45-70 Wildcats - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-18-2007, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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Default 45-70 Wildcats

What wildcats have been made from 45-70 brass? I was thinking of .40, .375, or .350 using round nose bullets for use in a re-barreled model 1895.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-18-2007, 05:12 PM
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Default Re: 45-70 Wildcats

33 Winchester (WCF) was actually a production cartridge that was based on the 45-70. 475 GNR is a 45-70 with the taper taken out to accommodate a .475" bullet. I'm sure there are many others of varying degrees of practicality. There has been much talk of the desire for a .375 based on the 45-70 case, but I haven't heard about anyone actually having a reamer made or chambering a rifle for one. There has actually been more recent activity of wildcatting the 450 Marlin.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-18-2007, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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Default Re: 45-70 Wildcats

I was thinking in terms of a roundnose .375 with the .45-70 case. Would this give more accuracy? range? and energy? at longer ranges than the .45-70?
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-18-2007, 11:37 PM
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Default Re: 45-70 Wildcats

At the same pressures it would give less muzzle energy than the parent .45-70 - just like the .25-06 gives less energy than the parent .30-06. This is because the smaller bullet diameter means that less of the energy generated by the powder will be transferred to the bullet. But the better BC of a 300-grain RN bullet would mean that at long range - how long I don't know - the bullet would pack more energy and fly flatter. But there is a problem with the idea - the Hornady 300-grain bullet will probably not expand much at the low velocity of a .375/70 wildcat.

You'd probably be better off - in a practical sense at least - with a .375 JDJ, a great wildcat in its own right with lots of pressure-tested loading data and a proven track record. It can be loaded to higher pressures than the .45-70 case too, due to its smaller case diameter. But I'd not discourage anyone from trying something "new", practicality be darned!


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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-19-2007, 03:18 PM
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Default Re: 45-70 Wildcats

Like the other posters, I don't recall hearing about any 45-70 wildcats with the exception of the 475 (I recall it as coming from the JD Jones gunshop).

The factories did produce a few cartridges based on the 45-70 case. Off the top of my head I recall the 33 Winchester, 38-56, 40-65, and some shorter versions of those last two for which I can not recall the designation.

I had to reread your original post to find out why you wanted to use round nosed bullets in a lever gun. I see you are considering the 1895. Here, I will guess you mean the Marlin as I don't believe the Winchester will accept a case the size of the 45-70 without a lot of work. ( It is a lot of work just converting a Win 95 from 30 Gov't to 405!)

The prevailing rule of thumb is to avoid RN is a tubular magazine. If you are fixed on the RN you might consider a single shot rifle. If you are fixed on the lever gun, think about flat nosed bullets.

Either way if you look up the ballistics for the old Winchester cartridges you will get an idea of what is possible.

Not to squelch the idea of experimenting but what is wrong with the 45-70?

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-19-2007, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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Default Re: 45-70 Wildcats

Nothing is wrong with the 45-70. I have a Marlin. I just thought that if you necked it down slightly, you might get a good flat shooting round with good energy down range out of a lever gun. When I said round nose, I ment flat, slightly rounded, or whatever, to fit a lever gun.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-21-2007, 12:40 PM
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Default Old or new...

Actually, as brass (actually copper) cased cartridges were new, there would be one rim size and the factory would work from there. I think there was a .28/30. I know there was a .32/40 and .38/55 --same rim and approx. case length. It was necked down and blown out to hold smokeless powder (30 grains) to make the .30/30 WCF. And the .32 Special... Ballard use the rim. The .45/70 rim went out to the .45 Sharps 3 1/4 straight at its longest. Same as the .45/120 WCF. Early, lightly loaded, .45/60 WCF for lever actions (shorter). .45/90. BIG POINT! These cases are for black powder pressures and do not have the brass in them of more modern design. Section one and see what I mean. If you want "hot" then the .450 Marlin is a good idea or .444 Marlin. [One 'smith has the .308 family on the .444 case for single shots, called "Triads". If you are willing to stay with the old design brass, the .38/56 WCF Improved --Ackley or other-- (on the .45/70 rim) will come close, but not quite, the .375 H&H. Of course the .375 H&H was never loaded hot for use in "hot" places like Africa or India... "Wildcat" is not quite and applicable term. At the same time, rivalry between companies: .25/35 WCF was the same as .25/36 Marlin (or so says Mr. Ackley).. for only "sales" reasons... different names... luck.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-22-2007, 11:36 PM
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Default Re: 45-70 Wildcats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dixie
What wildcats have been made from 45-70 brass? I was thinking of .40, .375, or .350 using round nose bullets for use in a re-barreled model 1895.
Hi,

I built one of these on a 95 XLR. The cartridge in a Marlin is the ballistic equivalent of the .358 Winchester, although it needs about 6 grains of powder more to do it. I am in the process of moving it to a Siamese Mauser as the case as shown is too long to feed well in the Marlin. If you reduce the case length to 2", you will lose very little velocity and will have a very useful wildcat with your name on it.


Regards

Snow.

Katherine, Northern Territory, Australia.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-23-2007, 12:03 AM
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Default Re: 45-70 Wildcats

Quote:
Originally Posted by iiranger
These cases are for black powder pressures and do not have the brass in them of more modern design. Section one and see what I mean.
That's not neceesarily true of all modern made brass. Bell 45 Basic brass is good for 60kpsi+ according to them, and is thicker than 500 S&W brass by .014", .050" compared to .036".

Tim

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-23-2007, 02:04 PM
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Default Re: 45-70 Wildcats

I have been thinking of making a 375 wildcat on a 45-70 case but you would need a little more case length like the 45 basic. My plan was to size the case with a 376 STEYR die and chamber it in a H&R handi rife, making the rim cut with a tool bit and using a standard 376 STEYR reamer. This would be to long for a Marlin lever gun.
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