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Discussion Starter #1
Yo, guys anyone out there real familiar with the pros and cons of the 40-65 vs the 40-70 SS as far as accuracy, ease of loading, etc. I am thinking about having a Ballard made in a 40 cal. and would like some input before I make my final decision. This should be a good topic for some lively discussion. Happy New Year, Omaha!
 

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Yo, Poke
As far as ease of loading and amount of time spent to develop an accurate load, the 40-65 and the 40-70 SS are pretty much at opposite ends of the 40 cal. spectrum. The 40-65 is quite easy as to brass availability also, you can just make it from cheap 45-70 brass. I have a Browning BPCR in 40-65 and found it was simple to develop accurate loads using both GOEX and Swiss powders. My favorite bullet is the Lyman Snover 410gr design. On the other hand, I also have an original Remington Hepburn in 40-70 SS and have never been satisfied with any loads I've tried in it, even though the bore is like new. I plan on trying more loads in it in the future as soon as I get bored with other projects and can stand a little more frustration, however.There is a fellow named Marsh that posts here that has spent considerable time trying to get a 40-70SS to shoot also that I'm sure you might hear from. Unless you're someone who really likes a challenge and likes to tinker a lot, my advice would be to avoid the 40-70SS and get a 40-65. The 40-70 SS does LOOK cool though, and is historically correct for a Ballard as I don't think they were ever chambered for the 40-65 WCF.
Talk to ya later,
sureshot
 

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Hi All>well I cant tell you how the .40-70ss shoots yet but I shoot the .40-65 BPCRwhich shoots very good.I have a Shiloh#1 comming,I think in may or June I hope so I will be able to let you know then.A lot of matches are wone with the .40-70ss and the .40-65.I found the .40-65 likes the long heavy soft bullet.The twist has a lot to do with that,the #1 comming from Shiloh will have a 1 in16 twist and I have Steve Brooks making a mould for that one,it will be a long 415gr bullet.Lp.
 

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Hello Lead pot,

I saw this thread and hesitated to reply because there was a big discussion about the 40-70 on another board a while back and some had nothing good to say about that chambering at all. There is a great amount of misinformation around about what twist will work and which won't in a 40 caliber. Some think it has to be a 1-16" or it'll simply not shoot. I notice that the original Sharps 1874 rifles all had a 1-20" twist. I think maybe too, we have a tendancy to think we need to shoot bullets that are way heavier and thus longer than what is really needed. IMHO

I have owned a C. Sharps '74 in 40-70 now for about four years. It was my first BPCR and I bought it as a barreled action and stocked it myself. It is equipped with a Badger 1-18" twist barrel. It was not hard to get to shoot well. I use a 400+gr RCBS bullet, and about 68gr GOEX 2fg compressed around .20" and a .030" card wad, and always a mild primer like a WLR. It can shoot way better than I can hold it. The only problem I have had is that using stretched 30-40 Krag brass, I get a few cases that seperate and some have very different neck tension than the rest and have to be sorted carefully. I intend to try some Hornady .405WCF cases to see if they are more consistant in dimension and stronger too. But if I do my part at the loading bench and behind the buttplate, this rifle will shoot 2 1/2-3" groups at 200m. Someone with better eyes than I could no doubt do better.

Yes, the brass is more expensive for the 40-70 than the 40-65. And I have not heard the tales of woe about the 40-65 that are told of the 40-70. It is entirely your choice, but I wanted to let you know that not all 40-70's are future re-rod candidates.

Good luck with whichever caliber you decide on.

Ted K.
 

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>>>the pros and cons of the 40-65 vs the 40-70 SS as far as accuracy, ease of loading, etc. <<<

I do not own a 40-70 SS but I have a little information that I can remember from Rifle magazine and from a friend. My friend has a Remington Hepburn marked .40-2.5. He said it was .40-70 Sharps Straight so I took his work for it. This rifle was chambered for paper patched bullets with an extremely small neck diameter. He turned a reformed 9.3 X 74 case neck to .003 wall before he could get a bore size (.408) bullet to chamber when seated in the case. Needless to say he ruined several cases just trying to seat a bullet. He then had a long skinny boring bar made and I bored the chamber neck out so he had .004 clearance with a .408 bullet seated in an unturned 9.3 X74 case. Don't try this unless you have spent a lot of time on a lathe. After boring he could never get it to shoot well with black powder and he is almost an exclusively BP guy. He tried 3031 and it shot well with semi-wadcutters cast using a Lee mold for the 41 Magnum. I saw a benchrested group of about 2 inches for 5 shots using a tang sight
He also had a custom mold for a 320 grain gas check bullet but it never performed well in his Hepburn. I never measured the twist but I suspect the twist might be a little slow for the longer bullets.
Here is some trivia. The outside of the original Hepburn barrel was in nice condition and was straight. The bore had about .050 run out and it looked like a jump rope when you looked through the barrel turning in the lathe.
That is the limit of my first hand knowledge of the 40/70 SS.

From Rifle Magazine and others I have read that the Sharps BN (bottle neck) cartridges were superceded by the SS. Supposedly the BN rounds developed a hard ring of BP fouling ahead of the chamber faster than the straight cases and lost accuracy faster.
I remember from Rifle Magazine that Steve Garbe (the multi year BPCR champion) liked the 40/60 Maynard. He wrote an article about the 40/60 in which he explained the rounds pros/cons and how he formed cases from 30/40 Krag brass. Now the 40/60 is not the same as the 40/70 but it is close. I suspect he might have used the .40/70 SS if he could easily get brass for it.
The original .40/65s Winchesters were rifled for 260 grain bullets. The modern Brownings have a faster twist that makes them usable with the long heavy bullets. The 40/65 case neck is a little too short to be ideal with long heavy bullets.
If the .405 cases will work well in a 40/70 it might be a better round especially for BP than a 40/65. Anyone care to comment?
Ed
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thak you very much to all of you who have replied to this post. I believe I have found the rifle I have been looking for. It is a Ballard #4 Perfection with full Oct Barrel, 34" long, DST, Fancy Wood, Ball and Spur lever, etc.etc. Hopefully a real gem. I will keep you all updated as to how this rifle looks, shoots, etc. Thanks again, Omaha
 
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