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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm purchasing a NEF Handi-Rifle in .45-70 (synthetic stock, blued)

What can I put through it and get away with it
What can I put through it without wearing it out at an accelerated rate
What is the actual velocity I need to stay above to kill deer within 100 yds


My intentions are not to use super-loads to duplicate weak .458 Win Mag but I'd like to know what I can get away with because I'm poor and can't buy one (I can't afford 1,000 dollar guns that chamber .458 Win Mag). Also I haven't ever owned any breech-action weapons before, and I think the only one I've ever fired was an M-79 (I didn't load THAT!) so I have no idea what that type of action can handle. I suppose I'm not really too worried about assembling ammo components as I am concerned with making new loads for a "foreign" weapon design. Yes, I know I don't need a .45-70 to hunt deer in Missouri but ...

Also the synthetic stock, can a "thumper" load actually break one? I've never even so much as fired .45-70 before so it's all gonna be really new to me and I don't want any surprises (of the nasty kind other than recoil). Other than handgun stuff I've only loaded .308 Winchester moderate/heavy loads but never outright HOT or redline/nasty. I've never used lead bullets for a rifle either (just Sierra seconds that are totally jacketed). Oh and I've got a Lee Challenger, any die suggestions on that set-up? Is the crimping rediculously difficult?
 

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I believe this should actually be on the NEF Center Fire Rifle forum rather than here on the Hand loading forum for best answers so I will move it there for you.
 

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Squib said:
I'm purchasing a NEF Handi-Rifle in .45-70 (synthetic stock, blued)

What can I put through it and get away with it
What can I put through it without wearing it out at an accelerated rate
What is the actual velocity I need to stay above to kill deer within 100 yds


My intentions are not to use super-loads to duplicate weak .458 Win Mag but I'd like to know what I can get away with because I'm poor and can't buy one (I can't afford 1,000 dollar guns that chamber .458 Win Mag). Also I haven't ever owned any breech-action weapons before, and I think the only one I've ever fired was an M-79 (I didn't load THAT!) so I have no idea what that type of action can handle. I suppose I'm not really too worried about assembling ammo components as I am concerned with making new loads for a "foreign" weapon design. Yes, I know I don't need a .45-70 to hunt deer in Missouri but ...

Also the synthetic stock, can a "thumper" load actually break one? I've never even so much as fired .45-70 before so it's all gonna be really new to me and I don't want any surprises (of the nasty kind other than recoil). Other than handgun stuff I've only loaded .308 Winchester moderate/heavy loads but never outright HOT or redline/nasty. I've never used lead bullets for a rifle either (just Sierra seconds that are totally jacketed). Oh and I've got a Lee Challenger, any die suggestions on that set-up? Is the crimping rediculously difficult?
Last question first..Get a Lee Factory Crimp die...and while your at it..a Lyman "M" die...these 2 dies will make reloading your 45-70 a-lot easier and improve consistency.

Can a Thumper load break one..? Only if it is loaded past what the SB-2 can handle..or there is some defect in it to begin with...You will need as much eye relief on what ever scope you put on it if you use one.Some folks load them hotter than others..but..2300fps-2400 fps for a 300 grain Nosler Partition will drop any deer in Missouri ( and most everything else anywhere else ) and you will need weight in the stock or a mercury recoil reducer...because these types of loads can be brutal if precautions aren't taken....For the normal type cup & core 300 gainers..you most likely will want to load them down a bit..they have a tendency to over expand..You can also load much heavier bullets as well..but I've never had the need to load more than the Partitions for my hunting rounds..but the Remington 405 gainers at 2000-2100 work very well...If you want all copper bullets..Barnes makes some really good ones too...

Mac
 

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I have about a pound of lead shot in my syn. stock, makes the recoil
W_A_Y better. ;D
 

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Bear in mind, 2300-2400 fps is punishment. A 405gr. cast lead at 1600-1700 will drop a deer right there at 100 yds. Lee factory crimp die was suggested. They're good, but didn't answer your question. I have loaded hundreds (maybe thousands)with a set of Lee 45-70 dies. Just like your 357, 45LC, or 44mag dies, they will seat/roll-crimp in one step when set up correct. A factory crimp die would be needed if you're loading for a 45-70 auto (not likely). Otherwise Lee's 3-die set will serve you well. Loading 45-70 is much simpler than a bottle-neck case. If you've reloaded for a handgun, just think of the 45-70 as a LONG handgun cartridge.

Wear it out at an accelerated rate? Don't worry, you won't. Your shoulder will give out first.

Can't address the synthetic stock as I've always had wood.
 

