot of 45-70 cast bullets (405 grains) and was wondering if anyone had ever loaded anything like this in the past. I generally reload Hornady 300 grain Hollow points and the Hornady book covers loads for this bullet, but there is no information about load specs anywhere to be found relating to the cast bullets.

I am shooting an 1895 Marlin Lever Action by the way.


headshot223 11-07-2002 10:32 PM

Yes this is what we load for our 45-70. Ours is a little bit different from your lever gun but the same load might work for it. We have one of them Pedersoili Long Range Rifles. It is a beast with the 405's the 300's arent as good but if you are hunting with them what can ya do.....

With either or we use:
34.0 grains of IMR-4198
CCI larger rifle primers.

They seem to work good


IdahoArcher 11-08-2002 04:58 AM

IMR 4198
Thanks, This is the same powder I use when reloading the 300 grain HP's, but my loads are a little stiffer for that bullet. I believe I am using 45 grains of IMR 4198 and Ill tell ya what, after 20 rounds, if Im not wearing some extra padding, Ill be black and blue for a week. lol I figure they are shooting at about 1950 fps.

Based on Hornady's figures for the 350 grain round nose, your load was comparable to what I was thinking about starting with for the 405, so Im glad I was close! It is supposed to rain hard all day today, perhaps Ill load a few batches of these and give them a try when the storm passes.

Thanks again for responding.

ZACE 11-08-2002 02:44 PM

The hodgedon website lists 50gr of varget with a 405 cast bullet. I have used this combination with fed. primers and rem. brass. in a marlin 1895ss with exceptional results. I cast my own bullets and lube them with Lee liquid alox and leading isn't a problem. The info lists the velocity at 1718fps and this load is listed for the trapdoor springfield.

