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I have found for sale a Browning 1885 BPCR in 45/70. Anybody shoot smokeless in there's? If so, what data do you use? Trapdoor,Marlin or Ruger #1. I want to know how hot these can be loaded. Also what do they weigh? I am looking at this rifle for a backpack hunt and thinking it would be easier to maintain with smokeless than blackpowder while in the mountains.

Thanks,
Mike
 

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Hello Trapper04. I have to say I'm surprised to hear anyone would consider carrying a Browning BPCR on a "backpack" hunt. These rifles are quite heavy. The approximate unloaded rifle weight without the rear sight attached is listed as 11 pounds for the .45-70. Add the rear sight and the necessary rounds or ammo would make it quite a load for backpack hunting.

With the above in mind, to answer you other question, I know from well-placed sources at Browning the BPCR's were tested well in excess of any of the published smokeless "hot" .45-70 loads, including those for the Marlins and Rugers. I personally would not hesitate to shoot any reasonable smokeless load in the Browning.

But let me make it clear I have not shot smokeless in mine. I have several Browning BPCRs and have only used blackpowder so for. But I have done extensive research on the Browning BPCR and on several occassions discussed the design and testing of the rifles with it's designer at Browning and all of the supplier of components for the rifles, including Badger Barrel (the barrel supplier).
 

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I shot ONLY smokeless in mine while I owned it. Sold it earlier this year and kinda sorta almost regret it.

But be aware they only begin to start shooting decent groups at around 400 grains. The 300s and even 350s are not accurate enough for hunting. At 430 grains accuracy was super using the Buffalo Bore loads. Recoil from them will jar your teeth.

My right shoulder has bursitis so bad I can no longer take the recoil and so I no longer own mine.

Like others have said I can't imagine anyone even thinking of taking this rifle on a back pack hunt. I think that woud be a really bad move on your part.

GB
 

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:eek:h: :yeah: Yew :biggun: really heped OK. It just so happens I ate ma full life time supply uv veggies one day last munth so I'm all finished wid dem now. :) Ain't nebber gotta do dat again.

GB
 

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Hauling a BPCR up a slope would be possible only for a very large fit teenager using a sling. Your arms and hands would give out quick. They are even clumsy to get in and out of a safe without dinging something.
As far as strength goes the Browning 1885 standard model was chambered for the 7MM magnum. I suspect the BPCR used the same steel for the receiver. The 45/70 is probably limited only by the brass, the strength of the butt stock and the shooter. I have shot a 45/70 bolt gun with 50 grains of 3031 and a 510 jacketed soft point. From the appearance of the primer the pressure was still low (for a bolt gun)!! However recoil was grim.
 
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