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Others have addressed the top loads you can fire. As you see, they are VERY stout. A 300 grain bullet at 2400 fps is just shy of what the massive 375 H&H does with a 300 grain bullet (2500fps). The Handi 45-70 is much lighter than a typical 375, by 2-3 pounds. I would add that your shoulder and cheek will suffer greatly shooting those loads.

You would have to shoot a lot of super stout loads to wear out a Handi 45-70.

Actual velocity to stay above? Even with a 300 grain bullet (the smallest .458 bullet typically available, yes I know Barnes has a 250 grain X bullet), 1200 fps is sufficient to kill deer. Particulary if it is hard cast. Remember, a 44 magnum revolver shooting a 300 grain bullet typically goes around 1200 fps. You hit a deer in the right place with a 300 grain bullet doing even 800 fps and that deer is in the freezer. That said, I would stick to loads that start at 1600-2000 fps to flatten the trajectory. After that more power just is not necessary to kill deer within 100 yards.
 

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Earlier mention of factory crimp vs roll crimp: I always use a roll crimp (from a standard Lee seating die) on cast bullets. If I'm loading jacketed bullets with a cannelure, I use the factory crimp. By the way, the Lee factory crimp is easy as heck to use! However, if you're shooting single shot stuff, you don't need a crimp at all and for that matter are free to seat at depths of whatever your choice, barring throating. Some have found accuracy is impeded by a crimp yet sometimes a crimp can build a little more pressure and velocity to your load. That you'll have to play with and test on the range.

Jacketed bullets at high velocities: I don't know the answer to this but I seem to have read somewhere here that some jacketed bullets (Hornady etc) have a thinner jacket and pushing them beyond a given velocity will tear the jacket apart...either in flight or when it impacts, I don't recall which. I primarily target shoot, plink and shoot little furry critters that live in holes in the ground. Anything kills them so I choose bullets that are accurate and not necessarily efficient on deer or dinosaurs. :) Perhaps some of the hunters here can direct you to proper bullet choice for extreme velocities in a 45-70.
 

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I've had my .45-70 Handi for allmost ten years and just now am starting to shoot it. I shot my 365 grain cast over Universal Clays the other day. The load develops 1320 fps, it put three into an inch and an eigth at 100 yards. Recoil is mildish toward heavier. Quite a bit less than a 308 or my seven pound .38-55 Winchester 94.

They seem typically very accurate.

I've shot a few 510 grainers at 1150 fps. They kick harder than the 365s, but still no bad.

I doubt a jacketed bullet will ever pass down it's bore. Good luck with yours!


Cat
 

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It can take more pressure than I can for sure. I not long ago pulled the beginner reloader mistake. Got two powders mixed up, H4198 & Imr4198. Way overloaded some. The Good Lord looks out for the stupid..............I shot it once!!! Even with a mercury recoil suppressor, once was enough. The gun handled the overpressure fine, didn't jam it. Needless to say, I couldn't handle that much recoil. Went home and found my error, pulled bullets and downloaded to safe pressure levels. Lesson learned, check and double check yourself and be safe.

Bobby
 

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I have loaded for 45/70 for about 25 years now. My "heaviest" load is the 300 gr HP with 47 gr of RL7 (my 747 load) which gives me about 1900 fps out of my Ruger. There is no need for more than that, unless you are going to Alaska. My current load for the Handi is 34gr of IMR 4198 and the 322gr RCBS HP , just over 1500fps. It would be impossible to shoot enough of them to wear out a rifle, and the recoil is pretty gentle. They go through a deer like it was not there.
 

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Trapdoor loads with hardcast will kill anything in North America.
There is no need to hotrod a 45-70. All it does is make brutal recoil and take the fun out of it.
I load mine to trapdoor levels with 405gr. hardcast bullets. Recoil is mild and at 100 yds. it would probably shoot through a Buick. ;)



Spanky
 

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I've got two hunting loads for the plastic stocked Handi. Recoil is similar to a stout 30-06, at least that is how it feels to me.

1st 400 gr Speer pushed by 45.0gr RL-7
2nd 350 gr Hornady RN pushed with 50.0 gr of RL-7. This load generates more recoil and pushes the bullet to the 1800 fps MV that Hornady requires for expansion on that bullet.

The Speer is a much softer bullet and would probably work with 1200-1400 fps MV j
 

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I've pushed 550 gr load t 1900 fps, once. Gun was fine, me not so much.

That said a 410 gr gas checked bullet with an MV of 1600 fps will drop a 250 pound feral hog at 100 yards like you hit him with a truck. I prefer a Saeco 21A from Western Bullet over all other loads for light skinned game like white tails. Recoil is sub 12 gauge and accuracy is good. I do have 19 ounces of #4 shot in my Buffalo Classics stock, which brings it up to about ten pounds.
 