vlad 11-09-2002 11:26 AM


Date: 17 Feb 94 17:50:11
From: Ed Harris
To: All
Subj: Red Dot in Reduced Rifle Loads
"The Load" is 13 Grains of Red Dot" (In most strong-actioned, military rifles of .30 cal. or larger) READ ON FOR SPECIFICS AND WARNINGS! Red Dot is bulky, compared to the usual rifle powders used in .30-'06-size cases. It occupies more powder space in typical charges than common "reduced load" rifle powders, such as #2400, IMR4227, IMR4198 or RL-7. The lower bulk density of Red Dot adequately addresses my safety concerns because it makes an accidental double charge far less likely.
"The Load" ,13 grains Red Dot, in any FULL SIZED rifle case of .30 cal. or larger has distinct advantages over more expensive alternatives, within certain limitations,
which are:
1. The case must be LARGER than the .300 Savage or .35 Remington.
2. The rifle must be of MODERN (post 1898) design, suitable for
smokeless powder, with a bore size of .30 cal. or larger.
3. The bullet weight must be within the NORMAL range for the
given cartridge.
4. Inert fillers such as Dacron, kapok or are NOT RECOMMENDED! (Nor are they necessary).
Gaschecked cast bullets required in the .30 cals., otherwise you will get leading, but plainbased ones fine 8mm Mauser or larger.
"The Load" has shown complete success in the .30-40 Krag, .303 British, 7.65 Argentine, .308 Win., 7.62x54R Russian, .30-'06, 8x57 and .45-70 1886 Winchester or 1895 Marlin.
-- 12 grs. is maximum for 400 gr. bullets in the Trapdoor Springfield --
"The Load" would work well in other cartridges fitting these parameters, such as the .35
Whelen, .358 Winchester, .375 H&H or .444 Marlin, based on RCBS and Lyman published data.
"The Load" fills 50% or more of a .308 Win or .30-'06 case. Visually check, powder fill on EVERY CASE ! A bulky powder measures more uniformly.
"magnum" primers do no harm in cases larger than the .30-'06, but are neither necessary nor recommended in smaller ones. I DO NOT recommend pistol primers in reduced rifle loads, because weak primers may cause erratic ignition, and their thinner cups can perforate more easily,
causing gas leakage and risk of personal injury!
The velocities obtained with 13 grs. of Red Dot case like the
--.308 or .30-'06 (24" barrel) about 1450 f.p.s. 200-gr. cast bullet, 1500 170-gr.,1600 150-gr. cast
load. Jacketed bullet velocities 120-150 f.p.s. less than a lubricated lead bullet of the same weight.
Longer-barreled military rifles pick up a few feet per second, but "The Load" starts to slow down in barrels over 28", such as the M91 Moisin-Nagant and long Krags or 98a Mausers.
preferred alloy in .30 cals. is a mixture of 3-5 lbs. of .22 backstop scrap to 1 lb. of salvaged linotype. Wheelweights work well. "The Load" drives soft- cast .30-cal. to 8 mm bullets fast enough to get expansion, but without fragmenting. These out-penetrate factory .30-30 softpoints, and kill medium game up to 150 lbs. well at short ranges up to 100 yards, when placed accurately.
In .375 H&H or .45-70, "The Load" gives typical black powder ballistics for the bore.
255-265 gr. cast bullet in the .375 H&H approximates the .38-55 at 1330 f.p.s.
Soft 300-405-gr. cast bullets 1300-1350 f.p.s. 22" barrel .45-70, sporter are very effective on deer at woods ranges. Cast blunt heavy bullets over .35 cal. do not have to expand to work well on game.
85-gr. or 100-gr. Hornady or 90-gr. Sierra JHP for the .32 H&R Mag. revolver, or the
Remington 100-gr. .32-20 softpoint bullet become mild, but destructive varmint loads at 1600 f.p.s. from a .308 or '06.
110-gr. .30 Carbine softpoint bullet, designed for higher velocities than imparted by "The Load", you have a non-destructive "coup de gras", small game or wild turkey load which shoots close to your deer rifle's normal zero, but at 25 yards! A more accurate and effective small game or varmint load uses a flat-nosed 150-gr. pr 170-gr. .30-30 bullet instead. These don't expand at the 1400-1450 f.p.s. obtained with "The Load", but their larger frontal area improves killing power compared to roundnoses or spitzers.
GI .30 caliber Ball, and Match bullets with "The Load" for cheap 200-yd. NMC boltgun practice. Accuracy is equal to arsenal loads, but I use my 600-yard sight dope at 200 yards. I expect 5-6" ten-shot, iron-sight groups at 200 yards using M2 or M80 pulled bullets and about 3-4" for the M72 or M118 Match bullets. I use these mostly in bolt-action rifles, but they can be single-loaded for offhand or slow-fire practice in the Garand as well. These .30 cal. pulls shoot fine in the .303 British or 7.62x54 Russian, despite their being a bit small, because the fast-burning Red Dot upsets them into the deeper grooves. The 173-gr. Match .30 cal. boattail bullets may not shoot as well at these low velocities as lighter flat bases in the 12" twist .308 Win. barrels, but they do quite well in ten- inch twist barrels such as in the '06, 7.62 Russian, .303 British and 7.65 Argentine.
The longer bore time of these 1400 f.p.s. (typical 170-180-gr. jacketed load velocity) practice loads makes errors in follow-through apparent, a great practice and training aid. The light recoil and lower report of these loads helps transition Junior tyro shooters from the .22 rimfire to the service rifle without being intimidated by the noise and recoil.
Zeroing is no problem in the M1 or M14, because "The Load" shoots into the ten-ring of the reduced SR target at 200 yards from your M1 or M14 rifle at using your normal 600 yard sight dope! The somewhat greater wind deflection blows you into the "8" ring at 200 yards with the same conditions you would expect to do so at
600 yards with M118 Match ammunition. This provides your Junior shooters some useful wind-doping practice.
A full power .30-'06 load 50 grs. IMR 4064 costs 10 cents a pop, just for powder, at 140 rounds per pound (if you find new powder for $14/lb.). Substituting 13 grs. of Red Dot gets 538 rounds per pound at a cost of 2.6 cents which is a savings of over $7 per hundred rounds in powder alone!
Velocity and point of impact of "The Load" is not noticeably affected by varying powder position in the case. I shoot them either slow fire, or clip-fed and flipped through rapid-fire in the boltgun with equal accuracy. Red Dot is very clean burning and is economical both on the basis of its lower charge weight, and its lower basic cost per pound compared to other "rifle" powders.

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