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I purchased the Hodgdon reloading annual and was perusing through the handgun loads. In it they have a number of loads listed for the 45-70.

What concerns me is that they have loads listed for using H322 powder with a 300 grain jacketed bullet. I see that the maximum load for that bullet and powder combination in the Complete Loading Manual for the Contender is the starting load for the Hodgdon data. The load listed starts at 54 grains and goes up to 60. I was wondering how safe that top load is in the Contender. I'd hate to ruin a frame since they are hard to find. The pressures of the 54 grain load are listed as 18,100 CUP while the 60 grain load goes to 28,000. Could anyone enlighten me on this issue?
 

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Contender 45/70 loads

Bigbore 442001: T/C (Tim Pancurak) puts Contender 45/70 CUP at 28,000. In the T/C Contender Load Book shows 45/70-Hornady bullets (300 gr HP) start load 36.0gr & Max load 45.9 gr. Was no CUP listed for these loads. I loaded 42.9 gr (IMR 4198) using 300gr HP shot in a T/C Super 16 W/muzzle tamer. Shot as a handgun (even with Pachmayr grip) recoil was quite severe. I think muzzle tamer actually make felt recoil worse as it causes the gun to come straight back in your hand. I've shot magnum handguns all my life & even though I didnt max the load I have no desire to go over 42.9gr. I also have a Marlin 45/70 which I load 49.2 gr. IMR 4198 300gr. HP. One thing about it, get used to the recoil & anything you hit with a 45/70 Contender is going to get HAMMERED. Good luck & good shooting.
 

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Ken is right, Don't overload your contender. You'll just tear it up. If you really want top end loads then get an Encore. They are much better suited for the 45/70 any way. Just my $.02 KN
 

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My 45/70 barrel is from SSK. The best powder with jacketed bullets, 300 gr. Sierra or Hornady is IMR 3031. The maximun charge is 55 gr. Accuracy at 100 yds. is about an 1 1/2". But I rarely shoot jacketed bullets any more, I shoot cast bullets. I use the 300 gr. RCBS gas check bullet. When cast of wheel weights and 2% tin it weights 330gr. IMR 3031 is accurate with this bullet but there a problem, the unburnt grains of powder lay in the barrel. When the next round is inserted into the barrel the grains of powder jam up between the bullet ojive and the throat of the chamber. Not the situation you want when hunting. IMR 4198 works great with this cast bullet. I use 42 gr. for a velocity of 1550 fps. With this load I've shot groups as small as an inch at 100 yds, on a good day. The maximum charge is 43 gr. but the recoil and the muzzle jump noticeably greater than 42 gr.. For me an extra 50 fps. is not worth the extra punishment. 8)
 

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There's a good article on reloading the 45/70 rounds on realguns.com goes through the whole pressure issue pretty well.
Helicopter Bill
 
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