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revbc said:
It can take more pressure than I can for sure. I not long ago pulled the beginner reloader mistake. Got two powders mixed up, H4198 & Imr4198. Way overloaded some. The Good Lord looks out for the stupid..............I shot it once!!! Even with a mercury recoil suppressor, once was enough. The gun handled the overpressure fine, didn't jam it. Needless to say, I couldn't handle that much recoil. Went home and found my error, pulled bullets and downloaded to safe pressure levels. Lesson learned, check and double check yourself and be safe.

Bobby
I'm surprised at this. H4198 and IMR4198 are right next to each other on Hodgdon's powder burn rate comparison chart (#58 and #57 respectively). I would have thought that you wouldn't notice the difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Don't think I don't want all your pet loads, **** I might actually try about all of the ones that don't require me to cast my own but anyways sierra is out of bullets (you can go to the factory and buy their 2nd rate ammo//ones that don't quite meet quality control but are safe to use) they use some of the same tooling for pistol ammo as 45-70 and they aren't doing pistol stuff till sometime next year. #8900 is the only 45-70 bullet and I assume they meant they set-up the 45acp/gap or 45colt machine(s) to do 45-70 #8900 from a gun shop so unless I buy some online that's it for those till the end of the year...

anyways, living in sedalia and being able to procure bullets and brass cheaper I know I'll keep using starline cases and for all but serious hunting loads I'll probably keep up with #8900. Any recipes for that one specifically??? I've also been advised to go all out with black powder instead of smokeless for 500grainers.. it does make sense too

I just want a thumper, not a velocity cartridge 7000 grs = a pound, so 500 grs is a 14th of a pound. an ounce is a 16th, and some shotgun slugs are just an ounce, so if it's more than that and better sectional density I think I'm good at anything supersonic (at impact 100 yds away)

so for more specific advise I'm just looking for a Black Powder or equivalent low pressure powder to push a fat lead bullet (around 500 grains) out and touch something at 100 yds--- or 300gr sierra loads of about any type. those are only about 6bucks for a pound, and a pound is about 23 of those bullets (it all depends on the person weighing it up, the bag used and all, anyways I'm saying I can get about 75 for less than twenty bucks so I think that's gonna be most of my shooting.
 

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Cost for casting? Its CHEAP.
Get a lee bottom pour pot for 40-50 bucks, and get you a lee mold for 20 bucks.
In your first 100 that you cast, you just paid for the equipment.
I cast 405 RNFP bullets for my .45-70. I use a sissy load of 12 grains of Trail Boss, and it gets me just under 1000 feet per second. It will put every bullet inside of a Skoal can at 100 yards, using a red dot scope. Im sure I could shoot better groups with a regular scope, but I love my red dot.

As to the power of my sissy load, it went in one side and out the other of a buck last year at 75 yards. Add another 25 yards to that, and it would do the same. 405 grains of lead keeps on going, even at moderate velocity. Plus, you can shoot round after round, and not have a sore shoulder the next day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
thanks cpj, moderator mac was just telling me that I should probably use a red dot (I've got some pretty severe eye problems so a regular scope does me little good on a moving target)

as for specific products and price ranges, even better. I've got a bunch of trail boss sitting around (for 38spls, I've loaded proabably close to 700 wadcutters and that trail boss is still at least half full) that I need to use, if I only had easily acquired lead bullets....

maybe I can with that advise. so is more than twelve unsafe due to compressing a fast powder or all you need?? I'm assuming that the trajectory isn't bad at 100 since you're using a red dot???

I've gotta go now, the g/f is unhappy with me sitting here for the last two hours!! happy hunting
 

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12 is the max load, according to the book. Its not compressed, but it does fill up the case nicely. I was using (if I remember correctly) 11 grains of Unique. That load was about the same FPS, but I had a few hang fires with it. I would pull the trigger, and it would hesitate ever so slightly. You could here the primer, then a split second later the gun would go off. But, there is A LOT of room left in the case with 11 grains of Unique. I suspect that the powder had settled to the front of the case. Yeah, a guy can use fillers, but why? Trail Boss fills the case up nicely.

As to the red dot, I LOVE them. I was using Williams peep sights,but danged if I could see the front sight well anymore. They were GREAT for punching paper, but not worth a crap in the woods. Of course it was the target peep, and a hooded front sight. But my eyes aint what they used to be. I put the red dot on it, and love it.

The nice thing about them, you put the dot on the target and pull the trigger. No worrying about eye relief, or where the dot is in the scope. As long as the dot is on the target, you hit it.

I use a Millet. You can catch them on sale at Midway for 70ish bucks. I would stay away from the BSA and Tasco 30 dollar specials.

Here is the rifle, kind of a Frakenstocked. ;D



Cant find a 100 yard target, but here is 70 yards.
 
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